What is the course about?
This one-year Humanities and Social Science Access course offers you the chance to make a fresh start in education and to prepare for study at university. It is designed for people who would like to study in higher education but left school without the usual qualifications, such as A-levels, and aims to help you to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence you need to succeed on a degree course. The course is validated by OCN London (the Open College Network London) and leads to the award of the Access to HE Diploma, which is recognised as an entry qualification by universities. You will combine study skills with a compulsory core of three academic subjects. You will also have regular one-to-one tutorials.
What will we cover?
Study Skills: this sets out to increase your understanding of how you learn and to help you to learn effectively. Practice in note-taking, essay writing, reading and research skills, exam skills.
Literature: an introduction to the study of novels, poetry and drama, exploring different approaches and interpretations, and relating texts to their wider historical and cultural contexts.
Sociology: an introduction to the subject in which you examine some of the ways that social scientists attempt to describe and explain the social world.
History: an introduction to the study of the past through some of the major developments of the last two hundred years, such as the growth of industrial and urban society, colonialism and political revolutions.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Understand what advanced academic study involves
- Read and discuss a wide range of texts with confidence and understanding
- Think analytically and critically, and relate and interpret different kinds of material
- Tackle study tasks (e.g. researching a topic, writing an essay, making a seminar presentation, independent projects, sitting an exam) with confidence, understanding and skill
- Express yourself confidently and in an academic style, both orally and on paper
- Learn more effectively and with greater independence
- Gain OCN London credits and an Access to HE Diploma
- Make a successful application to university.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
Access courses are intended for adults who wish to prepare for degree courses, but have few or no formal qualifications, or have been out of education for some time. They are recognised by universities as equivalent in standard to A-Level. There are no formal entry requirements for this Access course but, as it involves substantial reading and essay writing, you will need to be able to read and respond to a range of texts (fiction and non-fiction), and to communicate information and ideas clearly and effectively in writing. Your reading and writing skills should be at least the equivalent of Level 2 (GCSE level). You should also be prepared to contribute to discussion and be able to work in a group and to organise your time efficiently.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Classes will consist of a mixture of tutor input, discussion, small group work and student presentations. Homework is substantial and compulsory. You will be asked to read in preparation for all sessions and regular written assignments will be set in all subjects which will contribute to your final result. To gain your diploma you will need to spend at least 15 hours a week on reading and written work at home as well as attending all the classes.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Fees/costs depend on your age and previous education qualifications. See the Course Guide available online or speak to the department for more details.
A substantial amount of course material will be available in photocopied handouts but you will need to buy copies of some course set books. The library keeps copies of some set texts but there are not enough for all students.
You will also need a supply of A4 paper, pens and a ring binder.
If you are on a low income you may be able to apply to the Access Fund for help with the costs of the course (e.g. fares, books, materials). Help with childcare costs is also available. Phone the Build Information and Advice
Shop on 0207 492 2500 for more information.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Students on this course typically progress to full or part-time degree courses in humanities or social science subjects (e.g. English, Classics, Philosophy, Anthropology, Media Studies, Sociology, History, Politics, Archaeology etc.)
Popular destinations for our students include: University of London (Goldsmiths College, Queen Mary College, SOAS, Kings College, University College); University of Sussex; University of Westminster. Support with your HE application is included in the course.
General information and advice on courses at Build is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details