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Diploma of Higher Education in Health and Social Care - Learning outcomes

Educational aims

This diploma is designed to enable you to develop a sound and critical understanding of policy, theory and practice in health and social care. It will provide you with an opportunity to engage with the challenges facing professionals, service users and policy makers in the UK today. Studying for this qualification will enable you to develop:
  • your knowledge and understanding of the historical and contemporary contexts in which health and social care takes place
  • a sound and critical understanding of key theoretical concepts and debates that underpin health and social care provision
  • your awareness of the diversity of needs and practices of different client groups
  • the knowledge, skills and understanding to enable you to work across boundaries, promoting effective working between professionals, carers and service users
  • the skills required for assessing current practice, for influencing and empowering others and bringing about positive change.

Learning outcomes

The qualification is designed to help develop you as reflective practitioner and independent learner with a sound understanding of underpinning theory and concepts. By the end of the qualification, you will be able to evaluate your own and others’ roles in the context of policy developments, engage in developing strategic solutions and recognise and value diversity and difference. You will also understand how ethical, legal, social economic and political factors influence provision and development of services.

All the modules within the qualification put emphasis on working across professional boundaries with a focus on the client, user or patient. This means that it is closely attuned to priorities in the health and social care sectors and so will be of interest to anyone who works in health, social care or social work in the statutory, voluntary or private sectors.

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this diploma, you will:
  • know the development of health and social care in the UK from the twentieth century to the present day
  • understand the contemporary ethical, cultural, political, legal and social context in which health and social care takes place
  • critically understand the key theories, concepts and principles that underpin practice in health and social care, including the significance of service-user perspectives
  • recognise the diversity of values found within health and social care.

Cognitive skills

On completion of this diploma, you will be able to:
  • critically review a range of situations in health and social care and assess the appropriateness of different interventions
  • make appropriate use of a range of sources of information and use them to sustain an argument or develop new insights
  • recognise the social processes associated with the promotion of health and wellbeing, and the creation of inequalities
  • critically reflect on the experiences of health, wellbeing and social care from your own and others’ perspectives.

Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of this diploma, you will be able to:
  • apply underpinning principles, concepts and theories in health and social care to inform and critique practice situation
  • identify different approaches to service provision in health and social care and critically evaluate strategies for improving practice and service provision.

Key skills

On completion of this diploma, you will be able to:
  • communicate with others in a clear and articulate manner, using appropriate styles for different audiences
  • identify, interpret and manipulate information from a wide range of sources, including numerical and statistical information
  • manage your own learning through identifying learning needs, setting objectives, responding to feedback and monitoring progress through critical reflection.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

You will have access to a broad range of teaching materials, e.g. specially prepared texts and web-based resources. You’ll work independently with the teaching materials, but are encouraged to form self-help groups with other students communicating by telephone, email and online forums. Tutors provide support in online tutorials and day schools, some of which are optional and others compulsory depending on the module.

Assessment is an integral part of the teaching and learning. You’ll be supported in your learning through feedback from the assignments, which may be in the form of essays, projects, reflective accounts, case studies, interviews, questionnaires, projects or computer-marked assignments. End-of-module assessment is usually via a piece of extended writing or occasionally a three-hour written examination.