This course provides the underpinning knowledge for healthcare support workers. It can provide an entry route to degrees in nursing, midwifery, and allied health professions. The course includes mandatory assessed placements within a healthcare setting. You should note that many placements have a minimum age requirement of 18 years.

  • Individual pathways in health and social care
  • Therapeutic relationships: understanding behaviour
  • Essential skills for care practice
  • Physiology for care professionals
  • Sociology for care
  • Graded unit 1
  • Safe working practice for care
  • Learning through practice
  • Principles of professional practice
  • Understanding personal and professional development
  • One year full-time
  • 18 months-two years part-time

One of the following:

  • Two Highers at Level C or above preferably including English
  • Advanced Certificate: Health and Social Care (Access to Nursing and all Care HNCs) plus external Care Higher Exam at Level C or above
  • Other SCQF Level 6 qualifications and experience of working in a health or social care setting will be considered on an individual basis


  • National 5 Maths at Level C or above or equivalent (see our Qualifications Explained section for details) is desirable for those who wish to progress to certain degree programmes
  • You are required to have a pre-placement health check
  • There may be a charge for your health check and additional uniform

In addition, internal applicants will also require a positive Internal Learner Reference (ILR).

You will also require a PVG check through Disclosure Scotland in order to go out on the placement(s) as part of this course (visit for more information). If you are concerned about any information that may affect your PVG, you can contact our Guidance team to discuss this before submitting your application.

  • Employment in local authority, private and voluntary childcare settings at practitioner level
  • You will be expected to contribute £60 towards the costs of medical checks and immunisation, which are required before you can access placements within the NHS
  • Successful interview
  • Personal statement
  • PVG scheme membership (can be acquired through course)