BA/BSc (Honours) Health and Social Care
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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.
Fees and facts
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Flexible, part-time study through
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.
There are no formal entry requirements to study this qualification.
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 and look at our OU study and your career subject pages to find out about career opportunities.
Choose a pathway and register
Pathways allow you to specialise or choose particular topics that interest you. You will need to choose a pathway before registering.
You can choose from a number of different pathways depending on if you’re interested in developing a broad and deep understanding of adult health and wellbeing, with either a strong emphasis on mental health issues or working with older people and end-of-life care. You may prefer a introduction to both health and social care with children and adults, before specialising in either adult care or working with children and families, or an even balance between health science and healthcare.
Credit for previous study elsewhere
If you have already completed some successful study at higher education level at another institution you may be able to transfer credit for this study and count it towards this qualification. If you wish to apply to transfer credit you must do so as soon as possible, and before you register for this qualification.
If you are awarded credit for study completed elsewhere, you may find that you need to study fewer OU modules to complete this qualification. This may also mean that the next start date and the maximum time limit for this qualification are different to those shown above.
Credit Transfer site for more information and details of how to apply for credit transfer.
The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:
Knowledge and understanding
Practical and professional skills
Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes, and how they are acquired through teaching, learning and assessment methods.
Classification of your degree
On successful completion of the required number and type of modules you will be awarded a Bachelor of Arts Health and Social Care degree for all pathways with the exception of the health care and health science pathway for which you will be awarded a Bachelor of Science (Honours) Health and Social Care degree.
Your honours degree will be classified either as first-class honours, upper second-class honours, lower second-class honours or third-class honours. The class of degree is determined by the best grades you achieve in 240 credits from the modules above Level 1. At least 120 of those credits must come from modules at Level 3.
You will have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.
As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the following regulations:
These regulations are also available on our
Essential Documents website.
If you have a disability
Choosing the qualification that’s right for you is very important. Depending on your disability, long-term health condition, mental health disability or specific learning difficulty, you may need to consider any challenges posed by:
the learning objectives: for example, to gain an honours degree in a language you must be physically able to speak the language
how the modules are taught: for example, some of our science qualifications require that you complete laboratory work
any work-based competency requirements.
Choosing the right qualification can be a complex mix of the subject requirements and the support you may need. To help you assess whether the qualification you are interested in will work for you, further advice is available from:
You will need a computer with internet access to study for this qualification. For most OU qualifications a Microsoft Windows (new since 2007),
Apple Mac (OS X 10.6 or later) or Linux computer should be adequate. However, some qualifications require more specific IT equipment, in which case you
will need additional software to use an Apple Mac or Linux computer. A detailed technical specification for your modules will be made available when you
register. Please note, technical specifications do change over time to match computer developments and the way we teach.
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.