The objective of this article is to gather various free health and social care courses that are offered online by reputed organisations worldwide, with an idea of presenting the free courses in a consolidated form to the viewers in order for them to have a quick access thereby saving precious time and energy and to benefit out of it.
Health and Social Care is a term that refers to the services rendered by health and social care providers. The service providers may hail from public or private organisations. Regardless of the origin, their dedication and determination they have made in serving the needy and the downtrodden is something marvellous that needs to be appreciated and supported by everyone by all means, as this is the one which is required to strengthen the well being of the weaker sections and the needy people from health and social care point of view. Normally students of health and social care find placement in hospitals, nurseries, residential homes and other service organisations. The free health and social care courses that are offered online by various organisations that are aimed at serving the society can be well utilised by the interested viewers.
This free online course titled “Quality Improvement in Healthcare: the Case for Change” is offered by The University of BATH through FutureLearn.
Duration: 6 weeks @ hours per week
Target audience: This course is meant for those who are working in health and social care organisations at all levels.
In this course titled “Quality Improvement in Healthcare: the Case for Change”, the reasons that can be attributed for the difficulties faced in Quality Improvement in health and social care systems and for the challenges that are encountered in bringing in new and better ways of organising health and social care services, are discussed. Some of them are lack of money, inappropriate knowledge, irrelevant regulations, unwanted opinions of professionals etc. This course also highlights the complexity involved inherently in health and social care systems with too many inbuilt formalities, which make it tough for measuring, analysing, changing and improving. The very purpose of this health and social care course is to teach you how to understand and overcome those difficulties and challenges.
The following topics will be covered.
- Complexity and quality improvement in health and social care
- Quality improvement theory
- Evaluating quality improvement
- Engagement and co-production
- Systems modelling and quality improvement
- Making the case for quality improvement
After completion of this free health and social care course, you will be capable enough to:
- Analyse and identify the quality and process improvement required in a health and social care setting.
- Understand and explain the necessity of bringing in quality improvement in health and social care settings for bettering the prospects of the organisation and as well as the stakeholders such as staff, customers, patients etc.
- Acquire relevant knowledge and confidence to start and lead quality improvement projects for the welfare of the organisation.
- Get additional support from others.
- Understand and discuss how quality improvement can help you improve key areas without affecting others by properly dealing with complexity relating to health and social care in an organisation.
- Find out the ways of system modelling and analytics techniques supporting quality improvement initiatives.
This free online course titled “ An Introduction to Population Health” is offered by The University of Manchester through Coursera.
Duration: 6 Weeks, consisting of videos and readings.
This free Massive Open Online Course ( MOOC) is primarily designed for those who are already in the services of providing health and social care and wanting to further improve their knowledge and for the general public.
Certification: You can earn official recognition for your work and share your success with friends, colleagues and employers.
This course titled “ An Introduction to Population Health” provides a basic understanding of population health. The learners will be introduced to some of the key themes, topics and discussion pertaining to population health care throughout the world. This course aims at enhancing the knowledge base of those who are currently engaged in providing services in health and social care sectors.
The topics that would be covered in this 6 weeks’ course are furnished hereunder.
Week 1 – An Introduction to Population Health.
Introduces you to some of the main topics relevant to population health
Week 2 – An Introduction to Epidemiology,
Introduces you to some of the ways of finding out more about the health of a population. This is known as epidemiology.
Week 3 – The State of the World’s Health.
Discusses some of the major health issues in the world, their causes and consequences.
Week 4 – Global Influences on Population Health.
Covers the problems related to migration and poverty and their influence on the health of populations.
Week 5 – Population Health Interventions.
Finding out the ways of improving the health at a population level, including different approaches to the design of specific ‘interventions’.
Week 6 – Your Reflections
In the final week, you will be provided with an opportunity to think about how this learning relates to your understanding of population health and apply the learning to relate to some of the things that keep going around you.
This free online course titled “ What matters: Understanding Mental Health” is offered by The London South Bank University through Canvas Network.
Duration: 6 Weeks @ 2 hours per week.
This free health and social care course is primarily meant for healthcare workers in the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK. The course materials will be useful for healthcare workers in other countries too.
Certification: At the end of the course, you can have a Print-out of your certificate as a proof for attending this course.
