BA/BSc (Honours) Health and Social Care
In the fast-changing world of today's care sector, professionals at all levels need to be proactive and flexible to succeed. This degree in health and social care provides a sound and critical understanding of policy, theory and practice, and will help you to develop as an independent and reflective learner. You'll examine the context and processes of change in yourself, in groups and in services, including new ways of working across agencies and professional boundaries. By the end of the degree course you'll be able to evaluate your own and others' roles in the context of policy developments; evaluate emerging strategic solutions; and recognise and value diversity and difference. You'll also understand how ethical, legal, social, economic and political factors influence the provision and development of services; and gain the essential critical and analytical skills needed to engage in the development of evidence-based practice.
Study Mode Online Education, Distance Learning & External study modes available
|Q18 ||360 credits |
There are no formal entry requirements to study this qualification.
| Our fees depend on where you are ordinarily resident. We have a range of funding options to help you with payment. When you apply to study we will tell you the fee and funding options that are available to you. Before you apply you can read What you can expect to pay. |
Career relevance and employability
This degree course will be of interest to anyone who works - or has a particular interest - in health, social work or social care in the statutory, voluntary or private sectors. All the modules emphasise crossing professional boundaries with a focus on the service user's perspective - and are therefore closely attuned to priorities in the care sector and the NHS modernisation agenda.
The BA/BSc (Honours) Health and Social Care provides you with a strong set of transferable skills valued by employers. These include:
- written communication skills, including report and essay writing
- presentation and oral communication skills
- the ability to work both independently and as part of a team
- effective problem-solving skills
- time management and planning skills
- research and data analysis skills
- a good understanding of information technology.
There's more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the OU's Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication OU study and your career and look at our subject pages to find out about career opportunities.
This degree is designed to enable you to develop a sound and critical understanding of policy, theory and practice in health and social care. It will provide you with an opportunity to engage with the challenges facing professionals, service users and policy makers in the UK today. Studying for this degree will enable you to:
- develop your knowledge and understanding of the historical and contemporary contexts in which health and social care takes place
- develop a sound and critical understanding of key theoretical concepts and debates that underpin health and social care provision, including the legal, ethical and value base of care
- develop your awareness of the diversity of needs and practices of different client groups
- develop the knowledge, skills and understanding to enable you to work across boundaries, promoting professional and service-user relationships and interprofessional collaboration
- develop the skills required for assessing current practice, for influencing and empowering others and bringing about change
- develop the skills to use ICT routinely to support your learning and achieve the aims of the degree and engage in evidence based practice.
The degree is designed to help develop you as reflective practitioner and independent learner with a sound understanding of underpinning theory and concepts. You'll examine the context and processes of change in themselves, in groups and in services, including new ways of working across agencies and professional boundaries. By the end of the degree, you will be able to evaluate your own and others' roles in the context of policy developments, engage in developing strategic solutions and recognise and value diversity and difference. You will also understand how ethical, legal, social economic and political factors influence provision and development of services. You will have developed the critical and analytical skills needed to engage in the development of evidence-based practice.
All the modules within the degree put emphasis on working across professional boundaries with a focus on the client, user or patient. This means that it is closely attuned to priorities in the health and social care sectors and the NHS modernisation agenda and so will be of interest to anyone who works in health, social care or social work in the statutory, voluntary or private sectors.
Knowledge and understanding
- the development of health and social care in the UK from the twentieth century and the contemporary context in which care takes place
- the theories and concepts that underpin and challenge practice and professionalism in health and social care
- the legal and ethical framework within which care takes place
- research methods in health and social care and their application to practice
- the diversity of values in the context of health and social care including the experience of care from a service user's perspective
- the social processes associated with the promotion of health and well being and the creation of inequalities.
- analyse situations from a range of perspectives and evaluate the appropriateness of different interventions or approaches
- apply concepts and theories to inform and critique practice situations
- critically evaluate evidence from research and its application to practice
- make use of a range of sources of information and use them to sustain an argument or develop new insights into practice.
Practical and/or professional skills
- observe, describe and record accurately and assess evidence and make informed decisions
- demonstrate a critical understanding of the ethical, cultural, political and social dilemmas of practice
- critically evaluate approaches to service provision and use strategies for improving practice, contributing to the development of quality services
- practice critical self-reflection and examine and reflect on effective practice, both direct and indirect, with a range of service users and in a variety of settings
- analyse the factors and processes that facilitate effective interdisciplinary, interprofessional and interagency collaboration and partnership
- demonstrate sensitivity to the diversity of values and interests of others.
- communicate effectively for the intended audience and purpose in an appropriate style and level using different media
- read, select and manipulate information from a range of resources including electronic sources
- identify, understand and compare different lines of reasoning, recognising authority of source, possible bias, opinion and perspective
- write assignments, structuring the material to present a logical and coherent argument
- use numbers within a health and social care context and interpret statistical data
- manage own learning through the identification of learning needs, objective setting, monitoring progress by critical reflection, identifying strengths and weaknesses and areas to improve and responding to feedback.
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