Health and Social Care BSc (Hons)

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Part time

Course starts: 16 September 2019Apply now

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Understand the issues that affect health, social care and wellbeing. Make a difference to society's most vulnerable groups. Gain a well-respected qualification to open doors in the field. 

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Health and Social Care BSc (Hons) will provide you with detailed understanding of health and social care policy and practice. You will study the key contemporary issues that influence health, social care and the wellbeing of individuals and communities.

This degree combines academic rigour with practical experience; you will have the opportunity to test your new knowledge and skills in a 60-hour work placement in your final year.

This part-time course is ideal if you need to balance studying with other commitments.

Why us?

  • 93.4% of our graduates are in employment, further study or training within six months of graduating, according to DLHE 2016/17 (based on full-time, first degree, home leavers)

  • 90% of students are satisfied with the quality of the course, according to the National Student Survey 2017
  • Our Social Work courses are in the top 25% in the UK for Organisation and management, according to the National Student Survey 2018

Course structure

As a part-time student, you'll have eight hours of contact time a week at the University of Sunderland, plus time spent on independent study.

Your progress will be assessed with group projects/presentations, multiple choice questionnaires, and time-constrained tests. Throughout the degree you'll have one-to-one support from academic staff.

A full-time version of this course is also available.

Year 1 (national level 4):

  • Social Problems (20 credits)
  • Understanding Health and Social Care (20 credits)
  • Independent Learning and Professionalism in the Social Sciences (20 credits)
  • Exploring Psycho-Social Theory (20 credits)
  • Applied Qualitative Research in the Social Sciences (20 credits)
  • Dimensions of Health and Social Care (20 credits)


Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.

Year 2 (national level 5):

Core modules:

  • Healthy Lifestyles and Health Behaviour Change (20 credits)
  • Early Life Course Approaches in Health and Social Care (20 credits)
  • Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences (20 credits)
  • Working Together to Safeguard Vulnerable Children, Young People and Adults (20 credits)

Optional modules:

  • Medicalisation, Normality and the Body (20 credits)
  • Sex, Families and the Construction of Personal Lives (20 credits)
  • Globalisation, Health and Social Care (20 credits)
  • Counselling Approaches in Practice Settings (20 credits)

Final year (national level 6):

Core modules:

  • Practical Applications (20 credits)
  • Health and Social Care Dissertation (40 credits)
  • Life Course Approaches in Health, Social Care and Ageing (20 credits)

Optional modules:

  • Violence, Gender and Society (20 credits)
  • The Clinical Gaze: Medicine, Disability and Confinement (20 credits)
  • Social entrepreneurship and Project Management (20 credits)
  • Contemporary Issues in Social Welfare (20 credits)
  • Substance Use and Society (20 credits)
  • Global Health (20 credits)
  • You'll have access to specialist software packages for social science. These include NVivo, which allows deep levels of analysis of large volumes of data, and SPSS, for surveys and data mining.

    You can access free Wi-Fi throughout the University campus, so you can work from anywhere. If you don't want to carry a laptop around, just use one of the University’s PCs or Apple Macs. We have hundreds of computers for you to use in the Murray Library, St Peter's Library, and the David Goldman Informatics Centre. If you ever have any technical problems, just ask the friendly helpdesk team.

  • We’ve got thousands of health and social care books and e-books, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. We also subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to-date academic and industry articles.

    Library resources which you might find particularly useful for this course include:

    • SocINDEX with full-text articles – probably the world's most comprehensive and highest-quality sociology research database
    • Professional Development Collection, which features hundreds of education journals and reports
    • Psychology and Behavioural Sciences Database, which includes full-text journal articles on topics spanning emotional and behavioural sciences, psychiatry and psychology
    • Lexis Library, which covers UK and international legal information as well as full-text newspaper articles
    • Community Care Inform, which helps professionals who work with children and young people to make, and evidence, their decisions
    Library Services - health and social care
  • Map and directions


You'll be based at The Reg Vardy Centre, situated on the award-winning St Peter's riverside campus. The location benefits from dedicated library services and has superb transport links with the city centre and City Campus.

Entry requirements

Our typical offer is

  • GPA 3.0 or above from High School Diploma along with one of the following at the required grade - SAT I and SAT II, ACT or Advanced Placement

If your qualification is not listed above, please contact the Student Administration team at for further advice.

We also require three passes at GCSE grade C or above, which must include Mathematics and English Language, or an equivalent qualification, for example; a minimum of Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number. If you have studied for a new GCSE for which you will be awarded a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above.

If English is not your first language we will require an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with an overall score of 6.0 and at least 5.5 or higher in each component: reading, writing, listening and speaking. An alternative approved Secure English Language Test (SELT) can also be considered if the applicant's element scores are equivalent to those required for IELTS.

Fees and finance

The annual fee for this course is £6,935 per 120 credits.

Please note that this part-time course is not available to international students who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or international student, find out more in our Help and Advice article.

Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.

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This information was correct at the time of publication.

The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's by night


Health and social care is a diverse field, with opportunities to specialise in areas such as young people, mental health, or drug and alcohol abuse support.

Many Health and Social Care BSc (Hons) graduates now work in the NHS, charities such as Age UK and MIND, social care organisations such as Turning Point, and other public, private and voluntary sector health agencies.

Further study is also a popular options, with some graduates choosing to pursue taught Masters courses or research degrees.

Guest speakers

We have a regular schedule of guest speakers who discuss their experiences in health and social care. Past speakers have included representatives from Children North East, Lifeline, Healthworks and Headlight.

Attending our programme of guest speakers is an excellent way to hear from practitioners in the field, and also develop a network of professional contacts, which may become useful when applying for placements and jobs.


Work placement

As part of your degree you will undertake a 60-hour work placement during your final year. This will be your opportunity to apply your learning in a real-life context. You will be able to choose the placement which most closely matches your interests.

Previous students' placements have been with organisations such as local hospices, residential care homes, disability support, schools, mental health services, drug and alcohol services, the North of England Refugee Service, and Age UK.


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