Undergraduate study
Health & Social Care

Higher Apprenticeship Health (Assistant Practitioner)

As a higher apprentice you will be in employment in a health-related role while studying part time for a work-based foundation degree in health and social care practice. The higher apprenticeship offers you the opportunity to extend your clinical skills and also identify and develop your understanding of the theory underpinning practice.

Course information


  • Not available full-time


  • 2 years

More part-time details

  • 1 day a week
  • Enrolment date: May. September and January
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 384110

Contact details


£500 available to kick-start your degree – for travel, accommodation or other living expenses

Eligibility criteria apply


Over £270m invested in our town-centre campus for your improved student and learning experience

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(National Student Survey 2016)

Why choose Teesside
  • Facilities

    School of Health & Social Care facilities

    The School of Health & Social Care has amazing purpose-built facilities simulating practice environments such as hospital wards, dental clinics and social care settings. See how students benefit and prepare for practice.


The course has been developed in consultation with senior managers and employers to meet the education and training requirements of assistant/support workers across all health and social care services and can lead to employment as an assistant practitioner. The higher apprenticeship recognises the work place as a centre of knowledge building and supports you by combining opportunities with the workplace and the learning environment of the University. It offers a range of modules to support your continuing personal and professional development, whether you work in health, social or community care. Throughout your studies you are supported by a practice mentor and academic tutor.

Routes currently available include (subject to demand): radiography, adult nursing, mental health, learning disabilities, rehabilitation and perioperative care. Some specialist routes, such as perioperative care and radiography, can only be accessed at the main campus.

Supporting information for applicants

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You develop the foundations of and enhance the underpinning rationale of your current practice. You go on to develop your skills and understanding, promoting evidence-based practice. The subjects you study inform your practice, such as consent and confidentiality, communication skills, infection control, anatomy and pathophysiology, specialist skills and knowledge relating to care management. In addition to meeting the assessment requirements of the programme, your employer also assesses your vocational competencies on an ongoing basis.

You also undertake a module which develops your study skills and provides an introduction to learning in the University. This module helps you to prepare for the assessments within the programme. Core and option modules reflect the workplace/practice setting you are in.

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, radiography, rehabilitation, mental health, learning disabilities and occupational health. Further options may be available.


Year 1 core modules

Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology

Learning to Learn and Foundations of Practice


Optional modules

You also select a module from the list of specialist options that relates to your working environment.

Year 2 core modules

Introduction to Evidence-based Practice

This module will introduce you to the concept of evidence-based practice. It will include a basic overview of a variety of qualitative and quantitative research methods.

The module will allow you to develop skills in basic critical analysis of individual research studies.

You will explore issues surrounding using evidence-based practice and discover key concepts in lectures.

Skills in critical analysis of research papers are developed during seminar activities. In addition to this you will be able to develop key skills in critical thinking, academic writing, information retrieval and interpretation of statistics. Some open learning materials will be used to support you during the module.

The module assessment is in two parts. Assignment one is a 500 word essay that interprets a small amount of statistical data. Assignment two is a detailed critique (maximum 2,500 words) of a research study that you have selected.

Orientations of Practice

This is a 60-credit competency-based practice module – it provides 50% of the programme credits at level 2. In year 2 you will build on your existing knowledge and skills to advance your practice and competencies, demonstrated through your portfolio of evidence.


Optional modules

You also select a module from the list of specialist options that relates to your working environment.

Modules offered may vary.

How you learn

You attend the University one day a week for 28 weeks a year across the two-year programme. You share your learning experiences with students from other care settings. The programme is focused on work-based/work-related learning and you are expected to use your experiences to fulfil work-based activities and inform your academic development. 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, and IT skills laboratory. The programme is supported by the use of a virtual learning environment that allows you to engage with the learning and tutors whilst in the workplace.

How you are assessed

You are assessed as part of the Foundation Degree in Health and Social Care Practice. Each module is assessed individually, using a variety of methods including assignments, examinations and presentations to allow your knowledge to develop. In addition, you also complete a work-based portfolio and your competence in practice is assessed on an ongoing basis if you are following the competency route. 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.

In addition to meeting the assessment requirements for the foundation degree, your employer also assesses your vocational competencies on an ongoing basis. You also need to pass an overall higher apprenticeship end point assessment.
To be awarded the higher apprenticeship you are required to successfully complete all assessment elements.

Career opportunities

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

Entry requirements

You should normally be employed at least 30 hours a week working in a health and/or social care setting.

Your employer sets the general internal selection criteria but you also need to meet the entry requirements specified by the University.

A typical student would 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. You will also have GCSE passes grade A-C in English language and maths, or equivalent.

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

Course information


  • Not available full-time


  • 2 years

More part-time details

  • 1 day a week
  • Enrolment date: May. September and January
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 384110

Contact details

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