University of Chester

Programme Specification
Health and Social Care BA (Hons) (Single Honours)
2015 - 2016

Bachelor of Arts (Single Honours)

Health and Social Care

Health and Social Care (Stockport College)

University of Chester

Stockport College

Stockport College

Undergraduate Modular Programme

Full-time and Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory,

3 year full time, 6 year part time

7 Years

Annual - September

L510

Yes

17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Health and Social Care Health and Social Care

Health Studies (2008), Social Work (2008), Youth and Community Work (2009) and Social Policy and Administration (2007).

Health and Social Care Undergraduate Module Assessment Board

Friday 1st June 2012

The overall aim of the programme is: 

  • To develop knowledge, understanding, intellectual and practical skills appropriate for working in the field of health and social care.

The specific programme aims are:

  • To promote the values set out in the Code of Practice for Social Care Workers (2010), and any subsequent updates and relevant guidance.
  • To develop students’ capacity to reflect upon practice, and to apply theoretical models to placement experience, with a view to synthesising their academic and vocational knowledge.
  • To enable students to extend their critical understanding of relevant concepts, policies and legislation.
  • To enable students to develop logical thinking and powers of inquiry, and to adopt a critical stance towards current research into health and social care practice. 
  • To provide a broad, contemporary programme of study which prepares students for employment as skilled and competent practitioners, within a range of vocational settings. In addition to prepare students for progression to higher degrees in relevant professions.

Through a range of practical and theoretical assessments students completing the programme will be able to demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of:

  1. The role of health and social care services and the value and belief systems underpinning these services.
  2. Issues relating to anti-discriminatory practice and equality of opportunity.
  3. The regulatory and legislative framework for health and social care services and settings.
  4. Significant and emerging theories and principles relating to health and social care.
  5. The process of self-evaluation and reflection.
  6. The roles, norms and cultural aspects relating to the role the family plays in a person’s health and well being, including the key transitions in life.
  7. Power relationships between practitioners and service users, workers and management,and between organisations.
  8. Inter-professional relationships and group working, recognising the importance of working in partnership.
  9. The concept of abuse, and of the protection and safety of vulnerable people.
  10. Concepts of health and health promotion models and their application to promoting the health of service users.
  11. A range of perspectives and approaches to promoting emotional well being.
  12. Research methods suited to the field of health and social care.
  13. The diversity of the workplace and pathways to employment.
  14. The evolving nature of health and social care and its implications for maintaining currency in practice.1
  15. Different service user groups and how their needs can be met.

Upon completion of level 4 students will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The underlying concepts and principles associated with the role of the health and social care worker, and an ability to evaluate and interpret these within the context of their workplace/placement
  • The key debates, challenges and developments within social policy, in particular in relation to vulnerable groups
  • The concept of health, and current psychological theories and models relevant to promoting health and well being
  • Theories of development and how these can be applied to the identification and assessment of people’s needs, and the provision of services to facilitate their development and well being

Upon completion of level 5 students will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The concept of equality and diversity in relation to their setting, through exploration of theoretical origins and legislation
  • Theory and practice related to leadership and management, to include organisational structures and communication systems within a variety of service providers
  • Social research methods
  • Safeguarding issues and the procedures and strategies available to support individuals who require support
  • Specific needs that are frequently encountered by users of health and social care services, and the services, systems, approaches and intervention strategies available to support individuals with specific needs.

Through a range of practical and theoretical assessments students completing the programme will be able to demonstrate the intellectual skills of:

1. Critical Analysis: Analysis and critical evaluation of theories and research in the field of health and social care
2. Knowledge synthesis: Reflection on and synthesis of theoretical and empirical data and the determination of connections between subject knowledge and theory
3. Application of theory to practice: Application of complex and competing theoretical frameworks to real world situations
4. Research: Independently reviewing and evaluating research, and presenting findings in a logical and coherent way.

