Health & Social Care BA (Hons) (with Foundation Year)
UCAS Code: L511|Duration: 4 years|Full Time|Hope Park
UCAS Campus Code: L46
Work placement opportunities|International students can apply|Study Abroad opportunities
About the course
This degree offers you the chance to explore a wide range of Health and Social Care issues and debates from a range of different perspectives. It enables you to explore the many factors that impact upon Health and Social Care with a particular focus on social issues and experiences. The degree is ideal for those with an interest in health and social care and a desire to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals, families and communities.
Throughout the degree students consider a range of key questions such as: What factors influence health and wellbeing? Why do different social groups experience health and wellbeing differently? How do we address inequalities in health and social care? How does policy affect health and social care? How can we work with individuals, families and communities to promote health and wellbeing? How can we safeguard vulnerable and marginalised groups?
By studying this degree, you will develop a thorough understanding of health and social care policy, theory and practice. There is an emphasis on developing practical skills alongside academic knowledge. The degree has input from a wide range of frontline workers in the statutory, private and voluntary sectors and you are able to develop the practical skills necessary for careers in Health and Social Care through work-based learning, work on case studies and projects within the local community. Working with you, we aim to develop reflective, autonomous and responsible health and social care practitioners who are able to work with a range of service user groups.
Teaching on this degree is structured into lectures, where all students are taught together, seminars of smaller groups of around 20-25 students, and tutorials which typically have no more than 15 students. You also have the opportunity to have a one-to-one meeting with your tutor each week, and in your second year, you will undertake a work placement.
In your first year, there are approximately 12 teaching hours each week, which reduces to approximately 10 hours in your second and third years. On top of teaching hours, you are also expected to spend a number of hours each week studying independently, as well as group study to prepare for any group assessments you may have.
Assessment and feedback
Throughout your degree, you will have a number of assessments including portfolios, essays, community projects, and written exams. In your second year, you complete a work-based learning placement and in your final year, you will complete a dissertation on a topic of your choice, with guidance from your supervisor.
You will be given written feedback on your assessments, and you will have the opportunity to discuss this with your tutor in more detail.
The Foundation Year is a great opportunity if you have the ability and enthusiasm to study for a degree, but do not yet have the qualifications required to enter directly onto our degree programmes. A significant part of the Foundation Year focuses upon core skills such as academic writing at HE level, becoming an independent learner, structuring academic work, critical thinking, time management and note taking.
Successful completion of the Foundation Year will enable you to progress into the first year (Level C) of your chosen honours degree. Further details can be found here.
You will spend half of your time studying Introduction to Health and Wellbeing.
This introduces you to a broad range of issues, debates and theoretical perspectives that underpin Health and Wellbeing. You will study:
Approaches to Health and Wellbeing
You will consider the merits and limitations of a range of approaches to health and wellbeing including the biomedical model, the psychology of health and wellbeing and sociological approaches to health and wellbeing.
Equality and Diversity in Health and Wellbeing
You will then move on to focus more specifically on social divisions and inequalities in health and wellbeing. You will learn how factors such as age, gender, race, ethnicity, poverty, socioeconomic status and disability impact upon Health and Wellbeing at the individual and community level.
Key issues and debates in Health and Wellbeing
You will learn about some of the contemporary issues at the forefront of the subject. You will use your knowledge of different approaches to Health and Wellbeing and inequalities in health to consider the complexity of issues such as obesity, mental health and sexual health. You will explore the role of inequalities in ‘lifestyle issues’ moving beyond a focus on the individual to consider the many determinants of a range of non-communicable diseases.
The other half of your time will be spent studying Introduction to Social Care.
This will give you a broad grounding in both the context and practice of social care. You will study:
Social Care across the life course
You will consider social care through the key life-course stages, including, preconception, birth and prenatal care, childhood, adulthood and death. This will develop your understanding of the range of groups who use social care services including children and families, older people, people experiencing mental distress and disabled people. You will also look at different aspects of the Social Care sector, its structures and stages of development.
Social and Psychological approaches to Social Care
You will be introduced to both psychological and social approaches to social care. You will consider different psychological perspectives and how these can be applied to the everyday practice of social care and in particular their application in working with service users. You will also study the key sociological theories of social divisions that will help to contextualise experiences of social care users and will outline the key structural challenges they might be exposed to.
