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Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations

  • AgeNI
  • Disability Action
  • Youth Action
  • Barnardos
  • Health and Social Care Trusts
  • Start 360
  • NI Civil Service

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles

  • Civil Servants
  • Community Co-ordinator
  • Community Health Advisors
  • Policy and Advocacy Worker
  • Research Officer
  • Support Worker

Overview

Important notice – campus change Students will complete the next two years on the Jordanstown campus (academic year 2019/20 and 2020/21). Thereafter, from 2021, they may transition campuses. Precise timings will be communicated as we progress through the final stages of the build of the enhanced Belfast campus. Find out more

Health and Social Care Policy focuses on policy issues facing our society such as providing and financing healthcare, health inequalities and ageing.

Summary

The BSc in Health and Social Care Policy is designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills to work in graduate level roles within the Health and Social Care sector. Based in the discipline of social policy, this specialist degree has a strong emphasis on developing your intellectual, professional and personal skills. The degree focuses on the policy and theoretical context for the management and delivery of Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland and further afield.

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About this course

In this section

About

This course provides a strong grounding in the development and implementation of health and social care policy regionally, nationally and internationally. You will study key issues around the funding and delivery of health and social care in a dynamic and fast-changing environment. You will also explore concepts relevant to health and social care policy such as human need, welfare, the sharing of risk and citizenship in contemporary globalised societies. The course will provide you with practical and transferable skills in research and policy analysis. There is a strong emphasis in developing your theoretical, intellectual and personal skills to equip you for graduate employment in a range of fields. Teaching is research-led and grounded in the course team’s close contact with research and practice. A key feature of the course is a six-week work placement at the end of Level 5.

Please note that this course is a "regulated and/or care provision" within the meaning of the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults (NI) Order 2003 and the Safeguarding of Vulnerable Groups (NI) Order 2007. They may involve access to children and/or vulnerable adults and students are required to be subject to the criminal records check and may not complete the course without it. The fee for this is £33.00

Attendance

Attendance is during the day in classes where you will study alongside the full-time students. Modules are delivered in two 12 week teaching semesters per year. Contact hours are normally three hours a week per module, but students are expected to study independently for up to a further nine hours a week per module. In addition a studies advisor will be available for consultation as will your year tutor. Meetings with staff can also be arranged at set times and by appointment.

Start dates

  • September 2019
How to apply

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Content

The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.

Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:

- the relevant generic national Qualification Descriptor

- the applicable Subject Benchmark Statement

- the requirements of any professional, regulatory, statutory and accrediting bodies.

Attendance and Independent Study

As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.

Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.

The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.

Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.

Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.

Assessment

Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.

Calculation of the Final Award

The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).

Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.

All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

Academic profile

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).

We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.

The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.

Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.

Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.

Modules

Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

In this section

Year one

Policy Making and the Delivery of Welfare

Year: 1

This module introduces students to the nature of politics and governance and delivery in the UK. They will develop a deeper understanding of how policy issues are identified (or not) and the role of actors involved in policy networks. They will also be introduced to issues relating to multi-level governance and contemporary principles and agendas influencing the delivery of welfare. The system of devolved government in Northern Ireland is also explained with some reference to Scotland and Wales, and also governance in the Republic of Ireland. The context of constitutional, political and economic factors is also described.

Qualitative Research Methods

Year: 1

This module will introduce students to essential features of qualitative research through: conceptualizing research, constructing appropriate and effective data collection instruments, interpreting research findings and presenting significant research conclusions.

Social Policy: Analysis and Skills

Year: 1

This module will assist students to develop practical skills that will assist their academic and personal development as they progress through their undergraduate studies. The module will also build support and cohesion among the group through an emphasis on small group tasks.

Introduction to Health and Social Care Policy

Year: 1

This module introduces students to the evolution and development of health and social care in the UK and Ireland. Some reference will be made to policy and provision in the European Union and the US. The core of the course is organised around three main areas: the structure and administration of health and social care services; awareness of the impact of ideological, political, social and economic factors on the nature of health and social care provision; and key contemporary developments in health and social care policy and delivery.

Year two

Introduction to Social Policy

Year: 2

This module introduces students to key Social Policy concepts. They are also introduced to a number of contemporary issues in Social Policy and key debates on topics including poverty, housing education and the financing of welfare.

Changing Images of Welfare

Year: 2

Social policies are continuously undergoing reconstruction and change. This module examines, in their political, economic and historical contexts, the most significant and instructive changes in the approach to social policy in the UK, from Victorian times to the 1970s. Provision by voluntary action and privately is reviewed as well as action by the state. The module is particularly concerned to show the heuristic value of perspective and process in understanding key modern controversies over the ideas and practices taken to be central to the formation and delivery of social policy.

Poverty and Social Security

Year: 2

This module introduces students the main contemporary concerns of social policy in relation to poverty and social security. They will learn about the History, Concepts and Context of today's social security system ? charting the development of the European Social Model and the British welfare state; the impact of different ideologies on the welfare state; and dimensions of poverty, inequality and social exclusion through the life-cycle stages.

