Skills for Health: Foundation Degree Framework for the Health Sector
QAA Foundation Degree Benchmarks and guidelines (2004/2010)
Health and Social Care Undergraduate Module Assessment Board
Thursday 1st March 2012
The fundamental aim of this programme is to prepare students in the skills, knowledge and practices relevant to the development and maintenance of health as a public and social concern.
The particular objectives of the programme comprise:
preparing students to work effectively, independently and safely in settings where health is promoted, protected, monitored and/or maintained, with due cognizance of legal and ethical protocols;
enabling students to master the skills and knowledge required to understand health as a public and social good;
developing in students the skills of critical and reflective thinking to support analysis and problem-solving in relation to health development and maintenance;
inculcating in students the capacity to develop effective skills and strategies for study at undergraduate level;
developing in students the ability to work effectively in a team, in a multi-disciplinary team, and to be self-directed when working independently;
ensuring that students have the skills and understanding to commit to on-going professional development in a sector constantly affected by change and;
supporting students in the integration of theory and practice in work related learning.
Students will have the knowledge and understanding of:
the biological, social, political and ethical concepts relevant to public and social health;
the social determinants of health;
the development and structure of services concerning health, with reference to professional and political priorities and;
the range of research methods appropriate to the study of health.
Students will be able to:
analyse and evaluate data, research findings, practice and strategies relevant to health;
apply concepts, principles and theories in practice;
select, interrogate and synthesise ideas and evidence to sustain an argument, or develop new insights and;
reflect on their own performance and value base.
Students will be able to:
act safely within the ethical, political and policy boundaries in given practical settings;
work effectively both independently and within a team, promoting and maintaining effective and appropriate working relations;
use knowledge and skills to present cogent rationales and persuasive arguments;
use strategies to evaluate and improve their own performance and;
identify and pursue goals for personal and professional development.
Students will be to:
communicate effectively in speech and in writing, making effective decisions about format, structure, inclusions and audience need;
prepare, manipulate, present and interpret data (textual, numerical, graphical) using appropriate qualitative and quantitative techniques;
make effective use of information and communication technologies and;
manage time and tasks in an effective and carefully monitored way, using problem solving techniques to resolve obstacles to learning and production.
This is a foundation degree programme which can be taken over two years as a full time student, or four years as a part time student. It is designed for people working, or who wish to work, in non-clinical health settings, and has a strong element of work related learning at both level 4 and level 5. All modules attract 20 credits. To be awarded the Foundation Degree, students must achieve 120 credits at both level 4 and level 5. The core disciplines represented at both levels comprise health sciences, epidemiology, research methods, sociology and social policy. At level 4 there is an inclusion of study support skills into each module to support students from non-traditional academic backgrounds and all modules include some aspect of either study skills, transferable skills and/or employability skills.
Enhancing your Employability through Work Based Learning
The student requires 120 credits at level 4 to progress to Level 5, and 120 credits at level 5 to achieve the Foundation Degree. Successful completion of the Foundation Degree, will allow progression onto the Bachelor of Science in Public Health or other related/appropriate Level 6 programmes of study.
Entry requirements are one of the following (or their equivalent):
2 A/S levels , at least one in an appropriate subject area
1 A level in an appropriate subject area
BTEC National Certificate at Merit level
5 GCSEs at Grade C or above including maths and English
NVQ level 3 in a relevant subject
A kite marked Access to HE course.
Mature students will be considered on merit.
The subject benchmarks have been developed in light of the QAA Foundation Degree qualification benchmark guidance (2010), and the Skills for Health Foundation Degree Framework for the Health Sector. In particular they are designed to 'enable learners to benefit from the interpretation of ideas and the experience of practice, within the wider context of employement and one in which knowledge, understanding and skills are clearly integrated.' (QAA Foundation Degree qualification benchmarks, 2010, p. 12)
All modules at both level 4 and 5 are designed to incorporate a range of teaching methods, in order to maximise effective learning and to respond to individual needs. The range of teaching strategies comprises:
seminars, discussions and debates
group work tasks (including table top discussions and team activities)
website construction and design
work based learning
directed independent study
Learning, support and stimulus materials are accessible through the electronic learning environment, and students are encouraged to access and communicate using web-based materials and applications.
Formative assessment is incorporated into all modules to enable students to monitor their own learning, and to support their growing independence as learners.
A variety of assessment methods is employed to ensure fairness to all students, and to incorporate where possible employment related skills alongside disciplinary knowledge assessment. All modules have at least two elements of assessment, sometimes but not always based on coursework and examination. Assessment methods comprise:
traditional unseen examinations;
short paper examinations;
restricted time essays;
essays and reports;
case study tasks;
portfolio development and;
Students who achieve the Foundation Degree have a blend of theoretical and practical knowledge and ability to work in a range of health related settings, including health promotion and maintenance, community and crisis work, policy planning and research. They also have the capacity to continue their development either through further academic study to achieve an Honours degree or through specialised professional training.
They will have:
the ability to assess, plan, communicate, lead and execute strategies to identify health risks or to implement health improvement at a social or public level.
an effective understanding of the range of factors, priorities and interests to be considered when analysing health services and settings.
the ability to apply concepts and principles outside the context in which they were learned.
the skills and confidence to evaluate their own performance against benchmarks and in relation to goals, and to adjust their practice accordingly.
a command of the skills and planning necessary to identify required data and to obtain it.
The Isle of Man College of Further and Higher Education is committed to meeting the needs of all learners, recognising their individuality and diversity. This programme is designed to be accessible to students who have undertaken higher education from a non traditional background, through a focus on supported study skills, individual tutorials and inculcation of student self-review, and course monitoring. The delivery team has developed significant skills and experience in catering effectively for students with a range of particular interests, strengths, learning styles and needs. As such it has confidence and interest in maintaining and extending its ability to engage with diversity and promote equality.
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