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Care Level 3 Extended Diploma at Truro and Penwith College

Course description

This course will provide you with a broad scientific base and an opportunity to study social care issues.  It is also designed to prepare you to work in care related careers in a professional capacity and provides the knowledge, skills and understanding required for working in a health environment or a progression route for Higher Education.

The BTEC 90 credit Diploma in Health & Social Care comprises of (90 credits) 540 guided learning hours.  This qualification is equivalent to 1.5 A levels and forms part of the Extended Diploma which is equivalent to 3 A levels.  This is a full-time course which requires you to attend placement one day per week.  It is essential that you progress to year 2 to achieve the Extended Diploma for employment and university progression.

Throughout the programme lecturers and personal tutors will actively encourage you to develop as individuals and provide ongoing pastoral and academic support.

One of the great strengths of the Diploma is the integration of theory and practice as you have the opportunity to apply what you have learnt at college to your work placements.  The course aims to give you a varied learning experience and will be a combination of a student centred approach to learning, involving research for assignments, visits, guest speakers, lectures, group work and discussions.  An experienced team of lecturers, many of whom have worked in the health and social care profession, will support your learning.   You will need to prepare to work hard independently, carry out in-depth research and use a variety of information sources. 

An important part of this course is work experience; you will have the opportunity to be placed in a variety of settings totalling a minimum of 200 hours which is a mandatory part of the course. This will include at least 3 different settings.  Previous settings have included hospitals, dentists, early year’s settings, residential homes for the elderly, day centres for clients with mental health problems or learning disabilities.

Please Note:  A clear DBS certificate will be required in order to complete this course.

Course content

Year 1 -  Modules

  • Developing Effective Communication in Health and Social Care
  • Equality Diversity and Rights in Health and Social Care
  • Health, Safety and Security in Health and Social Care
  • Development Through the Life Stages
  • Anatomy and Physiology for Health and Social Care
  • Safeguarding Adults and Promoting Independence
  • Personal and Professional Development in Health and Social Care
  • Values and Planning in Social Care

Year 2 - Modules

  • Applied Sociological Perspectives for Health and Social Care
  • Psychological Perspectives for Health and Social Care
  • Caring for Children and Young People
  • Working in the Social Care Sector
  • Sociological Perspectives for Health and Social Care
  • Social Policy for Health and Social Care
  • Promoting Health Education
  • Vocational Experience for Health and Social Care
  • Dealing with Challenging Behaviour

There may be opportunities to also gain qualifications in

  • First Aid
  • Health and Safety
  • Food Hygiene

Maths and English are key elements of any full-time study in College. If you do not already have a GCSE at grade A*-C in these subjects, you will be required to attend additional lessons in these areas. These are varied study sessions and are designed to cater for all ability levels. You'll receive advice and guidance regarding the correct level for you.

Entry requirements

Four GCSEs at Grade C or above or Level 2 Diploma.  For all progression routes Maths, English and Science will be needed at grade C.  GCSE Grade C or above in English is an entry requirement for this course.


Your achievement in this subject is dependent upon excellent attendance, punctuality and effort. You will learn in a friendly atmosphere, using a variety of assessment methods including:

  • Written assignments
  • Portfolio and project work
  • Discussions

Future opportunities

Successful completion of the course should allow entry into Higher Education, including Social Work degrees and/or employment or training in the social care sector. Previous students have also progressed into Primary School Teaching, Criminology, Counselling, Youth Work and other care professions.

Further information

Throughout the course you would be required to complete at least 15 hours of independent study time per week.  To support you in this you will have access to lecturers via email and will be able to access support materials and resources via our virtual learning environment – Moodle.

There is a refundable charge for library resources and locker key.

Successful completion of the 2 year course should allow entry into Higher Education, employment or training in the social care sector.  Some possible careers are Social Work, Criminology and Primary School Teaching.  You will need to check university entry requirements.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Truro and Penwith College directly.

Last updated date: 15 June 2016

Key information