Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social Science and Health)

A full-time course residential at the college or non-residential

September 2024 to May 2025 (dates to be confirmed)


Please note: the content of this course may vary
Watch this video to find out what our Access to Higher Education students and staff think about our diploma


If your annual income is less than £30,000 this diploma could be FREE to you including accommodation, meals and learning resources. Take a look at our fees page here


Level 3

Access to Higher Education Diploma Open Days

Because these are intensive courses, we have a rigorous recruitment process and we strongly recommend you attend one of our Open Days if you are interested in applying. We have Open Days each month leading up to the course, including September. Take a look at the dates here and register to attend. We can’t wait to see you!

About the course

Our Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social Science and Health) is a great stepping-stone to university, especially if you are wanting to pursue a career in one of the following professions:

  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Study Skills
  • Health Sciences

If you need to improve your maths, English and digital skills, these classes are also included in the course.

Over the past 4 years, our Access to Higher Education Diploma pass rate has been 100% with students going to universities across the UK!!

Don’t worry if you have not been in education for a long time, your maths, digital and/or English skills are a bit rusty or you are not sure if university is for you.  We can help!  We offer a friendly and supportive environment especially to people who may have come through a personal challenge, have had a bad experience with learning or have previously thought they may not be able to go into higher education.  Being a residential student gives you the chance to focus on your studies, meet new and like-minded people, it gives you an idea of what staying at university might be like and most importantly – it allows you the freedom to concentrate on achieving the future you want to have.  Find out what residential learning at Fircroft is like here.

How the Diploma is taught

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.  The main learning will be up to 3 days each week at college and the rest of the week can be used for writing assignments, doing research, tutorials, extra maths, English and digital classes if needed, and catching up with your fellow students! 

As this is an intensive course, we are not closed for some national public holidays although we close for up to 2 weeks for Christmas and the Easter Bank Holiday weekend. Students will not be able to be residential at the college at those times.

Entry Requirements

You must be aged 19 or older by August 31st 2024 (this is a college requirement).

Students will need access to a computer, speakers, internet and camera to facilitate some online learning.  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.


AIM Qualifications and Assessment Group logo

Our Access to Higher Education (Social Science and Health) Diploma is accredited by AIM Qualifications and Assessment Group and is widely recognised by universities in England and Wales.

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 which means we welcome people from all walks of life who are able to study independently with us.  We celebrate diversity and strive to ensure all of our students have an inclusive learning experience.  Find out more about how we support our students here.


Successful students can progress to higher education to pursue the following careers:

  • Nursing (Paediatric and Adult)
  • Midwifery
  • Mental Health Nursing
  • Counselling

As well as some other health-related courses and courses related to social sciences such as  Psychology,  Sociology and Criminology

“Before I came to Fircroft I had taken a different path in life and wanted to put myself back into education. Not being in education for a long time I just threw myself into it and I would suggest anyone should do that.”

Annie, an Access to Higher Education (Social Science and Humanities) Diploma student 2022/2023 who is due to progress to university after her course