South African Qualifications
Bachelor of Arts (Health Sciences and Social Services)
Fields: 07: Human and Social Studies; 09: Health Sciences and Social Services
The primary purpose of this qualification is to provide qualifiers with graduate-level knowledge, specific
skills and applied competence in health sciences, social and psychological services that provide
opportunities for continued personal and professional growth which will promote effective and quality
service provision. In the context of health sciences and social services, health is defined as more than
the absence of disease or infimity, but as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being.
(World Health Organization in "Unity for Health" August 1999).
A second purpose is to provide South Africa and (other countries) with graduates who are able to
initiate, participate in, collaborate in and/or conduct appropriate research, individually or within a team
approach and to utilize the research findings in the fields of health sciences and social services with the
aim of fulfilling a leadership role in the various fields of service.
A third purpose is to provide the South African, African and global community with graduates who can
improve the health and social well-being of individuals, groups, communities and/or populations through
strategies of facilitation. empowerment and partnerships within a comprehensive and multidisciplinary
3. Assumptions of learning already in place
3.1 Based on an entry requirement of at least matriculation exemption or equivalent and for specified
programmes or modules, registration as a professional practitioner with the appropriate registering body,
learners who register for this qualification can
- learn and interpret written material and other sources of information
- communicate their views and knowledge
- with guided support, take responsibility for their own progress
- accept accoutability for their own acts
3.2 This qualification recognises
Formal accredited prior learning at tertiary level in the relevant fields of health sciences and social
services is recognised and may lead to exemption from relevant parts of the qualification.
- non-formal and informal prior experiential learning
The law currently requires students to have formal qualifications for admission to
university. When it is legally possible to admit students or award a whole degree
through recognition of prior experiential learning, we shall institute structures to
evaluate and place students appropriately. Students may be given RPL for individual
modules if they can produce a portfolio of evidence or undergo any other recognised
means of assessment that shows that they meet the outcomes and associated
assessment criteria specified for that module. On the other hand, they may be given
blocks of credits towards electives if they do not qualify for a whole module.
3.3 Rules governing the award of the qualification
The qualification may be awarded in part or as a whole through the recognition of prior learning
Current legislation requires that students complete 50% of their qualification at the institution which
issues the certification so for now up to 50% of the degree may be awarded through
4. Exit level outcomes and associated assessment criteria
4.1 Critical cross-field outcomes
All critical cross-field outcomes will appropriately be embedded in the modules which constitute the
programme that lead up to the qualification. They will be assessed within the context of the specific
fields related to health sciences and social services. The particular challenges of distance education will
be met as indicated below.
||Associated Assessment Criteria
Evidence in the form of tasks in study materials, written (and, in some cases, oral)
assignments, portfolio tasks, projects, case studies and examinations, will show
|1 Learners can identify,
analyse, formulate, and
solve convergent and
social problems of
and societal kinds,
- identify, analyse and solve health, psychological and social problems by
means of exploring and critically assessing direct and indirect factors
within a given health, psychological and/or social care context.
- solve health, psychological and social problems by generating alternative
strategies to deal with those problems at primary, secondary and tertiary
levels of care.
- overcome communication problems creatively.
- critically evaluate various viewpoints on the current health,
psychological and social welfare situations and compare such to own
- offer evidence in a variety of ways from theoretical knowledge base,
and/or from experiential base, to support their stated views.
- identify health, psychological and social problems in their own lives.
- identify health, psychological and social problems in others' lives by use
of a variety of methods e.g. case studies and primary research projects.
- identify and solve concrete and abstract health, psychological and social
problems by drawing upon the theoretical knowledge and experiential
base of individual disciplines in the health, psychological and social
- identify and solve concrete and abstract health, psychological and social
problems by drawing upon their own experience base.
- use their knowledge and experience to offer suggestions for solving
health, psychological and social problems at a community, national,
international and global level.
- analyse the global, national and local community in terms of health,
psychological and social problems, needs and opportunities.
2 Learners can work
effectively with others
as members of teams,
contribute to the group
output in tasks growing
out of the relevant
- show evidence of "peoples skills" (acceptance, empathy, listening skills,
etc) in group situations.
- demonstrate respect for the opinion of others through written and/ or
oral reporting without bias.
