Access to HE: Social Science (Online)

If you are aged 19 or over, this diploma gives you a brand new, convenient, and affordable way to study for your qualification online.

If you live in England, you might be able to do this course for FREE, see ‘Additional Information’ tab for more details.
Apply today and our team will confirm if you could qualify for free place, with no obligation.  

 Are you interested in a rewarding career in Social Work, Education, Psychology, Criminology, yet worry that a lack of time could prevent you from taking that next step?

Access to Higher Education qualifications are nationally-recognised, one-year, intensive Level 3 courses. They are a fast-track route to gaining the the skills and qualifications you need to study at university and begin the career you are dreaming of.

This online learning course means that you can study for a change of career, or a return to education, at times that suit you. It has also been specially designed for adult learners that are aged 19 or over, who do not currently meet the necessary entry requirements for a university course, or who have been out of education for a period of time.

The course is validated and moderated by Ascentis under license from the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education and comprises of 60 credits, of which 45 are graded and 15 ungraded. You will study towards 3 credits in Preparing to Progress, 3 credits in academic writing and 54 credits over the three subjects Psychology, Law and Sociology.

Benefits of studying with Activate Learning:

  • Designed exclusively for adults (19+)
  • Supportive environment provided through tutors with subject expertise
  • Guidance webinars for every module
  • Help and guidance on writing your personal statement and completing your UCAS application
  • One-year programme equivalent to three A Levels, allowing you to achieve the qualification you need to enter university
  • Flexible learning enabling you to study whilst working and personal commitments
  • Widely recognised and accepted qualification by UK universities.
Remember: If you go on to study at university and complete a degree, the loan for your Access course is written off by the government.

You will study modules in Study Skills, Psychology, Biology and Sociology. Credits are gained through the coursework. We would advise for you to check with your chosen University to ensure they accept these units for your chosen course before you apply.

  • Non-Academic: Preparing to Progress 3 credits (Ungraded) Preparing to progress Booklet
  • Non-Academic: Academic Writing 3 credits (Ungraded) Academic Writing Booklet and essay
  • Psychology: Introduction to Psychology 3 credits (Ungraded) 2000-word essay
  • Psychology: Child Development 3 credits (Graded) 2000-word essay
  • Psychology: Psychological Perspectives and Behaviours 6 credits (Graded) 3500-word essay
  • Psychology: Psychological Investigation 6 credits (Graded) 3500-word word assignment
  • Law: Introduction to Law Making 3 credits (Ungraded) 2000-word assignment
  • Law: The English Legal System 6 credits (Graded) 3500-word assignment
  • Law: Criminal Justice System and Police Powers 3 credits (Graded) 2000-word assignment
  • Sociology: Culture and Identity 3 credits (Ungraded) 2000-word essay
  • Sociology: Families, Households and Personal Relations 3 credits (Graded) 1000-word essay and a 1000-word report
  • Sociology: Health and Illness 3 credits (Graded) 2000-word essay
  • Sociology: Poverty 3 credits (Graded) 2000-word presentation
  • Sociology: Sociological Perspectives 6 credits (Graded) 3500-word essay

One subject will be covered at a time and a tutor with specialist subject knowledge will be assigned to guide and support you on your learning journey. Although the workload of the course is intensive, it is structured in a way that recognizes the pressures on adult learners. Many students successfully balance a healthy work/home life whilst studying the course and Activate Learning has helped over 3,000 Access to HE students’ progress on to university.

Teaching will be delivered by way of self-directed learning with access to regular tutor support. Additional webinars and online forums for group discussions are also available throughout your studies. You will be assessed through coursework. All assessments are internally and externally verified through a rigorous and robust process to ensure all grading is consistent, fair and provides developmental feedback.


An Access to HE Diploma will help you to progress to study at university. It will also help you improve your employment prospects. As well as developing subject knowledge, you will improve your communication, personal and study skills through a core programme that also provides one-to-one tutorial support.

This course is designed for anyone wanting to progress into a career in social work, education, psychology, criminology or improve job prospects in therapy related roles, counselling or as a support worker.

You must meet the following entry criteria:

  • Aged 19+ at the start of the academic year.
  • Living in the UK.
  • Already hold a grade C/4 or above in GCSE maths and GCSE English Language or equivalent such as Functional Skills Level 2. If you hold international qualifications, we can assess these to see if you meet the criteria.
  • Passing an entry assessment in maths and English.

*For your application to be processed, we are required to view your official certificates. These can be requested from the awarding body if you no longer have them.

You will be NOT be able to study maths and/or English GCSEs alongside this course.

You will have a numeracy and literacy assessment to check your suitability to study at Level 3. Don’t worry, most students are successful in the assessment process.

Funding available: 

19+ Advanced Learner Loan: If you are aged 19 or over, and you want to study an Access to Higher Education programme, you may be eligible to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to cover your tuition fees.

Student Finance England will write off any outstanding Advanced Learner Loan balances you owe for an Access to HE programme, if you go on to complete a higher education/university level course. This means you do not have to repay it. If you don’t go on to study a higher education/university level course, you won’t need to start paying back the loan until you earn over £25,725 per year. Contact us for more details.

Level 3 Entitlement fee remission: If you are aged 19–23 and this will be your first eligible, full Level 3 course, then you may be able to do this course for free.

Remember: If you go on to study at university and complete a degree, the loan for your Access course is written off by the government.

Why Bracknell and Wokingham College?

  • Clear routes of progression with qualifications ranging from foundation level to degree level!
  • Industry experienced teaching staff give you the responsibility and independence you need to take charge of your own future.
  • 150+

    Courses available

  • 95%

    of our graduates go into work or higher education 

  • 60+

    years of teaching experience

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