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FdA Health and Social Care (Assistant Practitioner: Higher Apprenticeship Route)

The University of Bolton’s Higher Apprenticeship in Health and Social Care (Assistant Practitioner) combines on and off-the-job learning and development, tailored to the needs of your workplace. While working as a valuable part of your care team, your apprentices can gain the skills, knowledge and experience essential for the provision of high quality and compassionate care.

Health and Social Care (Assistant Practitioner: Higher Apprenticeship Route)

Key information



Mode of Study:



2 years


University of Bolton

UCAS points:


Start date:

19/09/2022, 20/02/2023

Course Details

Our Higher Apprenticeship is suitable for new and existing health and social care support staff who have direct contact with patients, service users or clients, and demonstrate the potential to take on the greater responsibilities and challenges of the Assistant Practitioner role. Offering the best combination of theory and practice, study at the University complements learning in the workplace, supporting apprentices to develop the core skills, knowledge, values and behaviours required to fulfil the role of Assistant Practitioner.

Our flexible programme recognises the wide range of health and social care environments and the specific challenges they pose. We’ll work with you to devise individual learning agreements and job descriptions for each of your apprentices, ensuring they fulfil the core and essential criteria of the Higher Apprenticeship, as well as develop the additional skills and knowledge your organisation requires for the specific clinical or professional area.

This Higher Apprenticeship gives you the opportunity to offer structured training and a nationally recognised qualification in health and social care, helping you attract the best new talent and retain valued support staff through career progression. Integrating study into the normal working week allows apprentices to put their new skills and understanding into practice without delay, benefitting patients and service users immediately. Our focus is on helping your apprentices become knowledgeable, compassionate, and person-centred care professionals.

If you’re looking for undergraduate-level training in this subject area but don’t work for an employer who is offering apprenticeships, please see our related courses section for details of study opportunities that don’t require current employment.

  • We’ll support your apprentices to learn how to collaborate across professional boundaries, use evidence to support their professional decision-making, and enhance their understanding of critical issues in health and social care.
  • Apprentices will be supported to develop skills in research, data evaluation, critical reasoning and analysis, as well as professional communication, teamwork, problem solving and self-reflection.
  • When apprentices successfully complete the end point assessment for this course, they will be awarded a Foundation Degree (FdA) in Health and Social Care (Assistant Practitioner) from the University of Bolton and receive a Higher Apprenticeship Certificate from the relevant awarding body.
  • Successful apprentices will be prepared to take on more demanding roles in health and social care delivery, and be ready to progress to Honours-level study.
  • The work-based learning of your apprentices will be supported by a Practice Trainer, a health and social care professional that bridges the gap between your workplace and the University.
Key Features
  • We’ve been offering high-quality courses, specifically designed to meet the needs of the health and social care sector, for over 30 years.
  • Our dedicated academic team have a wealth of experience working in NHS and social care settings and are engaged in relevant research, bringing their expertise and passion for service excellence to their teaching.
  • Our approach to teaching and learning is ‘student-centred’, so we’ll work with your apprentices on an individual basis, providing tailored help and support throughout their studies.
  • Apprentices can benefit from the purpose-built health and research facilities at the £31 million Bolton One centre, here on campus – including our Clinical Simulation Suite.
  • As they study this course, your apprentices will be encouraged to develop important skills, values and behaviours, such as the 6C’s, action planning, personal impact and confidence, self-awareness, social and ethical responsibility, respect and commitment to quality.
  • By studying alongside people from other clinical and professional areas of health and social care, your apprentices can benefit from a wider range knowledge and experience that supports multi-disciplinary thinking.
  • Quarterly and annual reviews, where each apprentice, their workplace mentor and a member of our team meet to assess your apprentice’s progress, promote continuing conversation between your workplace and the University. This helps to ensure the success of your apprentices and maximise the value of their studies to your organisation.

