Foundation Degree (FdSc) in Health and Social Care

Course Overview

This highly practical two-year course allows you to develop your career in health and social care.




You’ll develop a detailed understanding of health and social care policy and practice, which you can use straight away in any workplace that involves caring for individuals and communities.

This is a highly practical course, which combines academic study and work-based learning. The elements of the course which are taught in the college include lectures, discussions, case studies and workshops.

Your progress will be assessed with evaluations of work experience, reports, presentations and time-constrained tests. Throughout the course you’ll have one-to-one support from academic staff.

Year 1 (national level 4):

  • Developing Independent Learning and Professionalism in the Social Sciences (20 credits)
  • Working in Health Social Care Settings I (20 credits)
  • Understanding Health and Social Care (20 credits)
  • Dimensions of Health (20 credits)
  • Applied Qualitative Research in the Social Sciences (20 credits)
  • Exploring Psycho-Social Theory (20 credits)

Final year (national level 5):

  • Contemporary Issues (20 credits)
  • Working in Health Social Care Settings II (20 credits)
  • Quantitative Research Methods in the Social Sciences (20 credits)
  • Health Improvement and Healthy Lifestyles (20 credits)
  • Life Course Approaches to the Health of Children, Young People and Families (20 credits)
  • Working together to Safeguard Vulnerable Children, Young People and Adults (20 credits)
  • 56 UCAS points from a minimum of two GCSEs/A Levels/AVCE or equivalent. We will also accept PPP at BTEC Extended Diploma level.
  • BTEC Level 3; NVQ Level 3; Modern Apprenticeship (NVQ Level 3 plus Key Skills)
  • GCSE grade C or above (or equivalent qualifications) in Mathematics and English. If you have studied for a GCSE which has a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade C (4) or above
  • Work based route only – a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check that has an issue date within 3 years at the start date of the programme.

In addition, you should have experience in health and social care. The experience can be from paid work or voluntary work.
You will need a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check before you can start this course.
You may also be eligible to apply if you don’t have formal qualifications but you do have at least two years’ relevant work experience.

If English is not your first language, please refer to the University of Sunderland English Language requirements.

This programme is offered by Tyne Coast College working in partnership with the University of Sunderland. The award that you will receive will be from the University of Sunderland.

Health and social care is a diverse field, with opportunities to specialise in areas such as young people, mental health, or drug and alcohol abuse support.

Academic qualifications in Health and Social Care allow you to work in the NHS, charities such as Age UK and MIND, social care organisations such as Turning Point, and other public, private and voluntary sector health agencies.

Some careers, such as social work, nursing or occupational therapy, require additional academic and professional qualifications. When you have completed this Foundation Degree, you will have the opportunity to ‘top up’ to a BA (Hons) undergraduate degree.

Once you have completed your 2 year course, you will have the opportunity to top up to a full degree at Sunderland University.

The university offer four different top up pathways:

  • Bsc Hons Health and Social Care
  • Bsc Hons Health and Social Care Health and Wellbeing
  • Bsc Hons Health and Social care Practice
  • Bsc Hons Health and Social Care Management and Leadership

University of Sunderland is the only University in the region which offers the opportunity to apply a specialism to your top up degree year. These pathways will enable students to focus on a specific area of health and social care for their dissertation, and for their future career in the Health and Social Care sector.

After wanting a career change, our current HE student,Dawn decided to study our Foundation Degree in Health & Social Care.

Here’s what she says about the course:

“I wanted to develop my knowledge and skills and knew that the Foundation Degree in Health & Social Care would be the perfect way to go.

I enjoy the combination of learning through a mixture of lectures, assignments and self-development.

It’s been great to study both onsite and remote learning this year as I find both give different aspects of learning opportunities and are a very good balance.”

Following her Foundation Degree, Dawn plans to top up to an honours degree and progress into care work or care management.

Covid-19 has challenged the delivery of all educational and professional programmes and as such, the team have taken the decision to make exciting alterations to how the Health and Social care programmes will be delivered from September.

For our Foundation Degree programme, the University of Sunderland have developed emergency professional standards: an effective approach to your programme of study, blending face-to-face and online teaching.

On our HNC programme, we have developed temporary distance learning alterations to both learning and assessment to maximise your opportunities for success.

For both programmes, some theoretical lectures and pre-session reading will be delivered/available online using Microsoft Teams

Our experience has shown that this method opens new learning opportunities for all, enabling you to develop graduate skills such as time management, self-care and workload prioritisation, with support from the academic team.

In the coming months before commencing your studies please contact the Programme Leader if you would like any further guidance before joining us:

Programme leader contact: Julie Anderson

Programme leader contact details:

* The University of Sunderland has a wide range of scholarships on offer. Find out more.

Get further information on funding your Higher Education.

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The North East Collaborative Outreach Programme (NECOP) has launched its FutureMe programme of activity and support to increase the number of young people from the North East progressing to higher education.

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