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Access to Higher Education Diploma (Health and Social Care)

Enrol Today and Pay No Course Fees Until June 2022!

Health and social care workers work in our communities supporting individuals who are at risk, recovering from illness or have specific requirements due to a disability, age or poor mental health. They support families, young people, older people and others in several ways including maintaining good physical and mental health, and independent living.

An Access to Higher Education Diploma (Health & Social Care) provides an alternate route to university. Where you can study a range of related degree subjects that allow you to help others, professionally, in a fulfilling and rewarding career.

Access to Higher Education Diplomas are widely accepted alternatives to A Levels allowing you to progress to degree-level study if you don’t have relevant qualifications.

This Access to HE Diploma (Health and Social Care) is available to study online which means you can enrol and start your studies the same day. You’ll be provided with all the course materials via our online portal. You will also get an Individual Learning Plan that will give you submission deadlines and to help keep you on track throughout your studies. 

An Access to Higher Education Diploma can usually be completed within two years, however, most students complete their course within 12 months.


Enrol today from
only £9.99/mo

100% online learning and assessment

Self-paced study

Study around other commitments

24/7 access to online learning

100% online learning and assessment

Self-paced study

Enrol today from
only £9.99/mo

Study around other commitments

24/7 access to online learning

With the knowledge you gain through this course, you could pursue many important roles that relate to Health and Social Care. Support Work, Community Development, Health Promotion and Nursing are just a few of the options that would be available to you.

Through your studies you will prepare yourself for a career in the social care sector, supporting at risk individuals whether that’s as a social worker or healthcare professional.

This becomes possible by learning about human health in topics that explore Cell Biology, Nutrition and Illness. How human health can be adversely affected by Poverty, Drugs, Mental Health Disorders and other issues. Plus, the importance of the National Health Service and Social Work.

Access to HE Diplomas are developed by subject matter experts to provide you with the essential knowledge needed to start your university degree as strongly as possible.


Unit 1: Preparing to Study

On completion of this unit you will:

Understand how study is organised and planned

Understand how to apply theories of learning in relation to personal approaches to learning

Understand a range of constraints upon study

Understand the importance of assessment feedback

Unit 2: Academic Writing Skills

On completion of this unit you will:

Be able to write with relevance in responding to an academic task

Know how to interpret and discuss ideas and issues in responding to a set, academic writing task

Be able to summarise for academic purposes, selecting key points, information or central ideas

Unit 3: Preparing a Written Assignment

On completion of this unit you will:

Understand how to use key information sources

Understand why sources are acknowledged and referenced

Understand a range of reading strategies

Understand note-making methods

Understand how to plan, draft and produce a written assignment

Unit 4: Cell biology 

On completion of this unit you will:

Understand the structure and organisation of cells, including stem cells

Understand cellular metabolism

Understand how cells grow and divide

Unit 5: The History of the National Health Service

On completion of this unit you will:

Understand the background to and the founding principles of the National Health Service

Understand how political reforms have shaped the National Health Service

Unit 6: Introduction to Social Work

On completion of this unit you will:

Understand the historical development of social work

Understand the role of the social worker

Understand how social work services are organised in the statutory, voluntary and independent sector

Understand the main purposes and values of social work

Unit 7: The roles and responsibilities of healthcare professionals 

On completion of this unit you will:

Understand the changes to the roles and responsibilities of a healthcare professional

Understand the role of professional/regulatory bodies for a healthcare professional, for example, HCPC and the Nursing and Midwifery Council

Understand the current multidisciplinary approach to healthcare

Unit 8: Social Work Methods

On completion of this unit you will:

Understand the concept of planned intervention

Understand the purpose and principles of social work assessments

Understand the range of methods used in social work assessments

Understand social work intervention methods

Unit 9: Human Rights, the Individual & the Law

On completion of this unit you will:

Understand the general scope and application of the European Convention on Human Rights

Understand the impact and interrelationship of specific Convention Rights

Understand the status and effect of the Human Rights Act 1998

Unit 10: Introduction to Social Work

On completion of this unit you will:

