Health & Social Care
Miss T Cartmill
Miss C King
Health and Social Care is a stimulating, relevant and interesting subject. The health, social care and early years sectors are major employers in Northern Ireland. By choosing this subject you may be given the opportunity to study a wide range of subjects including communication, social policy, health promotion, physiology, family issues and research methods. You may be interested in health and well-being or pursuing a career in the caring profession. This subject develops knowledge, understanding and skills relevant to degrees in nursing, allied health professions, social sciences, social policy, social work and early years. You will have opportunities to develop valuable skills such as research, analysis, communication, working with others, independent learning, creative thinking and problem solving.
There is a good balance between externally assessed units (examinations) and internally assessed units (portfolios) which enable you to plan work effectively and monitor your progress on a regular basis. This may also help you to work more efficiently and achieve your full potential in this subject. If you continue to third level education, by studying Health and Social Care you will be able to develop advanced study skills which will prepare you for the transition. You will also develop skills and values for employment in the health, social care and early years sectors.
Key Stage 5 (GCE/A-Level)
Within GCE Health and Social you must complete 6 units:
Promoting Quality Care: In this unit you produce a report on a health, social care or early years setting that you have experienced. You investigate how care workers apply the values of care on a daily basis with service users. You also develop an understanding of how legislation impacts on the quality of care delivered in the setting. This unit also focuses on policies, and you will evaluate the effectiveness of policies in promoting quality care in your chosen setting. The latter part of the unit requires you to research an example of poor practice in a health, social care or early years setting and to assess its impact on service users and others.
Communication in Health, Social Care and Early Years Settings: This unit requires you to produce a report in which you examine communication skills observed in a health, social care or early years setting. You will develop your knowledge of the different types of communication used in these settings and their purpose. In the unit you also study how a range of factors may support effective communication with service users. You have the opportunity to investigate how barriers to communication with service users can be overcome. The unit also focuses on the importance of communication when working in teams. You complete a critical appraisal of the communication skills you used in an interaction in your chosen setting.
Health and Well-Being: In this examined unit you learn about key concepts of health and well-being and the impact of ill health on individuals. You also develop knowledge of the needs of a range of service users. You have the opportunity to investigate how a range of factors may affect health and well-being. In this unit you study the various approaches used in health promotion and gain an understanding of how individuals can take responsibility for their own health and well-being. A number of organisations contribute to health and well-being, and this unit provides you with the opportunity to investigate their role. Your understanding of the impact of discrimination on health and well-being will be developed, and you will develop your knowledge of how anti-discriminatory practice may be promoted in health, social care and early years settings.
Applied Research: In this unit you produce a written report on research that you have designed and carried out on a health, social care or early years topic. You learn how to conduct a literature review and you are required to undertake primary research to collect the data required. By completing this unit you develop data-handling and analytical skills as you present and analyse the results of your research. You write a research report using the traditional research report format, which will be very beneficial if you hope to progress to third level education.
Providing Services: This examined unit based on pre-release material provides you with an overview of service provision in the health, social care and early years sectors. You learn about how services have developed and how they are structured, regulated and funded. The unit gives you an opportunity to examine how policy and legislation influence the provision of care services. You develop an understanding of the needs of different service user groups and how these needs may be met by a range of services and practitioners.
Supporting The Family: This unit provides you with the opportunity to consider the changing family structures in today’s society. You also develop an understanding of a range of factors that influence family life and investigate the services available to families and the support they provide. Assessment for this unit requires you to produce a review of family structures and a case study of a family. You are also required to produce a report focusing on the support available to families experiencing issues such as poverty, addiction, bereavement or racism.
The Health and Social Care department endeavours to enrich the curriculum offered in Key Stage 5 throughout the year with various guest speakers, workshops, projects and work experience opportunities.
Studying health and social care will enable you to gain skills that are valued in further and higher education, as well as in the workplace.
Many students who complete GCE Health and Social Care continue to third level education to study a wide range of courses including childcare, nursing, midwifery, social work, occupational therapy, speech therapy, physiotherapy, teaching and similar careers. A wide range of courses including degree courses are available at colleges and universities.
You may, however, use this qualification to gain access to a course which is not related to health, social care or early years. Whilst GCE Health and Social Care is an applied subject, it has the same currency in UCAS points as other GCE subjects.
Alternatively, you may progress to employment or undertake further training to enhance your career prospects.