By the end of level 4 students will be able to:·

  • Select and accurately describe a range of concepts and theories
  • Express ideas in an articulate, clear and logical manner
  • Develop a line of argument
  • Appreciate the importance of maintaining professional currency
  • Describe links between relevant theory and professional practice

By the end of level 5 students will be able to:·

  • Analyse and evaluate a range of concepts and theories
  • Understand the research process and use that knowledge to formulate a research project
  • Demonstrate the ability to reason critically, and justify a line of argument
  • Demonstrate an awareness of competing ideas and theories and be able to present these in an objective and coherent manner
  • An ability to apply theoretical concepts to professional practice.

Through a range of practical and theoretical assessments, and through placement experiences,students completing the programme will be able to:

  1. Reflect on and modify their practice in the light of experience.
  2. Identify and keep under review their own personal and professional boundaries.
  3. Manage uncertainty, change and stress in work situations, responding in a flexible manner.
  4. Take responsibility for their own further and continuing acquisition and use of knowledge and skills.
  5. Use research critically and effectively to sustain and develop their practice.
  6. Share goals with others and collaborate as part of a team, and lead others as and when required.
  7. Recognise and respond to individual needs, and develop tolerance, empathy and understanding of others.
  8. Take responsibility and use initiative in for managing specific activities.
  9. Develop time management, prioritisation and personal organisational skills to support decision making and practice.
  10. Maintain and take responsibility for accurate records relating to practice, using ICT skills where appropriate.

Upon completion of level 4 students will be able to:

  • Show an awareness of what constitutes good practice within the workplace
  • Identify and keep under review their own personal and professional boundaries
  • Take responsibility for their own further and continuing acquisition and use of knowledge and skills
  • To use initiative in the workplace in relation to everyday tasks and routines
  • To work effectively under guidance and supervision as part of a wider team
  • Develop time management, prioritisation and personal organisational skills to support decision making and practice

Upon completion of level 5 students will be able to:

  • Appreciate the importance of developing practice in line with appropriate professional standards, ethical frameworks and workplace expectations
  • Identify and keep under review their own personal and professional boundaries
  • Take responsibility for their own further and continuing acquisition and use of knowledge and skills
  • Use initiative and offer solutions to problems which occur within the workplace
  • Work effectively with others within the workplace
  • Develop time management, prioritisation and personal organisational skills to support decision making and practice

Upon completion of the programme, students will be able to:

1. Communication

  • Communicate ideas, principles, theories and arguments effectively in speech and writing, using visual and ICT media as tools where appropriate, to specific and non specific audiences
  • Listen and respond with empathy

2. Critical thinking
Demonstrate appropriate critical thinking skills, including the ability to:·

  • Identify and summarise the main points in an argument
  • Present and develop an argument, drawing upon appropriate evidence, literature and theory
  • Analyse and synthesise research, theories and ideas from multiple sources
  • Examine issues from a range of professional and theoretical perspectives
  • Produce critical and evaluative responses to the content of the learning outcomes

3. I.C.T.

  • Use ICT effectively to support their own development and professional practice.
  • Source and handle electronic information

4. Team work

  • Work within a team to complete a relevant and agreed project or task.

5. Problem solving

  • Solve theoretical and practical problems that have occurred, or are likely to occur, when carrying out the role of a social care worker e.g. time management and prioritisation of workload

6. Self reflection

  • Improve their own performance through critical self reflection, the implementation of evidence – based practice, and continual professional development activities.

Upon completion of level 4 students will be able to:

  • Communication: apply a range of communication skills as tools for communication to specific and non specific audiences
  • Critical thinking: summarise the main points in an argument, present and develop an argument drawing upon appropriate evidence, literature and theory, examine issues from alternative theoretical perspectives and produce clear responses to the content of the learning outcomes
  • ICT: Self assess and identify current ICT skills, and set appropriate targets for development
  • Teamwork: Reflect upon the abilities necessary to work within a team, and begin to put these abilities into practice within a teamwork situation
  • Problem solving: Identify the theoretical and practical problems that have occurred, or are likely to occur, when carrying out the role of a health and social care worker within an appropriate work setting, and begin to suggest some possible solutions
  • Self reflection: Identify own skills, motivations and aspirations, and reflect upon ways to improve personal performance

