Cookies and Privacy

The University uses cookies on this website to provide the best experience possible including delivering personalised content on this website, other websites and social media. By continuing to use the site you agree to this, or your can go to our cookie policy to learn more and manage your settings.

course page main image

Return to Practice - Allied Health Professionals

The Return to Practice module is for allied health professionals whose registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) has lapsed. You will undertake a period of formal study in order to complete the self-directed process of returning to practice as set out by the HCPC....

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.  Information about the arrangements the University has put in place for the 2021/22 academic year in response to Covid-19 and the emerging variants can be found here.

Should the impact of Covid-19 continue in subsequent years of your course, any additional and/or alternative arrangements put in place by the University in response 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.

  • School School of Health Sciences
  • Faculty Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences


The Return to Practice module is for allied health professionals whose registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) has lapsed. You will undertake a period of formal study in order to complete the self-directed process of returning to practice as set out by the HCPC.  

This course is suitable for the following allied health professionals:

  • Operating Department Practitioners

  • Paramedics

  • Radiographers

  • Radiotherapists

  • Speech and Language Therapists

Using this online distance learning programme enables you to design your learning journey according to your personal needs.  You can study flexibly at a time and pace that suits you to fit with other commitments.    

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

You will study online using the virtual learning environment moodle. The course content is organised into three steams:

  1. Professional practice
  2. Research and evidence based practice
  3. Profession specific practice – this is where you will update on contemporary practice for your chosen profession (specific to your part of the HCPC register)

You will be allocated a personal tutor who holds the same professional title as you, to support and advise you through this period of study.  

You will be supported to document your CPD hours allowing you to achieve a personalised number of days of updating to evidence to HCPC in order to re-register.  

You will share core learning with others who are returning to practice engaging with your peers online as you progress through the module to share experiences, and learn from each other. Learners on the module may come from a diverse range of practice backgrounds and allied health professions enabling you to gain a wider perspective of allied health care. 

Why Choose Us?

  • The university has an established record of supporting SLTs to complete the programme which is then used as evidence to get them back on to the HCPC register – now ODP, Paramedic and Radiography can also benefit from this experience
  • You can gain support and learning experiences from the other AHPs working on the programme at the same time

Fees & How to Apply

  • International students


Starting: Apr 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Short Course
  • Individually determined
  • £720 per 20 credit module

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.

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.


You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key Software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

Free access to Rosetta Stone

All students can sign up to the online learning language platform for free through the Graduate+ scheme.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Books (optional)

All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. You may choose to purchase a copy.

Subscriptions (optional)

You may wish to purchase subscriptions to additional journals and websites.

Memberships (optional)

You may wish to join a union or professional body related to this 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.

Entry requirements

You must have a qualifying degree, diploma or certificate in your registerable profession  that has previous enabled you to register or be eligible to register with the HCPC. 

You must have either lapsed registration with HCPC or have previously been eligible to apply for registration with HCPC (even if you didn’t complete this process).  

Health Education England - Support for Return to Practice

HEE run a support programme that provides help and information for AHPs wanting to return to practice – this is for all AHPs or healthcare scientists who live and plan to return to work in England, once returned to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) register. It is possible that HEE may also provide some funding to support your study in this programme. Visit for more information and to register your interest with them.

Course in Depth

Course Structure

You will work through a range of learning  materials presented via the virtual learning environment moodle. This content is organised into 3 streams:

  1. Professional Practice

Within this stream you will explore your role as a contemporary practitioner within the changing contexts of Health and Social Care. You will learn about different perspectives to healthcare and how this can vary at local, national and international levels. This stream will support you to become a reflective practitioner who understands how to function in current practice. This includes developing digital and technological capability, understanding the parameters of contemporary practice and the importance of supervision and mentoring. You will also be supported to document your CPD in order to re-register and maintain your professional registration once you are back in practice.

  1. Research and Evidence Based Practice

Within this stream you will be given the opportunity to critically review the evidence base within your scope of practice (HCPC SoP 12.1). We will support you to develop critical analysis skills and literature searching skills, all key to being an evidence based practitioner. 

