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Social Sciences Access to Higher Education Advanced (Level 3)

This year-long Level 3 course will provide you with all the skills and knowledge of social work/crime psychology you will need to progress to study a degree-level course.


I wanted to go to university but, because I didn’t have the necessary qualifications, the Access course was the most viable option for me.  I chose the Social Sciences pathway because I was interested in exploring why people look at things in different ways.  Plus it links into other subject areas such as business, offering a great deal of flexibility with my university course choices.

The tutors were very helpful, they were happy to go over things again if I needed to and I could meet with them even if I didn’t have a planned lesson. They were also available to contact via email to check my work – they have been very supportive.

The course has been great and really helped me develop the study skills I needed to progress on to university.  Before I started the course, I wasn’t very good at writing academically structured essays,  I’ve even been able to further my presentation skills, which weren’t too bad to begin with but they’ve developed more with the assistance of the tutors.  Even my organisational and time management skills have improved through managing my course workload and having to meet deadlines.

I’m now looking forward to starting a course in International Business at Nottingham Trent University in September.

Matt - Social Sciences Access to Higher Education Level 3

Entry requirements

This is a one year intensive course aimed at mature students (19+) without the standard qualifications to enter higher education.

GCSE English and maths is desirable; however, we may consider candidates without these qualifications, depending on an English and maths entry test, where you will need to demonstrate English and maths skills at Level 2, in addition to interviewing successfully.

It is very important to research the entry criteria of the universities you would eventually like to apply to. You will often need a minimum of GCSE English and maths, in addition to your Access qualification, for entry onto degree-level courses. We currently offer GCSE part-time courses, which you can enrol on alongside your Access course to gain these qualifications. Many university courses can be very competitive and it’s important to understand and fulfil the entry requirements prior to applying.  

Course content

During the course you will study the following:

Core units

Research Project (IAS)
Study skills

Specialist units

Introduction to sociology
Sociology of family
Social work practices
Women, Culture & Society
Introduction to Psychology
Cognitive Psychology
Social Psychology
The origins of Social Welfare
Mental Illness and Society
Health Issues: Perceptions and Practice
Sociology of crime & Deviance


Access to HE Diploma

Further study and career options

On successful completion you can progress on to a degree-level course or a similar qualification in your chosen specialist area.

You will be guaranteed progression on to one of the following courses at Bedford College:

Child & Family Studies Foundation Degree 
Educational Practice Foundation Degree 

Additional information
During the course you will meet a range of guest speakers from a variety of related organisations. You will also be invited to progression events to higher education at college and at local universities and the possibility of other trips such as a visit to Parliament.

To enable you to be successful on the course you will need to be able to to produce essays, reports, presentations and statistical data electronically. You should consider completing an IT course at the Bedford College IT Training Centre before enrolling. You may also be able to study towards a GCSE in either maths or English.

You will be required to attend College for three days a week on a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The proposed times of the College day will 9.15am to 4.45pm. You will also be expected to study for approximately 15 hours a week outside of College. You may need to purchase books relating to the course.

Please declare if you have English and maths GCSEs and/or Functional Skills qualifications – this information is required (note: you will need to provide evidence prior to enrolment). Once we’ve processed your application you will be contacted by email.
Funding information

If you are aged 16-18, this course is not funded and costs £3,022. Alternatively we offer BTEC Level 2 and Level 3 courses that may be funded for 16-18 year olds. If you are aged 19 or over you may qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan to help you pay the tuition fees for this course. Alternatively, you can pay by instalments to help make the cost of this course more affordable. Find out more about your payment options and how your loan could be written off at

Course information & how to book

To apply online, select the 'Apply' button below. You will need to register an account and then you can follow the instructions on screen.

Please declare if you have English and maths GCSEs and/or Functional Skills qualifications – this information is required (please note: you will need to provide evidence prior to enrolment).

LengthStart DateFeesLocationCourse Code
1 year 11/09/2017 Launch our fee calculatorLaunch our fee calculator Cauldwell Street E2288

Apply Online

Additional Learning Support
If you have a specific learning difficulty or disability, are deaf or hearing impaired, our Additional Learning Support team are on hand to give you assistance whenever you need it.  Find out more.

Autism & Asperger’s Syndrome Support
At Bedford College, we are committed to developing the provision for students on the autistic spectrum, including Asperger’s Syndrome.  Find out more.

We have access arrangements in place to help students with disabilities or any other particular needs. Call us on 01234 291000 for more information.

Additional formats
Course information sheets are also available in large print and audio formats. Call us on
01234 291000 to order your copy.

Don't let money be a worry! Low-interest loans - study now, pay later

Advanced Learner Loans
If you’re aged 19 or over on the start date of your chosen course, you can apply for a loan to cover the tuition fees for some Level 3+ qualifications. There’s also nothing to pay back until you’ve completed your course and you’re earning over £21,000 per year!

» Visit the Advanced Learner Loans page for more information

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