Level 5 FdSc Assistant Practitioner Health and Social Care – September 2024

Funding information: Student Finance HE Loan available, course costs apply.
Duration: Option One: A one year level 4 Certificate in HE Professional Practice in Health and Social Care. Option Two: A two year Foundation Degree, Professional Practice in Health and Social Care.
Attendance: Full-time Provision

Course Overview

A course leader and curriculum manager will oversee the management of the level 4 and 5 Foundation Degree programmes.

A fixed timetable of study will be allocated in the first week as part of the course induction, this will show start and finish times of each lesson, units, allocated rooms and members of lecturing staff.

Achievement of each unit is by successful completion of a range of assessments, these predominantly include written assignments and time constrained assignments. All submissions are submitted electronically via a system called Turnitin. Meeting deadlines for submission are important. Failure to meet submission deadlines can lead in some circumstances to non-achievement of that particular unit or limit the grade awarded. Each unit lecturer will allocate assignment issue and submission dates.

Each unit has a separate list of learning outcomes, the learning outcomes are the basis for the assessment tasks and are graded at different levels according to the work submitted, all assessment and grading follows a holistic approach.

An active Virtual Learning Environment is available on university and college web-site, this can be used to help with issues such as referencing, research work and provide resources relating to the learning outcomes.

A mandatory exam board at the end of each semester discusses student performance and records provisional grades. All grades remain provisional until approval is confirmed by the External Examiner towards the end of the college year in May or June. The exam board also advises on student progression and confirms completion or non-completion of the units.

Please note that students can be recommended to repeat a unit where a judgement has been made that there is insufficient evidence to award a Pass grade.

Course Content

The Foundation Degree, Professional Practice in Health and Social Care is a work-based qualification designed for those seeking a career in the health, social or community care sector. The course is suitable for college and sixth form leavers as well as those already employed in the industry. The university-level course combines health and social care education with practical skills acquired through work placement (400 hours over 2 years) or existing employment for those already working within the sector. You will be expected to attend lectures and seminars over the 1 or 2 year course.

Some of the advantages of studying a Foundation Degree:

  • Smaller class sizes
  • Only 2 days per week in timetabled study allowing employment alongside study
  • 1-1 personal tutor
  • Work placement experience
  • Chesterfield campus
  • Many progression opportunities in both employment and higher education

You will study topics vital to securing future employment in the industry and in preparation for top up degree courses in nursing and the allied health professions. For example, Essential Sciences for Person Centred Care will focus on biomedical and social sciences, essential knowledge for a student Paediatrician and Paramedic. Integrated Holistic Assessment Delivery & Implementation of H&SC Interventions is key for social work and adult nursing. Each subject covered is key knowledge to all health care sector roles enabling progression to a wide variety of employment opportunities and future university courses.

The level 4 Certificate in Higher Education will gain you 120 credits. This is a pre-requisite to the second year level 5 full Foundation Degree, which is a further 120. The Foundation Degree is therefore requiring 240 credits in total.

Entry Requirements

A relevant Level 3 qualification, English and Maths (grade C/4 or above at GCSE or Level 2 equivalent). Mature students with relevant experience in the industry will also be considered. In this case, you may not have the relevant level 3 qualification, but you will have English and Maths level 2 equivalent and a number of years relevant industry experience.

Assessment Methods

  • Written assignments
  • Presentations
  • Practical assignments


You will become qualified to level 4 or 5 (1 or 2 years of study).

Upon successful completion, there are many options for progression and employment:

  • An option on completion of the first year level 4 enables application to progress to year 1 of a full degree, such as Midwifery, Children’s Nursing, Radiotherapy, Psychology, Operating Department Practitioner, Mental Health Nursing and many more!
  • On completion of level 5 you will be suitably prepared to progress towards the level 6 top up Honours Degree at Sheffield Hallam university. This is just one day a week, for one academic year. This would lead to employment in professions such as Health Care Management or teaching.
  • Completion of the level 5 also enables application for direct entry to the second year of a degree in Adult Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Radiography, Paramedic Practice, Physiotherapy or Social Work at Sheffield Hallam University.

Case Study

Image of Eloise Heathcote

Eloise Heathcote

Health and Social Care Graduate