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Rehabilitation Work (Visual Impairment) - Higher Apprenticeship - FdSc

Become a specialist in enabling people who are blind or partially sighted to be as independent as possible in their day to day lives by studying this foundation degree in Rehabilitation Work (Visual Impairment). As one of the only programmes of its kind in the UK, teaching for this rehab course will be based at our recently extended £71 million campus in Edgbaston, Birmingham. 

Studying with us in 2021/22

It is possible that the 2021/22 academic year may be affected by the ongoing disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Any arrangements put in place by the University for the 2021/22 academic year will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

  • Level Apprenticeship
  • Study mode Blended Learning
  • Location City South
  • School School of Health Sciences
  • Faculty Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences

Explore this course

Course overview

Become a specialist in enabling people who are blind or partially sighted to be as independent as possible in their day to day lives by studying this foundation degree in Rehabilitation Work (Visual Impairment). As one of the only programmes of its kind in the UK, teaching for this rehab course will be based at our recently extended £71 million campus in Edgbaston, Birmingham. 

This course is not open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

Visual impairment is a life changing experience and very often you will be working with people who are at a crisis point in their lives. A qualified Rehabilitation Worker's strength is to be a problem solver and to respond to a person's unique and complex situation. You will develop individual training programmes based on the person's needs and aspirations.

Your initial learning focuses on the individual and the impacts of visual impairment on all aspects of life. You will look at how to work in partnership with your clients and their families, and how to work inter-professionally to promote the needs of experiencing sight loss.

You will also learn how to enable people with a visual impairment to become independent in their daily lives. This may be through teaching orientation and mobility skills, safety and independence in the kitchen and the home, techniques to overcome communication barriers and making the best use of a person's strengths and any remaining vision.

You will attend the University’s recently extended £71 million City South Campus for block learning weeks that are spread throughout each academic year. During these weeks you be involved in lectures, simulation sessions and a range hands on group activities on this practical course.

You will benefit from learning from an experienced teaching team and specialists from the sector as well as using our specialist resource rooms and training kitchens. In between teaching weeks you will be able to access extensive online materials and take part in valuable work based learning placements.

Why study an apprenticeship?

  • Work based learning – the opportunity to build on existing knowledge and skills
  • Highly experienced tutors who are all professionally qualified to support you at university
  • Work based clinical educators to support you in practice
  • A wide range of support services available to you at university to support your learning journey
  • We have excellent facilities, including a brand new building that offers state-of-the-art equipment that will support you in your studies. There are several study spaces and open access information technology support.  

Facilities and Staff

Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

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 cutting-edge learning facilities.

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.

Kitchen

Our training kitchens allow Rehabilitation Work students to develop and practice skills to enable people with a visual impairment to prepare and cook food independently. You will have access to the kitchens for your independent study and you will be able to experience what it may be like to use these techniques. 

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 specialist adaptive equipment.

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.

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 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.

Our staff

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.

More about Peter

David Bignell

Programme Lead Rehabilitation Work

David is a qualified Rehabilitation Worker and the Programme Lead for the Foundation Degree in Rehabilitation Work (Visual Impairment), the BSc (Hons) Specialist Complex Needs Rehabilitation Work top up’ degree and the BSc (Hons) Habilitation Work Working with Children and Young People course.

David studied at the Guide Dogs School of Vision and Rehabilitation Studies. After qualifying he then worked for Warwickshire Vision Support. His role included providing specialist assessment and delivering high level rehabilitation training for sight impaired and severely sight impaired individuals.

In 2007, David started working for Coventry City Council as their Senior Rehabilitation Worker. At this point he was already teaching Orientation and Mobility and Daily Living Skills as a visiting lecturer at BCU. In September of 2008, David joined the rehabilitation work team at BCU as a Senior Lecturer/Placement Coordinator. In 2012, David became the Programme Lead.

David is the module coordinator for all of the Orientation and Mobility modules. David also delivers the Professional Rehabilitation Work Practice for the Foundation Degree and the Specialist Professional Skills and Evidence Based Practice module for the BSc (Hons) Specialist Complex Needs course.

More about David