ctec extended diploma

Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care

Level 3 Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma
2 years
Curriculum Manager: 
Nicola Maxfield

What is the Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care?

A full time course with a variety of units which can take you to university, on to apprenticeships and in to work.

This is a vocational course (not practical) which also has academic demands and is equivalent to three A Levels.

Students who wanted careers as teachers, criminologists, nurses, midwives, psychologists and in social work have used this course as a first step.

Students can and do get places at university after completing this course.

The course gives a broad range of subjects and experiences allowing students to reach their potential and to mature throughout the 2 years. You will study:

  • how and why people communicate, the role of body language in finding out what people are really thinking
  • the importance of treating people with respect and dignity and what happens when you don’t
  • how to keep people safe according to their ability
  • how people develop and change throughout their lives
  • the way the body works and what happens when it doesn’t
  • sociology & psychology
  • planning care according to an individual’s wishes
  • caring for older people and people with extra needs
  • study skills, including how to read quickly and efficiently and how to write report

In the second year the units allow you to learn:

  • job roles and competencies in health & social care
  • more psychology
  • how to complete a research project
  • what happens when parts of the body go wrong and how to care when it happens
  • safeguarding & care
  • how the public is protected from disease

You will also complete a total of 100 hours placement where you will start to put theory into practice and gain valuable experience.

Is the Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care suitable for me?

Many students enjoy Cambridge Technical courses because there are no exams and since course work is assessed throughout the course, they have a clear idea of how they are doing and what grades they are achieving. Staff provide students with regular feedback about their work and students tell us that they appreciate the support given. Continuous assessment does mean that students need to work consistently hard throughout the two years, usually on more than one piece of coursework at a time, to achieve a good grade. Good time management skills are therefore very important.

Work experience is an important part of the course and gives students a real insight into the various professions and the opportunity to practice their skills. It can also help students to make decisions about future careers.
The range of units you study is very wide so it is provides a suitable foundation for a wide variety of careers.

How will I learn?

You will have a mixture of formal and less formal learning experiences. Some sessions will be in the form of lectures but you will also participate in a mixture of activities – whether working individually or in groups. You will participate in role plays, discussions and presentations. Time will be available for supported independent study to help you with coursework and your own research.

A real emphasis is placed on learning from others and group discussion. You will also be expected to reflect on how you are contributing to your study and work on study skills throughout the year.

As with other Advanced Level courses, homework is a vital part of your studies. On average you will be expected to do between 10 and 14 hours per week but you may need to allocate more time when assignments are due.

You will have a one week work placement in January/February and in June whilst in October/November in year two you will be able to spend two full weeks at work experience.

How will I be assessed?

You will study a total of 18 units during the two years of the course. All of the units are assessed by coursework – and this may include the production of portfolios, presentations, practical projects, and staff observations. None of the units require you to sit a formal examination.

For each unit you complete you will be awarded a Pass (P), Merit (M), or Distinction (D) grade. As this qualification is equivalent to 3 A Levels, you will also be awarded an overall grade consisting of three grades – such as PPP, MMP, or D*DD.

Students must complete and pass the first year and show excellent attendance to progress to the second year and gain the full Extended Diploma.

We are aware that Edexcel is currently evaluating the assessment process and there may be the introduction of an examined unit. Further information is unavailable at the current time.


Students go on to a variety of higher education courses and jobs. In the past students have taken courses leading to professional qualifications in primary teaching, nursing, occupational therapy, midwifery, speech therapy, social work, and youth and community work. Some students have opted to take a subject oriented degree course at university, such as psychology, social policy, early years studies and health studies. Other students have immediately entered employment where they have taken up places in nurseries, nursing and residential homes where they have pursued further training. Some students have chosen to work less directly with people and gone on to work in administration in social care services.

Entry requirements

Students should normally have achieved an A*- C grade profile at GCSE. For GCSE English and Maths where a new grading system has been introduced a Grade 4 is equivalent to a Grade C. Alternatively if you have studied at level 2 you should have achieved a merit or above. Vocational courses are an ideal qualification for students who prefer coursework.  To study this course you should have an interest in working with people.

You must also have a clear DBS check; this is the old criminal records bureau check. It is very important as we must be confident to send you out on placements with vulnerable people.

Course costs

All students will be expected to provide their own textbooks, stationery, computer memory sticks and calculators (where appropriate).

Essential: £20-£40 for books.

There may be one or two visits planned during the two years.

If the costs of equipment, materials and trips may cause you financial hardship, you may wish to read through details of our financial support scheme on our website.



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