Adult Social Care

Year: 2

This module provides students with a knowledge of policy and provision of Adult Social Care. The core of the module is organised around the major issues in the development and develivery of Adult Social Care. Also included are administrative and governance arrangements and the financial and economic context. Key issues related to major vulnerable groups are covered. Attention is also paid to differences in policy and provision in Northern Ireland compared to England, Scotland and Wales and internationally.

Policy for Children and Families

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module covers major debates, perspectives and challenges associated with children and families. It will consider policy and services for children's well-being and recent reviews of children's services including child protection services and key areas of provision. Students will examine perspectives on policy, child poverty, mixed economy of care, partnership and inter-agency work and children's participation and rights.

Housing and Society

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module will examine the justifications for and the basis of state involvement in the housing market and evaluate the main policy mechanisms used such as the provision of social housing, the right to buy and the regulation of the private sector. The module aims to provide students with the tools to assess housing problems and policies. It also examines the interplay between housing, health and inequalities.

Year three

Social Survey Methods

Year: 3

This module will seek to provide students with knowledge and skills of social survey research methods designing surveys and analysing data sets. This will include the stages of research design from problem definition through to the concept development of a research instrument, piloting, fieldwork, data processing, analysis and writing up.

Social Policy: Concepts and Theories

Year: 3

This module examines some of the key concepts, ideas and theories relating to social policy in the UK and other countries. It provides the theoretical foundation necessary to understand the basis of policy and practice and contemporary debates about them.

Year four

Placement

Year: 4

This module provides students with the opportunity to undertake a six week placement so that they may improve their skills and understanding of social policy by direct experience.

Health and Social Care Economics

Year: 4

The module introduces students to how the discipline of economics can help day-to-day management and decision making in respect of social and health issues providing an introduction to economic principles, examining a range of social and health problems and using economic analysis to shed light on these problems and the policies aimed at addressing them.

Disability and Social Policy

Year: 4

This module gives students the opportunity to explore the major themes and issues in disability and social policy and how they have been changing. The study of disability will afford the opportunity to understand how social problems are socially constructed and how assumptions about the nature of social needs will affect policy responses. It aims to build on prior learning to enable students to reach a deeper and more analytical understanding of disability as a complex political and social issue.

Contemporary Issues in Health Policy

Year: 4

This module provides students with the opportunity to study selected issues in contemporary healthcare and health policy in depth. Healthcare takes place in a rapidly changing policy and delivery environment and students need to understand the context of change. The issues selected have occupied a central position in recent debates and are likely to do so in the future.

Diploma in Professional Practice

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module provides undergraduate students with an opportunity to gain structured and professional work experience, in a work-based learning environment, as part of their planned programme of study. This experience allows students to develop, refine and reflect on their key personal and professional skills. The placement should significantly support the development of the student's employability skills, preparation for final year and enhance their employability journey.

Gender and Social Policy

Year: 4

This module is optional

The module introduces a range of debates and theoretical positions, which help students to conceptualise gender relationships to social policy and provision. It uses particular examples, such as reproductive rights, family relationships, and community care, to enable students to identify the implications social policy has on gender.

Civil Society, NGOs and Social Policy

Year: 4

This module is optional

Voluntary organizations have become to play a central role in current policies to modernise the delivery of welfare services and are at the centre of key debates on the future of welfare, the obligations of citizenship and government hopes for civic renewal. This module will enable students to gain an understanding for the reasons why voluntary agencies have come to play such an important role in these debates and an insight into some of the dilemmas and contradictions that these changes have given rise to. It draws on contemporary research in a rapidly changing field.

Year five

Dissertation

Year: 5

This module provides students with the opportunity to 'showcase' their knowledge, understanding, intellectual, practical and transferable skills acquired throughout levels 4 and 5 of the course. As the largest and most substantial piece of work in the degree course, the dissertation is designed to require maximum student input and to foster independent working and self-directed learning, towards demonstrating the ability to plan, design, complete and report a theoretical and/or applied investigation into a well-focused social policy topic of the student's choosing, in a systematic and coherent manner.

Migration, 'Race' and Ethnicity

Year: 5

This module is optional

This module introduces students to a range of debates related to migration, racism and ethnicity with a focus on the United Kingdom and Ireland. Historical developments are reviewed but the focus is in current policy debates and perspectives. This includes international and national governance of migration flows and citizenship processes. Key policy areas covered include: immigration, refugee and asylum processes, equality and human rights.

International Social Policy

Year: 5

This module is optional

This module will engage students in the study of social policy in an international context. It will explore key issues relevant to thinking about social policy in an international context, including the role of international organisations, non-governmental organisations and multinational companies. The course will also cover substantive policy areas relevant for international social policy, such as climate change, health, poverty and work.

Ageing and society

Year: 5

This module is optional

This module seeks to develop critical understanding of ageing and old age with particular reference to policy and practice in relation to older people in the United Kingdom. The aim of this module is to equip students with conceptual, analytical and reflective tools to examine the lives of older people in society. A holistic view of older people is presented in relation to the realities and possibilities of the older years.

