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In this subject students will gain a broad understanding of health, social care and early years, develop skills, knowledge and understanding linked to the sector. Students will have an opportunity to apply learning in a practical and realistic way and follow a programme of study that enables progression. 

Health and Social Care is a stimulating, relevant and interesting subject. The health, social care and early years sectors are major employers in Northern Ireland. By choosing this subject students will be given the opportunity to study a broad range of topics including communication, quality care, health and wellbeing, physiology, services and family issues.

  • Students of Health and Social Care are encouraged to approach the subject with enthusiasm and get fully involved in the vocational nature of this subject. We aim to provide students with knowledge and skills they can transfer across different subjects and in further education; for example research skills, quality written communication and the ability to analyse. 
  • It is an excellent choice if pupils wish to pursue a career in the health and social care field either going into the world of work or onto third level education/university. There is a good balance between externally assessed units(exams) and internally assessed units (portfolios) which enables pupils to plan work effectively and monitors progress on a regular basis.

The 2-year course offers pupils the opportunity to see for themselves how policies and procedures work together in care settings such as local pre-school day care centres, nursery schools, P1-3 in primary schools, special needs school, residential homes for the elderly and disabled, to ensure users receive the best standard of care possible.

These activities will be achieved through visits to such care settings, timetabled work experience for 1-2 hours each week, volunteering work experience in pupils’ own time and information/question and answer sessions with health care professionals (e.g. nurses, care home managers and voluntary organisation representatives).



The aims of the Health and Social Care Department are to:

  • Enable pupils to develop initiative and cooperation to work with others.
  • Encourage inventiveness, originality and academic rigour.
  • Develop analytical skills.
  • Allow learners to experience vocationally-related learning to see if it is suitable for them.
  • Enable learners to make valid personal choices on completion of the qualification, including progression to third level.
  • Stimulate interest in the Health and Social Care sector and enthusiasm in studying the topic areas.
  • Develop an appreciation of communication in Health and Social Care environments, health and wellbeing, family issues, physiology and public services.
  • Develop the ability to communicate knowledge and understanding of Health and Social Care topics clearly and accurately.


AS / A Level Health & Social Care

Health & Social Care subject description at AS / A Level.