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More courses

Not sure? No problem

Choosing what to study can be challenging. Speak to one of our advisors to find out what your options are.

Advice & Help Centre

This study programme is designed for 16-19 year olds only (age 19-24 for students with an Education, Health and Care Plan).

Please visit our Adult Education, Degrees and Employer section for alternative courses.

About the course

This course is suitable for those seeking to work professionally in the Health and care sector, providing a valuable foundation for progression onto university degree courses or employment. This course is an excellent choice for students interested in healthcare careers - nursing, midwifery, paramedic technician, physiotherapy and, within the social care sector - psychology and social work degrees.

One of the huge benefits of studying Health and Social care at college is the professional qualifications of all the teaching staff. The course is delivered by nurses, health visitors and other teachers who are professionally qualified in their field e.g. social work or additional needs specialist teachers. Students gain an excellent understanding of the professional values of the sector because all of our tutors have worked within the health and social care industry.

A compulsory part of the course is work placement and you will need to complete 100 hours each year to pass the course. Work placement is organised by the work placement team.

It is a full time course. You attend college three days per week and usually one day is out in placement throughout the college year. This offers the opportunity to work in a variety of adult health and social care settings.


On successful completion of year 1 students have are invited to continue into year 2 and complete the BTec Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care.


Click here to see student feedback on our Health and Social Care courses

Entry requirements

The minimum requirement is 5 GCSEs at grade C or above (Grades 9 -4) or equivalent to include Maths and English.

In addition all students must:

  • Have an interview with a member of the course team

  • Have a clear DBS check


This course will give you a BTEC Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Health and Social Care. The full extended diploma is a two year programme. Students have the option to leave with a 90-credit diploma at the end of year one. This can be useful for students who would prefer to be learning in the workplace, via apprenticeship or for students who wish to increase their UCAS points after studying a different level 3 qualification.

What you'll learn (core modules)

The aim is to give you a good understanding of the healthcare sector; the values, skills and knowledge that are essential for work in this field. Units include:

  • Human Lifespan development

  • Working in health and social care

  • Meeting individual care needs

  • Principles of safe practice

  • Nutritional Health
  • Psychological Perspectives


Benefits, skills and character strengths

This course will prepare you for employment in the Health & Care sector. This course will give you the confidence and resilience needed to be successful in healthcare.

With over 100 hours of practical experience for each year of the course, our students perform exceptionally well at university interviews. The course attracts UCAS points dependent on grades achieved.

How will I be assessed?

The course is assessed using a combination of internal written assignments, and external examinations.

Current modules consist of 8 written assignments over the course of year 1, and 2 externally moderated exams.


Where is the course delivered? (facilities/classrooms)

West Suffolk College

Placements are offered across the region, organised by our dedicated placement team.

Where will the course take me?

The majority of our students complete the full extended diploma over two years and will then progress to university. Our students this year are applying for nursing, mental health nursing, children's nursing, midwifery, psychology, paramedic science, social work, early childhood studies, amongst others.

Many students gain employment throughout their studies with their work placement setting. A small proportion, approximately 25% will progress into full time employment at the end of their course.

Will I need any materials or equipment?

Students will need to purchase two placement T-shirts, available from the college shop at a cost of around £13 each.

There is a course book available to purchase, or there are a limited number available in the library

Furthermore, students will need to have their own college stationery for classes - paper, pens, a folder etc.

I'm interested. What should I do now?

You should be encouraged to attend one of the college open events - a chance to meet the teaching team, look at our facilities and talk to existing students about their experiences of the course.

If interested, you can apply for the course online via the website.

Days & times

Starting September 2021

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If there is anything more you would like to know about this course, please message us here.

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