- demonstrate tolerance of diversity through (written and/ or oral)
reporting without bias.
- undertake health and social sciences related projects and provide
evidence of successful interaction with others.
- use effective communication skills within group and diadic context.
- lead and empower people effectively to understand health, psychological
and social and welfare issues, and utilize relevant facilities.
- are supportive followers and active group participants in a multi-disciplinary team.
- organize themselves and others into effective working groups.
- communicate the evidence of group interactions through professional
and scientifically based/accepted written and/ or oral reporting.
- within a team approach facilitate groups and communities to take
responsibility for their own physical, psychological, environmental
health and social and welfare needs as well as for that of others.
3 Learners can manage
and organize their
personal, academic and
and life responsibly and
their studies and career.
- demonstrate the requisite study skills and learning
- organize their study plans.
- use creative and various learning strategies which suit their personal
and professional situations and contexts.
- cope with the self-discipline necessary for distance learning.
- think independently, and offer evidence to support their decisions.
- assess their own strengths and weaknesses and develop coping
- utilize skills and knowledge gained through distance studies to
manage their professional activities.
NOTE: These outcomes and assessment criteria may be entry competences for many
distance learners who are already working in the job market and have definite goals.
|4 Learners can collect,
critically evaluate and
use information, appro-priately as required in
the pursuit of both their
studies and profession.
- demonstrate basic research skills.
- use library and other resources effectively to suit their individual
academic and professional needs.
- use library and other resources effectively to suit the needs of the
particular areas of research.
- collect, collate, analyse and integrate information from a variety of
- act responsibly as a researcher and life-long scholar
referencing, avoiding plagiarism).
- show awareness of the conventions of scholarship in the various
disciplines under study.
- demonstrate awareness of relevant conventions and guidelines to their
academic, personal and professional purposes.
- critically analyse models, theories, examples, experiences.
- argue appropriately within the scientific community.
|5 Learners can
effectively using visual,
mathematical and/ or
language skills in the
modes of oral and/ or
written presentation in
and diverse situations
in the context of the
social and health
sciences and in
- communicate their ideas and provide supporting evidence in a sustained
- responsibly use others' ideas in support of their own without plagiarism.
- identify conclusions and premises in academic arguments.
- follow the language conventions of written and/or oral use in policies
- use appropriate models of organisation and presentation as required in
the relevant disciplines.
- use statistics appropriately and responsibly in support of their ideas.
- create and use visuals appropriately to support their ideas.
- recognise own communication limitations and problems and seek help
- identify and illustrate discipline-related jargon.
- see, describe and interpret what they come across in appropriate ways.
- assist others to speak for themselves on health, psychological, social and
- use language to critically analyse, evaluate and critique others' ideas
relevant to the specific discipline.
|6 Learners can use
science and technology
effectively and critically
in the domains of the
social, welfare and
environment and and
communities in national
and global contexts.
- demonstrate an appropriate attitude towards health,
psychological, social and welfare scholarship and technology.
- use the scientific method of investigation, testing and evaluation in
health, psychological, social and welfare fields.
- select appropriate health, psychological, social and welfare technology
to suit the needs of the individual or group.
- use technology (computers, internet, etc) where appropriate and feasible
in health, psychological, social and welfare fields.
- use natural resources in a sustainable way.
- show respect for and a responsible attitude towards health and social
sciences and technology.
- show concern for health, psychological, social and welfare issues of
individuals, families, groups and communities and societies.
- demonstrate a consideration of the ethics involved in health, social and
welfare sciences and technological issues.
- show respect and openness towards the psychological, health, welfare
and social environment of others.
7 Learners can
demonstrate a holistic
understanding of the
world as a set of
related systems by
problem solving in the
domain of social and
health sciences do not
exist in isolation, and
by acknowledging their
responsibilities to those
in the health,
and welfare professions
and global community.
- demonstrate knowledge and experience of their individual and
- connect the abstract knowledge of theory to the reality of their
individual personal and professional contexts.
- draw upon their prior knowledge (personal and professional), and
experience (personal and professional) as appropriate when
investigating and analysing the health, psychological, social and welfare
fields around them.
- demonstrate knowledge of the interconnectedness of factors influencing
the achievement of optimal health and social well-being, and draw upon
their knowledge of the complex nature of health, psychology and social
well-being and to find appropriate solutions to health, psychological,
social and welfare issues.
