Developing a Vocational Pedagogy for Health and Social Care

MQF Level: 7

ECTS Value: 5 ECTS

Self Study Hours: 60

Contact Hours: 25

Assessment Hours: 40


Overall Objectives and Outcomes

This module is intended to provide the necessary pedagogical knowledge for professional training, learning in the workplace and/or subjects applied to the industrial context, in order to respond to the demands of teaching in vocational education environments or in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions. This module uses, as directive, the background note for UNESCO bases on `Vocational Pedagogy`, (Lucas, 2014)[1], in which the term ‘vocational pedagogy’ can be understood as ‘the science, art and craft of teaching and learning vocational education.


By the end of this programme, participants should be able to:


a. Create tools and resources demonstrating learning and a high level of understanding of learning processes in Vocational Pedagogy;

b. Create a research-based analysis of various pedagogical skills and make judgements with incomplete or limited information;

c. Develop innovative skills and use these to create new methods of pedagogy in Health and Social Care;

d. Act autonomously in adjusting pedagogical skills according to the students’ level of understanding;

e. Develop models and tools which effectively match teaching and learning methods of the students and the context within the various Health and Social Care topics being taught.


a. Identify different pedagogical tools used to engage students learning a VET subject;

b. Explore signature pedagogy as the key for vocational learning;

c. Understand how learning takes place at the workplace with the support of a mentor/coach;

d. Identify Health and Social Care as a vocational subject that focuses on working with people;

e. Identify through continuous evaluation the needs of students to be successfully learning in a Vocational Training setting;

f. Identify aspects of quality assurance in learning contexts designed for teaching Health and Social Care as a VET subject.


a. Apply various teaching and learning methods to cater for students with varying learning capabilities in a vocational setting;

b. Apply VET pedagogical theory to Health and Social Care teaching at secondary school level;

c. Use various teaching and learning methods and tools to cater for students with varying learning capabilities in a vocational setting;

d. Anlalyse the key characteristics of vocational education which differ from traditional subjects.

Assessment Methods

This module will be assessed through: Assignment and Discussion

Suggested Readings

Core Reading List
  1. CEDEFOP, 2015. Vocational pedagogies and benefits for learners: practices and challenges in Europe. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. Cedefop research paper; No 47. Available from
  2. European Commission, (2013), Work-based learning in Europe: Practice and Policy pointers, Brussels: European Commission, 37 pages.
  3. Lucas B., Spencer E. & Claxton G., (2012), How to teach vocational education: A theory of vocational pedagogy, Winchester: University of Winchester, Centre for Real-World Learning,
  4. Lucas, B., 2014. Vocational Pedagogy: What it is, why it matters and what we can do about it. Background Note for UNESCO-UNEVOC e-Forum. Available from
  5. Morris, S., 2014. Problem-based learning in clinical education: the next generation, edited by Susan Bridges, Colman McGrath and Tara L. Whitehill. Higher Education Research and Development33 (2) 405-407.
  6. Eaton, S. E., Wagner, S., Hirashiki, J., & Ciancio, J. (2018). Understanding and Exploring Signature Pedagogies for TESOL Teacher Education. Calgary: University of Calgary
  7. Guile, D., & Unwin, L. (2019). The Wiley Handbook of Vocational Education and Training. Hoboken, United States of America: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
  8. Parker, M., Patton. K. & O’Sullivan, M. (2016) Signature pedagogies in support of teachers’ professional learning, Irish Educational Studies, 35:2, 137-153.
  9. Rush, S., Action, L., Tolley, K., Marks-Maran, D., & Burke, L. (2010). Using simulation in a vocational programme: does the method support the theory? Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 62(4), 467-479.

Supplementary Reading List:
  1. Billett, S. and Sarojni Choy, S., 2013. Learning through work: emerging perspectives and new challenges. Journal of Workplace Learning, 25(4), pp.264-276.
  2. Hobley J., (2014), Vocational Pedagogies: the Science of Teaching or the Teaching of Science? Journal of Education and Training Studies, Vol. 3, No. 2; March 2015, pp. 17-19.
  3. Virtanen A., Tynjälä P. & Eteläpelto A.,(2014) Factors promoting vocational students’ learning at work: study on student experiences, Journal of Education and Work, 27:1, 43-70. 10.1080/13639080.2012.718748
  4. Widiatya I., Ana A., (2015), Vocational Pedagogy in Perspective Vocational High School Curriculum, paper presented at the 3rd UPI International Conference on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), Amsterdam: Atlantis Press, pp. 97-100.
  5. Avis, J. (2014). Workplace learning, VET and vocational pedagogy: the transformation of practice. Research in Post-Compulsory-Education, 19(1), 45-56
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