Health and Social Care - FdSc / Module

UCAS Code:
Not available through UCAS − apply direct to the University. Course Code: UF0304
FdSc - Full Time (2 years)
Module - Full Time
March 2019

Do you want to enhance your career in health and social care? Our Certificate in Higher Education/Foundation degree is ideal for those already working a minimum of 30 hours per week within a health and social work setting. You can develop your knowledge and skills to enable you to progress to Assistant Practitioner level or equivalent.

A variety of pathways can be studied including: mammography, diagnostic radiography, learning disability, surgical care, maternity, mental health and many more.

What's covered in the course?

The Cert HE/FdSc Health and Social Care are full-time programmes delivered at the City South campus, and have been carefully-designed to provide the skills you and your current or future employer need.  

Expert teaching staff in our School of Nursing and Midwifery and School of Health Sciences, provide the guidance needed to make sure you secure the necessary academic requirements and clinically orientated competencies that will advance your career.

The course equips successful candidates for a range of roles in health or social care settings, local authorities, the voluntary sector and private care settings.

In securing this Foundation Degree you will complete an e- portfolio that offers clear evidence of your development. You explore the scope of professional practice in the areas of compassionate care delivery ,risk management,  responsibility and accountability,  infection control, confidentiality, consent, and many more.

The course offers an introduction to anatomy and physiology, and examines social, psychological and cultural influences relevant to your area of work. It covers professional issues relating to the boundaries of practice, patient and client assessment. It also provides a thorough understanding of standard operating procedures and relevant national service frameworks.

You can also choose a negotiated module, if appropriate, that will enable you to undertake more study in an area relevant to your role, practice and service user group.

Why Choose Us?

  • Students are satisfied with this course! We scored 93 per cent for overall satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2017.
  • We are a very supportive environment here at BCU, especially for anyone returning to education after a gap or progressing to a university setting for the first time.

  • We offer personal tutors based in the University, ensuring support is on hand to offer advice and encouragement.

  • We provide a wide range of support to introduce you to University level study, including the Maths, English and wider study skills to help you to be successful on the Foundation Degree.

  • This full-time work based learning programme is aimed at  people who are currently working in a health and social care setting.

  • The course’s home is BCU’s innovative School of Nursing and Midwifery ­‑ based in the £30 million award-winning Seacole Building, featuring mock hospital wards, mock operating theatre, a home environment room and laboratory for you to practice in.

  • We are a perfect destination for potential applicants with experience of working in the following areas: adult care, children, diagnostic radiography, maternity, mammography, mental health, learning disability and surgical care support.

Students outside Millennium Point

Open Days

Our next Open Day for this course will take place in June 2019. You can register your interest and we'll send you an email update nearer the time. Visit us to see our facilities and speak to our staff and students.

Book your place

This course is not open to International students

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to further study and training in areas such as:

  • Nursing
  • Radiography

National Student Survey 2017

Entry Requirements

This full-time work based learning programme is aimed at people who are currently working in a health or social care setting

You must have:
GCSE at Grade 4 (previously a Grade C) or above in English Language and Mathematics.
(Equivalent qualifications such as Key Skills Level 2, Adult Numeracy Level 2, Adult Literacy Level 2, Functional Skills English and Maths Level 2 or CSE Grade 1 will be accepted).
Irish Leaving Certificate - Mathematics and English Ordinary Level passes at Grade B3 or above.
Scottish qualifications – Mathematics and English passes at Intermediate Standard 2 or above.
In addition to the above you must have one of the following:
GCE A/A2 level
Minimum of one A/A2 Level pass at Grade D or above. General Studies and Critical Thinking excluded.
GCE AS/A1 level
Minimum of two AS/A1 Level passes at Grade D or above. General Studies and Critical Thinking excluded.
GCE/AVCE Double Award
GCE/AVCE Double Award minimum pass at Grade DD. General Studies and Critical Thinking excluded.
BTEC National Award
Minimum pass Grade M required.
BTEC National Certificate
Minimum pass Grade PP required.
BTEC National Diploma
Minimum pass Grade PPP required.
International Baccalaureate Diploma
Minimum pass Grade 24 required.
Cache Award, Certificate or Diploma
Full award.
Access to HE Diploma in Health and Social Care
Full award (60 credits) must include 12 Level 2 Mathematics credits + 12 Level 2 English Language credits if not already achieved at GCSE or equivalent.
NVQ Level 2
Full award plus a written paper – details of the content will be provided by the admissions tutor post application.
NVQ Level 3
Full award, plus GCSE Mathematics and English Language at Grade C or above or equivalent.
14 –19 Progression Diploma in Society, Health and Development
Full award.
14-19 Advanced Diploma in Society, Health and Development
Full award.

Other qualifications:

Applicants’ qualifications that are not listed will be considered on an individual basis.

