Access to HE L3 Diploma (Social Sciences)

Level 1 Diploma

Course Location


Trafford College


Altrincham Campus

Further Details


College 16-18,Adult


Access to Higher Education

Course Start Date

Monday 16th September 2024

Course Duration

Full-time, 1 Year

Course Time

09:20 - 15:20

Course Fee

£ 3022.00
You may be eligible for support with your tuition fees - please visit the college website - funding and finance page for further information

Course Code


Course Overview

This course is designed to prepare mature students for university level study. If you want to work in Health & Social Care, Social Work, Primary Teaching, Law and many other careers with a strong social sciences basis, this course will provide excellent preparation for a suitable Higher Education degree.

In 2022-23, 100% of students on our Access Social Sciences diplomas secured offers of university places. This compares with a progression rate of just 55.4% across all Access diploma courses in England and Wales.

The course runs for an academic year and you will be in college three days per week for 32 weeks. You will be attending for 13 hours per week (12 hours of lessons and 1 hour of tutorial). You will also need to allow at least 12 hours per week for private study and assignment completion.
Approximate times: 9.20am – 3pm (exact times to be confirmed)

Course Requirements

This course requires you to have achieved GCSE English Language and Maths at grade C/4 or better before enrolling on the Access Diploma.

In some circumstances, we can accept Functional Skills Numeracy level 2 instead of GCSE Maths.

Please note that for some degree courses (e.g. Primary Teaching), you will also need GCSE Science at grade C/4 or better.

If you don’t meet the entry requirements, don’t worry. You can apply for our level 2 pre-Access course which will prepare you for the Access to Higher Education Course. You can also work towards achieving your GCSE Maths and/or English at the same time.

The pathway will run subject to minimum numbers being reached.

What you will Learn

On this Access Diploma, you will study modules in Sociology, Psychology and Criminology. In addition, you will complete a module of ungraded Developmental units, which are designed to develop the academic and study skills you need to be a success, not only on the Access Diploma, but also in your future university-level studies


Assessments include essays, practical reports, case studies, open or closed-book examinations and verbal, visual or IT-based presentations. All modules will include an element of time-constrained assessment which will contribute towards the final module grade.


Most university admissions tutors will accept the Access to HE Diploma as an entry qualification for Higher Education, but there may be some degrees for which this certificate alone may not be acceptable. The suitability of the course for your ultimate career aim will be discussed at interview.

Progression from this pathway can be on to degree programmes such as Social Care, Criminology & Sociology, Psychology & Counselling, Social Work, Policing Law & Investigation and more.

Please note that whilst your subject tutors and Personal Tutor will make every effort to support your application for a university place, progression onto a specific higher education course cannot be guaranteed. It can be a highly competitive process, and your tutors, together with the college Careers Advisers, will try to give you realistic advice as to your chances of progression. Alternative routes into the career of your choice can be discussed.

One of past students,
David Davies, provided the following case study;
I have just completed my studies at Manchester Metropolitan University and will soon graduate from my course ‘Primary Education with Mathematics with QTS’, having completed the Access Course for Social Science at Stockport College 3 years previously. I am predicted a first-class degree based on my results so far.

I found the Social Sciences Access Diploma prepared me for writing academic assignments to a high standard with excellent support on how to cite and reference. The course also taught me criticality and how to convey this in a concise and academic manner. The tutors really helped me to talk openly about what I understood and what I didn’t…what my opinion was and to hear the opinions and ideas of others both in the classroom and discussed as part of the curriculum content… In truth, however, the biggest benefit I have taken from the Access Diploma is that it has taught me more about myself than I previously could articulate or even knew. It allowed me to appreciate my place in society and what my ethos was, to understand politics and sociological paradigms…all of which were the topic of many assignments and lectures at university. So having had a head start on the Access course was great!

I would recommend an Access course to anyone and would happily tell them that the Access course will put you ahead of your peers once you start university as you will already have significantly more experience of how to plan your time, and how to write a balanced assignment.

Career Options

Social worker, counsellor, psychologist, police force, criminologist

Mandatory Units

Psychology, Criminology, Sociology.

Contact Details

For further information please contact T: 0161 886 7070 or E:

Extra Costs Involved

Exam Validation Body

Hours Per Week

How Long To Complete

Programme Structure

Contact Details


Although every care has been taken to ensure that the information contained within this document is accurate, there may be changes to this programme and provision. We will endeavour to keep prospective and current students updated where appropriate and when the information becomes available.
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