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FdSc Assistant Practitioner

Train to work closely with patients alongside qualified healthcare professionals.

Assistant Practitioner

Specialist pathways

Study a programme that has been written in partnership with professionals to offer specialist pathways aligned to registered professions and employment.

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Entry requirements

Three A-levels at grades DDD or above

BTEC National Diploma or QCF Extended Diploma.

T level P (C+ in core elements)

GCSE Maths and English (or equivalent) grade C/4.

Equivalent qualifications may be considered, including workplace delivered NVQs.

DBS check and occupational health check.

UCAS points 72 – 120

UCAS code FAP1

UCAS institution code P63

Duration 2 years full time, up to 4 years part-time.

Any questions?

Contact Charley Lumley, our Applicant Support Coordinator, if you have any questions. Email and Charley will get back to you.

Course Summary

Assistant Practitioners work alongside registered health professionals using their skills and experience in a particular area of clinical practice.
They work in almost any area of the NHS, and have direct contact with patients, service users or clients providing high quality, focused and compassionate care. As part of the programme, you can choose specialist pathways aligned to roles across the health and care sector. The programmes offers an inter-professional learning experience, meaning you will learn from and across different professional roles giving you a holistic view of the patient experience.

Why this course at Marjon?

Key focus on Practice Learning which reflects the required skills of an Assistant Practitioner within their specialist setting.

The programme reflects a range of specialist health and social care roles, designed in partnership with local employers and will reflect the multidisciplinary nature of today’s healthcare system.

Assessments across the programme reflect the skills aligned to specific roles and employment opportunities.

Diverse teaching team with multiple clinical backgrounds bringing real-life experience to teaching.

Modules for this course


1st Year

Foundations of Professional Practice
This module will facilitate and enable exploration of the development of nursing knowledge and theory, critical analysis of the relationship between research, theory and practice and the exploration of nursing practice through the use of reflection. The module will facilitate students to progress and strengthen the theoretical knowledge base from which they practice whilst ensuring safe practice and limitation of risk.
Introduction to Clinical Skills
This module will enable the student to develop key concepts, models and therapeutic approaches that form the basis of contemporary practice across the lifespan. The module aims to facilitate the student to develop their communication and clinical skills in preparation for practice.
Anatomy and Physiology
This module aims to develop students’ knowledge of the core principles of human anatomy and physiology and the cellular basis of those systems. Students will develop the link to pathophysiology, focusing on the abnormal functioning of diseased organs resulting from causes of disease and illness, including the acute and long-term progression and functional changes associated with, or resulting from disease and injury.
Clinical Practice 1
This practice-based module will introduce students to the principles and practice of a Assistant Practitioner. The focus is to provide students with the necessary knowledge to participate in the delivery of care in the specified clinical setting and demonstrate competence against the national occupational standards expected of a Assistant Practitioner.
Mental Health & Wellbeing
This module will introduce students to the key mental health and wellbeing issues which people face in contemporary society. This might include a focus on depression, anxiety and self-harm, but also vulnerability, adverse experiences, trauma and loss. It also considers the context, behaviour and features in health and society that impact on mental health.
Communication and Working in Teams
In this module students will explore team dynamics and the role of leadership in influencing the effectiveness of teams. Theories and models including dynamics, communication, motivation and diversity are explored and students will consider their implications for leadership in a team environment. This is a diverse module with a specific session explicitly considering cross-cultural dimensions of teams and leading across boundaries.

2nd Year

Research in Evidence Based Practice
This module enables students to focus on developing their skills as a professional healthcare practitioner to become an effective user of research findings, with a view to the enhancement of quality service outcomes. Students will become familiar with critical appraisal tools and be able to consider the extent of external evidence available and how this can be applied to improve outcomes within professional practice.
Leading and Integrating Care
This module aims to equip students with management and leadership skills in health care. As health care provision becomes increasingly complex, with greater demand for services and more people with multiple long term conditions plus the shortages of skilled professionals, there is a growing importance on how health care needs to improve and transform.
Pathophysiology for Healthcare
This module builds on your knowledge of anatomy and physiology to develop an understanding of the principles of pathophysiology and alterations in the health of the cardiovascular, respiratory, immune, and renal systems, and cancer. It will explore current evidence-informed approaches used by health care professionals to help re-establish homeostasis, including pharmacotherapy. Clinical reasoning will be used to analyse clinical scenarios to inform the delivery of evidence-informed health care.
Clinical Practice 2
This module will enable students to consolidate and transfer their knowledge, skills and attitudes to a specified clinical practice environments required for the care of service users with more complex needs in the clinical practice environments. Under the supervision of registered professionals they will rehearse and further develop their knowledge, skills and attitudes by providing hands-on care for service users.
Optional module 1
There will be two modules in the second year of the programme which can be taken from a range of options. These options are currently being finalised with employer partners.
Optional module 2
There will be two modules in the second year of the programme which can be taken from a range of options. These options are currently being finalised with employer partners.

