Health and Social Care is a relatively new GCSE, introduced in September 2002 as one of eight new vocational GCSE subjects. Because this GCSE hasn’t been around for very long, some students – and many parents – are not aware of what it entails.

What does this course entail?

In simple terms, Health and Social Care introduces young people to a broad range of topics concerning health and social care, increasing awareness of the issues involved and preparing those who are engaged for a career within the profession. The GCSE covers topics relevant to the health, social care and early years sectors. It encourages students to examine issues such as quality of life, the importance of support when improving health, personal development and relationships.

What can I expect from a GCSE in this subject?

  • A lot of flexibility. Not only can you choose whether to do the single award or double award but you may also decide which studies you want to focus on for your examples: this means you have the opportunity to get involved with your local community, if you wish.
  • It will open up many doors to you. If you enjoy learning about health and you thrive on caring for other people – but you are unsure which career you want to go in to – this GCSE will give you a solid grounding in a wide range of topics within the health and social industry; hopefully you will develop ideas of which aspects of the sector most interest you.
  • You will get the opportunity to work independently on exciting, practical projects which will give you a taste of the real world, outside education. If you don’t enjoy learning from textbooks, or even school as a whole, this GCSE will give you a welcome change from the ‘same old’.
  • A great deal of variety. From trips to health and community organisations to group work and role play, you are unlikely to find the teaching style repetitive. These practical activities will also teach you technical, problem-solving and organisational skills that will allow you to develop your independence.
  • You will be assessed by a mixture of exams and controlled internal assessments (coursework you complete within a time frame in lessons). So be prepared to develop effective revision strategies that work for you and make sure you attend all your lessons: you will be working on coursework, so make the most of your allotted time.
  • The personal gains are worth it. Even if, by the end of this GCSE, you decide a job within the health and social care industries isn’t for you, you will still have learned a lot of valuable information about how to stay fit and healthy. You will have the opportunity to develop an interest in BMI (body mass index), heart pressure and first aid. These topics are widely useful and will help you to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

If all of this sounds like an exciting prospect, that’s great! GCSE Health and Social Care is a useful, practical, stimulating qualification, particularly valuable for students interested in health or those who have an interest in caring for people.



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As an Englishman in Paris, I enjoy growing my knowledge of other languages and cultures. I'm interested in History, Economics, and Sociology and believe in the importance of continuous learning.