Rehabilitation Work (Visual Impairment) (Top-up) - BSc / BSc (Hons)

Part Time
September 2015
£600 per module for UK/EU Part Time (view all fees)

Following extensive market research, this programme has been reviewed. Subject to approval, we will be able to offer a revised programme that focuses much greater emphasis on enhancing the skills and expertise of qualified Rehabilitation Workers (Visual Impairment) for working with people who have a wide range of complex needs.

This qualification enables Rehabilitation Workers to progress to degree level, and also provides essential Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for the profession. Students who successfully complete the Foundation Degree in Rehabilitation Work (Visual Impairment) can progress to this top-up degree (designed as part-time study) to obtain a BSc or BSc (Hons) in Rehabilitation Work (Visual Impairment).

The course takes new students in September each year. Students will typically study over two years, with a maximum study length of four years. Rehabilitation workers who wish to attend certain teaching sessions to gather knowledge but do not wish to study for the credits will be welcome to attend individual modules for a fee and treat their learning as CPD. Assessment can include presentations, written assignments and viva voce assessments which will be linked to your current practice.

The course is aimed at workers who are already qualified as a Rehabilitation Worker (Visual Impairment), or a Rehabilitation Officer in appropriate employment. The course predominately looks at how to improve and reflect on your current practices.

What's covered in the course?

  • You will learn to relate the associated physiological, psychological and functional impacts of a range of health conditions and disabilities to working with people who have visual impairment.
  • Assess the application of a range of practical approaches pertinent to facilitating visual impairment rehabilitation work practice with people who have additional complex needs.
  • Evidence the interpretation and application of advanced theoretical concepts designed to enhance professional rehabilitation work practice.
  • Reflect on personal capabilities and create models of best practice to enhance individual visual impairment rehabilitation work service delivery within a multi-disciplinary setting.
  • The part-time blended learning nature of the programme is designed to enable qualified RWs to study alongside their employed roles. To allow logistical flexibility, there will be two days attendance at University for each single module and four days for each double module.

Why Choose Us?

  • Our staff have many years' experience both from working at Birmingham City University and as rehabilitation workers in the statutory and voluntary sector, including national charities. This course also includes experienced external teaching staff on some modules.
  • This course is designed to equip you with the enhanced capabilities required to support your individual working roles and benefit your service users.
  • Development of your existing skillset and reflection on work-based practice are at the core of the programme. This will enable you to apply newly-acquired advanced knowledge and techniques to your practice.
  • The flexibility of the programme will allow you to tailor your learning to your own circumstances.
Visit our open day

Postgraduate Open Event

Our next Postgraduate Open Event is Wednesday 25 November 2015.

Registration will open in the Autumn but in the meantime, why not sign up to receive email updates about the University?

Sign up for updates
This course is not open to International students
School of Allied and Public Health Professions

Discover the School of Allied and Public Health Professions

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

Entry Requirements

Candidates must hold one of the following:

UK students

Foundation Degree in Rehabilitation Work (Visual Impairment) – Full award

Diploma in Higher Education in Rehabilitation Studies (Visual Impairment) – Full award

Foundation Degree in Health and Social Care in Rehabilitation Studies (Visual Impairment) – Full award

Rehabilitation Officer Certificate – Certificate plus a portfolio of evidence (see below)

Mobility Instructor and Technical Officer Certificates – Both certificates plus a portfolio of evidence (see below)

Portfolio of evidence

A Portfolio route has been devised for applicants who are already working in a social care setting and do not meet the formal entry requirements. To follow this route you are still expected to possess GCSE Maths or equivalent.

The Portfolio should be submitted four weeks after interview.

Portfolio Requirements

Two written testimonies (one of which must be from your employer) supporting your application.

One reflective piece that draws on your current practice (2,500 – 3,000 words)

All pieces of work should be endorsed by your line manager.

Additional requirements

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.0 overall (or equivalent) is required.

You must have access to and be able to use broadband internet and email facilities, as a proportion of the course is delivered through these media.

You must have access to people of all ages with a visual impairment through appropriate employment such as Social Services Departments, Educational Establishments and Voluntary Sector Organisations which provide rehabilitation services.

Places are subject to a Criminal Records Bureau Disclosure and registration with the Independent Safeguarding Authority.


You should be aware that qualifications, personal statement, interview, references, written exercise and where appropriate portfolio all form part of the selection criteria for this course.

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BSc Sep 2015 PT 1 year £600 per module
BSc (Hons) Sep 2015 PT 2 years £600 per module

International Students

Sorry, this course is not available to international students.

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Please apply directly to the University.

Download the following documents to apply online:

This course is not available to International Students

Tel: +44 (0) 121 331 5500

Your 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.

Postgraduate Scholarships

We’re aiming to make a postgraduate qualification affordable to everyone and can offer awards of up to £10,000 to selected students.

There are two scholarships for postgraduate study that you should know about if you are considering studying a health or education postgraduate course in 2015/16:

BCU Academic Excellence Scholarship

The BCU Academic Excellence Scholarship is a 50% reduction of your tuition fees.

BCU Loyalty Scholarship

The final scholarship on offer is the BCU Loyalty Scholarship, and is only available to students who progress to postgraduate study directly from their undergraduate course. It entitles you to a 10% discount off, plus an additional 5-10% subject to meeting certain criteria.

