This programme is ideal for students who are 19 plus, who have some experience and qualifications already and who wish to gain entry to higher education to study a social science subject (such as Sociology, Law, Social Policy or Psychology) or social work. It is also suitable for people who would like to apply for university but have been out of education for some time and are keen to 'brush up' on their academic skills, or for those who are considering a change in career.
The course is delivered by a team of well qualified, enthusiastic and experienced teachers who understand the needs of Access learners and are therefore able to provide appropriate support and guidance. You will learn through a wide range of activities including lessons, small and large group work, seminars, projects, tests and presentations.
You will also be encouraged to undertake a placement within a relevant workplace setting to help you develop organisational, planning, problem-solving and interpersonal skills.
Access to Higher Education Diplomas ensure that you are well prepared for university study as well as future employment, so we deliver additional subjects covering study skills and academic writing. If you are returning to learning after a break from education, then this course is for you.
All applicants will be invited to an interview to discuss their qualifications, experience and any other related issues. You are also encouraged to attend an open evening to discuss the course with the tutors.
Applicants need to have at least a grade C (4) in GCSE English and it is advantageous to have at least a grade C (4) in Maths, although you may be able to study GCSE Maths alongside the course if you do not already have it.
Applicants who have not achieved English and Maths GCSE recently will have to undertake an English and maths assessment.
Modules* will include:
* Modules may be subject to change.
You will be assessed using a variety of methods: assignments, practical work, reports, group presentations, poster presentations and exams (practical and theory).
There is potential for progression to higher education study in social work, youth and community work, other social work-related professions or a degree in subjects such as Law, Politics, Sociology, Psychology or Criminology.
As with all qualifications, the award of the Diploma does not guarantee progression to higher education: this will depend upon learners meeting conditions set by individual universities for specific degrees.
Derby hospital matron Louise Alberts is responsible for overseeing nine wards specialising in acute medicine for older people.
It's a challenging role in a profession she loves – but without Derby College Louise is convinced she would never have been able to pursue a career in nursing.
A mum to four girls, Louise had previously worked in sales and didn't take the College's Access to Nursing course until she was in her mid-thirties. Louise's decision to train as a nurse came after she had twins. As they grew older, she realised that she didn't want to go back into sales, so she started looking for a new career.
Nottingham University directed her to Derby College's Access to Nursing course, which, she found, fitted in perfectly with school hours.
After completing her access course, Louise went on to take her nursing degree at Nottingham University's Derby campus.
She worked as a staff nurse, then junior and senior sister at London Road Community Hospital before being seconded to the role of matron in Derby City's community services.
Two-and-a-half years ago she became permanent matron for acute medicine for older people. Louise said: "I've stayed in touch with a lot of the people I studied with at college and then at university.
"Sometimes we have staff who have started at an entry level post in the NHS but who aspire to become a registered nurse. I'm a huge advocate of the Access course so I always direct them to Derby College."
When I enrolled in 2004, I had been out of education for a long time.
It had been years since I'd taken my GCSEs, so it was effectively like starting from the beginning.
Academic writing is a specific skill and without the Access course I wouldn't have had what it takes to go on to university and study for my nursing degree.