Access to HE (Social Sciences)
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About this course
Access to HE courses are designed for adults who want to enter Higher Education but may not have the usual qualifications such as A-Levels. They are accredited through LASER Learning Awards and will help you develop the skills you need to prepare for University.
On our Access to Social Science pathway you will benefit from studying a range of subjects which will prepare you to progress on to a broad selection of Social Science degree programmes. Depending on your choice of future higher education study we can offer the flexibility of an individual plan of subjects that will provide you with the best opportunity to prepare for your next step.
Learners that have taken this pathway in the past have progressed to study degrees in subjects such as Psychology, Counselling, Criminology, Social Work, Sociology, Marketing, and Forensics.
We have an excellent track record of supporting learners into their first choice University and you will receive specialist guidance on completing a successful UCAS application and developing academic study skills alongside your specialist subjects to ensure that you are fully prepared to get a great degree.
You will benefit from studying alongside other students who are also motivated to reach their goals and an Access course team who are specialists in their fields and experienced in helping adult learners to succeed.
If you are aspiring to study a politics or psychology degree, or wish to pursue a career in social work or as a probation officer then this course is suitable for you. The course will equip you to study at Level 3 and gain the necessary qualification for entry to Higher Education.
This course is 2 days per week - Tuesday & Thursday. It will be essential that you attend the two days so you will be able to complete the course in one year.
If this is your first Level 3 qualification, you may be entitled to all of your fees being paid. If you're aged 19 or over and take out a 19+ Advanced Learning Loan to fund your Access to HE Diploma, then go on to successfully complete your degree or subsequent higher education course, the Government will pay the loan that covered your Access course. Please be aware if you do not complete the course, you will still be liable to pay the full course fees. A deposit will be required at the start of the course if you are applying for a loan, but this will be returned when your loan is finalised.
If you are aged 19 or over and are starting a further education course at level 3 or above, you may qualify for a 19+ Advanced Learning Loan. This course is eligible for a 19+ Loan – for more information on how to apply click here.
What you will learn
- Sociology (Crime problem, and Sociology of education)
- Critical Thinking
- Develop your ICT skills to level 3 with presentations techniques
- Develop skills to reference to Harvard style for academic purposes
- 3,500 word research project which will be presented to your peers
- Help with writing your UCAS statement
Work experience in a caring profession or working with people will be essential.
The course is assessed through your final portfolio. Within each unit there are a number of assessment methods including:
- Oral presentations
- Report writing
- Short answer questions
The minimum requirement is 60 credits at Level 3. Assignments consisting of 45 credits will be studied at Level 3 and graded at pass, merit or distinction. Don't worry if you haven't got strong presentational skills at the start of the course as you will be taught these skills during the year.
- GCSE grade C or above in English and Maths
- If you wish to progress to Solent University on completion of this course you will need at least a level 2 qualification in English and maths (e.g. functional skills level 2)
- A good command of ICT skills (most assignments will need to be typewritten)
- Aged 18 or over (preferably 19 or over)
- You will be required to attend an interview at the College prior to enrolling onto the course
- To prepare for your interview, you must bring your GCSE Maths & English certificates with you, and proof of ID if you intend to enrol
If English is not your first language and you have taken qualifications out of the UK, you will need to have the equivalence checked by NARIC prior to your interview. An excellent command of English (IELTS 7) is required.
Students are expected to progress onto Higher Education, particularly those courses within the fields of the Social Sciences, e.g. social work, probation officers etc.
It will be important to ensure you have the commitment and time to devote to the course. At least 90% attendance will be expected for successful completion of the course.
In exceptional circumstances it might be possible for you to undertake GCSE in either English or mathematics alongside your Access programme depending on your future Degree choice and entrance requirements. This will be discussed with you at interview.
City College alumni, Kirsty Champion, has taken her Access to Higher Education (social sciences) course to the next level and is now studying BSc Psychology at the University of Southampton, ranked 10th in the UK.
Kirsty, 25, from Portswood, chose not to go to university aged 18, opting instead to gain work experience, ensuring she also saved some money. When she felt ready to return to education and follow her dream of studying psychology, she contacted the University of Southampton who recommended she took an Access to Higher Education course at City College Southampton.
Kirsty said: "The Access to Higher Education course was the perfect stepping stone for me into university. After eight years of not learning, the course put me in the right mind frame and the assessments were carefully chosen to reflect what we would be asked to do at university."
Assessment in the course includes group projects, presentations, reports and essays. The course also teaches Harvard referencing, critical thinking, ICT skills and helps candidates with writing their UCAS statement.
Kirsty continued: "The course is great because everyone there is dedicated to learning. You have to be because there is so much to fit in a short time frame, but I would definitely recommend it, it's a great way to get back into education."
Kirsty worked full time while she completed the course, which she says was hard work but has given her a head start ahead of some other students at the university.
"By delaying university I have gained work and life skills, something I wouldn't have had going straight from A-levels. I'd love to work as a clinical psychologist, so my life experience will stand me in good stead. It means taking a masters and a doctorate, so this is just the beginning of my journey through education!"