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Health & Social Care

The health and social care department in Carrickfergus Academy has grown rapidly since 2018 when we started out offering only one A-level option in this subject. We now offer a key stage four option for our pupils starting in Year 11; BTEC first award and single and double award CCEA A-levels in the subject. We currently have four BTEC classes and 6 A-level classes! These course are delivered by a highly dedicated and caring team of staff who are passionate about getting the best from our young people.

The information below will hopefully give you a flavour of what we do in this subject.

Courses Offered

Year 11 – 12: BTEC First Award in Health and Social Care

BTEC first award in Health and Social Care provides a practical, real-world approach to learning and developing specific knowledge and skills learners need to work successfully in the care industry, such as:

  • Gaining experience through a work placement by working with a range of service users from babies, toddlers, through to adults with specific needs and the elderly

  • Initiative and positive communication skills to support people with a diverse range of needs

  • Developing project/self-management and independent learning skills by investigating opportunities for employment in the industry, as well as exploring provision of services in the sector.

What do Learners Study?

Learners who choose this option in year 11 will study four units, each worth 25% of their final grade.


Miss Acheson (Subject Coordinator)

Miss L Aicken

Mrs D Broadhurst

Mrs S Harrison

Mrs M Irwin

Miss E Lyle

Mrs J McClean

Mrs R Neale

Examination Board


Year 11

1: Human Lifespan Development

2: Health and Social Care Values



1 hour exam in January


Year 12

3: Effective Communication in Health and Social Care

5: Promoting Health and Wellbeing





What do learners achieve at the end of Year 12?

Students are awarded one of the following grades:

  • Level 2 Distinction* (A*)

  • Level 2 Distinction (A)

  • Level 2 Merit (B)

  • Level 2 Pass (C)

  • Level 1 Pass (D/E)

These are equivalent to the more traditional GCSE grades shown in brackets

Here are some of our pupils hard at work in their BTEC class…

This is what our Year 12 learners said about studying health and social care:

  • It’s great because there is only 1 SHORT exam, and the rest is coursework!

  • It’s good fun and it relaxes me.

  • I find it easy because a lot of it is just common sense to me!

  • We get to work with our friends on many of the tasks and activities.

  • We can work independently on most tasks without the teacher telling us what to do all the time.

  • We have good teachers!

For more information see:

Year 13-14: GCE Health and Social Care

At Carrickfergus Academy we offer two health and social care options to our sixth form; single and double award CCEA A-levels. Our GCE learners study an eclectic range of subjects relevant to employment in the health, social care and early years sectors of the economy.

In the AS units students develop an understanding of good quality care and effective communication and learn about the health and well-being of the population. They learn more about safeguarding children, holistic therapies and either physiology or adult service users.

At A2 students learn about how health and social care and early years services are tailored to meet the needs of specific service user groups. They have the opportunity to study physiology, psychology or nutrition and can develop research skills in topics relevant to health and social care, including health promotion.

The CCEA specification helps students to:

  • develop knowledge, understanding, values and skills relevant to employment in the health, social care and early years sectors and to a range of degrees including nursing, allied health professions, social sciences, social policy, social work and early years;

  • progress in the development of their thinking skills, including independent learning, creative thinking and problem-solving; and

  • develop a range of work-related skills including carrying out research using a variety of sources and presenting their findings in different formats, using technology and working with others.

As part of the single and double award courses, learners MUST undertake one week of work experience in a health care, social care or early years setting.

What do learners study?


Examination Board


What do learners achieve at the end of Year 14?

Single Award students are awarded one of the following grades:

  • A*, A, B, C, D or E

Double Award students are awarded one of the following grades:

  • A*A*, A*A, AA, AB, BB, BC, CC, CD, DD, DE, EE

Students who choose to leave school at the end of Year 13 should be able to achieve one or two AS-level qualifications depending on whether they studied single or double award.

NB: A* grades are not awarded at AS-level.

For more information see:

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