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About the course

Healthcare assistant practitioners work as part of the wider health and social care team, and have direct contact with patients, service users or clients providing high quality and compassionate care.

Assistant practitioners work at a level above that of healthcare support workers and have a more in-depth understanding of factors that influence health and ill-health.

Assistant practitioners work in a variety of roles in healthcare, including supportive roles in nursing, operating theatres, biomedical science laboratories, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, mental health, social care, rehabilitation services and radiology.

We currently offer the Healthcare Assistant Practitioner pathway aligned to the Institute for Apprenticeships standard

The apprenticeship has been developed alongside our partner NHS Trusts and local care providers. The course draws on considerable expertise to deliver a sector-specific curriculum including pathways into nursing, allied healthcare, healthcare science, and administration and management.

This apprenticeship is underpinned by FdSc Health and Social Care. Upon successful completion, you'll achieve a foundation degree in health and social care practice.

Find out more about apprenticeships at Solent

This course has access to Solent's specialist facilities.
Specialist facilities
You can apply direct to Solent University for this course.
Apply direct
After successfully completing your studies, there's an opportunity to continue your studies at Solent.
Further studies
This course is an apprenticeship, which is a course that is a blend of study and work. All apprentices must be in employment.

Assistant practitioner is a specialist role developed locally by employers to meet individual service need

What does this course lead to?

This course offers you the latest technologies to enable you develop a range of clinical skills and knowledge, based on your employer's requirements and depending on the clinical or professional area in which you work. This could include health promotion and preventing ill health, monitoring care, team work, undertaking diagnostic tests, improving safety and quality of care, and contributing to integrated care working under the supervision of a registered practitioner.

Who is this course for?

This apprenticeship is suitable for those already working in a healthcare setting who feel they have the qualities and philosophy required to become a caring, effective, professional and safe practitioner. Assistant practitioner apprentices should demonstrate the following values:

  • Caring personality
  • Compassionate towards patients and families
  • Competent and safe in practice
  • Effective communication
  • Courageous
  • Committed to the highest standards of professionalism and nursing care.

Facts and figures

Fees icon

Fees and costs

Tuition fees

Businesses with an annual payroll above £3million will be classed as a levy paying employer and will be able to use funds accrued in their digital apprenticeship service (DAS) account for payment of the training.  Please contact us for guidance on fees if you are a non-levy employer which will cover at least 95% of the costs.

The programme cost for 2021/22 is £12,000.

You can find out more about funding an apprenticeship and the apprenticeship levy in our guide for employers.

Other costs

The 2021/22 other costs are not yet available. For guidance, previous other costs have been:

Compulsory costs
  • DBS – Enhanced DBS fee - met by the apprentice employer
  • The apprentice employer will pay for an occupational health assessment/any immunisations if they are not covered by your GP

Graduation costs

For graduates in 2020, there is no charge to attend graduation, but you will be required to pay for the rental of your academic gown (approximately £45 per graduate, depending on your award). You may also wish to purchase official photography packages, which range in price from £15 to £200+. Graduation is not compulsory, so if you prefer to have your award sent to you, there is no cost. Extra guest tickets will go on sale after results publication and will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis. The cost per ticket was £15 in 2019, but this fee is subject to change for future years. Please note, we do not guarantee there will be any extra tickets available to purchase.
Key entry requirements icon

Key entry requirements

    Entry to this apprenticeship is only available with the support of an employer. Those who are interested in taking this course should speak to their line manager or learning and development representative.

    Applicants will need to provide evidence of their ability to study at foundation degree level. GCSEs at grades C/4 or above in English and Maths (or their equivalents) are essential. Applicants must also have a relevant level 3 qualification. (For staff working in biomedical science a level 2 health care science apprenticeship is accepted). If all other criteria are met, it might be possible for applicants to submit a portfolio of evidence of recent academic study for consideration as an alternative to a level 3 qualification.

    Interview including values based discussion/interview

    All students will be required to undertake a criminal convictions check through the Disclosure and Barring Service. This is organised by the employer before enrolment.

    Qualifications are checked before enrolment, and international students must bring their original certificates or certified copies when coming to study at the University.

Got a question about this course?

Contact our Solent team:

If you are a UK, EU or EEA applicant please contact 023 8201 5066 If you are an international applicant please contact 023 8201 5066

How to apply

If you are an employer or a potential apprentice and would like to have an in-depth conversation with us about potential opportunities, please send a message to or call 023 8201 5066.

If you would like more general information about apprenticeships, please see our  apprenticeship homepage.

What you'll study

Year one

Core modules
  • Foundation Skills to Support Practice
    The module will provide an opportunity for you to develop skills in academic reading and critical writing to support learning at level 4.
  • Anatomy and Physiology to Support Practice
    You will learn about the biology of the main body systems focusing on anatomy, physiology and pathology. You will also explore how the body systems interact to maintain homeostasis and gain an understanding of cellular function within the human body.
  • Introduction to Public Health and Health Promotion
    This module will explore contemporary approaches to public health and examine the historical origins of the discipline in Britain which lie in the 19th century industrial age and the movement of populations from countryside to crowded cities.
  • Developing Professional Practice
    The module will explore accountability within health and social care by examining lessons learned from public inquiries and critical practice incidents.
  • Developing Practice-based Learning Year 1
    This module aims to promote your understanding of the responsibilities, challenges and limitations of your professional role as a Healthcare Assistant Practitioner (HCAP).

