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Health and Community Development - BSc (Hons)

Why study this course?

The Health and Community Development BSc (Hons) degree is perfect if you want to work in the field to help improve the health of communities in the UK and beyond. It explores how community development approaches can be used to improve the health and well-being of individuals through social change. The course focuses on social and cultural drivers of ill-health, questions some of the wider reasons why people become sick in the first place, and asks how we can work alongside communities to help improve some of these wider challenges that place health at risk. If you would like to work alongside specific populations including youth, refugees, women and minorities to help improve their health and wellbeing, this course is for you.

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The Health and Community Development BSc (Hons) degree has been designed to foster understanding of the influence of community in addressing health challenges through social and political change.

Focusing on health and health services as a key factor in peoples’ lives, the course uses both theoretical and practice-based study. You'll develop understanding of the concept of community healthcare and how this relates to community development. This also includes secondary healthcare, for example, activities which focus on the environment and health (physical or mental) of geographical communities or those who share particular characteristics. 

The course is taught by staff with expertise in health, community development, human rights and research. You'll learn in a dynamic, interprofessional and interdisciplinary environment. Skills we'll help you develop include leadership and management, as well as in-depth understanding of challenges facing groups and individuals of all age groups.

This professional degree focuses on applied practice, enabling you to build contacts and further a career working with people in your community to improve health. Assessments are applied to real world challenges and you'll be able to choose the specific focus of many of your assessments. There are opportunities for hands on small-scale research by interviewing people and analysing the results.

Innovation and entrepreneurship as a response to challenges facing communities are important elements of this course. You'll have the opportunity to undertake relevant work-based learning throughout the course. This includes an extended work placement in the final year to enhance the development of skills and open career directions.

In your final year, you can specialise to work with particular age groups or with groups facing specific social issues. You'll also be able to develop your leadership skills and explore opportunities to start up an organisation. Employment events and employer visits will take place throughout the programme to develop your awareness of suitable career opportunities. This will compliment information provided in employability modules and optional participation on work-based learning placement modules, all of which will prepare you for a variety of different employment avenues.


Assessments will be a mix of coursework, presentations, portfolios and explorative and critical thinking projects. Many of the assessments will be related to real work challenges and you'll have some choice in the areas studied in accordance to your interests and career aspirations. Detailed guidance and support is given for all assessments and you'll have opportunities to submit draft work or plans for individual feedback and tutorials.

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • a minimum of grades BBC in three A levels (or a minimum of 112 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg BTEC National or Advanced Diploma)
  • English Language GCSE at grade C (grade 4 from 2017) or above (or equivalent)

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Applications are welcome from mature students with appropriate access or preparatory courses or relevant work experience. We also welcome those without formal qualifications who can show enthusiasm, commitment, and the ability to benefit from higher education.

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2017/18 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday morning
    • all year (January start) - Wednesday afternoon

    This module introduces students to the main developments in health and social carestarting with a history of welfare and institutions, building towards an analysis of contemporary issues, debates and influences on health and social care delivery. The module addresses the diversity of settings and roles in health and social care. It addresses inequalities in health and social care, in particular the social determinants of health. From the historical context in the UK, the emergence of public health and policy will be explored.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday morning

    This module introduces ideas concerning leadership through personal development activities and peer supported learning. Students work on personal target setting, self-review and reflection to examine issues of concern to themselves and to various communities. Through working with others in a small group, students are encouraged to reflect on ways of supporting others in making developmental decisions and choices. Specific attention is given to diversity and the development of inter-personal skills that support the learning process in group contexts. This includes opportunity for students to reflect upon the ways in which adults develop and work together for common aims. Students are encouraged to identify ways in which community development work can promote individual learning and the implications for practitioners within a range of work situations.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    The Principles of Community Work and Regeneration course introduces students to the environment within which community work takes place, and to the policy context, particularly in relation to regeneration. This module is a building block for community work skills and knowledge. It introduces students to definitions of community work, its origins and development. The module explores the principles of community development work, drawing on the National Occupational Standards for Community Development. It aims to explore the concepts of Social Justice, Self Determination, Working and Learning together, Sustainable Communities, Participation and Reflective Practice. It is taught over 30 weeks and is assessed through an essay, reflective writing piece and an evaluative report.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon

    This module offers an orientation to higher education. It introduces academic skills and ideas of academic discourse and audience, alongside key professional skills in the health and social care field.

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Year 2 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon

    This module aims to examine contemporary issues in health and social care and will consider the implications these issues have for health and social care policy and practice. Through exploring a range of perspectives on health and social care students are introduced to critical approaches to these issues in the context of a social justice framework. There is a strong theoretical underpinning which forms the basis for applied learning and problem-solving in areas which students will confront as social professionals.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning

    This module examines the core concerns of recent social policy initiatives. Under the New Labour government, persistent inequalities in British society led to a focus on ‘joined-up’ thinking and the re-conceptualisation of these inequalities as ‘social exclusion’. A range of community-based projects lay at the heart of promoting ‘social inclusion’. The core values of this approach are embodied in the National Occupational Standards for community development work:, promotion of community empowerment through a concern for people’s rights as citizens, the need for social justice and an understanding of our rich and diverse society. Recent government rhetoric extols the virtue of a ‘Big Society’, and this module will offer the opportunity to evaluate emerging policy developments in this area.

