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Social Sciences Access to Higher Education Diploma at Blackburn College

Course description

The Access to Higher Education Diploma - Social Sciences provides excellent preparation for people who wish to study social, youth and community related courses at University level. This course is especially designed for mature students who do not have the necessary academic qualifications to apply for University level study but who wish to study at University level in the future.

Social work is all about people. Social workers must form constructive relationships with individuals and families who are facing challenges. The social worker supports and works with their clients to help them to find long-lasting solutions to their difficulties and to make improvements in their lives. Professionally qualified social workers are helped in their day-to-day work by social work assistants and social care workers. Local authority social services departments are the largest employers, but there are also opportunities with the NHS (in hospital, community or mental health settings), charities and other organisations.

Social workers are employed within all types of communities and deal with people of all ages and backgrounds. Every case is different. Employers are keen to attract social workers who reflect society at large, so male and female applicants from different ethnic and religious backgrounds and people with disabilities are welcomed.

As problems do not only arise during office hours, social workers sometimes have to work in the evenings and at weekends. You may be expected to be able to drive - if you can't, you'll find that your choice of jobs is restricted.

Applicants to social work training and employment undergo background checks and must show that they are physically and mentally fit to do the work. Social workers need to be registered by their appropriate Care Council.

Course content

You will study on this programme for 12 hours per week, completing three subjects at Level 3 (the equivalent of A-levels). In addition you will attend a tutorial session where your study skills will be developed and you will receive excellent preparation for University level study with our 'Study Skills' module. The Access to Higher Education Diploma is a modular course which involves you studying a combination of units. All units are compulsory and must be completed by all students who wish to achieve this award. 

You will study the following subjects at Level 3:

  • Sociology Level 3
  • Criminology Level 3
  • Psychology Level 3

All students on the Diploma will then complete the following mandatory units in a weekly tutorial:

  • Study Skills Level 3
  • Further Study Skills Level 3

Entry requirements

As this is a demanding A-level equivalent programme, you should have a minimum of 4 GCSEs at Grade C or above, or equivalent qualifications, including English and Mathematics. You should also have evidence of study within the last five years. Applicants who do not have recent experience of study but have relevant work or life experience will be considered on an individual basis and may be invited to interview. If you do not have the relevant qualifications we will refer you to our Adult GCSE Programme.

You must have relevant work experience for this course. The following are examples of the work we regard as suitable to demonstrate your aptitude for a career in social, youth or community work: 

  • Care Assistant
  • Home Care Assistant
  • Voluntary work with various organisations such as The Women's Centre, community projects
  • Work with clubs and societies such as Scouts, Guides, Youth Clubs

Not classed as suitable work experience:

  • Periods of being in care yourself


You'll be assessed by coursework and examinations throughout the course. 

Future opportunities

This programme is designed to prepare you for study at Degree level

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Blackburn College directly.

Last updated date: 12 February 2016
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