BTEC National Level 3 Certificate in Health and Social Care
The Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Certificate in Health and Social Care aims to provide an introduction to the health and social care sector through applied learning. It is for learners who are interested in learning about the health and social care sector as part of a balanced study programme. It will allow progression to the National Extended Certificate in Health and Social care as well as providing UCAS points for higher education if taken as a stand-alone course.
It is equivalent in size to 0.5 of an A Level and will be delivered over 6 teaching units in a week (180 guided learning hours)
The qualification is made up of 2 units, both mandatory, of which 1 is external: Unit 1 Human Lifespan Development; and the other is a piece of portfolio work assessed internally: Unit 6 Meeting Individual Care and Support Needs.
Both units are worth 50% of the whole course.
There are three main forms of assessment that you need to be aware of: external, internal and synoptic.
Unit 1 Human Lifespan Development is assessed under specified conditions, then marked by Pearson and a grade awarded. The external assessment is 1 hour 30 minutes in length and uses extended writing to answer set questions. A scenario question is often present whereby the student answers questions from an extract. Testing will take place in January and May/June, with the first assessment May/June 2017
Internally assessed units
Unit 6 Meeting Individual Care and Support Needs is an internally assessed mandatory/synoptic piece of coursework. This means that a student is set and assessed on an assignment that provides them with the opportunities to:
- write up the findings of their own research
- use case studies to explore complex or unfamiliar situations
- carry out projects for which they have choice over the direction and outcomes
- demonstrate practical and technical skills using appropriate work-based values and practices.
Synoptic assessment requires students to demonstrate that they can identify and use effectively, in an integrated way, an appropriate selection of skills, techniques, concepts, theories and knowledge from across the whole sector as relevant to a key task. Normally, a synoptic assessment is one that a student would take later in a programme as they are expected to be able to draw on a range of learning.
Grading for units and qualifications
Units are assessed using a grading scale of Distinction, Merit, Pass and Unclassified.
For external units only a grade of N may be awarded for learners not gaining enough marks for a P grade. This is to ensure that students are awarded appropriately for the achievement they have demonstrated.
The Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Certificate in Health and Social Care is generally taken alongside other qualifications as part of a two year programme of learning. This will enable students to progress to a degree programme chosen from a range of programmes in the health and social care sector. The qualification is intended to carry UCAS points and is recognised by higher education institutions as contributing to meeting admission requirements to many relevant courses.