A Guide to Studying Community Health and Wellbeing

Generic female student

Here is a guide to studying the Community Health and Wellbeing course. Don't see your question? Feel free to contact us!

Who is this course for?
Anyone who has an interest in working with people in the community health and social care environment. The course offers you the opportunity to embark on a challenging and rewarding journey that will offer a variety of pathways such as relevant employment, further academic courses, professional undergraduate courses such as nursing and therapies. 

You’ll gain a fascinating perspective on the interactions between people, health and social care environments, and the organisations providing and regulating service. Students on the course undertake placements in each year of the programme. These placements are undertaken in a wide range of settings including the NHS, Social Care, charitable, non-profit making and private organisations, Public Health, Occupational Health, Local Authorities and Welsh Government.

What’s distinctive about the Foundation Degree in Community Health and Wellbeing
A foundation degree is a degree level qualification which combines academic study with work place learning. Designed in association with employers, they are qualifications to equip people with the relevant skills, knowledge and understanding to achieve academic results as well as improve performance and productivity in the work place. 

Foundation degrees focus on a particular job or profession. They are intended to increase the professional and technical skills of current or potential staff within a profession, or intending to go into that profession. A foundation degree is the equivalent of two thirds of a full honours degree and is a fully flexible qualification allowing students to study to fit their lifestyle. You can also top up to the full degree with one additional year of study.

Is it full or part time?
The Foundation Degree in Community Health and Well Being typically comprises of the following approach:

  • Two days attendance at University
  • Two days self directed learning via Blackboard (online learning platform)
  • One day per week practice development

The course is therefore classed as full time.

Do I need to find my own placements?
The onus is on students to secure their own placements but academic tutors will assist with this. All placements have to be approved by course tutors.

It is possible to undertake the required placement hours in a student's work setting, providing that you can elect and work with a supervisor on a regular basis and meet your learning outcomes. Placements can be in a variety of settings including charity organisations, NHS and voluntary organisations etc. We encourage students to secure placements that are of particular interest and relevant to their overall career choice.

How long do my placements last?
In the first year you will spend a minimum of 120 hours on placement. In the second year you are expected to undertake a minimum of 225 hours. Employers prefer these hours to be completed over the period of the academic year so they can get to know you and ensure they can meet their placement learning outcomes. This also allows students with jobs or families to do the placement alongside their other commitments. 

Where possible, we encourage you to opt for the long placement as these often provide the opportunity to be involved in longer term projects, with more responsibility. We also encourage you to become volunteers of your host organisation. This then allows you to access the valuable additional training that is available to volunteers. 

What am I expected to do on placement?
We provide a University-approved placement pack for you and your host, which outlines the content and detail of the placement requirements. It is important that you are able to meet the learning outcomes within this pack. 

There are a few generic competences linked to National Occupational Standards included in your placement learning outcomes and these are based on knowledge, not clinical skills. 

Where could I go on placement?

  • Nursing home
  • Hospitals – any areas including trauma; mental health, older people, orthopaedics and maternity. 
  • Clinics
  • Community mental health team
  • District nursing team
  • University Health Boards
  • Social care placements could include organisations that care for people with:
  • People living with Dementia 
  • Social care providers
  • Asylum seekers
  • People suffering domestic abuse
  • Homelessness
  • People suffering drug and alcohol abuse
  • Offenders
  • People living in social housing
  • People with a learning disability, and their families and carers
  • Independent fostering agencies
  • As well as schools, nurseries, colleges and special needs education units

When do placements start?
Placements are a large part of the course, as the Foundation Degree is an academic/vocational mix. Once you have enrolled and undertaken all the preliminary and essential elements such as DBS, you can submit your forms online for approval. This means that placements can begin anytime between October and January. Students are required to complete 120 hours in year 1 and 225 hours in year 2. 

What are the assessments like? 
There are a diverse range of assessment strategies, including presentations, essays, reports, posters, multiple choice online tests and an exam.

What are your students like?
Students come from diverse backgrounds and bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the classroom discussions and debates. Some come from school, some have not studied for 20 years, some are from college and some are looking for a career change. You will also benefit from sharing your first year studies with both Health and Social Care Management and Public Health students.

I am a mature student. Will there be any other mature students on the course?
Yes! There is a diverse age range of students that reflect 18 – 55 years.

What support is there for people returning to education?
The University offers a wide range of support services for mature students in addition to the course team tutors. All students are encouraged to arrange a personal one- to-one tutorial within the first few weeks of study to establish a study plan.

How much are the fees for this course?
Fees change on a yearly basis. Please contact our Finance department for the fees for this year. They can be contacted on 01443 483215 or revenue@southwales.ac.uk.

If I wish to study Nursing or Midwifery, can I transfer to year two of a Nursing course after completion of this Foundation Degree?
Progression onto year two of a Nursing or Midwifery degree is not possible from this course. You can, however, apply for year one of a Nursing or Midwifery degree after successful completion of year one of the Foundation Degree.

Successful completion of two years of the Foundation Degree gives you 240 CAT points and over 300 hours in a supervised, healthcare related practical work placement. There are also generic study skill elements within the Foundation Degree, along with Anatomy and Pathology modules which would suit both acute and community practice.

How do I find out more information about the course?
Please book onto our next Open Day and come along to chat to a tutor.

Are there still places for September?
Yes, we are still recruiting for September. Should the course close, we will provide this information on the course page. You can apply via UCAS via the course page.