Extended Certificate


Extended Certificate

Course Level

Level 3


2 years full-time




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The World Health Organisation estimates a projected shortfall of 10 million health workers by 2030, showing that the work of professionals within the health and social care sectors is vital to the wellbeing of citizens and the economy. 

This one A-level equivalent course provides an excellent introduction to the health and social care sector and can be combined with two other A-levels to support you in progressing to a range of careers, from healthcare practitioner to social worker.

Through the completion of this course, you will develop a range of academic and transferrable skills to support you in your next steps and you can then go onto a health and social care-related degree, onto an apprenticeship or go directly into industry.  

Why choose A-levels at our sixth form centre?

  • PREPARE FOR UNIVERSITY AT A UNIVERSITY – We can provide you with relevant work placements, masterclasses, guest speakers, trips and more
  • AWARD-WINNING SUPPORT – We have won national awards for our student support, which our sixth form students can tap into, from tailored academic support to financial assistance and health and wellbeing services
  • OUTSTANDING LEARNING FACILITIES - We have invested £5.5 million into our brand-new sixth form centre, which includes lecture theatres, classrooms, science and computer labs, practical training facilities and open study spaces
  • MOVE UP TO UNIVERSITY – Want to keep studying at a higher level? This A-level equivalent course will support your progression to degree level
Find out more about our sixth form centre and our vision for our A-level students. View video.

Course breakdown

You will complete four units covering the following topics over a two-year period:

Human lifespan development

  • Human growth and development through the life stages 
  • Factors affecting human growth and development 
  • Effects of ageing 

Working in health and social care

  • The roles and responsibilities of people who work in the health and social care sector 
  • The roles of organisations in the health and social care sector 
  • Working with people with specific needs in the health and social care sector

Meeting individual care and support needs

  • The principles, values and skills which underpin meeting the care and support needs of individuals 
  • The ethical issues involved when providing care and support to meet individual needs 
  • The principles behind enabling individuals with care and support needs to overcome challenges 
  • The role of professionals and how they work together to provide the care and support necessary to meet individual needs

In addition to the above, you will also study one of the following topics: 

Sociological perspectives

  • The application of sociological concepts and perspectives to the study of health and social care 
  • The contribution of sociological approaches to the understanding of models and concepts of health 
  • The effect of social inequalities, demographics, patterns and trends to the delivery of health and social care 

Psychological perspectives

  • The contribution of psychological perspectives to the understanding of human development and behaviour 
  • The contribution of psychological perspectives to the management and treatment of service users’ specific behaviours 
  • The application of psychological perspectives in health and social care settings 

Supporting individuals with additional needs

  • The reasons for individuals’ experiencing individual needs 
  • Overcoming the challenges to daily leaving for those with additional needs 
  • Current practice in provision for individuals with additional needs 

Physiological disorders and their care

  • The causes and effects of physiological disorders 
  • The investigation and diagnosis of physiological disorders 
  • Treatment and support for service users with physiological disorders 
  • Developing treatment plans to meet the needs of service users with physiological disorders 

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

  • You will need 4 GCSE at grade 5 or above, including GCSE in English (Language or Literature) and Maths to study this A-level equivalent course.

Supporting documents required

  • School applicants will be required to provide a school report, which must include attendance. This will be assessed in conjunction with your qualifications and application during the confirmation of your place at University College Birmingham.

Guaranteed progression

Students who achieve 56 UCAS points or more from this qualification will automatically be guaranteed a place on a degree course at University College Birmingham. Some undergraduate courses require additional entry requirements, so applicants are advised to check entry requirements before applying.

Key information

Teaching and assessment

You will be assessed throughout your course using a mixture of written exams and coursework assignments. Units 1 and 2 will each be externally examined by written examinations. The remaining units will be assessed through the completion of assignment work.

Our teaching and assessment is underpinned by our Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy 2021-2024.

We are creating something unique and special for Birmingham and I am delighted you are considering us for your next steps. Studying A-levels requires discipline and determination, but it is also incredibly rewarding, offering you a deep insight into the subjects you choose to study. Sixth form is also an opportunity for you to discover what’s important to you and how you want to make your mark on the world. Our aim is to support and challenge you through this, while developing your character and widening your horizons so you flourish, professionally and personally. 

Rebecca Tigue Sixth Form Centre Principal

What will this course prepare you for?

This course can be combined with other A-levels to create a programme of study that will provide access to a higher education course that meets your aims and interests.

The combination of this course with A-levels in Biology and Psychology would provide an excellent platform for entering an undergraduate degree in nursing or social work. Combining this course with English and another A-level may be a good combination for those looking to enter the teaching profession. 


Average Salary: £30,000

Social worker (NHS)

Average Salary: £31,071


Average Salary: £25,794

Community healthcare support worker

Average Salary: £19,000 – £24,000


We are here to support your career goals every step of the way. 


Find out more

Our new sixth form centre

University College Birmingham is to begin offering a range of A-level courses as part of a major multi-million-pound investment in a brand-new sixth form centre.

Read Story

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