This free health and social care course titled “ What matters: Understanding Mental Health” is prepared based on the assumption that those who opt for this course will have a clear understanding about the manner of health and social care being delivered in the UK and a basic knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of health and social care workers engaged in National Health Service and other social care organisations. In order to cater to the needs and requirements of a wide range of students, the course materials are organised into two categories namely, Universal Level and Advanced Level which are supported by a drama consisting of six episodes over a period of six weeks.
The following topics will be covered in six weeks.
Week 1: Introducing Mrs Carol Price
Week 2: Understanding Behaviour Changes
Week 3: Areas of Concern: Assessing Risk
Week 4: Effective Communication & Crisis Management
Week 5: Therapeutic Interventions
Week 6: Endings and Recovery
On completion this course, you will be capable enough to:
- Understand that the deterioration of mental health affects physical health, social welfare and psychological well- being of a person.
- Appreciate the influence of individual values, assumptions and cultural factors and how they impact on understanding and responding to mental health issues.
- Identify different approaches to understanding mental health and how these influence treatment options.
- Understand the care pathways available for people with mental health issues.
This free online course titled “Tackling Inequalities Through Health and Social Care Design” is offered by The University of Dundee through FutureLearn.
Duration: 4 Weeks @ 3 hours per week.
Target audience: This course is designed for health and social care workers who are interested in reducing inequalities.
Though inequalities appear to be different depending upon the setting, the causes for the inequality remain to be similar everywhere, regardless of the contexts and locations. This course discusses and finds out various ways and means of addressing the issues related inequalities using suitable health and social service care design.
In this course, as for addressing the issue of inequality, Scotland is considered for a case study as this great country has determined to eliminate inequality by all means and is prepared to face possible challenges that may come across in their endeavour. There are several reasons as to why this country has been chosen for this noble purpose. To mention a few here: The great country though small, is diverse in many aspects such as having thickly populated cities, uninhabitable mountain ranges, wealthy but still with prevalence of poverty as well etc. This course will be useful for the professionals as it provides them practical tools required to deliver the goods and to accomplish their tasks in a fair and impartial manner.
This course covers the following topics
- Causes and consequences of inequality
- Reducing inequalities through health promotion for children and families
- Regional approaches to inequality in vulnerable populations
- Collaborative approaches to reducing poverty-related inequality
By the end of the course, you’ll be able to:
- Explain what health and social inequalities mean
- Analyse the factors and other circumstances that lead to inequalities
- Find out the ways of achieving equity by implementing targeted improvements
- Apply learning so as to address the related issues in such a manner to reduce inequality
This free online course titled “Falling Down: Problematic Substance Use in Later Life” is offered by the Middlesex University London through FutureLearn.
Duration: 5 Weeks @ 5 hours per week.
Target audience: This course is meant for professionals and support staff working in the area of problematic substance use and in ageing, older people and their families and educators.
This is a free online health and social care course titled “Falling Down: Problematic Substance Use in Later Life” which speaks in volume about older people who face health-related problems due to usage of problematic substances in later life. This is necessitated owing to demography and ever growing ageing population. Mostly problems related to older people are left unnoticed, as they are likely to be invisible in nature both in care services and substance use services. This course touches upon those issues from the point of view of health and social care, informal care and public health. Contributions are made for making up this course by the experts from the UK, the USA, New Zealand and Australia to impart relevant knowledge and skills with a comparison of best practices between one another.
The following topics will be covered.
- Introduction with regard to usage of problematic substances by the older people
- Comparing and sharing knowledge, skills and expertise across various disciplines
- Identification of interventions and best practices to solve the problems
- Promotion of health and well being of aged people
- Developing a community of practice and networking
On completion of this course, you will be in a position to:
- Describe the problems and issues that older people face in relation to problematic substance use and the risks involved.
- Locate the professionals and the sources of support
- Share the ideas, knowledge and skills
- Find out best practice and future developments for addressing these issues
This free online course titled “Causes of Human Disease: Exploring Cancer and Genetic Disease” is offered by the University of Leeds through FutureLearn.
Duration: 2 Weeks @ 4 hours per week.
Target audience: This course is suitable for those who are working in nursing and health and social care and wanting to enhance their knowledge and skills further as a professional.
Requirement: Prior experience is not required.
This is one of the health and social care courses and part of the cause of Human Disease program which aims at educating the students about the structure of DNA and its processes with a focus on the way genetic diseases being caused by DNA alterations. You will also be taught about the genetic basis of cancer and how the cancer cells are formed and reproduced, as now that a deeper understanding of the disease cancer has been made possible due to the discovery of the structure of DNA resulting in unfolding of the many facts with regard to genetic code. Prevention is better than cure. In this course, the nature of changes that occur owing to alterations, causes and risk factors involved are discussed in detail which are very much essential from a prevention point of view, an effective way of managing this disease.
