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