Health and Social Care Apprenticeships

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Kickstart your career in healthcare

We make sure our courses are professionally relevant by working closely with a range of health, social care and third sector agencies, in particular, Health Education East of England. We also have several fellows and honorary lecturers who are based in practice environments.

Our Higher and Degree Apprenticeships:

Healthcare Assistant Practitioner Higher Apprenticeship

About the course and qualification

As an apprentice you will enrol on a FdSc Health Science degree as part of the Healthcare Assistant Practitioner Apprenticeship Standard.

The course has been designed to stretch and challenge you to develop both your academic and clinical skills. There is the opportunity upon successful completion to progress to our BSc Health Care Practice or BSc Nursing courses.

Course content and delivery

The apprenticeship will take 24 months, including the end point assessment, doing a mixture of on-campus and work-based learning. Apprentices will attend university one day per week. The course is delivered at both our Colchester and Southend Campuses.

We'll train you in:

  • the principles and philosophy of health and social care
  • the physiology, organisation and function of the human body
  • lifespan developments and healthcare needs from prenatal to end of life/bereavement
  • research and development in the health and social care sector to inform and improve quality of care
  • provision and promotion of holistic person centred care and support, duty of care and safeguarding of individuals

Course modules

First year Second year
Study and Lifelong learning  Acute Interventions and Rehabilitation 
Biopsychosocial Science
Developing Critical Appraisal Skills  
Patient Safety  Law and Ethics 
Health Illness and Disease Delivering Public Health 
Long Term Conditions
Skills 2 Portfolio 
Skills 1 Portfolio   

Course structure

As part of the assessment plan you will complete a variety of assessment methods, including:

  • Essays
  • Presentations
  • Short-answer written papers
  • Objective Structured Clinical Examination
  • Research Project/Dissertation

Entry requirements

To be eligible to be an Apprentice you must be employed within a clinical practice setting.

Our usual entry requirements for this course are:

  • English and Maths, GCSE grade A-C/4-9, or a Level 2 Functional Skill in English and Maths or Level 2 Adult Literacy and Adult Numeracy
  • have studied A-Levels, NVQ or an Access course

There are no tuition fees to pay as your employer pays these for you. That means you will earn while you learn.

Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship

About the course and qualification 

The NMC have changed their professional standards for nursing and as such we are refreshing our curriculum for 2020 entry to meet these standards. This means that for October 2020 entry, this course is subject to NMC approval and University of Essex validation.

As an apprentice you will be able to choose between BSc Nursing (Adult) and BSc Nursing (Mental Health).

For further information please see the Registered Nurse Apprenticeship Standard.

Course content and delivery

University based teaching will take place in blocks throughout the academic year. The rest of the time, apprentices will be in their usual place of work or occasionally in 'away' placements (i.e. other settings which will be chosen to develop particular skills and knowledge). 15 hours a week will be spent as an apprentice, and the remaining time will be in their given role.

The pathways are designed to continuously interweave theory and practice; this is reflected in the learning and practice outcomes and assessment strategy for each module. There are four terms per year, each of 13 weeks and within each term:

Course modules

First year Second year
Critical Patient Pathway  To Do No Harm Project
Community Engagement Project Leadership and Preparation 
Critical Appraisal Skills Research Activity
Service Improvement  Nursing Practice 3 
Nursing Practice 3  

Course structure

To ensure balanced learning, a wide variety of assessment methods within a coherent framework is employed. For further information please see the assessment plan.

Entry requirements

The University is currently delivering a two year Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship.

Our usual entry requirements for this course are:

  • You will already have successfully completed a relevant Foundation Degree (for all Foundation Degrees not awarded by the University of Essex, please contact us for eligibility) and have appropriate employment within a clinical practice setting
  • English and Maths, GCSE grade A-C/4-9, or a Level 2 Functional Skill in English and Maths or Level 2 Adult Literacy and Adult Numeracy

There are no tuition fees to pay as your employer pays these for you. That means you will earn while you learn.

Advanced Clinical Practitioner Degree Apprenticeship

About the course and qualification

Join us for our Advanced Clinical Practitioner (ACP) Degree Apprenticeship at either our Colchester or Southend campus. We’ve carefully planned this apprenticeship to work flexibly around your professional needs and commitments to maximise the benefits to you and your organisation. The Apprenticeship includes the MSc Advanced Clinical Practitioner.

