Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Access to HE (Social Care Professions)

Access to HE Diploma

students laughing and smiling in class


Access qualifications are a popular, nationally recognised qualification designed to provide adult students with the skills they need to apply for courses at universities.  Access Diplomas are Level 3 courses specifically tailored toward the adult learner. Havant & South Downs College is proud to be offering QAA credit based Access to Higher Education Diplomas validated by LASER in a variety of qualification pathways.

How to apply

Contact us

Fees Explained

All applicants are required to possess a minimum of grade 4/C in GCSE English and at least one other subject. Students are also required to carry out their own research into the specific entry requirements for their chosen university courses prior to application. The College offers several maths and English courses at various levels (including GCSE) for potential Access students.

The Social Care Professions pathway is designed for adult students who are interested in preparing for Higher Education courses in subject areas such as social work, probation, youth work, or specific subject degrees such as Psychology, Sociology or Social Sciences. 

Core units include: 

  • Health Psychology
  • Studies of Social Work Practice
  • Social Policy and Sociology

Please note, all pathways also include modules in Study Skills, preparation for university and an independent project unit. 

Upon successful completion of this course students will receive an Access to Higher Education Diploma which is currently validated by a regional Access Validation Agency (LASER). This is a national validation indicating a common level of academic achievement, recognised by universities. In addition, grades achieved through completion of Level 3 units will be shown separately on the certificate to indicate individual subject achievement/ability.

Access courses are taught by a team of specialist subject lecturers, supported by a tutor. Students are given help and advice on applying for Higher Education in specific sessions from tutors and also the College Career  Department. Classes incorporate a variety of teaching and learning methods e.g. discussion, lectures, group work, practical sessions etc. Attendance is compulsory

Access classes take the form of two sessions per week for 35 weeks. Each session begins with an optional individual/additional support session, followed by a 30-minute tutorial and a 3 hour taught session. In the early weeks of the course students will be taught study skills to introduce and develop essay writing and academic skills to help them complete assessments; they will also receive advice and support in the process of completing the application to university. In addition to the contact hours, students will be required to complete independent work each week.

All QAA Access Diploma qualifications require students to achieve a total of 60 credits, including 45 graded credits at Level 3. All credits on the Access programmes at Havant & South Downs College with be at Level 3 and will comprise of the following:

  • Academic study skills
  • Sociology studies
  • English studies
  • Health as a social construction
  • Mental illness, society and the media
  • Sociological theory and health
  • Social work studies
  • Social policy
  • Psychology studies
  • Health psychology
  • Health psychology applied

Assessment is made through completion of assignment based activities, essays, coursework, independent study and research, practical work and class based tests. In order to achieve an overall pass, students must achieve 60 credits of which at least 45 must be at Level 3 and up to 15 at Level 2. All Level 3 credits will be graded at Pass, Merit or Distinction.

For many courses relevant work experience is also required prior to the university application. Havant & South Downs College has its own work experience department that can offer advice with work placements. Students will also need a clean DBS in order to pursue careers in social care. You will be asked to declare any criminal record on application.

The teaching and support was really great, the quality was really great, all the teachers really care about your education as well as your wellbeing, they take everything into consideration and they’re great.

Katie Whittingham, A Level student

My experience at the college was enjoyable and productive, with thoroughly helpful people surrounding you, an excellent experience. I wasn’t expecting it to be as good as it was, with the work shop time and experience I had, it was a great two years preparing me for the next stage.

Edward Smith, BTEC student

There are lots of people at the college, each studying a diverse range of courses, people from all different areas come to study here, it creates a sense of community, there is a huge social aspect to college life across all courses.

Lee Backhouse, BTEC student