Health and social care is about more than just helping people who are suffering from an illness or living with a disability, it’s also about promoting social justice and equality and creating a healthier and happier society for everyone.
As a health and social care professional, you’ll have the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of others. You can help people to live longer, healthier lives, and to overcome the challenges they face day to day. But exactly where could a health and social care degree take you?
If you’re considering studying for a health and social care degree, we’ll show you just some of the many fascinating and rewarding jobs you can pursue below.
Where Can Health and Social Care Take You?
Health and social care is a broad and diverse field that encompasses a wide range of topics and professions. The sheer span of the health and social care field means that there is a great deal of variety in the types of jobs that are available, but exactly what does health and social care cover?
Why Health and Social Care is Important for Numerous Roles
By getting a degree in this subject, you’ll become a desirable candidate for many coveted roles in the health sector.
Largely, this is because health and social care graduates have a strong understanding of the social determinants of health, which are the factors that influence people's health and well-being, such as their income, education, housing, and access to healthcare.
Graduates in this area also have the skills and knowledge needed to work with people from a variety of backgrounds, including people with disabilities, older people, and people with mental health problems. This is important because the health and social care sector is increasingly diverse, and professionals need to be able to meet the needs of all people.
Additionally, by learning how to work to high health and social care standards and understanding the legislation in health and social care, you will be familiar with the legal aspects that are essential for a successful career in many related positions.
Ultimately, a degree in this subject equips you to meet the challenges facing the health and social care system, but it also teaches you everything you need to provide compassionate, effective, and ethical care to people with a range of health and social care needs.
All of these abilities can be applied to careers in health, education, leisure, or social care. So, your job options may be broader than you think!
What Health and Social Care Jobs are there?
Once you graduate from your health and social care degree, you won’t be short of job opportunities to apply for.
An ageing population, rising levels of chronic disease and a shortage of staff in this space have led the UK government to commit to investing in the health and social care workforce. For this reason, there is an abundance of stimulating, important, and highly rewarding roles you can apply for.
With a health and social care degree, you could become a:
Community Development Worker
A community development worker is a professional who works with communities to identify and address their needs and to improve their quality of life. If you want to work in this role, your health and social care degree will be a valuable asset for you as it will give you the knowledge, skills, and experience you need to make a positive difference in the lives of people in your community.
Your degree in health and social care can give you specific knowledge and skills that are relevant to community development work, such as:
- Understanding of the social determinants of health and wellbeing
- Skills in community engagement and empowerment
- Experience working with marginalised and vulnerable groups
- Knowledge of public policy and funding mechanisms for community development projects
Many employers of community development workers look for candidates with a degree in health and social care, or a related subject. It is also worth noting that some community development roles may require additional qualifications or training, such as a postgraduate degree in community development or social work.
Education Mental Health Practitioner
An education mental health practitioner is a qualified mental health professional who works in an educational setting to support the mental health and well-being of students and staff. A degree in health and social care can help prepare you for this role in a number of ways.
First, it will give you a solid foundation in the knowledge and skills needed to work with people in need, including understanding their needs, assessing their risks, and developing and delivering services to meet those needs. This is essential for any mental health practitioner, regardless of their setting.
Second, it will teach you about the different health and social care services that are available in the UK, and how to work with other professionals to provide holistic care. This is important for education mental health practitioners, as they often need to work with other professionals, such as teachers, social workers, and psychologists, to provide the best possible support for their clients.
Third, it will develop your critical thinking and problem-solving skills, which are essential for working with people who are experiencing mental health problems. These skills will help you to develop and implement effective treatment plans, and to respond to the changing needs of your clients.
Fourth, it will give you the opportunity to gain practical experience through work placements in health and social care settings. This experience will be invaluable in helping you to develop the skills and knowledge you need to be a successful education mental health practitioner.
Health Improvement Practitioner
A health improvement practitioner is a public health professional who works to improve the health and well-being of the population. They do this by developing and implementing interventions that address the root causes of health problems, such as poverty, inequality, and unhealthy lifestyles.
A degree in health and social care can provide you with the essential knowledge and skills you need to become a successful health improvement practitioner. This is because your degree will teach you about:
- The many factors that can influence people's health, such as their income, education, housing, and access to health care. This knowledge will be essential for developing and implementing effective health improvement interventions.
- Different public health principles and methods can be used to improve the health of the population. This includes things like epidemiology, risk assessment, and programme planning.
- Data analysis and interpretation. This will be essential for evaluating the effectiveness of health improvement interventions and identifying areas where further work is needed.
- Health promotion and disease prevention strategies. This includes things like teaching people about healthy lifestyles and developing interventions to reduce exposure to risk factors for disease.
In addition to these academic qualities, health improvement practitioners also need to have a passion for social justice and a commitment to improving the lives of others, which is the basis of the health and social care concept.
Medical Sales Representative
Another important role many people don’t often consider when initially beginning their health and social care degree is that of a medical sales representative (MSR). By working as an MSR, you will help to ensure that healthcare professionals have access to the latest and most effective medical products and services.
A degree in health and social care can give you the knowledge and skills you need to explain the benefits of your products clearly and concisely to medical professionals. This is because you'll learn about the human body, how diseases develop, and different medical treatments and procedures. You'll also gain experience working with healthcare professionals and understanding their needs.
In addition, your degree in health and social care will teach you about the pharmaceutical industry and the regulatory environment for medical products. This knowledge will be essential for navigating the complex market in which you'll be operating.
Can Health and Social Care Lead to Nursing?
The above are just some of the many fascinating and vital roles you can apply for when you complete degree-level health and social care courses, but there are so many more you can pursue.
Many people studying this subject decide to progress into roles in other specialisms as they become more familiar with them over the course of their studies. You could go on to become a dietician, paramedic, speech and language therapist and more.
If you’re wondering ‘Can a health and social care degree lead to nursing?’, it can! However, you will need to complete a pre-registration nursing course. This is a three-year course that is accredited by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
Get Health and Social Care Jobs without Going to University
If you want to work in health and social care but taking the time out to complete a degree at university isn’t a viable option, we have you covered.
We understand that every journey is different and not everyone has the time or wants to study a degree full time on campus. As an alternative, our Management for Health and Social Care Degree Pathway is an online course that consists of the first and second year of a bachelor’s degree in the subject. Being online, it enables you to start completing your degree from home and by removing set lectures and timetables, you can study in your free time.
Not only does this make our degree pathways incredibly flexible, but it also often means you can get on the way to your final year in as little as 9 months. This can also be completed online through our nominated university.
If that wasn’t enough, taking this route means you can get your entire bachelor’s degree in health and social care for under £10,000 – a fraction of the cost via the traditional route!
So, if you’re ready to get qualified for a professional career in health and social care services on your terms, check out our degree pathway below!