BNurs Mental Health Nursing / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Advancing Care - The Social and Political Context of Health and Social Care

Course unit fact file
Unit code NURS31342
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


This unit will give students the necessary social and political insight to understand contemporary issues relating to nursing and health and social care.  As a bridging unit to level 7 study, this course unit will enable students to build upon their critical analysis skills to provide a robust critique of the social and political influences on their practice area and how this relates to health and social care policy and service design.  Students will be encouraged to use this knowledge to examine the context of care, current and future changes in care delivery and the role of the nurse in contemporary healthcare. 


This unit aims to 
  • Facilitate the transition from undergraduate to post graduate nursing studies by enabling students to develop a critical approach to understanding a range of contemporary issues affecting nurses work

Teaching and learning methods

The learning outcomes for this unit will enable the students to develop their thinking, critical analysis and evaluation skills from level 6 to level 7. The concept of constructive alignment is used to ensure that there is a match between the intended learning outcomes and the indicative content for the unit (see 4 above which outlines where the ILO are included in the indicative content). The assessment strategy will also incorporate the learning outcomes for the unit.  The first assessment will help students bridge the gap between level 6 and level 7. A group presentation with peer and lecturer feedback will outline the socio-cultural, social and economic concerns for their sphere of practice and will guide students through a reflexive process which will assist them in developing insights into the needs of a group of patients or service users. The second assessment will facilitate students in outlining the social, economic and policy background underpinning the delivery of care within their field of practice (part 1) and then a critical reflection on the care plan for a patient using and evidence based Trusted Assessment Process (part 2)

Knowledge and understanding

  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of the social processes and socio-economic features of society, concepts of social exclusion, individual functioning and the differential demand/need for nursing and social care services
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the service delivery context in which nursing/health and social care operates
  • Provide an analysis of the ethics underpinning nursing work and apply ethical principles and values to guide professional practice
  • Apply research evidence and show the development of research mindedness

Intellectual skills

  • Analyse situations encountered by nurses by systematically identifying and evaluating relevant information, policy and political direction within health and social care work
  • Evaluate current developments in nursing, theory and knowledge that are relevant to nursing practice
  • Use evidence in ways that extend knowledge and understanding and contribute to facilitating recovery and problem solving in a professional nursing context
  • Demonstrate critical reflection to all aspects of the nursing process and their own role within that ie become a reflective practitioner

Practical skills

  • Apply social and policy-based knowledge to understand their practical skills to working with individuals, families, carers, groups and communities to assess their circumstances, needs, strengths and resources
  • Communicate effectively by identifying, accessing, synthesising and evaluating information to inform initial and subsequent interventions accounting for new information as appropriate
  • Apply organisational, presentational, written, digital and verbal communication skills

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Communicate verbally demonstrating a high level of clarity, coherence and effectiveness
  • Communicate in writing demonstrating a high level of clarity and coherence producing a convincing and well-reasoned argument
  • Apply analysis, critical thinking and the ability to make conceptual links to assessment, problem solving, planning and action
  • Work creatively and collaboratively with others through consulting, constructively challenging ideas and actions, debating and evaluating evidence and co-operatively planning and executing action

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Feedback methods

Students will normally have the opportunity to receive feedback on formative work submitted prior to the summative assessment. Other feedback opportunities will also be available in class and online discussion boards. Online feedback is provided in Grademark. Provisional feedback based on internal marking will be made available prior to the Exam Board on the basis that these marks are yet to be ratified at the Exam Board and therefore may be subject to change. A standard feedback mechanism in Grademark is utilised across all undergraduate programmes within the School which provides detailed and constructive feedback on each component and aspect of assessment and identifies areas of strength and those aspects which could be enhanced.

Student feedback is obtained through open discussion forums on blackboard, in class discussions, via formal University unit evaluation forms and also qualitative, in house evaluations at the end of the unit. 

Recommended reading

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment practical exam 10
Lectures 24
Seminars 24
Tutorials 4
Work based learning 18
Independent study hours
Independent study 120

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Karen Iley Unit coordinator

Return to course details