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BTEC Higher National Certificate or Diploma in Social and Community Work (Social Care Leadership and Management)
About the course
1: Why choose a BTEC Higher National qualification in Social and Community Work?
The purpose of BTEC Higher National qualifications in Social and Community Work is to develop students as professional, self-reflecting individuals able to meet the demands of employers in the social and community work sector and adapt to a constantly changing world. BTEC Higher Nationals include a Level 4 Certificate (HNC) and a Level 5 Diploma (HND). The qualifications aim to widen access to higher education and enhance the career prospects of those who undertake them.
BTEC Higher Nationals are designed to help students secure the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to succeed in the workplace. They represent the latest in professional standards and provide opportunities for students to develop behaviours for work, for example by undertaking a group project, or responding to a client brief.
At the same time the BTEC Higher Nationals are intended to keep doors open for future study should a student wish to progress further in their education after their level 5 study. They do this by allowing space for the development of higher education study skills, such as the ability to research.
|Starting Dates||January / April / September|
|Mode of Study||Full-time|
|Duration||HNC – One year / HND – Two years|
|Award||Pearson BTEC Level 4 Higher National Certificate in
Social and Community Work (Social Care Leadership and Management)
Pearson BTEC Level 5 Higher National Diploma in
Social and Community Work (Social Care Leadership and Management)
|Price Per Year||Full Time £6,000/year|
* STUDENT LOAN AVAILABLE *
2: Who are these qualifications for?
The BTEC HNC/ HND in Social and Community Work is aimed at you if you want to continue your education through applied learning! Higher Nationals provide a wide-ranging study of the health and social care sector and are designed for students who wish to pursue or advance their career in social and community work or related fields.
In addition to the knowledge, understanding and skills that underpin the study of the health and social care sector, Pearson BTEC Higher Nationals in Social and Community Work give students experience of the breadth and depth of the sector that will prepare them for further study or training.
3: Who awards the qualifications?
The BTEC Higher National qualifications are awarded by Pearson and The City College works in partnership with this organisation to deliver the programme. As the awarding organisation, Pearson has approved The City College to offer a variety of HND qualifications. The College’s management team is then responsible for ensuring that the quality of the provision offered meets Pearson’s exacting conditions and standards.
Quality is monitored regularly through visits from Pearson’s External Examiners and a regular Pearson Annual Management Review.
4: Qualification numbers
The Ofqual Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) qualification numbers are as follows:
- Pearson BTEC Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Social and Community Work: 603/2492/2
- Pearson BTEC Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Social and Community Work: 603/2493/4
5: Why choose BTEC?
BTECs are work-related qualifications for students taking their first steps into employment, or for those already in employment and seeking career development opportunities. BTECs provide progression into the workplace either directly or via study at university and are also designed to meet the needs of employers. Therefore, Pearson BTEC Higher Nationals are widely recognised by industry and higher education as the principal vocational qualification at Levels 4 and 5.
6: Aims of the Level 4 HNC and Level 5 HND in Social and Community Work
The Pearson BTEC Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Social and Community Work offers students a broad introduction to the subject area via a mandatory core of learning, while allowing for the acquisition of skills and experience through specialist pathways and the selection of optional units across a range of occupationally relevant subjects at Level 4. This effectively builds underpinning core and specialist skills while preparing the student for further subject specialisation at Level 5. Students will gain a wide range of sector knowledge tied to practical skills gained in evidence-based practice, personal research, self-study, directed study and workplace learning and experience.
Holders of he Level 4 HNC will be able to demonstrate a sound knowledge of the basic concepts, values and principles of Social and Community Work, and the skills to perform effectively as a support worker in a number of different settings in the health and social care sector. They will be able to communicate accurately and appropriately and they will have the behaviours and qualities needed for employment that requires some degree of personal responsibility. They will have developed a range of transferable skills to ensure effective team working, independent initiatives, organisational competence and problem-solving strategies. They will be adaptable and flexible in their approach to social and community work, show resilience under pressure, and meet challenging targets within a given resource.
Holders of the Level 5 Higher National Diploma will have developed a sound understanding of the principles in their field of study and will have learned to apply those principles more widely. They will have learned to evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems. They will be able to perform effectively in their chosen field and will have the qualities necessary for employment in situations requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making.
7: Programme Structure
The programme at Level 4 and Level 5 follows the ‘Social Care Leadership and Management’ pathway. The normal timescale for achieving a Level 4 HNC by full-time study is one-year. The normal timescale for achieving a Level 5 HND by full-time study is two-years. Progression to Year 2 of the programme is dependent on satisfactory completion of Year 1.
