Fees indicated are based on the current year (August 2016 to July 2017) and are subject to change next year.
Our further education courses (Entry to Level 3) are usually free if you are 16-18 years old. Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for financial support to help with other costs associated with your course such as course materials and travel.
If you are aged 19 or over you may be required to pay fees.
If you are enrolling onto a Level 3 or 4 course and are over 19 years of age the fees may be higher and you will be required to take out an Advanced Learning Loan, please see the guide to fees for more information.
International students will be required to pay the full International course fee.
For more information, see our guide to fees.
This Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social work) opens up opportunities for you to apply for a degree in social work, or even to go straight into employment where a level 3 qualification is required for entry. If you feel drawn to helping people – sometimes at the most challenging times in their lives – through work with social services, children’s services, safeguarding, mental health services, and many more areas - this course will provide you with a chance to get back into education – perhaps change direction – and make your ambitions real. Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social work) is excellent preparation for higher level academic work and some entry-level jobs in social work and will help prepare you for the challenges of this worthwhile profession. For example, social workers have heavy workloads, long days, and often unusual hours, so the organisational and time management skills, as well as the independent research and note-taking you do, will all stand you in good stead for your future career. Most universities in the UK will accept Access to Higher Education Diplomas as an entry requirement, though you should check this with individual establishments you would like to attend. In addition to the Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social work), most colleges and universities will require a minimum of GCSE grade C in English and Maths or an accepted equivalent. For this reason, you will need this minimum requirement to start your Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social work).
Modules on this course Module 1: Preparing to study Module 2: Academic writing skills Module 3: Preparing a written assignment Module 4: Independent research Module 5: Progressing to Higher Education Module 6: Introduction to Sociology Module 7: Social factors in health care Module 8: Poverty & health Module 9: Sociology of health Module 10: Sociology of the family Module 11: Introduction to social work Module 12: Morals and ethics in social work Module 13: Anti-Oppressive practice Module 14: Combating prejudice & discrimination Module 15: Personal social services Module 16: Contemporary issues in social policy Module 17: Foundations of social policy Module 18: The origins of the welfare state Module 19: Introduction to psychology Module 20: The brain & nervous system
Learners wishing to complete an Access to Higher Education Diploma need to have a GCSE in Maths and English or an appropriate equivalent qualification at level 2 or above and have the ultimate goal of studying a related degree at university.
For a wide range of universities Access to Higher Education Diplomas fulfil part of their entry criteria on many of their courses. Access to Higher Education Diplomas are eligible to be used within the standard UCAS application process. Access to Higher Education Diplomas have historically been an effective way to help learners get places at their university and degree of choice. It is important potential learners should understand that each University will have their own set of admission criteria and that they only have a set number of places on each course. These admission criteria can change at any time at the universitys discretion and include, but are not limited to the following:
Achievement of a set amount of credits at Merit or Distinction level.
Attendance and success at a face-to-face interview at the University.
Fulfilling a Universities proprietary literacy and numeracy standards and potentially passing an in-house assessment.
Completion of mandatory prescribed work placements, work experience and potentially a sandwich year of paid work experience.
- It is recommended that learners starting their Access to Higher Education Diploma have a GCSE Grade A-C in Maths and English (or equivalent Level 2 such as Functional Skills/Key Skills etc.) OR a full level 2 qualification in a related subject. These conditions form part of some universities entrance criteria.
All learners studying for an Access to Higher Education Diploma must perform their own research to ensure their diploma is correctly specified. It is the learners' responsibility to ensure that the Diploma they are studying gives them the best possible chance of being accepted for a place on a course at their university of choice. This research must be undertaken independently as soon as possible once the learner has started their course, it can even begin beforehand. West London and Ealing College will not be able to accept responsibility or any liability with respect to any Access to Higher Education Diploma learner failing to gain an offer from a Higher Education institution.
The structure of your Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social work) is designed to be modular, to promote bite-size learning that can be quickly absorbed. It is made up of a series of units, each of which contains one or more smaller parts known as Assessment Criteria. At the end of each unit, you will complete an assignment, marked by your personal tutor. They will feedback to you about the quality and effectiveness of your work, and provide guidance on how you can improve, always aiming to help you achieve more than you expect.
Assignments carry learning credits, which are a standard way of acknowledging student progress through a course. Your Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social work) carries a maximum of 60 learning credits and you will need to pass all of them to achieve it.
Of those 60 learning credits, 45 will be graded as a Pass, Merit, or Distinction, and 15 will be un-graded.
When you take the Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social work), your options expand, so although the primary goal is for you to enrol in a social work-related degree course, you could also be eligible for entry-level jobs in the social work sector. Your personal tutor will assist you where possible in your decision making around this. If youre interested in attending university, you can find information about each course, your eligibility, and the numbers of credits you need to be accepted on the UCAS (Universities and College Admissions Service) website.
If you are unsure as to what you want to do going forward, you should check out the What to Study unit on the UCAS website, and watch the video. There are a huge number of possible careers in social work that will open up to you on completion of your Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social work). All you have to do is study your hardest, learn as much as you can, and identify the pathway you want to take for a successful future.
If you go on to complete a university qualification, you wont even have to pay back the 19+ advanced learning loan if you take one out, so check out all the information and ensure you get everything you need to complete your Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social work).
When you begin your Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social work), we will supply you with course materials that are comprehensive and easy to follow. We also ensure we support your learning with a broad range of relevant and useful information.
You stay in touch regularly with your personal tutor via our platform, using a phone, email, or Skype, and because this is distance learning, you can set your own study schedule to fit with your life, rather than fitting your life around your course. The benefit of this is that you can study at the pace most comfortable for you and your responsibilities, using your own study style.
This flexibility allows you to continue your usual day-to-day responsibilities, but it does mean you will be expected to develop the discipline you need to study independently. For example, you will learn to allocate a realistic amount of time to achieve the requirements of the course and ensure you make that time available.
One feature that can be very helpful if you have a very busy life with many responsibilities is that you can choose how much time you would like to take to study your Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social work). The minimum period of time we expect learners to complete the course is 9 months, and the maximum time is as much as 2 years. However, the intensity and format of the course mean you will quickly gain valuable skills and knowledge, no matter how relaxed your learning schedule.