Portfolio route

A Portfolio route has been devised for those applicants who are already working in a Health or Social Care setting and who do not meet the formal entry requirements. To follow this route students are still expected to possess GCSE Mathematics and English Language or equivalent.

The Portfolio should include:
  • Two written testimonies (one of which must be from the employer) supporting the application.
  • A reflective piece that draws on current practice, no more than 1500 words.
  • All pieces of work should be endorsed by the line manager.
  • The portfolio is to be submitted within 4 weeks post application, following discussion with the Admissions Tutor.
Stand-alone modules:

Students who wish to enrol for any module on a stand-alone basis will not be required to meet the full entry criteria. Where students wish to enrol for modules above the equivalent of 40 credits, the entry criteria above will still apply.

In addition:

Applicants are strongly advised to attend an applicant day or attend a meeting with the
Admissions Tutor. Applicants must be employed in a Heath or Social Care support worker role (or equivalent) for a minimum of 30 hours per week and have support from their Line Manager in order to apply for this course.
Declaration of satisfactory enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service clearance is required.


One of the requirements of the programme is that you must be employed in an appropriate post within the Health Care and Social care sector. You are therefore subject to your employer’s policies and procedures regarding attendance at work. A further requirement is that you attend all university-led sessions that are timetabled.

Hours of attendance

Your hours of attendance will be as per your contract with your employer. You are entitled to one day protected study time per week. This day may be spent in group tutorials, individual tutorials or personal study time. Work-based learning is supported through a portfolio, workbooks, CD ROM video lectures and on-line conferences.

Support on how to use all these technologies will be provided within the first few weeks of your course. Throughout the programme you will be expected to maintain a portfolio that will not only contain work and assessments throughout the course, but will form an assessment in its own right. The portfolio will enable you to develop lifelong learning and reflective skills.

Don’t meet our entry requirements?

You could apply for a foundation course or a course at our International College. These routes have lower entry requirements and act as the bridge to a full degree. To find out more, please select your status:

Home student International student

UK or EU students

Pathway Award Start Mode Duration Fees
Health and Social Care FdSc Mar 2019 FT 2 years £6,000 Per year
Module Only Module Mar 2019 FT
£656 per module

International Students

Sorry, this course is not available to international students.

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

Application notes

Please indicate on your personal statement which pathway you would like to apply for. See course structure for details on pathways.

All prospective students will be invited to a Foundation degree applicant's day.

Personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

Additional costs

We offer a wide range of professionally accredited and vocational courses that require the purchase of, among other things, uniforms, equipment, subscriptions, professional body memberships and DBS checks, and may require you to pay to attend conferences or participate in placements.

The link below provides our estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs to you could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course. We set out where we can, based on experience, where these indicative costs are for activities that are optional or compulsory.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Find additional costs for your course

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

Worried about personal statements?

Worried about personal statements?

If you've got no idea where to start or just want to check you're on the right track, we’ve got expert advice and real examples from our students to help you nail your personal statement. You can even download our ultimate personal statement guide for free.

Get personal statement advice

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Course structure

The two year FdSc Health and Social Care programme will incorporate a variety of learning methods in order to support your individual learning style.  The primary focus will be on work-based learning, with the addition of face to face taught sessions, group work; Moodle based activities and paper resources and tutorials.

A variety of approaches to teaching and learning will be utilised to reflect your academic level, session content and outcomes, taking into account your individual leaning needs. The learning methods employed will allow the specific subject matter in the route to be explored in depth through the creation of an environment of critical enquiry for both you the student and staff.

The FdSc Health and Social Care team will support you to develop the skills required that will enable you to critically analyse your own learning journey, and reflect on your personal and professional development. The application of knowledge linked to the development of your clinical skills is an important element of the programme, this is supported during your work based learning by clinical learning facilitators from your area of practice and your personal tutors.  You will select a pathway that is relevant to your current job role.

Additional support

If you are dyslexic, have a specific learning difference or a disability, we have a Disability Tutor who can help and support you. 

More on our disability tutor >>

We offer extra technical and learning support.

Course breakdown

Year 1

(Core module) Principles of anatomy and physiology

This module will aim to foster recognition of the importance of the underpinning theory that supports clinical practice. For example enabling you to understand why we measure the blood pressure and linking the role of the cardiovascular and renal systems to control blood pressure.


(Pathway specific module) Adult care

Adult care:

Application of knowledge and skills to practice:

When you have successfully completed this module you will have an improved understanding of the pathophysiology that relates to the diseases and illnesses your patients suffer from.  You will also be able to effectively monitor the health status of your patients and be able to confidently perform appropriate assessments and record and report your findings.

