Access to HE Diploma - Social Care
This course is for people aged 19 or over
Faculty of Healthcare, Childcare and Public Services
Level Location Start Date End Date Day Time Fee Reduced Ask Apply
Level 3 Hele Road September 2018 July 2019 TBC 9.00am-4.30pm but times may vary See below* See below

What is it like to study this course and how will I be assessed?

The Access course has been designed for those adults who feel they missed out on higher education when they were younger.  The programme aims to provide a firm foundation for study at degree level.  Study skills and educational guidance form essential parts of the course.

Tutorial sessions support learners and offer guidance with the UCAS process and study skills.

The Diploma is taught by subject specialist teaching staff in a supportive environment to develop the academic skills necessary to progress onto higher education.  You will have homework and assignment work set each week with strict deadlines. There is at least 15-20 hours of additional study at home each week. Additional support is available for students for particular difficulties/needs.

Click here to view our video about what it is like to study this diploma. 

*2017/2018 fees for Access to Higher Education courses are dependent on your age, circumstances and chosen course. Click here to view more information about fees. This course is eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan, which may be written off when you successfully complete your studies in higher education at college or university. For more information click here.

You may be entitled to support towards the fee, please phone Jill Clark on 01392 400526 or email jillclark@exe-coll.ac.uk for advice.

What topics will I study?

The course comprises of different units of study.

Core units may include:

  • The British Welfare State - its history and development through political policies and legislation
  • The Mixed Economies of Care - how the care sectors work together and how they are funded. There will be a small exam element here.
  • Group Work and Team Management - what is the difference between a group and a team? What makes a good leader?
  • Research Issues in Health and Social Care - why research in health and social care is important and ongoing. You will be conducting a research project of your own to demonstrate and improve your skills
  • Poverty and Social Inequality - taking a look at causes and trends in poverty in the UK
  • Equal Opportunities and Diversity - indentify different types of prejudice, stereotyping and oppression and issues associated with equal opportunities and diversity
  • Interpersonal Skills - examine methods of communications and their positive and negative influences on the individual and need for support
  • Key Perspectives in Sociology - examine and apply sociological theories such as Marxism, feminism, functionalism and postmodernism


The modules are chosen to give a broad based understanding of health and social care from different perspectives. Learners also study IT and study skills at Level 2 (GCSE level)/Level 3.

Please note, the unit information above will be subject to change, we are awaiting confirmation of the details for 2018 entry. Please keep checking our website for up to date information or contact us if you have any questions.

What are the entry requirements?

You will need GCSEs in maths and English at grade C or above. We would encourage applicants to contact the Higher Education providers that they intend to apply to ensure that the age of their GCSEs are acceptable (written confirmation is advisable). 

What we look for in a successful applicant:

  • Motivation to progress onto higher education
  • Evidence of recent study (not compulsory)
  • A letter of application that demonstrates your commitment to study, considers the reality of study, shows some idea about what subject they intend to study at university and mentions which higher education institutions you intend to apply.
  • Evidence of (GCSE A to C) in maths and English (GCSE A to C). You may be asked to take an assessment at interview
  • IELTS score of 5.5 or above for students where English is a second language

If you have been out of education for some time we would recommend a course in Maths/English. Research the entry requirements for the universities you wish to apply to. You could do voluntary / paid work where relevant.

What facilities are there?

You will have access to a Learning Centre. There is a refectory in the Hele Building and coffee shops in the Tower Building.

New for 2016 - Learning Lounge specific for Access to HE and HE students.

What can the course lead on to?

This course is aimed at those who wish to progress to Higher Education, i.e. university or a Health and Social Care BSc at Exeter College.

Are there any additional costs?

As well as the course fees, applicants need to factor in food, travel, books and stationery and printing costs. Applications for our college Learner Support Fund or the Bursary Fund are advisable for applicants who know that they may struggle financially. There will also be UCAS fees and a college materials fee of £30.

What do our students think?

I hadn't studied for 28 years before I started my Access course - I have to obstacles such as funding, childcare, working around the course and not having GCSE Maths. My main achievements have been getting mostly distinctions for assignments, learning to reference and improving my time management. I would recommend Exeter College - brilliant staff, great support and facilities, positive atmosphere."

During my Access to HE Social Care course I have gained knowledge about things I never knew imfluenced my life such as politics...and what changes the government can make to affect not only my life by also my daughters. The college provides a great chance to further and improve future career opportunities and life chances."


It is important that you apply and pay for your course at least one week before the course starts to ensure that you will have access to all the facilities and resources in your first week.
Please be aware that there are no car parking facilities at Exeter College city centre sites, but public car parks are available across the city.

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