Understand the historical development of social work

Understand the role of the social worker

Understand how social work services are organised in the statutory, voluntary and independent sector

Understand the main purposes and values of social work

Unit 11: Human Nutrition & the Digestive System 

On completion of this unit you will:

Understand the structure and functions of the organs of the digestive system

Understand nutrients and their sources

Understand the components of a healthy diet and the consequences of an unhealthy diet

Unit 12: Understanding Dementia

On completion of this unit you will:

Understand dementia

Understand types of dementia

Understand the medical and social models of dementia

Understand an individual’s experience of dementia

Unit 13: Poverty & health

On completion of this unit you will:

Understand approaches to poverty and health

Understand approaches to the social distribution of health choices

Unit 14: Contemporary Issues in Social Policy

On completion of this unit you will:

Understand current issues in social policy

Understand current legislation in relation to current issues in social policy

Understand the economic context of a contemporary issue

Unit 15: Classification and Use of Social Drugs and Medicines

On completion of this unit you will:

Understand why different types of social drugs are used

Understand the classification of medicines and controlled drugs

Understand the impact of the use of social drugs and medicines on the individual and society

Unit 16: Personal Social Services

On completion of this unit you will:

Understand the varying nature of social work provision for children and adults

Understand the roles of the voluntary and private sector in the provision of welfare

Understand the welfare needs of various groups

Unit 17: Mental Health and Illness

On completion of this unit you will:

Understand the difficulties in defining normality and abnormality

Understand a psychological disorder

Understand treatments used to treat people with psychological disorders

Unit 18: Morals and Ethics in Social Work

On completion of this unit you will:

Understand ethics and ethical issues in social work practice

Understand moral dilemmas and social work practice

Unit 19: Equality and diversity within healthcare  

On completion of this unit you will:

Understand equality and diversity within healthcare

Understand the rights of the individual in a healthcare setting

Understand the impact of equality and diversity legislation for healthcare


Anyone wishing to continue their education with an Access to Higher Education Diploma, it is necessary they have a GCSE Grade A-C in maths and English (or Functional Skills Level 2 or new GCSE Grade 4-9) with a desire to continue a related degree at university. If you do not hold these qualifications then you must be working towards them whilst completing your Access to HE Diploma.

Our Access to Higher Education Diplomas fulfil entry criteria for a broad range of university degrees and can be used in conjunction with the standard UCAS application process. In short, Access to HE Diplomas have a track record of helping learners get to the university and degree of their choice. Learners must bear in mind each university has its own set of admission criteria and places are subject to demand. Varying admission criteria can include but are not limited to the following:

1. Number of credits to be attained at merit or distinction level.

2. Successfully passing a face-to-face interview at the University.

3. Passing a University’s proprietary literacy and numeracy assessments.

4. Completion of specified work placements or work experience.

5. GCSE Grade A-C (new system 4-9) in maths and English (or equivalent Level 2 such as Functional Skills).

Learners must undertake their own research to ensure their Diploma gives them the best possible chance of gaining entry to their university of choice. It is not possible for learndirect to accept any liability if any Access to Higher Education Diploma student fails to secure an offer from a higher education institution.


A range of units makes up this qualification, with an assignment at the end of each. You will submit your work to your tutor for marking and tailored feedback. You must acquire 60 credits in total in order to achieve the Access to HE Diploma (Health and Social Care). Of these credits, 45 will be taken from graded units which focus on the academic subject areas included in the course. The remaining 15 come from ungraded units included helping you to improve your academic writing and study skills.

As part of your programme, you will also receive help as well as guidance on your university application and the research you need to do to get the most out of your diploma.


On successful completion of the Open College Network West Midlands Access to Higher Education Diploma (Health and Social Care) you will receive a QAA recognised Access to HE Diploma at level 3 (QAA ref: 40012384).

Enrol today from only £9.99


Frequently Asked Questions

There is a huge range of benefits to studying via distance education:


We believe distance education is all about convenience and flexibility. You can plan your study around your work or lifestyle commitments, so you’re only studying at times convenient for you.