The one-year Level 4 HNC:
- Requires successful completion of 7 units
- Mixes 4 mandatory core, 2 specialist mandatory, and 1 specialist/ optional unit, each with a value of 15 credits except ‘Demonstrating Professional Principles and Values in Health and Social Care Practice’ which is 30 credits (120 total)
- Total Qualification Time (TQT) is 1200 hours
- Total Guided Learning Hours (GLH) is 480 hours.
The two-year Level 5 HND:
- Requires successful completion of a further 7 units (therefore 14 in total)
- Mixes 2 mandatory core, 3 mandatory specialist, and 2 specialist/ optional units, each with a value of 15 credits except ‘Investigating Innovative Approaches to Practice in Social and Community Work’ which is 30 credits (240 total minimum)
- Total Qualification Time (TQT) is 2400 hours
- Total Guided Learning Hours (GLH) is 960 hours.
TQT is an estimate of the total amount of time that could reasonably be expected to be required for a student to achieve and demonstrate the achievement of the level of attainment necessary for the award of a qualification. It can include, for example, guided learning, independent and unsupervised research/ learning, unsupervised coursework, watching a pre-recorded podcast or webinar, and unsupervised work-based learning.
GLH are defined as the time when a tutor is present to give specific guidance towards the learning aim being studied on a programme. This definition includes lectures, tutorials and supervised study in, for example, open learning centres and learning workshops. Guided Learning includes any supervised assessment activity; this includes invigilated examination and observed assessment and observed work-based practice.
The 240 credits achieved by successful completion of the HND is equivalent to completing the first two years of a social and community work related honours degree at a UK university (see section 8 below).
8: What is studied and how is it timetabled and assessed?
The academic year is divided into three terms and in each term you will normally be timetabled to study 2-3 units. You will usually be timetabled for at least three days per week and it must be noted that the timetable changes from term-to-term as the programme develops and units are completed.
A variety of forms of assessment evidence will be used, suited to the type of learning outcomes being assessed. Some units, for example, require a practical demonstration of skills while others require students to carry out their own research and analysis, working independently or as part of a team.
Methods of assessment may include, for example, writing a report or essay, recording an interview or role play, examination or in-class tests, giving a presentation with assessor questioning, making a PowerPoint presentation, creating academic posters, displays or leaflets, or keeping a reflective journal.
|Pearson BTEC Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Social and
Community Work (Social Care Leadership and Management)
|Unit||Unit Title||Unit level||Unit credit|
|Plus ONE specialist/optional unit from the list given below (chosen by the College)
unit (chosen by
|Pearson BTEC Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Social and
Community Work (Social Care Leadership and Management)
|Unit||Unit Title||Unit level||Unit credit|
|Plus TWO specialist/ optional units from the list given below (chosen by the College)|
|Plus TWO specialist/
(chosen by the
9: Compulsory work experience/ placement requirements
The Level 4 HNC in Social and Community Work Practice requires at least 225 hours of work experience/ placement in social or community care settings. A minimum of 75 hours in one social or community care setting is required. You can undertake placement in more than one setting, providing they meet the minimum requirement for types of setting as indicated above.
The Level 5 HND in Social and Community Work requires at least 375 hours of work experience/ placement in social or community care settings. A minimum of 100 hours in at least one social or community care settings is required. Students can undertake placement in more than two different individual settings, providing they meet the minimum requirement for hours’ placement as indicated above.
Suitable work placements include:
Social Care (and healthcare)
- Hospice (adult and child)
- Palliative care services
- Respite care
- Mental health crisis house
- Mental health community outreach teams
- Re-ablement services
- Schools or children’s education services
- Substance misuse services
- Agencies working with domestic abuse
- Community learning disability services
- Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)
- Assisted living for people with learning disabilities
- Older person services
- Offender support units.
Community-Based Organisations and Charities
- Befriending services e.g. from Befrienders Worldwide (network of centres worldwide provide emotional support and advice)
- Humanitarian/disaster response agencies e.g. Actionaid
- Homelessness support services e.g. Shelter (in the UK)
- Housing support programmes
- Food banks
- Accessible transportation services
- Older people’s support clubs/associations
- Environmental protection/conservation groups
- Community sustainability groups
- Trauma support and advisory services e.g. Unicef, Refuge (in the UK)
- Children’s homes
- Youth centres
- Neighbourhood revitalisation programmes.
Students must keep a ‘Professional Learning and Assessment Document’ portfolio (PLAD) as a means to gather evidence of reflective learning and development on both the Level 4 HNC and Level 5 HND programmes.
In order to work in the care sector, you would require Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance and you will be responsible for arranging this. There will be a charge to obtain DBS clearance to be met by yourself or your employer. You will not get DBS clearance if you have a criminal record and so are unlikely to get employment in the care sector now or in the future. You must declare all criminal convictions to the college otherwise we cannot advise you properly.
