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BSc (Hons) - Health and Social Care (with integrated foundation year)

Do you want to support and help others with your future career in health and social care? This foundation degree in health and social care is designed with a range of engaging modules to allow you to develop your professional and personal skills.

Our health and social care foundation course will provide you with the skills to allow you to pursue your ideal career by either progressing onto a professional health course or by completing the four-year degree to hit the ground running working in health and social care.

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Health and Social Care (with integrated foundation year) cover image

Course Overview

This integrated foundation year entry route offers an alternative, supportive route for students who may not have the required qualification(s) for direct entry onto some of our level 4 programmes, or those who may have taken an extended break from education.

By successfully completing the first year of this programme you may be able to apply to transfer onto one of our health professional programmes, including:

BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography
BSc (Hons) Nursing – Adult
BSc (Hons) Nursing – Learning Disability
BSc (Hons) Nursing – Mental Health
BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy
BA (Hons) Social Work

If you do not wish to specialise after completing year one, you can continue onto the full health and social care degree. The full degree will support your academic advancement to prepare you for your ideal career in health and social care. You'll enhance your personal skills including communication, teamworking, self-management, motivation, resilience, self-awareness and confidence.

On this course you will...

  • Have the option to transfer onto one of our health professional programmes (listed above) or progress onto the full health and social care degree at the end of the integrated foundation year.
  • Study a range of engaging modules that will develop your confidence in your academic skills so that you are prepared for further study.
  • Be taught by expert lecturers who have professional experience from across our Institute of Health, covering a spectrum of health and social care professions.
  • Study health and social care as part of an active and vibrant community of like-minded Institute of Health students who want to make a difference.
  • Access pastoral and academic support that is embedded in the programme to guide you on your journey into higher education, with a Student Development Coordinator providing advice and guidance.
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Course Structure

What you will learn

Year one allows you to settle into University life and gain the confidence and skills to succeed in your chosen degree by participating in a supportive academic, personal and professional development programme. At the end of the Integrated Foundation Year, there is an opportunity to apply to transfer onto a range of our Allied Health Programmes.

Years two to four provides you with the opportunity to achieve a nationally recognised academic award that has been designed to meet your needs and facilitate progression within the Health and Social Care sectors. The key knowledge, understanding and experiences gained throughout the programme are structured to enhance employability within a growing sector.

The programme is designed to equip you with academic, research, analytical and problem-solving skills. You will consider others cultural values and beliefs, approaches to care across diverse cultures and communities, recognising and appreciating similarities and differences.

Year one

During the integrated foundation year, you will be taught alongside students from a range of programmes within the Institute of Health. During this time, you will be equipped with the essential skills needed to study at university level while undertaking challenging and authentic tasks that aim to test your decision-making skills in a health care environment.

