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Health and Social Policy - BSc (Hons)

Why study this course?

You’ll study contemporary issues in planning and providing health and social care and will be taught by lecturers who are world-leading researchers. The course will prepare you for a career in the health and social care fields within the National Health Service (NHS) or in other health sector bodies. The course is fully validated by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) and if you choose to specialise in housing you'll receive free student membership of the CIH.

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The Health and Social Policy degree course will examine public health, health promotion, policy and ethical aspects of care. You’ll develop an understanding of the relationship between the process of policy making and implementation, and the impact it has on health promotion and social problems.

You’ll be supported by our research active teaching staff and taught in an interactive way, helping you to develop your confidence, knowledge and skills required for your a career in health and social policy. A clear focus of this programme is developing your ability to use evidence to inform your decisions and understanding critical issues in health and social care and ways of dealing with them.

Our teaching and research links with the City University of New York in the USA and the University of the Western Cape in South Africa enable you to get involved with active projects and online discussions with other students on similar programmes. You can also apply your learning to real world scenarios with exciting opportunities for work placements.


You'll be assessed via project work, essays, individual and group practice and final artefacts/reports.

Professional accreditation

This course is fully validated by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH).

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) 

Applications are welcome from mature students who have passed appropriate Access or other preparatory courses or have appropriate work experience.

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.

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 afternoon

    This module considers issues of culture, society and ethics and their implications for professional contexts. Current policy, professional frameworks and legislation relating to Identity, diversity and inequality will be exaimed. The professional role in challenging inequalities and implementing anti-oppressive practice will be explored. Students will reflect on their own identities and experiences and will keep a reflective journal throughout the module.

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  • 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.

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

    The module introduces students to the academic field of social policy: The study of the sociology, politics and economics of the welfare state, covering the origins, implementation and impact of policy in key areas of basic needs and injustices.

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

    To examine how social problems become conceived as such by the media, government and civil society and to analyse the impact of particular social problems on society. We shall also reflect on the location of particular social problems in different spaces: global, regional, national, local and examine policy responses to particular social problems

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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.

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

    This work-based module provides students with opportunities to develop and enhance skills for employment. Emphasis will be placed on student’s individual learning and development; opportunities will be provided for students to engage in mentor sessions with tutors to discuss, appraise and plan their personal and professional development. Students will also be provided with opportunities to apply employability skills through recruitment and selection activities.

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

    This module introduces students to the both ethics and research through an exploration of principles, theories and practices that inform decision making in professional contexts. They are taught in two distinct parts. In the first part students will study ethics using sector specific professional codes of ethical conduct and will examine underlying normative ethical theories as they are represented within such codes. Current debates in ethical thinking for professional practice will be considered, providing opportunities for the critical application of different ethical perspectives to a wide range of contemporary moral issues and situations within professional contexts. In the second part, 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.

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

    The module deals with the mainstream perspectives and concepts which underpin the shaping of modern social policy, using the social problems perspective developed in level 4. It also examines critical and radical perspectives. The module addresses concrete policy making and the implementation processes using contemporary examples from social problems in the UK and Europe.

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Year 3 modules include:

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

    This module investigates in depth the key aspects of comparative analysis, the debates about globalization and social policy and international perspectives on welfare futures.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday morning

    This module will give an outline of the global and local contexts of health and wellbeing and will then address a selection of health challenges by focusing on a different contemporary topics. These topics will change in order to keep up-to-date with changing patterns of wellbeing and global health concerns. It will also analyse and reflect on the current developments in responding to changing patterns and challenges in health and social care. Example topics for the module will include: long term conditions, communicable and non-communicable diseases, use of technology in health care provision, wellbeing of different populations e.g. ageing population, influences of media and modern technology on population health and service provision, etc.

    Students will also have the opportunity to explore a contemporary health and social care issue of particular interest to themselves. They will study a range of perspectives relating to contemporary issues and will analyse the consequences of these perspectives on the provision of services. An understanding of the influences of public perceptions on the development of health and social care services will be explored, as will the complexities and contradictions of contemporary issues of health in a globalised world.

