Access to Higher Education - Social Studies | New College Courses

Access to Higher Education - Social Studies

Course Content

This Access Diploma = 60 credits (45 graded and 15 ungraded)


Level 3 academic graded subjects

This is always a favourite with Access students who go on field trips whenever possible. Forget what you thought of Geography at school – ours is not the same! Modules studied include: Tourism, Population, Rivers, Villages and Towns and The Weather.

Politics and Social Policy
Learn how political and social issues affect all of our lives. Government and Politics considers how people make, preserve and amend the general rules under which we live. Social Policy is concerned with the study of social services and the welfare state, relating to poverty, health and education. Study Units include, Britain’s controversial role in the EU, the extent to which welfare should be provided and discussions on the effectiveness of the coalition.

The first part of the course looks at Germany in the 1920s and 1930s, particularly the rise of Adolf Hitler, his racial and foreign policies and the lives of women and children in the Nazi State. You will then go on to study American history, including the Civil Rights Decade and the Vietnam War.  Finally you will study contrasting periods in British History: the reign of Henry VIII and Britain in the 1960s.

The overall theme of this subject is understanding human behaviour.  Units studied include: Introduction to Psychology and Research Methods, Developmental Psychology, Social Psychology, Cognitive Psychology and Atypical Psychology.

Sociology is the study of society from a variety of different theoretical perspectives. You will study families and households - roles, relationships and recent changes. Other Units include the Sociology of Health, Crime and Deviance, Education and Poverty and Welfare; these are studied in conjunction with relative research methods and the opportunity to carry out a short research project either alone or with other students.


Mandatory ungraded subjects

Study Skills & Basic IT
All students must attend a Study Skills class for one hour a week; this is normally followed by your Tutor Hour and you will have the same tutor for both. Basic IT will allow you to update your computer skills while adding credit towards the Access Diploma. All units in this section are compulsory.


Entry Requirements

All students should have GCSE Maths or English Language grade A*-C. Minimum age is 19 years with at least a one year break from education.

If you don’t have the necessary qualifications to do an Access course consider our Preparation for Access course which will give you the necessary skills.



Monday 9am-2.30pm
Plus two or three other days depending on subject choices (Usually finish before 2pm)



This diploma could link to careers in Social Work, Youth Work, Social Research, Psychology, Museum work. Degrees in several social studies areas, Social Work degree, History and combined degrees.


Paying for your Access Diploma with the Advanced Learner Loan

Advanced Learner Loans are for people aged 19 or over who want to complete a qualification course at level 3, 4, 5 or 6 (Including the Access to Higher Education Diploma). Loan eligibility doesn’t depend on your income and there are no credit checks.

You can apply for a loan from May 2016 to pay your tuition fees for courses starting from August 1st 2016. You will pay nothing back until you have finished your course and are earning over £21,000 per year.


Get your Access Diploma for free if you go on to complete a higher education course!*

Student Finance England will ‘write off’ any outstanding Advanced Learner Loan balances you owe for an Access to HE course once you complete a higher education course. This means you don’t have to repay it.

* The higher education course must be eligible for student finance.

Click here for more information and to apply for the Advanced Learner Loan.


How to apply

1. Complete an application form Apply online

2. Apply by Post

Return postal form to:

Alison Boam
New College Swindon
New College Drive

3. Hand in an application form at the New College reception

Hard copies of the application form can be downloaded here, picked up from the New College reception or you can request a form using the contact details below.

Enquiries to:

Phone: 01793 732826