Topics covered are:
- The chemical structure of DNA, genes and chromosomes.
- The importance of DNA in understanding the causes of genetic diseases.
- DNA replication and cell reproduction.
- The role of genes and proteins in controlling the activities of the cell and the cell cycle.
- How genes and chromosomes can be permanently altered when mistakes happen during DNA replication.
- The wide variety of different agents that can cause cancer.
- The differences between normal cells and cancer cells.
- Causes of genetic disease.
- Different types of genetic diseases and how they may arise.
On completion of this course, you will become capable enough to:
- Understand the causes of certain diseases arising out of problems with our genes.
- Find out the genes and the role of genes in causing human diseases
- Explain the basis of inherited disease and cancer
- Explain what cancer is
- Sum up the main risk factors involved in cancer.
This free online course titled “Improving Healthcare Through Clinical Research” is offered by the University of Leeds through FutureLearn.
Duration: 4 Weeks @ 4 hours per week.
This course is meant for those want to gain more knowledge on modern health care and the role of clinical research and further discovery thereof. Health and social care students, professionals and practitioners wanting to know more about the role of clinical research in improving health care can opt for this course.
Requirement: Prior experience is not required
Course description: This course teaches you about the importance of clinical research and the benefits that could derived out of it and its challenges that we have to face in the modern healthcare setting. You will be taught through various case studies and you will understand to what extent research contributes to the treatment of major diseases such as cancer, dementia etc. You will undergo the process of conducting research and clarifying the doubts raised. You will also learn how contributions are made by a research team, academicians and other participants to the process of discovery in clinical research.
The following topics will be covered.
- The fundamental principles involved in scientific process and their importance in delivering accurate information by clinical research
- The origin of clinical trials and an understanding of the evolution of conducting clinical research
- Conductance of modern clinical trials, the importance of carrying out the trials in an unbiased manner and the role played in techniques such as randomisation and control, placebos and blinding etc.
- The impact of digital revolution and big data on conductance of clinical trials and the opportunities and challenges involved in it
- The importance of conducting clinical trials on ethical grounds and the key principles involved
- The importance of participants being treated with due respect.
- The regulations for clinical research in the UK and other countries
- The process of obtaining informed consent and its importance and the key concepts involved in getting valid consent from research participants
- The manner in which the results of research are put into practice, reported and communicated worldwide and the importance of critically analysing media reporting of clinical research
- The sources of funds for clinical research
- Future directions, opportunities and challenges for clinical research
On completion of the course, you will be in a position to:
- Demonstrate the state of modern health care without the benefit of past clinical research and visualise the state of future healthcare in case of lack of further research.
- Sum up roles of the clinical research team and the patient in the process.
- Describe the importance of minimising bias in clinical trials
- Evaluate the rules, regulations and best practices involved in clinical research
- Treat the participants with due respect.
- Summarise the role of research ethics committees with regard to work
Find out the ways of putting research into practice based on the past history and present-day approaches. Analyse the impact of the media report on research publication.
This free online health and social care course titled “Causes of Human Disease: Understanding Cardiovascular Disease” is offered by the University of Leeds through FutureLearn.
Duration: 2 Weeks @ 4 hours per week.
This social and health care course is part of the Cause of Human Diseases program which is suitable for those who are interested in learning the science behind causes of human disease. Health and social care students, professionals and practitioners wanting to know more about the role of clinical research in improving health care can opt for this course.
Requirement: Prior experience is not required
In this course, you will be provided with an opportunity to explore normal cardiovascular function and risk factors associated with heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases which are the leading causes of death worldwide. You will learn about the role of blood pressure and blood sugar control and imbalances in causing cardiovascular diseases. You will learn the socio-economic factors, current management strategy and prevention techniques associated with cardiovascular diseases.
The following topics will be covered
- The anatomy of the heart, arteries, veins and the composition of blood.
- The manner in which cardiovascular diseases can develop and progress over time.
- Statistical trends in cardiovascular disease over the decades and across the world.
- The two most common risk factors for the development of cardiovascular diseases: high blood pressure and high-glucose levels.
- Causes, risk factors and basic management of high blood pressure and diabetes.
- Basic treatment options (medications and interventions) for hypertension and diabetes.
