This Level 3 Diploma will prepare you for study at university and is especially appropriate for people who may have not had a good experience with education previously. We have a supportive adult-only learning environment and we fully recognise that our students will come from a variety of backgrounds when it comes to education, along with their own life experiences.  We are proud that we have always had a high pass rate and have maintained an average 100% pass rate over the last few years.

Course dates and details may be subject to change.

Due to funding, these diplomas are open to people living in the West Midlands county including Birmingham; Wolverhampton, Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley, Solihull and Coventry.

People who live in other areas of England may be eligible to enrol onto the Access to Higher Education Diplomas but this is not guaranteed - please contact our Admissions team on 0121 472 0116 or email [email protected] to find out more and if you are eligible to apply.


This course is planned to start in September 2022.  We will be taking applications for this course from April 2022.


This course could be fully funded for you depending on your circumstances and we have bursaries available which are subject to eligibility criteria.  Please email the Admissions team on [email protected] or telephone them on 0121 472 0116 for further information.

Delivery Method

This is a full-time course.  Students are encouraged to be residential at the college throughout the course but there are a limited number of non-residential places available. The Diploma is delivered as a blend of classroom, online and independent study.

Planned delivery:

15 hours per week classroom learning

Reading Weeks:

Reading weeks for all students will be during the half-term holiday periods in October, December, February and over Easter


Classroom delivery 3 days per week


one day (online) per week

Classroom delivery 2 days per week


Level 3

Learning Outcomes

You will study a range of subject areas including:

  • Psychology
  • History
  • Literature
  • Sociology
  • Film/Media
  • Politics


The Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social Sciences and Humanities) can help people to pursue degrees for careers in:

  • Youth work
  • Teaching
  • Journalism
  • Social Work
  • Counselling
  • Historian/Curatorship
  • Politics/Government
  • Psychology
  • Research
  • Media/Social Media

Former students have gone on to study degrees and professional qualifications in subjects such as history, social policy, politics, literature, journalism, creative writing, youth work, counselling and education.


This Access to Higher Education (Social Sciences and Humanities) Diploma is accredited by Open College Network West Midlands and is widely recognised by universities in England and Wales.

Why you should apply for this course

Over the last few years we have had 100% pass rate with our Access to Higher Education Diplomas, including 2020/2021, the year of the pandemic.  We have close links to universities within the West Midlands, can offer lots of support with maths and English and we are a friendly, mature college to study at.

Support Offered

Support and guidance is available to our students when needed to ensure they achieve the aims and objectives of their course as well as having an enjoyable learning experience.  We are a social justice college and we are proud to have been awarded College of Sanctuary status in 2021.  We celebrate diversity and strive to ensure all of our students have an inclusive learning experience.

Take a look at what our Access to Higher Education (Social Sciences and Humanities) Diploma students 2019/2020, Jack and Hannah, thought about their learning experience at Fircroft before they left to go to university:

Don’t worry if your previous qualifications are not at a high level, we can help you with maths and English too. You will complete units teaching you the academic skills you will need for success such as essay writing and research skills and we will walk you through the university application process.   Fast-track short courses in maths, English and IT will be available to enrolled Access to Higher Education Diploma students throughout the duration of the course.

You will study a range of subject areas including psychology, sociology, study skills and sociology.  Don’t worry if you were not keen on science at school, we will start from the beginning!

If you are wondering how you will afford we might be able to help you there too! Just get in touch, we will walk you through all of the options open to you. The Access to Higher Education Diploma courses were created to help adults into university and every year we have students from various backgrounds, on low incomes with children and learning difficulties and we are proud to say that once again in 2021 100% of our students passed! You can do it too with our unique and adult dedicated support system. 

"Coming to Fircroft has 100% changed my life for the better.  It has given me confidence in myself and in my abilities.  Coming to the college has given me hope for the future and I am not stuck in the rut I was in" 

 - Hannah, an Access to Higher Education (Social Sciences and Humanities) Diploma student 2019/2020) (now at university)

Entry Requirements

Please see the note about eligible residential areas, above.

Students will need access to a computer, speakers, internet and camera.  If this is going to be difficult for you, please speak to the Admissions team.

If you do not have a level 2 literacy and level 1 numeracy qualification from within the last 5 years we will ask you to take a Literacy and numeracy assessment. If you show that you are able to reach the skills level in these areas, you will then be invited to attend an interview.

Students must be aged 19 or older by August 31st 2022.

If you are unsure about how to apply online, please take a look at this helpful guide.

If you are still unsure about how to apply please telephone our Admissions team on 0121 472 0116 or email [email protected]

Access Numeracy Assessment 

If you would like to speak to someone about the Access to Higher Education Diplomas please telephone 0121 472 0116 between 9.00 am and 5.00 pm Monday - Friday.