10: Calculation of the overall qualification grade
The calculation of the overall qualification grade is based on the student’s performance in all units. Students are awarded a Pass, Merit or Distinction qualification grade using the points gained through all 120 credits, at Level 4 for the HNC or Level 5 for the HND, based on unit achievement. The overall qualification grade is calculated in the same way for the HNC and for the HND.
All units in valid combination must have been attempted for each qualification. All 120 credits count in calculating the grade (at each level, as applicable). The overall qualification grade for the HND will be calculated based on student performance in Level 5 units only.
Units that have been attempted but not achieved, and subsequently granted compensation, will appear as ‘Unclassified’; i.e. a ‘U’ grade, on the student’s Notification of Performance, that is issued with the student certificate.
Points per credit
11: What are the employment and further study opportunities for these qualifications?
Having a BTEC HNC/ HND provides a solid grounding in social and community work which students can build on should they decide to continue their studies beyond the Certificate/ Diploma stage.
On successful completion of the Level 5 Higher National Diploma, students can develop their careers in the social and community care sector through:
- Entering employment
- Continuing existing employment
- Linking with the appropriate Professional Body
- Committing to Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
- Progressing to university.
Those who enter employment in the social and community work sector may do so in job roles such as lower managerial, coordinator and supervisory roles in social administration, operation and support services, e.g. information, office, estates, advice and guidance services.
Successful completion of the BTEC HND is equivalent to completing the first two years of a related honours degree at a UK university. The qualification is recognised by Higher Education providers (eg. universities) as meeting admission requirements to many relevant social and community work-related courses, including, for example:
- BA/BSc (Hons) in Social Work
- BA (Hons) in Social and Community Work
- BA (Hons) in Youth Work
- BA (Hons) in Community Development
- BA (Hons) in Working with Children, Young People and Families
- BA (Hons) in Social Policy
- BA (Hons) in Psychology
- BA (Hons) in International Development
- BA/BSc (Hons) in Health and Social Care.
Students should always check the entry requirements for degree programmes at specific Higher Education providers where they wish to gain admission and ‘top-up’ their HND.
12: Entry requirements and admissions
The City College is required by Pearson to ensure that every student we enrol has a reasonable expectation of success on the programme. All applicants must be at least 18 years of age.
Applicants aged over 21 years at the start of their course and who have been out of education for at least three years are classed as ‘mature students’. The prior qualifications and/ or work experience of such applicants will be reviewed by the College to consider if their individual profile shows they have the potential to achieve the qualification. If we believe it does and all other requirements of the admissions process are met, such applicants may be enrolled.
For those who have recently been in education, the entry profile is likely to include one of the following:
- A relevant BTEC Level 3 qualification
- A GCE Advanced Level profile that demonstrates strong performance in a relevant subject or adequate performance in more than one GCE subject. This profile is likely to be supported by GCSE grades A* to C and/or 9 to 4 (or equivalent) in subjects such as Maths and English
- Other related Level 3 qualifications
- An Access to Higher Education Diploma awarded by an approved further education institution
- Related work experience
- An international equivalent of the above.
Applicants for the HND Social and Community Work programme must be in suitable employment before the programme commences in order to be enrolled. The employment may be paid or unpaid – see above for further work experience/ placement requirements.
13: Application process
All applicants must first submit all relevant documents in the following checklist to the College with a completed application form:
- Completed Application form which has been signed at the back
- Passport size photo
- An up-to-date CV
- Passport or other official photo ID
- Qualification certificates
- Next of Kin/ emergency contact phone number and address
- Proof of address which includes your full name and current address
- Letter from your employer confirming you are in suitable employment.
After all the documents have been checked, the applicant must sit an entry test as part of the admissions process. If the test is passed, applicants are invited for an interview. After the interview, all components of the process are considered, and the student will be informed of the decision, normally within 48 hours.
Applicants to the HND Social and Community Work programme should note that your employer must be willing to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the college so responsibilities and expectations are agreed and clear (more information about this can be found out by contacting the admin department).
14: English language ability for non-native speakers (not born in the UK)
Non-native English speakers who have not undertaken their final two years of schooling in English, must demonstrate capability in English at Level 2 (or equivalent) before being admitted to the programme. Equivalent grades to Level 2 include CEFR B2, PTE 51, and IELTS 5.5 (reading and writing must be at 5.5).
15: English language ability for non-native speakers who were taught in English for the final two years of school (or more)
Some applicants will not be native-speakers but will have studied the final two years of school in English (eg. those from West Africa).
16: Additional Costs
It is vital that all students have their own up-to-date computer/ laptop and internet for blended learning/assessment/access to online college resources.
All applicants are advised that the fees paid cover the cost of tuition for programme delivery, but there may be additional costs to cover, for example, books if required, stationary, awarding body registration fees, professional body registration fees, and travel costs to events.
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