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BTEC National Diploma in Health & Social Care Level 3 at Beacon Academy (Beacon Community College)

Course description

These are new style vocational, work-related courses that are currently being re-formatted by the exam board. They will cover the knowledge and practical skills needed to prepare people for employment within this specialist sector. You attain the qualification by completing both external and internal assessments in the form of exams, coursework assignments and externally assessed controlled assessment tasks. The spilt between internal and external assessments is approximately 50:50 although this may vary slightly depending on the size of the qualification.

A BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate is equivalent to 1 GCE A-level whereas a Diploma is equivalent to 2 full GCE A-Levels. Successful completion of the course at either Extended Certificate or Diploma level allows you to go on to further education or higher education university courses

Course content

Subject Content and Assessment


The National Extended Certificate course is made up of 4 units, 2 of which are externally assessed by exams. 3 out of the 4 units are also mandatory

The National Diploma is made up of 8 units; 3 of these are externally assessed and 6 of the 8 units are mandatory.

The mandatory units are:

  • Human Lifespan Development (external exam)
  • Working in Health & Social Care (external exam)
  • Enquiries into Current Research in Health & Social Care (externally assessed task)
  • Meeting Individual Care and Support Needs
  • Principles of Safe Practice in Health & Social Care
  • Promoting Public Health


Work Experience:


Students undertaking the new BTEC Nationals from 2016 will be required to successfully complete a minimum of 100 hours of work experience which will be integrated into the course structure during the 2 years. Work placements are an important part of vocational courses and students will go out on one-week placements over the duration of the two years.

Students on work experience will be visited by college staff; in cases where visits are not possible a telephone call will be made by staff.


All coursework assessment is criterion referenced and coursework assignment tasks may include research based tasks, essays, projects, reports and presentations. It will also include assessments during vocational placements.

In addition to the formal examinations, coursework assignments will be on-going throughout the completion of units and therefore, sustained effort and organization is crucial for the duration of the course.

Entry requirements

  • A minimum of a grade ā€œCā€ GCSE in English.
  • A further four C grades at GCSE and/or the minimum of a Merit grade in Health & Social Care Level 2 gained by working consistently well at Merit level or above throughout the duration of the course.
  • GCSE grade C in science is desirable but not essential. 
  •  Related work experience would also be useful.

Future opportunities

Students go into careers such as nursing, midwifery, medical science and investigations, paramedics and other professions allied to medicine as well as careers in primary school teaching, nursery work and various positions within the social care sector.

BTEC Level 3 National Diplomas are valued by employers and higher education institutions such as universities and colleges.

If you want to go to university, you can take a degree or BTEC Higher National in subjects such as Nursing, Managing Health & Care Services, Social Policy or Health Studies and Human Sciences.

If you want to get a job straightaway, you could work in hospitals, health care centers and care homes

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Beacon Academy (Beacon Community College) directly.

Last updated date: 08 October 2015
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Course code: Hb