Health and Social Studies BA (Hons)

UCAS code L450

What is special about this course?

This BA (Hons) Health and Social Studies course focuses on topical health issues including sociology, psychology, public health, rural health issues, health care ethics and the integration of health and social care.

In the first year you will be introduced to the many factors that influence health and wellbeing and the issues which need considered in defining what it means to be healthy. You will also develop skills in academic enquiry and writing.

The second and third years build on this knowledge and look more closely at health promotion, public health, ethics, partnership working and collaboration, and skills in research.

The fourth year gives the opportunity to further build on knowledge and skills in these areas, and undertake a dissertation.

Special features

  • You will study entirely online, with support from your tutors and classmates, which allows you to fit your studies around your personal and professional life
  • The online environment offers an interesting and diverse learning community where personal study can be shared collaboratively within the virtual learning environment
  • Diverse options are available allowing you to choose a number of modules to enable study in areas of health of particular interest to you
  • This fully online degree can be studied from anywhere in the UK
  • This degree which will equip you with a range of excellent skills and graduate attributes which are desirable to many employers
  • You can study individual modules for professional development (CPD)

Entry requirements

  • 3 Scottish Highers at grade C or above OR
  • 2 A levels at grade C or above
  • Alternatively, completion of Foundation Apprenticeship Social Services and Healthcare PLUS an additional Scottish Higher at Grade C or above
  • Other qualifications that may be accepted by the course team include: an appropriate NQ level award at SCQF 6, an SVQ/NVQ at level 3, or an appropriate access course
  • Applicants without traditional entry qualifications but with appropriate experience will be considered for the course on an individual basis
  • Nurses will be eligible for recognition of prior learning (RPL) as agreed by NHS Education for Scotland for entry into years two or three of the BA (Hons) Health and Social Studies depending on level of qualification
  • Candidates with HNC Social Services, HNC Care and Administration Practice or HNC Social Science (or other relevant HNC) can be considered for entry to year two of the degree. Please note that 120 credits at level 7 are required for entry to second year. If your HNC has fewer than 120 credits you may need to undertake a bridging module to top these up before accessing second year.

Access routes

Students eligible to undertake Scottish Wider Access Programmes (SWAP) will be able to apply for entry to BA (Hons) Health and Social Studies with a grade profile of CCC in one of the below courses and 8 units passed at SCQF level 6:

  • Access to: Arts and Humanities (Newbattle Abbey College)
  • Access to: Arts, Social Sciences and Primary Teaching (Edinburgh College)
  • Access to: Arts, Social Sciences and Primary Teaching (North East Scotland College)
  • Access to: Celtic Studies incorporating Primary Education with Gaelic (Newbattle Abbey College)
  • Access to: Community, Education and Humanities (Dundee & Angus College)
  • Access to: Degree Studies (Forth Valley College)
  • Access to: Humanities (Arts, Social Sciences and Primary Education) (Fife College)
  • Access to: Humanities (Fife College)
  • Access to: Humanities (Perth College UHI)
  • Access to: Languages with Business (Edinburgh College)
  • Access to: Languages, Arts and Social Sciences (Edinburgh College)
  • Access to: University Study (Dundee & Angus College)
  • NQ Access to: Social Sciences (West Lothian College)
  • NQ Access to: Teaching (West Lothian College)

Year 1 - CertHE

Core modules are:

  • Nature of health
  • Introduction to psychology
  • Introduction to  health and social policy
  • Sociology of the family
  • The Enquiring Student

Optional modules include:

  • Personal effectiveness and study skills
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Psychology of individual differences and development
  • Introduction to sustainable development

Year 2 - DipHE

Core modules are:

  • Working in partnership
  • Empowering communities
  • Principles and foundations of health promotion
  • Researching the social world

Optional modules include:

  • Care and control
  • Recognising and challenging discrimination and disadvantage
  • Health psychology
  • Diabetes
  • The individual, society and the health continuum
  • Specialist provision
  • Urban rural divide
  • Youth behaviour and society
  • Adolescence
  • Comparing politics systems

Year 3 - BA

Core modules are:

  • Literature review (Health Studies)
  • Promotion of diversity and equality
  • Healthy people, healthy places: Challenges for public health

Optional modules include:

  • Ethical issues
  • Promoting and enhancing parenting
  • Introduction to effective management and leadership
  • Legislation and childhood
  • Alcohol and drug studies
  • Remote and rural health
  • Developmental psychology: learning in the classroom
  • Developing professional practice through placement (Students are responsible for organising their own placement)

Year 4 - BA (Hons)

Core modules are:

  • Dissertation
  • Comparative health studies

Optional modules include:

  • Professional reflection
  • Personal and professional reflection
  • Mental health and wellbeing
  • Child and adolescent mental health
  • Disability and society
  • Abnormal psychology
  • The consumerist society

How will I study my course?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

As your course was designed to be fully online and has run successfully for many years in this way, we can confirm that there will be no change to how the course will be delivered next year. You will study through supported online learning using the university's virtual learning environment. You will also have an online induction at the start of the course and will be able to meet your fellow students, lecturers and personal academic tutor through video conferencing.
  • You will study through supported online learning using the university's virtual learning environment (VLE)
  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • When applying you will select the college where you will enroll and receive support from your personal academic tutor face-to-face and/or via email, telephone or online.
  • You must also attend a 2-day face-to-face induction at your enrolling college at the start of your course

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 4 years
  • Part-time (structured): 8 years
  • Part-time (unstructured): variable

Each module represents 200 hours of study in the course of a 14 week semester.

Number of hours per week indicates the total number of hours you should dedicate to the course, which includes time spent in lectures and your own time spent on individual study and research.

Where can I study my course?

  • Argyll College UHI
  • Inverness College UHI
  • Lews Castle College UHI
  • Moray College UHI
  • North Highland College UHI
  • Orkney College UHI
  • Perth College UHI
  • West Highland College UHI

Start date

  • September
  • January (part-time unstructured only study may be possible)


For students normally domiciled in Scotland or the European Union/EEA (outside of the UK) and with a term time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Full-time (120 credit modules) per year £1,820 £1,820
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year £645 £645
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module) £215 £215

Rest of the UK and EU/EEA students without a term-time address in Scotland

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland) or assessed as RUK for fee status; and EU/EEA students without a term-time address in Scotland, i.e. studying from their home country, the following fees apply:

Full-time online per year (120 credit modules) £6,120 £6,120
Part-time online (per 20 credit module) £1,020 £1,020

This course is not available to students domiciled outside of the UK or for international students requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK. For students living in the UK and assessed as international fee status, the following fees will apply:

Full-time online per year (120 credit modules) £6,408 £6,480
Part-time online (per 20 credit module) £1,070 £1,080


External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact your enrolling college for more information.  

What can I do on completion of my course?

Once you have successfully completed your BA (Hons) Health and Social Studies degree you might like to consider careers in the following areas:

  • Health services management and health promotion
  • Research and development, and community development
  • Health needs assessment and project management
  • International, national and local government organisations and ‘third sector’ organisations

Can I progress into further study?

Once you’ve completed your studies, you might like to consider progressing on to further study on our MA Health and Wellbeing course. 

Is there more information available online?

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Thank you for your interest in studying Health and Social Studies BA (Hons) with us.

If you are ready to apply, please start your application below by selecting when you would like to start your course. This will take you to the UCAS website or our online application system.

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