    This module sets the present concerns and processes in an historical and academic context. We look back to the struggles of the Civil Rights movement during the 1950s and 1960s and the impact this made worldwide. We consider some of the political debates which underpin discussions of rights, social justice and equality. More recent debates concerning the processes of globalisation will be considered before moving locally to the UK to consider changes in our approaches to inequalities.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    This module explores the theoretical and philosophical bases of leadership and how this translates into both formal and informal leadership roles within real life organisations. The module aims to demystify leadership. It introduces some of the key management processes relevant to contemporary organisations while recognising the cultural and ethical aspects of such processes. Particular attention will be given to small and medium sized organisations in the voluntary and community sectors (VCS). The module will be divided approximately in three, and will move from the concrete to the abstract with the expectation that students will integrate theory with their practice. The first part will be a task to be completed during the visits to organisations. In the second part students will draw on their observations to relate theory to practice. In the third part students will be encouraged to reflect on their own capabilities as leaders and to prepare for work situations outside of the university and in the future. Case studies and visits will be used to identify appropriate criteria for the definition of good practice (values, standards and models), to critically reflect on the relationship between theory and practice in a community development setting.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday afternoon

    This module will introduce research and specially applied research to students from community development and Leadership and Health and Community Development areas. Students will be introduced to the research process and research knowledge and skills relevant to professional and academic development. These research principles will provide a foundation for understanding approaches to social research and evidence based practice and research design. It will introduce research methods and the basics of preparing a research proposal on themes related directly to community development field. It will further focus on how to decide the appropriateness of different research approaches in a variety of environments.

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Year 3 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday morning

    This module develops students’ research skills and involves the design, completion and write-up of a supervised, independent research project. It incorporates an on-going self -evaluation written up as a reflective research log and demands considerable time management abilities as well as the deployment of academic skills. On Community Development and Leadership, the Dissertation is usually done at the same organisation where the Work Placement is carried out. Where appropriate, this may also be linked to the activities of the International centre for Community development (ICCD).

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday morning

    This is an Honours level core module and is based on a supported and self-managed work experience. The work placement provides an opportunity for students to gain in depth knowledge of an area of interest which could form the basis of the subject Project module.
    This module is designed to enable students to undertake a work placement in an organisational setting relevant to community development/anthropology and to utilise this experience to develop and reflect on:
    • The understanding of the academic discipline of the degrees
    • The National Occupational Standards for Community Development Work
    • The range of generic and specific skills a student will need in their future career/area of employment, and
    • A student’s own learning and performance.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday afternoon

    This module aims to examine current thinking regarding development issues in the voluntary and community sectors. Specific emphasis will be given to capacity building, social enterprise and social entrepreneurship. Specific community development projects will be explored within the context of community action. Questions will be asked about how community development reflects and / or challenges changes in the external environment; including legislation and funding mechanisms. Case studies from community-based initiatives in the UK and globally will be used to illustrate current debates. Students will be required to participate in the planning, initiation and development of a real world live project. Work will be reviewed against the National Occupational Standards for Community Development Work.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    This is a core module for the BSc Public Health and Health Promotion programme. The module explores theory, policy and practical aspects of public health and health promotion with a focus on community level interventions and engagement within the UK. The syllabus is informed by the public health core and defined areas established in the Public Health Skills and Knowledge Framework (2016).

    Students contextualise current public health practice drawing on case studies of specific public health policy contexts in the UK. The main focus will be on key theories, policies and practices influencing developments in public health and health promotion, with an emphasis on design, implementation and evaluation of interventions at the community level.

    Relevant initiatives and research in strategies and priorities for public health and health promotion such as health inequalities, participation and involvement, partnership working, social determinants of health, lifestyles and behaviour, and population groups will be explored.

    Read full details.

If you're studying full-time, each year (level) is worth 120 credits.

Year 1 (Level 4) modules include:

  • Principles of Community Work
  • Introducing Health and Social Care
  • Introduction to Leadership
  • Social Contexts for Professional Pratice

Year 2 (Level 5) modules include:

  • Health, Illness and Society
  • Human Rights, Social Justice and Diversity
  • Leadership and Organisations
  • Researching Cultures and Communities

Year 3 (Level 6) modules include:

  • Development and Social Enterprise
  • Work-based Learning Placement or Community Development and Leadership
  • Work Placement
  • Dissertation

"Very interesting subjects and wide range of things to learn about, there are a lot of very enthusiastic and helpful teachers and a wide range of resources available to us."
National Student Survey 2016

Graduates of this course will be prepared to work in a diverse range of roles. In the past, graduates have gone on to work in the following positions: community centre manager, community development worker, fundraising manager and volunteer coordinator. The course will equip you to work in organisations concerned with health, education and crime reduction, as well as community trusts and charitable organisations and other non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Relevant opportunities also exist in the public sector including local authorities, the civil service and the NHS.

Those from similar community development related degrees have taken roles as advisers for the Citizens Advice Bureau, community workers with local authorities and social workers in private care facilities.

Between 2016 and 2020 we're investing £125 million in the London Metropolitan University campus, moving all of our activity to our current Holloway campus in Islington, north London. This will mean the teaching location of some courses will change over time. 

Whether you will be affected will depend on the duration of your course, when you start and your mode of study. The earliest moves affecting new students will be in September 2018. This may mean you begin your course at one location, but over the duration of the course you are relocated to one of our other campuses. Our intention is that no full-time student will change campus more than once during a course of typical duration.

All students will benefit from our move to one campus, which will allow us to develop state-of- the-art facilities, flexible teaching areas and stunning social spaces.

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

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How to apply

If you're a UK/EU applicant applying for full-time study you must apply via UCAS unless otherwise specified.

UK/EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University.

Non-EU applicants for full-time study may choose to apply via UCAS or apply direct to the University. Non-EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University, but please note that if you require a Tier 4 visa you are not able to study on a part-time basis.

When to apply

The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) accepts applications for full-time courses starting in September from one year before the start of the course. Our UCAS institution code is L68.

If you will be applying direct to the University you are advised to apply as early as possible as we will only be able to consider your application if there are places available on the course.

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