Access to HE Diploma: Humanities & Social Sciences – Level 3 (1 Year)

What is Access to HE?

The Access to HE course is a Level 3 modular, credit-based programme for adults aged 19 years and over.



The primary aim of the Access to HE Diploma is to provide appropriate preparation and a recognised qualification to enable students to progress to Higher Education (HE).

We deliver three Access to HE diplomas and one Pre-Access to HE course – and you should choose the one that is best suited to your desired future study route at university. The mandatory units for the Humanities diploma are below:


  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • English Literature
  • Crime and Deviance
  • History – Social and Cultural Development

If you are unsure which diploma is the best suited to your aspirations, have a look at university websites and prospectuses for course entry requirement details and check with their admissions departments.

As well as choosing your diploma, you will study the following core units, which equal 15 credits:

  • English Language (9 credits)
  • Maths (2 x 3 = 6 credits)

Please note, that most universities require GCSE English and Maths at Grade C (4) or above. If you do not have these grades at GCSE, the core units that you will take in these subjects should compensate. However, each university has different entry criteria for different courses and you need to check these. Please note that if you are planning to do a degree in Business or a business related subject, many universities require you to have at least a GCSE grade C in Maths in order to be offered a place.

The Access to HE course is worth 60 credits – 45 credits come from academic units specific to the pathway you have chosen (5 x 9 credit units) and 15 credits are core units that are ungraded.

Our Access to HE classes run during the day on Monday and Thursday (9am-4pm).

The structure of the one-year course is:

  • Semester 1:
    • 3 subjects plus UCAS preparation
  • Semester 2:
    • 4 subjects

Your timetable is discussed at interview and finalised at enrolment.

To be eligible to study on the Access to HE course, you must have:

  • A significant break from study (aged 19+)
  • Level 2 in Maths and English (GCSE A-C or 4-9 or Functional Skills level 2)
  • Commitment to the course and a clear goal
  • Contact details for a referee (not a friend or family member) who can objectively comment on your skills and commitment
  • Computer skills

You will also have an informal interview with a member of the Access to HE teaching staff.

Your UCAS application must be completed by mid November of the year before entry. It is a very competitive environment and to ensure the best possible chance of securing a place on your chosen degree course, you should start planning your application early.

You can enhance your UCAS application by attending taster courses, open days or conferences, and by talking to professionals in the field you want to work in.

Almost all vocational degree courses demand either relevant work experience or voluntary experience, so bolstering your application with a variety of work placements will help you to stand out and compete for your place. is a useful place to start if you are looking for help to organise voluntary experience. Please note that most voluntary roles will demand a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, which can take a number of weeks/months to complete. It is your responsibility to arrange this.

Many of our students do not have to pay for their course tuition fees; they are paid by the Government or the College on your behalf. Some students are also eligible for extra help with costs such as childcare, books, travel, trips and equipment.

Speak to a member of our Student Services team to find out what financial support is available for you and how to progress with applications for these.

Come along to one of our open events and have a chat with a member of our team about the course. Our open events run the first Tuesday of every month, 5pm-7pm. Find out more – Events

After interview, you will be notified of three possible outcomes:

  • An unconditional offer – the course is right for you and you meet our entry requirements
  • A conditional offer – offer made on condition e.g. provision of references or achievement of Level 1 Maths and Level 2 English on your skills test
  • No offer made – the course isn’t suitable for you at this point in time – though you may be encouraged to reapply at a later date

An advisor from our Student Services team will contact successful applicants to provide further information about the enrolment process.

If you have any further questions about the course, or the pathway that is most suited to you, please contact a student advisor in our <a href=””><strong>Student Services team</strong></a>

Start Date: September

Times: Monday and Thursday (9am-4pm)

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