Your feedback is important to us
Please take two minutes at the end of your visit to help us improve our information and services.
Skip to content The Open University
    Back to BA/BSc (Honours) Health and Social Care

BA/BSc (Honours) Health and Social Care: Healthcare and health science pathway

On this page
This degree is made up of 360 credits.

What you will study

There are two ways to start a qualification. You can begin your studies at Stage 1, or, if you haven’t studied for a long time, you can get started by studying an Access module as an additional preparatory stage of your chosen qualification. We know from experience that students who have completed an Access module do better in their subsequent modules, so it could be the vital first step you take to help you succeed in your future studies.

To find out the recommended Access module for this pathway, choose your country in the Fees section below.

Stage 1

At Stage 1, you’ll start with An introduction to health and social care (K101)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q18-4,module,K101,,1 (60 credits), which provides fascinating insight into the provision of health and social care services in the UK. Then Introducing health sciences: a case study approach (SDK125)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q18-4,module,SDK125,,1 (30 credits) will introduce the health sciences and social aspects of disease and disability in a global context. You’ll investigate a range of health science issues including water and health in an overcrowded world; pain; alcohol; chronic lung disease; trauma and accidents; and visual impairment. You’ll then study the 30-credit module Topics in health sciences (SK143)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q18-4,module,SK143,,1. This will develop your skills in: evaluating evidence; understanding and using key scientific terms and concepts; handling numbers; and interpreting graphs and tables.

This broad introduction to healthcare and health science will equip you to understand both sides of the healthcare environment.

Stage 2

Your Stage 2 study will continue to offer a balance between healthcare and health science. Adult health, social care and wellbeing (K217)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q18-4,module,K217,,1 (60 credits) considers how health and social care is everyone’s business – not just the business of care sector professionals. Whether using a service or being cared for by family or friends, we want skilled and understanding people who can work in partnership with us to meet our needs.

You’ll also study The science of the mind: investigating mental health (SDK228)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q18-4,module,SDK228,,1 (30 credits), to understand how mental health conditions like depression and dementia can be treated by focusing on the brain and its functioning. You’ll learn about the medical model of mental health with its reliance on drug treatment – contrasting it with ideas in the field of health psychology – and how to evaluate the evidence for and against different approaches to mental health.

Your study of human biology will connect it directly with health and disease. Starting with the concept of a healthy body, Human biology (SK277)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q18-4,module,SK277,,1 (30 credits) examines the mechanisms that enable it to maintain its integrity. You’ll deal with the physiology of each body system separately but the overall emphasis is on interaction and coordination.

Stage 3

You can begin Stage 3 with either one 60-credit module or two 30-credit modules.

In the 60-credit module Promoting public health: skills, perspectives and practice (K311)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q18-4,module,K311,,1 you’ll deepen your knowledge and critical analysis of the promotion of public health, and learn about the vital contribution of local authorities, education, social care, families, police, prisons, business and voluntary sectors. You'll also investigate health projects, experience team working and build your skills in communication, community action, policy making, and delivering ethical evidence-based practice.

To complement these studies you’ll learn more about the biology of infectious disease in relation to public health in the 30-credit module Infectious disease and public health (SK320)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q18-4,module,SK320,,1. Approaching infectious disease from several perspectives, you’ll explore the underlying biology, epidemiology, ecology and evolution of pathogens in relation to the extraordinary immune defences of their human hosts. You’ll learn how infections are diagnosed, how to study changes in the incidence of diseases and investigate strategies for treatment and control.

Next, the 30-credit module Researching biology and health science (SXL390)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q18-4,module,SXL390,,1 will provide an opportunity for you to undertake individual investigations within a range of defined topics relating research in healthcare and heath science. Investigations will be literature-based and our study materials will provide a guide to planning and conducting project work.

Modules quoted in qualification descriptions are those that are currently available for study. As the structure of our qualifications is reviewed on a regular basis, the University is unable to guarantee that the same selection of modules will continue to be available in future years.

How long it takes

Typically it takes six years part-time study to complete this qualification, but you can take anything from three (full-time study equivalent) to 12 years.


Where will you be resident whilst you study?

If your country isn’t shown here, please visit our website for international students.

Fee: Choose country above to see fee.


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

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

Employers' questions

Contact Corporate Enquiries
Visit our website for employers or Email us

Get a prospectus

Download or