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BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Health & Social Care

This course provides opportunity to apply to Degree study at university and to gain practical work placement experiences in an array of health and social care settings. The qualification develops a deep common core of knowledge, understanding and skills in the sector.

Why choose this course

Do you enjoy caring for people and have a compassionate and/or scientific mind? Do you want to develop your communication skills and practical abilities through mandatory work placements in a variety of health and social care settings? The course is structured to support and develop your confidence and individual strengths, from classroom led learning to practical experiences in health and social care settings. The Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care is intended as an applied general qualification. It is for post-16 learners who want to continue their education through applied learning and who aim to progress to higher education and ultimately to employment in the health and social care sector.

The qualification is equivalent in size to three A Levels. On successful completion of year one, students will achieve the Level 3 Foundation Diploma and continue to complete the full Extended National Diploma in the second year.

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Start date: 07/09/2023

Course code
Level 3
Penwith College
2 years
Extended Diploma

Top Course Highlights

Small classes

Excellent tutor support

mandatory work placement

trips and guest speakers

Experience Practical Settings

Mandatory work placement within Health and social Care settings of your choice

Friendly and experienced staff

The Health and Social Care Department is friendly, supportive, ambitious, and hardworking. Achievement in this subject relies heavily on your attendance, punctuality, and commitment to learning, both independently and within lectures.

Successful University Acceptances

Outstanding success rates for University Applications into a broad range of health and social care related subjects such as Adult Nursing, Paramedic Science, Midwifery, Forensic Science, Criminology, Psychology, Social Work and Counselling degrees.

What will i learn?

The content of this qualification has been developed in consultation with higher education to ensure it supports progression to higher study. Employers and professional bodies have been involved to confirm that the content is also appropriate for those interested in working in the sector.

It allows you to focus on a particular aspect of the sector through a selection of optional units, including a route that focuses specifically on health studies.

In addition to the knowledge, understanding and skills that underpin study of the health and social care sector, this qualification gives you experience of the breadth and depth that will prepare you for further study in the sector. This includes the opportunity for you to choose a health studies pathway with options reflecting the progression opportunities in healthcare.

Mandatory Modules

Anatomy and Physiology for Health and Social Care

Human Lifespan Development

Working in Health and Social Care

Meeting Individual Care and Support Needs

Principles of Safe Practice in Health and Social Care

Enquiries into Current Research in Health and Social Care

Promoting Public Health

Work Experience in Health and Social Care

Optional Modules for General Pathway

(Learner will study five optional units from their chosen pathway)

Sociological Perspectives

Psychological Perspectives

Supporting Individuals with Additional Needs

Nutritional Health

Caring for Individuals with Dementia

Assessing Children’s Development Support Needs

Optional Modules for Health Studies Pathway

Microbiology for Health Science


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Where will it take me?

Successful completion of this course should allow entry into Higher Education in a broad range of areas, including nursing, midwifery, teaching, social work, and psychology. Students can also look for employment within the Health and Social Care sector or become a higher-level Apprentice.

This qualification is the focus of a two-year study programme of learning and is equivalent to three A Levels, meaning that you will be fully prepared for a range of health and social care degree programmes.

The qualification is intended to carry UCAS points and is recognised by higher education providers as contributing to meeting admission requirements to many relevant courses. You should always check the entry requirements for degree programmes at specific higher education providers.

The health studies pathway in the qualification is more scientific in nature and you will study a wider range of health science units. This will support you when applying for degree programmes that expect larger amounts of prior scientific knowledge.

General Pathway

  • BSc (Hons) in Nursing
  • BA (Hons) in Social Work
  • BSc (Hons) in Physiotherapy
  • BSc (Hons) in Occupational Therapy
  • BSc (Hons) in Speech Therapy
  • BA (Hons) in Health and Social Care

Health Studies Pathway

  • Radiography
  • Midwifery and Nursing
  • Paramedic Science
  • Podiatry
  • Healthcare Science
  • NHS Practitioner Training Programme
Read More

Assessment arrangements

Assessment is continuous throughout the course and consists of written tasks, presentations, demonstrations and controlled assessments. You will also be required to sit two external exams in year 1 and another one in year 2 as part of the course requirements. This will aid your time management, organisation and research skills that contributes to effective practice when working within the Health and Social Care Sector.

Internal assessment tasks may include:

  • Presentations
  • Demonstration of practical skills
  • Discussions
  • Extended pieces of writing

External assessment tasks will include:

  • Exam papers – two in year 1 and one in year 2
  • One controlled assessment in year 2

Entry requirements

Four GCSEs at grade 4 or above. This must include English (Language or Literature) and/or Maths, preferably Science and 1 other GCSE at a minimum of grade 4. You will also be subject to a Disclosure and Barring Service clearance check.

Information and Support

Independent practice will be supported through PowerPoints, worksheets, practice exam papers and other guides available through our Moodle support page.

Want to talk to someone?

Do you have a question that we haven't answered so far? Talk to our admissions team. We're here Monday-Friday 8.30am-4.30pm.

What you could earn

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Potential Salary


Entry Level Salary


Average Salary


Annual openings in Cornwall


Potential Salary


Entry Level Salary


Average Salary


Annual openings in Cornwall


Potential Salary


Entry Level Salary


Average Salary


Annual openings in Cornwall


Potential Salary


Entry Level Salary


Average Salary


Annual openings in Cornwall


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