Assistant Practitioner

This vocational degree programme was designed to allow you to enhance your employability skills and progress your career prospects, by combining academic study with practical work experience.

What is a Degree Apprenticeship?

A Degree Apprenticeship is a degree you study for while working as an apprentice with an employer and is paid for by your employer and the Government. The course and the apprenticeship are designed to a national standard for a particular job role and often come with professional qualifications and accreditation.

Why study this degree apprenticeship course? 

You will study core modules on a part-time basis and be able to put the theory into practice through work-based projects. The assessments will be agreed with the employer, to ensure that the course is fully integrated within the workplace and benefits both the employer and the apprentice. All UCLan degree apprenticeships fully meet all the standards outlined by the Government.

What does the course lead to?

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.

What qualification do I receive at the end of the course?

On successful completion of the course, you will receive the FdSc (Hons) Assistant Practitioner (Degree Apprenticeship) from the University of Central Lancashire. The programme will equip you to create a portfolio of evidence of your knowledge, skills and competencies as applied in your workplace.

The programme includes academic and work-based modules designed to cover a range of skills and knowledge required by support staff working in health and social care. 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.

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.

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.

Working in Industry

Our assistant practitioner programme has been a commissioned programme for  Health Education North West since 2006. Our programme has be valued by workforce leads within Primary Care, NHS Trusts and Private health service providers across Cumbria, Lancashire and Greater Manchester. The flexibility and range of specialist staff within the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing mean that we are able to work with employers to develop bespoke specialist training routes for their employees.

Entry Requirements

Our student selection process is underpinned by the National Values Based Recruitment strategy. The selection process has to provide evidence that the future students would aspire to a high standard of excellence in professionalism, which is consistent with the NHS values ie working together for patients, respect and dignity, commitment to quality of care, compassion, improving lives and everyone counts.


Course at a glance

assistant practitioner course at glance

Year 1

  • 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
  • Introduction to Medicines Management for Assistant practitioners
  • Introduction to Neonatal Care
  • Partnership in practice 1
  • Introduction to Sexual Health

assistant practitioner course at glance

Year 2

  • Evidence Based Practice
  • Developing Practice
  • Health Promotion
  • Management and Leadership in Health and Social Care

Plus one of the of the following optional modules:

  • Physiological Responses to Health and Illness
  • Rehabilitation Practice
  • Principles and Practice in Clinical Imaging
  • Management of Long-term Conditions across the Lifespan
  • Interventions in Mental Health
  • Interventions in Mental Health Practice
  • Principles of STIs and asymptomatic screening
  • Principles of blood born viruses
  • Principles of contraceptive and unplanned pregnancy
  • Sex and Relationship Education across the age continuum
  • Low Dependency and Transitional Care of the Neonate
  • Partnership in Practice 2

Course delivery

The course will be delivered on a part-time blended learning approach with day-release usually 1 day per week from the work place. Students will be expected to attend during the University’s teaching weeks in:

  • Semester 1 (September to January)
  • Semester 2 (January – May)
  • Semester 3 (June – August) – Students continue with work-based learning.

How to Apply

The first step is to apply direct to an employer offering an apprenticeship position or approach an employer with the course information and ask if they are interested in the scheme. If you are already in employment then talk to your employer about the course and how your company can utilise the Apprenticeship Levy to join it. 

Your employer or potential employer should then contact to begin the process of drawing up a contract and welcoming you to the University.

Course leader: 
Debbie Mennim
Telephone: 01772 893663