All you need to start your career in the Public Services
We are here to help you fulfil your potential and start you on the pathway to your dream career.
Our Access to Higher Education Diplomas for Public Services give you the opportunity to apply for a Public Service related degree such as Social Science. This can lead to a career working in central or local government, the Armed Forces, Police, Fire Service, Health & Social Care, or the voluntary sector.
Over 25 years of experience, and our excellent relationships with many universities, means that the content these Diplomas fit perfectly with their entry requirements. We offer 2 different Diplomas on this course, Access to HE Diploma (Social Science) and Access to HE Diploma (Counselling & Psychology) - find full details by clicking the Qualifications button above.
Not all careers need a degree, and these Diplomas are also an excellent way to maximise your job prospects, such as: Office & administrative roles, counselling, advocacy and support worker.
What are they?
Are they accredited?
How do I study?
After the course
When can I start?
You can start when it suits you: just like studying with us, our enrolments are flexible too.
What are the entry requirements?
There are no set entry requirements for this Access to HE Diploma.
You need to have a UK residential address to study this qualification (you can be posted overseas). If you are currently resident outside the UK you need to be able to provide proof of UK residency before the end of the course. In this case, please advise us of this when you apply.
Does it give me UCAS Tariff Points?
Yes. An Access to HE Diploma carries up to 144 UCAS tariff points depending upon grades achieved.
The Diploma is made up of 45 graded credits and 15 ungraded credits. 144 points equates to 45 Distinctions in the Diploma. At A level, 144 points equals 3 grade A's. You can calculate UCAS Tariff Points for different Grades using the Tariff Calculator.
How do I learn?
For every unit you study you will be given access to its tailored learning materials: because they are written by us, you can be sure that they will teach you what you need to succeed on your assessments. They are more than a textbook - they guide you through your learning and support you so that you're fully prepared for each assessment. You will complete tasks, answer questions (with model answers that you can check), and will be given all the tools needed to achieve the highest grades possible.
How am I assessed?
You are assessed through tutor-assessed coursework throughout your Diploma, there are no exams. Our assessments have been both internally and externally verified, meaning that they have been checked to make sure they are consistent, fair and robust. Importantly, they give everybody the same opportunities to succeed. Our internal verification process is rigorous and thorough, ensuring that every tutor is marking, grading and giving formative and developmental feedback in line with our exacting standards.
How long will it take?
Because our Access to HE Diplomas fit into your life rather than the other way around, you can decide how long you'd like to study your Diploma for. They require an estimated 600 hours of study. On average an Access to HE Diploma takes 9 months, but you can complete in 6 months or study for longer if you wish to.
When can I complete?
Just like starting, when you complete is up to you. The only deadlines that are in place are those set by yourself, and are usually based on when you hope to start university. To start university in September you would aim for June moderation; to start university in February/March you would aim for November moderation.
What are my future prospects?
An Access to HE Diploma opens doors for every student. Whether you decide to use it to gain entry to university or not, it will improve your career prospects. You gain so much by studying an Access to HE Diploma online: it teaches you skills that will make you stand out. From organisational skills and time management, to the ability to self-direct and research independently - you will be capable of things you hadn't previously thought possible.
All Options/Diplomas are equally valid for university entry. So you can base your choice on your own areas of interest, or in line with entry requirements for a specific degree course.
Please select one then scroll down to see details of all Units studied.
- Developmental (9 credits)
- Counselling (12 credits)
- Psychology (33 credits)
- Social Issues in Health Care (6 credits)
- 45 graded credits
- 15 ungraded credits
- Developmental (9 credits)
- Criminology (21 credits)
- Psychology (30 credits)
- 45 graded credits
- 15 ungraded credits
The most flexible fees
Easy to manage flexible instalments. Payment holidays. No tie-ins or credit agreements. Great value. If the course is not for you, pay no more. If you leave & return, fees paid previously are still covered. More details on our Fees Page.£1349.70 (from £99.98 a month) enrol today for just £10.00
Optional extra Qualifications
You can study additional qualifications alongside your Access to HE Diploma with substantial discounts.
- When GCSEs are studied with an Access to HE Diploma, you get £20 off the first and £30 off the second.
- You only pay an Enrolment Fee for the Diploma.
- If you study 24 or more Progression Award Credits you get £10 off. If you study 36 or more Credits you get £25 off.
