Access to Social Work and Social Science is designed to allow students to achieve a qualification that provides direct access to University. It is suitable for 19+students who hold the relevant entry criteria (GCSE’s) but do not hold a level 3 qualification (A Level or A Level equivalent).   Access to Social Work and Social Sciences here at Oldham is tailored to meet the needs of our students and complies with UK entry criteria for a wide range of degrees offered at Universities across the UK. 
The Access to Social Work and Social Sciences course is full-time studied over one year.  You will study 4 mandatory modules, Psychology, Law, Development Studies and Social Work studies to help prepare you for University undergraduate courses, and future employment within a range of professions including: Social Work, Psychology, Sociology, Teaching and Social Sciences. You will be required to attend College for 3 half days and will complete independent study where you are required to complete work provided to you off campus. 
There are no unseen examinations, all work completed on Access is assessed through use of course work set throughout the year. You will be assessed using a wide range of assignments aimed to stretch and challenge you to achieve at high grades and reach your potential.  All assessments are assignment based, and include Essays, Reports, presentations, time seen examinations, role plays, team building work, posters, self-reflection reviews, etc., which are graded at Pass, Merit and Distinction.  Mandatory developmental units are delivered at the onset of the course to help prepare you for all assignment work. 
As part of the Access programme you are strongly advised to undertake voluntary work, work experience or employment based where possibly around your degree/employment area of interest.  However, any employability skills will further support and enhance your UCAS application for University. Staff at Oldham College are available to discuss this further with you and can offer advice as to which agencies are best suited to your particular needs. Outside organisations visit the College throughout the year to speak to students about employment and voluntary positions available within their establishments, and provide advice on how to apply.  A time table of scheduled visits will be provided upon induction.
Progression opportunities are a direct route to Higher Education following by progression into employment in a variety of Social Work or Social Sciences roles. You will receive the Access to HE Diploma which equates to 2 A Level equivalents, which alongside the correct number GCSE’s as specified by the University of Choice; fulfils the correct requirements for entry to Higher Education degrees.
Early Years BA; Health & Community Studies BSc; Psychological Studies BSc (hons); PGCE, PGDE
Level 3 – 4 x GCSE grades A-C or level 4-9 ( including English and Maths)

Explanation of entry requirements
GCSE Maths and English C or above. For teaching GCSE C or above is also required in Science.

Study Programme


All students at Oldham College will participate in a personalised study programme that will maximise your potential and enable you to progress onto employment, apprenticeships or higher education.

This means you will:

  • Study a core qualification in a vocational discipline and continue to develop your English and Maths skills through functional skills, GCSE resits and the option of Level 3 qualifications
  • Participate in meaningful work experience
  • Enjoy a range of enrichment opportunities e.g. basketball, archery, skiing and sign language
  • Take part in dedicated tutorial sessions to review your progress and development