Assistant Practitioner In healthcare


Accredited by University College Birmingham




2 years




1150 hours




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Department of Health
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There are around 84,000 Allied Health Professionals in England

Assistant Practitioners are paid at band 4 of the Agenda for Change

Assistant Practitioners (APs) are experienced staff working in support roles alongside registered healthcare professionals and this full-time, two-year course is aimed at those who want to work with Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) or in mental health. Students develop a high level of skills and knowledge, all while working independently under the direction of a health professional.

The course itself is made up of eight modules, including two modules assessed on placement. Assessments for modules vary and include practical exams, reflective writing, report writing, multiple choice exams and assignments.

Most students on this course will have had some experience working as a healthcare support worker or at therapies assistant level and are wanting to progress. Having completed this course, students have the opportunity to move up to degree level and become a fully-qualified registered healthcare professional. Students who complete this course can also take on the role of an assistant practitioner in a hospital, as well as other settings such as working in the community.

Why should I choose this course?

  • BOOST YOUR SKILLS – you will acquire a minimum of 1,150 hours of work placement in a variety of settings
  • PRACTICAL APPLICATION – you will develop key practical skills in observation, interpretation, information processing and presentation, as well as core nursing values and behaviours
  • HIGHER TECHNICAL QUALIFICATION – learning outcomes are mapped against the occupational standard for Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQ) as approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education
  • TOP-UP TO A DEGREE - having completed the Assistant Practitioner in Healthcare foundation degree, you can top up to a full bachelor's degree including Phisiotherapy or Paramedic Science with us

Our facilities

As part of your Assistant Practitioner in Healthcare foundation degree, you will have access to University College Birmingham’s specialist practical and academic learning environments in Moss House and McIntyre House. These include our Health Skills and Simulation Suite, complete with a purpose-built, six-bed hospital ward with simulation manikins, Anatomage table, integrated filming and audio equipment and a community care environment to help you practise your clinical skills and enhance your practical training.

  • Year 1
  • Year 2

Core Modules

Principles, Philosophy and Professional Development in Healthcare

You will research the principles and philosophy for healthcare. Understand professional development in healthcare and the skills required to manage own workload and professional behaviour when working in healthcare.

Anatomy and Physiology to Monitor Health

During your module you will gain knowledge and understanding in relation to human anatomy and physiology. You will understand the structure and function of human body systems and how they relate to and impact on each other. You will gain the knowledge and skills required to use physiological measurements to monitor the health and well-being of individuals.

Health, Safety and Risk Management in Diverse Populations

During your course you will understand and develop skills required to champion equality, diversity, and inclusion in healthcare. Understanding and developing skills in relation to health and safety in healthcare and develop skills required to manage risk in healthcare. You will also gain an understanding of how to manage infection prevention and control in a variety of healthcare settings.

Practice Placement (1)

This practice module will be delivered throughout the Assistant Practitioner’s Foundation degree to prepare you for your practical assessment and to complete skills assessments within the workplace. The module's focus is the development of professional values and the delivery of safe, holistic, and compassionate care. This module is defined by the skills and proficiencies assistant practitioners are to achieve in practice by the end of year one and prior to moving onto year two. The module incorporates skills education and practice learning placements to enable you to achieve progression within the workplace.

Core Modules

Leadership and Communication in Healthcare

During your module you will understand and develop skills required to lead and manage communication systems and practices in healthcare. Understanding and develop skills required to lead and manage working relationships and partnerships in healthcare. You will also understand and develop skills required to lead and manage others within healthcare settings.

Evidence Based Practice

During this module you will gain the knowledge and understanding required to conduct research in healthcare, aimed to facilitate continuous improvement in healthcare. You will develop an understanding of healthcare needs across the lifespan with a focus on nutrition and hydration.

Provision and Improvement of Healthcare within Specialist Areas 

In this module, you will gain knowledge, understanding and skills in relation to leading practice within their own specialist area of healthcare. Develop skills required to undertake clinical activities and lead practice to develop clinical skills. You will also understand and develop skills required to facilitate outcomes-based person-centred practice in healthcare.

Practice Placement (2)

In this module you will prepare and take all elements of the end point assessment as required for your course. This will consist of an observation in practice with questioning and a professional discussion. You will also need to provide a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate you are meeting the required criteria.

The modules listed above for this course are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up to date and informed by industry as well as the latest teaching methods. On occasion, we may need to make unexpected changes to modules – if this occurs, we will contact all offer holders as soon as possible.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Level 3 qualification in health or health and social care related qualification. This can be from one of the following qualification types:

  • T-levels in Health
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma in Health, Health Professionals or Health and Social Care.
  • Advanced Apprenticeship (Level 3) in Health, Health Professionals, Health and Social Care.
  • BTEC in Health, Health Professionals, Health and Social Care. This can be achieved from either an Extended Diploma or a combination of smaller BTEC qualifications.