Upon completion of level 5 students will be able to:

  • Communication: Communicate ideas, principles and theories, arguments and analyses effectively in speech and writing, using visual and ICT media as tools where appropriate, to specific and non specific audiences
  • Critical thinking: Identify and summarise the main points in an argument, present and develop an argument drawing upon appropriate evidence, literature and theory, analyse and synthesis research, theories and ideas from multiple sources, examine issues from a range of theoretical perspectives and produce considered responses to the content of the learning outcomes
  • ICT: Use ICT effectively to research and source information, and present work in a variety of formats
  • Teamwork: Show ability to work within a team and to appreciate the importance of collaborative work practice
  • Problem solving: Solve theoretical and practical problems that have occurred or are likely to occur, when carrying out the role of a health and social care worker
  • Self reflection: Identify own skills, motivations and aspirations, providing evidence of improving own performance through self reflection and evidence based practice.

Students study six units at each level of the programme, and each unit carries 20 credits. The academic year is divided into two semesters, with three units studied in each semester. The structure of the programme is as follows:

Part time students will study each level over a two year period. One unit will be studied in one semester, and two units will be studied in the other semester, in order to complete three units (50% of the level) each academic year. For example in year one of level 4 a part time student could study Human Growth and Development and Health and Wellbeing in Semester one and Professional Development and Employability in semester two. In year two of level 4 he/she could go on to study Working Together in semester one and Social Policy and Interpersonal and Communication Skills in semester two.

The programme has been carefully designed to offer a coherent pathway of study from unit to unit and level to level. Unit content has been planned in such a way that links can be made and tutorials will provide an opportunity to focus on and emphasise these links, thus encouraging ‘joined up thinking’. The field of health and social care is broad, with issues that overlap, such as specific needs, diversity, social policy etc. Whilst all of the key issues are covered during the programme, each issue has a ‘home’; a unit where it is a focus, but then reference will be made in the delivery of other units. The table below sets out the core themes and how they are mapped against the units, each theme building from level to level. 

      Theme Level  Health  Diversity  Professional skills  Safeguarding  Policy and legislation  Research
4 Health and Wellbeing Professional Development and Employability Professional Development and Employability Interpersonal and Communication Skills Working Together Social Policy, Working Together Professional Development and Employability
5 Specific Needs Inclusiveness, Anti Discrimination and Equality Leadership & Management in Health & Social Care, Reflective Practice Safeguarding, Specific Needs Leadership & Management in Health & Social Care, Specific Needs, Safeguarding Social Research
6 Perspectives on Mental Health Family, Gender and Society Current Issues, Dissertation Current Issues Sociology of Crime & Justice, Current Issues  Dissertation 

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
NM4120 4 Health and Wellbeing 20 Comp
NM4121 4 Human Growth and Development 20 Comp
NM4122 4 Interpersonal and Communication Skills 20 Comp
NM4123 4 Professional Development and Employability 20 Comp
NM4124 4 Social Policy 20 Comp
NM4125 4 Working Together 20 Comp
NM5120 5 Inclusiveness, Anti-discrimination and Equality 20 Comp
NM5121 5 Leadership and Management in Social Care 20 Comp
NM5122 5 Reflective Practice 20 Comp
NM5123 5 Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults 20 Comp
NM5124 5 Social Research 20 Comp
NM5125 5 Specific Needs 20 Comp
NM6310 6 Current Issues in Health & Social Care 20 Comp
NM6311 6 Dissertation 40 Comp
NM6312 6 Family, Gender & Society 20 Comp
NM6313 6 Perspectives on Mental Health 20 Comp
NM6314 6 Sociology of Crime and Justice 20 Comp

All units are core, with no options. This is partly for practical reasons; offering options can result in extremely small group sizes which would not viable. Financial security and best value for money is of particular importance within the current climate, and the most efficient use of resources is part of the strategic planning for the programme. However, this does not mean that there are no choices to be made; students will have many opportunities to tailor their pathway to best suit their interests and career needs. For example, the Specific Needs unit has been designed to allow students to focus on a particular client group, related to their workplace/placement. Some students may explore the needs of vulnerable adults, whilst other may choose to study the work with children and families, or the support needs of people with disabilities, for example.

