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An introduction to health and social care

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We all depend on care services at some time in our lives – at home; in hospitals, clinics or GP surgeries; in community and residential settings. This key introductory Level 1 course provides an authoritative overview of health and social care, with real-life case studies taking you deep into the experience of receiving care and working in care services. It has also been written for those new to university study and will help you develop the learning skills needed for degree study.  Whether you’re involved in care work (paid or unpaid), use services yourself, or simply have a general interest, this course will help you to build knowledge and understanding, develop skills, and prepare for further study. 

Register for the course


Start End Fee Register
11 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£775.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

31 Jan 2015 Sep 2015
£775.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2016.
Start End Fee Register
11 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£775.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

31 Jan 2015 Sep 2015
£775.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2016.
Start End Fee Register
11 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£1625.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

31 Jan 2015 Sep 2015
£1625.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2016.
Start End Fee Register
11 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£775.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

31 Jan 2015 Sep 2015
£775.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2016.
Start End Fee Register
11 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£775.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

31 Jan 2015 Sep 2015
£775.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2016.
Start End Fee Register
11 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£1465.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

31 Jan 2015 Sep 2015
£1465.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2016.
Start End Fee Register
11 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£2632.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

31 Jan 2015 Sep 2015
£2632.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2016.
Start End Fee Register
11 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£2632.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

31 Jan 2015 Sep 2015
£2632.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2016.
Start End Fee Register
11 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£775.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

31 Jan 2015 Sep 2015
£775.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2016.
Start End Fee Register
11 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£2632.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

See below for information about part time tuition fee loans available for study towards a qualification.

31 Jan 2015 Sep 2015
£2632.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2016.

*Fees may vary by country.

What you will study

Care is constantly in the headlines because it involves such a huge workforce and huge budgets, and profoundly affects so many lives. And what makes it such a fascinating subject to study is the pace of change as society develops, technology advances and new forms of care evolve. This broad course about the nature of modern caring is lively and accessible and for anyone with an interest in how our society provides care services.

If you work in the frontline of care or are seeking employment in this area, this course will build your confidence and skills, and give your career a boost. The course takes you into the lives of care workers and care service users through in-depth case studies, often brought to life through audio and video resources. The course books are written in clear, simple language and a friendly, thought-provoking style. It has frequent activities to set you thinking – drawing on your own ideas and experience to deepen your learning and help you understand the essentials of good practice. If you want to share your ideas, you can join online forums for dialogue with other students and our tutors. 

You will develop the academic skills needed to thrive at university through activities that are threaded through the course material.  Your personal tutor will provide you with guidance and feedback on your academic skills. The course also teaches you, quickly and simply, how to use information and communication technology for study.

Block 1: Who cares? paints a broad picture of care in the UK, ranging from the caring within families, to primary health care, acute care in hospitals and social care in the community. You will explore the diversity and sensitivity of care situations, the wide variety of modern care services, the intricate interconnections between them and what it is like to care and to receive care.

Block 2: Working with life experience explores the impact of care needs and care services on people’s sense of identity and self-worth. Care can make deep inroads into personal lives and life narratives, so it is essential that care workers are sensitive to this and provide appropriate support. They need skills in communication and in ways of group working, so that lives are enhanced by care, rather than damaged.

Block 3: Diverse communities and resources for care asks how a community can respond to the needs of different groups of people. An in-depth case study of a neighbourhood renewal programme enables you to assess whether such schemes can improve people’s health and well-being. You will also examine the work of services, agencies and carers against a background of rapid and continuing social change across the UK.

Block 4: People and places: contexts of care explores the settings where care takes place and is managed. You visit a wide variety of care environments, from domestic homes, to residential and hospital settings, exploring their physical, social and psychological impact and the extent to which they are enabling or disabling. You also consider how people become attached to places and what happens when they have to leave them.

Block 5: Making care safer? examines how care can go wrong and what individuals can do to try to prevent this. You explore the crucial role of record keeping and the challenges of preserving confidentiality in a busy workplace. You consider the pressure on care workers to be accountable, and you explore the roles of research evidence and protocols in ensuring high standards of care.

Block 6: The shaping of care services in the UK examines care policies at the national level. It looks at the founding of the Welfare State and considers how health and social care services have developed and changed in subsequent decades. It also explores social trends - for example our aging society - and how care services might develop in the future.

