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.

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

Understanding the Human Body and Development Through the Lifespan

This 10-week module focuses each week on different anatomical systems, enabling your understanding of anatomy and physiology in the context of human development.

The Essentials of Nursing Practice

This module aims to provide you with an essential understanding of key areas of nursing practice, and the implications of being a professional.

Promoting Health and Wellbeing*

This module aims to enable you to explore the concepts of health and factors which influence health and wellbeing across the lifespan.

*This module is available to study fully in Welsh

Year 2

Developing Confidence in Practice

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

Assessing Needs and Creating Therapeutic Opportunities

This module provides 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

The Nurses Role in Medicine Management and Administration

This module focusses on medicine management using the BNF and medicine administration calculations using safe medicate. You will develop an understanding of nurses’ role in both medicines management and medicines administration.

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.


Take a tour of our Clinical Simulation Suite


We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement

At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.

If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.


Applicants must:

  • Hold an 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
  • Demonstrate proficiency in English language and have capability in literacy and numeracy skills to meet the course outcomes. This equates to holding a Level 2 qualification in English Language and Maths (equivalent to Maths and English GCSE Grade C or above)
  • Currently be working as a HCSW supporting Registered Nurses
  • Have a permanent contract in healthcare and have access to a trained Registered Nurse Practice Assessor/Supervisor
  • Evidence their practical skills in patient care
  • Provide confirmation of support from Line Manager to attend the University mandatory study days and to identify an appropriately trained Practice Assessor/Supervisor in practice. 
  • Provide a written reference in support of an application

Applicants are also required to demonstrate capability for digital and technological literacy to meet the course outcomes.

 Selection occurs through a review of the applicant’s personal statement and confirmation that the applicant meets USW requirements for admission to the course. If these criteria are met, the applicant will be invited to a group interview day with a panel that consists of academic staff from the course team and practice partners. Group interview days are scheduled during the summer term.

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 2024 - July 2025 Fees

  • Part-time UK:  £740 per 20 credits

August 2025 - July 2026 Fees

  • Part-time UK: TBC

Student Perks

At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.

Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.

Click here to learn more about student perks at USW.

Additional Costs

As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.


Funding to help pay for (or cover) course tuition fees and living costs

Whilst you’re studying, you’ll have two main financial obligations – tuition fees and living costs. There’s lots of financial help available from the University of South Wales and external funding sources, that may provide loans (which have to be paid back) and grants, scholarships and bursaries (that don't).

To learn about course fees, funding options, and to see if you are eligible for financial support, visit our Fees and Funding pages.

UK students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK 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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