The Level 3 Extended Certificate is an excellent general qualification that combines well with a wide range of other courses. Students will study in a positive, creative and friendly environment where they will be motivated and feel confident to express empathy and understanding with a diverse range of human needs. The content is varied and interesting, ranging from Communication and Childcare to Human Body Systems and Psychology. Learning methods include independently researched projects, talks from visiting speakers and work experience.

This is a two year course (equivalent to one A Level).

Health and Social Care goes well with many subjects, particularly:

  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • PE/Sport
  • English
  • Biology

Health & Social Care students may decide to take up a place at university studying one of a number of degrees related to this subject. Popular courses include: Nursing, Midwifery, Speech and Language Therapy, Radiography, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Teaching.

A qualification in Health & Social Care will provide essential knowledge of the industry and help prepare students for Higher Education or the world of work.

See what some of our former Health & Social Care students have gone on to do.

This course covers:

  • Human Lifespan Development (assessed via external examination)
  • Working in Health & Social Care (assessed via external examination)
  • Meeting Individual Care and Support Needs (set and marked externally)

Plus one optional unit.

Course Specific Trips, Visits & Experiences

BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate in Health & Social Care students have the opportunity to take part in a variety of course related experiences. In the last couple of years, these have included:

  • Exploring the health benefits of superfoods
  • A visit to Canine Partners charity in Heyshott
  • A visit to St. Piers School (for autism and epilepsy) in Lingfield
  • A visit by a Radiographer from East Surrey Hospital who gave a talk on diagnostic testing
  • The ‘Safe Drive Stay Alive’ presentation at the Dorking Halls, including a talk by Surrey Fire and Rescue Service on ‘Safer Driving’
  • Organising a Health Fair at College to help educate other students on issues of health and wellbeing

In addition to course specific experiences, students also have the opportunity to get involved in the College’s Activities Programme.

All students need to gain an experience of the work place during their time at College and for students studying vocational courses it should ideally be linked to one of their subject areas.

The course is assessed by coursework and externally assessed examinations.

The exam board for this BTEC Extended Certificate is Pearson BTEC.

All students need to have at least five GCSEs at Grade 4 or above (and a satisfactory school reference) in order to be accepted on an A Level/BTEC Level 3 Programme.  

In addition, students should meet the following minimum combination of GCSE grades:  

  • Grade 4 in a numerate subject such as Maths or Science, and
  • Grade 4 in a literate subject such as English Language, English Literature or History

A Merit or above in BTEC Level 2 Health & Social Care will also be considered.

Students on this course should be:

  • Interested in the care industry
  • Able to carry out independent research
  • Able to meet coursework deadlines

Students should enjoy working with others, have good verbal and written communication skills and be computer literate. The ability to plan and organise their own learning is also important.

What courses do you offer in Health & Social Care?

We offer two qualifications; both are BTEC and both courses involve two years of study:

  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate which is equivalent to one A Level and would be one of your three choices.
  • BTEC Level 3 Diploma which is equivalent to two A Levels and would be two of your three choices.

What is health & social care about?

Health and social care is the treatment of ill health and medical conditions in hospitals, health centres and in the community. Social care is the care and support of vulnerable people, usually in the community. Our topics are varied and cover all of the stages of life from conception and birth, right through to adulthood and later life.   We also explore health and nutrition, safe working practice, health promotion, promoting public health and current research within health & social care.

How is the course taught?

Our aim is to foster an interest in caring skills and encourage a holistic approach, we do this by developing your presentation and communication skills and helping you to become a critical thinker. We encourage you to research and explore a range of different viewpoints on key issues and we discuss and debate these within our activities. The course will support you to become a confident, independent and reflective thinker equipped with the skills to meet the challenges of working within the health and social care sector and the ever-changing world that we live in.

Who is this course for?

This course is suitable for students who are interested in working with people in a health or social care role. This includes a wide range of fulfilling careers such as; primary teaching, nursing, social work, midwifery, radiography, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, paramedic science, and childcare.

Is there a work placement?

Currently there is no work experience included in the course, but the College encourages all students to do a work placement where possible. We inspire students to undertake paid work as well as gaining voluntary experience.   Some students gain valuable experience of patient care through employment as Ward Assistants at East Surrey Hospital, or as Care Assistants in residential homes.

How would I progress into my chosen career?

Many career routes now offer apprenticeship schemes with benefits such as a paid degree course, a salary and offer of full-time employment once qualified. There are also many university degree courses available.  To explore university course options visit:

Which universities have students gone to in the past?

In 2020 Health & Social Care students secured places on the following university courses:

  • Childhood & Youth – University of Sussex
  • Children, Young People & Education – University of Greenwich
  • Diagnostic Radiography – St George’s University of London
  • Health & Social Care – University of Winchester
  • Midwifery – University of Northumbria, University of Surrey
  • Nursing – Bournemouth University, King’s College University of London, University of Manchester, University of Southampton
  • Occupational Therapy – St George’s University of London
  • Paramedic Science – Liverpool John Moores University
  • Primary Education – University of Winchester
  • Social Work – Solent University, Southampton

What are the units of study and how are they assessed?

The Extended Certificate has four units of study spread across the two year course and they comprise a combination of exams and assessed coursework.

When will I sit my exams? What happens if I‘m not happy with my grade?

For the Extended Certificate, you will sit an exam in each year of the course (in May or January).

You will have an opportunity to resit the exam, should you wish to improve on your grade. 

How to Apply

Applications for entry September 2024

Please apply (from 19 September 2023) via the link on this page:

Please see the Admissions timetable for information about the College’s enrolment process.

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