Community Studies with Health BA (Hons)

About Studying at UCO
Key Information

Start date:September

Institutional code: 010

UCAS code: L510

Duration:3 years

Course type:Full Time

Places available:40

Additional costs per year:£44 DBS check

Entry Requirements

96 UCAS points
MMM BTEC national Diploma
Access to HE

Non-traditional students who do not fall into one of the above categories will be invited to attend an informal interview at which their previous learning, sector experience, needs and aspirations can be thoroughly explored.


BA (Hons) Community Studies with Health validated by the University of Central Lancashire.

This course is designed to prepare you for a career in the diverse and challenging area of community development, social welfare, health and wellbeing. It will equip you with the knowledge, skills and confidence necessary to undertake a leading role in a variety of community, social welfare and/or health related settings. You will analyse and evaluate how community development work might enable people to work collectively to bring about positive social change and improve their health and wellbeing.

The notion of health and its association with the development of communities and social welfare is a key theme which runs throughout the course. The module and course structure contains a series of coherent cross cutting themes: Community development, research, social welfare, social policy, health and employability. These are underpinned with a focus on personal, academic and professional development.

Course Content - Year 1

Professional Development
This module will support your transition into higher education.  You will explore potential career routes for community development and health and wellbeing and develop your understanding of the expectations of employers. You will be supported and enabled to identify what support you need, how to access that support, and to develop the personal professional and academic skills required to help achieve your career goal.

Investigating Communities, Welfare, and Social Policy
During this module you will be introduced to the ideas and concepts of community and you will consider how community can be understood in contemporary Britain. You will examine how social policy has developed historically and explore the theoretical underpinnings of social policy changes. You will begin to analyse the impact those social policy changes have had upon different communities.

Principles and Practice of Community Development
You will be supported to gain a knowledge and understanding of the history, development, theory, practice and values of community development. This will develop your critical appreciation of how a variety of organisations work alongside communities to deliver community development activities. You will examine diverse community groups, and engage with external speakers and practitioners to gain knowledge of underlying theories and concepts of community practice.

Health and Wellbeing
The module takes a life course perspective to consider health and wellbeing from infancy to old age and what the main threats to health and wellbeing are at each stage.  The module aims to build a good understanding of bio-psycho-social factors which lie behind health and wellbeing, and to understand the contributions to health that run through the life course. You will examine different models within the life course, look at a wide range of contemporary literature from disciplines such as public health, sociology, epidemiology, research, and social policy.

Course Content - Year 2

Work Based Learning
This experience provides you with the opportunity to gain insight into the type of work that you can expect as a new graduate and into your future careers.  You will be provided with opportunities to test your knowledge, skills, behaviour, and attitudes in a real work setting under the guidance of a work based supervisor/mentor, and with the support of a university based mentor.

You will develop an understanding of the core purpose and management of the chosen organisation and be expected to identify, develop, and maintain a role as a working member of the team.

Research Processes and Planning
This module aims to help you develop a critical understanding of the theory and practice of social research and to facilitate awareness of various qualitative and quantitative techniques. Experience of planning a small scale project will enable you to gain knowledge of underpinning practical implications of research.  An appreciation of the dominant paradigms of social research, information search, retrieval and assessment of relevant literature will be undertaken. An analysis of various research methods will be explored during the module.  You will plan and present a research proposal for a small scale project.

Skills for Community Development
This module provides the opportunity for you to explore and develop communication skills; listening, talking and speaking and your intra and inter-personal skills relating to verbal and non-verbal communication.  You will examine the skills necessary to make contact with individuals and groups, facilitate meetings, and encourage and facilitate participation and involvement.  You will examine the need to understand diversity and difference and how to manage and resolve conflict.

Diversity and Inclusive Practice with Children and Adults
This module will introduce you to the contested nature of key concepts and terminology in the area of diversity and inclusion.  The role of professionals in challenging oppressive practices, promoting an understanding of the diverse experiences of different social groups and fostering community cohesion will be explored.

You will be enabled to recognise the significance of the interplay between various dimensions of social inequality and gain knowledge and understanding of relevant policy contexts. An investigation of the relationship between policy and inclusive practice will be engaged in.

Health, Ageing and Society
This module aims to prepare you for effective work with service users with health care needs, and with health professionals by introducing you to theoretical and policy frameworks, building on the social care value base, and applying social perspectives to practice. A broad perspective around health and social care will be taken, with a focus on the particular needs of older people who form an increasingly large proportion of the population.  The module provides an overview of the trends behind our ageing population, and the ways in which dependency in old age is socially constructed and sustained.

