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Access to Health Studies and Social Care

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Days & Times*

Two days per week (days & times to be confirmed)

This course is designed for adults intending to enter a number of professions within the health sector. Health is the key theme of health runs throughout the course, approached from a psychological, biological and sociological perspectives. The unit on Equality and Diversity ensures a thorough understanding of professional practice within health professions, and is complemented by the Independent Study related to a chosen profession. Learners are assessed through a variety of methods including examination practice, presenting information, and writing essays. Throughout the year academic skills such as note-taking, essay writing, revision and research are taught to ensure that learners achieve the best grades on the Access course and in the future at degree level.

Your future choices at University

Here are some examples of the degree courses which could be followed on completion of this Access programme.

  • Nursing (Adult)
  • Nursing (Paediatric)
  • Nursing (Community)
  • Speech & Arts Therapy
  • Teaching
  • Midwifery
  • Mental Health
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Dental Hygiene
  • Podiatry
  • Physiotherapy

Social Care

Term one:

In the first term learners will focus on refreshing their academic skills of note-taking and effective time management and applying these to the subject matter being studied, which includes:

  • understanding the internal structure of cells and functions of the digestive system
  • the pattern of the human circulatory system
  • understanding of the range and role of micro-organisms in disease and the concept of exchange surfaces which provide areas for uptake and exchange of molecules
  • the range and role of micro-organisms in disease and competing definitions of health
  • understanding of the link between personality and health
  • the diverse standpoints which exist in social group membership and the risks of disadvantage and inequality
  • factors that contribute to mental health difficulties
  • nature and causes of, and political reactions to, poverty

Topics you will study in term one include:

  • Human Biology
  • Body Chemistry
  • Microbiology, Immunology and Infection Control
  • Health as a Social Product
  • Health Promotion
  • Equality & Diversity
  • Sociology of Health
  • Understanding Mental Health Issues
  • Podiatry
  • Poverty & the Welfare State

You will also receive tutorial help and guidance with your application to university.

Term two:

In term two learners are supported in selecting a topic for their individual research which focuses on studying the role and responsibilities within a chosen profession. Building on knowledge gained in the previous term, the second term encourages the development of independent learning and study skills through the following content:

  • understanding of the structures and functions of the cardiovascular, musculoskeletal and urinary systems
  • the gross morphology of the human gut
  • innate and adaptive immunity and disease
  • changing patterns of health and illness and explanations of the social distribution of health
  • possible individual responses to stress and coping strategies that may be adopted
  • Understanding social inequalities in health and of the risks involved with disadvantage and inequality

Term three:

In term three learners complete their research and demonstrate that they have applied academic theory to the study of a related profession. This is in the form of an extended written project and is supported by a presentation of the report and it’s findings. In addition to that learners are assessed on the following topics:

  • the symptoms of common neurological disorders
  • Evaluating methods of controlling the spread of disease
  • understanding of the gross morphology and histology of the lungs
  • methods of prevention and control of infection
  • examine relationships between health & social care and equality legislation
  • understanding the impact of institutionalisation in western biomedicine and alternative therapies
  • the difference between the social control of religion, and that of the medical profession, in providing for medical treatment


The assessment reflects the skills that you will need at university so will be a combination of individual essay writing, timed essays, research skills, presentations and group work. All graded units are marked as Pass, Merit or Distinction.

The course will start in September. With all Access courses we advise students to contact the universities directly to check that the Access course will be considered appropriate for the Degree choice.

Please contact Emma Iavarone or on 01273 508011 ext 203 to discuss your career plans and the new course we will be offering in September 2016.

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