Foundation Degree Healthcare Assistant Practitioner

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This two-year, foundation degree will provide you with required skills and behaviours to enter this role within the healthcare profession. You will gain the training and experience needed to be proficient in the day-to-day role of an assistant practitioner including assisting in patient assessment, coordinating care, carrying out referrals and undertaking clinical, diagnostic and therapeutic interventions for the local population and care services. This course will guide and enhance your knowledge of this role and the requirements outlined by the occupational standards.

HTQ – Become a Healthcare Assistant Practitioner

This foundation degree is a Higher Technical Qualification (HTQ). This means it will give you the technical skills and training to move into a Healthcare Assistant Practitioner role.

  • Overview

    By enrolling on this programme, you will be helping to address a growing need for care workers and practitioners within the NHS. The course offers a clinical and therapeutic focus, including applied practice and a theoretical underpinning in accordance with occupational standards governed by the NHS, Skills for Health and Health Education England. As such, you will participate in class-based learning and an extensive work placement (460 hours).

    You will develop all the skills and capabilities required to be a competent practitioner and gain the confidence to administer high-quality care. Assistant practitioners must have personal qualities such as kindness and empathy and this course is ideal for anyone who is conscientious and possesses effective observational, communication, problem-solving and methodical skills. You will need to be able to follow complex instructions and procedures.

    You will be provided realistic practice for developing your proficiency in patient care, through consistent simulation scenarios throughout the programme. You will be able to learn through trial and error, allowing you to make and correct your clinical errors without adverse consequence and so improving your capabilities to ensure you are ready for the workplace.

    Our pre-programmed manikins are designed to train you in the care and management of a variety of patients providing you with deliberate clinical training. When a manikin is perceived as a patient, it provides you with a realistic experience of what it means to behave like a healthcare professional. Consequently, this realism allows you to practice and acquire relational, communicative, and collaborative skills. The experience of learning using a manikin can facilitate the development of your professional identity.

    For the latest version of the programme specifications for this course please click here.

    For the latest version of the course handbook for this course based at University Centre Leeds please click here.

    For the latest version of the course handbook for this course based at Keighley College please click here.

    For the latest version of the Leeds City College regulations please click here.

  • Who is this course for?

    The programme is designed for students who have some healthcare experience and a healthcare qualification (usually at level 3, such as the NCFE CACHE Diploma in Healthcare Support).
  • Entry Requirements

    A typical offer is likely to consist of:

    UCAS Tariff Points: 48 UCAS tariff points from two A-levels (or equivalent qualifications)

    A Levels: 2xD grades

    BTEC Level 3 Diploma or Extended Diploma: MP, MPP grade

    IELTS: IELTS 6.0 with no less then 5.5 in any component.

    International qualifications: International qualifications will be assessed against these criteria

    Mature applicants: Leeds City College welcomes applications from mature* applicants who may not have met the academic criteria, but who can demonstrate a wealth of experience in their chosen field. Candidates in this category and otherwise are likely to be interviewed to assess their suitability for the course and may be asked to provide a portfolio of evidence to support their application. *21 years and over at the start of the course

    RPL claims: The course structure actively supports claims for Recognition of Prior Certified Learning (RPCL) or Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL)

    GCSE English (Essential): English Language Grade C or above (grade 4 for those sitting their GCSE from 2017 onwards). Key Skills Level 2, Functional Skills Level 2 and the Certificate in Adult Literacy are accepted in place of GCSEs.

    GCSE Maths (Essential): Maths Grade C or above (grade 4 for those sitting their GCSE from 2017 onwards). Key Skills Level 2, Functional Skills Level 2 and the Certificate in Adult Numeracy are accepted in place of GCSEs.

    Apprenticeship Level 3: Pass

    Placements: Full time students will need approx. 10-12 hours a week, voluntary or paid placement in a suitable placement on-going throughout their study.

    DBS checks: Students will also be required to complete the Disclosure and Barring Service process (DBS) prior to commencement on placement.

    Interviews / audition: A successful interview required.

    References: An appropriate reference required

  • Assessment Types

    This Foundation Degree was written to embed the principles of work-related practice, and therefore, the assessment strategies used replicate the procedures expected upon qualification and entry into the profession.

    At level 4 the assessment strategies support students with essential skills for the profession such as care planning, case studies, presentations (group and individual), action plans and report writing. These skills progress into level 5 once a more in-depth knowledge of the sector has been acquired and more challenging methods are included such as mock multi-disciplinary panel meetings, professional discussions, literature reviews, presentations, case studies and essays.

    You will also create and develop an evidence based e-portfolio (containing development plans, best practice and evidence of mandatory competencies) through the professional practice modules and work placement hours (460 in total over the two year programme – it is advised that 50% of these hours (230) are obtained during year one).

