PgDip in Health and Social Care (part-time)

University of Bolton

Program Description

PgDip in Health and Social Care (part-time)

University of Bolton

Health and Social Care - PgDip part-time

The MSc Health and Social Care is for all professionals who work in a health, social care or public context. A range of professionals choose to undertake this course; for example, nurses, midwives, health visitors, teachers, the police, workers in children’s services and representatives from the voluntary sector.

Study on this course reflects the emphasis on integrated services in the delivery of patient care. As well as enhancing your own professional development, this course helps you to guide and support others in your profession in respect of their health and social care roles and responsibilities.

The University of Bolton's postgraduate framework in Health and Social Care is extremely flexible. You can select one or two stand-alone modules to fill in gaps in your professional knowledge, or a take a number of modules and build up credits towards the postgraduate certificate, postgraduate diploma or full masters degree.

The course challenges you to take a critical approach to your studies and professional development by enabling you to make practical and effective use of your learning in your professional role. In addition to gaining subject specific knowledge this programme enhances your research skills to make use of your developing depth of knowledge.

About the course

The impact of the Francis report (DOH 2013) on the NHS and delivery of higher education cannot be over estimated and has shifted the emphasis of health to a broader concept of patient welfare through integrated services. As someone who works in the health or social care sector your aim is to help people to live better for longer. This course will enhance your professional practice and help you to lead and shape the care you deliver, making sure people have the support, care and treatment they need, delivered with the compassion, respect and dignity they deserve.

You will be able to choose your course content to cover topics that will enable you to deliver care that ensures people stay healthy, protects them from threats to their health and minimises the risk and impact of their illnesses. Your studies will equip you to lead the shaping of services that meet patients' needs and enable people to retain their independence and dignity. Modules about compassionate care, mental health and wellbeing, children’s welfare and integration of health and social services are all topics that you can choose from. With this course a more inclusive approach to workforce development with the introduction of a common core of skills and knowledge for the health and social care workforce is now in place.

This programme aims to be supportive of latest NHS strategy and you are encouraged to draw upon work-based learning and focus your development upon leadership and service improvement. A masters level programme in health and social care thus allows you develop your practice in a variety of service and community settings.

Special features

  • The course has a high degree of flexibility allowing you to choose from a broad range of modules. The emphasis on all our modules is on using theory to improve practice, and the quality and effectiveness of the services offered to patients and clients. We have an open, friendly style, lots of service experience, and give personalised support.
  • Most people who work with us come from organisations in health, social care and the voluntary sector. They combine study and demanding jobs; we are very aware of the pressures this brings and try to adapt our programmes to accommodate this.
  • Students on this course have very varied leadership and managerial responsibilities. They include commissioners and providers, clinicians and non-clinicians, strategic and operational managers. Most come via word-of-mouth from previous students and are looking for a supportive academic environment that helps them do their job.
  • The Health and Community Studies Academic Group recognises that students wishing to undertake postgraduate study have varied amounts of academic experience and confidence. The department therefore offers free study skills sessions that have proved popular and productive with our past students.

What you will learn

Studying on this course will extend your skills in your field of professional practice. These will include decision-making skills, leadership skills and the ability to develop practical applications backed by theory and evidence. You will be able to deal with complex issues whilst questioning and redefining ways of working to move professional practice forward. You will understand the limits of autonomy and accountability.

In addition, you will acquire a range of transferable skills such as team skills and leadership, practice that values user and carer needs and experiences, problem solving, numeracy (appropriate to your working context), oral and written communication skills, information and communication technology (ICT) skills and the ability to identify and lead your own professional development.

What you will study

The MSc Health and Social Care allows you to commence your studies by taking just one 20 credit stand-alone module. This option may be preferred if it is some time since you last studied. Alternatively, you may prefer to apply for a postgraduate certificate, postgraduate diploma or masters degree.

It is possible to build your qualification on a step-by-step basis. For example, you may complete a stand-alone module and then apply for one of the higher awards – the 20 academic credits you gained on the stand-alone module can then be counted towards that higher award. Similarly, you may complete the postgraduate certificate before choosing to carry on to postgraduate diploma or MSc level. This flexible approach is popular with our students.

An additional attraction is that you may take one module at undergraduate level and count those credits towards your postgraduate award. This option is particularly helpful if you have not studied for some time as the undergraduate module will help you remember your study skills and ease you more gently into higher level study.

To gain the postgraduate certificate you will need to accumulate a total of 60 credits; 120 credits for the postgraduate diploma and 180 credits for the MSc. These credits should be at Level HE7 (masters level), although as explained above you may count one 20 credit module at Level HE6 (undergraduate level) towards your postgraduate award.

There are a range of modules: some are core and others are optional. You may choose from the latter to best fit your own development needs. The choice, order, and pace of study of modules can be designed to complement your professional role and service needs.

Postgraduate certificate

You must take 60 credits worth of modules. Usually these will relate to your area of specialist practice.

Core modules: Professionalism in Context (20 credits).

Elective modules: choose one 20 credit module at level HE6 or level HE7 and another 20 credit module at level HE7 from our range of professional development modules listed at

Postgraduate diploma

You will need to complete the postgraduate certificate modules above plus a further 60 credits. At this level these will usually include broader professional modules as well as a research methods module that will help prepare you for the masters-level dissertation.

Core module (choose one):

Critical Evaluation of Evidence and Practice (20 credits);

Principles and Concepts in Research Design (20 credits).

Elective modules (choose 40 credits at level HE7): you may choose additional modules from our range of professional development modules (listed at or another of the core module options listed above.

Entry requirements

You will be interviewed by a member of the course team.

Normally, you should have one of the following: a second class honours degree (2.2) or equivalent in any subject, or a relevant professional qualification and/or substantial experience in a relevant field of practice.

Non-standard entry qualifications will be considered.

Professionals/practitioners often find it difficult to attend open days. Therefore, if you wish us to visit your service/trust we would be happy to do road shows, etc. Please contact the programme leader to discuss.

If English is not your first language you will also normally need IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent). If you do not have the required English level, you can study English with us from IELTS 4.0 (or equivalent).

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated November 16, 2017
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2018
3 - 5 years
Part time
United Kingdom - Bolton, England
Start date: Aug. 2018
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Aug. 2018
United Kingdom - Bolton, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info