  • 40 UCAS points. Please see our guide to the UCAS Tariff for examples of how to achieve these points.
  • Any subjects are acceptable at Level 3.
  • Applicants should also have four GCSEs at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent), preferably including English and Mathematics (see below).
  • Applicants will be asked to attend a joint interview with their employer and the University of Bolton.
  • Previous experience may be taken into account if an applicant doesn’t meet the academic entry requirements for the course.
  • Admission to this programme is only available to candidates who meet the following criteria. 1) They are employed for a minimum of 30 hours per week in a role relevant to the apprenticeship. 2) They have the right to live and work in the UK. 3) Their employer is participating in the Higher Apprenticeship scheme. 4) Their employer is willing to sponsor them to attend the University one day per week (times and dates to be determined). Please note that an apprentice cannot be self-employed.
  • If an applicant doesn’t possess GCSEs in English and Mathematics at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9, or hold an equivalent such as Functional Skills Level 2 in Literacy and Numeracy, they will be asked to complete initial assessments for English and mathematics. The results of these assessments will determine whether they are accepted on to the apprenticeship with their current qualifications, or a recommendation of delayed entry is made so they can undertake studies enabling them to achieve the required level of English and mathematics prior to commencing the apprenticeship.
  • This course involves regulated activity so applicants must gain an Enhanced Disclosure certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) before starting their studies. Charges are payable to cover the cost of the DBS Enhanced Disclosure application and annual registration with the online Please note that the DBS must have been completed within three years of the course start date.Update Service.
  • To be eligible for tuition fee funding through the Apprenticeship Levy, candidates should not normally have already completed a qualification at the same level as the proposed apprenticeship, unless that qualification was gained in a completely unrelated discipline.
  • Please note that this course is subject to the University of Bolton's Fitness to Practise procedure.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.

Assistant Practitioners have direct contact with patients, service users or clients and work as part of the wider health and social care team to provide high quality and compassionate care. Occupying the crucial gap in care delivery between a care support worker and registered practitioner, the job title of Assistant Practitioner is applied to a very wide variety of roles that have been developed locally by employers to meet individual service need.

Assistant Practitioners can be found working in a range of areas across health and social care, such as acute, social care services, community, physiotherapy, mental health, general practice, hospice care, genito-urinary medicine, orthopaedics, occupational therapy, cancer services, and learning disabilities, as well as in hybrid roles that cross traditional occupational areas.

What can I do with this qualification?

To become an Assistant Practitioner, apprentices will need to demonstrate their mastery of the core knowledge and skills defined by the Higher Apprenticeship standard along with the additional skills and knowledge based on your requirements as their employer. These will depend on the clinical or professional area in which they are working to allow for an integrated approach and skills escalation.

Some of the key transferable skills successful apprentices will possess include communication skills, teamwork, and negotiation, as well as the ability to present ideas and arguments, work independently, and reflect on and review progress.

After successfully completing the Higher Apprenticeship and achieving the Foundation Degree in Health and Social Care (Assistant Practitioner), your employees will be able to progress to the final year of the BSc (Hons) Professional Studies (Health and Social Care) offered by the University of Bolton. Alternatively, they may benefit from stand-alone professional development modules in additional areas of professional practice or interest.

Course fees

Apprentices will need to be employed by your organisation for a minimum of 30 hours per week. Your organisation will also need to commit to sponsoring apprentices to complete this qualification.

For further information on how your organisation can access funds to support apprentices, please e-mail

Whether you’re an employer, employee or school leaver, please visit our Apprenticeship web page for support and advice regarding apprenticeships.

International applications are not possible for this course

As an international student you are not allowed to study this course because of the restrictions on your visa.

We offer a wide range of full-time courses in lots of different subjects, many of our courses start in September and January. If you would like to see what courses are available please visit our Course Search.

Useful information

Apprentices will not be expected to pay tuition fees towards this programme. If your organisation has a wage bill of more than £3 million per annum, then it may be able to fund this Higher Apprenticeship through its Apprenticeship Levy contributions. If your organisation does not pay the levy, it may be eligible for government support to fund apprenticeships. This support, called co-investment, covers 95% of the apprenticeship’s tuition fees with your organisation funding the remaining 5% of the fees.

Important note regarding tuition fees for the 2021-2022 academic year: EU nationals who meet residency requirements (have settled or pre-settled status) may be eligible for ‘Home’ fee status. If you do not meet these residency requirements, overseas fees will apply. Irish citizens living in the UK or Ireland will be eligible for ‘Home’ fee status under the Common Travel Area arrangement. Please read the student finance eligibility 2021-2022 policy on for information.

