Home » Courses » Becoming an Apprentice » FdSc Assistant Practitioner: Health and Social Care – Higher Apprenticeship

FdSc Assistant Practitioner: Health and Social Care – Higher Apprenticeship

Assistant Practitioners work as part of the wider health and social care team and have direct contact with patients, service users or clients providing high quality and compassionate care. They work at a level above that of Healthcare Support Workers and have a more in-depth understanding about factors that influence health and ill-health (e.g. anatomy and physiology).

This course, awarded by the University of Plymouth, consists of 12 subject modules, and each module has two assessed assignments.

First year (Level 4) modules include:
– Foundations of health and social care practice
– Concepts of health and wellbeing
– Human growth and development
– Vocational competence for health and social care practice
– Understanding practice
– The patient journey and care process

Second year (Level 5) consists of six modules – with four core modules:
– Evidence based practice
– Leadership and ethics in practice
– Clinical competence and patient assessment
– Public health and health promotion

Two optional modules are chosen at the start of the second year of study. Optional modules can be taken from the following:
– Long term conditions
– Dementia and cognitive dysfunction
– Tissue viability
– Practice based study
– Management of the plus size patient
– The allied health professions
– Understanding mental health
– Management and leadership in mental health
– Occupational studies: Foundations of occupational therapy practice 1
– Occupational studies: Foundations of occupational therapy practice 2

This course is running at two separate locations. When you apply, please ensure you select the relevant codes as below:
North Devon: AB190
Tiverton: AT121

FdSc Health and Social Care Handbook

Apply for this course

Select from the start date/s below…

Aug 2024 : North Devon : Full-time
Course Code : AB190 (2024)
Level : Level 5
Duration : 2 Years
North Devon Campus Apply
Sep 2024 : Tiverton : Full-time
Course Code : AT121 (2024)
Level : Level 5
Duration : 2 Years
Tiverton Campus Apply

Course details


At the end of the programme you will have an end-point assessment which is linked to the apprenticeship embedded within your programme. There will be a range of competencies which you will need to achieve and these are linked with assistant practitioner core standards, national occupational standards and a range of Level 4/5 practice skills, knowledge, values/behaviours specific to the assistant practitioner role.

Within the 12 modules there are a wide range of assessments including academic essays, literature reviews, reflective case studies, presentations, work based concept fairs, debates, video productions, journal articles, information leaflets, portfolios etc. The end-point assessment element will be independently assessed by an end-point assessment Provider nominated by your employer. There will also be ongoing competencies to achieve during your two year programme of study within your place of work ? this will be connected to the apprenticeship standard and the 20% Off the Job requirement of your Assistant Practitioner Apprenticeship Standard.

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for the FdSc Assistant Practitioner Apprenticeship programme of study will be the following:

– Level 3 QCF Health and Social Care or equivalent

– Level 2 GCSE grade C or above in both English and maths or equivalent Level 2 Functional Skills English and maths

– Care Certificate or equivalent (which is usually linked to time in practice with your organisation)

If you are new to the Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust you will complete your Care Certificate alongside your Assistant Practitioner programme.

– The support of your manager

– A commitment to delivering compassionate, patient-focused care

– Petroc will assess your application to see if you meet their standards for literacy and numeracy

Those applicants who do not have the above qualifications and have a proven record of experience as a health and social care practitioner at the correct level and who can demonstrate relevant experience through portfolio plus an interview may be eligible to enter the award.


Upon successful completion of this FdSc and apprenticeship standard, you will have obtained the core skills, knowledge and values/behaviours to become an Assistant Practitioner. Progression after this course can include Level 6 BA Hons Professional Development (Health and Social Care), BSc Adult Nursing, BSc Adult Mental Health Nursing, BSc Physiotherapy, BSc Occupational Therapy.

Facilities and resources

As an apprentice, you will have full access to the college facilities.


Q: Do I have to be working within health and social care to be able to apply for this programme of study?

A: Yes.

Q: If I work as a senior carer within a health and social care setting would I need to have a registered practitioner to mentor me whilst on the assistant practitioner programme?

A: Yes.

Q: How many hours of independent study will I have to undertake during my programme of study.

A: At Level 4/5 you will be expected to study between 15-25 hours per week. This will take into consideration reading, thinking and assignment preparation activity.

Q: What does the end-point assessment (EPA) involve?

A: The EPA will involve a 40 question multiple choice test carrying one mark each and 4 short answers carrying 5 marks each that are limited to 250 words. The candidate is presented with a range of real-life scenarios about which they have to answer questions that align to all knowledge requirements of the apprenticeship standard. You will also have to submit a 2000 word Reflective Journal and have a 30-60 minute interview which will enable the apprentice to showcase their knowledge, skills and behaviours. Finally, the apprentices will have a 90 minute Observation of Practice which will take place during the course of the apprentice’s normal working day. Further details of the EPA will be provided at the start of the programme.

Q: If I don’t have maths and English at Level 2 is there an opportunity to undertake these qualifications whilst on the course?

A: Yes – both maths and English can be studied whilst on the programme of study. Level 2 Functional Skills/GCSE maths and English must be successfully achieved by the end of the two year foundation degree and prior to undertaking your end-point assessment.

Q: Do I need a certain amount of experience within health and social care environment before I apply?

A: Yes – preferably you would have been working as a senior healthcare support worker for a number of years and would have gained a Level 3 health and social care qualification before applying.

Q: Can I apply for a Maintenance Loan for this course?

A: By studying as an apprentice, you won’t qualify for a Maintenance Loan from Student Finance England (SFE). However, you will be earning money from your apprenticeship employment to cover your day-to-day expenses like living costs, rent and travel.

Apply for this course

Starting Date : 01/08/2024
Course Code : AB190 (2024) North Devon Campus, Tiverton Campus Apply
Starting Date : 09/09/2024
Course Code : AT121 (2024) North Devon Campus, Tiverton Campus Apply

Why Petroc should be your first choice

Petroc offers high quality education and training across North and Mid Devon. We provide outstanding learning, excellent facilities, strong connections to employers and a supportive environment to help you fulfil your education goals and set you on your path to the career of your dreams.

A group of Petroc students having a conversation


We offer a supportive and inclusive environment where you can flourish and feel a valued member of the college and wider community. 


Our teaching spaces and facilities are some of the best in the region, providing stimulating and true-to-life learning environments. 


We’ll provide you with the experiences you need to be ready for employment or the next step on your educational journey.