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Skills for further study in Social Sciences and Humanities (ASCENTIS)

Course overview

The Level 2 Certificate balances skills-based units with introductory units based around the Humanities and Social Sciences. Students are assessed by a portfolio of evidence on these units, around assessment criteria. Our course team of subject specialists have put together units in Sociology, History, Social Policy, and Geography to provide an excellent grounding in a range of humanities and social science subjects. Four skills units enable development of key study and independent learning skills, essential for success at Level 3 and beyond. Two of these units target the academic skills needed for success and confidence in exams and essay writing (for A Level and vocational courses), and two help students to develop their time management and planning skills.

How many hours per week?

Teaching contact time is 4 hours and 20 minutes per subject. Other workshops will be available throughout the year including over some holiday periods. Students are expected to spend a minimum 4 hours of independent study to complete assignments, homework, extra reading and independent research.

Entry requirements

The Level Three Foundation Programme has a consistent set of entry requirements for each course. Students are required to have already achieved a of 4,4,3 at level 2 (GCSE or equivalent).

Exam Board

Ascentis – overview

Why study this course?

This course is an excellent choice for Foundation students who wish to study Level 3 qualifications in the Humanities and Social Sciences curriculum area, including Sociology, Criminology, History, Politics, Geography, Law, and Health and Social Care. The skills-based units of this course provide a sound grounding and preparation for other subjects in the area. As such it combines well with other Level 2 courses on the foundation programme. Two of the content units also comprise independent research projects which provide a good foundation for Level 3 study in these subjects and for any that include a coursework element.

What will I learn?

You will study 9 units for the certificate, these are:
Study management: Understanding good skills and techniques for managing your own study time, setting study goals and meeting them.

Introduction to Sociology: An introduction to the key issues, themes, and approaches to studying society. You will also learn about the research methods that sociologists use to study certain problems and topics in society and get the opportunity to plan and conduct your own research project.

Introduction to History: This unit introduces you to the themes and skills involved in the study of History and other similar Humanities subjects. You will learn to interpret evidence, identify bias in historical writing, and learn about perspectives, change and continuity over time.

Essay writing: Helps you to develop this vital skill for Humanities and Social Science subjects so that you are confident in your writing for Level 3. You will learn to understand different types of question, plan your essay, structure arguments, and reflect on your work to help you progress.

History period study – British society since 1945: This unit has been specially designed to cover key developments and issues in the post-war period that are relevant to a wide range of Humanities and Social Science courses at Level 3 including – Sociology, Economics, Politics, Law, Criminology, and Health and Social Care. You will learn about the changing nature of work and welfare, and key moments of social protest that helped to bring about changes in civil rights.

Development of Social Policy: This unit sits alongside the period study and helps you to understand how social policy has developed over time, from the Poor Law to the present day.

Revision and exam skills: These essential skills will help to support your other Level 2 courses during Foundation year and your Level 3 study during your time at college. You will learn and practice strategies to help you revise and prepare for exams, this also includes advice on health and well-being during revision and at exam time.

Action planning for career development: This unit helps you to think about how the skills and strategies you are learning during your Foundation year can help you to plan for your future career or studies. You will work with our careers leader to explore the requirements for different careers and pathways, prepare an action plan, and start working towards your own targets.

Geography investigation project: The final unit of the course brings together all of the skills and knowledge that you have gained during your study for the certificate. You will revisit some of the ideas around research methods and using evidence that you learned in Intro to Sociology and History, as well as your skills in study management and action planning to help you conduct a Geography investigation project on the topic of your choice.

How will I be taught?

Two members of the course team will guide your through the unit topics and help you to build your portfolio in lessons each week. There will also be a bank of video talks and lessons recorded by other members of the course team to support your learning and development of skills. We will regularly use discussion and group work, and you will be supported to develop your independent learning skills. This element is an important part of the course as you will be working towards your portfolio in each unit. Many of our resources are online and include documentary and film materials, rather than using one textbook. By drawing on a wide range of resources, we are able to keep the course engaging and up to date.

How will I be assessed?

There is no exam for this course, all of your assessment is made up from a portfolio of your work, collected throughout the year. Some of this work is written, so that you can develop your academic writing skills, but some units will also include assessment in the form of
• Observation record of interview (eg. with careers leader)
• Questions and discussions, role plays
• Photographs or video
• Worksheets
• Self-assessments and reflections
• Workbook activities
• Final multiple-choice tests.

Where will this course take me?

The aims of the qualification are to enable learners:
• to progress to further learning
• to develop study skills
• to develop skills and knowledge in the areas of Social Science and Humanities

Whilst this qualification is not designed to provide occupational competence, the skills, knowledge, and understanding may allow learners to progress into entry level roles within social work, nursing, healthcare, education, or social care. These are popular career destinations for many of our Level 3 students and comprise areas currently in demand.

Staff contact details: Sarah Parry (Curriculum Leader, HSS)

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