Pre-Access Social Studies

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Level 2 Pre-Access Diploma in Progression (Social Studies)

Are you thinking about university but want to work on your skills before applying to an Access course?  Then this course could set you on the right path.  If you need a bit more time to think about what you want to do at university, develop your study skills, English or maths, or just develop your confidence while getting back into education, this could be the right course for you.  You don’t need any qualifications to come on this course but you do need to be determined to challenge yourself and work hard for 9 months.  Our Move Up Pre-Access Programme is accredited by Certa and provides you with the skills you need to get to the next level of your education in a supportive and friendly atmosphere.   

What last year’s students thought about the course in general: 

This course has given me a broader and more critical outlook on life. I tend to question everything I hear.

I have enjoyed all aspects of the course, everyone has been friendly, approachable and very accommodating especially if you have struggled, always there to help.

I really enjoyed doing the diploma, I have managed to push myself to limits that I thought I couldn’t.

All the sessions of study have been fantastic, some have been a challenge, but it allows you to push yourself and find out your strengths and weaknesses.

My tutors have been amazing and I could not have got to the end of this course without them. 

 Watch what former Level 2 student Adrian says about his experience at Northern College here:

Entry Requirements 

You don’t need any qualifications to come on this course but you do need to be determined to challenge yourself and work hard for 9 months.

What’s it all about? 

The Pre-Access course lets you have a go at a wide range of subjects at Level 2, developing your skills and finding out which subjects you enjoy the most.  You might already have an idea about this or you might surprise yourself!  The programme includes literature, history, psychology, substance misuse awareness, ICT, criminology and politics.  You also get the chance to work on your English skills and study skills during the course, learning how to research and write accurate and well-structured academic essays and reports and getting ready to study at the next level.   When you complete the course, you will have a Level 2 Diploma, which can help you to get onto a Level 3 programme, such as our Access to Higher Education course or even a foundation programme at a university. 

The course will consist of 6 sessions, Monday to Friday.

 How will the course be delivered?

The course is delivered over 6 sessions Monday to Wednesday as follows:

Residential and non-residential places are available.

Why choose us? 

  • We can offer you the unique experience of studying as a residential student which is great preparation for moving onto further study and gives you the time and space to focus on your studies.
  • We are rated as Outstanding by Ofsted and over 75% of students from this course in 2016/17 have places on Level 3 courses at this college and universities. 
  • We offer tailored support to reflect your needs as a student and an award winning Library and Learning Support Centre.

Course fees and financial support  

The course fees are £994 but if you are on work-related benefits you may be entitled to support.  If you pay the full cost it is possible to pay in instalments.  You can discuss this in detail with Beth Hutchinson in our Student Services Department; she can be contacted by phone on 01226 776000 or by email at 

Further information 

If you want to know more about the course, you can call Ruth North or Jackie Chapman for a discussion on 01226 776000 or email

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