Specialist optional modules

  • Introduction to Maternity Practice
    This module will enable you to develop your understanding of the physiological and psychological changes that occur during normal pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period, how this impacts on the woman and her family and how a maternity service can support a smooth transition to parenthood. 
  • Introduction to Pathology Practice
    This module will cover a range of topics from all pathology disciplines including, microbiology, histology, immunology, blood Sciences, screening, and transfusion, along with general studies to support the healthcare sciences such as ethics, audit, statistics, role of the laboratory, analysis techniques, quality, scientific basis of disease and general laboratory practice.
  • Long-Term Conditions
    This module aims to support development of your knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours when caring for people with long-term conditions.
  • Introduction to Therapy Practice
    This module introduces students to the fundamental, theoretical knowledge and practical skills required to support physiotherapists and occupational therapists in clinical practice, in line with the role requirements of the healthcare assistant practitioner.
  • Introduction to Specialist Practice
    You will develop knowledge and skills required for practice in relation to your health and social care role. You will become familiar with evidence-based health care and its use in decision making about the care of individual patients or the delivery of health services.

Year two

Core modules
  • Investigating Health and Conditions Across The Lifespan
    This module will examine the biological basis of disease exploring pathophysiological response to disease including fever, inflammation, cell signalling processes, cellular adaptations, cell transformation, proliferation, apoptosis, ischaemia, necrosis and impact of disease on the cell cycle.
  • Supervision and Assessment of Practice
    This module  will help you apply knowledge of teamwork, leadership theories and principles of equality to practice and equip you for future responsibilities supervising and assessing others in accordance with occupational standards.
  • Service Improvement Project
    This module will enable you to develop the skills and knowledge to identify, plan and implement a small-scale project which will enhance or improve patient experience or service provision.
  • Extending Professional Practice
    This module bridges care practice and academic study. It is strongly theoretical, focusing on a diverse array of concepts underpinning modern health and social care practice. It is also practical; it explores the application of ideas and theories to practice.
  • Practice-based Learning Year 2
    Like its level 4 version - this is a wide-ranging module focusing on a diverse array of topics. It further explores expectations and limitations of the Healthcare Assistant Practitioner (HCAP) role.

Specialist optional modules

  • Extending Maternity Practice
    This level 5 module will build on the level 4 module: Introduction to maternity practice and enable students to understand and apply more complex care skills and interventions to ensure safe and effective care to women and their families during antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal period.
  • Pathology Services in Practice
    This unit will build on learning achieved in L4 Introduction to Pathology: and will cover a range of disease/disorders focussed on different Pathology disciplines including, microbiology, histology, immunology, haematology, biochemistry, screening, and coagulation.
  • Extending Therapy Practice
    The module will allow students to consider concepts of assessing, treating and planning the discharge of patients in relation to physiotherapy and occupational therapy.
  • Recognition and Escalation of Deteriorating Physical and Mental Health
    This module will equip you with the skills and knowledge to assess and identify patients who are at risk ofphysical or mental health deterioration. You will identify appropriate interventions to prevent further deterioration, including escalation and reporting to more senior members of the inter-professional team.
  • Extending Specialist Practice
    In this module you will extend your understanding of how evidence-based approaches to health care can be used in decision-making about the care of individual patients or the delivery of health services.

Meet the course team

Mandy Lyons academic profile Mandy Lyons Course Leader View profile
Ann Gorecki academic profile Ann Gorecki Senior Lecturer View profile
Lisa Arai academic profile Lisa Arai Senior Lecturer View profile
Wendy McCracken academic profile Wendy McCracken Senior Lecturer View profile
Stacy Hutchins academic profile Stacy Hutchins Senior Lecturer View profile
Claire Higginson academic profile Claire Higginson Lecturer View profile
Gemma Burley academic profile Gemma Burley Lecturer View profile

The university cannot guarantee any particular members of staff will teach specific aspects of the course in the future, but will endeavour to ensure the teaching team maintains their balance of experience and qualifications.


You'll have access to our specialist facilities, including our new nursing simulation suite, nutrition labs and biomedical science labs. You'll also be able to use Solent's general facilities like our learning resource centres, student support services and 24-hour library.

Apprentices leave the programme with a more complete understanding of their responsibilities and the impact that effective care can have on patients.

Your future

Solent's Health Care Assistant Practitioner apprenticeship will prepare you for a non-registered role in physiotherapy, biomedical sciences, operating theatres, maternity care, imaging sciences or as a route to registered professional roles such as a nursing associate nurse, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, or healthcare science practitioner.

Industry links

This apprenticeship has been developed alongside our partner NHS Trusts and local care providers.


Students study within their own health and social care workplace but there are opportunities to undertake supervised practice in other areas by arrangement.

Get ready to find your place

You can still experience life at Solent at a virtual open day! Hear from course tutors, take virtual campus and accommodation tours, and chat to us live.

Register for a virtual open day