Faculties of Health and Social Care and Education and Children's Services Foundation Degrees Assessment Board
Friday 1st May 2009
The overarching aim of this programme is to enable students to develop appropriate knowledge, skills and values about children, family, health and social care which can be applied within an integrated children’s workforce. The specific programme aims to:
Prepare students to work autonomously, effectively and safely within child health and social care settings within the relevant legal, supervisory and ethical frameworks in accordance with agreed protocols;
Broaden and deepen participants knowledge, skills and experience of children, young people and their families;
Develop and promote the skills of critical, analytical and reflective thinking in relation to integrated children’s services;
Promote the ethos of life long learning and advance students’ sense of personal responsibility, study skills and commitment to their ongoing education and development;
Prepare students to work to common core skills and values as a member of a multi agency team;
Ensure that students are able to respond and contribute to the changing context within which policies affecting children, young people and families are being implemented;
Develop an appreciation that knowledge and understanding is acquired within an evidence-based framework;
Demonstrate the integration of theories and practice in the workplace setting.
Knowledge and Understanding
Students should be able to:
Discussthe key concepts, principles, theories and policies in child and family health and social care.
Apply the principles of effective communication in a variety ofchild and family health and social care settings.
Discuss the impact of information technology and application systems in a variety of work place settings.
Demonstrate howbio-psycho-social development impacts on the health and social care needs of children and their families
Identify key legal, ethical and professional principles and their relation to child and family health and social care practice.
Describe relevant learning theories to inform reflective practice.
Discussthe nature of altered function and its impact upon health and well-being of children.
Demonstratethe impact of practice based enquiry and research.
Thinking or Cognitive Skills
Students should be able to:
Apply problem-solving skills to a range of practice situations.
Consider their experience and their contribution to the broader learning context.
Consider and question own value base and how this impacts upon attitudes and behaviour.
Analyse relevant knowledge to inform practice.
Students should be able to:
Demonstrate the need to seek supervision as appropriate.
Communicate effectively with all levels of the organisation.
Demonstrate application of evidence-based practice.
Apply the principles of inter-professional working.
Identify and apply appropriate protocols and procedures.
Reflect on the limits of their knowledge and skills.
Apply the principles of learning, teaching and assessment in the practice setting.
Application of Number
Information Literacy and Technology
Improving own learning and performance
Working with others
Students should be able to:
Manage time effectively.
Communicate effectively at both individual and organisational levels.
Engage in learning processes to effectively manage self-development.
Demonstrate effectiveuse of information technology, health informatics, literacy and numeracy skills.
Demonstratecollaborative learning and partnership working in the occupational environment.
Demonstrate the application ofevidence-based practice.
Transferable Professional Skills
Students should be able to:
Demonstrate self-direction in both formal and informal learning environments.
Communicate effectively at both individual and organisational levels.
Work autonomously and collaboratively.
Demonstrate literacy and numeracy skills.
Apply the research process and evidence-based practice.
This is a full/part-time Foundation Degree programme, which will normally be delivered over two or four years via work-based learning. The programme is designed for individuals working in the field of health and social care for children, young people and families. All modules attract 20 credits. To be awarded the Foundation Degree, all students must successfully complete the appropriate 120 credits at level 4 and 120 credits at level 5.
The programme has a strong emphasis on the acquisition of skills relevant to health and social care, as outlined by the Skills for Health Organisation: Foundation Degree Framework for the Health Sector (2005) and Common Core Framework. These skills are integrated throughout all of the modules in years 1 and 2. The modules allow students to agree personal and professional development needs via a tripartite agreement, and ensure students are able to develop context-specific skills. Students will normally undertake the modules in the following sequence:
To be awarded the Foundation Degree all students must successfully complete the appropriate 120 credits at level4 and 120 credits at level 5.
This foundation degree includes a specialist vocational component, underpinned by broad based academic learning. All students must be working in a setting with children, young people and/ or families, successful applicants will require the written agreement and support of their employer. On enrolment, all students will be required to provide evidence of a recent CRB check. The entry requirements will be ONE of the following (or equivalent):
NVQ Level 3 in Care or related subject.
A/S Level: 2 A/S levels, one of which must be in an appropriate subject area.
A Levels: 1 A Level in an appropriate subject area.
AVCE or BTEC National Diploma.
Access: a pass from an appropriate kite-marked access course.
Exceptionally, 5 GCSEs at Grade C or above including English Language will be accepted. Candidates will be required to demonstrate appropriate literacy and numeracy skills at interview.Mature students without evidence of the above qualifications but with appropriate experience, will be required to demonstrate enthusiasm and aptitude for higher level study. This will be evidenced through either a tripartite interview or written personal statement/testimony from the employer. Where students have evidence of relevant existing skills and knowledge, Accreditation for Prior Experience and Learning will be considered in line with the current policy at the University of Chester, which may shorten the period of time needed to obtain the Foundation Degree.