GCSE/IGCSE English Language grades 9-4/A*-C or equivalent.  
GCSE/IGCSE Maths grades 9-4/A*-C or equivalent.

Work-based: We also give equal consideration to applicants who are currently in work and wish to apply to University College Birmingham. To apply, you must have a minimum of 2 years work experience in a healthcare setting. Your application must include a reference from your line manager supporting your entry to higher education. We will arrange for you to meet with the teaching team to ensure your skill sets prepare you suitably to achieve on this programme. For further details, please contact admissions.

Key information

Teaching and assessment

Modules are delivered through face-to-face lectures, small group tutorials or practical skills and simulation sessions on campus at University College Birmingham. There will be some online learning and self-directed study required. Time for taught content and study will be allocated on your timetable.

Assessments are varied and include:

  • Reports
  • Professional discussions
  • Reflective assignments
  • Practice-based assessments called OSCEs
  • Practice Assessment Document
  • Healthcare numeracy tests

You will be assigned a personal tutor and academic assessor during your foundation degree course, and alongside your module leaders, you will receive support to develop academically, personally and professionally throughout the two years.

Indicative information only – actual timetables and assessment regimes will be issued at your induction.

Estimated breakdown of assessment for this course:

  • Coursework – 53%
  • Practical assessment – 37%
  • Written examinations – 10%

Our teaching and assessment is underpinned by our Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy 2021-2024.

Uniform and kit costs

This course requires a uniform and a tablet. This will be redeemed from our Kick-Start Scheme fund, paid to each student at the start of each academic year. Exact costs and information on how to order required items will be provided to you prior to enrolment.

Tuition fees

UK students

If you are a UK student enrolling on a standard-length Foundation Degree or a BA/BSc at University College Birmingham, your 2024/25 academic year fee will be £9,250. A half-year tuition fee is £4,625. 

View undergraduate fees

International students

If you are an international student enrolling on a full-time Foundation Degree or a BA/BSc in 2024/25, your fee for this academic year will be £14,000 per year. If you complete a placement year, there will be an administration fee of £500 for a full year or £250 for a half-year placement.

View international fees

Kick-Start Scheme

As a new student studying this course full-time, you will receive £300 per year through our Kick-Start Scheme (UK students only, eligibility criteria applies). This scheme will support your studies and future career by contributing to course-related materials, uniform or selected items on campus. You may also qualify for an additional £500 per year.

Find out more about the Kick-Start Scheme here.

Unibuddy Community - meet other students on your course

Starting university is an exciting time, but we understand that it can sometimes feel a little daunting. To support you, you will be invited to join our Unibuddy Community, where you can meet other students who have applied for the same course at University College Birmingham, before you start studying here.

As soon as you have been made an offer, you will be sent an invitation email to complete your registration and join the Unibuddy Community. For more information, check out our Unibuddy Community page.


of graduate employers say relevant experience is essential to getting a job with them

Work placements

Work placements are vital for gaining real-life experience and building your confidence and skills before you finish your course and may even lead to a job when you graduate. Our placement team can help find the ideal placement for you. You will need to complete a minimum of 1,150 hours of work placement over the course. These placements may be tailored to meet your future aspirations, taking into consideration your experience and how much of the course you have completed.

Work alongside experts in your sector

A snapshot of some of the employers we have worked with:

  • University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (QE, Heartlands, Solihull, Good Hope Hospitals and Solihull Community)
  • Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust (City, Sandwell, Rowley Regis)
  • Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust
  • Birmingham Women's and Children's NHS Foundation Trust
  • Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • Cygnet Healthcare
  • Private voluntary and independent sector organisations (including hospices, prisons, nursing and care homes)

Career opportunities

Note: Some roles below may require further study/training. The roles and salaries below are intended as a guide only.

Assistant public health practitioner

Average Salary: £26,282

Want to take your studies to the next level? Upon successful completion of the Assistant Practitioner in Healthcare foundation degree, students can request to be considered for recognition of prior learning (RPL) to enter a shortened programme of the bachelor's degree in Physiotherapy at University College Birmingham.
Please note: you will need to confirm the Assistant Practitioner in Healthcare foundation degree would be applicable for an accreditation of prior learning at other institutions.


We are here to support your career goals every step of the way. 


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Richard has over 20 years of experience working in a variety of settings and has seen the impact that allied health practitioners have on patient care.

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