This programme is ideal for mature learners 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 tutors 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.
This programme is delivered at our Ilkeston campus on different days and at different times which will be discussed in more detail at your interview.
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 in GCSE English and it is advantageous to have at least a grade C in Maths, although you will 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
While on the programme, you will be assessed using a variety of methods: assignments, practical work, reports, group presentations, poster presentations and exams (practical and theory). All assessment methods have been designed to focus on skills specific to the industry while incorporating key transferable skills.
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.
Additionally, there is the chance to progress to a range of Foundation Degrees run at Derby College including Paralegal Studies and Criminal Justice (Security and Offender Management).
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.
Taking Derby College's Access to Learning course has proved to be the ideal preparation for nursing undergraduate Gerald Nimwaza. Gerald, a former teacher who came to Britain from Malawi in 2008, is currently studying at De Montfort University in Leicester and looking forward to a fulfilling career in mental health nursing. However, without the financial support available through the adult learner loan, Gerald doubts he would now be studying for his degree. Gerald gained his NVQ2 and 3 in Health and Social Care via the college while working as a care assistant at a care home in Derby. And he believes what he learned at Derby College has been highly beneficial to his degree, which he completes next summer. Gerald, who regards nursing as a calling rather than simply a career choice, is thoroughly enjoying his degree course. He likes the way in which it makes him challenge his own values, explore how he connects with other people and look at how he uses his interpersonal, human skills in his nursing. His story, he says, shows it's never too late to change career direction and Derby College has helped make that possible.
He said: "Being eligible for the adult learner loan was massively important. Without it I don't think I would have been able to enrol on my college course and pursue my nursing training."
He added: "It was clear from the outset that the Access course was a good foundation for the academic demands of nurse training. I had a wonderful maths teacher and I'm thankful to all the lecturers who helped me throughout my course. One Derby College tutor told me to always be critical when writing and it's good advice which I constantly keep in mind on my degree course."