University of Chester

Programme Specification
Health and Society FDS
2017 - 2018

Foundation Science Degree

Health and Society

Health and Society

University of Chester

University College Isle of Man (UCM)

University College Isle of Man, Douglas, Isle of Man.

Undergraduate Modular Programme

Full-time and Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory, Work-Based inc.(practice / placement)

2-4 years

5 Years

Annual - September



17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Health and Social Care Health and Social Care

QAA HE Health Studies (2008)

Skills for Health: Foundation Degree Framework for the Health Sector

QAA Foundation Degree Benchmarks and Guidelines (2004/May 2010)

Faculty of 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.

Through the 2 years of study, students will gain a firm knowledge and understanding of key areas of health social sciences.  In addition students will gain knowledge of how to apply knowledge in areas of health, health practice, education and research.

FHEQ Level 4

A firm foundation introducing basic concepts that determine the sociology of health, health policy and clinic aspects of health. 

Specific areas.

  • IM4002 (Influences in Health and Disease) - Introduction to social determinants of health.
  • IM4004 (Sociology of Health and Health Services) - Introduction sociological concepts related to health.
  • IM4007 (Social and Environmental Policy) - Introduction to development of social and environmental policy with reference to professional, political and cultural priorities.
  • IM4008 (Introduction to Work Based Learning) - Exposure to professional tools used within work based learning.
  • IM4009 (Introduction to Research Methods in Health) - Introduction to a range of qualitative research methods appropriate to the study of health including data analysis concepts.
  • IM4010 (Public Health Diseases) - Introduction to biological and ethical concepts relevant to public and social health.

FHEQ Level 5

Development of understanding to encompass knowledge of sociology of health with specific topics associated with society, microbiology and research.

  • IM5001 (Social Dimensions of Health) - Development of sociological perspectives related to health at individual and population levels.
  • IM5002 (Conference) - Exposure to theoretical frameworks for team work and event management.
  • IM5005 (Research in Epidemiology) - Building on IM4009 development of qualitative techniques and data analysis tools.
  • IM5006 (Applied Microbiology) - Microbiological concepts related to health. 
  • IM5007 (Illness Management) - Introduction to professional and lay perspectives related to chronic illness management.

Thinking and cognitive skills are expected to develop across the two years of study, preparing student to meet the expectations of Level 6 study. There is a clear progression from an emphasis on description and understanding, to demonstration of analytical and critical skills (all modules). The ability to reason, to synthesise information and data from various sources, to analyse, evaluate, problem solve and challenge perspectives will be shown.

FHEQ Level 4

Specific areas.

  • IM4004 (Sociology of Health and Health Services) - Develop a critical mind-set when faced with challenges to one own paradigm.
  • IM4007 (Social and Environmental Policy) - Challenge perspectives that influence policy.
  • IM4008 (Introduction to Work Based Learning) - Analyse organizational culture and structure and engage in the process of reflective practice, including individual auditing of skills.
  • IM4009 (Introduction to Research Methods in Health) - Interrogate literature to develop research aims and questions.
  • IM4010 (Public Health Diseases) - Apply learning to specific health questions.

FHEQ Level 5

Specific areas.

  • IM5001 (Social Dimension of Health) - Challenge practice and strategies relevant to health.
  • IM5002 (Conference) - Individuals will select, interrogate and synthesize ideas and evidence to sustain an argument, or develop new insights.
  • IM5005 (Research in Epidemiology) - Critical analysis and evaluation of data and research findings.
  • IM5006 (Applied Microbiology) - Link microbiological concepts to contemporary issues in public health. Use numerate skills to data sets produced form experimentation to test hypotheses.
  • IM5007 (Illness Management) - Apply concepts, principles and theories in practice in light of changes to community illness management in the UK and the Isle of Man.
  • WB5101 (Enhancing your Employability Through Work Based Learning) - Reflect upon performance and value base.

Students will demonstrate the ability to manage their time, and to plan, conduct and report research in a variety of formats, and deal with statistical and textual analysis of data. Students will gain experience in project management consistent with practice in professional contexts, as well as knowledge of ethical standards in research. IT skills will be demonstrated across all modules.

FHEQ Level 4

Specific areas.

  • IM4008 (Introduction to Work Based Learning) - Demonstrate professional standards expected within health care settings.
  • IM4009 (Introduction to Research Methods in Health) - Apply ethical concepts to data collection.

FHEQ Level 5

Specific areas.

  • IM5002 (Conference) - Work effectively both independently and within a team, promoting and maintaining effective and appropriate working relations
  • IM5005 (Research in Epidemiology) - Develop data collection tools within the ethical frameworks of health.
  • IM5006 (Applied Microbiology) - Act safely within the ethical and policy boundaries in a practical laboratory setting. Demonstrate aseptic techniques.
  • WB5101 (Enhancing your Employability Through Work Based Learning) - Use strategies to evaluate and improve their own performance. Identify and pursue goals for personal and professional development.

FHEQ Level 4

Develop written and presentation skills across all modules, with an emphasis on moving from descriptive text to evaluative prose, using essays, reports and presentations, making effective use of information and communication technologies. Introduction to writing and referencing conventions (All modules).

Specific areas.

  • IM4007 (Social and Environmental Policy) - Group discussion to generate argument within the context of a given topic.
  • IM4008 (Introduction to Work Based Learning) - Presentation and reflective essay, outlining the organization and response to a critical incident.
  • IM4009 (Introduction to Research Methods in Health) - Formal presentation of data
  • IM4010 (Public Health Diseases) - Clinic presentation.

FHEQ Level 5

Consolidation of skills used for communication. Applying a critical lens to information (all modules) with the application of conventions used for referencing.

Specific areas.

  • IM5002 (Conference) -  Communicate effectively in speech, making effective decisions about format, structure, and inclusions for a lay audience.  Develop electronic media to present information on a contemporary heath issue.
  • IM5005 (Research in Epidemiology) - Prepare, manipulate, present and interpret data (textual, numerical and graphical) using appropriate qualitative and quantitative techniques.
  • IM5006 (Applied Microbiology) - Communicate effectively, presenting experimental data.
  • IM5007 (Illness Management) - Engage with guest speakers to develop a portfolio based assessment.

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.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
IM4002 4 Influences of Health and Disease 20 Optional
IM4004 4 Sociology of Health and Health Services. 20 Optional
IM4005 4 Origins of Public Health and Welfare Services. 20 Optional
IM4007 4 Social and Environmental Policy 20 Optional
IM4008 4 Introduction to Work Based Learning 20 Comp
IM4009 4 Introduction to Research Methods in Health 20 Comp
IM4010 4 Public Health and Disease 20 Comp
IM5001 5 Social Dimensions of Health. 20 Comp
IM5002 5 Conference 20 Comp
IM5005 5 Research Methods in Epidemiology 20 Comp
IM5006 5 Applied Microbiology 20 Comp
IM5007 5 Illness Management 20 Comp
WB5101 5 Enhancing your Employability through Work Based Learning 20 Comp

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 Level 6 provision 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 (May, 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 employment and one in which knowledge, understanding and skills are clearly integrated.' (QAA Foundation Degree qualification benchmarks, May 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:

  • formal delivery
  • seminars, discussions and debates
  • student presentations
  • group work tasks (including table top discussions and team activities)
  • scenario-based learning
  • conference development
  • website construction and design
  • role play
  • work based learning
  • tutorials
  • 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;
  • table-top discussions;
  • formal presentations;
  • research activities;
  • portfolio development and;
  • employer assessment.

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 Univesity College Isle of Man 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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