Care and Administrative Practice HNC

UCAS code 115L

What is special about this course?

This course will give you the required skills and knowledge to take advantage of many different career opportunities in nursing, health and allied health professions. It will also prepare you for the new registration requirements for Health Care Support Workers and is preparation towards becoming an Associate Practitioner.

On completion you will be able to pursue a career in a health-related profession or pre-registration nurse education. You can also progress to the BA (Hons) Health and Social Studies.

Special features

  • The course has been designed to meet the needs of different paramedical and health care providers
  • You will undertake work placements as part of your course that include shift work, weekends and night duty


We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.

Entry requirements

  • Normally 2 Scottish Highers at grade C or above OR
  • 1 A level at grade C or above
  • Preferably English or a science-related subject
  • Alternatively, an appropriate Group Award at level 6 eg NC Health and Social Care plus 1 Higher, or NC Health and Social Care plus profile grades at CCB; or SWAP Access to Nursing
  • Completion of Foundation Apprenticeship Social Services and Healthcare
  • Prospective students without the standard entry requirements are encouraged to apply and will be considered on an individual basis
  • Applicants will require satisfactory Occupational Health Screening
  • This is a Category 1 PVG course: PVG Scheme membership is required to successfully achieve target qualification, where there is guaranteed contact with vulnerable groups in key elements of the course. For further information visit our PVG scheme webpage

Access routes

NC Health, NC Social Care or Access to Nursing, or other appropriate group award at level 6

Year 1 - HNC

Mandatory units are:

  • Safe working practice for care 
  • Therapeutic relationships: understanding behaviour 
  • Hospital patient administration 
  • Understanding personal and professional development 
  • Sociology for care: an introduction 
  • Learning through practice 
  • Graded Unit 1: care and administrative practice
  • Physiology for care professionals
  • Essential skills for care practice
  • Principles of professional practice
  • Individual pathways in health and social care

Option units may include: 

  • Health promotion in a changing society
  • Administration of medication
  • Health care policy
  • Mental health issues in a care setting

Option units available may vary depending on study location, for more information contact your chosen campus

How will I study my course?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Our priority is to provide a safe learning environment for all students and staff. We continue to review government guidance and will inform you of any further changes to the information provided below about your course. You will study the course through our blended learning approach. In semester one, September 2020, the theory elements will be delivered online through a combination of video conference seminars, tutor-supported study and self-directed study using the university's virtual learning environment. You will also have the opportunity to do an online induction at the start of the course. The university has been working with placement providers and the accrediting body for this programme to formulate a plan of delivery that will permit students to achieve their SQA HNC award, with no detriment to them. In order to protect the health and safety of everyone in workplace environments, we will be following the approach to delivery approved by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) which is that no placement will be delivered, instead simulation and case study with questions relating to competencies and theory will be used. This means there will be no placement - this does not apply to students seconded from the NHS who are based at Perth College UHI or Moray College UHI. As soon as practically possible, simulation and practical sessions within college buildings will be introduced in line with the developing Scottish Government public health measures and guidance, including social distancing, face coverings and hand hygiene practices. Please note to achieve this SQA qualification, you will need to attend and successfully complete these simulated activities. Any campus specific information will be relayed to students by a member of the programme team. Please also note that the extended placement required by students wishing to apply for direct entry to year two of a nursing degree will not be possible this year, however the attainment and credibility of your HNC will remain sufficient to apply for entry to year one. If you have access to additional placement hours through employment in the NHS, you may be able to boost your total hours to the required level for direct entry to year two.
  • Full-time
  • You will learn through a combination of face-to-face lectures and tutorials, practical sessions and work placements, and online study via the university’s virtual learning environment (VLE)

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 1 year

Where can I study my course?

  • Moray College UHI
  • Perth College UHI

Start date

  • September


For students normally domiciled in Scotland, including EU/EEA and Swiss nationals with settled or pre-settled status in the UK, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2020-212021-22
Full-time per year £1,285 £1,285

Note: The Scottish Government set this fee which has not yet been confirmed for 2021-22 so may be subject to change.

Rest of UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland, including Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) and with a term time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2020-212021-22
Full-time per year £6,720 £6,915

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

There are a number of funding options available to UK and EU students to help you pay for your studies and your cost of living while studying.

International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK, including EU/EEA and Swiss nationals without settled or pre-settled status in the UK, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2020-212021-22
Full-time per year £7,020 £7,230



External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact the relevant university partner college for more information.

Additional costs

  • You will be required to cover the cost of a uniform for your placement; c£80

What can I do on completion of my course?

On completion of the HNC Care and Administration Practice, you will be able to pursue a career in a health-related profession or pre-registration nurse education including adult nursing, mental health, learning disability and children's nursing in accordance with the regulations of the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Can I progress into further study?

You may be able to progress to our BSc Adult or Mental Health Nursing, with a B in the graded unit, or to the second year of the BA (Hons) Health and Social Studies.

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Care and Administrative Practice HNC

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2021

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.