Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma in Health and Social Care

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

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

An A level equivalent 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.

Students who wanted careers as teachers, criminologists, nurses, midwives, psychologists and in social work have used this 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 people develop and change throughout their lives
  • study skills, including how to read quickly and efficiently and how to write reports

Is the Cambridge Technical Introductory 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 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 3 and 6 hours per week but you may need to allocate more time when assignments are due.

How will I be assessed?

You will study a total of 6 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.

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

We are aware that OCR 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.