Mental health and society

Year: 5

This module is optional

No other health condition matches mental ill-health in the combined effect of prevalence and impact across individual, social, economic and mortality measures. This module aims to show how our knowledge and understanding of mental illness have changed over time, as well as indicate the problematic nature of the definition of mental illness. Students will also study the social patterning of mental health and illness and consider variations according to age, gender and social class. Particular attention is paid to the role and influence of user groups in the development of policy and strategy.

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

A level

Provide evidence of competence in written and spoken English (GCSE English Language grades A-C/ 4-9 or equivalent); and Provide evidence of passes in five subjects, two of which must be at A level (grades A-E) and three at GCSE level* (grades A-C/4-9); or provide evidence of passes in four subjects, three of which must be at A level (grades A-E) and one at GCSE level* (grades A- C/4-9); or Provide evidence of an approved qualification at an equivalent level such as a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma or Access to Higher Education qualification or equivalent**; or Provide evidence, for a process of formal accreditation by the University, of learning you have gained through work or other experience.The subject committee will consider a range of qualifications, experience and other evidence of ability to complete the course satisfactorily when considering applications for part-time study.

* GCSE English Language (grades A-C/4-9) may be used as part of the GCSE requirement.

GCSE

GCSE Profile to include [Enter specific subjects and grades].

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Exemptions and transferability

Students on the foundation degree in Health and Social Care may enter year two directly. Please contact admissions for further information.

Graduates who progress to the four year social work degree programme can qualify for up to two years exemption.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations. Here are some examples:

  • AgeNI
  • Disability Action
  • Youth Action
  • Barnardos
  • Health and Social Care Trusts
  • Start 360
  • NI Civil Service

Job roles

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles. Here are some examples:

  • Civil Servants
  • Community Co-ordinator
  • Community Health Advisors
  • Policy and Advocacy Worker
  • Research Officer
  • Support Worker

Career options

This degree is excellent preparation for a wide range of careers within the health and social services sector and further afield. Graduates have high employment rates with many working in health and social care or related areas and are well-equipped with the knowledge and skills to develop a career in local and central government, in consultancy or management and in research settings. This degree will enable students to apply for the fast-track relevant graduate route in social work. Our graduates have also progressed to postgraduate study in related areas such as health promotion, public health and community and youth work.

Work placement / study abroad

A key feature of the course is a six-week block work-based placement at the end of Level 5. Opportunities to study abroad include the Erasmus Scheme and International Student Exchange Programme.

Apply

How to apply Request a prospectus

Applications to our part-time undergraduate courses are made through the University’s online application system.

Start dates

  • September 2019

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (total cost)

Important notice - fees information Fees illustrated are based on 19/20 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees

Northern Ireland & EU:
£5,625.00

Scholarships, awards and prizes

George Mitchell prize for the best dissertation.

Best placement prize.

Additional mandatory costs

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.

Disclaimer

  1. The University endeavours to deliver courses and programmes of study in accordance with the description set out in this prospectus. The University’s prospectus is produced at the earliest possible date in order to provide maximum assistance to individuals considering applying for a course of study offered by the University. The University makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in the prospectus is accurate but it is possible that some changes will occur between the date of printing and the start of the academic year to which it relates. Please note that the University’s website is the most up-to-date source of information regarding courses and facilities and we strongly recommend that you always visit the website before making any commitments.
  2. Although reasonable steps are taken to provide the programmes and services described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility and the University may make variations to the contents or methods of delivery of courses, discontinue, merge or combine courses and introduce new courses if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key staff, changes in legislation or government policy including changes, if any, resulting from the UK departing the European Union, withdrawal or reduction of funding or other circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control.
  3. If the University discontinues any courses, it will use its best endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course. In addition, courses may change during the course of study and in such circumstances the University will normally undertake a consultation process prior to any such changes being introduced and seek to ensure that no student is unreasonably prejudiced as a consequence of any such change.
  4. The University does not accept responsibility (other than through the negligence of the University, its staff or agents), for the consequences of any modification or cancellation of any course, or part of a course, offered by the University but will take into consideration the effects on individual students and seek to minimise the impact of such effects where reasonably practicable.
  5. The University cannot accept any liability for disruption to its provision of educational or other services caused by circumstances beyond its control, but the University will take all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to such services.

Testimonials

Rebecca Hunt, Final Year Health and Social Care Policy

I attended Limavady Grammar School, completing my A-levels to then venture on to higher education. I have always had an interest in politics and the inequalities faced within society and so I knew that Health and Social Care Policy was a perfect choice. During my placement at the end of second year I worked in the NI Assembly’s Research and Information Service. This enabled me to gain confidence in carrying out research. I appreciate the support that I have received over the past few years whilst studying at Ulster. I received the Academic Excellence Award at the end of first year which recognised my academic achievement and this also gave me the confidence to realise my future career potential. I have a young daughter and I am grateful to my lecturers for their understanding and support. I recommend Ulster University as the lecturers are very supportive, wanting everyone to succeed. It is a friendly and welcoming University with so much to offer and the course is empowering and informative!