Access to HE (Level 3)

Access to Higher Education (Health and Social Care) Level 3 Diploma

Duration Age Group Study Start Cost Available Locations
£3,384 * Southend Campus
Duration Age Group Study Start Cost Available Locations
£3,384 * Southend Campus


This course is ideal if you want to study on a higher education programme in the health and social care sector, such as social work or residential care, but need to gain the required entry qualifications and skills.

Entry Requirements

  • You must be aged 19 or above by the 31st of August 2022
  • You must have at least one GCSE C/4 or above in either English Language or Maths, or a Level 2 in Functional Skills (evidence of this will be required during the application cycle). Ideally you will have both. However, if you only hold the one, you may work towards the one that you do not have whilst studying for your Access Diploma; this will be dependent on being accepted onto a Level 2 course, either GCSE or Functional Skills.
  • Many universities require GCSE Maths and English rather than an equivalent. It is your responsibility to begin checking which qualifications you require with the university or college you wish to progress to.
  • It is also important to note that if you wish to go on to study Midwifery you will also need GCSE Science at grade C or above.

Course Structure

You will study a range of different units across the programme including:

  • Introduction to healthcare
  • Principles of care
  • Mental health
  • Safeguarding and the role of the health or social care professional

Assessment & Feedback

  • Essays
  • Reports
  • Presentations
  • Examinations
  • Posters

Course Cost

Advanced learner loan may be available

Adult, part_time_evening: £3,384

Course fee based on 2023-24 for UK residents, but the fees are expected to rise for 2024-25.  

Non-Uk citizens will need to provide sufficient document/s confirming your right to live and study in the UK e.g. confirmation of settled status.

What Next...

Progression onto a range of degree programmes at University Centre South Essex, including Early Years, Psychology and Sociology or Special Educational Needs and Disability Studies.

This course is not suitable for progression into Nursing or Midwifery. There is a separate Nursing diploma for this.

Job options for students with a health and social care degree include but are not limited to the following:

  • Social worker
  • Community development worker
  • Further education teacher
  • Health promotion specialist
  • Health service manager
  • Medical sales representative
  • Naturopath

You can also progress to the following degree courses:

  • BSc (Hons) Health Studies
  • BA (Hons) Health and Social Care
  • BSc (Hons) Health and Social Care
  • FdA Health and Social Care
  • BA (Hons) Social Work
  • BSc (Hons) Social Work

Progression could also be onto a higher apprenticeship in care such as the lead practitioner in adult care or the degree apprenticeship in nursing.