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Undergraduate study
Nursing & Health

Healthcare Assistant Practitioner, Higher Apprenticeship FdSc

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. The higher apprenticeship offers you the opportunity to extend your clinical skills and also identify and develop your understanding of the theory underpinning practice.


Degree apprenticeship
Linked Level 5 University award: Foundation Degree Health and Social Care Practice


Course overview


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

Routes currently available include (subject to demand): radiography, adult nursing, mental health nursing, learning disabilities nursing, rehabilitation, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and perioperative care.

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Supporting information for applicants

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Course details

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

An Introduction to Anatomy and Pathophysiology

This core module gives you the opportunity to develop a basic knowledge of human anatomy and physiology as part of your foundation year. It focuses on the concept of homeostasis – how all systems work in harmony. The content is delivered using a systems approach across a range of body systems.

Foundations of Practice

Foundations of Practice is a 60 credit module. It is a work-based learning module exploring practice-related theory and work-based learning with emphasis on safe practice and patient safety.

You develop your knowledge, skills and professional conduct, values and attitudes that are relevant and important to your work-based role.

Study Skills and Academic Writing

Develop a range of skills to support your academic studies. Emphasis is placed on communication skills, gathering and collating evidence and the development of a coherent argument. You enhance your ability to work independently, building on relationships, literacy and numeracy skills, and the use of information and communication technology to support learning in higher education.


Optional modules

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

Year 2 core modules

Investigating Evidence and Contributing to Change

Build your knowledge and skills relating to health and social care practice, and your ability to critically appraise evidence relevant to the subject. Explore how evidence is used to underpin national guidelines, decision-making and high-quality nursing practice. Apply leadership and change management concepts to explore service improvement models that facilitate your ability to contribute to change.

Orientations of Practice

You select either a competency or non-competency-based route to expand your knowledge and skills in supporting the delivery of quality health and social care in your work setting. Demonstrate transferability of learning and experience, integrating theory and practice. You become a self-directed learner, developing a greater understanding of your role at work within the broader context of health and social care.


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

The apprentice attends the University one day a week for 32 weeks in the first year and one day a week for 28 weeks in the second year. They share their learning experiences with learners from other care settings. The programme is focused on work-based and work-related learning and the apprentice is expected to use their experiences to fulfil work-based activities and inform their academic development. The modules enable the apprentice to undertake learning in the workplace and develop a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate their skill development.

The learning and teaching methods include lectures both in the classroom and through digital means, seminars, group work, and both clinical and IT skills laboratory. The course is supported by the use of a virtual learning environment that allows the learner to engage with the learning and tutors in the workplace.

How you are assessed

The apprentice is 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 their knowledge to develop. They also complete a work-based portfolio and their competence in practice is assessed on an ongoing basis. They have access to a wide range of support including personal tutors, academic tutors and work-based assessors and supervisors who support and guide them through the range of assessments.

In addition to meeting the assessment requirements for the foundation degree, you as the employer also assesses the apprentice's vocational competencies on an ongoing basis. The learner also needs to pass an overall higher apprenticeship end point assessment and this is their opportunity to show case their learning and abilities in practice. To be awarded the higher apprenticeship they are required to successfully complete all assessment elements.

Our Disability Services team provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
Find out more about our disability services


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

To be accepted on to a degree apprenticeship course you must have support from your employer, and also meet the course entry requirements - you can find these below.

Apprentices will:
> be employed at least 30 hours a week working in a health and/or social care setting
> have NVQ level 3 (or equivalent) in a relevant subject or provide evidence of their ability to work at Level 3 in an appropriate healthcare environment
> hold Level 2 qualifications in English and maths before starting their Teesside University apprenticeship. Find out more.

You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL



Career opportunities

On successful completion of the higher apprenticeship, the apprentice can seek employment as an associate or assistant practitioner. There may also be opportunities to progress to an honours degree course or relevant pre-registration healthcare programmes, for example nursing, radiography, and physiotherapy.


Professional approval

Outstanding provision for higher apprenticeships
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Degree apprenticeship

A degree apprenticeship combines vocational work-based learning with study for a university degree. Designed in partnership with employers, degree apprenticeships offer it all - a higher education qualification, a salary, and invaluable practical experience and employment skills.

Find out more


Entry to 2023/24 academic year

Fee for UK applicants

More details about our fees

What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 2 years - one day a week for 28 weeks in class
  • Start date: September

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  • Not available part-time

Service user and carer involvement

Service users and carers support all aspects of our students' lifecycle from recruitment to graduation.

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Telephone: 01642 738888

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