Applications for our BCU Academic Excellence Scholarships 2015/16 have now closed. However, you can still register your interest for future opportunities.

Register your interest

This course is available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.


The modules may be studied individually or combined to achieve a BSc or BSc (Hons) qualification.

  • BSc: Requires a total of 60 credits at Level 6
  • BSc (Hons): Requires a total of 120 credits at Level 6 (all modules)

Single modules are spread over four non-consecutive days.

Double modules are spread over eight non-consecutive days.

Modules explained:
Key Approaches for Working with People who have Complex Needs (double module)

This module will examine the overarching knowledge and common approaches that professionals require for working with people who have additional complex needs. These techniques will be applicable to, for example, people who have experienced brain injury and strokes as well as laying the foundations for work with people who have learning disabilities, dementia and other mental health conditions. It is advisable that this module is completed before the modules Learning Disability and Travel Training, and Dementia and Older Adults’ Mental Health.

Learning Disability and Travel Training (single module)

This module will enable you to explore a range of learning disabilities and to enhance your strategies to effectively undertake visual impairment rehabilitation work with people who have a learning disability. In particular there is a focus on travel training techniques that can be utilised in the teaching of orientation and mobility skills.

Dementia and Older Adults’ Mental Health (single module)

This module involves a practical interpretation and investigation of aspects of older people’s mental health issues. You will be able to create a tool kit for working with adults with these types of conditions in a visual impairment rehabilitation work setting.

The Advanced Practitioner (single module)

The module will inform you about a range of key skills and concepts pertinent to enhancing visual impairment rehabilitation work practice. There will also be a focus on enabling you to concentrate on your individual leadership capabilities which may involve being an effective practice teacher and supervisor. Importantly these techniques can also be applied to becoming a more effective team player and to leading in a wider multi-disciplinary setting.

Evidence Based Practice (single module)

This module encourages you to critically appraise an area of practice in order to develop your ability to make reliable professional judgements. Moreover the module aims to enhance professional decision making skills based on the evidence available.

Expertise in Specialist Deafblind Assessment and Service Provision (double module)

This module aims to up-skill and equip you with the expertise to meet the professional requirements for the provision of specialist deafblind assessment and services as outlined in the Care Act 2014.

Course structure

A typical year's teaching sessions may include the following:

  • September 2015: four day attendance (two-day induction and a two-day teaching block)
  • December 2015: two-day teaching block
  • March 2016: two-day teaching block
  • June 2016: two-day teaching block
  • Year 2 follows a similar format without the induction day.

The course is aimed at workers who are already qualified as a Rehabilitation Worker (Visual Impairment), or a Rehabilitation Officer in appropriate employment.

The course predominately looks at how to improve and reflect on your current practices.


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.


Visual Rehabilitation facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities. It’s no surprise that the Complete University Guide placed us in the UK top 10 for spending on facilities in both 2012 and 2013.

We boast up-to-date, innovative facilities that simulate the real situations that medical staff may come across.

These resources are essential in offering students a hands-on introduction to health and social care practice. Much of our teaching is carried out within our state-of-the-art, £30m Seacole Building, which houses some of the best learning facilities in the UK.

Take a virtual tour of our skills suites at Seacole

In a sector where new techniques are constantly being discovered, we work hard to ensure that students learn using the most up-to-date equipment available. These include the only mock operating theatre in an English university and a cutting-edge radiography virtual clinical training facility, virtual ward and virtual case creator.


The kitchen is used by our visual rehabilitation Students. Everything in this room allows students to safely prepare and cook food as a person with a visual impairment.

Visual Rehab Resource Room

This room allows the Visual rehab students to learn to use a whole variety of equipment such as braille machines and simulation glasses.

Mary Seacole Library

The Seacole library, based at City South Campus, is one of the UK's largest specialist health education libraries. The state-of-the art facility offers an extensive range of range of information and reference materials set out in a relaxing environment, conducive to studying. There are comfortable seating areas, group study areas, a silent study area and private study rooms.

You will have access to all of the University’s libraries, including the main Kenrick Library on the City North Campus, which is open for almost 90 hours a week and holds more than 320,000 books, 2,000 print journals and carries more than 4,000 electronic journals online.

Computer Facilities

The Seacole building houses a large open access IT Suite which comprises of 96 PCs, full colour printers, photocopiers and scanners. Our PCs utilise the latest Intel i5 core technology, all with:

  • Fast (unrestricted) internet connectivity
  • Ability to save files to USB, DVD & CD
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Research and statistical software
  • Storage space which can be accessed from any PC across the University and from home

Our PCs are also designed to support students who may have difficulties with reading and writing, featuring specialised software with zooming/magnification and screen reading capabilities, which may also be customised for individual student needs.

The IT Suite offers extended opening hours and is supported by a specialist Corporate ICT Open Access Assistant during term time. In addition to the open access PCs within the IT Suite, there are 12 networked student PCs available within Seacole library.

Peter Cooke

Senior Lecturer/Admissions Tutor

Peter’s connection with the visual impairment sector began following his diagnosis of Retinitis Pigmentosa when he was 15 years old. Early volunteering experience working with children and young people fostered an intrinsic interest in developing a career involving work with those living with serious sight loss.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295