Social Services HNC

UCAS code 114L

What is special about this course?

The HNC Social Services is a nationally recognised qualification and a valued award for people who want to work in a variety of social service settings, supporting individuals with varying needs.

You will gain an understanding of the values and principles of social services and learn how to integrate those values with necessary skills and knowledge, including the importance of anti-discriminatory practice in line with the National Care Standards and Scottish Social Services Council Codes of Practice.

Successful completion of the award will enable you to gain access to employment within a social service setting.

Special features

  • You will undertake a 60-day work placement as part of your course, giving you the opportunity to complete three units from the SVQ 3 Social Services and Healthcare. This is usually 2 days a week. However, if you are currently working more than 14 hours a week in a care related role you do not need to do a placement. You use your work experience instead.
  • You can study full time or part time to suit your own personal circumstances
  • Individual units can be studied as continuous professional development (CPD)

Accommodation

We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.

Entry requirements

  • Normally 2 Scottish Highers at grade C or above, OR
  • 1 A level at grade D or above
  • These should preferably include English
  • Alternatively an NC level 6 Group Award that includes Higher Care or a similar Higher OR
  • Completion of Foundation Apprenticeship Social Services and Healthcare
  • You should also have experience in a social service setting or similar work, either in a voluntary capacity or as an informal carer
  • Prospective students without the standard entry requirements are encouraged to apply and will be considered on an individual basis
  • You may also be required to attend an interview
  • This is a Category 1 PVG course: PVG Scheme membership is required to successfully achieve target qualification, where there is guaranteed contact with vulnerable groups in key elements of the course. For further information visit our PVG scheme webpage

Access routes

NC level 6 Group Award that includes Higher Care or a similar Higher.

Year 1 - HNC

Mandatory Units are:

  • Care in contemporary society
  • Leadership starts with me
  • Health wellbeing and safeguarding
  • Lifespan development theoretical approaches
  • Promote effective communication
  • Promote health, safety and security in the work setting
  • Develop your practice through reflection and learning
  • Social services graded unit 1
  • Care practice

You must also choose three optional units which may include:

  • Promoting quality of life through dementia skilled practice
  • Understanding and supporting behaviour
  • Mental health issues in a care setting
  • Administration of medication
  • Developing the individual within a team
  • Health and social care: personalisation in practice
  • Health promotion in a changing society
  • Promoting positive behaviour
  • Learning disability: current policy issues in care
  • Supporting individuals with autistic spectrum disorder
  • Working with autism
  • Telehealthcare response
  • Supervise the protection of people
  • Understanding loss and the process of grief
  • Collaborative working
  • Caring for young people in secure care settings
  • Supporting children and young people with additional support needs
  • Supporting children and young people's behaviour

Option units available may vary depending on study location, for more information contact your chosen campus

How will I study my course?

Additional information for course delivery in 2021-22

From September 2021, it is our intention that physical campuses will be open to all students for access to study facilities, support services and social activities, subject to Scottish Government guidance. Our priority is to provide a safe learning environment for all students and staff. We will continue to review government guidance as restrictions shift and will inform you of any further changes to the information provided below about your course. You will study the course through our blended learning approach. From September, where practical and safe to do so, on-campus practical delivery will be prioritised and placements will be introduced in line with the Scottish Government guidance, including social distancing, where this is not possible alternative options will be available. Some theory elements may be delivered online through a combination of tutor-supported study, video-based seminars and self-directed study using the university's virtual learning environment. You can access your online and video-based classes from home however it is our intention to provide on-campus space for individual students where required as far as possible. Further information will be provided by your home campus. You will have an opportunity to attend an online, face to face or blended induction at the start of the course.
  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)

You will learn through a combination of face-to-face lectures and online study via the university’s virtual learning environment (VLE).


How long will my course last?


  • Full-time: 1 year
  • Part-time (structured): 2 years

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
  • Shetland College UHI
  • West Highland College UHI

Start date

  • September

Fees

For students normally domiciled in Scotland, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

This includes

  • EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status in the UK,
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with settled status in the UK
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.
Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2020-212021-22
Full-time per year £1,285 £1,285
Part-time (per HN credit) £86 £86

Rest of UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland, including Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) and with a term time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2020-212021-22
Full-time per year £6,720 £6,915
Part-time (per HN credit) £448 £461

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

There are a number of funding options available to UK students to help you pay for your studies and your cost of living while studying.

International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK, including EU/EEA and Swiss nationals without settled or pre-settled status in the UK, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

This includes EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are not self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2020-212021-22
Full-time per year £7,020 £7,230
Part-time (per HN credit) £468 £482

Part-time study is not open to international student requiring Student Route visa sponsorship to study in the UK.

Funding

External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact the relevant university partner college for more information.

What can I do on completion of my course?

The HNC Social Services qualification will improve your career prospects in a range of social service settings.

Can I progress into further study?

You will be able to progress onto a variety of degree courses following successful interview, usually starting at year one, such as;

Is there more information available online?

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What our students, graduates and staff say

Having good support from classmates and tutors, and learning from their experiences as well as on work placements, convinced me that working in social care was what I really wanted. It gave me the drive to achieve the best I could. I have fulfilled my goal, as I am now a qualified, employed residential care worker thanks to the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Rita Yost successfully completed our HNC Social Care. She was nominated for the Ina Maciver Award for her passion for social care, her practical and academic performance and her dedication to her studies.

Coming to college was a positive step for me. Learning here was so different and I have really enjoyed the course. I am excited about coming in and learning something I am really intrigued by. I take it home and I think about it and want to find out more. Everyone in class is the same. It is such a positive environment. On my work placement, I found that everything I had learned in class was relevant and how important all the background knowledge I had covered was when putting it into practise. I plan to study further or find employment in a social care setting.

Alexandra Mckeown successfully completed the HNC Social Services and was named West Highland College UHI’s Higher Education Student of the Year 2020.

Apply for Social Services HNC

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2021

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.