Professional Skills, Values and Ethics in Social Care
You will explore and reflect upon your own value base before moving on to consider the differences and tensions between personal and professional values. You will consider central value questions of Individuality and Identity, Rights, Choice, Privacy, Independence, Dignity, Respect, and Partnership, value categories that govern the nature and effectiveness of care provision. You will also be introduced to the different ways of communicating effectively looking at different forms of communication, factors that affect communication in care settings and different ways of overcoming barriers to effective communication.
Human Rights and Violations
You will study a broad range of topics related to the key internationally accepted rights and discuss realities of people that are the most vulnerable to human rights violations, including some ethnic minority groups. This will give you a better understanding of the human rights and realities of working with the most vulnerable Social Care users.
You will spend one half of your time studying Explorations in Health and Wellbeing. Your second year will build on what you have learned in first year applying your knowledge to ideas around Public Health, the promotion of Health and Wellbeing and researching Health and Wellbeing. You will study:
Public Health and Health Promotion: Theory and Practice
You will consider the history of Public Health and health promotion and explore how key drivers and priorities have changed over time. You will consider some of the key Public Health challenges we are currently facing and how these are being addressed. You will engage with a range of different theoretical approaches to health promotion, considering the merits and limitations of different approaches. You will complete a community-based health promotion project which will give you an insight into the reality of health promotion practice.
Researching Health and Wellbeing
You will develop your knowledge and understanding of quantitative and qualitative approaches to undertaking Health and Wellbeing research. You will learn about research ethics as well as the process of critically reviewing previous research literature on a given topic. You will be supported to developing your own research questions, design research projects, and analyse research data. This will prepare you for the final year of study when you will undertake a dissertation
You will spend the other half of your second year studying Explorations in Social Care. You will study:
Policy and Context in Social Care
You will develop your understanding of the development of care and welfare. You will consider the historical background of welfare provision such as the development of children’s social care, disability movements and models of working with mental health. You will look critically at welfare provision and how this frames notions of exclusion and stigma. You will also examine the role of policy in shaping social care provision including the shift to person-centred care. Key legislations will also be examined such as The Children’s Act 1989, the Care Act 2014 and Mental Capacity Act 2005.
Vulnerable Groups in Social Care Settings
You will develop your knowledge of the legal framework that underpins safeguarding practice for a range of groups in society such as children, vulnerable adults and those with learning disability. You will explore the risk of and experience of abuse or neglect across care contexts and you will consider the policies and practices that support this. You will also look at the challenges of balancing a person’s right to be safe with their right to make informed choices. Finally, you will think about the importance of working with service users to ensure that their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs are taken into consideration when deciding upon any action.
Models and Theories of Intervention
You will gain insight into a range of theoretical concepts, methods and approaches applied within social care. You will consider how societal concepts can influence the responses delivered to service users in a range of contexts. For example you will explore how understanding of personhood and identity supports the work of professionals in working with adults with a diagnosis of dementia. You will also learn how embedded structures and institutions in society can influence how service users seek support or interventions and how effective they are. For example you will learn how survivors of domestic or sexual abuse experience the legal context or are able to access services in the community.
This will equip you with a range of tools and techniques essential for professional practice, together with a wider knowledge base which will support their transition into a relevant work placement. Prior to your placement you will undertake a range of activities which will enable you to demonstrate your readiness for practice. This will include, for example, the ability to work with others, to practice safely, to communicate effectively and be aware of the impact of culture, equality and diversity on practice. The work placement element offered at Level I will consist of minimum of 50 hours of work-based learning. Placements are available in a wide range of Health and Social Care settings.
You will spend half of your time studying Advanced Studies in Health and Wellbeing. You will study.
Contemporary Issues in Global Health and Wellbeing
You will consider a range of key debates at a global level. You will extend your knowledge and understanding of health inequalities moving beyond the consideration of inequalities within societies to inequalities between societies and countries. You will draw upon your existing knowledge of determinants and will develop an in-depth understanding of determinants and social divisions that transcend national boundaries. You will consider a range of contemporary issues in global health and wellbeing such as: infectious and non-infectious diseases; global pandemics; the growing global burden of chronic disease; global mental health.
Health and Wellbeing across the life-course
You will consider the importance of the life-course as a framework for understanding Health and Wellbeing. You will explore how socially patterned health damaging exposures and health enhancing opportunities shape health and wellbeing outcomes. You will consider some of the key Health and Wellbeing issues and challenges at each stage of the life-course including prenatal health and Health and Wellbeing in: childhood; adolescence; young adulthood; midlife and old age.
