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BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate - Health and Social Care

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Health and Social Care

Developing the future of healthcare and social care services.

Exam Board


What is Health and Social Care?

The health and social course is for learners who are interested in learning about the health and social care sec­tor as part of a balanced study programme.

The health and social care sector comprises two sub sectors: health care and social care. Health care encom­passes all hospital activities, medical nursing homes and GP services. The social care sector includes residen­tial nursing care, residential nursing facilities, residential care facilities, domiciliary care and social work. There are more than 300 distinct career paths in this sector and it is a major employer, employing almost four million people across the UK. Jobs in this area include nursing, midwifery, social work, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and pharmacy.

At some point, all of us will need the support of a healthcare or childcare professional. It’s rewarding work with a wide range of different jobs and specialisms which help you play a positive role and make a difference in the health and happiness of others.

Why should I study Health and Social Care?

This course is for those students who are interested in working in or further training in the health, social care and early year’s sectors. Students are given the chance to build awareness and understanding of contemporary issues in health and social care and the fact that this specification complements other A level studies allows students to develop learning skills essential for higher education and the world of work.

It is assessed through diverse activities and the course will increase your knowledge and understanding investigation of a range of services. In addition, it will develop your awareness of the influences on an individual’s health and well-being, and recognise the importance of the stages of development of an individual and their relationships.

This course is ideal if you wish to work in the health and child care industries, welfare or social work.

What will I study?

  • Health and social care covers service provision, values, rights, responsibilities, care settings, communication, health and well-being, understanding human behaviour and practitioner roles.
  • The content of this qualification has been developed in consultation with higher education to ensure it supports progression towards higher study. In addition, employers and professional bodies have been involved, in order to confirm that the content is also appropriate for those interested in working in the sector.
  • Students will complete the following units:
  • Human Lifespan Development (Externally assessed)
  • Working in Health and Social Care (Externally assessed)
  • Meeting Individual Care and Support Needs (Internally assessed)
  • Supporting Individuals with Additional Needs (Internally assessed)

How is Health and Social Care assessed?

Over the two years you will cover four units. Two of these units are externally assessed.

The assessments may be a project, a performance or a written examination. There will be two opportunities to take the assessments in most sectors.

Each assessment is taken under specified conditions, then marked by Pearson/subject leader and a grade awarded. The styles of assessment used for qualifications in the Health and Social Care suite are:

  • Examinations – you will all take the same assessment at the same time, normally with a written outcome.
  • Set tasks – you will take the assessment during a defined time to demonstrate understanding through completion of a vocational task.

A variety of assessment methods are used such as case studies, assignments and work-based assessments.

What can I study with Health and Social Care?

Health and social care combines well with many other courses such as sociology, psychology, criminology, English, history, to name but a few.

Where does a qualification in Health and Social Care Lead?

Students could progress to either university or into employment. This qualification is accepted by universities as an important qualification in its sector and can lead to careers in psychology, social work, teaching, nursing, midwifery, the police, the probation service, mental health and counselling.

Minimum subject requirements

Grade 5 in English. No prior study of the sector is needed.

DACA Health and Social Care Alumni

Name: Caroline

School: DACA

Subjects: Health and social care, criminology and medical science.

Now studying Bsc (Hons) Mental Health Nursing at Oxford Brookes University.

“The support provided at the sixth form allowed me to develop in confidence and skill and has helped my confidence and self-belief to aim towards my career goal as a mental health nurse.”

Name: Rhys

School: DACA

Subjects: Health and social care, business studies and sport.

Now working as part of support team at Royal Blackburn Hospital.

“Thank you for the support and guidance given during my time at Sixth form I shall truly miss my time with you and am thankful for the opportunities I have been given during my studies. Your encouragement has made me realise that I can do anything I put my mind to”.