Access to Higher Education Diploma - Social Work

The Access to Higher Education Diploma - Social Work is a nationally recognised Level 3 qualification which is validated by the awarding body OCNLR (The Open College Network London Region). This course is suitable for those who have been out of full time education for some time and are aiming to join university or higher education courses. It is strongly advisable to have both GCSEs in English and Mathematics at grade C/4 or above before undertaking an Access Diploma. 

Course Content

The core subjects for social work are Social Work Studies, Sociology and Psychology. Tutorial support is also embedded into the programme.

Entry Requirements

This is an alternative route to University or Higher Education for students aged 19+.  Candidates are required to have either GCSE English Language or Maths at grade C/4 or above and the other at a minimum grade D/3 . For the subject at grade D/3 you will be able to study this subject again at Kingston College alongside the Access Diploma to achieve a grade C/4.  All prospective candidates are required to attend an initial assessment session.  A satisfactory reference is required. Candidates are also required to have at least one year's experience of full or part time employment, preferably in a related setting, since leaving full time education. Candidates who have little or no work experience but have been out of education for a period longer than one year will also be considered.  


Please note that it is the responsibility of the student to ensure their current and future qualifications comply with the entry requirements of any university to which they intend to progress. Experience in a related vocational area will support your application to higher education on completion of the Access Diploma. This course requires a maturity of approach and a high level of commitment.

International Entry Requirements

High School Leaving Certificate equivalency at grade C or above, to include Mathematics or Science, or other related comparable qualifications.  IELTS (UKV1) 7.0 or above is required together with a satisfactory reference.  A Skype or face-to-face interview will also take place.

Duration and Delivery

One year, part time, two full days a week in College. 15 hrs for International Students (FT) 


Students who successfully achieve the Access Diploma are then eligible to apply for a Degree in a relevant subject.  Other Degree courses in professions related to health and social care may also be applied for.

Additional Information

The Access to HE Diploma in Social Work course is extremely popular and applicants are advised to apply in advance.  Please be aware that if you do not meet Home Student Residency status, you will be charged at the higher level fee.  You may be eligible for help with fees and/or childcare, depending on your circumstances.


For admissions and general enquiries, please contact our Admissions Team on 020 8268 3073 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


The Access to HE Diploma - Social Work is taught at Kingston College so is ideal for those based in South West London and Surrey.


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