Healthcare Practice (Integrated Health and Social Care) Higher National Diploma

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Develop your skills as a healthcare professional and meet the demands of employers within the sector with this exciting programme.

The Higher National Diploma (HND) allows for a wide range of healthcare practices to be explored, preparing you for roles such as: senior care assistant, senior support worker, integrated support worker or care coordinator. 

Upon successful completion of the programme, you will be awarded a Pearson BTEC Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Healthcare Practice (Integrated Health and Social Care) from awarding body EdExcel.

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What I'll learn

On your first year, you will develop your knowledge and skills of health and social care. You will explore the principles of legal responsibilities in law, policy and ethical practice, while reflecting on their own practice and professional development in modules such as Demonstrating Professional Principles and Values in Health and Social Care Practice. 

On your second year, you will focus on advanced principles, including Care Planning Processes in Healthcare Practice and Supporting Individuals through Significant Life events. This will provide you with essential skills across healthcare practices. All students will also carry out their own action research project, many of whom choose to complete within their own work environment to the benefit of their employers. 

This course includes a requirement of 450 hours’ work placement or experience in health and/ or social care settings over the two-year (full-time) period of the qualification.

Timetables are usually available one month before registration. 

Your modules

Each module carries equal weighting of 15 credits, with the exception of Demonstrating Professional Principles and Value in Health and Social Care Practice, and Innovation and Improvement through Action Research both of which carry a weighting of 30 credits. Students complete a total of 240 credits. Your overall grade for the certificate is based on grades obtained for all modules taken. 

Year 1 

  • Law, Policy and Ethical Practice in Health and Social Care 
  • Demonstrating Professional Principles and Values in Health and Social Care Practice
  • Supporting the Individual Journey through Integrated Health and Social Care 
  • Fundamentals of Evidence-based Practice 
  • Effective Reporting and Record-keeping in Health and Social Care Services 
  • Plus two additional option units 

Year 2 

  • Innovation and Improvement through Action Research 
  • Reflective Approaches in Implementing Person-centred Practice 
  • Supporting Team and Partnership Working Across Health and Social Care Services 
  • Supporting Individuals through Significant Life Events 
  • Care Planning Processes in Healthcare Practice 
  • Plus two additional option units 

*Units are subject to change 


How I'll learn

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, online learning and practical sessions. You will have the opportunity to work on live projects in collaboration with local employers, providing you with a unique experience and industry insight. 

Online learning is designed to facilitate your own learning and provide a platform to gain knowledge at your own pace, alongside your scheduled lectures.

In addition to your taught lectures, there are timetabled tutorial sessions. These sessions are a combination of taught tutorial time, focusing on the progression of your academic and employability skills, one to one tutorials with your tutor, and a series of seminars and guest speakers to aid your learning and introduce you to new and exciting concepts within your field of study.

You will receive around 16 hours contact time per week, typically consisting of: 

  • 15 hours lectures
  • 1 hour seminars or tutorial time

When not attending guided learning time you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles, books, working on projects and preparing coursework 

Total qualification time 

Your total qualification time (TQT) consists of guided learning hours (GLH) such as taught sessions, tutorial time, guest lectures, practicals and assessment activity. With the addition of independent learning, project work and online learning.

  • 40% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity 
  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 960 hours
  • Work placement: 450 hours
  • Independent learning: 990 hours 
  • Total Qualification Time: 2,400 hours 

Academic support 

Our services are available to all students with a support need, studying higher education courses at an Activate Learning college.

We offer a flexible approach to meet each student’s needs to help you make the most of your studies and realise your potential. Study skills are delivered by qualified teachers with a wide range of experience.

Examples of support offered include:

  • Academic writing
  • Developing critical thinking
  • Researching effectively
  • Referencing and plagiarism
  • Time management strategies

For HE support and advice, please contact


How I'll be assessed

Each module will provide you with the opportunity for ‘Formative’ assessment. This allows you to gain feedback on your work before submitting for final assessment. Formative assessments are developmental and any grades are solely indicators of your progress and so not count towards your overall module grade. 
There is a formal or ‘summative’ assessment at the end of each module. This will provide you will an overall module grade. 

Modules have set ‘learning outcomes’ which are assessed through 100% coursework. You must achieve all learning outcomes in all modules. 

Coursework is made up of a variety of assessment methods including: written reports and essays, online tests, practical examination, portfolios, presentations and a final year project. 

Your overall module grade will count towards your final diploma grade. For information about learning outcomes and grade calculations please see the Pearson BTEC website.

You will receive feedback on all formative and summative work submitted. We aim to provide you with feedback within 15 working days of hand-in. Formative feedback may be provided in a variety of ways such as verbal, peer review and 1:1 meetings. Summative feedback will always include a written summary, and you encouraged to discuss feedback with your module tutor. 


Entry Requirements

You will typically need 64 UCAS points. This may be from:

  • Two A-levels at grade A–C (7-4) with related subjects
  • Level 3 National Diploma grade MM 
  • Level 3 Extended National Diploma grade MPP
  • Access to HE Diploma: MPP

In addition, applicants should possess GCSE English and Maths at grade C (4) or above (or equivalent). 
We also welcome students returning to education who possess strong industry related experience. We support widening participation and encourage applicants with non-standard qualifications. 

Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate that their level of English is acceptable, by achieving a score in a recognised test such as: 

  • British Council IELTS: normally a minimum level 6.0 overall with a minimum of 6.0 in the reading and writing components; 
  • TOEFL minimum score of 550 paper-based or 213 computer-based or 80 internet-based. 

Applicants with prior certificated or experiential learning may be admitted with credit for up to a maximum of 120 credits at Level 4.


How to Apply

Applicants should apply via UCAS.

UCAS code: L510 Institution code: O25


Home/EU Fee for 2018 entrance: £6,165 per year  

Additional costs: Optional trips, additional printing over and above the £5 allowance provided by the college, cost of books that you might wish to purchase and any costs incurred as part of your work placement e.g. travel.

For more information, please contact the HE Admissions Coordinator, Sue Taylor on  

International Fee: Please contact the HE Admissions Coordinator, Sue Taylor on