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Health Studies

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Whether you’re working in, thinking of working in or are generally interested in health care, we offer a range of accredited courses. These can be studied individually or as part of a degree in Health and Social Care. These courses are built on a strong reputation for quality and relevance to practice. Improving the experience of health care is at the heart of all our courses. We take a user-focused, case-study approach, which doesn’t require you to be in practice in order to apply the course ideas and theories to health care. All of our courses use the most up-to-date research and an analysis of policies and practice to develop knowledge and understanding of health care issues.

Courses at Level 2 provide essential skills for health workers and people interested in health care. These courses are relevant to many aspects of health care and include mental health and palliative care. At Level 3, you can choose from a range of courses, including public health, ageing, and leadership and management in health and social care.

Degrees ( More about Degrees
More about Degrees
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Undergraduate or bachelors degrees are nationally recognised qualifications consisting of academic study designed to help you gain a thorough understanding of a subject.

For a degree in a named subject, such as business studies or humanities, you'll study mainly in your chosen subject, although you may be able to include some modules from other subjects.

With The Open University you could also study an Open degree where you can combine a range of modules from similar or different subjects to suit either your particular career or personal interests.

You can use a degree to:

  • change careers or progress your current career
  • gain an in-depth knowledge and understanding of a subject you are interested in
  • gain professional recognition
  • go onto postgraduate study, such as a diploma or masters degree.
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  • Health and Social Care
    This degree covers a broad range of topics relevant to employment in the health and social care sectors.
  • Open degree
    The BA/BSc Open Degree is a qualification that gives you a huge choice in terms of subjects and modules that you study to make up your degree.

Foundation Degrees ( More about Foundation degrees
More about Foundation degrees
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Foundation degrees are nationally recognised qualifications focusing either on a particular job or profession; they combine work place learning with academic study. Designed and developed with external partners, you must be working either as a paid employee or as a volunteer in a related work setting.

A foundation degree is equivalent to two thirds of an honours degree. They aim to enhance the professional and technical skills of staff within a profession or those intending to go into that profession.

You can use a foundation degree to:

  • change careers or progress your current career
  • gain technical and professional skills
  • gain professional recognition
  • achieve a full honours degree through further study.

Most of our foundation degrees are also offered as diplomas of higher education for those living and working in Scotland.

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  • Counselling
    This qualification will prepare you to become a professional counsellor, equipping you with the theoretical understanding and practical skills required to work in this field.
  • Healthcare Practice
    Study themes in long-term conditions, such as children and young people, mental health, health and wellbeing, end-of-life care or a mix from across all these areas.
  • Paramedic Sciences
    Develop the knowledge, skills and competencies which underpin paramedic practice in emergency care settings. You must be supported by your employer for the work-based modules.

Diplomas of Higher Education ( More about Diplomas of Higher Education
More about Diplomas of Higher Education
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A Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) is equivalent to two thirds of an honours degree. They are nationally recognised qualifications focusing either on a particular job or profession, or academic study.

DipHEs are designed to increase the professional and technical skills of staff within a profession or extend your knowledge and understanding of a particular subject. A DipHE shows that you are capable of extended study at university level.

You can use a DipHE to:

  • change careers or progress your current career
  • gain technical and professional skills
  • gain a greater knowledge and understanding of a subject you are interested in
  • gain professional recognition
  • achieve a full honours degree through additional study.

The Diploma of Higher Education might be of particular interest to those living and working in Scotland.

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Certificates of Higher Education ( More about Certificates of Higher Education
More about Certificates of Higher Education
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A Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) is a nationally recognised qualification focusing on either a particular job or profession, or academic study. Equivalent to the first year of a full honours degree, they are the most basic level of qualification that can be gained in higher education and show that you are capable of studying successfully at university level.

You can use a CertHE to:

  • gain confidence to study successfully at university level
  • change careers or progress your current career
  • build on your existing experience and gain new skills
  • gain a broad introduction to a subject you are interested in
  • achieve a foundation degree, DipHE or full honours degree through additional study.
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OU Certificates ( More about OU Certificates
More about OU Certificates
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OU Certificates are specially designed Open University qualifications focusing either on a particular job or profession, or academic study. For example The Open University's Certificate in Supporting Learning in Primary Schools is designed for teaching assistants and other kinds of classroom support staff, including volunteers. Not all OU Certificates are entry level qualifications.

You can use an OU Certificate to:

  • enhance or progress your current career
  • gain a greater knowledge and understanding of a subject you are interested in.
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Getting started with an Access module

There are two ways to start a qualification. If you haven’t studied for a long time or need to build your confidence, beginning your studies with an Access module may be the right choice for you.

Choose a qualification to find out more.

Study a module as a standalone course

You can study a single module on its own for personal interest or to improve your career prospects. See the list of all our individual courses in Health Studies.

Postgraduate options

If you already have a degree, you may want to see postgraduate courses and qualifications in Health and Social Care.

Are you already an OU student ? Go to StudentHome for information on choosing your next module.

Studying outside of UK and Europe?

If you live outside of the UK, Republic of Ireland and Europe, please visit our website for international students.

Your questions

Try our frequently asked questions.

Come and meet us at an event near you.

Or contact an adviser by Email or call +44(0) 845 300 60 90 +44(0) 845 366 60 35

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