You will learn

This course is a compulsory part of all OU professional programmes in health and social care. It is designed to provide a broad foundation of essential knowledge and skills for studies in the care field. It provides a thorough and supported programme to develop the skills of independent learning that all students require, particularly the skill of communicating effectively in writing.

Vocational relevance

If you pass the course you will be eligible for the Certificate in Health and Social Care, which is widely recognised by employers as an indication of your ability to understand the relationships between policy and practice, as well as engage with some of the very human issues associated with the world of health and social care.

Entry

This is a key introductory Level 1 course. Level 1 courses provide core subject knowledge and study skills needed for both higher education and distance learning, which help you to progress to courses at Level 2. 

This course is an ideal place to start your degree studies if you want to draw on your experience of caring, no matter how informal.

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the course, please contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service. They can also tell you about materials and courses that can help you to gain confidence and study skills before you start. The course itself will give you a lot of practice and support for your study skills.

Preparatory work

In your first course mailing you will receive guidance of how to get started online. This will provide you with information on using your computer for OU study and working with the Computing Guide. For example, it explains how to access and use your website and online discussion forums If you have time before the course starts, you can work through this and explore all the online services available to you.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the Module Regulations and the Student Regulations which are available on our Essential documents website.

If you have a disability

Written transcripts of any audio components and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of printed material are available. Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader. The printed study materials are available in the DAISY Digital Talking Book format. Other alternative formats of the study materials may be available in the future. Our Services for disabled students website has the latest information about availability.

If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Visit our Services for disabled students website for more information, including:

  • help to determine your study requirements and how to request the support that you need  
  • Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)
  • using a computer for OU study
  • equipment and other support services that we offer
  • examination arrangements
  • how to contact us for advice and support both before you register and while you are studying.

Study materials

What's included

Course books, other printed materials, DVD-ROM and DVD.

You will have access to a website through which teaching and library resources are available. Electronic versions of most of the printed study materials are also provided on the website.

Computing requirements

You will need a computer with internet access to study this course as it includes online activities, which you can access using a web browser.

  • If you have purchased a new desktop or laptop computer since 2007 you should have no problems completing the online activities.
  • If you’ve got a netbook, tablet or other mobile computing device check our Technical requirements section.
  • If you use an Apple Mac you will need OS X 10.6 or later.

You can also visit the Technical requirements section for further computing information including the details of the support we provide.

Materials to buy

Set books

  • Johnson, J & De Souza, C (eds) Understanding Health and Social Care: An introductory reader (2nd edn), Sage £23.99 - ISBN 9781847870810
  • Northedge, Andy The Good Study Guide (2nd edn), Open University £12.99 - ISBN 9780749259747

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material. They will also mark and comment on your written work, and you can ask them for advice and guidance. Part of your tuition is delivered online so some of the contact with your tutor will be through email and online discussion sessions but most tuition will be provided through phone conversations. If you are new to the OU, you will find that your tutor is particularly concerned to help you with your study methods. We may also be able to offer a day school that you are encouraged to attend. Where these are held will depend on the distribution of students taking the course. 

Contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.

Assessment

The assessment details for this course can be found in the facts box above. 

You will be expected to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) online through the eTMA system unless there are some difficulties which prevent you from doing so. In these circumstances, you must negotiate with your tutor to get their agreement to submit your assignment on paper.

Professional recognition

This course is one of a set of modules that together constitute an approved programme that leads to the social work degrees in England, Wales or Scotland. If you would like to know more about these degrees, please download or order one of our Social Work prospectuses. In addition, as KYN101, it forms part of the programme leading to the professional qualification of Registered Nurse (Part 1: NMC). It may also help you to gain recognition from a professional body.

Future availability

The details given here are for the course that starts in October 2014 and February 2015. We expect it to be available twice a year.

How to register

To register a place on this course return to the top of the page and use the Click to register button.

Student Reviews

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Distance learning

The Open University is the world’s leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you’re at home, at work or on the move. As an OU student you’ll be supported throughout your studies – your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online tutorials, or by phone.

For more information read Distance learning explained.

Are you already an OU student ? Go to StudentHome for information on choosing your next module.
Course facts
About this course:
Course code K101
Credits 60
OU Level 1
SCQF level 7
FHEQ level 4
Course work includes:
5 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
4 Interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs)
Examination
No residential school

Your questions

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