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An introduction to health and social care

We all depend on care services at some time in our lives – at home; in hospitals, clinics or GP surgeries; or in community and residential settings. This key introductory OU level 1 module provides an authoritative overview of health and social care, with real-life case studies taking you deep into the experience of receiving care and working in care services. It has also been written for those new to university study and will help you develop the learning skills needed for degree study. Whether you’re involved in care work (paid or unpaid), use services yourself, or simply have a general interest, this module will build knowledge and understanding, develop skills, and prepare you for further study.

Modules count towards OU qualifications

OU qualifications are modular in structure; the credits from this undergraduate module could count towards a certificate of higher education, diploma of higher education, foundation degree or honours degree.

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Module

Module code
K101
Credits

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
60
Study level
OU SCQF FHEQ
1 7 4
Study method
Distance Learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements
See Am I ready?

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I found this to be a very enjoyable course for my first foray into education in over 25 years. The...
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I really enjoyed the module. K101 is an introductory module for someone who needs fundamental knowledge in order to work...
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What you will study

This module takes you into the lives of care workers and care service users through in-depth case studies which are often brought to life through audio and video resources. The module books are written in clear, simple language and a friendly, thought-provoking style. Frequent activities will set you thinking – drawing on your own ideas and experience to deepen your learning and help you understand the essentials of good practice.

If you want to share your ideas, you can join online forums with other students and our tutors. You'll develop the academic skills needed to thrive at university through activities that are threaded through the module material. The module also teaches you, quickly and simply, how to use information and communication technology for study.

Block 1: paints a broad picture of care in the UK, ranging from the caring within families, to primary health care, acute care in hospitals and social care in the community. You'll explore the diversity and sensitivity of care situations, the wide variety of modern care services, the interconnections between them and what it is like to give and to receive care.

Block 2: explores the impact of care needs and care services on people’s sense of identity and self-worth. Care can make deep inroads into personal lives and life narratives, so it's essential that care workers are sensitive to this and provide appropriate support. They need skills in communication and in ways of group working, so that lives are enhanced by care, rather than damaged. It also asks how a community can respond to the needs of different groups of people. An in-depth case study of a neighbourhood renewal programme enables you to assess whether such schemes can improve people’s health and wellbeing. You'll also examine the work of services, agencies and carers against a background of rapid social change across the UK.

Block 3: explores the settings in which care takes place and is managed. You visit a wide variety of care environments, from domestic homes, to residential and hospital settings, exploring their physical, social and psychological impact and the extent to which they are enabling or disabling. You also consider how people become attached to places and what happens when they have to leave them.

Block 4: examines how care can go wrong and what individuals can do to try to prevent this. You explore the crucial role of record keeping and the challenges of preserving confidentiality in a busy workplace. You consider the pressure on care workers to be accountable, and you explore the roles of research evidence and protocols in ensuring high standards of care.

You will learn

This module is a compulsory part of all OU professional programmes in health and social care. It is designed to provide a broad foundation of essential knowledge and skills for studies in the care field. It provides a thorough and supported programme to develop the skills of independent learning that all students require, particularly the skill of communicating effectively in writing.

Professional recognition

This is one of a set of modules that together constitute an approved programme that leads to The Open University's social work degrees in England, Wales or Scotland. If you would like to know more about these degrees, please download or order one of our Social Work prospectuses. In addition, as KYN101, it forms part of The Open University's programme leading to the professional qualification of Registered Nurse (Part 1: NMC). It may also help you to gain recognition from a professional body.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material. They will also mark and comment on your written work, and you can ask them for advice and guidance. Part of your tuition is delivered online so some of the contact with your tutor will be through email and online discussion sessions but some tuition will be provided through phone conversations. If you are new to the OU, you will find that your tutor is particularly concerned to help you develop your study skills. We may also be able to offer a day school that you are encouraged to attend. Where these are held will depend on the distribution of students taking the module. 

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.

Assessment

The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box above. 

You will be expected to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) online through the eTMA system unless there are some difficulties which prevent you from doing so. In these circumstances, you must negotiate with your tutor to get their agreement to submit your assignment on paper.

Future availability

An introduction to health and social care starts twice a year – in February and October. This page describes the module that will start in October 2018 and February 2019. We expect it to start for the last time in February 2019. 

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Essential Documents website.

