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Return to Practice - Allied Health Professionals

Currently viewing course to start in 2022/23 Entry.

This is a brand-new Health Education England commissioned return to practice programme for allied health professionals who are eligible to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)....

  • Award N/A
  • Start date November 2022
  • School School of Health Sciences
  • Faculty Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences


This is a brand-new Health Education England commissioned return to practice programme for allied health professionals who are eligible to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). It builds on the success of our prior programmes which have supported speech and language therapists, paramedics, physiotherapists and operating department practitioners to get back on to the HCPC register.

If you are looking to return to practice this programme will provide you with both theoretical updating and virtual practice-based learning that count towards your days of updating* and help you feel ready to return. 

*please note you may need to complete additional updating and supervised practice opportunities outside of this course to fulfil your personal updating requirements.  

You can apply for this programme if you are from any of the following allied health professions:

  • Art Therapists
  • Drama Therapists
  • Music Therapists
  • Chiropodists / Podiatrists
  • Dietitians
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Operating Department Practitioners
  • Orthoptists
  • Paramedics
  • Physiotherapists
  • Prosthetists and Orthotists
  • Radiographers
  • Radiotherapists
  • Speech and Language Therapists
This course is not open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

This course will enable you as a previously registered (or eligible for registration) allied health professional to undertake both knowledge and practice focused learning in order to complete the self-directed process of returning to practice as set out by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC, 2017). 

We know that your learning needs, as a returner, are varied, so you will devise a personalised return to practice action plan (with support from your personal tutor) and will then work towards fulfilling this.  You will also access learning resources specific to your field of practice to enable you to update on key concepts of the knowledge base relevant to your allied health profession (and as identified in your action plan). 

In the knowledge-focused module you will have access to content in the following areas (these are examples and not a complete list)

  • Updates on current health, education and social care policy, practice, sustainability and core values
  • Public health and health promotion
  • Continuing professional development standards
  • Study skills, critical analysis skills and evidence based / research informed practice
  • Safeguarding
  • Equality, diversity, inclusion and difference
  • Functioning effectively in a team
  • Being a digitally literate practitioner
  • Maintaining mental health and well-being, and building resilience

In the practice-focused module you will have access to learning in the following areas (again these are examples and not a complete list)

  • Inclusive person / family / child centred practice and empowerment
  • Reflective practice
  • Supervision
  • Leadership
  • Legal and ethical aspects of practice
  • Evidence based practice
  • Inequality in health and social care including respecting diversity and difference

You are expected to maintain an auditable log of the hours that you personally have completed on this course to provide evidence for your application to return to the Health and Care Professions Council register.

Accredited By

This is a brand-new Health Education England commissioned return to practice programme for allied health professionals who are eligible to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). It builds on the success of our prior programmes which have supported speech and language therapists, paramedics, physiotherapists and operating department practitioners to get back on to the HCPC register.


  • Health Education England

Why Choose Us?

  • This is one of only 2 programmes of its kind in the UK 
  • You can undertake this programme flexibly, at a distance helping you fit this around other commitments
  • You can undertake virtual practice- based learning that will help you get ready to return, as well as update your theory
  • You can undertake this programme at no cost to yourself if you live, and plan to work in England (you need to register with Health Education England’s return to practice programme to be eligible for this.)

Studying with us during the Covid-19 pandemic

The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses. Should the impact of the pandemic continue in future years, any additional or alternative arrangements put in place by the University will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

Fees & How to Apply

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.


Starting: Nov 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Distance Learning
  • 12 months
  • TBC

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.

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.

DBS check

You will require a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for this course. Your first DBS check is included in your fees.

Placement expenses (mandatory)

Placements are a compulsory element of many health and teacher training courses. You'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst living or working away from home.

Clothing and safety equipment (mandatory)

This course requires the purchase of safety equipment. You will need to provide appropriate shoes for placement experiences.

Specialist equipment (mandatory)

This course requires the purchase of specialist equipment, including stethoscope (approx. £80-£100) and fob watch.

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.

Start dates

This course has monthly start dates, your application will be processed for the next available cohort. 

Entry requirements

You will need to supply evidence of your original qualification as an allied health professional.

Your allied health profession needs to be eligible for registration with HCPC.

Guidance for application

We do not need evidence of qualifications OTHER than evidence of your original qualification as an allied health professional.

We do not need a reference so ignore this section on the application form.

Your personal statement only needs to be one or two paragraphs – we’d like to know areas you have worked in or are interested in returning to (if you know); your registration number with the HEE return to practice programme if you have it already and a little bit about what you have been doing since your registration lapsed (if relevant). 

Please feel free to add anything else you think is relevant to your application. 

Eligibility criteria 

Equipment needed

You will need access to a device that enables you to engage online with Microsoft teams, for example a lap top or tablet device with a working camera.  You will also need to be able to use e-mail, video calls via Teams and our virtual learning environment Moodle

Course in Depth


How you'll learn

The course will be delivered using distance learning, with you engaging with specific scheduled tutorials / learning activities through Microsoft Teams and directed learning via our virtual learning environment (Moodle).  There is an expectation that you will be working independently through specific learning materials for a lot of the time, but that you will also “attend remotely” for blocks of learning using Microsoft teams for example for practice-based learning weeks. 

The hours of learning you will undertake are personal to you.

You will engage in activities that support you in preparing for the assessment at the end of your course – these assessments are virtual ‘in-person’ assessments reflecting clinical skills you need as an allied health professional. 


We know as a returner to practice you have so much to offer your profession, so within your course you will have access to support and development opportunities from our careers service to enhance your employability.  In addition, you will be engaging in learning activities that value all of your knowledge and experience, in particular that gained from taking time out of your professional area.

Throughout the time you are at the University you are eligible to take part in any activity offered to current students such as Graduate+ activities.


Throughout your programme you will engage with practice based learning events that will provide ‘virtual placement/practice’ experiences.  These practice-based learning days/weeks will get you working in (multi) professional groups, engaging in clinical activities, and producing clinically relevant outputs such as content for websites, evidence based tools, case management plans or training resources.    

To help with planning some practice-based learning weeks are already scheduled. (Please note you would not have to attend all of these but could select appropriate weeks for you dependent on availability of learning and on your personal availability.)  Please note these weeks could be subject to change:

Practice based learning weeks:

  • 11 July 2022
  • 22 August 2022
  • 19 September 2022
  • 10 October 2022
  • 7 November 2022
  • 12 December 2022
  • 9 January 2023
  • 13 February 2023
  • 13 March 2023

This is a brand-new Health Education England commissioned return to practice programme for allied health professionals who are eligible to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). It builds on the success of our prior programmes which have supported speech and language therapists, paramedics, physiotherapists and operating department practitioners to get back on to the HCPC register.


Health Education England
Health Education England

The Blended Learning programme has been developed with Health Education England to address national shortages in clinical expertise and explores the opportunities of providing predominantly online, remote-access study to those people who may have the aptitude and values to join the healthcare profession, but currently are unable to learn in traditional ways.

Facilities & 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...

More about Claire

Jodie Bryant

Course Leader Msc (Pre-registration) Physiotherapy, Simulation Lead: School of Health Sciences

Jodie has been a HCPC registered Physiotherapist since 2006 after graduating from Oxford Brookes University. She has worked predominantly in NHS settings, completing the majority of her clinical work in London at Guy's and St Thomas’ NHS Trust. Jodie currently contributes to the teaching of all modules on the MSc Physiotherapy...

More about Jodie


Course enquiries

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