Healthcare Practice HNC

Course 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 SCQF level 6 eg NC Health and Social Care plus 1 Higher at grade C or above, or NC Health and Social Care plus profile grades at CCB; or SWAP Access to Nursing plus profile grades at CCB
  • 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
  • Access to Nursing
  • other appropriate group award at level 6

Year 1 - HNC

Mandatory units are:

  • Safe working practice for care 
  • Therapeutic relationships: understanding behaviour 
  • Understanding personal and professional development 
  • Sociology and health in Scotland 
  • Exploring mental health 
  • Healthcare practice: graded unit 1
  • The human body in health and illness
  • Clinical skills for care practitioners
  • Professional standards for care practice

Option units may include: 

  • Health promotion in a changing society
  • Administration of medication

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

How will I study my course?

Additional information for course delivery in 2021-22

From September 2021, it is our intention that physical campuses will be open to all students for access to study facilities, support services and social activities, subject to Scottish Government guidance. Our priority is to provide a safe learning environment for all students and staff. We will continue to review government guidance as restrictions shift 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. From September, where practical and safe to do so, on-campus practical delivery will be prioritised and placements will be introduced in line with the Scottish Government guidance, including social distancing, where this is not possible alternative options will be available. The theory elements may be delivered online through a combination of tutor-supported study, video-based seminars and self-directed study using the university's virtual learning environment. You can access your online and video-based classes from home however it is our intention to provide on-campus space for individual students where required as far as possible. Further information will be provided by your home campus. You will have an opportunity to attend an online, face to face or blended induction at the start of the course. Please also note that the extended placement required by students wishing to apply for direct entry to year two of a nursing degree might not be possible this year, however it will be 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, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

This includes

  • EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status in the UK,
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with settled status in the UK
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.
Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2020-212021-22
Full-time per year £1,285 £1,285

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:

This includes EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are not self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.

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 (approx £80)
  • You will also be required to cover the cost of a PVG check for undertaking placement (approx £60)

What can I do on completion of my course?

On completion of the HNC Healthcare 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?

QR Code - scan to visit course page

You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

Apply for Healthcare Practice HNC

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2022

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.