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Health and Social Care

BA (Hons) (Top-up)

Study Health and Social Care at University Centre Leeds

Ready to transform lives? Over a million more health and care staff are needed in the next decade to meet growing demand for care (The Health Foundation, 2021). Health and social care is one of the biggest employment sectors in West Yorkshire and is forecast to be the main sectoral source of net job growth in West Yorkshire over the next decade, with health and care professional and associate professional roles are featured among those in greatest current demand (WYCA, 2021). Join the graduate health and social care workforce, known to be one of the most rewarding careers, by enrolling on our BA (Hons) Top Up Health and Social Care degree. 


This course is ideal for anyone pursuing a Health and Social Care career and reflects the changing requirements of those working in the health and social care sector.

  • Starts:
  • Duration: 1 year full-time | 18 months part-time
  • Venue: University Centre
  • Fee: £8,745 Full Time or £4,372 Part Time (per academic year for UK students)
  • UCAS Course Code(s): 8P37
  • UCAS Institution Code: L21
  • Study Mode: Full Time / Part Time
  • Validated By: The Open University
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Health and Social Care

This exciting Level 6 Health and Social Care Top-Up Degree is available for anyone who has completed a foundation degree, Higher National Diploma or equivalent qualification, or for professionals in Health and Social Care looking to gain a Bachelor’s degree. You will study for one-year (full-time) or 18 months (part-time) to top-up your existing qualifications into a full undergraduate degree.

This course gives you the opportunity to continue your studies in the field of health and social care and to focus on a particular area of interest. The course aims to give you the opportunity to develop a deeper breadth of knowledge, whilst developing the range of professional, vocational, employability, transferable and key skills needed by health and social care professionals. These will ensure you will meet the changing requirements of the health and social care workforce in light of recent changes to legislation and practice for the sector. 

The course has been written with employability at the heart of its design and has an integrated practice theory focus throughout. Modules have been designed to allow you to explore contemporary issues relevant to the sector, but also to embed your learning in the context of professional practice. You will critically reflect practice issues, identifying care challenges and how to overcome them and will work towards a higher level of practice as you identify your specialism. This will include consideration of emerging legislation, exploring the impact of this upon the sector. You will also shape your learning through research and complete a dissertation on a topic of your choice.

This course is validated by The Open University 

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How to Apply

If you would like to apply for to study full time, please do so via UCAS.

The institution code for University Centre Leeds is L21.

The application fee for applying through UCAS is £27.50.

Apply via UCAS

If you're interested in applying to study part-time, these applications must be submitted directly through our website via the following link:

Part Time - Direct Application Form

If you are a student currently studying at Leeds City College, Keighley College or Harrogate College and if all of the following applies:

  • you do not already have an application with UCAS
  • you only wish to study your full time undergraduate course with University Centre Leeds
  • should you be successful in your application and enrol onto this course, you agree to us submitting a record of prior acceptance (RPA) application to UCAS on your behalf 

Then you can make a direct application via the following link: 

Internal Students - Direct Application Form

For further information in regards to this please email

Course Information

Modules may include:

Level 6

Research Methods (20 credits)

In this module you will have the opportunity to develop research skills, techniques and methodologies with which to assess the work of others. It will provide underpinning knowledge of research and ethics for conducting your own research. This module links to the dissertation module and provides the proposal for the dissertation and application for ethical approval. 

Protecting from Harm; Safeguarding Individuals, Families and Communities (20 credits)

Reflecting the workplace, in this module you will focus on the practice theory safeguarding vulnerable individuals, children, families and communities in health and social care. It explores societal attitudes within the workplace and government policy regarding whistleblowing and the impact on practice. This module also allows you to reflect and examine your own attitudes and perceptions to safeguarding individuals, families, and communities. 

Specialist Provision in Health & Social Care (20 credits)

You will focus on specialist provision in the health and social care sector within this module, exploring the evolving nature of this provision and examine the political and social context of these changes. This will include the role of statutory, voluntary and private provision to support vulnerable individuals, families and communities. You will have the opportunity to examine the sector and identify an area of specialist provision. The assessment allows you to devise a project to meet the needs of service users.

