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Access to University

Access Diploma in Social Sciences (validated by Ulster University)

Start Date: 2nd September 2024
Code: PFFB01665


Duration: 1 Year Full-time
Start date: 2nd September 2024
End date: 6th June 2025
Information Event: Yes

Course fee: FREE (Eligibility criteria may apply)

Course Content

8 modules of study

Year 1 PT (or Semester 1 FT)
(FT Study Psychology in semester 1 and study Mathematics 2 in semester 2)

• Maths 1
• English
• Maths 2
• Sociology
• Psychology (FT only semester 1)

Year 2 (or Semester 2 FT)
(Mathematics 2 semester 2 (FT only)

(Optional modules)
• Social Policy
• Psychology
• Anatomy & Physiology
• Research
• Statistical Research and ICT
• E-Business
• Applied ICT

Where every opportunity will be made to facilitate you the best we can, choice/timetabling/location of modules will be decided on demand and class viability.

Get an insider view from our students about what is covered within this course as well as the career opportunities.


Access Diploma Testimonial

Course Aims

The aim of the course is to enable mature students to study for a University Access Diploma in Social Science. This will give students the opportunity to progress to higher education, or alternatively, to enhance their academic qualifications and consequently improve their career prospects. It is a modularised course and is set at A level standard. The modularised structure offers greater flexibility and is particularly important for mature students who have to fit their study around their commitments.

Special Features

• Associate student of Ulster University
• Option of participating in a physiology lab at Ulster University in year 2

Assessment Methods

Variety of internal assessments including essays, reports, case studies and projects. All modules have an examination with the exception Statistical Research with ICT and E-business which are examined by coursework only.

Course Update

Please note that due to ongoing major campus construction projects courses at Ballymena may be relocated to alternative suitable locations as required.

University Connections

University of Ulster logo

All applicants are asked to complete an application form and questionnaire. They then meet with the Course Director to assess their suitability for the course. This allows for self-selection by the candidates.

• Applicants must normally be 19 years or over at the date of entry to the programme.

• Applicants should not have had any recent experience of formal education.

• Applicants must provide evidence of a basic competence in written and oral communication. Students are asked to undertake a short, written assessment regarding this. (APL for this process applies for those with a “C” or above in English language or a Level 2 Essential Skills Communications or equivalent.  Exemptions must be agreed by the college and the University.)

• Applicants must provide evidence of a basic competence in numeracy skills. Students are asked to undertake a short, numerical written assessment regarding this. (APL for this process applies for those with a “C” or above in Maths GCSE or a Level 2 Essential Skills in Maths or equivalent.  Exemptions must be agreed by the college and the University.)

• Applicants must show motivation, drive and ability to cope with the academic demands of the programme including self-discipline, self-motivation, ability to self-appraise and reflect willingness to accept direction and support

For applicants who feel that they are not yet ready for the course, they may wish to look at the Essential Skills Programmes.

Access to a wide range of HNC/HND/foundation degree and degree courses including: nursing, teaching, social work, sociology, psychology, social policy, criminology.

Trostan Avenue Building
Trostan Avenue
BT43 7BN
0333 034 8197



This course is also available in other NRC campuses.

Essential Skills

All full-time students at Northern Regional College have the opportunity to improve their English, Maths and ICT skills and gain qualifications. The qualification you take will depend on the qualification you already have. If you do not have a grade C or above in GCSE English, Maths or ICT, you MUST complete Essential Skills; this will form a compulsory part of your timetable. If you are planning to go on to further study (for example university), please check if a GCSE qualification (rather than Essential Skills Level 2 equivalent) is required. For those who have a GCSE grade D in Maths or English, we offer a GCSE fast-track course.

Show Essential Skills courses