You will spend the other half of your time studying Advanced Studies in Social Care. You will study:
Ethics in Health and Wellbeing
You will explore the moral and ethical implications of health interventions. Students will examine theoretical frameworks through which ethical issues can be considered and then use these to analyse specific health-related case studies. In particular, students will consider the issues that arise from conceptualising ‘individual rights’ versus the ‘common good’. To do this, they will study issues that arise from physical and cognitive enhancement, ideas around living and dying.
Management and leadership in Social Care
You will develop your understanding of the philosophy, principles and language of leadership within the social care work environment. You will consider the legal, policy and organisational contexts which shape management and leadership in the social care sector. You will critique a range of leadership theories and styles and this will enable you to develop the knowledge and analytical skills required to function within leadership roles
Contemporary Issues in Adult Social Care
You will consider the current state of adult social care across the UK. You will consider how adult social care has emerged as a distinct policy area in the UK and will critically explore some of the key issues facing adult social care such as the funding of adult social care. You will spend time exploring the challenges to adult social care in the face of social and demographic change analysing, for example, how the social care workforce needs to adapt to ensure services met the needs of an ageing population.
Working with Children and Young People
You will analyse the contemporary context of children’s lives. Exploring how childhood is conceptually constructed, you will examine the social and economic context of children’s lives and the framing of the modern family. You will learn how modern divisions in society have particular impacts on children and young people. You will move on to explore ways of working with children and young people in a variety of contexts, such as Looked After Children in fostering and adoption or young people in residential settings, as well as supporting families in the community.
You will also have the opportunity to study four Advanced Research Courses.
Advanced Research Courses
Advanced research courses are offered on a range of topics each year within the School of Social Sciences. Each research course is led by an individual member of staff and is based upon their area of research interest and expertise. You will select four of these to study on topics of interest to you. Examples of topics previously offered include: learning disability; poverty and health; health inequalities; hate crime; LGBTQ+ health; migration; mental health; alcohol drinking practices; chronic illness; marginalised young people; Key themes in Social Work.
There may be some flexibility for mature students offering non-tariff qualifications and students meeting particular widening participation criteria.
Health and Social Care provides students with important subject knowledge and develops core personal and general skills. The broad nature of the degree will support you to gain employment in a number of areas such as health promotion; housing; community based projects; occupational health; services for the older population and services for young people.
The health and social care sector is undergoing rapid and radical change. As part of this, we are seeing an increasing number of employers in the sector. Developments in the frontline mean there is great demand for well-trained and multi-skilled graduates. Some graduates choose to go on to further study. Postgraduate courses offered by the University include MA Social Policy, MA Social Work, MA Youth and Community Work.
The School has strong links with a range of organisations actively involved in the field of health and social care and the programme provides you with opportunities to engage with a range of employers through work experience, guest speakers and applied community research projects.
Work Placement Opportunities
In your second year, you complete a work-based learning project, where you spend a minimum of 50 hours getting work experience and then produce a reflective portfolio. This project enables you to gain vital practical skills and knowledge necessary for a career in the field of health and social care.
The Service and Leadership Award (SALA) is offered as an extra-curricular programme involving service-based experiences, development of leadership potential and equipping you for a career in a rapidly changing world. It enhances your degree, it is something which is complimentary but different and which has a distinct ‘value-added’ component. Find out more on our Service and Leadership Award page.
As part of your degree, you can choose to spend either a semester or a full year of study at one of our partner universities as part of our Study Abroad programme. Find out more on our Study Abroad page.
The tuition fees for the 2024/25 academic year are £9,250 for full-time undergraduate courses.
If you are a student from the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands, your tuition fees will also be £9,250.
The University reserves the right to increase Home and EU Undergraduate and PGCE tuition fees in line with any inflationary or other increase authorised by the Secretary of State for future years of study.
You will also need to consider the cost of your accommodation each year whilst you study at university. Visit our accommodation pages for further details about our Halls of Residence.
We have a range of scholarships to help with the cost of your studies. Visit our scholarships page to find out more.
International tuition fees
The International Tuition fees for 2024/25 are £12,500.
Visit our International fees page for more information.
With Foundation year, this degree is only available to study as a Single Honours course.