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Health and Social Care BTEC National Diploma and Extended Certificate at Esher College

Course description

The Diploma and Extended Certificate have a varied content and are aimed at providing students with the knowledge, understanding and skills relevant to careers in health care and social care. Students who wish to pursue a career in the Early Years’ sector can also study this course as the content in the unit on "Human Lifespan Development" covers development in children. Visits, case studies and input from visiting speakers form an important part of the course, giving students an opportunity to understand what is being studied in relation to real care settings.

Course content

The Extended Certificate course will consist of the following units:

  • Human Lifespan Development
  • Working in Health and Social Care
  • Meeting Individual Care and Support Needs
  • Physiological Disorders and their care

On the Diploma course you study all of the units listed above and in addition you also study the following units:

  • Enquiries into Current Research in Health and Social Care
  • Principles of Safe Practice in Health and Social Care
  • Promoting Public Health
  • Sociological Perspectives

In the first year of the Extended Certificate course, you study unit ‘Human Lifespan Development’ which covers physical, intellectual, emotional and social development across the human lifespan, and the factors affecting development and the effects of aging. This unit gives you a knowledge base for working with people in every stage of their lives, from birth to old age. You will also study a unit on ‘Meeting Individual Care and Support Needs’ which is about the values that underpin caring for people by promoting equality, diversity and preventing discrimination.

Students studying the Diploma course will be taught the two units described plus ‘Principles of Safe practice in Health and Social Care’ and ‘Promoting Public Health’. The former, is learning about the importance of safe working practices, safeguarding procedures and responding to emergency situations in health and social care settings. The latter, is about protecting and improving the health of the population through public health policy and current approaches in health promotion.

In the second year of the Extended Certificate and Diploma courses you will study a unit on ‘Working in Health and Social Care’ which allows you to find out what it is like to work in the health and social care sector, including having an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of health and social care practitioners and care organisations. Both groups also study, ‘Physiological Disorders’ which develops your understanding of the types, causes, diagnosis, treatment plan of a physiological disorders including provision of support.

The Diploma students will also add ‘Enquiries into Current Research in Health and Social Care’ where you learn about research methods and the implications for health and social care practice and services. You will also study, ‘Sociological Perspectives’ where you learn about how sociological concepts and perspectives, such as socialisation, social class are applied to health and social care. 

Entry requirements

The minimum entry requirement for study at Esher College is 5 GCSEs at A* - C (or 9 – 4 in Maths and English).  We encourage students to aim significantly higher than this to ensure that study programmes are successfully completed.

In addition to the College’s general entry requirements you will need to have a minimum of a grade 4 in GCSE English Language. If you are looking towards Primary Teaching, Nursing or Midwifery, grade 4 in GCSE Maths and grade C in GCSE Science are also important.

You also need to be interested in and committed to working with people and understanding and caring for them. A genuine interest in looking after people at critical and sometimes tricky stages of their lives is at the heart of these courses. 


Assessment is by coursework and by written examination. 

Future opportunities

Students who have studied these courses can progress to university to a wide variety of courses that include Occupational Therapy, Nursing, Midwifery, Primary Teaching, Early Childhood Studies and Social Work. Other students have gone straight into employment in a variety of fields related to the course – for example, going on to work as Nursery Assistants or Care Assistants or to join the Ambulance Service.

Further information

Please note that this subject is in the process of being reformed. The current information reflects what is known about the new course and further details will be available on the website when the specification (syllabus) has been finalised and published.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Esher College directly.

Last updated date: 12 October 2016
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