The Foundation Degree in Health and Social Care (Assistant Practitioner) aims to provide a flexible interdisciplinary course which is competence based with an emphasis on “fitness for practice”, and which bridges the gap between theory and practice. It will meet individual and organisational requirements in the health sector through the integrated development of clinical and academically relevant knowledge and skills. The Foundation Degree in Health & Social Care (Assistant Practitioner) has been designed to meet the academic requirements for the development of the Assistant Practitioner role within health care.
The programme includes a range of academic and work-based modules designed to cover a range of skills and knowledge required by support staff working under supervision. The programme structure includes core modules as well as specialist modules. The work based modules are designed to allow you to apply your learning to your work context and your individual learning needs.
Entry and Admissions
Full time and Part time
School of Health
No Partner College
Preston and Westlakes
NVQ3, GNVQ (intermediate and advanced), BTec National Extended Diploma (3 passes), BTec National Diploma (Pass, Pass, Pass), BTec National Subsidiary National Diploma (Distinction), 'A' Level (DDD), Access Course (Pass), Irish leaving Certificate, Scottish Highers OCR National Certificate (Distinction), OCR National Diploma (P2),,OCR National Extended Diploma (P3).
Accreditation of prior learning (the course team are available to advise and assist with any APL application).
To download the Programme Specification for this course, please click here.
The Assistant Practitioner is a new role in health and social care created to bridge the gap between healthcare assistants and registered practitioners, eg nurses, therapists. Applicants will already be working within an NHS health or social care setting and will study modules relating to their area of work in order to develop additional skills and competences and the knowledge that underpins these.
Staff will work closely with the manager and mentor to provide a course that makes you ‘fit for purpose’ by identifying your specific skill development needs. Through work-based learning you will achieve new skills and competencies necessary for the role of Assistant Practitioner as outlined in your job description. Class attendance one day per week will be combined with work-based learning throughout the course to bridge the gap between theory and practice. There will be support from a work based education facilitator (WBEF) who will bridge the gap between University and the workplace and provide support for development of the protfolio. Alongside skills the one thing many students comment on is how their confidence develops during the course on both a personal and professional level.
The course encompasses several themes that are important to anyone working in health and social care settings. These themes include communication skills, anatomy and physiology, health promotion, health psychology, inter-professional working, equality and diversity, service user involvement and lifelong learning.
Course at a glance
- Study Skills and Lifelong Learning
- Anatomy, Physiology and Psychology of Health
- Foundations for Practice
- Communication and Collaboration in Health and Social Care
plus one of the following optional modules:
- Introduction to Long term conditions and End of Life care
- Mental health across the Lifespan
- Introduction to Unscheduled and Acute care
- Introduction to Clinical Imaging
- Student Initiated Module
- The Research Process
- Developing Practice
- Health Promotion
- Management and Leadership in Health & Social Care
Plus one of the following optional modules:
- Physiological Responses to Health and Illness
- Assisting Rehabilitation Practice
- Principles and Practice in Clinical Imaging
- Management of Long Term Conditions Across the Lifespan
- Interventions in Mental Health
- Student Initiated Module
Learning Environment & Assessment:
As this is a work-based learning program, the workplace will provide students with experiences to which they can apply theory from the classroom where up-to-date issues and policies in the health and social care sector are discussed. Although you will be considered a full-time student you will need to work for a minimum of 23 hours per week in a health or social care setting. You will require a mentor in practice who can support you to develop the skills required for your role and sign you off as competent as those skills are achieved. You will be required to build a portfolio of evidence of your work based learning during the two years of the course and will have a nominated Work Based Education Facilitator to support you and your mentor with this.
Each module you take will be assessed by either essay, exam, poster or presentation and submission of these assignments will be staggered so that you are not overloaded with work at any time during the course.
Your work based learning wil be assessed by portfolio and skills log which you will build over the two years of the course.
The course team consists of a group of lecturers from a variety of professions which offers the student a mix of expertise to draw upon. currently this group includes a radiographer, a psychiatric nurse, an anaesthetic nurse, a physiotherapist, two social care professionals and a public health PhD student.
Learning outcome & aims
- To equip students, through the unique use of work based learning and class attendance, with academic knowledge and skills to enhance their knowledge of the Assistant Practitioner role and its impact on their current and/or future work within health and social care.
- To enable students to analyse relevant academic theories and concepts to enhance their work performance through work based learning and take into consideration personal and cultural awareness to work across organisational boundaries and adapt to a changing environment.
- To equip students with a range of subject-specific and transferable knowledge and skills to support their continuing personal, professional and academic development through the use of work based learning and classroom participation.
Industry links & professional accreditation
All students will be currently employed within the NHS. On qualification students will usually work at band 4 of the Knowedge and Skills framework.
There is currently no professional registration for Assistant Practitioners however the course benchmark is the Core Standards for Assistant Practitioners and relevant National Occupational Standards (Skills for Health).
Work experience and international opportunities
Students are in employment during the course but in addition we aim to broaden this experience by facilitating visits to other similar wards/departements where possible and by offering a relevant international visit to students.
Qualified Assistant Practitioners are currently employed across the region in a broad range of services from GP surgerys, to local hospices, from dementia services to acute wards, from imaging departments to intergated therapy services, from operating theatres to out patient clinics and from mental health settings to community services.
UCLan is recognised for its outstanding course provision which gives students the skills, knowledge, and personal attributes necessary to succeed at the University and in their future careers. To find out more about the experiences of our students, read our success stories.
We offer a one year "top up" which enables students to take their Fd to a BSc in Health & Social Care. Credit can be obtained against the first year of the BSc Nursing although extra workbooks may need to be completed depending on the clincal background of the student. There is also the possibility of progression onto degree level study within the School of Social Work and the Fd offers entry qualification to a range of Allied Health degrees.
Fees & Funding
The course fees are funded by the NHS. The standard fee for UK/EU students studying this course is below. Students are eligible for a means-tested bursary whilst on the course. For further information contact the NHS Students Grant Unit. For further information including the availability of bursaries/scholarships or student financial support please view our Fees and Finance
Places on this course are funded by the North west Modernisation Hub. More information is availble at www.nwwmhub.nhs.uk
How to Apply
If you are interested in applying for this course, our comprehensive How to Apply pages will guide you through the process. Here at UCLan, our aim is to encourage you to develop your potential and we offer a flexible approach to admissions, which reflects our commitment to all those who would benefit from our courses.
Application for this course is made via your NHS Trust when places are advertised.
Candidates will be interviewed jointly by the service manager and University.
This takes palce after a successful bid for funding from NWWMHub by the service manager.
More information on this process is available here.
Your Learning and Development lead may also be able to offer more NHS Trust specific information.
Short Form of Course:
Institution Code Name: CLANC
Institution Code: C30
Campus Site: U
University of Central Lancashire, Preston, PR1 2HE, Lancashire, United Kingdom