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Certificate of Higher Education in Social Care (England)

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  • Course type Distance learning course
  • Duration Part-time
  • i Tutor is available to students.


Are you thinking about going into social work or social care? This certificate course is the ideal way to find out if it’s the right career for you. It will give you an insight into social work and social care in England (and is also suitable if you live in the Republic of Ireland), starting with up-to-date, authoritative overview of care services – with real-life case studies taking you deep into the experience of giving and receiving care. You’ll also develop your knowledge of the key roles of social work, and learn about the social work standards and codes of practice relevant to each UK nation state. You’ll explore ideas about what social work is – using case studies with children, older people, mental-health communities, disabled children and people with learning disabilities to apply learning to practice contexts. This certificate course also builds key skills in information and communication technologies (ICT), information literacy and reflective writing. 


Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes are described in four areas. Within these four areas we emphasise achievable outcomes for students who have chosen the Certificate of Higher Education in Social Care and who are learning at a distance and in the workplace.

Knowledge and understanding

When you have completed this certificate, you will have knowledge and understanding of:

  • issues and trends in modern public and social policy, and their relationship to contemporary practice and service delivery
  • social processes such as racism, poverty, poor health and other sources of disadvantage, and how these are associated with processes of marginalisation, risks of crime and exclusion
  • competing explanations for the characteristics and circumstances of people who use services and for the range of perceived needs, including psychological and physiological
  • the roles and significant inter-relationships between a range of services, including social services, education, housing, health and criminal justice
  • the significance of interpersonal and sociocultural factors in the delivery of human services in a diverse society
  • codes of practice, the regulation of professional conduct, practice guidelines and the values underpinning them.
Cognitive skills

When you have completed this certificate, you will be able to:

  • gather information from a wide range of sources, taking account of different views and being able to analyse and evaluate critically
  • consider and evaluate specific factors relevant to practice, such as risk, rights, identity and vulnerability.
Practical and/or professional skills

When you have completed this certificate, you will be able to:

  • demonstrate the ability to fulfil the National Occupational Standards key roles for social work, at a qualifying level
  • demonstrate an understanding of the ethical basis of social work and the underpinning values of social work practice
  • have knowledge of the theoretical basis of social work and apply this to practice
  • work within the legal framework for practice
  • work in partnership with users and other professionals
  • practice critical self-reflection and engage in professional development.
Key skills

When you have completed this certificate, you will be able to demonstrate the following skills:


You will be able to:

  • communicate effectively with individuals, groups and organisations, in a range of formal and informal situations
  • present information and arguments verbally, in writing and using electronic communications, in a structured form that is logical, coherent and appropriate to the audience
  • gather, select and manage information from a wide range of sources and in a variety of ways, for a range of purposes. These methods should include electronic searches using the internet, use of electronic databases, reviews of written materials and face to face, written and telephone contact with individuals and groups.

Infomation technology

You will be able to:

  • use information and communication technology at a level equivalent to the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL)
  • use information and communication technology methods and techniques for a variety of purposes including professional communication, data storage and retrieval, information searching and resource management.

Learning  how to learn

You will be able to:

  • manage your own learning through the identification of learning needs, objective setting, monitoring progress by critical reflection, identifying strengths, weaknesses and areas to improve, and responding to feedback.



There are no formal entry requirements to study this certificate, but it would be to your advantage to work within or have access to a social care agency – for example, through voluntary work. Note that for the module Foundations for social work practice (KYJ113) you’ll need to organise and complete a period of 20 days’ preparation for practice which must involve shadowing a qualified social worker.

Career path

The modules that make up this certificate also form the first year of the BA (Honours) Social Work (England) (Q32) – so if you’re considering a career in social work, the Certificate of Higher Education in Social Care provides an excellent introduction. 

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United Kingdom

This course is advertised on by the Course Provider, whose terms and conditions apply. Purchases are made directly from the Course Provider, and as such, content and materials are supplied by the Course Provider directly. It is your responsibility to review and agree to the Course Provider's terms and conditions and satisfy yourself as to the suitability of the course you intend to purchase. Reed will not have any responsibility for the content of the course and/or associated materials and you will have no contract with Reed.