    Students will be encouraged to use a wide range of on-line and media resources and to make use of the extensive manual and electronic sources within the University Library to develop a critical and self-directed approach to each topic.

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

    Students will have scope to develop further their critical analytical skills, engage with the research process and undertake a substantive exploration of a relevant subject and with a view to consolidating transferable skills for future employment.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Wednesday morning

    This module focuses upon the main research methodologies used in the study of health, preparing students for their own research projects as well as enabling them to read and critique the research of others.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Tuesday morning
    • autumn semester - Thursday afternoon

    Homelessness and Housing Policy outlines the key issues of housing policy in the UK with a focus upon homelessness. It looks at the history of housing policy and of social housing in particular in the UK; at housing trends in the UK and the causes of the current housing crisis in London in particular and at homelessness. Combined with other modules in the faculty, such as ‘Housing Issues and Housing Solutions’, this module provides a housing pathway for students wishing to develop or further their careers in this area. The module runs for 14 weeks, and is assessed through a seminar presentation and a 2,500 word essay.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Thursday afternoon

    Housing Issues and Housing Solutions outlines the key issues that face people working in housing, residents and community workers. It will provide a policy context, but will focus on a practical approach to dealing with community-related & housing issues, their causes and solutions. It will examine the rights and obligations of residents and identify good practice in key management areas such as resident involvement, dealing with anti-social behaviour and disrepair. Combined with other modules in the faculty, such as ‘Housing and Homelessness’, this module provides a housing pathway for students wishing to develop or further their careers in this area. The module runs for 15 weeks, and is assessed by an essay, a report and an interactive Weblearn test.

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

    This module introduces students to the determinants of health, health and healthcare in urban settings: itis underpinned by the notion of urban health crisis and the controversy of health and healthcare in cities. It uses a public health approach to examine how the wider determinants of health (especially the social, economic and physical conditions) impact on health and access to healthcare in urban settings. As this impact is most significant in global cities, therefore, the module examines health and healthcare in cities like London.Thus, the module gives students an opportunity to consider health trends in relation to distinctive features of urban populations and explore persistent challenges to the organisation and delivery of health services in urban settings, against the backdrop of globalisation. The impact of recent local, national and international policy initiatives on the emerging and long-standing problems of health and healthcare in London and other selected cities will also be examined.

    Read full details.

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

Year 1 (Level 4) modules include:

  • Introducing Health and Social Care
  • Social Policy and Society
  • Social Problems and Social Issues
  • Action Learning and Professional Practice

Year 2 (Level 5) modules include:

  • Social Policy In Theory and Practice
  • Health Illness and Society
  • Ethics and Research in Professional Contexts
  • Health Promotion and Policy
  • Human Rights, Justice and Diversity
  • Racism and Ethnicity
  • Extension of Knowledge module
  • Partnership Working
  • Self-Directed Development Project
  • Unequal Cities
  • Work-based Learning Placement

Year 3 (Level 6) modules include:

  • Comparative and Global Social Policy
  • Research and Evaluation Skills for Professional Contexts
  • Urban Health
  • Development and Social Enterprise
  • Homelessness and Housing Policy
  • Experiences of Later Life
  • Understanding Mental Health
  • Housing Issues and Housing Solutions
  • Political Sociology
  • Extension of Knowledge Module
  • Work-based Learning Placement

"I have learned an enormous amount since embarking on the degree programme in terms of how policies are implemented and the practicalities of whether such policies are effective or not."

Monica (Final year student)

Successful completion of this course offers improved career opportunities in the fields of health and social care fields. This may be within the NHS, voluntary and independent sectors.

The programme is also excellent preparation for further research or postgraduate study.

We're investing in an exciting, multimillion pound transformation of the London Metropolitan University campus, between 2016 and 2020. We’re moving all of our activity to one place, our current Holloway campus in Islington, north London. This will mean the teaching locations 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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