    Course work includes:

    5 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
    End-of-module assessment
    No residential school


    Entry requirements

    This is a key introductory OU level 1 module. OU level 1 module provide core subject knowledge and study skills needed for both higher education and distance learning, which help you to progress to module at OU level 2. 

    This module is an ideal place to start your degree studies if you want to draw on your experience of caring, no matter how informal.

    If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser. They can also tell you about materials and modules that can help you to gain confidence and study skills before you start. The module itself will give you a lot of practice and support for your study skills.

    Preparatory work

    In your first mailing of study materials you will receive guidance of how to get started online. This will provide you with information on using your computer for OU study and working with the Computing Guide. For example, it explains how to access and use your website and online discussion forums. If you have time before the module starts, you can work through this and explore all the online services available to you.

    Register

    Start End England fee Register
    06 Oct 2018 Jun 2019 £2928.00

    Registration closes 13/09/18 (places subject to availability)

    Register
    02 Feb 2019 Sep 2019 £2928.00

    Registration closes 10/01/19 (places subject to availability)

    Register
    This module is expected to start for the last time in February 2019.

    Additional Costs

    Study costs

    There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a laptop, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

    If you're on a low income you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after your module has started.

    Ways to pay for this module

    Open University Student Budget Account

    The Open University Student Budget Accounts Ltd (OUSBA) offers a convenient 'pay as you go' option to pay your OU fees, which is a secure, quick and easy way to pay. Please note that The Open University works exclusively with OUSBA and is not able to offer you credit facilities from any other provider. All credit is subject to status and proof that you can afford the repayments.

    You pay the OU through OUSBA in one of the following ways:

    • Register now, pay later – OUSBA pays your module fee direct to the OU. You then repay OUSBA interest-free and in full just before your module starts. 0% APR representative. This option could give you the extra time you may need to secure the funding to repay OUSBA.
    • Pay by instalments – OUSBA calculates your monthly fee and number of instalments based on the cost of the module you are studying. APR 5.1% representative.

    Joint loan applications

    If you feel you would be unable to obtain an OUSBA loan on your own due to credit history or affordability issues, OUSBA offers the option to apply for a joint loan application with a third party. For example, your husband, wife, partner, parent, sibling or friend. In such cases, OUSBA will be required to carry out additional affordability checks separately and/or collectively for both joint applicants who will be jointly and severally liable for loan repayments.

    As additional affordability checks are required when processing joint loan applications, unfortunately, an instant decision cannot be given. On average the processing time for a joint loan application is five working days from receipt of the required documentation.

    Read more about Open University Student Budget Accounts (OUSBA).  

    Employer sponsorship

    Studying with The Open University can boost your employability. OU courses are recognised and respected by employers for their excellence and the commitment they take to complete. They also value the skills that students learn and can apply in the workplace.

    More than one in ten OU students are sponsored by their employer, and over 30,000 employers have used the OU to develop staff so far. If the module you’ve chosen is geared towards your job or developing your career, you could approach your employer to see if they will sponsor you by paying some or all of the fees. 

    • Your employer just needs to complete a simple form to confirm how much they will be paying and we will invoice them.
    • You won’t need to get your employer to complete the form until after you’ve chosen your module.  

    Credit/debit card

    You can pay part or all of your tuition fees upfront with a debit or credit card when you register for each module. 

    We accept American Express, Maestro (UK only), Mastercard, Visa/Delta and Visa Electron. 

    Mixed payments

    We know that sometimes you may want to combine payment options. For example, you may wish to pay part of your tuition fee with a debit card and pay the remainder in instalments through an Open University Student Budget Account (OUSBA).


    For more information about combining payment options, speak to an adviser or book a call back at a time convenient to you.


    Please note: your permanent address/domicile will affect your fee status and therefore the fees you are charged and any financial support available to you. The fees and funding information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2019. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees. 

    This information was provided on 21/06/2018.

    What's included

    Module books, other printed materials.

    Computing requirements

    A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module.  Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.

    Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a device that meets the requirements below.

    A desktop or laptop computer with either:

    • Windows 7 or higher
    • macOS 10.7 or higher

    The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

    To participate in our online-discussion area you will need both a microphone and speakers/headphones. 

    Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students. 

    If you have a disability

    The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying K101 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

    To find out more about what kind of support and adjustments might be available, contact us or visit our Overcoming barriers to study if you have a disability or health condition website.