- Maximum days from the Progression Awards are added on to the maximum days for the Diploma, making for more manageable instalments.
- You only pay an Enrolment Fee for the Diploma.
- When Functional Skills are studied with an Access to HE Diploma, you only pay an Enrolment Fee for the Diploma.
Funding your course
- This course is eligible for Enhanced Learning Credits (ELC) funding which is available to members of the Armed Forces. Find out more
- This course is not eligible for Advanced Learner Loans.
The majority of our students fund themselves using our easy payment options. Some secure funding through their employers and a few manage to get some help from local charities. We cannot provide advice on funding but we do have a Grants & Funding page which you may find useful.
If you are not funding your course yourself
Please ensure that you make us aware of this when you apply so that we can advise you & make any necessary arrangements with the funder to cover your course costs.
If you have already purchased your course elsewhere
- The fees and details on this page apply only if you purchase your Course directly from DistanceLearningCentre.com.
- If you have purchased your course from another web site, they will have already informed you about their Terms & Conditions and payments.
- They will also have informed us that you will be signing up for a course with us so we will be able to adjust the finances on your account accordingly once you have set up your course.
- You will not need to pay the Enrolment Fee.
The normal method of payment is online with a Credit or Debit Card. We accept all major cards.
If there are genuine reasons why you cannot pay online, you will need to contact us to discuss whether there are other feasible options available such as bank transfer or Standing Order.
The support that our students receive is central to who we are and the service that we deliver.
Your tutor is both your personal support and your subject specialist teacher. They were chosen for their expert subject knowledge and qualifications, and for their skills in supporting and motivating adults who may have been out of education for some time. They are there to support you and guide your studies, and you will be in regular contact over email, WhatsApp and virtual meetings. Because they mark your assessments, they know how to help you to improve, develop and advance as you progress through the course.
Their role evolves over the course of your studies as your needs change. Initially you will speak to your tutor every week so you can get to know each other and settle into studying. As you progress through the course the support that you want from your tutor may change: one week you may want to talk about study skills, and the next about the ethics of research. Your tutor is there to make sure that your time with us is as successful and enjoyable as possible.
The most flexible study and active tutor support
You can find out more details about support on the course and our flexible study options on our Studying with Us Page. You can also see what our students have to say about the support they recieved in our reviews.
Our Student Services team are here for you from your first enquiry and throughout your course. From clarifying university entry requirements to finding the course that is right for you, Student Services are here for everybody - past, present and prospective students alike.
UCAS is the application system used for applying to university in the UK. They have lots of guidance for students and we are also here to support you throughout the application process.
For many, making the UCAS application is one of the most important moments arising from the course, and we support you throughout the process. Our strong relationships with universities mean that we liaise with them to ensure that you are always given the most relevant and up-to-date advice, and we keep you abreast of relevant information from UCAS.
From the first stage of your application, to any interviews you may have, and accepting a place - we are there with you every step of the way. We will work with you to plan and draft your personal statement, will guide you through every step of applying through UCAS, and will check every single application, personal statement and reference before they are submitted. We work to ensure that every application is the best it can be.
Learning Support - support if you have declared a disability. They provide advice and guidance and signpost you to help and resources which can help with your studies.
Student Support - supporting you if you are having problems with your studies. This may be due to a wide range of factors, personal, financial, confidence, changed circumstances etc. Generally, tutors will refer you to this section if they feel that you will benefit from some extra help or advice.
We have a dynamic private Facebook community over 2000 students for you to join and if you want to raise points with staff this can be done via the Student Action Group.
We make our courses suit you and your life: if your circumstances or priorities change then your course can too. We are here to help you achieve, and so taking a study break, changing your payment date, extending or shortening your study period (target completion date) is always possible.
From accessing learning materials to uploading documents, if you need any technical support during your studies our Technical Department is there for you.
Should you need any help or advice about fees, payment options, or there are changes to your circumstances the Finance Department is are happy to help.
How are Access to HE courses structured?
Every Access to HE Diploma is 60 credits: 15 are ungraded and 45 are graded. The grades available are Pass, Merit and Distinction.
The structure of each Diploma is designed to provide you with subject knowledge which we know is most relevant to the degree you are aiming for and chosen through experience and consultation to find out what the universities most want to see.
Each Diploma is split into:
- A developmental section (which is not subject specific) generally studied at Level 3 although some courses include Level 2 Maths.
- Two or more subject-specialist Subject Sets.
