• LevelLevel 3
  • Age group19+
  • Duration1 year
  • Awarding bodyAim Awards


Access to HE Diplomas offer a flexible pathway to university level qualifications within a year. To prepare you for higher education study, you will be introduced to and supported to master essential study skills and academic approaches to enable you to move forward successfully.

Our Access to Humanities and Social Sciences programme is one of our most popular courses! It’s no surprise that many of our students choose to study this course to help them to fulfil their career goals as the Access to Humanities and Social Sciences programme opens the door to a host of different careers and our students have progressed on to a wide range of degrees in areas such as law, psychology, criminology, social work, English literature, business studies, teacher training and childhood and youth studies.

We know that being out of education for a while can be daunting, but our courses are designed to make the transition to Higher Education easier. With small class sizes compared to universities and all the individual support you need to ease you back into education, we will help you succeed and to reach your goal.

See our FAQs.

Course Information

Download PDF

For more information call Course Information on
01642 333333 or email courseinfo@mbro.ac.uk.

The course modules will offer you the chance to study a wide range of dynamic topics exploring historic and current events that will help you to develop skills in critical thinking, close reading, evidence-based research and analysis, and academic referencing.

Modules will include:

  • Psychology
  • English Language Studies
  • English Literature
  • Social Policy and Welfare
  • The Sociology of Crime and Deviance
  • Information Technology
  • Mathematics
  • Personal Development and Learning Skills

This one-year course is taught over 34 weeks, September – June. 

Daytime pathway: 2 days per week. Days and timetable will be discussed on enrolment. Evening pathway: 2 evenings per week, 17:00 – 21:00.

Days and timetable will be discussed on enrolment.

You will study 12 hours per week in timetabled lessons. This will include sessions for academic support in English and maths skills, as well as 1:1 support with your tutors.

Up to 15 hours of independent study outside of your timetables lessons is expected for you to maintain progress throughout the course.

Entry requirements

You must be able to provide two suitable references and have GCSE grade 4 or equivalent in English and maths.

If you do not have GCSEs in English and maths, you would be able to study with our Adult and Community Learning department to complete L2 Functional Skills qualifications in either English and maths before receiving a confirmed place on the course.

We also require you to write a personal statement as part of your application. Tutors use this to learn a bit about you and how you are able to clearly communicate your motivations for wanting to study and your future career aspirations.

For certain Higher Education courses, you may be interested in such as Primary or Secondary Education, you will be required to have GCSE grade 4 in both English and maths (plus Science for Primary Education).

Some universities may accept L2 Functional Skills in English and maths. Please check their websites for up-to-date information.

You will be assessed on a continuous basis, both formally and informally throughout the course.
Assessment methods will be flexible and creative and will echo those used in higher education. You will complete work in forms ranging from written essays and reports, creative research documents and short presentations.

This qualification will provide you with a range of transferable skills so that you can progress into many different HE areas.

Past students have progressed onto our foundation degrees in Health, Wellbeing and Social Care, Early Childhood Practice, Social and Public Sector Studies and Youth, Childhood and Community Studies and then have then progressed to complete a relevant top-up degree offered at Middlesbrough College.

Successful completion of the course qualifies you to apply for a place at a university in the UK.
Our students completing this diploma typically successfully progress onto well recognised professional training in teaching or social work and to undergraduate programmes in the social sciences and humanities, such as:

  • Psychology
  • Counselling
  • Social Work
  • Youth Studies
  • Law, Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Professional Policing
  • Sociology
  • Politics and Social Policy
  • Business Studies English Literature
  • English Language and Linguistics
  • Creative Writing
  • Journalism and Media
  • Cultural Studies, Anthropology, Film and Cinema
  • History
  • Foreign Language Studies
  • Philosophy and Ethics
  • Education and Teaching

As part of the course, you will be supported by your tutors and our Careers team in the first term to complete your UCAS application for your next steps in university study.

See our blog: What can I do with an Access to Humanities & Social Sciences qualification?

See our Labour Market Information.


Tuition fees are free if you are a UK or home- fee status student and aged 16-18 on the 31st August before the start of your course. 

If you are aged 19 or over, you may be required to pay fees depending on your residency status, educational background and personal circumstances. 

Level 3 Entitlement: If you are aged 19 - 23 on the start date of the course and this is your first full Level 3 qualification the course is free. For more information please contact Course Information on 01642 333333. Advanced Learner Loan: If you are aged 19-23 and this is not your first full Level 3 qualification or you are aged 24 or over on the start date of the course, you will have to pay fees. However, you may qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan. You can apply for an Advanced Learning Loan from Student Finance England (SFE) to fund all or part of the fee. For information on Advanced Learning Loans go to www.gov.uk/advanced-learning-loans/

The Advanced Learner Loan will not be repayable by students who progress into Higher Education and complete their degree.

Please note any fee shown excludes any additional costs to learners for any necessary equipment, materials, uniforms or any visit/residential that learners are required to participate in.

You can apply online by clicking on the apply button at the top of this website page. Once we have received and processed your Application Form we will be in touch. If you have any questions about the status of your application please contact the Admissions Department on (01642) 333601. For general enquiries about courses, please contact Course Information on (01642) 333700 or e-mail courseinfo@mbro.ac.uk

To find out more about jobs in your local area, please visit Career Coach.

Health & Care

Explore Health & Care

Health and Care students have access to a realistic on-site health and care ward that replicates a hospital environment. This fantastic facility allows students to gain practical experience in hygiene and patient care, with access to a wide range of industry equipment. Courses are delivered by health and care professionals from a wide range of backgrounds.

Find out more

Additional Information

Learning Support

We understand that students may require a little extra help during their studies, which is why our learning support team are on hand to help learners with a learning difficulty or support need achieve their full potential.

Financial Support

Whatever your age or level of study, we offer a comprehensive financial support service and bursary scheme to help you through your time at Middlesbrough College. From childcare assistance to travel packages, we pride ourselves on giving expert advice and support.

Travel Information

We are situated in a fantastic location, just a stone’s throw from Middlesbrough town centre. As well as being a matter of minutes from both the train and bus stations, eligible students can also benefit from free travel.


Related Courses