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  • Start date:   August 2023
  • Level of Qualification:   SCQF Level 7
  • Course Type:   Full-time


HNC Healthcare Practice is an innovative course designed to equip you with essential clinical knowledge and understanding.

This course will prepare you for an undergraduate degree in Nursing and other health-related fields. This course will improve both your academic, professional and employability skills and is a step towards a rewarding career in the health sector. It combines the required academic knowledge with the skills and competencies gained from a clinical placement within the care sector. This qualification is also suitable if you want to work as a Health Care Support Worker.

  • What the course includes

    The course includes: 

    • Safe Working Practice for Care  
    • Clinical Skills for Care Practitioners - including practical skills and calculations 
    • Professional Standards for Care Practice  
    • The Human Body on Health and Illness 
    • Understanding Personal and Professional Development 
    • Sociology and Health in Scotland 
    • Therapeutic Relationships: Understanding Behaviour  
    • Exploring Mental Health  
    • Healthcare Practice Graded Unit 1 

Why choose this course

You will develop your skills and relate theory to practice through work experience within NHS Lothian. You will be required to complete a minimum of 288 hours work experience to achieve your HNC. Please note that it maybe a requirement to work 12-hour shifts on your work experience so you need to be available to do this. 

Entry requirements

  • 2 Highers (including English). We will consider the following Highers Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Human Biology, Geography and Physical Education 
  • Minimum of Int 2 Biology/ N5 Biology or equivalent  
  • 5 Standard Grades at credit level including Maths or N5 equivalent 
  • Mature students without the formal qualifications would require to demonstrate the ability to study at the HNC level 
  • Your application may be considered if you have successfully completed a relevant NC at Level 6 which includes Biology 
  • Foundation Apprenticeship in a related subject plus study of science at school either biology or chemistry 
  • You must be eligible to join the PVG scheme and must not be barred or under consideration for listing (criminal record check).   
  • If you want to study Nursing you must meet the VISA requirements to study Nursing at University and not be deemed to be an international student in relation to fees. 
  • It is essential you are able to support others

We consider applications from those who do not have these qualifications, but have considerable relevant life/work experience. 

If English is not your first language, ESOL Level 5 is the minimum however ideally your English should be at Level 6 as you need to be at level 7 to progress to University for Nursing. 

  • Where it leads

    Education: Year one of a university degree in various branches of nursing, and occupational therapy, paramedic science. Previous students have progressed onto courses at University of Stirling, QMU, Edinburgh Napier, Robert Gordon University, University of the West of Scotland and Glasgow Caledonian University. 

    Year two Nursing Napier University or QMU with relevant number of placement hours. 

    Employment:senior health care support worker in either a clinical or non-clinical setting in the NHS.  

    Please note this course is to prepare you for a career in health and social care.

Interview arrangements

If we invite you for interview, plan to be in college for around two hours. 

Please bring evidence of qualifications already gained and a pre-prepared personal statement (maximum of 300 words) which covers: 

The interview involves: 

  • Information session 
  • Individual discussion 
  • Group discussion 

Fees, Finance & Funding

There may be help available to assist with your study related costs. Impartial, confidential help and advice on financial matters is available from the Student Funding Team - including Bursaries, Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA), Student Awards Agency for Scotland, Student Loans Company and student support funds. Click here to find out more

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Take that next step in your career and apply for this course today. If the course is not yet open for applications, feel free to ask any questions by clicking make an enquiry.