Key Stage 4

BTEC Health & Social Care

Examination Board:  Edexcel

Course Description

The Edexcel BTEC First Award in Health and Social Care is a Level 2 qualification designed to provide work-related qualifications and experience in a specialist area.  The First Award is equivalent to one GCSE, leading to grades of  A* – C grades, noted as Distinction*, Distinction, Merit, Pass.  Any students who fall below the pass grade will achieve a level 1 qualification (GCSE equivalent grades D-G) which can provide a solid foundation for future learning in this subject.

Teaching and Learning Styles

The principle aim of this course is to provide students with a stimulating and engaging introduction to the health and social care sector.  This includes, health work,  working with children, social work, education, mental health services, medical studies – in fact, any profession which involves working with and understanding, people.  Students will develop knowledge, skills and understanding in a meaningful, work-related context, allowing them to understand both the theories and their application.  Students will engage directly with practical activities, research, use of current media topics, individual tasks and project work.  Students are encouraged to develop both individual study and team working skills and to think creatively about how they present their ideas and work.  The course also aims to develop softer skills of empathy and tolerance which provide a foundation for working in any health and social care context.

Course Structure

The Edexcel BTEC Level 2 / Level 1 First Award in Health and Social Care is taught over 120 guided learning hours (GLH).  It has core and optional units.

Learners must complete both core units, plus further units for a total of 120 GLH.  All units are equally weighted.

One unit of this course will be set and marked by Edexcel, all others will be set and assessed by the school.

The mandatory units are of equal weight and account for 30 GLH each.  They are outlined below.

Unit 1 : Human Lifespan Development: This unit introduces learners to the different life stages that people pass through in the course of life, and the common features related to these life stages.  Students will also investigate the range of factors that affect human growth and development and how these are interrelated.  Key areas covered will be physical, intellectual, emotional and social growth and development and concepts such as self esteem.  This is an externally assessed unit.  This Unit represents 25% of the course.

Unit 2:  Health and Social Care Values:  This unit provides students with an understanding of the values that underpin good practice in health and social care settings.  These values underpin all areas and include legislation, policies and procedures and face-to-face delivery of support, all of which form the care framework.  Students will understand how these values impact on users of health and social care services and the potential impact of applying the values ineffectively.  Students will take part in practice simulations; for example art and craft activities, and use case studies and media, in addition to their own experiences.  This an internally assessed unit.

A further two optional units will be selected from a list of nine possible areas of study.  These include The Impact of Nutrition on Health and Wellbeing,  Effective Communication, and Equality and Diversity in Health and Social Care.

The two optional units selected for study will be chosen to reflect the intended career paths of the students taking the course and the expertise of the course tutor.                                                                                                                             


Three of the four units are assessed on evidence produced by each candidate that demonstrates their knowledge and understanding of the subject content.  This will be in a variety of forms depending on the topic, for example a presentation, report, log/diary, explanations or project.

Unit 1 – Human Lifespan Development – is externally assessed using a 60 minute examination consisting of short and long answer questions, with an opportunity for extended writing within the exam.  The Examination Board – Edexcel – sets and marks the test.

Further information on BTEC First Award in Health and Social Care can be obtained from Mrs M Grant, Head of Health and Social Care.