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Why choose the School of Society, Community and Health

Our Public Health courses rank 1st in their subject table for graduation prospects – outcomes (CUG, 2024)

The majority of our students graduate with an additional professional qualification that will gain them entry to an allied health or social services profession

Gain an accredited qualification in a sector where qualified professionals are in high demand

About the course

This Foundation degree in Healthcare Practice is designed for healthcare workers currently working in an assistant capacity in a range of healthcare settings. The course builds on your practice experience by offering a range of learning opportunities to ensure you develop the skills employers are looking for.

The work-based course will set you off on a journey of active independent learning with appropriate support from academic and clinical staff. The knowledge and skills you acquire will equip you to become a reflective compassionate healthcare practitioner able to promote provide and maintain safe effective care of the highest quality within a multidisciplinary context and in multicultural settings.

Areas of study may include values-based practice; healthcare policy and quality; person-centred care; enhancing care in practice; and safeguarding health and wellbeing.

Why choose this course?

  • Experience practice-based learning with a skills focus in a friendly and supportive environment
  • Understand the theory and evidence that lie behind healthcare decisions
  • Enjoy our flexible work-based approach to teaching and learning which encourages reflective practice and confident skills development
  • Access state-of-the-art facilities to tackle real-life scenarios in a safe and supported setting
  • Benefit from our strong links with industry offering plenty of opportunities for real-life work placements
  • Be able to plan implement and manage tasks under the supervision of a registered practitioner
  • Be aware of the standards of behaviour expected in the workplace and take personal responsibility for your conduct
  • Develop a range of subject-specific and transferable skills in team-working; communication; critical thinking; and analysis
  • After completing this Foundation degree you can take a one-year top-up course to complete a full Honour’s degree

with Professional Practice Year

This course has the option to be taken over four years which includes a year placement in industry. Undertaking a year in industry has many benefits. You gain practical experience and build your CV, as well as being a great opportunity to sample a profession and network with potential future employers.

There is no tuition fee for the placement year enabling you to gain an extra year of experience for free.

*Only available to UK/EU students.

with Foundation Year

A Degree with a Foundation Year gives you guaranteed entry to an Undergraduate course.

Whether you’re returning to learning and require additional help and support to up-skill, or if you didn’t quite meet the grades to pursue an Undergraduate course, our Degrees with Foundation Year provide a fantastic entry route for you to work towards a degree level qualification.

With our guidance and support you’ll get up to speed within one year, and will be ready to seamlessly progress on to undergraduate study at Bedfordshire.

The Foundation Year provides an opportunity to build up your academic writing skills and numeracy, and will also cover a range of subject specific content to fully prepare you for entry to an Undergraduate degree.

This is an integrated four-year degree, with the foundation year as a key part of the course. You will need to successfully complete the Foundation Year to progress on to the first year of your bachelor’s degree.

Why study a degree with a Foundation Year?

  • Broad-based yet enough depth to give you credible vocational skills
  • Coverage of a variety of areas typically delivered by an expert in this area
  • Gain an understanding of a subject before choosing which route you wish to specialise in
  • Great introduction to further study, and guaranteed progression on to one of our Undergraduate degrees

The degrees offering a Foundation Year provide excellent preparation for your future studies.

During your Foundation Year you will get the opportunity to talk to tutors about your degree study and future career aspirations, and receive guidance on the most appropriate Undergraduate course to help you achieve this; providing you meet the entry requirements and pass the Foundation Year.


What will you study?

Introduction To Study Skills

This unit aims to foster your understanding of how the skills of literacy, numeracy and information technology can enhance your learning and contribute to evidence based care.

The unit will equip you with the skills needed to become a successful learner in a university setting. It enables you to develop an understanding of how you learn and will enable you to develop the fundamental skills to become a lifelong learner. By the end of the unit you will have identified the knowledge and skills necessary for University study and will have a plan for developing these during the course.

The skills that might be developed while undertaking this unit are transferable and applicable to all types of organisations. They are skills which are fundamental to furthering academic progress in undergraduate and potential postgraduate study in the future.

Project Preparation For Healthcare Practice

This unit aims to enhance your understanding of how to gather evidence and academic literature and how these underpin service improvement within your area of practice and the wider healthcare environment. These are transferable skills fundamental to furthering academic progress.
The unit will enable you to develop the skills required to become an evidence- based enquirer within your field of work, and at the completion of the unit, you will have identified an area of service delivery within your work place that may be improved. 
In undertaking this process, the unit builds upon the foundational work delivered in the Introduction to study skills unit in semester one and prepares you for the project to be undertaken in year two of the course in the Embedding NHS Values (Project) unit.

Health And Wellbeing: Improving Lives

This unit introduces the concept of health and well-being and the role of health promotion in enabling people to increase control over their health. The factors that influence the health and well-being of individuals and the wider community will be discussed. The role of bio-psycho-social factors will be explored in relationship to health and well-being from both a theoretical and practice perspective.
Normal anatomy and physiology will be explored and used to underpin evidence-based health promotion, thus helping people to take responsibility for living healthier lives.

Foundations In Values Based Practice (Wbl)

The aim of this unit is to enable you to develop competence in an assigned range of core skills relevant to the role of all healthcare practitioners and to enhance your understanding of the evidence base for these skills. You will work under the supervision of a practice based mentor who will help you to identify opportunities to develop the skills and to practice them safely. You will also work collaboratively with your mentor and the unit co-ordinator to identify the skills you will develop during the second year of the course. These will be skills which are specific to your workplace and necessary for advancing your healthcare practice.

The practice based elements of this unit are supplemented by lecturer facilitated sessions intended to expand your knowledge and understanding of your practice in the context of the NHS Constitution. You will also explore the values identified by the Chief Nurse as fundamental to care and which apply to all healthcare workers. You will use these to guide your practice.