(Pathway specific module) Health Promotion:

The aim of this module is to assist you in gaining understanding of different models of health promotion and their application to care practice in health and social care.  It will enable you to gain understanding of the nature of contemporary health issues and the perception of health and ill health. You will explore how government initiatives are designed and assess the impact on the health and wellbeing of your service users within your workplace.

(Pathway specific module) Long Term Conditions

This module aims to enable you to identify the difference between acute and chronic disease.  You will explore the range of chronic diseases that will have a holistic impact upon individuals in the long term.  It will also enable you to consider your own role in the care of such individuals.


(Pathway specific module) Loss and bereavement in the palliative care setting

Working within the health and social care professions, you will come into contact with people who have been diagnosed with a palliative illness or may be approaching the end of their life.  You may also be supporting individuals who have recently experienced loss and are experiencing bereavement.  This module aims to provide you with the relevant knowledge and understanding in order to provide support to these individuals.

(Pathway specific module) Caring for People with Dementia

The module is designed to meet the development needs of health and social care workers who are involved in the care of people with dementia and with supporting their families. The content will enable you to promote the well-being of people with dementia through provision of person-centred, evidence-based care.

(Pathway specific module) Learning disability

Autism and wellbeing:

This module has been designed to help you develop skills to meet the needs of people with learning disabilities, especially those diagnosed as being within the autistic spectrum. Autism is a spectrum of conditions characterised by social, communicative, sensory-motor and cognitive difficulties. The social and psychological consequences can be profound.

It aims to enable you to develop an understanding of the main features of Autism and its impact on the lives of people who have this condition.

(Pathway specific module) Essential skills for the care of individuals’ with a learning disability

The module provides you with the fundamental knowledge and the core clinical skills to enable you to meet the health needs of people with learning disabilities. The syllabus includes opportunities to learn and perfect the practical skills identified to help you meet health needs.  The development of these clinical skills will provide the support that people with learning disabilities may require in order to have a good quality of life.

(Pathway specific module) Mental Health

Clinical Skills in Mental Health:

The module includes exploration of mental health and mental illness, principles of assessment, physical assessment, assessment of mental state, values-based care, person-centred care and legal and ethical issues.  You are encouraged to develop a greater level of self-awareness through discussions in class and self-directed study.  The module has been developed with the assistance of service user representatives who deliver at least one session on the module.

(Pathway specific module) Working with People Experiencing Mental Health

This module has been planned to examine the diversity of different service user groups, and to focus on how you can develop your skills to work more effectively with people who are experiencing mental illness.  Understanding the experiences that people who use services have to deal with on a daily basis is crucial to being able to form therapeutic relationships and this in turn will enable more effective care to be offered.

(Pathway specific module) Diagnostic Radiography

Diagnostic Radiography for Assistant Practice:

This module provides you with the fundamental knowledge and the core clinical skills that Assistant Practitioners require to enable you to competently perform radiographic imaging examinations. The syllabus includes anatomy, physiology and pathology, patient care and communication and standard radiographic examination procedures.

(Pathway specific module) Physics for Radiography Practitioners

This module is essential to enable your understanding of the theory and practical applications of physics in the context of radiography or radiotherapy. Radiation physics and the safe and legal use of ionising radiation is an essential aspect of the radiation disciplines. It involves the underlying principles of the nature of matter and associated principles and how that relates to radiation production and attenuation its application to imaging and therapeutic modalities.

(Pathway specific module) Surgical care support

Fundamental perioperative practice:

This module provides you, a first year student Assistant Practitioner (Surgical Care Support) to study the fundamental principles of perioperative practice and engage in applying these in the clinical setting to develop your clinical practice skills as part of the multidisciplinary team. You will utilise the knowledge and skills attained in other first year modules to demonstrate a commitment to providing a safe environment for the surgical patient.

(Pathway specific module) The wider principles of perioperative care

This module provides you with an introduction to the wider considerations for holistic patient care delivery in the perioperative setting. As work-based learning remains the very essence of the programme, you will have the opportunity to combine your previous experience with your newly acquired knowledge and apply this immediately into your practice.

(Pathway specific module) Maternity care

Knowledge and skills to practice in Maternity Practice:

This module provides the underpinning principles for care planning during the pregnancy and childbirth journey and enables you to appreciate your role in accomplishing a safe and positive birth experience and support the integration of the baby into the family.  During the module you will be encouraged to develop an understanding of normal birth and how you can, through reflection on your practice, achieve professional and personal growth as a Maternity Support Worker.

(Pathway specific module) Infant Feeding

This module seeks to facilitate your development by extending your knowledge and skills as a maternity support worker, to assist mothers to choose breastfeeding as the optimal form of infant nutrition for their baby whilst acknowledging women’s choice.

(Pathway specific module) Supporting Normal Birth:

This module provides the underpinning principles for care planning during the pregnancy and childbirth journey and enables you to appreciate your role in accomplishing a safe and positive birth experience and support the integration of the baby into the family. 

