This A-level course looks at many aspects of the caring professions, from the perspective of both the carer and the client. It is a useful course for students planning to work in a caring profession, but it also develops valuable skills that could be of use in higher education and future careers, such as empathy, teamwork, communication and independent learning. The teaching is enhanced by visits to nursing homes, nursery schools and the therapies department of the local hospital, to give a flavour of the work involved in the caring professions. Assessment is via internally assessed portfolio work and external examination. The specification we follow is AQA.

In Year 12 there are two units:
Effective Care and Communication
This compulsory unit introduces you to services provided for clients in health and social care settings, including children, young people and people in community justice sectors. You will also examine factors which are needed for a good quality of life, and skills and communication techniques carers use in order to treat people well. It will offer you the opportunity to gain knowledge about careers in health and social care. Assessment is by portfolio.

Understanding Health Conditions and Patient Care Pathways or Life as a Challenge
These optional units aim to develop your knowledge and understanding of a range of health conditions such as cancer, coronary heart disease, mental health disorders and diabetes, and the appropriate patient-centred care pathways for each condition. In addition, you may explore a range of challenges faced by people due to physical disability, learning disability, mental health issues and social circumstances. Assessment is by external examination.

In Year 13 there are two units:
Practitioner Roles 
This compulsory unit increases your understanding of the world of work in health and social care. You will compare two different jobs in health or social care and reflect on your own suitability for different job roles. It will require you to use some of the knowledge and understanding of life quality factors gained in the AS units. Assessment of your portfolio is internal.

Learning and Development or Food and Fitness
These optional units aim to develop your understanding of the influences that can affect learning and development as well as key behavioural theories. The Food and Fitness unit will develop understanding of food components and balanced diets required to meet the dietary and nutritional needs of different client groups. It will also look at the role of exercise to help maintain fitness, health and well-being. Assessment is by external examination.