Social Care (with Foundation Year)
UCAS Code: Combined Honours only – see combinations tab|Duration: 4 years|Full Time|Hope Park
UCAS Campus Code: L46
Work placement opportunities|International students can apply|Study Abroad opportunities
About the course
There is a growing need for well-trained, multi-skilled graduates able to respond to the changing demands within the Social Care employment and research sectors. As such the Social Care team recognise the great benefit of collaborating with service users, health and social care employers and stakeholders in this sector.
Curriculum content will develop students’ knowledge and understanding of Social Care through an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approach. Students will be encouraged to develop a critical approach to a range of social care discourses.
The School has strong links with a range of individuals and organisations in the field who have expressed an ongoing commitment to working with us. The Social Care team build on these long-standing working relationships at all levels of the programme to embed a research informed, evidence-based practice approach to teaching and learning.
In first year, students have three hours of lectures per week, two hours of seminars and an hour of small tutorial group working. There is also a ‘fitness to practice’ week in term two when students are assessed for suitability for social welfare work.
In second year, students have two hours of lectures, two hours of seminars and a one hour tutorial each week. In term two, 50 of the taught hours are via work experience hours.
In third year, students have two hours of formal lectures per week. In addition they undertake two research seminars (one in each term) which are two hours per week. Students also undertake a research project and are supported in this via one-to-one supervision sessions.
Assessment and feedback
Throughout your three years of study, you will have a variety of assessments including essays, portfolios 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.
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.
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.
Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups in Social Care Settings
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 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.
Work Based Learning
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 a 50 hours of work-based learning. Placements are available in a wide range of Health and Social Care settings.
Advanced Studies in Social Care
You will explore some key contemporary issues in Social care as well as developing the skills and knowledge you need for leadership. You will also have the opportunity to study two Advanced Research Courses.
You will study:
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 meet 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.
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 two of these to study on topics of interest to you. Examples of topics previously offered include: learning disability; poverty and health; hate crime; LGBTQ+ health; migration; alcohol drinking practices; marginalised young people.
There may be some flexibility for mature students offering non-tariff qualifications and students meeting particular widening participation criteria.
The Health and Social Care sector is undergoing substantial change. A range of private, and not-for-profit, Third Sector organisations are playing an increasingly prominent role in service delivery alongside more traditional NHS, statutory and local authority providers.. 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.
Work Placement Opportunities
In your second year, you complete a work based learning project, where you spend 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 social care.
All students have an opportunity of working either within or external to the university on work based learning. This provides an opportunity to develop their social care interests, ground their knowledge and promote their communication skills.
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.
Along with your tuition fees, you also need to consider the cost of any core textbooks that you need. This will be approximately £150.
You will also need to consider the cost of your accommodation each year whilst you study at university. Visit our accommodation webpages for further details about our Halls of Residence: www.hope.ac.uk/halls.
Should you wish to undertake an international fieldtrip, this would be self-funded. You will also have to account for your DBS fee.
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.
This course is only available with Foundation Year as a Combined Honours degree with the following subjects: