FdSc Assistant Practitioner: Health and Social Care

Welcome to Petroc, one of the largest colleges in Devon, awarded 'Silver' from the Teaching Excellence Framework (July 2017) and rated 'Good with Outstanding Features' by Ofsted (November 2015). Petroc is the South West Regional Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Centre, recognised by the award of a Skills for Health Quality Mark, and plays a key part in the economic, cultural and social development of the county’s rural communities. We offer around 40 degree-level courses from foundation to BA (Hons) level across our three campus sites, making a 'degree on your doorstep' a possibility for hundreds of successful graduates to date.

We have strong links with local employers - so you can gain invaluable, hands-on experience during your degree-level studies. Based at our North Devon, Mid Devon, or at our dedicated University Centre at the Brannams campus, our award-winning courses offer small group sizes, workable and flexible study options, and represent outstanding value. And, when you’re ready to move on, you have a degree from the University of Plymouth – one of the top three modern universities in the UK, as ranked by the Sunday Times University Guide 2017

Visit our Petroc website to find out more, watch our course videos, read case studies of our successful alumni or apply directly for a guaranteed interview.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • Core modules
    • NORD1124 Human Growth & Development

      This module will provide an introduction to the physical and psychological theories related to human growth and development. At the heart of the module will be the study of the life stages and the impact which disease pathology as well as the socio-economic factors have on human growth and development.

    • NORD1125 Concepts of Health & Wellbeing

      The economic cost of ill health to western governments is currently unsustainable. Key conceptual thought surrounding paradigm shifts within societal constructs of health and wellbeing will be explored in relation to the processes of globalisation. The module will enable students to contextualise the aforementioned issues and build a systematic and in depth understanding of the concepts of health and wellbeing.

    • NORD1126 Vocational Competence in Health and Social Care Practice

      This module will introduce the learner to the core employability skills required in contemporary health and social care settings. Essential personal and professional skills sets and attributes will be contextualised to ensure that learners understand the way in which continual personal and professional development is absolutely essential for high quality patient care and effective multidisciplinary team working.

    • NORD1128 Foundations of Health & Social Care Practice

      This module provides a comprehensive examination of contemporary health and social care provision within the United Kingdom. Factors which influence policy making and policy implementation will be exposed from a critical perspective which takes into consideration the global, national and regional dynamics which affect the way in which health and social care policy is constructed.

  • Year 2
  • Core modules
    • NORD1105 The Patient Journey and the Care Process

      This module identifies and promotes the principles of high quality, compassionate patient-centred care practice in relation to the patient journey. The recognition, assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of the patient journey will be considered in light of historical developments, policy implementation and most importantly the care process within a multi-disciplinary working environment.

    • NORD1127 Understanding Practice

      This module will introduce not only the multidimensional role of an assistant practitioner but will also consider in depth the multifaced dynamics of practice. Generic as well as field specific elements of practice will be investigated to develop a range of healthcare skills and build an appreciation of how important an integrated, holistic and flecible approach to professional practice is in the 21st Century.

    • NORD2107 Evidence Based Practice

      The module will focus on developing the students understandinf of different approaches to research in order to explore the concept of evidence based practice. Through anaylisis and synthesis of research based findings, via both qualitative and quantitative data collection models, the module will delve into the subjects of research methodology, the notion of reliability, validity, authenticity and research ethics.

    • NORD2108 Clinical Competence and Patient Assessment

      This module will enable students to understand the many factors associated with how illness and morbidity impact on the physiology and health of the human body. Understanding and gaining competency in how to observe, monitor, assess and record vital signs and respond effectively to the deteriorating patient by working within a multidisciplinary team will be at the heart of the module.

  • Final year
  • Core modules
    • NORD2109 Leadership and Ethics in Practice

      This module will develop knowledge of the legal and ethical frameworks underpinning and governing healthcare practice. It will establish the importance of effective leadership and individual responsibility for practice and reinforce the concepts of accountability and liability and encourage the development of informed judgement and professional competence.

    • NORD2110 Public Health and Health Promotion

      This module will consider, evaluate and analyse the symbiotic relationship which exists between public health and health promotion especially in terms of healthcare practice as a whole, personal responsibility, the care closer to home strategy and the changing nature of regional, national and global health challenges.

    Optional modules
    • NORD2111 Long Term Conditions

      This module is designed to provide the underpinning knowledge and skills to implement effective evidence based care in the practice and management of long term conditions.

    • NORD2112 Dementia and Cognitive Dysfunction

      This module will provide knowledge and understanding in the aetiology of dementia and cognitive dysfunction. The associated physiological and psychological impacts of dementia and cognitive dysfunction upon health of the patient and their families will be investigated as well as providing the healthcare practitioner with an understanding and appreciation of the holistic caring approach to living well with dementia.

    • NORD2113 Practice Based Study

      An opportunity for students to develop their practice, integrating analysis and application of knowledge within a variety of health and socail care practice environments. Students will build on competency based experience already gained in other modules and will direct their attention towards developing an area of future vocational interest.

    • NORD2114 Tissue Viability

      This module will provide the learner with knowledge and understanding surrounding the importance of maintaining skin integrity. It will also enable the learner to build competence in the management of patients with acute, chronic and complex wounds and provide them with an appreciation as well as an in depth knowledge of the prevention and management of pressure damage as well as the facilitation of wound healing.

    • NORD2115 The Management of the Plus Size Patient

      This module will enable students to become knowledgeable and analyticallyh aware of the many risks associated with the management of the plus size patient due to their weight, size, shape and impaired health and/or mobility.

    • NORD2116 Working in Multidisciplinary Environments

      This module will explore the diverse and far reaching impact that multidisciplinary teams have on patient care and service delivery. With government policy aimed at addressing fragmentation in patient services and attempting to coordinate far reaching change towards an integrated model of care, the Assistant Practitioner will need to understand the multifaced nature of the multidisciplinary working environment.

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Fees, costs and funding

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

As this course is delivered by one of our partner colleges, please contact the college directly for information on fees and funding.

How to apply

For further information and to apply for this course, please contact the college's admissions team directly using the contact details below. 

Progression routes

Completing this course enables you to progress onto these related courses and programmes with the University of Plymouth at level 5 or level 6, as specifically defined by this programme’s progression agreement.

For further information, including the progression from foundation degree form, please visit

Our partnership with PETROC

The University of Plymouth has developed partnerships with institutions around the world with the sole purpose of making higher education more accessible to those people who need something just a little different.

Our Academic Partnerships enable students to enrol for a degree at a partnership institution closer to home, or engage in distance learning – even when they’re in the middle of the ocean. They are there for those people looking to return to education, or enhance their professional development. Full- or part-time; foundation degree to masters-level – we cater for a huge variety of needs and aspirations.

Many of our partners offer specialist degrees, unique facilities, and smaller class sizes at a competitive price. And as a student of two institutions, you get the best of both worlds; a supportive learning environment as part of a close-knit community, and a university-level qualification awarded by the University of Plymouth. You’ll enjoy not only the facilities and services your partnership institution provides, but also all of the additional support and resources you need from us, and you’ll automatically become a member of our Students’ Union, too.

We are continuing to grow the number of partner institutions and expand our academic community to new locations around the UK and overseas. Why not visit the Academic Partnerships page on our website for a full list of partners and for more details on studying with us?

One of our partners delivers this particular course – so please visit their website for full course details, entry requirements, tuition fees and information on what student life is like there. 

Studying with Petroc

With main campuses in Barnstaple, Tiverton and Brannams, if you decide to study at the combined college, you’ll be able to take advantage of increased resources and the plethora of learning opportunities associated with them.

Find out more about studying at Petroc