At least one of the two assessment tasks within all units, at each level, directly link to the student’s own workplace/placement, and as such, can be tailored to ensure learning and assessment have direct relevance to the individual’s interests and career plans. This aspect of the curriculum design has been discussed at the employer panel, and feedback from this panel suggests that the variety and choice offered is well matched to the broad scope of the sector, whilst ensuring that core knowledge, skills and values are integral to every student’s learning journey.

Upon successful completion of level 4 students will have accrued 120 credit points, and if they do not wish to or are unable to continue through to the end of level 5, they may be awarded a Certificate of Higher Education in Health and Social Care. If they successfully complete level 5 they will have accrued 240 credit points, and may be awarded the fallback award of Diploma of Higher Education in Health and Social Care, should they not be able to complete the final level of the qualification. Upon successful completion of level 6 they will have accrued 360 credit points, and will be awarded a Bachelor’s Degree in Health and Social Care. All awards are at the discretion of the Awards Assessment Board.

  • 160 UCAS points, to include at least one A2
  • A recent enhanced DBS check (i.e. completed in the 12 months prior to the start of the programme). No student will be able to visit a setting unless they have had enhanced DBS clearance.
  • 4 GCSE passes at grade C or above (or equivalent), to include Maths and English
  • The ability to understand and make use of written material and an ability to communicate clearly and accurately in spoken and written English.  This will take the evidential form of GCSE English Language at Grade C, or equivalents, e.g. L2 key skills communication, L2 functional skills. Candidates without this qualification will be required to write a short essay at the time of interview.
  • A supportive reference Students with considerable relevant experience but without a level 3 qualification may be considered, but would need to demonstrate academic competence through a piece of written work. 

N.B. For students whose education has not been in English, evidence will be required of proficiency in English. Typically, applicants will need to have achieved: Band 6.5 in the IELTS (International English Language Testing Scheme), and/or TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of 580 or above (completed within 2 years of date of application to the BA).

There is no specific subject benchmark statement for undergraduate degree programmes in health and social care. This programme is informed by QAA benchmark statements relating to Honours degree programmes in Social Work (2008), Health Studies (2008) and Social Policy and Administration (2007) which can be found at www.qaa.ac.uk/academicinfrastructure/benchmark/honours/default.asp

In addition the Code of Practice for Social Care Workers (2010) has been used to develop the vocational element of the programme. Mapping documents for each can be found in the appendices of the Programme Document.

Teaching and learning methods used to enable knowledge and understanding outcomes to be achieved and demonstrated.

Interactive lectures will be at the heart of the teaching methodology. A range of student centred learning methods will be incorporated into the sessions. Student and tutor led seminars, individual and small group tutorials, student presentations, discussions, debates and case studies will all form part of the teaching and learning strategy.Unit leaders will seek to design innovative modes of delivery that will facilitate student access to the curriculum and build their repertoire of study skills. Students will also have the opportunity to utilise online learning and the college’s virtual learning environment. Blogs and discussion forums provide an opportunity to communicate with peers and tutors. These are used in a number of ways: sharing resources, reflecting on course content, offering support and formative peer feedback, clarifying issues and providing a mechanism for establishing and maintaining group culture.

Work based learning will be an integral part of each unit where students will use their own and other students’ placement settings as a learning environment. Students are encouraged to draw upon their placement experiences in order to help understand theory. Employers from settings will be invited to contribute to sessions through guest speaking slots, providing real life examples which help to bring learning to life. Students will be expected to engage in a range of appropriate reading throughout the duration of the course to supplement and consolidate what is being delivered in the classroom, and will be encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning.

