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Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social Science) - Psychology and Sociology

Enrol Today and Pay No Course Fees Until June 2022!

Social science, in a nutshell, is the study of human societies and the relationships between the individuals that exist within them. It covers each area of study involving humans, such as our interactions, communities and welfare. Helping us to make sense of a world that’s is becoming increasingly more complex. 

Social scientists are beneficial to society in different ways. Psychologists can help individuals with mental health issues overcome their challenges. Whereas Sociologists can help detect patterns in public behaviour, such as criminal behaviour, to aid the police force. 

With an Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social Science), you can enrol on university courses in either Psychology or Sociology. Access to HE Diplomas are recognised in place of traditional A Levels and are accepted as a suitable alternative by the majority of universities.

This Access to HE Diploma (Social Science) is studied entirely online and you can get started at any point in the year. You will also be given access to a dedicated tutor who will guide you through your study materials and prepare you for your assessments.


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

You will learn about many fascinating areas of human studies that enable you to assess human behaviour and connect the dots between patterns. All of which will enable you to help people manage behavioural issues within themselves or identify and analyse those within larger groups in your future career. You will study crime and deviance, cognitive psychology, sociology of the family, abnormal psychology. You will also discover the contemporary issues in social policy and how to combat prejudice discrimination.

Aside from identifying and analysing different types of human behaviours, your online study materials will also prepare you for distance learning by helping you organise and plan your time. They will also provide you with the academic writing skills needed for higher education by walking you through important aspects like how to prepare an assignment. 


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: Introduction to Psychology

On completion of this unit you will:

Understand the importance of research in psychology.

Understand the main approaches in psychology

Understand ethical issues in psychological research.


Unit 5: Understanding Crime and Deviance

On completion of this unit you will:

Understand explanations of crime and deviance.

Understand theories of crime and deviance.

Understand perceptions of crime and deviance


Unit 6: Introduction to Cognitive Psychology

On completion of this unit you will:

Understand research in an area of cognitive psychology.

Understand how the findings of research into cognitive processes can be applied to real-life issues.


Unit 7:  Foundations of Social Policy

On completion of this unit you will:

Understand the historical origins of social policy in the U.K.

Understand the key influences on social policy in the 18th and 19th Centuries

Understand changes in the political order

Understand different types of voluntary action and role of poverty surveys


Unit 8: Sociology of the Family

On completion of this unit you will:

Understand changes in family structure.

Understand sociological explanations of the family to include Functionalist, Marxist, feminist and interactionist views.


Unit 9: Developmental Psychology

On completion of this unit you will:

Understand the importance of early relationships in child development.

Understand explanations of the development of individual differences


Unit 10:  Sociology of Health

On completion of this unit you will:

Understand concepts and models of health.

Understand the social construction of health and ill health

Understand alternative approaches to health.


Unit 11: The Origins of The Welfare State

On completion of this unit you will:

Understand what is meant by the term welfare state

Know the purpose of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act and its effects on society

Explain and discuss early twentieth century Liberal Reforms and their effect on society

Recognise the significance of the Beveridge Report.

Recognise the social problems which the Welfare State attempted to address.


Unit 12:  The Brain and Nervous System (Psychology)

On completion of this unit you will:

Understand the major sub divisions of the nervous system

Understand the structure and function of glial cells and neurons


Unit 13:  Combating Prejudice and Discrimination

On completion of this unit you will:

Understand theoretical explanations for prejudice and discrimination.

Understand legislative responses to discrimination and prejudice.

Understand community initiatives in combating discrimination and prejudice.


Unit 14:  Sociology of Mass Media

On completion of this unit you will:

Understand the patterns of ownership and control of the mass media.

Understand the role of the mass media.

Understand the process of selection and presentation of the news.

Understand how media stereotypes are presented.


Unit 15:  The Psychology of Learning

On completion of this unit you will:

Understand what is meant by learning.

Understand what is meant by conditioning and its practical applications

Understand Social Learning Theory and Observational Learning


Unit 16:  Sociology of Education

On completion of this unit you will:

Understand the importance of education as a socializing agency.

Understand the roles of education in contemporary society.

Understand the sociological explanations of labelling and the use of stereotypes

Understand the concept of meritocracy.


Unit 17:  Abnormal Psychology

On completion of this unit you will:

Understand the difficulties faced by psychologists in the definition and diagnosis of abnormal behaviour.

Understand a psychological disorder.

Understand possible treatments used to treat people with psychological disorders.


Unit 18: 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 19: Social Factors in Health and Social Care

On completion of this unit you will:

Understand sociological factors influencing the relationships between patients and health professionals

Understand the role of social motivational factors in health and ill health

Understand the significance of social support networks in healthcare and maintenance


If you decide to continue your education through an Access to Higher Education Diploma, you will need a GCSE Grade A-C in maths and English (or Functional Skills Level 2 or new GCSE Grade 4-9) and have the desire to study a related degree at university.

Our Access to Higher Education Diplomas fulfil the entry requirements for a broad range of university degrees and can be used in conjunction with the standard UCAS application process. Overall, Access to HE Diplomas are renowned for helping learners get into the university and onto the degree of their choice. Though you must bear in mind that each university has its own entry criteria and places are subject to demand. Varying entry 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 Universities proprietary literacy and numeracy assessments.

4. Completion of specified work placements or work experience.

5. Learners starting an Access to Higher Education Diploma must have a GCSE Grade A – C in maths and English (or equivalent Level 2 such as Functional Skills).


You must undertake your own research to ensure your Access to HE Diploma is properly specified and gives you the best possible chance of gaining entry to your university of choice. It is not possible for learndirect to accept any liability if any Access to Higher Education Diploma students fail to secure an offer from a higher education institution.


This qualification is made up of a number of units, with the need to complete an assignment at the end of each one. After each assignment, you will submit your work to your course tutor for marking. They will return this to you with tailored feedback to help you improve. To achieve this Access to HE Diploma (Land Based Science) you must acquire 60 credits in total. Of these, 45 credits will be taken from graded units that focus on the academic subject areas included in the course. The remaining 15 will be taken from ungraded units that have been included to help you to improve your academic writing and study skills.

As part of your study programme, you will also receive help and guidance on your university application. As well as 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 (Social Science) you will receive a QAA recognised Access to HE Diploma at level 3 (QAA ref: (4000885X). This course has also been assigned 60 credits.

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.