Access to Higher Education - Social Care

Approved by:
University Centre and St Winefride's Campus

Course Details

Access to Higher Education (HE) Diplomas are a well established set of qualifications designed for people who do not have the grades to enter a university level course but who do have life experience and a willingness to learn.

An Access to Higher Education course is designed for mature learners (19+). This course will prepare you for a range of social care related studies at university level and will build your confidence and abilities in English, maths, I.T., research and study skills.

This course is your first step to a career in social care, family support work, nursery, primary or special school teaching, youth services, residential and day care.

  • Professional Practice
  • Social Issues
  • Mental Health

Students will be required to undertake a work placement within the industry alongside their studies.

In order to qualify for this course, you will need to be aged 19+ and have the following:

  • GCSEs in both Maths and English at grades 9-4 (old grading system: A*-C)
  • Work experience in the relevant sector OR a relevant Pre Access qualification
  • Level 2 Functional Skills or an alternative qualification in Maths and English may be acceptable

If you are unsure whether you qualify for this course, we’re here to help, please contact us on 0151 353 4444 for an informal chat. If you have not got the required GCSE grades in Maths and/or English, please view our GCSE courses.

All applicants are invited to attend an interview with either the Course Leader or Course Tutor. You will be notified of your interview by our Admissions Team

The College will always treat each applicant as an individual. Should you not have or not expect to obtain the grades stated above, or not have relevant industry-related experience, the College would still welcome your application for this course as this will enable us to identify whether this course is, in fact, the right course for you or whether another course may be more appropriate.

Equivalent international qualifications would be considered towards general entry criteria.

All course offers will be subject to a satisfactory interview. Completion of additional activities, such as attending Experience Days or gaining a reference, may also be required prior to a place on a course being confirmed.

One academic year. Up to 14 hours per week, usually over 3 days
On successful completion of this Access to Higher Education qualification, you will be offered a guaranteed interview for a relevant Foundation Degree course at the Hugh Baird University Centre. You may wish to progress onto a related degree programme at the Hugh Baird University Centre or another higher education institution.

Upon successful completion of a degree in a social care related subject, career paths may include:

  • Advocate
  • Counsellor
  • Education Welfare Officer
  • Family Support Worker
  • Mental Health Nurse
  • Social Care Assistant
  • Social Worker
  • Youth Worker

How much will this course cost me?

Tuition fee loans cover university/college tuition fees and are paid direct to the university/college by Student Finance England, so you don’t need a pot of money up front.

They are available to all eligible students regardless of household income. The amount you pay back is dependent on how much you earn and not how much you owe and you won’t need to start paying them back until you are earning more than a certain amount.

View 2020/21 Fees

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions that we are often asked:

We want to make your education as flexible and affordable as possible. We offer a number of financial support options to help you go further by staying local. You don’t need to pay for your tuition fees up front - Tuition Fee Loans cover university or college tuition fees and are paid direct to the university or college, by Student Finance England.

They are available to all eligible students regardless of household income. The amount you pay back is dependent on how much you earn. You may also be eligible for a Maintenance Loan to help support your living costs. For more information, visit

No. We can enrol students from any area. Public transport links are good too, so the College is easy to get to from all across Merseyside.

Please contact our independent Careers Advisors. Call 0151 353 4444 or email

Important terms, conditions and disclaimer information about our courses can be found on our Wider Information Set.