Vocational Course

Access to HE - Social Science Diploma

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About this course

Starts in September

An Access course is a nationally recognised alternative to A Levels and GCSEs for entry to British Universities and Colleges of Higher Education. The course offers excellent preparation for studying at a higher level and can increase your chances of future success.

At Halesowen College our Access programme is specifically linked to Birmingham City University, Newman University and Wolverhampton University. However, as part of the Open College Network, the qualification is recognised nationally, leaving you free to apply to the university of your choice.

Even if you were to decide against progressing to higher education, we believe that you would find the course to be of great personal benefit.

What does the course involve?

This course is designed to give you a broad overview of social sciences, with a focus on psychology, sociology, and individual research skills.

From finding out about how neurochemicals affect behaviour to looking at how the education system treats people differently based on class, gender or ethnicity, this course will challenge you to think about what makes us think and act the way we do and about how and why society works the way it does.

Psychology and sociology give us the skills to ask questions, from ‘how does an anti-depressant work?’ to ‘why do we still have a gender pay gap?’. They also give us the skills to find and assess evidence to answer these questions, and to develop an in depth understanding of human behaviour and society.

What will I learn?

  • Introduction to psychology
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Psychology of mental illness
  • Psychobiology of stress
  • Introduction to sociology
  • Sociology of the family
  • Sociology of education
  • Gender
  • Sociology of health

How will I be assessed?

A range of assessment methods including written assessments, group discussions, presentations, academic posters and timed assessment.

This range is designed to develop the skills needed for university and professional practice.

The variety of assessment methods means all learners have the opportunity to use their personal strengths and build on their skills.

What do I need?

You need Grade C in GCSE Maths and English.

Potentially, if you have English grade C, you can run the GCSE Maths alongside the programme.

Where can it take me?

Our students go on to a wide variety of university courses, including

  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Social Work
  • Criminology/Criminal Psychology
  • Social Policy
  • Counselling Psychology

Career pathways include social work, criminology, the probation service and education.

Additional Information

Who can I contact about the course?

Rhiannon Lockley - rlockley@halesowen.ac.uk

Funding Your Access to HE Course

If you are aged 19-23 and do not hold a full level 3 qualification (such as a BTEC, NVQ or A Levels) your course could be free.

If you do need to pay for the course you can pay in full, by instalments or by Advanced Learner Loan from Student Finance England.

Student Finance England will write off any outstanding Advanced Learner Loan balances you owe for an Access to HE course once you complete a higher education course. This means you don’t have to repay it.