Healthcare Practice HNC @ SCQF Level 7


HNC Healthcare Practice is for those who want a career in the NHS and care services, particularly nursing. It will help you develop knowledge and skills as a Health Care Support Worker in acute, clinical and community settings.

If you want to go further and study Adult Nursing, Mental Health Nursing, or Learning Disability Nursing, this qualification may enable you to apply to university.

Preference will be given to those already working in the NHS as a Health Care Support Worker, who want to further their career through study and practice.

This is a challenging course and will require considerable independent study. You must be able to cope with the demands of this level of study, and practical placement whilst also supporting people who may be at a vulnerable time in their lives. 

The majority of the learning is live online lessons, there will be mandatory clinical skills days prior to placement where you will be attending at Dumfries campus.  There will be two days of lessons and one day of placement each week.

Study space is bookable at the campus and you may bring your own device and headset to the study space.

Practical placement may be within the NHS or local Nursing/Care Homes.  Those who already work in the NHS may be able to use their workplace as placement.  

Course code





Attendance and engagement is expected at 100% at both college lessons and placement.

Entry Requirements

  • A minimum of two relevant Highers at B or above, including English and ideally National 5 Maths
  • A Foundation Apprenticeship in Social Services & Healthcare will count as one Higher, you must meet the other entry requirements above.
  • A relevant course at SCQF Level 6 or equivalent such as Health and Social Care Theory @ SCQF6 with a good Tutor reference 
  • SVQ 3 will also meet entry requirements. 
  • You must become a PVG (Protecting Vulnerable Groups) member for which you will me expected to pay £59 or less if you already are a member.
  • There will be a cost for uniform if you are not in your place of work for practical placement.
  • You must show evidence of Covid vaccination (Covid Pass App)
  • For the days when you may be expected in person at college, or on placement you must be prepared to show evidence of a negative lateral flow test. 
  • Consideration will be given to those with considerable experience of working in a social health care setting who do not meet the academic entry requirements.
  • You must be 18 years old at the start of the course. 
  • Applicants whose first language is not English should have ESOL Higher or equivalent
    • Your personal statement in your application must be no less than 250 words.  You may want to research how to write a personal statement here:

    • Make sure your application is accurate and detailed as it helps us to decide if you are to be invited for interview.
    • Read the additional entry requirements carefully before making an application

Additional Entry Requirements

  • HNC students are expected to pay £59 to become a member of the PVG scheme, those who already hold membership will pay less for an update.
  • You will be expected to provide evidence of receipt of vaccinations required to work in the Health Sector
  • You must bring evidence of your qualifications
  • You will be expected to purchase a tunic top to wear on placement
  • Your interview may be individual or group
  • All applicants must show motivation and possess the appropriate abilities and skills to attend the programme.
  • Working in health and social care means you must be able to separate your home life from work.  You must be reliable, punctual and trustworthy and able to attend college and placement 100% of the time.
  • Before applying you should carefully consider if you have the time and motivation to successfully complete this programme.  Is it the right time in your life? Do you have friends and family who support your career path and studies? Can you afford the financial considerations of studying at this level?

Information and Interview Session Requirements

  • Entry is competitive, we have very many more applicants than places available.
  • Applicants must respond to the information and interview session invitation – your appointment may be offered to someone else if you do not. This interview session may be held via Teams or phone. 
  • Be prepared to sit a numeracy test.  You can practice in advance at the following website:

  • Be prepared to write around 250 words in 20 minutes for us to assess your writing potential.  You may be given a topic such as My Home Town, My Greatest Achievement, My Hopes for the Future. The topic will be decided for you on the day.
  • There may be a group interview similar to the nursing recruitment process for university where each individual will be given the opportunity to discuss a variety of topics relevant to a career in health and social care. This may take the form of choosing a photo which will help you in your discussion.  Examples of the way these photos are used are available at the following website:  

    • You should also be prepared to discuss:
      • Your strengths and weaknesses.
      • Skills you have that would be useful in health and social care.
      • Your understanding of the role of a Senior Health Care Support Worker.
      • Your understanding of the current key issues in health and social services.
    • All learners on a programme who wish to continue to a further programme must be able to obtain a positive progressing learner reference.

    Please ensure prior to interview you have looked at the following web pages, you may be questioned about this at interview:

Course Content

Clinical skills, professional standards, therapeutic relationships, mental health, human body, sociology and health in Scotland.


There are written essays, individual and group presentations, closed book short answer responses and online tests.  You must pass all of these, and your attendance is expected to be 100% both at college and placement.  At this level you will be expected to study and research in a self-directed way, you may be guided to lessons which are online or on a medium such as Teams.  There will not always be face to face lessons in college.


You may want to seek employment in the health and social care sector
You may apply for the 1st year of a Nursing degree at a number of universities
You may want to continue your studies in one of the Allied Health professions at a number of universities
You may be able to apply to university to study social work or social sciences courses 

If your intention is progression to university it is your responsibility to check with that university if the HNC will meet their entry requirements as progression is not automatic.  Progression is subject to meeting the entry requirements of the university and it is your responsibility to check if you need additional qualifications for their courses.  This course alone is unlikely to meet entry criteria for midwifery, paediatric nursing or paramedic sciences.

Career Prospects

Health and Social Care Support Worker
Pre-graduate student in Adult, Mental Health or Learning Disabilities Nursing.

Additional funding information

SAAS funding may be available.

Selling Points

Continuing professional development in a health and social services career improves your employability as well as enhancing your promotion prospects.  It may help you on the study path to becoming a Registered Nurse or studying to become a member of one of the other the Allied Health Professions.