- look beyond and across traditional disciplinary boundaries for possible
- follow an integrated approach to learning and studying.
NOTE: Some Foundation Courses overtly teach and practise these skills.
In order to contribute to the full personal development of each learner and the social and economic
development of the society at large, it must be the intention underlying any programme of learning to
make an individual aware of the importance of the following developmental outcomes.
|1 Learners can reflect on
and explore a variety of
strategies to learn more
effectively (see Critical
Outcomes 3 and 5
- learn by various means other than rote-learning and/or practical field
- explain what they know in their own words.
- follow academic conventions regarding referencing and avoid
- use help-seeking strategies to further their own learning and that of
- apply what they study in different contexts, both personal and
professional, real and simulated.
- display self-awareness of learning preferences and strategies to suit their
personal and professional needs.
- show evidence of effective study skills (e.g. note-taking, summarizing,
analysis and synthesis).
|2 Learners can
responsible citizens in
the life of local,
national and global
communities (also see
Critical Outcome 2
- display tolerance of diversity and other opinions.
- show willingness to participate in groups.
- demonstrate willingness to take risks in group situations.
- apply what they know and study in culturally diverse contexts.
- apply what they know and study at different levels, from personal to
professional to academic contexts.
- share knowledge and expertise.
- actively promote relevant knowledge in
- identify gaps in previously disadvantaged communities, and redress.
|3 Learners can be
across a range of
and social contexts (see
Critical Outcomes 2
- show awareness of cultural diversity and its impact on health,
psychological, social and welfare issues
- demonstrate tolerance of diversity and others' opinions.
- use various skills to draw out the cultural contexts of others (e.g.
communication skills and empathy).
- illustrate the value of open-mindedness and tolerance to self and others.
- actively promote empowerment of communities through culturally
|4 Learners can explore
education and career
opportu-nities in the
context of social,
health service delivery
systems by drawing on
the various knowledge,
skills and attitudes
acquired in the
accomplishment of this
qualification (see all
- illustrate the relationship between the knowledge, skills and attitudes
acquired in studying towards the BA (Health Sciences and Social
Services) and those of the community at large (locally and globally).
- make connections from theoretical knowledge to practical application
in the real health, psychological and social fields.
- identify those specialized skills which are highly valued across the
disciplines and sectors of health, psychological and social fields.
- use the personal and professional skills required for efficiency in most
health, psychological, social and welfare services: imaginative
intelligence, emotional maturity, effective communication skills,
thoughtful accuracy and interpersonal sensitivity
- deal effectively with potential health, psychological, social and welfare
problems and tasks by drawing upon the knowledge and skills acquired
during the completion of the qualification and where relevant, prior
- demonstrate a personal and professional sense of work ethics.
|5 Learners can develop
drawing on the various
knowledge, skills and
attitudes acquired in
the accomplishment of
the qualification (see all
plus 4 above).
- create job opportunities in whatever health, psychological, social and
welfare situation they find themselves.
- have a realistic view of their own worth and value to contribute towards
quality of life of the individual, family, community and society at large.
- communicate that value to others in the real world (CV writing skills,
oral communication skills, etc).
- demonstrate a healthy self-esteem and confidence in their academic and
professional knowledge, skills and attitudes as required to complete the
- deal with various unknown situations with flexibility and adaptability.
4.2 Specific outcomes and associated assessment criteria
The BA (Health Sciences and Social Services) student is actively engaged in activities that will enable her/him
to become a well rounded, educated and competent professional practitioner, pursuing opportunities for
further more specific study and professional practice, in relevant work environments. As such she/he develops
and holds certain values and integrates knowledge and skills to achieve her or his purposes. The specific
outcomes show how knowledge, skills and values are integrated in the qualification in the SAQA Health
Sciences and Social Services (09).
|Specific BA (Health
Sciences and Social
||Associated Assessment Criteria
Evidence in the form of tasks in study materials, written (and, in
some cases, oral) assignments, portfolio tasks, projects, case studies
and examinations, will show that learners
|1 Learners can act as
engage in critical and
creative thinking in the
domains of social and
health delivery systems.
