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Humanities/Social Sciences - One Awards Access to HE Diploma at East Durham College

Course description

Awarding Body - One Awards

The course is the perfect preparation for mature students who want to study an education related degree course. Students undertake a variety of units to prepare them for HE that relate to various pathways – both within, and outside of, education. The first unit of the course focuses on Study Skills and application to university. The course is divided into two semesters which have a range of units in them – you get to choose some of the units you study. Units are graded at either a pass, merit or distinction – the credits available for each unit range between 3 and 9.

Course content


•Study Skills – helps you plan your time and develop the skills that are essential for success on your access course.
•Exam Technique – helps you maximise your technique for both your Access course and university. The unit also looks at how you can manage exam stress.
•ICT – develops your software skills and how best to utilise programmes to suit the demands of your studies.
•HE Research – prepares you for you university application and how to decide on the best course for you.
•Applied Psychology – theoretical perspectives and the major research methods that are used in the discipline of psychology. Plus the exploration of a variety of concepts including abnormality and behaviour.
•Sociology – covers the role of Sociology in modern society using key sociological perspectives and concepts. Also looks at understanding and analysing the impact that social change has on social organisations and institutions.
•Sociology of Crime and Deviance – key definitions, concepts and theories that explain deviance and criminal behaviour. Plus developing skills in interpreting and evaluating crime statistics and other quantitative evidence associated with deviance as well as the ability to assess reaction to crime from the mass media and other social groups.
•History – develops the necessary skills and knowledge to understand the causes and consequences of key historical events; plus skills in using primary and secondary sources of evidence to evaluate historical
•English Language Studies – involves an academic study of English Language; the characteristics of written and spoken discourse and how they are inextricably linked to historical periods, generational differences and expressions of power.
•English Literature – covers the use of literary terms and definitions, identifying characters, styles and themes within literary works. Plus providing and justifying a personal response to literature - you will cover topics such as ‘The Short Story’, war poetry and drama.


Entry requirements

As GCSE Maths and English are often a requirement to progress to Higher Education we would prefer you to have passed GCSE in these subjects at grade C or above. Alternatively, equivalent level 2 qualifications may be acceptable.


You will be assessed by a variety of methods which may include: essays, written assignments, seen exams, unseen exams, academic posters, debates, research projects, presentations, analysis of published articles, etc.

Financial information

If you have been a UK resident for the past 3 years and are under the age of 19 on the 31st August, you will not usually need to pay any course fees.

Future opportunities

This course can be used to support entry into higher education or employment. Previous students have gone on to study at a variety of HEI's in the region and across the country. Likely HE courses include: psychology, sociology, social work, history, English, law, government and politics. Please note that completion of the course is not a guarantee of entry onto a degree course, you must apply to higher education through the UCAS system and some higher education institutions may have additional entry requirements.

Further information

The course can be used to support entry into higher education such as HNC/D, Foundation Degree, Degree at university or college or can also be used to support entry into employment. Before choosing which Access to HE Diploma you would like to study you are advised to research ahead by looking at the UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions System) website,

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 12 April 2016
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    • In Peterlee, the College re-located in 2009 into an exciting £36 million new build development. Needless to say, the complex is one of the most modern educational facilities in the region and one which staff, students and the public at large are justifiably proud of.

      Along with its specially designed state-of-the-art classrooms and work areas, the College also showcases a 500 seater sports arena and the area's only dedicated specialist theatre.