Health & Social Care

The department of Health and Social Care works closely with partners in the NHS, local authorities and the independent sector. We aim to support students into further and higher education or employment.

Our staff comprises registered practitioners in the fields of nursing, social work and allied health professionals. There is also expertise in the fields of psychology, sociology, learning disability, reenablement, youth work and community nursing.

Learners can expect an experience that ensures they are supported to develop the professional standards required for this career path. A practice element in many of the courses enables students to maintain that professionalism in the workplace and beyond into a diverse selection of careers in the field of Health and Social Care.

Dean's Story - A great experience for a work-based qualification

Currently employed as a manager at Capability Scotland, Dean Nelson returned to the (virtual!) classroom at the ripe age of 54 when a change in discipline required him to obtain an SVQ Level 4 Modern Apprenticeship qualification in Health and Social Care.

“All aspects of the course were very enjoyable. It encouraged me to reflect on previous learning and how this experience is used in my current role along with identifying areas for further self-development. Most importantly, it ensured that my knowledge is current and relevant.”

Dean describes college as a ‘great experience’ and would highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in undertaking a work-based qualification.

“Initially I was a bit nervous about returning to study after many years away but the on-going support from my assessor meant I was able to pick up the methodology quickly and easily which made for a very enjoyable experience. I also really liked that the work set was very manageable, especially whilst still working each day. My ambition for the future is to continue learning and improving my practice, leading to positive outcomes for the individuals and families that Capability Scotland supports.”

Laura's Story

Laura Green is well on her way to securing her dream career as a paramedic thanks to the opportunities available at Dundee and Angus College! 

In 2018 Laura was working in retail when she made the life-changing decision to return to education at the age of 26. 

“Becoming a paramedic has been a bit of a dream for me for a few years now. However, I didn’t have a great start to adulthood and didn’t take my exams at school meaning I left with no qualifications. I was lucky enough to land a job in the retail sector and had become comfortable in this – leaving my full-time job to study didn’t seem possible! When I took maternity leave from my retail job I decided to use the opportunity to study for a Maths qualification online. This, alongside my life experience, led to me being accepted onto the Advanced Certificate in Health and Social Care course. I then went on to work my way through the HNC in Care and Administrative Practice, building up my education to enable me to apply for university.” 

The courses Laura completed at college equipped her with a variety of skills – all of which helped her feel well prepared for university. 

“Each healthcare course provided me with a broad insight into health and social care. During my HNC I learned about physiology in depth alongside practical skills - this prepared me for going out on placement and practicing essential clinical skills. I became competent in communication and taking patient observations. I also left college able to write academically and understood how to study and research effectively.” 

Laura describes her college experience as ‘empowering’ and considers simultaneously managing motherhood and her studies as one of her proudest achievements. 

“I gave birth to my first child while at college and went on to successfully complete all my courses whilst being a first-time mother. Although it was challenging at times, I am proud that I managed to stick with my studies.” 

Laura is now studying BSc Paramedic Practice at Robert Gordon University and is currently on her first-year placement with the Scottish Ambulance Service. On track to qualify as a paramedic in 2023, Laura is grateful to Dundee and Angus College for helping her get to where she is now. 

“I felt like there was no hope of me ever returning to education but the first step is so important. The journey might seem long, but once you’re on it every day is another step closer to your dream career. My time at college fully prepared me for taking on a degree and I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.” 

Lee's Story - "I will be forever grateful for the support"

Lee Graham was already working for NHS Tayside when he made the decision to sign up for HNC Care and Administrative Practice at Dundee and Angus College in the hope of progressing to University and becoming a registered nurse.

“I learned a lot of different things on the course and particularly enjoyed the Psychology aspect. I hadn’t been in education for around 10 years so relearning how to write academically was difficult but the support from my lecturers made it manageable.”

Lee is now a Senior Nurse Therapist working within Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

“In the future I hope to continue my career in CAMHS and become a Nurse Consultant. The HNC was challenging, and I even thought about dropping out at one point, but my lecturers were there to remind me why I was doing it. It has led me to where I am now and I will be forever grateful for the support I received.”

Tracey's Story

Tracey MacKay wanted to pursue a career in nursing but had delayed it for several years while she cared for her family.

“I decided to apply to Dundee and Angus College as a mature student to study Access to Nursing and Social Services. We covered a range of subjects in relation to sociological, psychological and physiological theory. It had been quite a few years since I had been in a classroom so the thing that surprised me most was the fact that I could do the work and was not as incapable as I initially thought. Teamwork was fostered and everyone was encouraged to reach their full potential.”

Tracey enjoyed learning new subjects and meeting like-minded people.

“I was the class rep and also a member of the sexual health team. This provided the opportunity to attend further courses that were held by the college and taken by external lecturers.”

Tracey then went on to study Mental Health Nursing at the University of Dundee.

“The support you receive at college is worth its weight in gold.”

Sue's Story

Sue Ross wanted to study nursing but knew she would need more qualifications to go to university so she signed up at college for an NC in Health and Social care followed by an HNC in Care and Administration.

“We learned about nursing care and first aid, health and safety, how to work professionally and within codes of conduct, how social and psychological events affect our health and status in life, and how to work together in different groups for our future practice in multi-disciplinary teams. My favourite and difficult aspect at the same time was physiology for care professionals – there was a lot to learn, but at the same time so fascinating to see how the human body works.”

Sue had been out of education for several years so she was initially apprehensive about what she could achieve.

“My tutors gave me the confidence to forge ahead, and I am so proud that I did, as I achieved an A in my graded unit and my assessment for anatomy for care professionals is now being used as an example for future students.”

Sue is now studying Adult Nursing at the University of Dundee and hopes to eventually become a Parkinson’s nurse.

Chelsea's Story

Chelsea McWhinnie admits she barely attended high school and when she did, she didn’t do the work.

“My behaviour was pretty bad, and I definitely had an attitude problem. There was a reason for it all, but nobody really bothered to find out why, and I was just classed as trouble. I was confused and lost in most classes, which is why the pattern of skipping class began. I was embarrassed about not understanding the maths problems, along with the fact I struggled to read a lot of the words and my spelling was terrible. I would get extremely anxious when a teacher asked me a question, or asked to check my work, because most of the time they would make a comment on my messy writing, spelling or my grammar.

“The worst part for me, a girl who couldn’t read well, was being made to read in front of a class who would I knew would definitely laugh!”

Eventually Chelsea gave up trying and was told she couldn’t stay on at school.

“I then decided to do Introduction to Care at college. I didn’t have any plans to make an effort, or stick in, it was just something to do while my friends were at school. But that’s how my college journey started!”

Chelsea discovered she had dyslexia and dysgraphia.

“The person I worked with in Student Services was amazing and supported me tremendously both years of my SVQ2 and my HNC in Health and Social Care. Plus, I had really great lecturers too who believed in me fully.

“I found the courses very challenging to start with, but I learned a lot about Health and Social care, and a lot about myself. Changing how I viewed my education was definitely one of my favourite aspects, considering it went from something I avoided, to something I absolutely love, is pretty awesome!”

Chelsea is now studying Counselling and Psychology at Abertay University.

“I always wanted to be a child psychologist but after my amazing experience at college I think my ambition is to get my degree and possibly become a lecturer. I would like to show other students who need someone to believe in them that there is always someone out there. I am living proof that if you have the right support and you put the work in, you can achieve anything!”

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