Entry requirements

Click the button to read our faculty brochure or read more about the course below:

  • Six GCSEs 9-4 (or A*-C)
  • Two from English, Maths OR Science
  • Two at least grade 6

BTEC National Extended Certificate Health & Social Care - overview

BTEC National Extended Certificate Level 3 features 4 units over two years and counts as 1 A Level. You will be awarded either a Pass, Merit or Distinction on each unit, then your overall grade for the 4 units will be calculated giving you your final result for the 1 A Level. The course also features a period of work placement for one week, which is usually completed in the second year of study.

Exam board: PEARSON


In Year 1 you will study the following two units:

Unit 1 – Human lifespan development

Method of assessment: written exam 1hr 30 minutes (25%)

Unit 5 – Meeting individual needs

Method of assessment: coursework


In Year 2 -you will study two units:

Unit 2 – Working in Health and Social Care

Method of assessment: written exam 1hr 30 minutes (33.3%)

Unit 11 – Psychological Perspectives

Method of assessment: coursework


You will gain a nationally recognised vocationally specific qualification to enter employment as a health or social care worker, or progress to degree level at university.

The course looks in detail at the role of the health or social care worker, their relationship with patients/service users and their responsibilities towards patients/service users and the wider health and social care sectors.

It provides opportunities to develop a range of skills and techniques, personal qualities and attributes essential for successful performance in working life.


This subject is ideal for students who want to follow a career in a caring profession either in Health or Social Care. It is particularly useful for those students who would like to progress onto a degree course at university. After completing this 2 year course, the majority of students apply for degree courses in nursing, social work, speech therapy, paramedics (degree), youth and community work, nutrition, psychology, sociology and many more.

Health and Social Care

What is Health and Social Care?

This subject combines elements of a range of interesting topics that explore both health and social care in private and public sectors. The course includes modules that will prepare students to meet the needs of clients in a holistic way, accounting for their physical, intellectual, emotional and social needs.

What do you study in Health and Social Care?

You will study a range of topics and modules. Some of these units are assessed through coursework, with some units being assessed by written examination.
Below are examples of some of the units we study -
1) Human lifespan development
2) Working in health and social care
3) Anatomy and physiology
4) Research methods.
5) Meeting individual needs
6) Work experience in health and social care
7) Principles of safe practice in health and social care
8) Promoting public health
9) Sociological Perspectives
10) Psychological Perspective
11) Nutritional Health
For a full list, please refer to our website and look at the specific

What courses do you offer in Health & Social Care?

Course: BTEC Level 3 Extended certificate (Equivalent to 1 A Level) Blend of coursework and written exam.

Course: BTEC National Extended Diploma (Equivalent to 3 A level programme) 60 % coursework. 40 % Examined (approximate).

Course: Level 2 BTEC First extended certificate. (Equivalent to 3 GCSE course) Exam
15% coursework 85% (approximate).

Which other A Level subjects go well with Health & Social Care 1 A’ Level BTEC?

Health and Social Care is a social science and therefore goes well with numerous other subjects. Many of our students choose to do Health and Social Care alongside a social science subject such as Psychology, Law, Criminology, Sociology and Business Studies. A number of Health-related degree courses often require a science A level so some students choose to study Biology A Level alongside
this. Health and Social Care also combines well with English A Level, as this is a useful subject to have for entry into professions such as Speech Therapy. As Health and Social Care has a broad range of topics, it combines well with a number of A Levels.

What are the class sizes in Health & Social Care?

This is a very popular subject and the class sizes usually range from 20 – 24 students. Class sizes for the level 2 course are normally smaller, approximately 15 students.

What career can you do with Health and Social Care?

This subject provides an excellent opportunity to apply for a number of different courses or apprenticeships. There are a broad range of rewarding careers you can progress onto after studying Health and Social Care. The most popular degree programmes that students go on to study at university are - Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work, Primary teaching, Paramedic, Occupational therapy, Dietician and Speech therapy. Many students also study Psychology, Sociology, Criminology, Law, Youth and Community work degree’s and many more. For more information on careers in the NHS please visit Health Careers.

Do you go on any trips in Health and Social Care?

Each year the department normally arranges several university trips offering specific health taster days. We also undertake unit specific trips in the local area. We have previously taken Health and Social Care students to Euro Disney in Paris for a Healthcare conference. In addition, we have a range of visiting speakers from various
professions in the NHS who come to talk about their role.

What support will I get?

The subject is taught by an outstanding team of teachers, many of whom have a previous background working in the health and social care sector, and bring a wealth of experience with them to the classroom. A range of different resources are provided to students to help support their learning. Students are regularly assessed and monitored; this ensures they progress and that they receive the right support and guidance. Teachers in the department are approachable and make themselves available to offer drop in sessions to help support students with any areas of difficulty. The department offers an extra support session for upper sixth students
and an ‘independent study package’ is offered to students to help them improve their grades. Revision and ‘skills targeted’ support sessions are offered throughout the year to help with the written exams.

Do I have to go on placement with this course?

There is a requirement to complete some placement hours. For the full BTEC (3 A Level equivalent) you normally complete 3 block weeks (totalling 100 hours). Our other courses have no compulsory requirement to complete a placement, however we
normally arrange at least one placement for students as it helps support learning, through witnessing the practical application of what is learnt in the classroom.

If placements do go ahead, where will I be sent?

We have a designated placement officer who will interview you at
the beginning of the course to see what your career aims are. We
then try to find a suitable placement for you, related to your future
career plans. We use a range of placements including –
- Hospitals
- GP practices
- Secondary schools
- Residential Care Homes
- Primary Schools
- Pupil Referral Units
- Nurseries
- Midwifery Placements
- Nursing Homes