Teaching and learning methods used to enable intellectual outcomes to be achieved and demonstrated

Intellectual skills are developed through practical project work, tutorial and coursework, student centred learning methods, student and tutor led seminars, individual and small group tutorials, student presentations, discussions, debates and case studies. Application of these skills is developed through the above work and via reflection upon student’s own professional practice. The development of academic writing ability is an integral part of the timetable, and this will be taught within a framework of assignment support, where individual pieces of assessment will be used as a context for skills practice and development. Library staff support the development of skills in using electronic sources of information to enhance students’ ability to research effectively. 

Teaching and learning methods used to enable professional and practical outcomes to be achieved and demonstrated 

Work based learning is an integral part of each unit where students  use their own and other students’ placements as a learning environment. However, the placement itself does not carry credits, and therefore placement is not undertaken on a pass/fail basis. Instead it provides a context for the teaching and learning that takes place throughout the programme, and as such provides a core resource for learning. Students have the opportunity to use their placement experience and reflect on this with reference to relevant directed activities and reading; consequently they have the opportunity to improve their practice through their research and study. Students are encouraged to visit other workplaces to widen their experiences and work-based skills, thus increasing their knowledge of settings and enhancing their employability in the sector.

The establishment of an employer panel has also enhanced students’ learning opportunities by developing knowledge of multi-disciplinary team skills and ensuring the programme content meets employer needs. Employers also attend placement supervisor meetings and are invited to the annual student conference, in order to ensure regular and effective engagement with employers. This will help to maintain currency of practice skills and is an integral feature of the programme.Students are expected to apply the knowledge gained in college to their placement setting. 

The Code of Practice for Social Care Workers (2010) is at the core of the placement report, and students are encouraged to reflect on their developing skills in relation to the employment requirements for the sector, and to set personal targets in relation to this. The Professional Development and Employability unit at level 4 focuses specifically upon these practice skills. Students complete a skills audit which forms the foundation to their self reflection and development of professional practical skills. This audit is based on the professional and practical skills outlined above, and is the focus for discussion between student and placement visitor during the scheduled placement visits. The tutorial programme is built around the development of practice skills, providing an opportunity for students to reflect on their own skills and set placement targets for developing these skills further. 

Teaching and learning methods used to enable transferable skills outcomes to be achieved and demonstrated 

The teaching and learning strategies used to promote these skills include discussion and practice of group work and the development of the students’ own learning styles.  Transferable skills are generally incorporated within assignments as appropriate.  Guidance is provided regarding the communication of ideas both verbally and in writing and the promotion of the use of information technology for researching and producing assessable work.The work based element of the units allows students to develop these skills within their own working environment and that of other students.

Assessment of knowledge and understanding 

Unit tutors will provide a range of assessment activities, which include those incorporated into student’s placement practice, although placement itself is not assessed. The placement experience provides a ‘real world’ context for learning, and students are expected to draw upon this in their assessments. However, it is acknowledged that this programme does not confer a licence to practice, and so practice skills are not summatively assessed.  Assessment methods are specified in each unit handbook, and include essays, case studies, presentations, reports, projects, reflective diaries, personal development portfolio, or seen examinations. All assessment methods require assessment of the student’s ability to link theory to practice. Formative and summative feedback strategies are employed, including self and peer assessment in order to engage the learner in his or her own learning more fully. 

Assessment of intellectual skills

The range of assessment activities extend and test students’ intellectual skills. Critical analysis and knowledge synthesis are skills developed over the three years of study, and are built into the assessment criteria, which can be found in the accompanying Programme Document.

