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The course contains three mandatary units:

  • Unit 1, Human Lifespan Development - Learners cover physical, intellectual, emotional and social development across the human lifespan, and the factors affecting development and the effects of ageing
  • Unit 2, Working in Health and Social Care - Learners explore what it is like to work in the health and social care sector, including the roles and responsibilities of workers and organisations
  • Unit 5, Meeting Individual Care and Support Needs - Learners focus on the principles and practicalities that underpin meeting individuals’ care and support needs, which are the foundation of all the care disciplines

It also has optional units, including:

  • Sociological Perspectives
  • Psychological Perspectives
  • Supporting Individuals with Additional Needs
  • Physiological Disorders

Unit 1 and Unit 2 are both externally assessed. Unit 5 and the chosen optional unit are internally assessed.


There are three main forms of assessment for this qualification: external, internal and synoptic. The styles of external assessment used for qualifications in the Health and Social Care suite are: Examinations - all learners take the same assessment at the same time, normally with a written outcome

Set tasks – learners take the assessment during a defined window and demonstrate understanding through completion of a vocational task

The styles of internal assessment used include; writing up the findings of their own research,
using case studies to explore complex or unfamiliar situations, carrying out projects for which they have choice over the direction and outcomes and demonstrating practical and technical skills using appropriate tools/processes etc.

Synoptic assessment requires learners to demonstrate they can identify and use effectively, in an integrated way, an appropriate selection of skills, techniques, concepts, theories and knowledge from across the whole sector. Synoptic units may be internally or externally assessed.


This qualification is generally taken alongside other qualifications as part of a two-year programme of learning. It carries UCAS points and is recognised by higher education providers as contributing to the entry requirements for a wide range of degree programmes in the health and social care sector. It can for example be taken alongside A Levels for those wishing to complete degrees in Nursing, Primary education, Social work and Sports studies and development.