Plus, you can improve your education without having to attend classes at a physical location. What’s more, with learndirect, you can study when and where you like without the stress of deadlines or time limits and complete your course at your own pace.


We don’t have the same level of high overhead costs (e.g. classrooms and large campuses) as traditional schools, colleges or universities, so we’re able to pass on these savings to you by reducing our course fees.


We offer over 650 home study courses for you to choose from, with an unrivalled selection of quality distance education courses accredited by some of the most respected awarding bodies in the UK.


You have access to a dedicated tutor who is an experienced professional in their field of study. Your tutor is totally committed to helping you succeed and is on hand to answer any questions you may have, no matter how big or small.

All of your course material is available 24/7, 365 days per year through our world-class learning platform you choose when and where you study!

Yes, all of our courses will come with a certificate once you have completed your training. This certificate will have your name on it, and the title of the training you have completed.

Each course is different, and each has its own time frame, but all of our courses are flexible so you can study in a way the fits you. All of our courses come with an Individual Learner Plan, this will help guide you and keep you on track for success.

Yes, built into your account is a messaging service, where you can send messages between you and your tutor, you can ask questions or talk about your work. You can also message other helpful contacts, like our Student Support Team.

All of our qualifications have different awarding bodies, and depending on the subject, they will meet different criteria depending on the level of the qualification and its content.

We typically use the OFQUAL register to help us benchmark our courses and ensure the education you receive is up to the relevant industry standards. If you would like to check a specific qualification, please contact one of our helpful advisers by calling 01202 006 464.

We have several options including 0% payment options, and options with very small deposits. Each course has different options, if you would like to discuss these options or a quote for a course, you can reach a member of the team by calling 01202 006 464.

If you make a mistake or get something wrong, there is no need to worry. Many of our courses allow you to retake units that may not have gone to plan. You will receive full support and guidance from your tutor before reworking a unit and submitting again, and you can do this without any additional cost.

As soon as you submit a piece of work your tutor is notified. This allows us to identify that you have work which requires their attention. While your tutor is marking your work you can move on to the next unit or section of your course so there are never any delays in your learning. Typically, with most of our courses, marking work takes less than 5 days depending on the size of the submitted item.

No, the price agreed when you start your course is all you pay. We ensure there are no hidden or additional unnecessary fees for your education.

Many of our courses include one or more of the following hands on aspects to enhance the online learning you will receive.

Many of our RQF courses include a placement, these placements are fantastic opportunities for you to secure a work experience placement in a relevant industry and get real on the job experience while you learn. For example many of our Teaching Assistant courses give you an opportunity to approach and work within a local school.

Time in our state of the art academy's for certain subjects, for example our Foot Health Practitioner courses run multiple hands on class based options in our bespoke learning environments.

Further to this some of our courses include practical kits for you to use while you study and even keep after the course! For example many of our Nail Technician courses include an extensive kit included with the course at no additional charge.

We encourage and welcome international students to join our learning community.

All of our courses are specifically designed to be delivered via distance education and home study, so you can complete your course from anywhere in the world. Some courses relate specifically to UK practice and legislation and in these cases all work must be presented accordingly. There will be no need for you to attend any physical location like a test centre or campus, unless your course has a 'practical' element to it.

Unlike traditional schools, colleges or universities there are no terms, semesters, or specified intake dates for our uniquely flexible distance education courses. Our system of continuous enrolment means that our students can enrol on any day and at any time of the year. This allows our students the freedom to plan their studies to fit in with their lifestyle or work commitments.

You can enrol easily and quickly by clicking on the ‘Enrol Now’ button on your preferred course’s page on our website. Simply complete the secure online registration form and we will do the rest. If you’d prefer to call us to enrol, please call 01202 006 464.

Our world-class learning platform is easy to use and presented in a simple to understand format. Once you’ve logged on you’ll be able to see your course, your content and how to complete your assignments. Everything you need is available through your personal learner portal.