- The socio-economic impact of hypertension and diabetes.
On completion of this course, you will be able to:
- Identify the basic functional anatomy and working physiology of the cardiovascular system.
- Investigate and describe the most common cardiovascular diseases
- Explore basic cardiovascular diagnostic tools and treatment modalities including prevention
- Explain the basic concepts of blood pressure control and sugar control including the need for it
- Explore the basic treatment options for diabetes and hypertension including prevention.
This free online health and social care course titled “Compassionate Care: Getting it Right” is offered by the University of Dundee through FutureLearn.
Duration: 5 Weeks @ 3 hours per week.
Target audience: This health and social care course is designed for those who are directly responsible for patient care, working in health and social care sectors at all levels. This will also be useful for other people such as patients to have better clarity on health and social care and to share their experience.
This free online course titled “Compassionate Care: Getting it Right” speaks about the necessity and importance of providing compassionate care in hospitals. Compassionate care has now- a-days become so important in health and social care as not to be ignored any more and obviously on the other hand is gaining significance in the wake of reported deaths of patients resulting from mistreatment in certain hospitals. This course is designed to explore the issue of compassionate care based on the key points gathered during investigations and also from theoretical point of view. The course emphasizes on creation of a common person – centred culture across organisations which need to be made applicable not only to the patients who are treated but also to the staff serving within the organisation. The teaching will be carried out using case studies by which one can understand how the compassionate care, while getting extended to the patients from the perspective of positive experience and implemented in letter and spirit, will yield better results. Throughout the course, you will get opportunity to mingle and interact with academics and practitioners from across Scotland and also the benefit of sharing knowledge and experience, as part of the work of the Scottish Improvement Science Collaborating Centre, the main theme of which is Compassionate Care.
The following topics will covered.
- What does compassionate care mean and what is the importance?
- Humanising health care
- Caring conversations
- Leading compassionate care
- Advancing compassionate care using improvement science.
By the end of the course, you’ll be able to:
- Find out the reasons for and consequences of not providing compassionate care
- Interpret compassionate care and observe how this is articulated in the real world
- Discuss the factors that lead to motivate compassionate care
- Identify attributes to improve care provision
- Discuss the nature of leading and influencing compassionate care
- Apply improvement science methods to improve care delivery
- Describe the concepts of relationship-centred practice and humanising healthcare
This free online health and social care course titled “Dignity and Safeguarding Level 2” is offered by Vision2learn.
Duration: 11 Weeks @ 10hours per week.
Requirement: Existing qualification is not required
Qualification: On successful completion of the course, you will get a Level 2 Certificate in Dignity and Safeguarding which is a Nationally Accredited qualification.
This course will introduce you to Safeguarding in Adult Health and Social Care which will help you develop your knowledge in health and social care and boost professional development. In this course, you will be able to understand the national and local contexts of safeguarding and to apply the principles duty of care to every situation. You can learn about the best practices to be adopted in protecting and serving the needs of vulnerable adults thereby anchoring your knowledge in key safeguarding principles to strengthen your current health and social care role.
This course consists of 4 units. The learning goals for each unit are furnished hereunder.
- The national and local context of safeguarding and protection from abuse
- How to recognise potential and actual abuse and harm
- How to respond in case of disclosure, suspicion or allegation in relation abuse
- Ways to reduce the likelihood of abuse or harm
- Information and support required in the context of abuse or harm.
- The principles of dignity in adult health and social care
- The potential impact on individuals while using health and social care services
- How to apply the principles of dignity in adult health and social care
- How person-centred approaches contribute to dignity in adult health and social care
- The role of the health and social care worker in relation to promoting dignity
- The importance of professional relationships for dignity and service provision.
- What does duty of care mean?
- Dilemmas and conflicts relating to duty of care
- How to recognise and report unsafe practices
- The impact of own actions on individuals and others
- The importance of consent in health and social care practice.
- Dilemmas that may be encountered in adult health and social care
- Issues of public concern in adult health and social care
- How a serious case review has impacted on adult health and social care practice.
Additional Useful Links On Social Care Courses
Health and social care study covers not only medicines but also includes the study of biology, psychology, nutrition, law etc., apart from their being compassionate, sympathetic and ethical in their approach. Mostly health and social care courses are taken by those who are already in service and as a way of enhancing their knowledge and skill which will pay way for them to get elevated to next level. Hope this article will be of great use to readers for both self- development and promotion of service to the society.
ALL THE BEST