Social Services HNC @ SCQF Level 7

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The award is specifically for learners who are currently working within the field of health and social care but who have not yet been able to register with the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) as practitioners. It will allow learners to integrate the theory with current practice to provide an informed approach to health and social care.

The main aim of the HNC is to provide an integrated course of values, skills and knowledge, to equip you and other learners to work effectively in a range of care settings. It also aims to provide an award flexible enough to meet the needs of employers.

Included in the award are three SVQ units which can assist learners in gaining the joint award of SVQ level 3 in the future.  Learners who may already have gained the SVQ3 Health and Social Care award are only required to complete the theoretical units to achieve the HNC award and will, therefore, be based as part-time.
You must be able to cope with the demands of this level of study, and practical placement whilst also supporting people who may be at a vulnerable time in their lives. Attendance is expected at 100% at both college and placement.  Students who have the support of friends and/or family in their studies are usually more successful.




Attendance: Full Time 2 days per week of learning in college and online, and 2 days per week placement. You should let your employer know that you are studying the HNC and seek permission to use your employment as placement, the College will need to make contact with the person you have gained permission from.

Entry Requirements

  • You must be over 18 years old at the start of the programme to allow you to attend practical placement
  • You should be currently working in the field of Health and Social Care
  • Your personal statement in your online application must be no less than 250 words, you may want to research how to write a good personal statement here:
  • Make sure your application is accurate and detailed as it helps us to decide if we will invite you for interview
  • There will be a requirement to become a member of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme (PVG Scheme)
  • You must be able to commit to 100% attendance at college and placement for the academic year
  • You must be physically and mentally capable of supporting individuals in a care setting
  • You Should have one of the following:
    • Two Highers at B or above and considerable relevant experience in a paid or voluntary capacity in a care setting, and National 5 Maths and English if you plan to progress to University.
    • One Higher at B or above and an NPA in Reablement 
    • One Higher at B or above and a Foundation Apprenticeship in Social Services and Health
  • Those with SVQ level 3 qualifications in Health & Social Care will not be eligible for full-time funding
  • Progressing learners from this area must meet the entry criteria and have a positive learner reference and in addition, must have had excellent attendance and engagement throughout their previous programme and no more than 2 reassessments or remediation.
  • All applicants should ensure they have completed the application form accurately with a supporting statement of no less than 250 words (see interview session requirements).

Additional Entry Requirements

  • All applicants will undergo an interview with a member of college staff to determine their suitability for the programme
  • All applicants must demonstrate motivation and possess appropriate abilities and skills to attend the programme they have chosen
  • All learners currently on a programme who wish to continue on to this programme must be able to obtain a positive progressing learner reference and meet other criteria set by the department
  • All applicants must come well prepared for the interview session using the guidance given here

Information and Interview Session Requirements

  • Applicants must respond to the interview session invitation – their appointment may be offered to someone else if they do not. This interview may be held via Teams or phone.
  • Applicants must bring evidence of their qualifications with them to the interview session to prove they meet the entry criteria
  • All applicants must come to the session prepared to discuss the following topic:  ‘Is it always better to be cared for at home?’  You may bring notes for your discussion.
  • You should also be prepared to discuss your career plans and why this course is the most suitable for you, and why at this time in your life is it the right time for you to study.

Course Content

Care in Contemporary Society, Leadership Starts With Me, Health Well Being and Safe Surroundings, Lifespan Development Theoretical Approaches, Promote Effective Communication, Social Services, Graded Unit.


Assessments may take the form of group presentations, essays, reports etc. You must successfully achieve all of  the subjects to be able to sit the graded unit and achieve your HNC.  This award cannot be completed without practical experience.


  • This is a Professional Award and is a requirement by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) to work within social care.
  • The HNC may allow entry into degree programmes.  It should be noted however that this is not automatic and is subject to meeting any additional requirement of the university.  It is your responsibility to meet any additional requirements.
  • This award may be used as a stepping-stone to a degree in social work, a degree in nursing, and a pass with an A in the graded unit is required to be considered for direct entry to year 2 of the MA Health and Social Policy. A pass with a B in the graded unit may allow entry to year 1 at Glasgow University on the Crichton Campus. All of these are subject to meeting any additional requirements set by the university.
  • Learners may choose to study a degree in Social Work, MA Public Services. An A in the graded unit plus attendance at the required summer school may be considered as direct entry onto the UWS degree in Social Work. 

Career Prospects

The main purpose of this degree is to exit to employment in the health and social care sector.  It should enhance your career prospects in a range of health and social services settings. Possible employment Includes: Care Service Manager, Family Support and Development Worker, Senior Care Assistant, Health Care Support Worker, Support Practitioner, Team Facilitator and many more diverse roles.

Additional funding information

You should apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS). Please visit their website: for further details.

Selling Points

You will be able to register with the SSSC and it improves your employability and promotion prospects.
This course is currently closed for new learners. Register for our email alerts and we’ll let you know when this or similar courses become available. Register for email alerts Back to search results