  • Essential University Skills 1
    Equip yourself with practical strategies for identifying appropriate sources, effective notetaking, efficient reading, and other strong study habits, setting you up with a solid foundation for your university journey.
  • Essential University Skills 2
    Advance your academic writing, refine your critical thinking skills, and polish your presentation abilities. You will build on your existing skills, empowering you to tackle a wider range of assessments with confidence and excel in your future studies.
  • Contemporary Issues and the Media
    Evaluate the dynamic relationship between society, media, and current events. Engage in thought-provoking discussions on pressing topics such as social inequality, mental health stigma and the aging population, while critically analysing the media's influence on public opinion and its impact on shaping our world.
  • Professional Practice in the Community
    Immerse yourself in real-world professional practice. Through interactive learning, this module prepares you to make a positive impact in diverse community settings. Develop practical knowledge, communication skills and the ethical mindset essential for success in health and social care.
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing
    Gain a comprehensive understanding of mental health and wellbeing across the lifespan. Encounter psychological theories, examine the factors that influence mental health, and learn evidence-based strategies to promote well-being. Empower yourself to support individuals and contribute to building healthier communities.
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology
    Build a foundational understanding of the intricate systems, structures, and functions that make up the body. Prepare for further studies in the health and social care field by establishing a working knowledge of human development, functional anatomy, and physiology.
Year two
  • Developing Academic Writing and Reflective Practice
    Enhance your academic writing skills and foster reflective practice for effective communication and professional growth. Learn to craft well-structured arguments, reference accurately, and refine your critical thinking. Engage in reflective exercises to understand your academic strengths and areas for development.
  • Introduction to Health and Wellbeing
    Examine the determinants of health, health promotion strategies, and the significance of preventive and person-centered care. Develop a holistic perspective to better address the diverse social and health needs of children, young people, families, and communities.
  • Personalisation in Health and Social Care
    Analyse approaches that empower individuals, promote autonomy, and respect unique needs and preferences. Learn to design and implement tailored care plans that enhance quality of life and promote positive outcomes. Engage with practical scenarios to develop the skills needed to provide a person-centred approach in various contexts.
  • Development through the Life Course
    Investigate human development across different life stages. Examine the interplay of biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors that influence individuals' growth, behaviour, and well-being. Understand the challenges and opportunities of each life stage and develop a comprehensive perspective to provide age-appropriate support.
  • Values and Principles of Health and Social Care
    Investigate concepts such as dignity, equity, and compassion. Reflect on the values and beliefs that shape your professional identity and navigate complex ethical dilemmas. Gain insights into relevant legal and regulatory frameworks, fostering an ethical and accountable approach.
  • Social and Political Influences on Policy and Practice
    Examine the social and political influences that shape policy and practice. Analyse the impact of socioeconomic conditions and power structures on the development and implementation of policies. Engage in critical discussions surrounding equity and the role of advocacy in shaping inclusive policy and practice for children and young people’s health.
Year three
  • Introduction to Advancing Mental Health across the Healthcare Spectrum
    Using a biopsychosocial framework, consider mental health care from prevention and early intervention to treatment and recovery. Engage in discussions on contemporary issues, evidence-based interventions, and innovative approaches, equipping you to make a meaningful impact in the field of mental health.
  • Psychology for Health and Social Care
    Study human behaviour, cognition, and emotions, and examine how they influence individual well-being and social interactions. Contend with psychological theories, research methods, and practical strategies that inform effective care and support across diverse populations.
  • Equality, Diversity and Equity in Practice
    Consider your own values and ethics and reflect upon their impact on your professional practice. Examine cultural sensitivity, social justice, and anti-discriminatory practice. Analyse the impact of social identities, cultural beliefs, and power dynamics, and develop the skills to promote equity, challenge inequality, and foster inclusivity.
  • Duty of Care – Principles and Implementation
    Scrutinise the legal and ethical frameworks that guide professional practice, focusing on safeguarding individuals' rights, safety, and wellbeing. Learn to empower service users and balance the promotion of individual rights with the associated risk to society.
  • Leadership and Change
    Step into the role of a leader and change agent. Explore the principles and theories of change management and effective leadership. Examine the skills required to inspire visionary practice, promote innovation, and enhance services. Engage in critical discussions and practical exercises to develop your ability to lead and inspire others.
  • Negotiated Learning in Health and Social Care
    Take charge of your learning journey with this module tailored to your individual interests and aspirations. Engage in independent research, experiential learning, or community-based initiatives to deepen your knowledge, initiate change, develop specialist skills, and make a real impact in your field of practice.
Year four
  • Applied Critical Evaluation for Evidence Based Practice
    Advance your skills in retrieving, critically evaluating, and applying research evidence relevant to your practice. Review different research methodologies, analyse findings, and learn to integrate evidence into decision-making processes, empowering you to lead an evidence-informed service.
  • Communication Skills in Health and Social Care
    Discover the crucial role communication plays in building therapeutic relationships, facilitating understanding, and promoting positive outcomes. Engage in interactive exercises and simulations to enhance your verbal, non-verbal, and active listening skills, enabling you to communicate with empathy, clarity, and professionalism.
  • Collaborative Working in Health and Social Care
    Building on your foundational knowledge, delve deeper into the principles and practices of effective collaborative working. Evaluate approaches to interdisciplinary teamwork, partnerships with service users, and interagency collaboration. Engage in practical scenarios to enhance your ability to foster integrated provision.
  • Contemporary Approaches and Fundamental Principles of Safeguarding across the Lifespan
    Develop your understanding of contemporary practice, legislation, and policies related to safeguarding vulnerable individuals, from children to older adults. Assess risk factors and develop strategies for prevention, intervention, and protection, equipping you to play a crucial role in promoting the welfare and safety of those in your care.
  • Managing Self and Others
    Discover strategies for self-reflection, emotional intelligence, time management, and resilience, enabling you to thrive in challenging and dynamic environments. Develop leadership skills to motivate and inspire others, foster teamwork, and drive positive change, empowering you to make a meaningful impact as a future leader in the field.
  • Advanced Negotiated Learning in Health and Social Care
    Building on your previous experience and learning, design a personalised and cutting-edge project tailored to your professional aspirations. Engage in innovative research, experiential learning, or real-world initiatives, pushing the boundaries of knowledge and practice. Embrace the freedom to explore, create, and make a lasting impact.

Attend an Open Day at Cumbria

An Open Day is your opportunity to explore one of 5 campuses, meet your lecturers, and find out how the University of Cumbria could become your new home.

Take the next step towards achieving your dreams.
A student stands in front of a wall splattered with paint.