Child, Health & Social Care NC Level 5

What is special about this course?

Both working in an early education and childcare setting and working in health and social care are specialised fields. If you are looking to pursue a career in either sector then this introductory course will give you a thorough foundation in the subjects and offer you the perfect platform from which you can progress.

This course has been designed to provide an overview of each industry; early education and childcare and social care.  The course covers a wide subject range and is relevant to current industry requirements.  You will also learn about health and safety issues and first aid – knowledge and skills that will be of real value to prospective employers.

This course is now available across all our campuses through our networked delivery


Entry requirements

Students should have at least 3 National 4s or above / equivalent.

If you don’t meet our entry requirements, your previous experience may still qualify you for this course. Mature students will be considered on merit. You will attend an interview.

What you study will include:

  • care: human development and behaviour/social influences
  • values and principles
  • families in modern society
  • maintaining safety in a care setting
  • healthy eating in a care setting OR play in early education and childcare
  • child protection: an introduction
  • working with individuals with additional support needs
  • mental health issues: an introduction
  • embedded development of core and essential skills

Depending on the area you'd like to specialise in you will then choose optional units from:

  • creative and aesthetic experiences for children
  • working in early education and childcare
  • care and feeding of children
  • social services in Scotland: an introduction
  • working with individuals in a care setting,
  • prevention of infection 
  • understanding the needs of the older person
  • coping strategies and building resilience
  • understanding loss and grief




This course is now available across all our campuses through our networked delivery. Students are recommended to have a laptop, notepad and general stationery items like pens and pencils available for home use. 

How will I study my course?

  • Full Time
  • Online

Each week will comprise of scheduled, connected learning time and flexible learning time. You need to commit to both, but you can choose when to complete flexible learning activity to fit around your work, caring and personal commitments.  Some flexible learning must be done on a weekly basis.  

Connected learning is when you learn together with lecturers, students and others. Connected learning happens at a scheduled time in a practical workshop, an online-classroom, a studio, a specialist classroom, the workplace or in the outdoors.

Flexible learning covers lecturer directed learning and self-directed learning

Lecturer-directed learning is weekly learning activity, for example:
•    posting your idea in a discussion forum,
•    completing a quiz, 
•    practising a task, activity or idea
•    watching a video or reading,
•    discussing and working on a solution with another student,
•    researching and gathering information,
•    completing an assignment or project-based task.

Self-directed learning is your decision about further study and focus.  We encourage you to take ownership of your learning and areas of interest. You can ask us to help you to determine areas for further development.

Your connected learning activity will take place within an online-classroom.  This will include a combination of video conferencing, interactive chat and sharing of presentation slides and other visuals. Online-classrooms provide you with real time interaction, contact and discussion with your lecturer and fellow students. We have ten college centres and there may be an option to study some of the time from your local centre. This will depend on social distancing limitations.

How long will my course last?

34 Weeks

Where can I study my course?

    • Auchtertyre
    • Broadford
    • Fort William
    • Gairloch
    • Kilchoan
    • Kinlochleven
    • Mallaig
    • Portree
    • Strontian
    • Ullapool

Start date



Most students have their course fees paid as this is a full time course. Please read our Fees & Funding information pages for more information regarding residency, previous study and bursary rates. Please contact if you have any further questions.

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), with a term-time address in Scotland, studying full time, the course fee is £5,800.

Some of our courses require students to have essential equipment/clothing.

If you are under 18, you are entitled to have essential equipment paid for whether you are entitled to Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) or not. However you must complete an application even if you know that you're not entitled to EMA.

If you are 18 and over and are eligible for a bursary, these costs will be met through your bursary. If you are not eligible for a bursary, you will need to fund these items yourself.


Students may also qualify for bursary funding.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Once you’ve successfully completed the course you might like to consider our NC Early Education and Childcare at SCQF level 6 , our NC Health and Social Care level 6, other related courses or move directly into employment.

Is there more information available online?

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What our students, graduates and staff say

I am an adult returner and it’s been a very positive experience for me.

I chose this course because it is introductory and it looks at care, education and health in different settings. For me, this was a steppingstone and I liked the variety it offered. We could also choose units that were of particular interest to us and so specialise.

The lecturers are brilliant and there is so much support and encouragement. I have loved the course.

Andrea Campbell

I knew I wanted to go in to some kind of social work but wasn’t sure what area would interest me or how I should start. I am so glad I did this course because you get to experience the different care sectors and now I know I want to work in social care rather than childcare. I am looking forward to coming back to study NC Health and Social Care.

Our lecturers are easy to talk to and have always been encouraging. Studying 3 days a week has allowed me to juggle work and study which is great –a great course!

Charlotte Alderson

Apply for Child, Health & Social Care NC Level 5

I want to start in 2021/22

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at West Highland College UHI. West Highland College operates 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 age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion and/or belief, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.