Assessment of Professional and Practical Skills

Because of the practical nature of these skills assessment is best situated within the workplace rather than in isolation. The range of assessment activities has been carefully designed to incorporate students’ placement practice, allowing students to apply theory to real life situations within their course work. However, the main method of assessing professional practice skills will be via placement visits and reflection on practice, and is not a summative assessment.  Practice reports are based on The Code of Practice for Social Care Workers (2010) and include a space for students to self assess their skills, and for placement supervisors to provide feedback against the same statements. In addition the professional practical skills outlined above will form the basis of a skills audit which students will be encouraged to reflect upon and complete, in readiness for placement visits. Placement visitors will observe students’ practice and complete a report based on these skills, for which students will be expected to provide evidence, either written or oral.

There is an expectation that students, placement supervisors and tutors will work together to develop appropriate employability skills for each individual. Whilst the majority of students commence the course with either relevant employment or placement already established (this is encouraged at interview stage), tutors work with students over the first few weeks to assist in the procuring of a suitable placement. A number of settings have volunteered to provide placement experience, and there are some opportunities within the college itself for students to obtain workplace experience. All assessment methods require assessing the student’s ability to link theory to their practice. Formative and summative feedback strategies are employed, along with peer and self-assessment. Practice skills are therefore developed and assessed via the unit assessments in relation to knowledge and understanding, and through formative self-assessment and placement reports in relation to employability skills.  However, the placement experience itself is not based on a pass/fail assessment, rather it provides a ‘real world’ context for the unit assessments.

Assessment of Transferable skill

Unit tutors will provide a range of assessment activities, which include those incorporated into student’s workplace practice.  Therefore students’ key and transferable skills will be enhanced. Transferable skills are identified on each assignment brief, so that students are aware of the specific skills each individual assignment has been designed to address.Professional Development Portfolios are used to collate and present evidence of transferable skill development.

In addition to the Transferable Skills outlined in section 26 above, the programme has been mapped against the following graduate outcomes:Graduates will be able to:

  1. Apply skills of critical analysis to real world situations within a defined range of contexts
  2. Demonstrate a high degree of professionalism
  3.  Express ideas effectively and communicate information appropriately and accurately using a range of media including ICT
  4. Demonstrate a high degree of professionalism
  5. Manage their professional development reflecting on progress and taking appropriate action
  6.  Find, evaluate, synthesise and use information from a variety of sources
  7. Articulate an awareness of the social and community contexts within their disciplinary field Potential employment options include residential care, family outreach work, children’s centres, charitable trusts, youth justice and criminal justice work, health administration, care management and community development project work, amongst many others.In addition, students may choose to continue with their professional development through further study, and train as a Social Worker, teacher or health professional. Additional qualifications such as the ABC counselling certificate, Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS) and the EDEXCEL assessor awards will be offered to enhance students’ profile and increase employment prospects.

There is a strong focus on preparing students for the world of work and this is threaded through the levels – at level 4 the Professional Development and Employability unit asks students to research career opportunities and audit job descriptions and person specifications against own skill development and experience, at level 5 the Reflective Practice unit requires students to reflect more deeply and produce an action plan in order to further enhance their personal career goals. Finally the Level 6 Current Issues in Health and Social Care unit ensures that students are fully aware of current developments in their chosen field, and equips them with critical thinking skills in relation to the employment sector.

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.

Detailed additional information can be found in the Programme Document, which outlines:

  • The institutional context for the programme
  • Programme Rationale, Aims and Objectives, including progression opportunities
  • Entry requirements, student profile, widening participation and induction arrangements
  • Standards, currency and scholarly activity
  • Programme structure, work based learning and PDP
  • Learning and teaching and learning support facilities
  • Assessment strategy and transferable skills
  • Management and organisation, including student feedback mechanisms
  • Student guidance and support
  • Resources
  • Subject Benchmark Statement mapping documents
  • Admissions policy
  • Learning, Teaching and Assessment Policy
  • Code of Practice for Social Care Workers: Draft Self Assessment and Reflection Report
  • Placement observation record

In addition staff CVs are contained in a separate document, and demonstrate that all teaching staff have a teaching qualification, and 82% will have a masters level qualification by September 2012. Staff come from a range of relevant professional disciplines, such as youth offending, nursing, early years, primary teaching and health visiting.

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