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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; 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 help you to build knowledge and understanding, develop skills, and prepare for further study.

Modules count towards OU qualifications

OU qualifications are modular in structure; the credits from this undergraduate-level 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
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 did enjoy this course it was very interesting to do. The TMAs were ok as were the online mini...
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What you will study

Care is constantly in the headlines because it involves such a huge workforce huge budgets, and profoundly affects so many lives. And what makes it such a fascinating subject to study is the pace of change as society develops, technology advances and new forms of care evolve. This broad module about the nature of modern caring is lively and accessible and for anyone with an interest in how our society provides care services.

If you work in the frontline of care or are seeking employment in this area, this module will build your confidence and skills, and give your career a boost. The module takes you into the lives of care workers and care service users through in-depth case studies, often brought to life through audio and video resources. The module books are written in clear, simple language and a friendly, thought-provoking style. It has frequent activities to 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 for dialogue with other students and our tutors. You will develop the academic skills needed to thrive at university through activities that are threaded through the module material. Your personal tutor will provide you with guidance and feedback on your academic skills. 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 will 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 care 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 is 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 will 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.

Vocational relevance

If you pass the module you will be eligible for the Certificate in Health and Social Care, which is widely recognised by employers as an indication of your ability to understand the relationships between policy and practice, as well as engage with some of the very human issues associated with the world of health and social care.

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 our Student Registration & Enquiry Service 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

The details given here are for the course that starts in October 2014 and February 2015. We expect it to be available twice a year.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the Module Regulations and the Student Regulations which are available on our Essential documents website.

Course work includes:

5 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
Examination
No residential school


Entry

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 contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service. 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
31 Jan 2015 Sep 2015 £2632.00

Registration closes 08/01/15 (places subject to availability)

Register

You may need to apply for some payment or funding options earlier. Please check the Fees and Funding information or contact us for information.

10 Oct 2015 Jun 2016 Not yet available

Registration opens on 12/03/15

06 Feb 2016 Sep 2016 Not yet available

Registration opens on 12/03/15

This module is expected to start for the last time in February 2018.

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 annual fees and spreads them out over up to a year, enabling you to pay your fees monthly and walk away with a qualification without any further debt. APR 5.1% representative.

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

Employer sponsorship

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

More than one in 10 OU students are sponsored by their employer, and over 30,000 employers have used the OU to develop staff so far. If the qualification 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 modules.  

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. 

Gift vouchers

You can pay for part or all of your tuition fees with OU gift vouchers. Vouchers are currently available in the following denominations, £10, £20, £50 and £100. 

Mixed payments

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

For more information about combining payment options, speak to an adviser or request a call back.


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 based upon current details for  year 1 August 2014 to 31 July 2015.
This information was provided on 21/10/2014.

What's included

Module books, other printed materials.

Computing requirements

You will need a computer with internet access to study this module as it includes online activities, which you can access using a web browser.

  • If you have purchased a new desktop or laptop computer since 2008 you should have no problems completing the online activities.
  • If you’ve got a netbook, tablet or other mobile device check our Technical requirements section.
  • If you use an Apple Mac you will need OS X 10.7 or later.

You can also visit the Technical requirements section for further computing information (including details of the support we provide).

If you have a disability

Written transcripts of any audio components and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of printed material are available. Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader. The printed study materials are available in the DAISY Digital Talking Book format. Other alternative formats of the study materials may be available in the future.

If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Find out more about our services for disabled students.