ATHE Level 4 Diploma in Health and Social Care (2023)

IntroductionEntry CriteriaQualification Content

The ATHE Level 4 Diploma in Health & Social Care is a 60 credit Ofqual Regulated Qualification equivalent to an A Level or Access to HE qualification.

The ATHE Level 4 Diploma in Health & Social Care offers learners a short but relatively extensive introduction to the essential elements of both health and social care knowledge and practice. As an outcome, the Diploma is mapped to the IfATE Level 4 Lead Practitioner in Adult Care standard and, hence, offers learners a relevant and practical initial insight into the subject.

The aims of these qualifications are to develop knowledge, skills and understanding across a range of interrelated health & social care subjects and practices. Building on the core learning developed at Level 3, the Diploma qualification provides learners with a broad, practical foundation of both health and adult social care subjects.

The Diploma qualification is mapped to the knowledge and skill requirements for the Level 4 IfATE standard for Lead Practitioner in Adult Care (Home / Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education) and the Extended Diploma Adult Care pathway is mapped to the knowledge and skill requirements for Skills for Care’s Level 4 Diploma in Adult Care specification (Home – Skills for Care). In this way, learners can be assured that their learning and achievement is fully compatible with current health and social care sector expectations for learning and skills.

This is a core qualification available to existing and interested centres of ATHE.

Graded with Pass, Merit or Distinction.
Advanced learner loans available in the UK – to check if funding is available see the latest Qualification Catalogue here.
For the progression routes visit our progression routes page.

Delivery Mode
This qualification can be delivered either in the classroom, via distance learning or blended, part-time or full-time.

Qualification Specification
To view the specification, please click here.

Typical Age

This qualification is designed for learners who are typically aged 18 and above.


For learners who have recently been in education or training the entry profile is likely to include one of the following:

  • a GCE Advanced level profile with achievement in 2 or more subjects supported by 5 or more GCSEs at grades 4/C and above
  • other related level 3 subjects such as ATHE level 3 Diplomas
  • an Access to Higher Education Certificate delivered by an approved further education institute and validated by an Access Validating Agency
  • other equivalent international qualifications


For those whom English is not their first language we recommend the following standards of proficiency in English language skills or an approved equivalent for this qualification:

  • IELTs 5.5
  • Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) B2
  • Cambridge English Advanced (CAE) 162 or above
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic 42-49

Learners must complete all 4 mandatory units and 1 optional (opt) unit.

Unit NameUnit AimsCreditsMandatory
Health and Social Care in Context and PrinciplesThis unit aims to develop an understanding of the national, legal and ethical context of health and social care with a focus on adult social care. Learners will examine the values underpinning care and the behaviours and responsibilities for working in the adult care sector.15Yes

Supporting Individuals in Adult Social Care
This unit aims to support development of the skills and knowledge required to support individuals in adult social care. Learners will look at practical aspects of adult social care and how these contribute to health and wellbeing of service users.15Yes
Health and Ill-HealthThis unit aims to develop the learners’ understanding of the concepts of health and ill-health, health inequalities and current major health issues that impact on the health and social care sector.15Yes
Personal and Professional Development in Health and Social CareThis unit aims to develop the knowledge and understanding of personal and professional development. Learners will develop techniques for planning, implementing and evaluating their own personal and professional development and an understanding of how to support others in their personal and professional development.15Yes