Certificate in Health and Social Care

The Open University

Program Description

Certificate in Health and Social Care

The Open University

Certificate in Health and Social Care

Care is constantly in the headlines because it involves such a huge workforce and huge budgets, and profoundly affects so many lives. This certificate is focused on two things. It provides a valuable introduction to learning in higher education and it also provides an authoritative overview of health and social care. Real-life case studies will take you deep into the experience of receiving care and working in care services. Whether you’re involved in care work (paid or unpaid), use services yourself, or simply have a general interest, this course will help you to build knowledge, understanding, and a range of learning skills, as well as preparing you for further study.

Key features of the course

  • Provides a fascinating insight into the provision of health and social care services in the UK
  • Encourages you to draw on your own ideas and experiences
  • Introduces the essential skills of academic study
  • Builds a solid foundation for further study

Educational aims

This certificate offers a thorough and well-supported grounding in health and social care issues and is an ideal starting point for students working towards a degree. The certificate’s aims are to:

  • contribute to improved practice in health and social care
  • enhance knowledge and understanding of health and social care across a wide range of settings and situations
  • encourage constructive reflection on care relationships
  • supply the knowledge base for progression to professionally recognised qualifications in health and social care
  • provide a learning framework that will equip students with the study skills necessary to succeed at degree-level study.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

This certificate is structured around six study blocks of learning materials which are substantially supported and enhanced by a multimedia, interactive CD-ROM.

There are seven tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) spaced through the academic year, the first of which is a short one that carries a smaller weighting of marks to enable a ‘practice run’. The TMAs are in parts, including an essay, care skills exercise and self-reflective notes.

Number skills are taught through innovative and interactive computer-based activities, and assessed by interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs).

Part-way through the module, students carry out a collaborative team-working activity which is achieved through working with online forums. You will be assessed on your skills in participating in the online forums.

There is an exam at the end of the year, and you will need to pass both the TMA and the exam to gain the certificate.

You will be allocated to a tutor who will help you with the study materials and mark and comment on your written work. You may also be offered group tutorials, which you are encouraged – but not obliged – to attend. There is also substantial tutor support in online forums, which is the primary mechanism for supporting learning and group interaction.


We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread, or even reduce, the cost. Fees for study commencing in academic year 2014/2015 are:

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification upfront.
  • If like most OU students studying part time, you study an average of 60 credits a year – you’ll study for six years to complete a degree. Our typical fee for 60 credits is £2,632.
  • Our current fee is £5,264 – based on 120 credits of study – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study.
  • The total cost of your chosen qualification currently starts from £2,632 based on our current fees.

NB: Prices are subject to change.

How long does it take?

  • Part time – 8 months
  • Time limit – 4 years

Career relevance

If you work in the frontline of care or are seeking employment in this area, this certificate will build your confidence and skills, and give your career a boost. It will supply the knowledge base for progression to professionally recognised qualifications in health and social care, and is the ideal starting point for academic qualifications such as a diploma or degree.

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements to study this qualification. You will however need to be proficient in English, to an IELTS standard of 6.0. If you are unsure you will be able to take a free English test as part of the registration process.

Read more about this programme on the Open University website here

This school offers programs in:
  • English
The Open University

Last updated December 14, 2015
Duration & Price
This course is Online
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2017
1 - 4 years
Part time
Full time
Contact school
Contact school
Start date Aug. 2017
United Kingdom Buckingham, England
Application deadline Contact school
End date Contact school
Duration 1 - 4 years
Price Contact school