Person-Centred Care

The aim of this unit is to develop your understanding of the principles of person-centred care. Patients and service users are not merely passive recipients of care and by actively engaging them in the care process they become empowered within the healthcare system. As a healthcare worker an important aspect of your role is to participate in the assessment of service user needs and the planning of appropriate care, through partnership working with service users and their families or carers. In doing so service user care needs and care preferences can be recognised and responded to.

Safeguarding Health And Wellbeing

The unit recognises the need to safeguard the health and wellbeing of service users and healthcare workers. Ill health can increase personal vulnerability in service users and as such, all health care staff have a responsibility for safeguarding individuals. Where standards of care fall below required standards healthcare workers are obliged to make their concerns known by following safeguarding and whistleblowing procedures. This unit aims to equip you with the ability to respond to challenging situations which compromise quality of care and increases patient vulnerability. Such challenges are often associated with a cost to the healthcare worker so emphasis is placed on protecting your own and others, health and well-being.

Healthcare Policy And Quality

The aim of this unit is to help you consolidate your knowledge and understanding of what constitutes high quality compassionate healthcare by focusing on the quality standards embedded within legislation, policies and quality benchmarks at both national and local level.
This unit will enable you to reflect upon, analyse and evaluate the health and social needs of the local and wider UK population. Emphasis will be placed on how these needs inform the provision of high quality healthcare and how this healthcare is influenced by national policies and wider codes of conduct that govern healthcare practice in your workplace. You will explore the ethical and moral health and social care issues associated with healthcare provision for specific health problems.
This unit offers you opportunities to take a more global perspective on some aspects of health and illness to help you to respond more effectively with patients/service users and the wider community,

Enhancing Care In Practice (Wbl)

The aim of this unit is to enable you to consolidate the core skills developed in year one of the course and to develop competence in more complex core skills and skills that are specific to your area of practice. The specific skills are those you identified in partnership with your mentor and unit lead in the work-based learning unit in year 1 of the course.

The components of the Practice Assessment Document are aligned to skills associated with the Knowledge and Skills Framework, initially published in 2004. These are communication, person and people development; health safety and security; quality; equality and diversity and more recently added, service improvement (currently information and knowledge).

You will work under the supervision of a practice based mentor who will help you to identify opportunities to develop the skills and to practice them safely and in accordance with the NHS Constitution, the fundamental care values, national policies and legislation ensuring safe care delivery with compassion. You will develop your identity as a member of the healthcare team with responsibility for enhancing care in practice.

The practice based elements of this unit are supplemented by lecturer facilitated seminars which will assist you to expand your knowledge and understanding of the evidence base for your practice.

Embedding Nhs Values In Practice (Project)

All healthcare workers have responsibility for contributing to the quality enhancement of healthcare provision to patients /service users and their carers. The aim of this unit is to encourage you to review service delivery within your workplace and to identify the ways in which you can improve the patient experience.

You will be required to identify an area which offers scope for development in your workplace and which is informed by one of the values stated in either the NHS Constitution or Compassion in Practice and propose a project to address one of these areas.

How will you be assessed?

The course assessment strategy is closely aligned to the teaching and learning strategy which is designed to have: immediate relevance to practice; draw on expertise-by-experience; foster active learning and be leaner-centred in approach. A distinct feature of the course is the range of assessment tasks including those that allow you to undertake workplace relevant assessments that can have an immediate impact in practice. Examples include: written assignments ranging from reflective pieces to academic essays culminating in a project at Foundation degree level assessed practice within the student's workplace; computer based examinations and oral presentations.

Your use of professional and theoretical literature will increase in complexity depth and breadth as you progress through the course. In the first year you will be expected to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the evidence-based literature and apply this to practice. In contrast the second year will demand deeper analysis and evaluation of the literature and its applications. For example you will develop your ability to study and practice more independently. You will be expected to identify a subject that particularly interests you based upon the NHS values and propose a service improvement project supported by appropriate literature.

Assessments of your clinical skills will begin with observation of the care you provide to patients/service users during work-based learning experiences. Expectations of the levels of skill demonstrated by students will increase over time and by the final assessments you will be expected to manage more complex and challenging encounters in a non-judgemental empathic manner in accordance with NHS values.

Formative assessment is used within units to enable you to gain feedback from your lecturer and on occasion peers to support and enhance your development and progress towards the summative assessments. A variety of strategies at the formative stage will be employed tailored to best suit the summative assessment. An example of a formative assessment used within the course includes a discussion in class with peers and lecturer based on an anonymised case study which will be developed later within an essay for the summative assessment. In another unit you will engage in a formative in-class reflection on the communication methods you have employed within your work place. The reflective model or framework used during this exercise is relevant to the summative assessment.


If you are undertaking this course you are already employed in a healthcare role so after completing it is most likely you will continue to work as an assistant practitioner within your place of current employment with enhanced opportunities for additional responsibilities and advancement.

Students who wish to continue their academic studies and top up their Foundation degree to a full Honour’s degree can do so via the University of Bedfordshire’s Healthcare Practice (Top up) BSc (Hons). You will also be eligible to apply for direct entry to year two of a pre-registration Nursing course which leads to registration with the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC).

Other courses at the University of Bedfordshire that might interest you include:

  • BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice
  • BSc (Hons) Midwifery (3-year course)
  • BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science
  • BSc (Hons) Psychology
  • BA (Hons) Health and Social Care

Entry Requirements

Fees for this course


The full-time standard fee for a Foundation Degree for the Academic Year 2024/25 is £9,250. These are the full course fees covering each year of study.

Alternatively if you have any questions around fees and funding, please email


International students cannot apply for Foundation Degrees.

Alternatively if you have any questions around fees and funding, please email

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