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Investigating health and social care

In an age in which various kinds of knowledge and research can be instantly available via the internet it is essential for health and social care students to learn discernment, and critical appreciation of the best knowledge and research available. This module concentrates on teaching you the skills necessary to conduct an investigation into a subject area of your own choice in a systematic way through a literature review.

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.

Browse qualifications in related subjects

Module

Module code
K323
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
3 10 6
Study method
Distance Learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements
See Entry requirements

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What you will study

The focus of this module will be the analysis of secondary research and providing recommendations that could improve the lives of health and social care service users in any social context.

In doing so, you’ll be introduced to the appropriate databases that will enable you to complete literature searches and gain an appropriate awareness of the definitions of a range of empirical research terminologies.

As you progress through the module you’ll critically appraise the findings and viewpoints of a variety of authors on a given subject matter in current literature in health and social care.

The module culminates with you producing your own literature review on a subject area of your choice.

You will learn

By studying this module you will learn to:

  • understand and recognise how a literature review of current knowledge and research can contribute to the investigation of any topic in health and social care.
  • understand and recognise the role of critical appraisal in literature reviews.
  • construct and synthesise a literature review which will critically appraise current knowledge and research and thus help to illuminate personal or professional interest in aspect of health and social care.
  • critically appraise the findings and viewpoints of a variety of authors on a given subject matter in current literature in health and social care.

Vocational relevance

With the emphasis being on independent study and investigation of health and social care, you’ll be equipped for future roles whether or not in they are in health and social care. The investigative skills of searching for, and critically appraising a range of evidence are transferable for anyone in employment at a graduate level. In addition, completion of this kind of module is good preparation for postgraduate study.

Professional recognition

This module is part of our BA (Hons) Health and Social Care and our social work programmes, and has been recognised as such by the relevant professional bodies.

Outside the UK

If you’re studying outside the UK an online alternative to the module textbook will be accessible.  

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

Throughout this module you’ll be supported by a personal tutor. This support can take a variety of forms and include the use of several modes of contact. To ensure you are supported in a way that meets your needs, you will form a partnership with another student. You’ll be able to have supportive conversations and email correspondence aimed at developing your investigation and this small group will be particularly important as you move towards submission of your short literature review.

You will also be strongly encouraged to engage in group learning with your fellow students via tutor hosted learning events, asynchronous forums and ‘in-line discussions’. You will also be provided with written feedback on your tutor-marked assignments (TMA) submissions that is designed to guide your future TMA submissions.

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 must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs).

Future availability

Investigating health and social care starts once a year – in October. This page describes the module that will start in October 2019. We expect it to start for the last time in October 2026.

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:

    3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
    1 Interactive computer-marked assignment (iCMA)
    End-of-module assessment
    No residential school


    Entry requirements

    This is an OU level 3 module and you need to have the study skills needed for both higher education and distance learning, obtained either through OU level 2 study, or from equivalent study elsewhere. Any OU level 2 module, particularly in health and social care would be ideal preparation. However, you don’t need any prior knowledge as the study material for this module is designed to be accessible if you are new to this subject.

    If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.

    Register

    Start End England fee Register
    05 Oct 2019 Jun 2020 £3012.00

    Registration closes 12/09/19 (places subject to availability)

    Register
    This module is expected to start for the last time in October 2026.

    Additional Costs

    Study costs

    There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a computer, 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, 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).


    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 2020. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees. 

    This information was provided on 22/07/2019.

    What's included

    Your study materials will include a module text book and an online study calendar comprising of the learning guides accessed via the module website.

    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
    • Mac OS X 10.7 or higher

    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 K323 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.