Access to Higher Education Social Science

1 Year Full Time Access Course


27/09/16 – 30/06/17

at Ruskin College, Ruskin Hall, Dunstan Road, Oxford, OX3 9BZ

Contact us on 01865 759798 or to apply.

This is a 1 year full-time programme.  An Access to HE Diploma is accepted for entry onto degree programmes by the majority of UK universities and colleges.  Our Diplomas are accredited by AIM Awards.

The course is organised in a series of modules covering different aspects of the subject.  These are:

Graded units (where you can be awarded a pass, merit or distinction)

  • Post War Development in Social Policy
  • Professional Communication in Social Work
  • Sociology of Welfare and Poverty
  • Social Work Practice with Key Client Groups
  • Research Methods in Sociology
  • Inequalities in Health and Social Care
  • ‘Race’ and Ethnicity
  • Sex and Gender Studies
  • Class and Stratification
  • Controversial Issues in Psychology

Ungraded Units (where you will be awarded a pass if you meet the assessment criteria)

  • IT for Academic Study
  • Producing a Written Assignment
  • English for Academic Study
  • Research and Referencing
  • An Introduction to Sociological Theory

There are a variety of teaching methods including individual practical work, small group exercises, on-line research and presentation, whole-class teaching and peer assessment.  In addition to scheduled lessons, you will also attend group tutorials where you can develop and extend your understanding and receive extra support.

You will attend sessions for between 12 and 16 hours a week and typically have 1 day a week free for study.  You will be expected to complete regular homework tasks and numerous assessments outside of class time.

The Access course is based upon continuous assessment.  You will be supported and encouraged to develop and practise the skills that will enable you to become an independent learner and prepare you for Higher Education.

You will be assessed throughout the course in a variety of ways, for example, written essays, a piece of research, data response questions, practical work and skills, exams and many other formats.

When your work has been assessed, you will receive credits at a specified level.  These credits accumulate and count towards your final credit record at the end of the Access programme.

Please be aware:

  • University admissions tutors for some degree courses will stipulate the number of credits to be achieved at a certain grade e.g. 27 credits at distinction
  • Entry requirements for university courses are changing all the time.  We strongly advise you to check the university requirements for your desired course including relevant work experience.
  • Some universities will require you to have Maths and English GCSE grades A*-C.

If you are 19-23 years old and haven't previously studied a level 3 course then you wont need to pay for your course. If you are 19-23 and have studied a level 3 course before or if you are 24 years and above you can apply for an advanced learner loan. It is very straight forward to do and if you go on to successfully complete a degree course you will not need to pay back the loan. 

If you would like to be a residential student you may be enititled to a bursary to cover the cost of your accommodation, meals and a small additional allowance. If you are not planning to be a residential student you may be eligible for some support with your living allowance or childcare.

Entry Requirements & How to Apply MORE INFORMATION

There are no formal academic requirements for entry to the course although you will need to successfully attend an interview and complete Maths and English assessments at the required level.

To apply for this course please complete our Further Education enquiry form and we will get in touch. Alternatively you can ring the Further Education office on 01865 759798. You can also email us at

Students can apply to study for a degree in Social Work, Youth and Community Work, or Social and Political Studies at Ruskin College, or apply for social science related degrees at other universities.

The Ruskin College Access to HE Diploma in Social Science offers the opportunity to begin studying for a career in social work, youth and community work, counselling, education, work in the voluntary sector or other similar settings.