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Introducing 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 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. 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
K102
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
Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU module levels correspond to these frameworks.
OU SCQF FHEQ
1 7 4
Study method
Distance Learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements
See Entry requirements

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What you will study

This online module takes you into the lives of care workers and care service users through in-depth case studies. The module materials are written in clear, simple language and a friendly, thought-provoking style. The module is brought to life through audio, video and interactive activities which 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: explores what it means to be a carer, firstly in the context of informal or family care and then moving on to formal or professional care. It examines the requirements for being a professional carer such as professional standards as well as the demands and rewards of being involved in providing care.

Block 2: explores human development across the life course through the lens of three case studies. The first focuses on the impact of migration on human development, the second considers how involvement in crime affects people across the life course and the final case study focuses on the needs of people with learning disabilities transitioning from children to adult services. The Block also explores the impact of disadvantage and discrimination to human needs across the life course. These issues will be considered through the lens of a video case study of a preschool play group supporting migrant families service in Edinburgh.

Block 3: examines the important issue of safeguarding. You will learn about the definitions of risk in the context of both adults and children's services. You will also explore the ways in which health and social care services respond to promoting wellbeing and protecting people who are vulnerable. These issues will be considered through the lens of a video case study of a drug and alcohol service in Belfast.

Block 4: introduces some of the core concepts of sociology and how these can help you develop a deeper understanding of health and social care needs and services. In particular you will learn about the importance of identity and how identities change in particular contexts. You will also learn about how needs change as people move through important transitions such as ageing and becoming more dependent.

Block 5: 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. In particular you will consider the service user and also the professional perspectives on navigating services. These themes will be illustrated with a video case study of an educational mental health resource in Oxford.

Block 6: introduces innovation and digital delivery of health and social care services. You will learn about why technological innovation is important and the advantages and challenges of digital service delivery. You will consider your own digital footprint and use of social media. The issues of this block are illustrated through a video case study of a digital app to support the treatment of people with post traumatic stress disorder filmed at the National Centre for Mental Health in Cardiff.

You will learn

This module is a compulsory part of all OU professional programmes in health and social care. It's 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

This module will give you a strong foundation in vocational issues relevant to working across a range of health and social care context.

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, Northern Ireland, Wales or Scotland. If you would like to know more, visit Social Work. In addition, as KYN102, 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. For more information, visit BSc (Honours) Nursing.

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. Your tuition is delivered online and contact with your tutor will be through email and online discussion sessions, but some tuition will be provided through phone conversations.

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. Previously, assessment for this module was advertised as including an iCMA. This was incorrect; assessment for K102 requires you to complete 5 TMAs and an End-of-module assessment.

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

Introducing health and social care starts twice a year – in February and October. This page describes the module that will start in February 2021. We expect it to start for the last time in February 2028.

Regulations

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

    Course work includes:

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


    Entry requirements

    There are no entry requirements for this module.

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

    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 Feb 2021 Sep 2021 £3096.00

    Registration closes 14/01/21 (places subject to availability)

    Register
    This module is expected to start for the last time in February 2028.

    Additional Costs

    Study costs

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

    If your income is not more than £25,000 or you are in receipt of a qualifying benefit, 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, Mastercard, Visa 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).


    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 2021. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees. 

    This information was provided on 03/12/2020.

    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 an up-to-date version of Windows or macOS.

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

    To join in the spoken conversation in our online rooms we recommend a headset (headphones or earphones with an integrated microphone).

    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 K102 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 Disability support website.