  • Units/Modules

    Over the course of the two year programme, you will study the following modules:

    Year 1 (Level 4): 120 credits

    • Academic Research and Study Skills (20 credits) Gain the transferable skills required for undergraduate study and professional practice.
    • Fundamentals of Health and the Human Body (20 credits) Explore the concepts of health (both negative and positive aspects) and health promotion.
    • Communication and Interpersonal Skills (20 credits) Develop communication and interpersonal skills in preparation for your role as an assistant practitioner in healthcare.
    • Clinical and Therapeutic Interventions in Healthcare (20 credits) Investigate aspects of clinical practice, learning how to recognise signs and symptoms of pain and distress in service users and recommend appropriate actions. The module will focus on clinical, diagnostic and therapeutic interventions to promote health and wellbeing.
    • Developing Professional Practice (including care planning) – Work Placement (40 credits) Develop workforce skills and understand the principles that are required for not only this particular role, but within the sector. The module will cultivate class-based theoretical knowledge and facilitate the application of this to professional practice in the workplace.

    Year 2 (Level 5): 120 credits

    • Nutrition and Health (20 credits) Focus on the role of nutrition in relation to body function and the impact nutrition has on wellbeing throughout all life stages.
    • Researching in Healthcare (20 credits) Undertake research that focuses on an aspect of healthcare. Throughout this module you will explore and review data, draw upon findings and make recommendations for change.
    • Mental Health and Wellbeing for Care (20 credits) Get an opportunity to investigate the history, importance and impact of mental health and wellbeing in individuals, whilst developing an awareness of professional practice in alignment with current workforce requirements.
    • Legal Aspects of Healthcare (20 credits) Explore contemporary legal aspects of healthcare and the role of the healthcare professional in complying with these.
    • Continuing Professional Practice in Healthcare – Work Placement (40 credits) Build upon the level 4 Developing Professional Practice module. Throughout this module, you will learn to critically reflect upon the professional skills required of an Assistant Practitioner and develop autonomy and independence to carry out this role effectively.
  • Benefits/Skills

    By the end of the programme you will be a well-rounded graduate who is a competent and job-ready assistant practitioner in the healthcare sector.

    The programme will enable you to develop the clinical, professional and employability skills listed below:

    • Communication of complex sensitive information using a variety of methods (verbal/non verbal) in a range of scenarios (multi-disciplinary, peers, colleagues, other agency staff)
    • Demonstration and promotion of person-centred care and support
    • Personal skills (respect, cultural awareness, privacy measures)
    • Management of information such as record keeping and data protection (awareness/management of sensitive information)
    • Self-awareness and the ability to acknowledge when discretion is needed
    • Awareness of infection prevention and control methods (hygiene, PPE and waste management)
    • Awareness of safe and healthy working environments
    • Risk management
    • Demonstration and integration of clinical or therapeutic interventions
    • Adaptability
    • Resourcefulness and problem solving skills
    • Leadership

    You will experience excellent student facilities, with a fully equipped clinical suite.

    You will be provided with opportunities for placements, mentor training, CPD opportunities and guest lectures through the excellent links between the programme and the profession, working closely with local healthcare providers.

    Keighley College works in partnership with the University Centre Leeds which is one of a few centres to be accredited to run Higher Technical Qualifications in the Health Sciences.

  • Careers/Progression

    On completion of this foundation degree you may choose to seek employment directly as an Assistant Practitioner, register or progress onto the Health and Social Care Top-Up Degree at University Centre Leeds or another institution.

    Assistant practitioners can become members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) or the professional association for their speciality.

How to apply

If you would like to apply for any of the Keighley College full-time Higher Education programmes for 2024 entry, (unless otherwise stated) please do so via UCAS at

The UCAS code for this course is APH1 and the Leeds City College institution code is L21. When prompted on your UCAS application form, please select location K for Keighley College.
The application fee for applying through UCAS is £27.50.

For all relevant policies and procedures and other relevant documents please see the University Centre Leeds policies here.

If you are a student currently studying at Keighley College and if all of the following applies:

  • you do not already have an application with UCAS
  • you only wish to study your full time undergraduate course with University Centre Leeds
  • should you be successful in your application and enrol onto this course, you agree to us submitting a record of prior acceptance (RPA) application to UCAS on your behalf

If you are:

  • a current student with Keighley College, Leeds City College or Harrogate College,
  • don’t already have an application in UCAS for this cycle,

you can make an application directly to us for this course.

To make your application, use the below link and register for an application account via the Create a New User facility. You will then be sent an email to the email address you provided when registering for an account, on which you will need to click the link to verify your email address.

Once you have created an account, you will then be able to start and save your application, should you not be able to complete it all in one go. Please note that your username is the email address you provided when registering for an account.

To access your account again should you need to complete and submit your application form, simply use the second link provided in your verification email.

To register for an application account please use the following link and use the Create a New User facility.

Then you can make a direct application here.


This is a University Centre Leeds course which is a part of and validated by Luminate Education Group.

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