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The Open University Level 4 Certificate of Higher Education in Healthcare Practice (Subject to Approval)

Level 4
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The Open University Level 4 Certificate of Higher Education provides a strong grounding in healthcare practice for those who wish to specialise within the health and social care profession. The course is offered in conjunction with the Western HSC Trust and offers a unique mixture of academic knowledge and vocational, work based learning at a higher level.

Please see link to OU Regulations for validated awards of the Open University here

Year One

Two mandatory units. K102 Introducing Health & Social Care (60 academic credits) K104 Introduction to Healthcare Practice (60 academic credits. Unit K102 provides the important knowledge and theory of underlying Health and Social Care. It is delivered face-to-face one day per week and consists of 6 core topics. Unit K104 skills students for professional practice development whilst on placement. This unit involves the main aspects of professional practice to ensure safe and effective care. Subjects listed below.

In addition to these modules, students will also complete complete 770 hours of clinical practice. This will consist of Trust based healthcare settings along with other suitable settings. Students will be allocated a placement supervisor and assessor. This full-time course will involve attending the college for face to face delivery one day per week, along with at least two days per week on clinical placement. The college delivery will involve knowledge based learning and teaching along with opportunity to avail of the specialist clinical skills room. This will allow students to practice and develop their clinical skills.

  • Unit 102: Professional Care
  • Unit 102: HSC Roles and Settings.
  • Unit 102: Human Development across the Life Course
  • Unit 102: Safeguarding
  • Unit 102: Sociology
  • Unit 102: Innovative Practices
  • Unit 104: Becoming a Healthcare Student in Practice
  • Unit 104: Being a Professional
  • Unit 104: Person and Family-Centred Care
  • Unit 104: Communication Skills
  • Unit 104: Numeracy Skills and Observation of Medicines Management
  • Unit 104: Quality and Safety of Care
  • Unit 104: Infection Prevention and Management
  • Unit 104: Assessment Skills and Care Planning
  • Unit 104: Bladder and Bowel Health
  • Unit 104: Mobility
  • Unit 104: Nutrition and Hydration
  • Unit 104: Hygiene, Skin Integrity and Wound Care
  • Unit 104: Acute and Emergency Care
  • Unit 104: Promoting Health
  • Unit 104: Supporting Skills

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age on or before 1st July in the year of proposed entry to the course.

  • Applicants should also have obtained a minimum of 48 UCAS points from A-Levels, National Diplomas/Certificates/Awards, Access or other such equivalent level 3 qualifications.
  • Applicants who do not meet the level 3 criteria outlined above but have evidence of substantial knowledge or relevant industrial experience and skills, may apply for APEL.
  • Applicants should have attained at least GCSE English Language Grade C or Essential Skills Communication Level 2 and GCSE Mathematics Grade C or Essential Skills Numeracy Level 2.

Applicants must attend an initial information and advice session.

  • Those applicants who meet the entry requirements above will then be interviewed and assessed for the course regarding their general suitability. This is to ensure evidence of competence in written and spoken English Language. Final selection will then be made on the applicant’s suitability and offers made accordingly.
  • Those who are made offers, will then undergo an Access NI check. On successful completion of this, applicants will be asked to complete a Health Declaration.

This is a rigorous selection process but ensures that successful applicants have the academic ability and personal qualities to study at level 4 and the potential to progress to level 5.

Assessments include traditional essays, presentations, exams, online tests, assessed simulation exercises, observed practice and the completion of Northern Ireland Practice Assessment Document. (NIPAD)

The course is offered as a stand alone qualification but also provides the level 4 equivalence for the stage 1 of the Open University Nursing degree course. The College is currently working with other UK University’s to enable students to progress to year two of a 3 year Nursing degree and more information will be available on the college website in due course.

Enhanced Access NI disclosure is required, Students will be required to wear a formal Uniform for the duration of their programme both in College and in Placement.. During your course you may be required to purchase course text books and incur additional costs for printing, photocopying and binding. The overall additional costs incurred to support your studies may be in the region of £250 per year.

1 Available Session

*The fees quoted are per annum and are payable for each year of the course’s duration.




Session Code

1 Year(s)


Higher Education

Mode of Study


Hours per Week


Number of Weeks

Interview Required


Academic Year


Start Date

Subject to Timetable



Total Annual Fee £2,700.00

Total Concessionary Fee N/A

Full Fee Breakdown

**Concession Fee Breakdown

Fees Payable Each Year

**Am I eligible for concessionary fees?

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