- analyse and reflect on the theory and practice of the fields of practice,
relevant to health, psychology, social and welfare services
- show potential to contribute to the development of the relevant
- demonstrate the ability to engage as a professional practitioner in finding
solutions to health, psychological and social problems.
2 Learners can think
contextually; i.e. reflect
on learning from
and academic disciplines
in relation to social,
psychological and health
problems and how these
are influenced by
political, social, cultural
health locally and
- relate learning gained from individual and professional experience in the
health, psychological, social and welfare fields to knowledge encountered
in an academic environment and vice versa.
- relate learning with regard to Health Sciences and Social Services, from
individual and professional experience and academic contexts, to different
contexts using present and future scenarios.
- explain their place in the relevant field of practice and in the multi-disciplinary health team.
- explain their professional role within the relevant fields of practice.
- interpret local situations, relevant to health, psychology, social and
welfare services, in relation to international trends.
- interpret health, psychological, social and welfare issues of the past and
present in relation to the future needs.
- reflect on personal and professional experience and academic disciplines.
- make connections from personal and professional experience to health,
psychological, social and welfare problems of individuals, families, groups
and communities in various service contexts.
- promote the quality of life by utilizing the therapeutic value of art and
music in service delivery.
3 Learners can identify
with the ethos and
dynamics of their
- show awareness of aspects such as ethics and professional practice.
- critically interpret dynamic changes and related issues in the fields of
health care, psychological intervention and social services.
- use appropriate ethical codes and principles to act as advocate and role
model in health, psychological, social and welfare services.
4 Learners can identify and
psychological, social and
welfare problems and
solutions related to
cultural diversity in
South Africa, Africa and
the global community.
- show awareness of own culture and of that of others in South Africa,
Africa and the global community.
- show interest in other cultures in South Africa, Africa and globally.
- analyse how cultural issues affect health, psychological, social and welfare
aspects in authentic and simulated contexts.
- explore alternative strategies to address health, psychological, social and
welfare issues in a culturally diverse society.
- render culturally congruent care.
5 Learners can assess
knowledge and its
care systems within an
- relate knowledge to its contributions to developing different service
- relate information from one relevant discipline to that of others.
- compare different national and international service delivery systems
relevant to the specific field of practice.
- assess appropriate knowledge in relation to the role of the professionals
in the multi-disciplinary health team.
- relate appropriate knowledge and its contributions to cooperation and
more effective teamwork.
|6 Learners can perform a
social-critical role in
society as leaders in
health, psychology and
- use disciplinary- and interdisciplinary-based information related to
problems of health, psychology, social and welfare services and how these
are influenced by eg poverty, violence, racism, gender bias, and
- use this information to explore, interpret and utilize relationships between
health, psychological, socio-economic and cultural situations
- take an informed stand on human health and social, welfare and
psychological issues with courage, self-confidence, assertiveness and
|7 Learners can use and
apply academic literacy
to become lifelong
learners and more
who are able to respond
to the changing health,
psychological and social
needs of society.
- interact with texts (oral and written) through critical listening/reading and
- produce critical texts which integrate health, psychological, social and
welfare information from different sources.
- use language effectively to convey ideas and insights intelligibly and
achieve own purposes.
- produce and integrate relevant theories and practice by means of a variety
of media and simulations.
- produce and/or appreciate creative works in a variety of media applied to
the relevant fields of service (nature, art, music, language/ literature).
- distance themselves from texts from different sources, reflect on relevant
knowledge and information and take a critical position.
8 Learners can, in an
appropriate and feasible
manner, arrive at an
informed assessment in
terms of what happens to
human knowledge in
- compare knowledge and skills from the past with new situations.
- draw upon known information to deal with unknown health,
psychological, social and welfare issues.
- use technology in appropriate contexts to access, process, store or
distribute and facilitate knowledge.
- assess the applicability, limitations and impact of various types of
technology in the academic and service fields.
- analyse the impact of technology on society within the health,
psychology, social and welfare fields.
|9 Learners can
interpersonal skills in all
social and welfare
- interrelate with individuals, families, groups and communities within
health, psychology, social and welfare contexts.
- interrelate with people in small and large group contexts.
- apply knowledge strategies to facilitate solutions to existing and potential
health, psychological, social and welfare problems that arise in a
culturally diverse society, in South Africa, Africa and globally.
