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Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social Science) Ref. 400/1255/4

Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social Science) Ref. 400/1255/4

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This diploma will allow you to apply for university courses in areas such as, but not limited to, Social Work, Social Care, Psychology, Sociology, Social Policy, Politics, and Philosophy.

Through this course you will gain knowledge and skills that can be applied in different fields and scopes. Our course includes a variety of units related to Sociology, History, Language and Communication; and tackles issues such as human rights, prejudice and discrimination, social identity, as well as language usage in social media and advertising. Moreover, through the course you will develop critical thinking and analytical skills, learn how to assess the credibility of sources, present your arguments, produce written assignments and conduct independent research. For more information, see the ‘modules’ tab.


This Online Social Science Course at a Glance

  • 100% online learning for adults
  • Flexible - learn in your own time around work and family
  • Flexible payments - interest-free monthly payments over 1 year 
  • One-to-one tutor support at mutually convenient times
  • Go to university without A Levels
  • Gain crucial knowledge, skills, understanding and confidence
  • Assessed through end-of-unit assignments 
  • Equivalent level to those of other level 3 qualifications, such as A Levels
  • Complete in 1 year or less

Education Provider: Cambridge Online Education - established 2002

Accredted by: Open College Network West Midlands

Regulated by: Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA)


Course Outline

The Access to HE Diploma is a full Level 3 qualification designed to prepare learners without traditional qualifications for entry into Higher Education (HE). The Diploma provides opportunity for learners to acquire and develop knowledge and skills needed to progress to higher education study and also enables learners to develop social and emotional skills such as communication and confidence.


To achieve the Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social Science) Ref. 400/1255/4 learners must achieve:

  • 45 credits which must be graded, academic subject content at Level 3 only.
  • 15 credits which must be either at Level 2 or Level 3 ungraded (U).

The following are the Unit titles for this Diploma:


  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Mental Health and Illness
  • Social Relationships

Social Policy:

  • Contemporary Issues in Social Policy
  • Social Welfare in the UK

Social Work:

  • Introduction to Social Work
  • Personal Social Services
  • Social Work Methods
  • Social Work Practice Skills


  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Sociology of the Family
  • Sociology of Education


  • Understanding Crime & Deviance
  • Criminal Justice & Social Policy
  • Forensic Psychology


  • Preparing to Study (U)
  • Academic Writing Skills (U)
  • Applied Research Skills (U)
  • Progressing to Higher Education (U)

Enrolment Requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for students applying for the Cambridge Online Education Access to H.E. Diplomas. Tutors are nevertheless, required to ensure that learners admitted onto the Diploma possess the necessary skills and personal qualities to cope with the demands of the course.


All Access to HE Diplomas require the achievement of 60 credits. 45 of the 60 credits must be graded at Level 3 (pass, merit or distinction). Such credits will arise from the Academic Subject Content Modules. The remaining 15 credits are ungraded and can be achieved at either Level 2 or Level 3. Students may only be registered against units with a maximum combined total credit value of 60. In terms of the length of time required for a learner to complete their diploma, for all Access to HE Diplomas the notional learning hours are 600. Notional learning hours comprise all learning that may be relevant to the achievement of the learning outcomes including directed and private study, practical and project work, assignments and assessment time. The assessment methods used for each unit of your course will be detailed in the Programme Handbook. Your tutor will provide you with formative feedback and provisional grades. Your grades will be then evaluated by the Examination Board. Final grades will be released to students after the External Moderation Visit.


On successful completion of the course, you will receive a QAA recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social Science), at level 3 QAA ref: 400/1255/4 awarded by the Open College Network West Midlands. Open College Network West Midlands are a national Awarding Organisation, regulated by Ofqual, the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) and Qualifications Wales, to develop and award nationally recognised qualifications.


Any qualification that has a connection with human relationships is always one with a lot of career options including: 


  • Media and mass communication
  • Public relations
  • Human Resource Management
  • Social Policy
  • Social Worker
  • Carehome Director
  • Counselling
  • Sociologist
  • Psychologist
  • Child Psychologist
  • Counsellor
  • Therapist
  • Analyst
  • Behaviourist
  • Academic
  • Teacher
  • Lecturer
  • Tutor

    It all depends on your interests, but no matter what you choose, you are up for a career that will cultivate your creativity, strengthen your communication skills, and develop your problem solving and critical thinking skills. As different universities have different entry requirements, you are strongly advised to check these requirements with your chosen tertiary education provider. You can contact our career advisers for further guidance and support in that matter.


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    Meet your expert friendly tutor

    Chloe's Story

    Because I was brought up in care I wanted to work in the social care sector. Unfortunately, I went off the tracks when I was at school and so didn't get the grades to go to uni. I'm so chuffed that I found this access course and that I can go for my dream career!