Module descriptors were developed with full recognition of the national benchmark of 100 hours of student effort per 10 credits. The programme outcomes are commensurate with those expressed for the levels of study in the HE Qualifications Framework (2008, HEQF) i.e.
Descriptor for a higher education qualification at level 4: Certificate of Higher Education. Certificates of Higher Education are awarded to students who have demonstrated: (i) knowledge of the underlying concepts and principles associated with their area(s) of study, and an ability to evaluate and interpret these within the context of that area of study; (ii) an ability to present, evaluate, and interpret qualitative and quantitative data, to develop lines of argument and make sound judgements in accordance with basic theories and concepts of their subject(s) of study. Typically, holders of the qualification will be able to: (a) evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems related to their area(s) of study and/or work; (b) communicate the results of their study/work accurately and reliably, and with structured and coherent arguments; (c) undertake further training and develop new skills within a structured and managed environment; and will have: (d) qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility.
Descriptor for a higher education qualification at level 5: Foundation Degree. Foundation degrees are awarded to students who have demonstrated: (i) knowledge and critical understanding of the well-established principles of their area(s) of study, and of the way in which those principles have developed; (ii) ability to apply underlying concepts and principles outside the context in which they were first studied, including, where appropriate, the application of those principles in an employment context; (iii) knowledge of the main methods of enquiry in their subject(s), and ability to evaluate critically the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems in the field of study; (iv) an understanding of the limitations of their knowledge, and how this influences analyses and interpretations based on that knowledge. Typically, holders of the qualification will be able to: (a) use a range of established techniques to initiate and undertake critical analysis of information, and to propose solutions to problems arising from that analysis; (b) effectively communicate information, arguments, and analysis, in a variety of forms, to specialist and non-specialist audiences, and deploy key techniques of the discipline effectively; (c) undertake further training, develop existing skills, and acquire new competences that will enable them to assume significant responsibility within organisations; and will have: (d) qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making.The level of the module outcomes demonstrates appropriate levels of taxonomy for the level of study, as do the contact and study hours. The national initiative with regard to Key Skills is taken full account of below. The composition of the Planning Team ensured that there were members with experience of external consultancy and external examining, which is invaluable in quality assuring the programme against national benchmarks and expectations. The validation process also ensures that experts from other HEIs are fully involved in the scrutiny and validation process, further assuring the comparability of the programme with other HEIs.
Students will experience a variety of teaching and learning methods designed to facilitate the achievement of all learning outcomes within a student-centred approach, and to foster personal and professional development. Each module will utilise a mix of teaching methods, which take account of the subject matter, the student group size, the students’ previous experience and the resources available. Methods of learning and teaching will include: formal lectures, scenario-based learning sessions, problem-based learning, tutorials, seminars, presentations and debates, reflection, practice-based workshops, service user workshops, practice in skills labs, learning through practice, directed study, private study sessions, and e-learning packages.
The imperative of working in partnership is embedded within the programme which includes partnership working with service users. Services users will be involved in the curriculum development and subsequent delivery of the programme. Placing the service user at the centre of teaching and learning enables practitioners to be cognisant of managing the complexities and tensions of inter-professional working across organisations in order to enhance service delivery. The programme content reflects the need to equip students for the preparedness of achieving a significant level of inter-agency and inter-professional practice. Students will thus be placed at the centre of the learning experience and are expected to assume responsibility for their own educational development. Problem-based learning is included as a teaching and learning strategy within the programme. The approach adopted within the Faculty of Health and Social Care is termed ’scenario-generated learning’, and this will be used as a strategy for learning and teaching within the programme. The programme works directly with FOCUS (a forum for service users and carers) that provides access for students to engage with the real experiences of service users. The work with FOCUS ensures that experiences during placement/ working environment are identified and debated within the safe environment of the classroom, which is known to lead to enhanced care delivery. The use of real scenarios will facilitate the integration of theory and practice, promoting interprofessional learning, the development of decision-making, problem-solving skills, and encourage deep lifelong learning. All modules to be taught as a mixed mode, where students have access to learning materials through e-learning in varying proportions from fully taught with supporting materials to full use of electronic materials with minimal taught content. Methods of learning and teaching will emphasise student-centred techniques. This will facilitate the student to become an increasingly autonomous learner, able to identify their own learning needs and goals within the parameters of the programme aims and outcomes. This will require the student to actively identify and negotiate specific learning outcomes pertinent to their area of practice within the parameters of the module learning outcomes. The student will also be expected to identify and negotiate acceptable methods of evidencing the achievement of the learning outcomes.Partnership and interprofessional learning are key features within the programme, and it is recognised that this may present challenges to teaching staff to ensure that the needs of learners from all disciplines are met. Visiting lecturers and expert professionals will be required in order to facilitate this process, and to ensure that examples and scenarios are drawn from a range of settings. The programme demonstrates full integration across both Faculties of Health and Social Care and Education and Children's Services. It is anticipated that as the workforce develops, new ways of working will lead the future development of further integrated option modules. The curriculum has been designed to provide a developmental approach to the student learning experience.
