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What makes Health and Social Care at Worcester special?

When you choose to work in Health and Social Care, you face a wide range of opportunities. At Worcester, we help you explore your options and discover what you want to do in this vital sector. Our Foundation Degree is all about experiencing a variety of roles before building a highly worthwhile career. 

You'll study in a very supportive environment, with approachable lecturers who help you develop as a person, while you find your vocation through practical placements. These can be in areas as diverse as nursing, mental health, youth work, caring for older people, midwifery, paramedics, social work, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and working with children with learning disabilities. 

You can complete the one year, level 4 CertHE programme or stay with us for two years to complete the level 5 foundation degree. If you wish to progress after the two-year foundation degree onto the one-year top-up degree in Applied Health and Social Care you can complete further study at Worcester such as Masters degree in Nutritional Therapy, Physician Associates and PhD study.



Key features

  • Plenty of support to build your confidence whether it's giving presentations or writing essays
  • Placements arranged with support from your tutor in organisations as diverse as charities, nursing or care homes, youth clubs and schools
  • Opportunities to do your placement close to where you live
  • Possibilities to progress on to year 2 of our Nursing degree, and year 3 of our Applied Health & Social Care degree.
  • Strong links with potential employers, including the NHS, Mind and Headway
  • Flexible locations: study at the University of Worcester, Herefordshire and Ludlow College and Halesowen College

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University of the Year - Finalist 2020

We're proud to have been shortlisted for the prestigious Times Higher Education University of the Year for the second year running.

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Certificate in Higher Education (Cert HE) and Foundation Degree: Health and Social Care

The Certificate in Higher Education (Cert HE) offers University of Worcester and partner college students the opportunity to complete a one-year course, studying at level 4.

This course has become a recognised route into careers within the NHS, independent and third sector organisations, including Adult Nursing, Mental Health Nursing, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Paramedics, Midwifery, Psychology and Social Work, for students who did not meet the initial entry criteria. Progression onto such professional programmes is subject to successful application and therefore not guaranteed.

Students registered for the Cert HE who successfully complete the requirements for the award, may choose to continue to study in the following year towards the Foundation degree rather than exit with the Cert HE. This will enable students to undertake the two year Foundation Degree in Health and Social Care, after which they may then choose to then complete a top-up degree.

Jade Haile - Foundation Degree, Health and Social Care

My experience of the foundation degree has been fantastic and has benefited me greatly. Before  the course, I had no experience in the health and social care field, however, my experience, knowledge and confidence has blossomed and allowed me to progress on to further related studies and to win awards. The staff on the course are amazing, very supportive and passionate about the subjects, which really made the course for me. Another excellent part of the course is placement, where you can apply what you learn in classes into your practice to get a real sense of understanding and professionalism. The modules in the course have been hugely beneficial and have shaped me into the practitioner I am today.

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

UCAS tariff points

Entry requirements

UCAS Tariff: A minimum of 32 points at A level which must include at least one 6-unit award.

Other acceptable qualifications include:

  • AVCE
  • BTEC
  • Pre-2002 qualifications (e.g. GNVQ, BTEC ND etc.)
  • NVQ Level 3
  • European Baccalaureate (65%)
  • Foundation Year/Access course pass

We also accept those with several years of experience working within health and social care via an essay entry route.

A Disclosure & Barring Service check is required for this course, plus an occupational health check.

Other information

If your qualifications are not listed, please contact the Admissions Office for advice on 01905 855111 or email for advice.

Further information about the UCAS Tariff can be obtained from

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Open Day events at our partner colleges

Visit Halesowen College at one of their Open Days

Visit Herefordshire and Ludlow College at one of their Open Days

Course content

What will you study?

The modules for this course are currently being reviewed and updated for 2021 entry. Full details will be available on this page soon. For the latest information, please contact the course leader.

Year 1

  • Ethics, Values and Use of Self     
  • Communication Skills for Practice
  • Understanding and Promoting Health and Well-being Across the Lifecourse
  • Health and Social Care: Legislation, Policy and Best Practice
  • Health and Social Care: Personal and Professional Development in the Work Place


Year 2

  • Applied Research and Evidence Based Practice
  • Team Working and Empowerment
  • Health and Social Care: Individual Project in the Work Place
  • Applied Human Biology and Managing Health Conditions Health and Social Care
  • Reviewing Academic Literature in Health and Social Care

We also refer to the Programme Specifications produced by the Academic Quality Unit for content for this section.

Course timetable

The course is one day a week at University and one day in placement. We have designed the course to be flexible enough to be accessible to those with work, caring or parenting responsibilities.

CertHE level 4 is Tuesdays 9.15-5.15pm and the second year, level 5 Foundation Degree is Thursdays 9.15-5.15pm

Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?

The University places emphasis on enabling students to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for academic achievement, lifelong learning and future employment. A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support through the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will enable you to flourish and be successful.


The team adopts a Universal Design for Learning approach to inclusive teaching, learning and assessment accommodating all types of learners.

We will enable you to learn through sessions that are a combination of lectures, e-lectures, seminars and group work, all of which aim to encourage student interaction. Sessions will focus on subject specific information and will take a variety of different formats to promote your learning.