(Pathway specific module) Child

Knowledge Skills and Assessment in Children’s Healthcare:

This module aims to develop and enhance your skills and knowledge in relation to delivering compassionate, empathetic, competent family centred care within a clinical healthcare environment. The module aims to highlight the theoretical principles underpinning Family Centred Care and explore how these are applied in practice whilst enhancing confidence and compassion when communicating with infants, children, young people and their families and the wider inter-professional team.

(Pathway specific module) Mammography

Mammography – Principles and Practice:

This module aims to provide you with the fundamental knowledge and the core clinical skills that Assistant Practitioners require to prepare for and undertake the standard routine mammographic imaging of the breast on the screening and/or symptomatic patient. It will therefore enable you to learn how to position and undertake Cranio-Caudal (CC) and Medio-Lateral Oblique (MLO) projections of the breast.

Teaching breakdown

30 Time in lectures, seminars and similar MidnightBlue
20 Time in independent study RoyalBlue
50 Time on placement LightSkyBlue

Assessment breakdown

3 Written exams DarkOrange
78 Coursework FireBrick
19 Practical exams #fece5a

Student stories

The course is aimed at people who are employed in a health or social care setting. Once accepted onto the course, you will benefit from high levels of support from a friendly and approachable team. You will also benefit from our flexible approach to learning and teaching and the in-built versatility of the course.

Study and work abroad

If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad, the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students to study for part of their degree in another European country.

It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.

Find out more

Further study

Some students use this course as the basis for a move either into other degrees or different forms of study. Successful completion can see you progress onto a BSc Honours programme, or programmes that lead to registration as a health care professional.

  • Students who complete the course can progress into the second year of the BSc Nursing and BSC Radiography degrees.

  • Completion of the online BSc Professional Practice top up degree

Employment opportunities

The course’s flexible, work-based nature means you’ll become competent as an assistant practitioner in one of a number of areas, such as:

  • Childcare
  • Adult Care
  • Mental Health
  • Maternity
  • Diagnostic Radiography
  • Mammography
  • Radiotherapy
  • Management in Health and Social Care

If you wish to undertake further study, you can apply to transfer your foundation degree into the second year of a professional practice degree at Birmingham City University such as BSc (Hons) Nursing or BSc (Hons) Radiography, With the completion of additional modules you may also be able to apply for the BSc (Hons) or Dip (HE) Operating Department Practice. 


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.


BCU Graduate+

Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.

Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.

More about Graduate+

Graduate jobs

Our students progress into roles as social workers and healthcare professionals, working in both the private and public sector.


Birmingham City University is one of the largest providers of nursing, paramedic and healthcare education in the UK, with more than 7,000 students. That means if you choose to study here, you will have access to some of the most advanced training and education facilities available.

The course is based at our City South (Edgbaston) campus, where we offer a state of the art collection of advanced learning tools and practice/simulation facilities, such as our mock wards enabling you to get a feel of what working on the job is really like before you head out for your first placement.

Hospital Ward

Our mock wards enable you to get a feel of what a ward is really like before you head out for your first placement. They contain ‘Sim Men’, which are demonstration dummies that develop ailments, allowing you to treat them as you would a real patient and build your confidence in reacting to the changing needs of patients.

The Hospital Ward can be adapted from a low care to high dependency care environment with the necessary monitoring equipment.

Simulation Mannequins

We have several Simulation men (SIM men) and Simulation babies (SIM babies) which are leading edge, anatomically correct mannequins used for teaching specific techniques such as advanced adult and paediatric life support skills, acute and high dependency clinical skills, first aid and communication skills.

The SIM men and SIM baby mannequins are complete with software, which is used to replicate real symptoms, and are enhanced by the manipulation of for example blood pressure, pulse and heart rate for extra realism. SIM Man can also “talk” to the students which adds another dimension to their use in teaching clinical skills and in simulation exercises.

Other facilities

  • We have been commended by the NMC for our Virtual Home Environment, where live simulations bring the practical realities of the profession directly to your studies.
  • Virtual Case Creator software creates a range of virtual scenarios to let you experience the practicalities of patient operations, assessment and care.
  • Purpose-built Radiography Skills Suite allows you to improve your skills through simulation in a safe and protected environment, and includes the VERT (Virtual Environment for Radiotherapy Training) suite – the UK’s first University-based system.
  • SPACE (Skills Practice And Clinical Enhancement) learning facility lets you further practice the skills taught in class, at your own pace and convenience.
  • The SPACE facility is fully stocked with the specialist items and equipment needed for procedures such as taking blood pressure, giving an injection, and caring for ill babies in an incubator.
  • Moodle – the University’s virtual learning environment – complements your classroom learning, allowing you to build confidence and skills before you work with real clients and service users on your placement.