- show empathy and understanding of others' problems and contexts in the
authentic and simulated contexts.
|10 Learners can use
methodologies to access
knowledge in health,
psychology, social and
- collect, analyse, organize and evaluate related information and ideas from
a variety of sources in various fields and specific disciplines.
- critically evaluate and utilize information from different sources to solve
health, psychological, social and welfare problems in the relevant service
- integrate information from different sources to address problems in the
relevant service fields.
- integrate and apply models and theories to address the problems in the
relevant service fields.
- use theories from one or more fields to solve problems within the service
- apply past and present knowledge and skills to authentic and simulated
scenarios in the relevant disciplines.
- apply past and present knowledge to solve existing and potential health,
psychological, social and welfare problems in future service delivery
- identify patterns in the specific fields of service delivery, both locally and
globally in order to generalize from specific contexts to more universal
|11 Learners can
demonstrate a sensitivity
to attitudes and values
relevant to a just and
- empathize with diversity.
- are receptive to different points of view.
- promote equity in care and service delivery.
- demonstrate respect and sensitivity in the process of caring.
- acknowledge the rights of patients/clients/consumers to safe, informed
and quality care and service delivery.
12 Learners can participate
in creating and sustaining
a just and democratic
- question values, knowledge and culture, both own and others.
- operate as a responsible individual in culturally diverse societies, locally
- question inadequacies in health, psychological, social and welfare issues.
- address the dynamics of health care, psychological interventions, social
and welfare services and focus on changing issues e.g. empowerment of
the community to manage their own life- situation, redress previous
13 Learners can practise as
professionals within the
ethical and legal
framework pertinent to
the relevant professions.
- act as professional role models.
- take responsibility and accountability within the limits of own competence
and relevant scope of practice according to the requirements of relevant
statutory bodies if applicable.
- exercise judgement commensurate with knowledge and experience.
- are accountable for achieving specialized competency in the relevant
fields of service delivery .
- adhere to the generally accepted professional norms with integrity.
5 Total credits required
The BA (Health Sciences and Social Services) will provide learners with 360 credits.
6. Minimum credits required at specific levels or maximum credits when these exceed the minima
specified by regulation 8 or 9
All programmes leading to the BA (Health Sciences and Social Services) will contain a combination
of core, fundamental and elective modules in different combinations.A typical programme leading to
the BA (Health Sciences and Social Services) will comprise 360 credits of which 120 are at NQF level
5 and 240 at NQF level 6.
The various learning programmes leading to the BA (Health Sciences and Social Services) currently
offer options for majoring in Psychology, Community Health, Health Services Management, Health
Sciences Education and Health Ethics and Law and Social Work.
Acquired credits will depend on the relevant exit level as opportunities for exit from or entrance to
the qualification are envisaged as listed below.
6.1 National certificates ( 10 Modules = 120 credits at level 5)
- Certificate in Community Health and Health Psychology
- Certificate in Emergency and Trauma Care
- Certificate in Nutrition
6.2 National Diplomas (20 Modules = 120 credits at level 5 and 120 credits at level 6)
A typical national diploma will comprise a minimum of 120 credits in the core category, 24-70 credits
in the fundamental category and 50-69 credits in the elective category.
- Diploma in Curative Aspects of Primary Health Care
- Diploma in Occupational Health
- Diploma in Gerontology
- Diploma in Advanced Midwifery
7. Integrated assessment for the purpose of the qualification
7.1 Formative assessment: Learning and assessment are integrated. Learning material is specifically
designed for each field of service and may contain self-assessment tasks with feedback. Academic
work may include assignments, laboratory work and portfolios of evidence based on the learning
material. Strategies are designed to give learners feedback on their academic progress on a continuous
basis. Available technology, such as video-conferencing and tele-conferencing facilities are utilised to
communicate with learners, to give academic guidance and support and to evaluate the progress of
learners. In some instances supervisors and tutors are appointed and utilised to assess, assist and guide
learners in the relevant fields of service.
7.2 Summative assessment: Examinations, or equivalent assessments, measures representative selections
of the outcomes practised and assessed during the formative stages. Summative assessment also tests
learners' abilities to manage and integrate a large body of knowledge and to achieve the stated
outcomes of a module. Summative assessment is designed in a way to focus on students' abilities to
integrate knowledge and skills in the relevant practical field of service.