 Contemporary Discourse (20 credits)

This module gives you the opportunity to unpick contemporary issues in the health and social care sector. This module also encourages you to think deeply and engage critically in debate. The sector has evolved substantially over the years and graduates in the field need to be literate in the main discourses that have shaped current thinking and practice. You will have the opportunity to investigate a contemporary issue, which has an impact upon service users within health and social care. This issue will be self-selected depending upon interest, role in the sector and expertise. 

Dissertation (40 Credits)

You will carry out a major piece of research, within this module, choosing a topic of your choice relating to health and social care. You will develop your skills and knowledge through primary (where appropriate) and secondary research. It links with the research methods module where ethical clearance will be sought prior to the commencement of the dissertation. 

If studying on a full time basis, you will study 120 credits over the 1 year course and the part time basis, you will study 80 credits in the 1st year and then the 40 credit dissertation module in the 2nd year of their course.

The course actively deepens academic, professional and employability skills encouraging your critical thinking in preparation for future practice in the health and social care sector. 

You will develop your research and analytical skills and conduct a large piece of writing in a topic of your own special interest and it is this work which awards the honours of your award. There are excellent opportunities for you to engage in research within an area of your choice, and you can gain dissemination skills through opportunities such as delivering a paper presentation at our annual Research Conference. 

The contemporary discourse elaborates around current and emerging topics pertinent to the sector, ensuring you remain up to date. A variety of skills will be gained with the  range of assessment types this award supports report writing, presentations, and working collaboratively in addition to team and lone working exercises. 

This award allows you to develop your skills from a holistic perspective, a dimension that reflects the sector’s philosophy. Through our excellent links with the sector, working closely with NHS Trusts, charities and local authorities, you will benefit from guest lectures and networking and employment opportunities. We also have established links to community groups, for example Candlelighters (a local charity supporting families facing children’s cancer), Public Health resource centre, and Social Enterprise groups, allowing you to gain insight into a wide range of settings.

You will be assessed through a variety of methods including:

  • Projects 
  • Presentations
  • Reports
  • Essays 
  • Dissertation

Ongoing assessment and feedback (formative) is integral to the teaching, learning and assessment strategy of the course. You will take part in discussions, seminars, peer review and evaluations on an on-going basis. You are encouraged to share your knowledge with your peers in group work, discussions and seminar groups. 

The assessment process is an essential element of the programme design and methods are designed to replicate activities that are seen throughout the working sector.  In addition to the pedagogic material you will also become proficient with IT skills, another essential part of working in today’s society, particularly in health and across times of living within a pandemic.

This course is delivered in the University Centre.


Foundation Degree: Pass on the second year of a foundation degree in a relevant subject.

HND: Pass grade in a relevant subject.

English GCSE: English Language Grade C or above (grade 4 for those sitting their GCSE from 2017 onwards). Alternatively, Key Skills Level 2, Functional Skills Level 2 and a certificate in Adult Literacy are accepted in place of GCSEs.

IELTS: IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any component.

International qualifications: International qualifications will be assessed against these criteria.

Mature applicants: We welcome applications from candidates who may not precisely match the academic criteria but can demonstrate experience in their chosen field as well as academic achievement at level 5. Candidates in this category will be interviewed to assess their
suitability for the course and asked to provide a portfolio of evidence to support their application.

*21 years and over at the start of the course

RPL Claims: The course structure actively supports claims for Recognition of Prior Certified Learning (RPCL) or Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL).

Interview / Audition: All applicants will be assessed on their suitability for this programme of study from their application and may be asked to provide evidence to support their application.

Recommendations: Students are recommended to have experience of working in the sector, paid or voluntary.

There may be opportunity for progression onto relevant Masters programmes of study.

You can gain employment in the Health and Social Care Sector in suitable senior or managerial roles.  

  • Health administration
  • Care management
  • Further / Higher Education teaching (further qualifications will be required)
  • Community development roles
  • Charity Officer
  • Research roles
  • Public Sector Health and Social Care 

For the latest version of the programme specifications for this course please click here.

For the latest version of the course handbook for this course please click here.

For the latest version of The Open University regulations please click here.


Full Time


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