Health & Care Academy

The Health & Care Academy is a ground-breaking and prestigious initiative developed by Petroc and Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust with support from Health Education England. It provides real-life ‘as it happens’ work placement opportunities for young people who are interested in developing a career in health and social care and exposes the wide range of careers available within the National Health Service.

The Health & Care Academy is ground breaking in nature by opening up a wide range of career pathways by giving students a chance to work alongside practitioners from a number of different healthcare professions.

The initiative is prestigious as it is recognised by Health Education England as being a model of good practice for developing a sustainable and highly skilled 21st Century health and social care workforce.


It was quite simply a life changing experience! And it was worth every second! It has given me a new outlook on health and social care and I don’t want to stop my placement! - Former Academy student

Pathways into the Health & Care Academy

If you are a young person interested in accessing the Health & Care Academy you can enrol onto a number of health and social care programmes of study available at Petroc such as

Once on my programme of study how do I access the Health & Care Academy?

Selection for the Health & Care Academy is based around several connected factors.

Firstly, you must have a passion for providing compassionate care and a desire to discover more about what a career in health and social care has to offer.

Secondly, a determination to work and study hard is absolutely essential as is a high attendance ratio and the ability to work well with others. As your programme of study develops your attributes will be recognised by our highly experienced lecturing staff.

Thirdly, if you wish to apply for a place on the Health & Care Academy you must be in your final year of study. You will then be required to complete a 750 word letter of application and attend a rigorous 30 minute value based recruitment interview.

Finally, if you have been successful in your interview, you will need to attend mandatory induction, manual handling and first aid training prior to starting your first placement.

Once on the Health & Care Academy where will I be placed?

Once you have gained a place on the Health & Care Academy you will spend time on a rotational placement for 10 weeks (one day a week) in the following departments: Radiology, Physiotherapy, Out-Patients, Fracture Clinic, Phlebotomy, Audiology, Podiatry, Theatres, District Nurses, Community Hospitals, Sterile Services, Research and Development, Surgical and Medical Wards, and Pharmacy. 

A further intensive one week placement will also take place in June after all second year course exams have been completed.   

Is there potential for gaining employment via the Care Academy?

One of the other benefits of the Health & Care Academy is that it offers possible employed progression routes. Health and Care Academy students who stand out and show their passion and commitment to a career in health and social care may be offered the chance to apply for a range of health and social care apprenticeships advertised by Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust.

How do I apply for a programme of study in health and social care at Petroc?

You can apply directly for a health and social care programme of study via our course search webpage by clicking here.

Can I talk to somebody who may be able to give me more information about the Health & Care Academy?

Yes – please contact Shaun Kershaw (Head of Petroc Health & Care Academy) at or phone 01271 338165 for further information.

I have found the whole experience amazing! Although it is challenging alongside college work/commitments, it is definitely manageable and is an invaluable experience which has really prepared me for working within the NHS. It has built my confidence and given me great excitement at the thought of my future career. - Former student

I wanted to give you some feedback and say what a fabulous course the care academy are doing, my daughter Georgia Alexander is loving it, to get the opportunity to spend a day in so many different departments has been fantastic. 
It has confirmed it for her that she definitely wants to go down the nursing route, previously wanting to be a midwife but now interested in nursing on a ward or District Nursing. - Nikki Alexander, Parent of Care Academy Student

Care Academy praised in Parliament

Care Academy praised in Parliament

Watch as local MP Peter Heaton-Jones praises the fantastic work of the Petroc Care Academy in Parliament.

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