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Access to Higher Education

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About the course

This course is designed to prepare you for study on a humanities or social sciences related bachelors degree. The Diploma may also be a beneficial qualification for students looking to go directly into employment in a number of related professions, where Level 3 qualifications are required.

Significantly different to the more mainstream Humanities combined with Social Science course, the blended option requires considerable independent work on your part with relatively little teaching contact with academic staff. For the most part, you will be working independently; the ‘blend’ being mainly independent work coupled with college attendance every third Saturday.

What you will study

  • English literature
  • History
  • Education
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Law
  • Politics
  • Study skills


  • For the majority of units studied, assessment is by way of a piece of extended writing (an essay)
  • One unit will require independent research to be undertaken and for the work to be presented as an academic report
  • An oral presentation will also have to be done throughout the course
  • Those units which naturally lend themselves to assessment by examination will be assessed in that manner
  • All students should expect to be faced with at least one examination whilst on this course

Entry requirements

  • GCSEs - grades A* - C / 9 - 4  in English and maths preferred, however, each application will be considered on an individual basis
  • It may be possible for you to do one GCSE (or equivalent) running alongside your Access course (in order to satisfy university entry requirements) although you should not underestimate the workload required of combining two courses within the one academic year. No more than one GCSE may be studied in this way.
  • Selection is by interview, initial screening and literacy test

Costs and loans

  • The Advanced Learner Loan is available for this course

Moving forward

  • As you might expect, given the breadth of the course, progression is very mixed and varied
  • Past students have used the course as the means to gain entry onto a whole range of humanities orientated degrees
  • These include, but are not confined to: English and creative writing, history, psychology, sociology, law, social policy and politics

Additional information

  • Access is an intensive study programme; you must be completely committed to hard work and are required to maintain 100% attendance
  • You are expected to self-study for a minimum of 10 extra hours a week in order to manage strict work deadlines and to cope with the work load

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