This course provides the underpinning knowledge for healthcare support workers and can provide an entry route to degrees in nursing, midwifery, and allied health professions. The course includes mandatory assessed placements within a healthcare setting, which may be within hospital wards and care homes, and will require you to work various shift patterns (not night shift). 

  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Basic clinical skills
  • Professionalism 
  • One year full-time
  • Therapeutic Relationships
  • Clinical Skills 
  • The Human Body
  • Sociology for Health in Scotland 
  • Graded Unit 1
  • Safe Working Practice for care
  • Mental Health
  • Professional Standards for Care Practice 
  • Understanding Personal and Professional Development

One of the following:

  • Two Highers at C or above, one of which should be English.
  • Advanced Certificate: Health and Social Care (Access to Nursing and Care HNCs) plus external.
  • Care Higher pass.
  • Access to Nursing SWAP - completion of course, including Anatomy and Physiology. 
  • 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 Grade C or above is desirable for those who wish to progress to certain degree programmes.
  • You are required to have a preplacement health check.
  • There may be a charged for your health check and additional uniform.
  • You will also require a PVG check through Disclosure Scotland in order to go out on the placement(s) as part of this course.
  • HND: Additional Support Needs: Managing and Supporting the Services SCQF Level 8.

It is possible to progress on to a degree at university from this course - see our
HE and Degree Pathways guide for more information. These include:
  • BSc Nursing (Adult and Mental Health only) 
  • BSc Psychology 
  • BSc Paramedic Science

  • If you are applying to a university for Nursing or Midwifery, then please check with the university of your choice to confirm their maths/numeracy entry requirements, alongside your HNC Healthcare Practice.
  • Employment in local authority, privatand voluntary childcare settings at practitioner level.
  • Healthcare Support Worker in NHS.
  • Travel to placement.
  • You may be required to take part in an informal conversation as part of the application process. This group/individual conversation may be an information session, a portfolio discussion, or a skills based exercise.
  • Personal statement.
  • PVG scheme membership (can be acquired through course).