A Level –  Health & Social Care

Members of Department

Mrs Sinead Magee – Head of Department

Mrs Maria Mc Elroy

Mrs Danielle Marlow


The fundamental philosophy of the course is that in order to understand the nature of Health and Social Care, students’ learning is applied to a range of work-related contexts. This will be achieved through a variety of approaches, including links with local care organisations, case studies and independent research. The course allows students to develop their creative and analytical thinking ability. It allows them to develop skills that will enable them to make an effective contribution to the Health and Social Care sector, including skills of research, evaluation and problem-solving in a work related context. Students have the opportunity to further their understanding of law, philosophy, psychology, health promotion and a broad range of other topics.

Recommended GCSE Subjects and Grades

Minimum school entry requirements plus at least Grade B in English

Other Contributory Subjects Psychology, Sociology, Biology, Home Economics, Child Development

Career Possibilities

Progression through Advanced Level will provided a suitable basis for further study in related subjects in Higher Education, as well as a valuable preparation for careers in any are of Health & Social Care.

Studying Health & Social Care provides an excellent foundation for those seeking employment in a wide range of careers including Nursing / Midwifery, Social Work, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Physiotherapy, Social Administration and Teaching.

Subject Content

UNIT AS-1: Promoting Positive Care

UNIT AS-2: Communication in Care Settings

UNIT AS- 3: Health and Well Being


UNIT A2-3: Providing Services

UNIT A2-4: Health Promotion

UNIT A2-5: Supporting the Family


Method of Assessment

AS and A2 Health & Social Care is assessed by means of a combination of external assessment (externally set and marked exams) and internal assessment (portfolio evidence marked in school and moderated externally)

AS = 40% of the total A’Level

A2 = 60% of the total A’Level

Department Achievements

In December 2019, Aine Lawler was awarded first place in Northern Ireland at A’ Level.

Prior to this, for six consecutive years this department achieved the ‘Top Performing A’Level Candidate’ in Northern Ireland Award.

2017 – Kyra MacMahon

2016 – Cora Devine

2015 – Shannon Lennon

2014 – Kerry Quinn

2013 – Ellen Ward

2012 – Brigin McWilliams

Current Student Comments

“My experience of studying Health and Social Care so far has been highly positive – it is my favourite A’ Level subject.  The content of this subject is very enjoyable, interesting and is very different to anything that I have studied in the past. For example, we have learned about concepts of health and well-being and anti-discriminatory practice in a care setting. I have also enjoyed the coursework element of this subject as it has allowed me to develop my own research skills and quality of written communication, which will benefit me at university level.  The guidance and assistance my teacher has given has been brilliant and I am so grateful to be learning in such an excellent department.”
(Cara Teague)

“I have had a very positive experience in Health and Social Care so far. I find the content really interesting and feel it has given me a great insight into health care services and their importance. I enjoy the balance between coursework and exam work, which I have not experienced in other subjects. Through independent research and excellent guidance, I have gained many skills which will continue to benefit me at university level.”
(Áine Byrne)

“Health and Social Care is my most enjoyable A-level subject and it has given me a great insight into the importance of health care services and the skills required to become a health care professional.  This subject has allowed me to be independent in my research, which will benefit me at university level. The content is so interesting and differs from anything I have studied before.”
(Ciara Harkin)

“Health and Social Care is a fantastic subject to study at A Level, particularly if coursework assignments are more manageable for you than written examinations. This subject has significantly improved my time management skills, through meeting deadlines for coursework submission.  Studying Health and Social Care has truly broadened my understanding of the Health Care System and this knowledge will be useful for my career journey in Mental Health Nursing and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. The course content is highly engaging and easy to understand. I am so happy that I chose this subject and would encourage anyone considering it at A’ Level to give it a go!”
(Fiona Kennedy)

“If your ultimate goal is to work within a health and social care environment, then the Health and Social Care course is the perfect choice for you! It offers a valuable insight into the diversity of careers in this sector and may help a student gain entry to a wide range of third level courses. In addition, for those who may find exam conditions stressful, then this may also be a worthwhile subject to study as the student can prove their worth through course work (50% is course work assessed).”
(Aine McKinney)

“Out of all my subjects I can safely say my favourite is Health and Social Care. I have found all the topics we have studied so far to be incredibly interesting and it is definitely a subject that can hold your attention. It opens up a number of career pathways and I believe anyone with an interest in this field should strongly consider the subject.”
(Caitlin Sammons)