Course Content - Year 3

You will pursue a line of enquiry and analyse its implications in depth, gaining experience of the analysis and synthesis of a topic of your choosing.  This will deepen and broaden your awareness and knowledge in this chosen area of study.  This will give you the opportunity to develop competencies that enable working independently as researchers in a specialism.  You will be expected to evaluate and critically reflect on the personal learning and academic development in relation to the Dissertation.

Career Planning and Development
As you approach the end of your degree programme you will be looking to the future.  In a competitive job market it is important that you are able to plan for the future through a process of identifying your strengths and weaknesses in all areas studied.  Through reviewing employment and recruitment process, preparing application forms, curriculum vitae and personal specifications, students are enabled to present prospective employers with an accurate portrait of yourself.  You will be equipped and encouraged to systematically reflect on your career planning in response to the changing graduate market, and to determine future actions in order to maximise your career opportunities and or postgraduate education and training.

Communities and Social Problems
Within this module you will explore the debate around identity formation and maintenance and how some identities and communities may be viewed within society as social problems. You will explore the complexity around sense of self and the media’s role in the development of moral panics and society’s perception of problematic communities. You will go on to explore how social issues may then develop into social problems around health and wellbeing, inequality or environmental issues. You will consider the different theoretical perspectives on social problems and the historical, contemporary and emerging social policy responses.

Critical Social Policy
This module deals with contemporary issues and debates in social policy and the delivery of welfare.  It critically assesses the relationship between ideology and concepts and specific areas of welfare provision.  During this module you will address a range of important and interlinked themes, some that have been of lasting significance, and also others that have risen to prominence in academic and political debate in more recent times.

The you can choose either:

Mental Health and Social Care
This module will enable you to achieve a greater knowledge andcritical understanding of the core concepts, issues, theory andresearch in the social care of people recovering from mental ill-health. You will investigate critical perspectives of mental health and mental ill-health and explore policy, legal interventions, frameworks, organisations and professional practitioner roles and responsibilities related to this discipline.  You will evaluate multi agency approaches and analyse the impact of the service user and survivor movement on mental health policy and practice. The correlation between social inequalities and social exclusion and mental health and the impact of mental ill-health on citizenship will also be analysed.


Poverty, Homelessness and Supported Housing
As well as looking at current policy initiatives, this module is grounded in the belief that an understanding of the past, and of previous debates over poverty, social security and housing, is crucial to any assessment of the shape and direction of current policy.  You will begin by exploring the ideas and values that have influenced the development and shape of poverty and housing policy in Britain in the recent past.  Factors influencing the shape of social security and housing provision in the 21st century will be explored as will the impact recent changes have had on different social groups. Different areas of social security and housing provision relating to elderly and disabled people, women, minority ethnic groups and asylum applicants will be examined.

Placements and Work Experience

The course includes a compulsory work based learning module in the second year. This exciting and immensely valuable experience offers you an opportunity to work in a community, social welfare or health related setting alongside professional practitioners from a wide range of disciplines. We have placements in statutory, non-statutory, voluntary and community based organisations.

In the past students have worked with social landlords to design and undertake evaluation surveys, worked as junior housing officers planning and monitoring home improvements and delivered training.  Others have engaged with community project working, youth based organisations, empowerment and social justice organisations, social policy work, refugee and asylum seeker support, probation services, sexual health projects, substance misuse, mental health, and health improvement.

What careers can the course lead to?

Graduates have gone on to posts in the statutory, private and voluntary sectors, working in roles such as disability rights worker, community outreach worker, diabetes education officer, peer health educator, research assistant, community project worker, social policy researcher, education mentor, care manager, housing project officer and Sure Start project worker. Others have progressed to postgraduate training for teaching, master’s degrees in a wide range of related subjects and social work. We have graduates working in Africa and the Middle East developing communities, social welfare and health based projects.

Teaching and Assessment

Teaching and learning is delivered through seminars, group work, practical experience and lectures, e-learning support, work placements, tutorials – individual and group, learning sets and seminars. The academic team seek to empower you to create respectful alliances within the diverse student group and enable safe critical evaluation of cultural and social difference.

You will be assessed in a variety of ways designed to support your learning and to measure your achievement. As you progress through the course and work on your professional development, you can expect to become increasingly reflective in how you approach your studies and work based learning. The combination of coursework, essays, presentations, e-portfolios, case studies, reports, and action plans enable you to develop transferable skills for working as community development, social welfare, social policy and health sector employees. The assessments mirror the modes of communication expected of graduates in this field and will develop your critical evaluation skills.

Facilities particular to the course

We have a wide range of employers and organisations contributing to the course. Professionals from across the sector, for example social landlords, youth based organisations, sexual health, mental health and wellbeing, asylum seeker organisations, public health, community development, and the voluntary sector deliver guest lectures, workshops, seminars and take part in open question and answer sessions.

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