  1. Profession Specific Practice

Within this stream you will access learning resources specific to your field of practice. This will enable you to update your professional knowledge and understanding and integrate theory with practice in preparation for your application to return to practice on the relevant part of the register for your profession. You will have opportunities to develop your clinical decision making in relation to contemporary areas of practice. 

Facilities and Staff

The creation of our new suite of courses in Sport and Life Sciences is yet another exciting development at Birmingham City University. The 10,500sq metre building at City South Campus will enable us to offer a wide range of new health, nutrition, biomedical science and sports courses, as well as providing a new home for our education programmes.

Not only are we investing £41 million in a new building to house the laboratories and teaching spaces needed, but we also plan to open up these facilities to benefit all students and the wider community. This will complement our existing sports facilities, which already provide a base for students to compete in activities ranging from rugby to jiu jitsu.

The courses will reflect the latest developments in our teaching and our focus on practice-led learning with work placements and live industry case studies incorporated into the curriculum. All courses have been co-designed with employers and are endorsed or accredited by professional bodies where appropriate.

By expanding our provision to these new areas, we will be helping to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing society today, such as obesity and unhealthy lifestyles, by encouraging and supporting healthy eating and greater physical activity.

In addition, we will be producing graduates who can support elite performers in meeting the UK’s ambitions for sporting success at events such as the Olympics and other world sporting tournaments. We are constantly looking to enhance the range of courses we offer - please check all our courses for the latest additions to our portfolio.

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.

Simulation Mannequins

SPACE skills practice model


SPACE is an innovative practice area all students can access to use equipment and resources to practise a wide range of skills in a safe, welcoming and supportive environment. It provides students with a creative learning environment to get the best educational experience before becoming a health care professional.


Learning Facilities

We offer 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.

Learning Facilities

Nursing - Facilities - Virtual Tour

Virtual Tour

Explore our facilities in 360 panoramas, including welcome videos from key members of staff and Health and Wellbeing student profiles.

Virtual Tour

Doug Ellis Sports Centre

Our £8.5 million Doug Ellis Sports Centre boasts an 80-station fitness suite, an eight-court sports hall, and workout and spinning studios. The centre offers state-of-the-art fitness training equipment and plenty of room for team sports including five-a-side football and cricket. An all-weather pitch adds the finishing touches to the centre.

Visitors to the gym can choose a personalised fitness programme, instructed by qualified fitness trainers, and take advantage of a selection of classes, such as yoga, salsa or body combat.

Doug Ellis Sports Centre website

Our staff

Claire Hartley

Senior Lecturer

Claire Hartley is a Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) and Senior Lecturer (in acquired communication difficulties) at Birmingham City University. She is also the Programme Director for the Return to Practice in SLT Programme. Her interests include aphasia, motor speech disorders, simulated practice in SLT, and working with service users. She is a Better Conversations Champion, Lee Silverman voice treatment (LSVT) Certified clinician and Chairs the Central Neuro Rehab CEN. She also supervises the department's placements with the Stroke Association.

More about Claire

Mark Owen

South West ODP Senior Lecturer and Course Leader

Mark is an Operating Department Practitioner registered with the Health and Care Professions Council. Clinical experience includes anaesthetic, surgical and post-anaesthetic care. He successfully completed the Surgical First Assistant training to enhance his role in surgical care.

In Mark's academic role he is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and have a Master of Science in Health and Social Care Education. He has led a variety of modules including, surgery and enhanced surgery, management and leadership at pre-registration level and a post-registration module for the surgical first assistant.

Mark has an interest in Interprofessional education/learning and how this contributes to high quality care in the perioperative setting.

More about Mark

Robert Stubbs

Senior lecturer Paramedic Science Placement Lead

Robert gained his Foundation Degree in Health and Social Care (Paramedic Science) at Birmingham City University. He practiced as a registered paramedic in both the Royal Air Force and NHS, working within the United Kingdom and around the world.

More about Robert


Course enquiries

To find out more about this course, please contact the Programme Director, Claire Hartley on: