Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social Science) - City of Wolverhampton College

Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social Science)

Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social Science)

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Study Mode: Full Time Programme Component Course Level: 3
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Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social Science)

If you want to pursue a career in Social Work, or to study a higher education qualification in a social science or humanities-related subject (e.g. criminology, history, law, psychology or sociology) but lack the necessary qualifications to go to university, our Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social Science) course will give you the skills you need to progress to a degree. 

The Access to Higher Education qualification is widely recognised by universities and bridges the gap between existing education and what is needed to study at degree level.

The Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social Science) is an intensive and challenging one-year course that will give you an overview of social science in the 21st century, help you to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence needed for university.

To succeed on this course you will need to be committed and focused and have a zest for learning, as well as good time management skills, particularly if you work and have family responsibilities.

Before you embark on the course it is important that you know what you want to study at university, have thoroughly researched your chosen course and attended university open days.

If you want to pursue a career in the social science sector our Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social Science) will set you on the road to a great career

To access this course you are required to have:

  • English at Level 2 (eg  GCSE grade 4/C or above / equivalent Functional Skills qualification depending on individual university requirements) 
  • Maths at Level 2 (eg GCSE grade 4/C or above / equivalent Functional Skills qualification depending on individual university requirements) *
  • Commitment to the course and be motivated and determined to be successful on this intensive programme of study

*Applicants without this level of qualification will be required to complete a diagnostic assessment to determine their level of maths skills and knowledge and, if necessary, study for the Level 2 qualification alongside the Access course.

Please note: If you are contemplating applying for a degree in Social Work or other related courses you will need to ensure that you have sufficient paid or unpaid work experience to satisfy university entry requirements.

The Social Science pathway will focus on: 


  • Introduction to psychology 
  • Social psychology 
  • Developmental psychology 
  • Abnormal psychology 


  • Introduction to sociology 
  • Understanding poverty 
  • Sociology of education 
  • Sociology of the family 
  • Sociology of mass media 

Social policy 

  • Foundations of social policy 
  • Origins of social policy 
  • Social welfare in the UK 
  • Contemporary issues in social policy 
  • Crime and deviance 

Skills for learning

  • Progress to higher education (HE)
  • Preparing for an HE interview
  • Applied research skills
  • Seminar

By studying this course you will:

  • Develop your understanding of the underpinning skills, knowledge and academic conventions needed for Higher Education
  • Learn how to research, design, plan and write educational assignments as well as developing your critical and evaluative thinking skills
  • Develop an appreciation for the promotion of active reading to identify relevant information and take part in discussions and debates based on informed reading
  • Develop your analytical skills to give you the confidence to participate in verbal and written debate
  • Develop your practical skills and appreciate the need for attention to detail

This is an assessment-based course and will include a combination of essays, reports, presentations, group discussions and research projects.

The skills you will learn on this course will enable you to:

  • Move on to a higher education course in a social science-related subject (you are advised to check that the Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social Science) course is accepted as entry to your chosen university course)
  • Pursue a career in the social work, probation, child and family support etc.


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