Health & Social Care

FdSc Health and Social Care Practice


If you're a healthcare support worker working alongside registered healthcare professionals, or are engaged in voluntary work, this course can improve your knowledge and skills.

You may extend your clinical skills and also identify and develop your understanding of the theory underpinning practice. The course has been developed in consultation with senior managers and employers within health and social care in order to meet the education and training requirements of assistants/support workers across all health and social care services and can lead to employment as an assistant practitioner. It offers a range of modules to support your continuing personal and professional development, wherever you work in health, social or community care. Throughout the programme you are supported by a practice mentor and academic tutor.

Options currently available (subject to demand): Radiography, Adult Nursing, Mental Health, Learning Disabilities, Rehabilitation, Long-term Conditions and Perioperative Care.The programme is delivered at both Teesside and Darlington campus. Some specialist routes can only be accessed at Teesside such as perioperative care and radiography.

Higher Apprenticeship in Health (Assistant Practitioner) (England)
Our FdSc Health and Social Care Practice has been mapped against the Higher Apprenticeship in Health (Assistant Practitioner) (England) framework and the University has been successful in securing funding to deliver places on this programme through the Higher Apprenticeship Scheme. As a higher apprentice you study exactly the same programme but funding is available to support part of the tuition fee through the Skills Funding Agency (SFA). To be eligible for a place under the Higher Apprenticeship Scheme you require an apprenticeship agreement with your employer. It is advisable to discuss this with your training department or person responsible in your organisation for authorising staff training and development. The full course fee is £7,900 and the SFA cover 50% of the fees so the total employer contribution is £3,950. Additional funding may be available for a limited time for Small Medium Enterprises in the Tees Valley area, more information can be found at Tees Valley Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (TVAGE)

What you study

You develop the foundations of your current practice by developing the rationale underpinning your practice and go on to develop your skills and understanding promoting evidence based practice. Subjects you study include knowledge and theories which inform practice such as consent and confidentiality, communication skills, infection control, anatomy and pathophysiology and more specialist skills and knowledge relating to care management. You also undertake a module which develops your study skills and provides an introduction to learning in the University. Core and option modules reflect the workplace/practice setting you are in.

You follow one of the following routes:

  • Competency route – for care assistant/support workers or if you work in a formal care setting and have access to a registered health or social care professional such as radiographers, nurses, midwives and social workers.
  • Work-related learning route – for support workers in a residential home without registered professional support.

We help you choose the most appropriate route and options. You choose option modules in collaboration with your employer/sponsor and an appropriate academic tutor to ensure that they reflect the skills and knowledge required within your work/practice role/setting. Option modules are available in subjects such as nursing practice, long-term conditions, perioperative care, dementia care, rehabilitation, mental health, learning disabilities, public health and occupational health. Further options may be available.

How you learn

In Year 1 you attend the University one day a week. You share your learning experiences with students from other care settings. The programme has a strong bias towards work-based/work-related learning and you are expected to use your experiences to fulfil work-based activities and inform your academic development. Additionally, there are modules which enable you to undertake learning in the workplace and develop a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate your skill development.

The learning and teaching methods include lectures, seminars, group work, IT skills laboratory. The programme is supported by the use of a virtual learning environment that allows you to continue to engage with the learning and tutors whilst in the workplace.

How you are assessed

Each module is assessed individually, using a variety of methods including assignments, presentations, examinations and work-based portfolios. You have access to a wide range of support including personal tutors, academic tutors and work-based mentors/supervisors who support you and guide you through the range of assessments.

To attain the foundation degree award you must complete core modules from one of the two core routes at Level 4 and level 5, together with modules from the options to give a total of 240 credits.

Career opportunities

On successful completion of the course you can seek employment as associate or assistant practitioners. There may also be opportunity for progression to an honours degree course or relevant pre-registration healthcare programmes if the competency route has been completed.

Entry requirements

Applicants should normally:

  • be employed for at least 20 hours a week (or the equivalent in a voluntary capacity) working in the health and/or social care sector
  • have worked (either paid or in a voluntary capacity) for at least one year prior to entry in a similar capacity working in the health, social or community care sector prior to commencing the programme
  • have the support of your employer (if employed) or otherwise supporter/workplace facilitator, who must sign the application form
  • have NVQ Level 3 in a relevant subject. If this is not possible there is the opportunity to offer other evidence such as appropriate learning through work
  • have GCSE passes grade A-C in English language and maths, or equivalent.

For additional information please see the undergraduate and postgraduate entry requirements in our admissions section

More information

Share |

More information

Download to print (pdf)

Apply online

Full-time study not available


Health & Social Care

Stage 1 modules (all routes)

and one optional specialist module relevant to the workplace

Stage 2 modules

and one optional specialist module relevant to the workplace

Modules offered may vary.