The School of Health and Social Care is located at two sites; in the Kimmy Eldridge building at our Colchester campus and in the Gateway Building at our Southend campus. Delivering the course across two campuses means that we have small, interactive classes to create a stronger learning environment.

This apprenticeship is suitable for health care professionals from a range of backgrounds, to include nursing and midwifery, as well as allied health professions such as pharmacy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy. You may already be working in an advanced role but require professional qualifications, or you may be looking to develop your skills set to enable progression to an ACP role. 

There are key advantages to you to achieve ACP status as an apprentice. Unlike some other qualifications, as an apprentice, your employer will protect time away from your normal clinical role to study. Your employer will also fund your qualification, so there will be no additional cost to you.

 ‘Advanced Clinical Practitioner’ is not currently a regulated title but is expected to be in the near future using the national Multi-Professional Framework for Advanced Clinical Practice as the criteria to be able to register on a data base of ACPs. The apprenticeship is underpinned by the national framework for advanced clinical practice which means that as well as gaining a level 7 (master’s level) qualification, on completion, you will also be eligible to apply for ACP roles. Depending on the modules that you choose, you will gain skills in leadership, critical thinking and clinical decision-making, as well as enhanced knowledge of specific areas of specialist clinical practice.

To apply for this apprenticeship you will need support from your employer. In the first instance, please speak to your line manager so they can advise you of how to request their support. Following this please contact so that we can talk you through what you need to do next and plan your pathway.

Course content and delivery

This course maps to the National Framework for Multi-Professional Advanced Clinical Practice.

Course Modules

Before you start, you’ll co-design a pathway with one of our experienced staff that will map out which modules you’ll take. We’ll take into consideration your existing personal and professional responsibilities, and design a part-time programme which will take between one and five years to complete. The advantage of this approach is that we will have many intakes throughout the year, depending on when your chosen modules are running. 

With us, you benefit from the expertise of staff from a wide range of clinical and academic backgrounds. This means that you gain a well-rounded education that is research-led and clinically relevant. Where we feel you will benefit, we bring in additional specialists direct from the field.

We are delighted to be the first department in the University to have obtained the Athena Swan Silver Award for gender equality. This award recognises initiatives we have in place such as our mentorship system, our additional promotion of flexible work and study options, and our work to recognise the barriers to opportunity for BAME and LGBT members of our community.

Example Modules 
 Optional Module

HS955 Consultation and Assessment

(30 credits)
 Optional Module

HS604 Non-Medical Prescribing

(30 credits)

 Research Modules

 HS900 Research Design and Critical Appraisal Skills


HS908 Data Collection, Analysis and Interpretation

HS909 Quality Improvement in Practice

(30 credits)

HS979 Advanced Clinical Practice Dissertation

(40 credits)

SE750 Advanced Clinical Practitioner Apprenticeship: End Point Assessment

Course Structure

 You will need to complete the following as part of the assessment plan:

  • Open Book Examination
  • Presentation of Practice

Entry Requirements

To be eligible to be an Apprentice you must be employed within a clinical practice setting.

  • English and Maths, GCSE grade A-C/4-9, or a Level 2 Functional Skill in English and Maths or Level 2 Adult Literacy and Adult Numeracy
  • Current registration with one of the statutory regulators of health and care professions.
  • Current employment in a health care role with agreement from their employer to be supported (course fees and salary plus study time) by their employer.
  • Undergraduate Degree at 2:2 or above in a relevant subject

  • Equivalent current professional practice experience and qualifications in a health care setting that demonstrate ability to study at level 7.

There are no tuition fees to pay as your employer pays these for you. That means you will earn while you learn.

Our partnerships

We currently work with:

Our facilities

Our School of Health and Social Care is at the forefront of preparing people to solve real-life issues in health and society.

Both campuses provide outstanding facilities. We offer excellent physical and online resources including libraries, computer labs, datasets, archives and other research materials, and have simulation labs where apprentices can practise their clinical skills safely.

Why study
with Essex?

We're top 15 amongst mainstream English universities for overall student satisfaction (NSS 2019)
We're proud to be Gold rated in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF 2017)
Our student body represents over 140 nationalities and supports over 30 different cultural societies
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Find out more
Get in touch
Rachel Brown Apprenticeships Manager
Telephone: 01206 873840
Samantha Williams Apprenticeships Officer
Telephone: 01206 872137

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information is accurate and up-to-date. Occasionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep prospective students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

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