The Course Learning Materials include Self-Assessment Questions (SAQ's) and activities. You will need to upload your SAQ's, to demonstrate your learning, before you can start the formal assessment for the Unit.
In courses which include this Unit, the Level 2 Maths Unit is assessed at the same level as a grade C at GCSE but they is not equivalent to a GCSE. Therefore, if your university requires you to achieve GCSE's you will need to study separate GCSEs, which you can study with us.
Subject sets, Credits & Units
To achieve an Access to HE Diploma you complete 60 credits, of which at least 45 must be at Level 3 (A-Level standard) and are graded Pass, Merit or Distinction. The other 15 credits can be either at Level 2 or 3 and are ungraded.
Developmental and Subject Sets are made up of Units; each unit is made up of three or six credits.
Learning Materials examples
- Learning Materials - interactive text books for each unit in PDF format which you open with a password given to you by your tutor.
- Videos & Podcasts - to complement and support the Learning Materials, also with Transcript.
- Scheduled Webinars & Group Tutorials - covering specific subject areas.
- Self-Assessed Questions (SAQs) - for you to test your own learning and compare with model answers.
How are Access to HE courses assessed?
There are no exams but as you complete each Unit, you will be given Assessments to complete. These often take the form of a practical report, tutor-assessed questions or an essay. These are used by your tutor to assess your learning and recommend you for an Award of Credit for the Unit. You will receive the confirmation of recommended credit(s) for each Unit when the written work has met the predefined criteria which are found within the Assessments.
Once you have completed an Assessment, you upload the Assessment to your Student Account. Some Assessments may need to be submitted by post. Your tutor will provide you with feedback on your work, by completing and uploading a Mark Sheet to your Student Account.
Because the Access to HE Diplomas are part of the National Qualification Framework, they are moderated externally by the Awarding Body to ensure consistent quality nationwide. Moderation takes place twice a year so when you complete the course, you will have to wait until the next moderation before the request for certification can be sent to the Awarding Body. However, should you have concerns that your Diploma may not be certificated in time for entry onto your selected course in Higher Education, we can provide evidence for you to give to the admissions tutor.
Level 2 Units, Developmental and Introductory Level 3 Units are not Graded, they are simply awarded 'achieved' or 'not achieved'. The 45 graded Level 3 Credits are awarded grades of Pass, Merit, Distinction (or resubmission) according to a set of Grade Descriptors utilised nationally and set by the QAA.
It is expected that you will make every effort to meet the criteria for a Unit and you are required to complete and return a 'tick sheet' which helps you to check you have completed everything you need to. However, if you fail to meet the criteria for a Pass, you are encouraged to resubmit your work and it is not graded at that point.
Your tutor will give you guidance about any improvements that are necessary and when you resubmit your work it will be graded. If you still fail to achieve the criteria, you will have to complete another piece of work on a different topic within the Unit.
- Assessments - give you all the information you need to complete and pass your assessment. Further Podcasts and Videos are included in the Assessments.
- Student Answer Sheets the documents you complete with your answers for the Assessments.
Laptop or Computer
Due to the academic nature and depth of this course you will not be able to study it entirely on a Mobile Phone or Tablet.
Check university entry requirements
It is important to check the entry requirements for your chosen universities as these will help you decide if you need any of the qualifications below. We are also very happy to advise you to ensure that you have what you need.
You may need GCSEs to gain entry to university. If you do not have these already, you can study them with us. You will have the option to add these to your Diploma when you enrol.
You may need Functional Skills Qualifications to gain entry to university. Many universities will accept these in place of a GCSE. If you do not have these already, you can study them with us. Please contact us if you would like to study Functional Skills as well as a Diploma.
You may need further Level 2 credits in English, Maths and Science (known as Progression Awards) to gain entry to university. If you do not have these already, you can study them with us. You will have the option to add these to your Diploma when you enrol.
UK ENIC (formerly UK NARIC) Statement of Comparability
If you already hold qualifications that were studied outside the UK, your university may wish to see a Statement of Comparability to exempt you from GCSE or Level 2 credits entry requirements. UK ENIC can be contacted through enic.org.uk.
Work experience, specific skills and specialist knowledge
You should always check university's entry requirements, both compulsory and preferred, as they will often say what they expect from a candidate. This may include a work placement, specific interpersonal skills, or evidence of wide reading and existing knowledge about the degree, the career, or the industry.