Access to HE Diploma - Routes into Social Science

Delivered at Accrington & Rossendale College University Centre
Start Date Sep 2023
Duration 1 Year
Cost Please enquire

** All fees are payable to Nelson and Colne College Group University Centre

Course overview

The Access to Higher Education (HE) Diploma is a Level 3 qualification that prepares 19+ students who are returning to education or who left school without the qualifications needed to progress to university.

This Access to HE Diploma is ideal for those who want to progress on to a degree or other higher education programmes in a wide variety of subject areas.

What will I learn

• Psychology
You will be introduced to key psychological approaches and debates that can be used to explain behavior, whilst gaining an understanding of key studies and evaluate methods of data gathering. You will plan and carry out a laboratory experiment in the field of cognitive psychology, using appropriate methodology.

• Sociology
You will learn how various agencies of socialisation (e.g. media, family, education etc.) influence personal identity. We will discuss key concepts such as norms, culture, stratification and inequality. You will apply sociological theories to a range of topics which might include: mass media, the family and personal life, education, globalisation, social class, ethnicity and gender.

• Mental Health
You will learn about models of mental health and apply these to a case study as well as investigate inequalities in the experiences of mental health and illness between different social groups. You will look at the treatment of mental illnesses from different psychological perspectives and discuss the relationship between mental health and substance abuse.

• Crime
You will learn about different explanations of the cause of crime and apply theories to a range of crimes such as: street crime, human trafficking and slavery and cybercrime. You will also discuss differences in gender and crime, and ethnicity and crime, and evaluate the usefulness of crime statistics. You will investigate different ways of offender profiling and evaluate the usefulness of offender profiles in cases.

• Academic development and study skills
Besides subject knowledge, academic research and writing skills are crucial in helping you with your assignments whilst preparing you for your future studies. This subject will help you to identify your own skills and those required to progress to a degree and/ or future employment. We will support you with your UCAS application and prepare you for interviews.

How will the courses be assessed?

You are expected to attend all timetabled classes (2.5 days per week) and in addition you are required to do some independent study. Sessions are taking place in regular classrooms, and computer rooms. There will be some 'live' on-line teaching and learning depending on the subjects.

Entry requirements

This is a demanding A-level equivalent programme, you must have GCSE English and maths at Grade A*- C/ 9-4 or equivalent. You will also need to attend an interview and complete application and entry activities.

Please note, some universities require specific GCSE/ Level 2 Functional Skills qualifications and grades. It is a good idea to check with your chosen universities before beginning the Access to HE Diploma.

If you do not have any of these qualifications or are not sure, please get in touch. GCSE and/or Functional Skills Maths and English are available at the College FREE of charge for those without a grade 4 (C).

Please be aware that if your long-term goal is to work within the healthcare professions, it will be necessary to undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for your place of employment. If you have a criminal conviction this may exclude you from working in some job roles. Please ensure we are made aware so appropriate advice and guidance can be given.


Students on this pathway progress on to a wide variety of degrees and other higher education programmes. You can consider progressing to a degree in social work, psychology, sociology, criminology, education, politics, history, law, philosophy, archeology and many others.
If you want to study local, the Nelson and Colne College Group offers a range of exciting degrees which may be of interest to you including: BA (Hons) Health and Applied Social Studies, FdA Mental Health Work, FdA Alcohol and Substance Misuse Work, FdA Criminology & Criminal Justice, FdA Teaching and Learning Support and CertHE & FdA Working with Children Young People and Families.