This course is perfect if you’re curious about

Having an occupational specific role that has been developed to assist organisations to deliver high quality, patient-centred care in a specialist setting.

Those searching for a non-traditional career pathway to a route to registered professional roles such as a nurse, physiotherapist, or healthcare science practitioner.

How to deliver and manage planned care.

The course is intended to prepare students to become independent practitioners specialising in their specialist chosen pathway. The programme has been designed in collaboration with employers and service users, combining study that is university-based alongside learning in the workplace. Work-based learning is adopted throughout the programme to ensure that a seamless connection is made by the students about how new knowledge attained from the programme can be utilised into their practice.

What might you become?

On successful completion, graduates are eligible to apply for roles as an Assistant Practitioner (NHS Band 4). You could work in hospitals, clinics or in the community such as in GP surgeries, or visiting patients in their home. You may also choose to progress to a full degree in Nursing or other Allied Health Professions.

How you’ll be taught and assessed?

How will you be taught?

Students will be taught for 15 hours per week, 1 day per week on campus in lectures, seminars and clinical skills workshops and simulations, and 1 day through guided virtual activity. Students will spend the remaining 22 hours/3 days in clinical practice.

How will you be assessed?

Assessment is planned across the programme, with a specific emphasis on learning and assessment in authentic practice learning environments, enabling trainee assistant practitioners to develop the skills needed for future employment as a Assistant Practitioner and the academic skills of higher education 

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Paul Horne

Course leader

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Paul has over 20 years experience working in the NHS across secondary and primary care settings, and has been working as a Advanced Clinical Practitioner for the last six years. He has experience in leadership of teams and service design and clinical skills and decision making, with teaching experience in academia and also non-academia subjects supporting the work force to be the best clinician they can be in the ever changing landscape of health.

Fees and funding

Fees UK students: £9,250 per annum for FdSc or £12,000 for Higher Level Apprenticeship

Fees for International students: £12,500 per annum

This fee covers your tuition and access to course-specific equipment and facilities, as well as associated services including access to the library, study skills support, IT support, student support and wellbeing services and membership of the Student Union. There may be additional costs by course. For larger employers, apprenticeship levy funding can fully meet the costs of training, assessment and certification. Employers themselves pay the apprentice's wages. For smaller employers, funding may be available to support fees, please check with us for further details. Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) enhanced check (Annual Update Service or dated within 6 months of the start of the course) Evidence that an occupational health declaration has been completed prior to starting the programme. Evidence of all required vaccinations being up-to-date

Funding available for this course

Our Student Funding Advisors offer confidential and impartial advice about your funding options.

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Frequently asked questions

Q1   Will I be a registered health professional on completion of the programme?

No. Currently, the Assistant Practitioner is not a regulated or registered profession. However the role is highly valued and regarded across the sector.

Q2   How will I be different to a Nursing Associate?

Both the Nursing Associate and Assistant Practitioner are band 4 support workforce roles within the sector. The Nursing Associate is generic and sits solely within the nursing family, whereas the Assistant Practitioner is highly specialised within one particular area and is commonly seen in both the nursing and allied health families.

Q3   Can Assistant Practitioners administer medication?

The specific technical competencies required for the role will vary depending on the clinical area in which the Assistant Practitioner is working. Assistant Practitioners can - where the need arises for their role and in accordance with their job description and KSF outline - administer medication, once trained and assessed as competent in their service field, and under certain conditions.

Q4   Can I continue my studies to become a registered nurse or allied health professional on completion of this programme?

Yes, subject to getting into the next course. You could apply to the course of your choice on completion of this programme. Your previous knowledge and experience will be assessed and you may be offered the opportunity to join a programme at a different entry point, but this is assessed on an individual basis.

Q5   Do I have to undertake a placement on this programme?

Yes, practice based learning is a vital element to the programme in order for you to achieve your practical and clinical competency.

Q6   Will I be able to arrange my own placement?

You will need to discuss the placement opportunity with the relevant member of the programme team, who will investigate the opportunity. There are important processes to undertake before a placement can be utilised for our students' practice learning.  

More information

From 1 April 2022, COVID-19 vaccination will be a condition of deployment for all frontline health and social care workers. All students on this course will be required to show evidence of being vaccinated or have an NHS COVID-19 Pass confirming that they are medically exempt before being allocated clinical placements. Clinical placements make up 50% of the course requirements and vaccination is already a requirement in social care settings. When applying for this course please be aware that if you are not vaccinated against COVID-19 or don't have an NHS COVID-19 Pass confirming a medical exemption you may not be able to complete the course or we may be unable to accept your application for enrolment. Specialist modules include Community and District Nursing, Public Health Nursing, Mental Health, Physiotherapy, Integrated Therapies, Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Health.

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