What should I know about health and social care in Scotland?


With more than 300 different kinds of job in healthcare alone, a career in health and social care can be exciting, challenging, and rewarding. Scotland’s health and social care sector is one of the country’s biggest employers and they rely on individuals who are passionate about working with others to support health and wellbeing.


A job in health and social care does not just mean working in a hospital. Of course there are lots of different jobs based in the hospital environment, but there are many community-based jobs too such as health visitors, childcare specialists and support workers. Opportunities also exist working in private practice eg. small physiotherapy clinics, podiatry clinics or care homes. A wealth of opportunities are also available in the voluntary sector eg. children’s charities, international aid agencies and organisations caring for the elderly.



Health & Social Care

What our students say


What will the Health and Social Care Academy do for me?

The academy will provide you with the educational knowledge and skills needed to prepare you for work in the wide subject area of health and social care.

Your classes for this academy will take place at Queen Margaret University, and either  Edinburgh College or Borders College. You will be in the unique position of being at school, college, and university all at the same time.  You may also benefit from industry visits/events and guest speakers.

 In addition, you will also have fun at the Academy, learn lots of new skills, and meet other young people as well as a variety of health professionals. AND you will also gain a qualification!


What subject areas will I study?

Depending on where you study you will have the option to study for either one or two years. You can leave after each year or choose to progress onto the next. The qualifications on offer are all related to health and social care. Delivery is flexible and participants can access the course that most suits their interest, needs and school commitments.


Health Student using Stethoscope

Skills you can develop

As well as the specific subject knowledge, you will also develop many transferable and work related skills that are highly valued by employers in health and social care settings.


Some of these include:

• Positive attitude to learning

• Verbal and non-verbal communication skills

• Listening skills

• Good time-keeping

• Ability to reflect on own abilities

• Demonstrate reliability by completing tasks

• Respect for others and ability to work with others

• Ability to work on feedback from others

• Organisational and planning skills

• Health and safety awareness

• Understanding roles and responsibilities in the workplace

• Awareness of care values

These transferable skills are applicable to a wide range of graduate careers both within and outside the health and social care sector.


What happens when I complete this programme?

Following successful completion of the academy, you could choose to:

• pursue your career in health and social care in the workplace;

• progress into first year of a health-related degree at Queen  Margaret University or

• go to college or any other Scottish university.


Job Opportunities:

Career choices in the health and social care sector are vast and cover many different areas of hospital work, community work, administration and management. Examples of job opportunities include: audiologist, mental health worker, pharmacist, occupational therapist, trainer, support worker, dental nurse, midwife, nurse, medical secretary, counsellor, health promotion officer, ambulance driver, health visitor, music therapist, radiographer, paramedic, podiatrist, dietician, or chiropractor. No matter what your interest, skills or abilities are, there should be something that suits you perfectly.


Health and Social Care Academy contact:

Julie Caulfield

Coordinator- Health and Social Care Academy

Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh EH21 6UU

Academy Quotes from National 5 Midlothian students:

“I would 100% recommend the [Academy} course to anyone who wants to work in Health and Social Care as it comes with so many opportunities and will make it easier to get to college/uni”


“I really love the academy, I love the opportunities and experiences you can get.  I have made some lovely friendships that I shall hold on to for a long time.  I have learned so much and I am so grateful I was accepted.”


“The Health and Social Care Academy provides a good opportunity to gain an extra qualification, as well as the knowledge and experience behind the social care area of work, that would not be available elsewhere.  It also lets you know what to expect when working in health care as you will go on placement for 5 weeks.  I am enjoying the course, it is very interesting.”


“The Health and Social Academy has opened my eyes to the different areas and opportunities within this sector.  I strongly believe choosing this course has been worthwhile as I have been given the opportunity to go on work placement and gain an insight to what work may be available to me.”


“Great opportunity to learn more about health and social care and gain useful experience.  It is worthwhile as it gives real feel of what health and social care is like and how vast it is”


“I would really recommend this course as it is very interesting and is a good opportunity to meet new people.  It is also interesting to see how many different careers are in health and social care”




“I would recommend the academy to anyone interested in health and social care.  It is a really good experience as you learn lots and are involved in different opportunities.  I think it will be really helpful in opening up different options and pathways for the future and I personally really enjoy it.”


“I would recommend the health and social care academy because it’s very interesting and helps you gain experience in this profession even if you don’t want to study it, it helps you understand people more and helps with future employment, it looks good on applications as it shows you are willing to learn new things and it show commitment”


“I found this course satisfying and has helped gain my confidence by at least 50% doing the health and social care academy has also helped gain my academic skills.  I would highly recommend this course.  I wasn’t too keen at studying at school and because I did this course if I pass it I may have a guaranteed place at college and since doing my placement in the operating theatre, I’m hoping to maybe get an apprenticeship.  On the plus side because of the student card you get your discount on lots of things”


“Provides great opportunities and gives you the knowledge to proceed in the health and social care service and elsewhere.  I’ve learnt a lot from this academy that I will take with me throughout my career and general life.”





What our health and social care students are saying about their Academy experience!

Students learning moving and handling skills at Queen Margaret University

Demonstration of radiography equipment in the clinic at QMU

All content © 2014 SESAP
South East Scotland Academies Partnership