The fees for a student’s course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:

Please contact the programme leader for details of the application procedure. You can find their name, email address and phone number in the Programme Contacts section of this page.

For support and advice regarding apprenticeships, please visit our Apprenticeship web page.

International applications are not possible for this course

As an international student you are not allowed to study this course because of the restrictions on your visa.

We offer a wide range of full-time courses in lots of different subjects, many of our courses start in September and January. If you would like to see what courses are available please visit our Course Search.

To make this course as beneficial as possible for you and your apprentices, we apply a range of learning, teaching and assessment methods. These are designed to fully engage apprentices, helping them to develop the skills, knowledge, competencies, values and attitudes essential to provide service excellence as a health and social care Assistant Practitioner, with particular reference to their specific clinical or professional area in your organisation. Learning focuses on your workplace environment, and builds the transferable body of knowledge and skills demanded by the Assistant Practitioner role both generally and within your organisation or service area. Your apprentices will spend approximately 80% of their time in the workplace, with the other 20% of their time being devoted to off-the-job training and university learning.

To complement lectures that introduce the course content, seminars and group-based activities allow apprentices to explore subjects, policies and practices in greater detail. Tutorials give them the opportunity to clarify their understanding of the topics we cover in lectures and seminars, while we use case studies, practical scenarios and role-playing to help apprentices apply their newly acquired knowledge and theory to real-life problems, and gain valuable insights into health and social care practice. Apprentices also have the chance to develop their practical skills in our clinical skills laboratory, and we’ll encourage them to use our extensive online learning resources to support their self-directed learning.

In addition, we offer masterclasses with practitioners from the health and social care sector, plus insightful sessions with guest speakers who either provide or use health and social care services to widen their view.

Our assessment methods are designed to reflect what will be required of Assistant Practitioners in your health and social care setting. For example, the course requires apprentices to submit written reports, give presentations, develop their practice portfolio, analyse care plans, review relevant literature, analyse complex cases and discuss how to manage change. We also expect them to write essays and reflective accounts, take practical and written tests, and play an active part in group discussions. Some assessments contribute to their final module marks, while others are designed to help them identify their strengths and weaknesses, and where they needs to seek extra support from course tutors.


The modules listed below may be a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules shown as part of the course.

  • Communication and Information Technology
  • Legal and Ethical Issues
  • Introduction to Social Policy
  • Using Evidence
  • Principles of Care
  • Anatomy and Physiology for Health and Social Care
  • Mental Health and Well-Being
  • Collaborative Health and Social Care
  • Planning Care Delivery
  • Leadership in Health and Social Care
  • Health Promotion - Challenges and Opportunities
  • Mental Health Care, Perspectives and Practice
  • Working With Older People
  • Disability and Society
  • Working With Young People
  • Clinical Skills
  • Therapy Skills
  • Children and Families
  • Introduction to Psychology in Health and Social Care
  • Acute Illness Management
  • End of Life and Palliative Care
  • Social Inclusion, Empowerment and Health
  • Negotiated Studies
  • Management of Long-term Conditions
  • Principles of Medicines Management
  • Understanding and Working With Alcohol and Substance Misuse
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing - Children and Young People
  • Mindfulness and Equanimity in Practice Striking the Balance Between Compassionate Care for Self and Others
  • Health and Applied Positive Psychology Interventions
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 100%
Level twoCoursework 100%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 29%, Placement/study abroad 50%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 21%
Level twoGuided independent study 29%, Placement/study abroad 50%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 21%


The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Alison Beard
Programme Leader

+44 (0)1204 903843

Helen Higginson
Admissions Tutor

+44 (0)1204 903521

Apprenticeship Enquiries
University of Bolton

+44 (0)1204 903903

Related courses

BSc (Hons) Health and Social Care

Mode of study
3 Years
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HND Health and Social Care

Mode of study
2 Years
UCAS Points

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Postgraduate Options

Cert Ed Certificate in Education 14+

Mode of study
1 Years

University of Bolton


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We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

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