Certificate of Higher Education in Social Care (Scotland)
On this page
Are you thinking about going into social work or social care? This certificate course is the ideal way to find out if it’s the right career for you. It will give you an insight into social work and social care in Scotland (and is also suitable if you live in the Republic of Ireland), starting with an up-to-date, authoritative overview of care services – with real-life case studies taking you deep into the experience of giving and receiving care. You’ll also develop your knowledge of the key roles in social work, and learn about the social work standards and codes of practice relevant to each UK nation state. You’ll explore ideas about what social work is – using case studies with children, older people, mental-health communities, disabled children and people with learning disabilities to apply learning to practice contexts. This certificate course also builds key skills in information and communication technologies (ICT), information literacy and reflective writing.
Fees and facts
Where will you be resident whilst you study?
If your country isn’t listed here, visit our
Choose country above to see fee and ways to pay.
Flexible, part-time study through
Certificate of Higher Education
Certificate of Higher Education
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.
There are no formal entry requirements to study this certificate, but it would be to your advantage to work within or have access to a social care agency – for example, through voluntary work. Note that for the module
Foundations for social work practice (KYJ113) you’ll need to organise and complete a period of 20 days’ preparation for practice which must involve shadowing a qualified social worker.
Career relevance and employability
The modules that make up this certificate also form part of the
BA (Honours) Social Work (Scotland) (Q41) – so if you’re considering a career in social work, The Certificate of Higher Education in Social Care provides an excellent introduction.
Please note that this certificate course does not give
automatic entry to the social work degree (which has specific entry requirements, including attending an interview, working in a social care setting and being sponsored by your employer). However, if you do subsequently gain sponsorship and entry to the programme, you’ll be able to count your certificate study towards your degree. To find out more about entry to the degree, you can download the BA (Hons) Social Work (Scotland) prospectus or request a copy from our Student Registration & Enquiry Service.
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.
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.
On successful completion of the required modules you will be awarded a Certificate of Higher Education in Social Care (Scotland) and will be entitled to use the letters CertHE (Open) after your name.
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.