Access to Humanities (a.k.a. Social Science)

What would I study on a Humanities/Social Science programme? 
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Although all partner colleges adhere to the SWAP framework and offer a number of units in core subjects, each college offers its own unique blend of optional subjects which belong to the curriculum group. For example, most colleges will offer a selection of subjects (but not all) from the following list: 

* Sociology 
* Psychology 
* Criminology 
* History 
* Geography 
* Philosophy 

All colleges will offer Core Skills subjects such as: 
A selection from the above broad categories is likely to be offered alongside Core Skills units, such as: 

* Communication / Literature 
* Maths (at National 5 level) 
* ICT 

Programmes vary slightly from college to college, so you would need to contact your college of choice to find out exactly what would be offered. 

You can find a list of colleges on the downloadable brochure linked below: 


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What can I do with a Humanities/Social Science programme?

Successful completion of the SWAP Access to Humanities/Social Science programme provides progression to subjects from the Arts or Social Science families. 


Subjects in the Arts family may include: 
- Creative Writing
- English Language
- English Literature / Scottish Literature 
- Theology and Religious Studies 
- Film and Television Studies
- History of Art
- Music 
- Theatre Studies 
- Languages (e.g. Italian, French, Spanish, German, Russian, etc.) 
- Archaeology 
- History / Classics 
- Philosophy 

Subjects in the Social Sciences family may include: 
- Business / Economics 
- Education 
- Law 
- Economic and Social History 
- Politics 
- Sociology 


Psychology: 

It is also sometimes (depending on the university) possible to progress from Humanities/Social Science to university to study Psychology; however, progression for students on the Humanities/Social Science programmes would only be permitted to the School/College/Faculty of Social Science (not to Science).

If you are interested in studying Psychology at university level, you may wish to consider applying to the SWAP Access to Life Sciences. 


 <primary_school.jpg> Education: Primary Teaching

Some colleges (but not all) offer Access to Humanities/Social Science programmes that permit application to Primary Education. See the brochure linked above to find out which colleges offer this option. 

Get practical experience:
If you hope to teach primary school someday, you should make it a priority to get some work or volunteering experience in a primary school classroom setting. If that is not possible, then you may consider volunteering for organisations where you'll be in charge of working with primary-school-aged children in groups (e.g. Scouts, Guides, sport clubs, after school clubs, etc.).

It is good practice, while on placement or fulfilling a volunteer role, to keep a reflective journal detailing your experiences. For example, you should keep note of the age groups you've worked with, their activities and learning objectives, any challenges faced and how those were overcome. You may also note anything of interest regarding the curriculum, teachers' approaches and styles of teaching, and any interactions you may have with other members of staff --- especially highlighting what you've learned from each shift. Such a journal will stand you in good stead when it comes time to fill in university applications and (all going well) attending interviews. 

Get to grips with Maths: 
The Teaching Council require that all Primary School teachers have a Maths qualification at National 5 level (at minimum). You will study Maths units at National 5 level as part of your SWAP Access to Humanities programme, but if you wish to teach you will also then have to sit and pass the external (SQA) Nat 5 maths exam in May, at the end of your SWAP year. Your college will support you in this endeavour, but if it has been a while since you studied Maths, you may want to do a bit of independent study and preparation prior to applying. You can find help on: 

BBC Bitesize 
Khan Academy 
National Numeracy Challenge
BBC Skillswise

Be prepared to disclose all criminal convictions: 
All applicants to Primary Education will be required to disclose any criminal convictions prior to applying to university. If you have criminal convictions and would like impartial advice re: applying to study Primary Teaching, you may contact the SWAPWest office 0141 564 7206 to discuss.


Social Work <social_work.jpg>
Some colleges (but not all) offer Access to Humanities/Social Science programmes that permit application to either Social Work. See the brochure linked above to find out which colleges offer this option. 

Get practical experience:
Social workers tend to work with people in the following groups: 
  • Homeless people 
  • Drug and alcohol abusers
  • People with mental health conditions 
  • Young offenders 
  • People with learning disabilities 
  • People with physical disabilities 
  • The elderly 
  • School refusers 
To enhance your future application to university to study social work, you'll want to gain some practical experience of working with one or more of the above groups. 

It is good practice to keep a reflective journal whilst on placement (or working) in such an environment. In a general way, take note of the range of issues you encounter, any challenges faced and overcome, and especially highlight what you've learned from each shift of work. Such a journal will stand you in good stead when it comes time to fill in university applications and (all going well) attending interviews. 

Be prepared to disclose all criminal convictions: 
All applicants to Primary Education will be required to disclose any criminal convictions prior to applying to university. If you have criminal convictions and would like impartial advice re: applying to study Primary Teaching, you may contact the SWAPWest office 0141 564 7206 to discuss.





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