CertHE in Health Care Nursing Support Worker Education

An innovative and progressive curriculum designed to meet the demands of contemporary healthcare for the next decade.
This course is designed for healthcare support workers (HCSWs) who work alongside registered nurses, supporting nursing roles.

The University of South Wales has a very successful ten year history of delivering HCSW education, developing self directed learners equipped to embrace further opportunities for progression at the end of the course.

This course will allow students to express themselves academically, practically and professionally, developing skills to communicate and care for a variety of client groups and adapt to differing care settings whilst maintaining the unique attributes of their field of practice.

The course promotes self discovery and an awareness of the demands of professional practice. The essentials of nursing, promoting health and wellbeing, biopsychosocial sciences, medicines management, research/evidence, assessing and meeting needs whilst exploring therapeutic opportunities across the fields of nursing are the core principles to be explored.

During practice learning experiences (which comprises 50% of the course) students will be supported to develop the knowledge and skills to provide and promote safe and compassionate person-centred care.

2021/22 update: Blended learning approach for USW courses.

[Update excludes online-only courses].

The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to further change through the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.

UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
N/A Part-time 2 Years September Glyntaff A
UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
N/A Part-time 2 Years September Glyntaff A

This course is designed to suit students who are highly motivated, organised and prepared to actively engage in all aspects of teaching and learning to develop themselves academically and clinically.

Modules studied across the course include:

Year 1

The Essentials of Nursing Practice (40 credits)

To provide students with an essential understanding of key areas of nursing practice and the implications of being a professional.

Promoting Health and Wellbeing (20 credits)

To enable the student to explore the concepts of health and factors which influence health and wellbeing across the lifespan.

Year 2

Assessing Needs and Developing Therapeutic Op (40 credits)

To provide the student with knowledge and understanding to assess and contribute to integrated care and create therapeutic opportunities for service users across a range of care settings and client groups.

Developing Confidence in Practice (20 credits)

To enable the student to attain a skill set to function with proficiency and develop a growing confidence within the practice learning environment.

All modules are core and learning applied across all fields of practice.


This part-time course is supported by a blended approach to curriculum design. The course is delivered predominantly online, supported through distance education and work based learning, with essential support systems built into place. These include a maximum of 8 face to face teaching contact days per year at the University of South Wales Glyntaff campus.

Learning and teaching strategies incude active/ simulation based activities, online lectures, tutorials, seminars, group work, directed study and independent study.


An interactive course induction will support students with an orientation to the course and digital platform (Blackboard) for the delivery of online study materials and its associated facilities.

Students will be allocated a Personal Tutor (PT) that has specialist knowledge and skills related to their field of practice, to offer support and guidance with all aspects of the course and will also offer academic supervision to help the student prepare for summative assessments. It is envisaged that the PT will act as the Academic Assessor for the assessment of clinical proficiencies that are an essential part of the course.

Practice learning experiences account for 50% of the course. The students are supported during practice learning by a Practice Supervisor and assessed during practice learning by a Practice Assessor. As the course promotes peer support and peer learning, personal tutor group (PTG) online forums will be set up to facilitate peer support for clinical and theoretical elements of the course. 

Practice Supervisors are registered health and social care professionals who will support the student in practice. The designated Practice Supervisor(s) will provide feedback on progression to the student and the nominated Practice Assessor and will contribute to the students’ professional conduct and achievement of proficiencies.

The student will have a nominated Practice Assessor who is accountable for confirming achievement of their clinical proficiencies in practice. Practice Assessors must be registered nurses.

The Practice Assessor will collaborate with a nominated Academic Assessor at scheduled points during the students practice learning experience, to review the students’ progress and/or completion. The Academic Assessor will collate and confirm student achievement of proficiencies and course outcomes.

All modules are linked to UniLearn, the USW integrated system which supports assessment, learning and teaching activities through technology. Video capture, podcasts and short video clips will supplement taught components of courses, providing context and additional learning to support student’s development.

Students can self-refer or be directed to the USW Advice Zone. Instruction on the services available and how to make an appointment are included in course handbooks and on the USW website. These services are available to students whether on campus or in practice learning experiences.

The Dyslexia and Disability Service (DDS) provides a confidential and professional service where students discuss individual requirements relating to disability. Advice will be given on how to best manage additional needs if appropriate. Students are encouraged to discuss additional needs or support with Personal Tutors or the Course Leader. Advice will be given on how manage additional needs and reasonable adjustments will be made if appropriate.

Students have access to all USW learning resources both on and off campus. The School has a subject specialist librarian available to help and support students. Students have access to Findit, online resources and hard copy reservation. In addition, the School provides a range of learning resources in sites across its partner health service provider premises.


Group interview days are scheduled during the summer term (see further information in entry requirements section).

Students on the course are to be assessed through a variety of assessment strategies including written assignments, class tests and practical assessments.

The course is 50% theory, 50% practice.

Applicants must have:

  • Applicants must hold a NVQ/QCF Level 3 or equivalent qualification and have a current live portfolio of evidence of continuing development including a selection of the following - Manual handling passport, evidence of basic life support training, POVA and child protection training, infection control and the ability to reflect on practice through reflective writing
  • Evidence of practical skills in patient care
  • Employer support to secure funding
  • Access to a clinical mentor in practice


Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

August 2021 - July 2022 Fees

  • Part-time UK:  £700 per 20 credits

August 2022 - July 2023 Fees

  • Part-time UK: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

UK and EU students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year 1 of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly.  

Admissions statement

Tips on how to write a personal statement for Healthcare Courses.

Students accessing this course are all working as healthcare support workers in healthcare settings on a fulltime or part time basis.

The course is designed to meet the needs of contemporary practice and is informed by the Nursing Midwifery Council Future Nurse proficiencies (NMC, 2018). Assessments are varied throughout the modules to develop the students’ skills and abilities and ensure that assessment strategies test proficiencies.

Upon successful completion of this course opportunities exist to apply to progress into BSc (Hons) Nursing (All fields of practice (adult, child, mental health and learning disabilities) full and part-time flexible routes.

Band 4 Assistant Practitioner Roles

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