Perspectives in health and social care
Health and social care is an important and complex topic that is seldom out of the news. Studying this module will help you get to grips with three important areas which affect us all in our adult lives—health and wellbeing, mental health and ageing and later life. You’ll be introduced to some of the key concepts, theories and debates and explore a rich mixture of real-life case studies, audio-visual material and academic texts, all developed by experts drawing on cutting-edge research. An equally important focus of K118 is on developing your study and employment-related skills, allowing you to enhance your understanding of professional and service user-focused practice in health and social care.
What you will study
Block 1: Health and wellbeing examines what is meant by wellbeing, how that affects individuals’ health, and what people can do at an individual level to improve their health and wellbeing. You’ll be introduced to the wide (and perhaps surprising) range of activities that support people’s wellbeing and also examine how differently people can respond to adversity. But you’ll also look at the bigger picture of how someone’s wellbeing is affected by where they live, the organisations in which they live or work and the inequalities in wider society. You’ll develop your understanding of these important issues through exploring case studies from a diverse range of contexts such as community arts projects, living with M.E. and bereavement.
Block 2: Mental health introduces the topics of mental health and illness starting with a broad coverage of the conditions that are most commonly diagnosed as mental health problems. You’ll find out about the ways in which responses to mental illness have varied over the years and how experts still differ as to the best ways to treat mental distress. You’ll focus particularly on two conditions, depression and bi-polar disorder, and hear directly from people living with these conditions about how they affect their daily lives. You’ll also be introduced to some of the debates about how best to treat or respond to people experiencing them.
Block 3: Ageing and later life will introduce you to critical issues in ageing and later life in the context of an ageing population. We are often told that there will be difficulties in the future because of our ageing population but in this block you will see that many older people are healthy and active and continue to make very significant contributions to society. When people do become frail and in need of support it can be challenging to ensure that their needs are met in ways that respect their individuality and personhood. You will be introduced to some key theories that help to explain modern ageing, including the notion of the Third and Fourth Ages, the impact of ageism and the diversity of older people.
This module is suitable for a general audience but is likely to be of particular interest to you if you have already studied An introduction to health and social care (K101). It focuses on the lives of adults of all ages. If you are already working in the fields of health, mental health or ageing, or hoping for a career in these areas, you are likely to find the materials particularly relevant. This module is also suitable for people with a more general interest in health and social care.
We recommend that you study Introducing health and social care (K102) before you study this 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.
If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.
In your first module mailing 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.
You’ll have access to a module website, which includes:
- a week-by-week study planner
- course specific study material
- audio and video content
- assessment details
- access to online tutorials and study forums
- access to teaching and library resources
You’ll also be provided with printed module books, each covering one block of study, and a printed Readings book.
You’ll need broadband internet access and a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11), or macOS (10.15 or higher).
Any additional software will be provided or is generally freely available.
To join in spoken conversations in tutorials, we recommend a wired headset (headphones/earphones with a built-in microphone).
Our module websites comply with web standards, and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.
Our OU Study mobile app will operate on all current, supported versions of Android and iOS. It’s not available on Kindle.
It’s also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook. However, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you’ll also require a desktop or laptop as described above.