Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social Science and Humanities)

A full-time course residential at the college (limited non-residential places are available)

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 diplomas


More information about fees will be available in May.


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 Humanities) is a great stepping-stone to university, especially if you are wanting to pursue a career in one of the following professions:

  • 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.

And….over the past 4 years, our Access to Higher Education Diploma pass rate has been an average of 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 assignments, research, independent study 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 those times.

What you will study

As well as maths, English and digital skills, you will study a range of subject areas including:

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

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.


Our Access to Higher Education (Social Science and Humanities) Diploma is accredited by the 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 us here.

“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 Science and Humanities) Diploma student 2019/2020 who progressed to university after her course