GCE Health and Social Care (Single Award) is an exciting course that allows students to gain knowledge and understanding of the health, social care and early years’ sectors. These sectors are major employers in the public, voluntary and private sectors in Northern Ireland. This broad-based qualification gives students the opportunity to study an eclectic range of subjects relevant to these sectors including communication, physiology, social policy, and psychology.
Studying this course gives pupils the opportunity to observe how policies and procedures work together in the care settings such as local pre-schools, day care centres, nursey schools, primary schools, special needs school, residential care homes to ensure service users receive the best standard of care possible. Pupils complete a work placement in a setting of their choice where they can witness how the service users’ needs are met. It allows them to gain experience working with health care professionals and develop their communication skills. The rewards and benefits of work experience are beneficial as it helps them think about a career path for their future. Pupils will learn and develop skills through working with other people and benefit from their experience. It builds self-esteem and develops confidence.
In the AS units, students learn about good quality care and how this can be achieved in health, social care and early years’ settings. They learn how to communicate effectively with service users in the workplace. They learn about the importance of health and well-being for individuals and how government and other agencies contribute to the health and well-being of the population.
AS 1: Promoting Quality Care (Internal Assessment)
In this unit, students explore values of care. By investigating practices in a selected health, social care or early years setting, students learn how care workers apply the values on a daily basis. Students learn how legislation impacts on health, social care and early years settings. They evaluate the effectiveness of policies in promoting quality care. Students research one example of poor practice and its effects on the well-being of service users, potential service users, the staff responsible, families and care workers or the organisation. Students must take care to maintain confidentiality
AS 2: Communication in Care Settings (Internal Assessment)
In this unit, students explore communication skills and techniques used in a health, social care or early years setting and develop their communication skills. Students gain an understanding of how important effective communication skills are in developing good relationships and promoting quality care. Students complete a report on the communication skills they observe in a health, social care or early years setting. They also evaluate their own communication skills by carrying out an interaction.
In both units, pupils produce a written report based on practice in a health, social care or early years setting that they have experienced. Teachers mark the tasks and CCEA moderate the results.
Each unit is worth 25% of AS and 10% of A Level.
AS 3: Health and Well-Being (Compulsory)
External written examination. Pupils answer three compulsory questions (2 hours).
This unit is worth 50% of AS and 20% of A Level.
A2 Course Content
Students learn about how health and social care and early years services are tailored to meet the needs of specific service-user groups. They also have the opportunity to further their understanding of physiology, psychology and nutrition and can develop research skills in topics relevant to health and social care, including health promotion.
A2 3: Providing Services (Compulsory)
External written examination based on pre-release material. Pupils answer three compulsory questions (2 hours).
This unit is worth 30% of A Level.
A2 4: Health Promotion(Internal assessment)
Pupils produce a report on health improvement priorities in Northern Ireland, undertake a health promotion activity and report their findings.
A2 5: Supporting the Family (Internal assessment)
Pupils produce a review of changes to family structure, a case study and a report on services for families experiencing issues.
In each unit, pupils produce a written report based on their studies. Teachers mark the tasks and CCEA moderate the results. Each unit is worth 15% of A Level.
The examination board is CCEA. The course is equally weighted between coursework and examination in both year 13 and 14.
This is an ideal course for students who want a broad background in health and social care. Many students with a qualification in GCE Health and Social Care go on to degree-level study in a variety of subjects such as health studies, social policy, social science, social studies, psychology, nursing, paramedics, counselling, health-visiting and/or social work. Education is also a further career direction. Other students go on to complete a BTEC Diploma in Health and Social Care. Some students go straight into employment in the fields of health and social care.
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