Seminars, case studies, scenarios and problem based learning will facilitate development of inquiry into real world situations, developing your skills, knowledge and practice.

E-lectures will provide you with the opportunity to deepen your understanding of the material presented through online learning. In addition, meetings with personal academic tutors are available and encouraged, in order to support you throughout the course.


You will undertake at least 200 hours of practice in each academic year in a relevant placement setting (subject to clearance). You are responsible for arranging your placement and support from the work based learning team is available to do so. You will be supported in the placement setting by a mentor and a visiting University tutor during your placement. They will enable you to achieve the most from your experience, agree your learning, as well as practice set goals.

Contact time

In a typical week you will have around 7 hours contact hours of teaching. Typically, class contact time will take place on one day per week and a typical day at University may look like this:

9.15-11.15am; 2 hour session
11.30-13.30pm; 2 hour session   
2.15-3.15pm 1 hour session
3.15-5.15pm; 2 hour session

Independent self-study

In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake around a minimum of 15 hours of personal self-study per week. Typically, this will involve completing online activities, reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library and online, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations.

A range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources, supports independent learning.

Teaching staff

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely aligned to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes academics and professional practitioners with relevant experience. For example, public health practitioners, counsellors, sociologists, mental health practitioners, social workers, youth workers, physiotherapists and nurses.

Teaching is based on research and consultancy; a high percentage of teaching staff have a higher education teaching qualification or are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy.

You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles.


The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of optional 'formative' assignments. Each module has mandatory 'summative' assessments, which are graded and count towards the overall module grade. Assessment methods include written examinations and a range of coursework assessments such as essays, reports, case studies, reflective portfolios and presentations.


You will receive feedback / feed forward on all assessments. We aim to provide you with constructive feedback on summative assessments within 20 working days of the submission deadline date. Feedback supports learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate.

Programme specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document.

Meet the team

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. 

Teresa Ellis

“The Foundation Degree has benefitted more than I can express. During the two years my confidence soared and I felt I had finally found a subject matter that I understood and could relate to - this hasn’t changed in recent years as I am still passionate about Health and Social Care. In my everyday practice I draw on knowledge gained at University and experiences I had whilst on the work placement element of the course. Every module that I took part in on the degree has been useful to my everyday work in the community. In my current role I am a valued member of a professional team and have built trusting relationships with my client base - I owe this to the Foundation Degree in Health and Social Care.”


Where could it take you?


Progression and Employability

There are also opportunities to progress via a third year of top-up study to a BA (Hons) in Applied Health & Social Care or BSc (Hons) in Child and Adolescent Mental Health. Graduates also have the opportunity to progress into a variety of nursing courses.

A number of our students use the course as a route into the BSc (Hons) Nursing programme, as satisfactory completion of this meets the academic entry requirements to the programme, subject to selection and recruitment processes.

The option also exists for students who complete the Foundation Degree, who are also working in a health care setting with access to a nurse mentor, to complete a 2+2 route. Gaining direct entry to year two of the University of Worcester BSc (Hons) Nursing (adult or mental health) programme. This is subject to selection and recruitment processes, availability of places and completion of Recognition of Prior Learning.

Graduates can expect greater employability and enhanced promotion prospects. There should be opportunities open to you in health and care sectors, voluntary and private organisations.

Skills gained:

  • Practical skills developed through work-based learning
  • Values, knowledge and skills relevant to working in health and social care services
  • Assess, plan, implement and make sound judgements in care delivery
  • Develop skills and strategies necessary for working in partnership with a range of service users and their families, services, professionals and groups across the health & social care settings
  • Evaluation and application of research
  • Wide variety of personal and transferable skills including assessing and planning, problem solving and decision making, mental health promotion, interdisciplinary working and interpersonal skills
  • Reflective practice
Cover of the 2020 University of Worcester prospectus

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How much will it cost?

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fee for full-time UK and EU students registering in the academic year 2021/22 is £9,250 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international students registering in the academic year 2021/22 is £13,100 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Part-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fees for part-time UK and EU students registering on this course in the academic year 2021/22 are £1,156 per 15-credit module, £1,542 per 20 credit module, £2,313 per 30-credit module, £3,083 per 40-credit module, £3,469 per 45-credit module and £4,625 per 60 credit module.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Additional costs

Every course has day-to-day costs for basic books, stationery, printing and photocopying. The amounts vary between courses.

If your course offers a placement opportunity, you may need to pay for a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check.


Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience. Our halls of residence are home to friendly student communities, making them great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our range of student halls. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £108 per week to 'En-suite Extra' at £184 per week (2021/22 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

How to apply

How do you apply?

Applying through UCAS

Health and Social Care Cert HE (one year): L513
Health and Social Care FdSc (two year): L511


UCAS is the central organisation through which applications are processed for entry onto full-time undergraduate courses in Higher Education in the UK.

Read our How to apply pages for more information on applying and to find out what happens to your application.


Cert HE - L513 FdSc - L511

Apply Via UCAS Health and Social Care Cert HE

Apply via UCAS

Apply Via UCAS Health and Social Care FdSc

Apply via UCAS

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.

Rebecca Weston

Course Leader for Certificate in Higher Education (Cert HE) and Foundation Degree