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Diploma of Higher Education in Social Care (Scotland) - Learning outcomes

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this diploma, you will have knowledge and understanding of:

  • issues and trends in modern public and social policy, and their relationship to contemporary practice and service delivery
  • social processes such as racism, poverty, poor health and other sources of disadvantage, and how these are associated with processes of marginalisation, risks of crime and exclusion
  • competing explanations for the characteristics and circumstances of people who use services and for the range of perceived needs, including psychological and physiological
  • the roles and significant inter-relationships between a range of services, including social services, education, housing, health and criminal justice
  • the significance of interpersonal and sociocultural factors in the delivery of human services in a diverse society
  • codes of practice, the regulation of professional conduct, practice guidelines and the values underpinning them.

Cognitive skills

On completion of this diploma, you will be able to:

  • gather information from a wide range of sources, taking account of different views and being able to analyse and evaluate critically
  • develop arguments in own words, drawing on concepts and ideas from reading, using evidence and quotations appropriately
  • demonstrate awareness of ethical issues and conflicts
  • analyse case studies, drawing out their relevance to concepts and ideas from the course.

Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of this diploma, you will be able to:

  • demonstrate the ability to fulfil the National Occupational Standards key roles for social work, at a qualifying level
  • demonstrate an understanding of the ethical basis of social work and the underpinning values of social work practice
  • have knowledge of the theoretical basis of social work and apply this to practice
  • practice critical self-reflection and engage in professional development.

Key skills

On completion of this diploma, you will be able to:

  • communicate effectively with individuals, groups and organisations, in a range of formal and informal situations
  • present information and arguments verbally, in writing and using electronic communications, in a structured form that is logical, coherent and appropriate to the audience
  • gather, select and manage information from a wide range of sources and in a variety of ways, for a range of purposes (these methods should include electronic searches using the internet, use of electronic databases, reviews of written materials and face-to-face, written and telephone contact with individuals and groups)
  • use information and communication technology at a level equivalent to the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL).

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

Core knowledge and understanding is taught via the use of specially prepared distance-learning materials, including specially written study materials, learning guides, reference texts , and web-based resources with integrated audio and video material.

Assessment is an integral part of the teaching and learning, and you will be required to complete scheduled assignments, which may take the form of essays, case studies, and so on.

Cognitive skills are promoted by the critical approach of the specially prepared texts and the other course resources. You are encouraged to develop your own skills through the materials and workshops.

As you progress through the levels of the programme, you will be expected to

  • demonstrate a capacity to describe and articulate key understandings,
  • then to examine, evaluate and compare different accounts and competing evidence.

These skills are assessed through the assignments.

Key skills development and assessment will be established through the OU level 1 modules, with ICT skills being particularly prominent in order to lay down a foundation capability for using ICT to ECDL standards and developing further information literacy and learning skills in later modules. The key introductory module in health and social care assumes that you are new to degree-level study and offers carefully paced and structured support in developing study skills and basic information handling and communication skills

These skills are further developed through a choice of specific OU level 2 (SCQF level 8/9) modules of occupational relevance to the student or area of interest.

Teaching will be delivered via study materials in print and online, and on the practice learning module will include workshops. Each workshop will include participation in activities to develop your ability to understand key concepts and develop practice skills.

Written assessment will require you to demonstrate an understanding of the theoretical basis of social work and how you have applied this to practice. You will be required to show an ability to reflect on your own practice.