Students will be exposed to a variety of assessment methods designed to ensure that the content, outcomes and level of the modules are measured in a fair and transparent manner. The assessment strategies employed throughout the programme are designed to ensure that students are exposed to a mix of assessment methods measuring both knowledge and understanding. The assessment methods include reports, examinations, seen scenarios, projects, profiles, portfolios and presentations. Emphasis, however, will be placed on project work, self-assessment, experiential learning activities, and skills-based learning. Self-directed and peer learning will be encouraged throughout and, consistent with the philosophy of the programme, peer and self-assessment will be used in the formative assessment process to complement lecturer assessment.The assessment strategy for this programme will serve four purposes:
To test the level of knowledge and skills acquired, measured against the specified learning outcomes, and applied within a relevant context.
To offer formative feedback to the student to enhance their learning process.
To provide the vehicle for modular integration within an integrated working context.
To promote learning, which will assist students in the achievement of academic goals and imbue them with skills and attitudes which will assist in lifelong learning.
Assessment will follow the university model of a 4,000 word equivalency per module. Each module will be summatively assessed, with formative assessment also employed throughout. Student assessment will employ rigorous, objective testing to ensure that learning outcomes are met. Assessment tasks will grow in sophistication and complexity as a student progresses on the programme. For example:
At level 4 a student may be asked to describe, discuss, compare, and outline;
At level 5 a student may be asked to evaluate, analyse, reflect and differentiate.
All aspects of the assessment strategy will be used to evaluate transferable/key skills and, where relevant, mapped against national standards. Student support and direction will be provided by interactive discussion and individual feedback.
Students completing the Foundation Degree in Integrated Working with Children, Young People and Families in Children's Services: Health and Social Care, should meet the QAA’s Benchmark document's standards on knowledge and understanding, skills and the assessment strategies. The outcome of the programme should be a graduate who will be able to offer added value to the market place by meeting the expectations of employers via the application of acquired transferable, integrated skills, and the developed body of knowledge gained from the programme. In addition the graduate will have amassed valuable life skills such as self-awareness, creative problem solving and autonomy, which could be applied in a wide variety of circumstances which they will face. They will have been instilled with a positive attitude towards reflection and self-awareness and will possess openness towards seeking out lifelong learning opportunities, which may be translated into the pursuit of professional qualifications. Typically, students completing level 5 will be able to demonstrate:
Knowledge and critical understanding of the well-established principles in their field of study and the way in which those principles have developed.
Ability to apply underlying concepts and principles outside the context in which they were first studied, and the application of those principles in a work context.
Knowledge of the main methods of enquiry in their subjects(s), and ability to evaluate critically the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems in their field of study and apply these in a work context.
An understanding of the limits of their knowledge, and how this influences analyses and interpretations based on that knowledge in their field of study and in a work context.
and will be able to:
Use a range of established techniques to initiate and undertake critical analysis of information, and to propose solutions to problems arising from that analysis in their field of study and in a work context.
Effectively communicate information, arguments, and analysis, in a variety of forms, to specialist and non-specialist audiences, and deploy key techniques of the discipline effectively in their field of study and in a work context.
Undertake further training, develop existing skills, and acquire new competencies that will enable them to assume responsibility within organisations.
and will have:
Qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment and progression to other qualifications requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making.
It is anticipated that students exiting with a Foundation Degree in Integrated Working with Children, Young People and Families in Children's Services: Health and Social Care will find employment predominantly in the health and social care sector. This is an emerging workforce, however current employment opportunities will include, for example, Social Services support workers, Health Visitor assistants, Connexions workers, Children’s community support workers, nursery workers, maternity support workers, CAMHS mental health workers and child minders .
The University is committed to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion in all its forms; through different ideas and perspectives, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We are, in particular, committed to widening access to higher education. Within an ethically aware and professional environment, we acknowledge our responsibilities to promote freedom of enquiry and scholarly expression.
Local, regional and national employer involvement has been sought and utilised in the development of this programme. The programme team has been informed by partnership working with a range of providers from health and social care services. The relevant skills identified via this partnership have therefore been embedded in the programme. This partnership approach has ensured the programme is topical and meets the needs of employers. Partnership working will remain a feature of this programme and will ensure the programme remains pertinent to the working environment.
There is a guaranteed articulation arrangement with the BA (Hons) Integrated Working with Children and Families and it is anticipated that students successfully completing this Foundation Degree will progress to this Honours programme.
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