Course Page

Pre Nursing


Open University Certificate of Higher Education in Healthcare Practice Level 4 FT-N

Level 4
Mode of Study
Full Time
Course Type
Higher Education
Newry Campus

Due to a large volume of applications for this course, we are now operating a waiting list for all new applications. If you make an application at this stage and a place becomes available we will contact you for interview late August 2022. To discuss other opportunities at SRC, please contact our Careers Service on 028 3751 2808.


The Open University Level 4 Certificate of Higher Education in Healthcare Practice is delivered by SRC in partnership with the Southern Health and Social Care Trust. While this course is delivered as a standalone qualification, it also provides the equivalence of Stage 1 of the Open University Nursing Degree and allows progression opportunities to Stage 2 with the SHSCT. (Further details in the progression section)

This exciting and challenging course is currently delivered as a one year full-time course on both our Lurgan and Newry campuses. Opportunities to deliver this as a part-time course and Higher Level Apprentice are currently being explored and will be displayed on our website and advertised on social media should these become available.

As a full-time student, you will attend College 1 day per week and will benefit from state of the art healthcare simulation suites and learning spaces designed to develop the knowledge, skill and values needed to work effectively in a modern healthcare environment. 

In addition, you will be required to complete 770 hrs of practice. 480 hours will be provided by the SHSCT in a hospital setting (unpaid). Typically this will be 2 days per week, with the additional 290 hours being completed in a Healthcare role. Students will benefit from employment opportunities with the Trust on the SHSCT Bank. 


  • Applicants must be at least 18 years of age on or before 1st July in the year of proposed entry to the course.
  • Applicants should have obtained a minimum of 48 UCAS points achieved through the completion of A Levels, National Awards, Access or other alternative approved level 3 qualifications.
  • Applicants should have attained at least 15 points at Level 2 or above (e.g. GCSE) or have alternative approved qualifications. This must include GCSE English Language Grade C or Essential Skills Communication Level 2 and GCSE Mathematics Grade C or Essential Skills Numeracy Level 2. In addition, applicants must provide evidence of competence in written and spoken English Language. 
  • Applicants who do not meet the criteria outlined above but have evidence of substantial knowledge or relevant industrial experience and skills, which has not been formally assessed, should refer to the College’s Accreditation of Prior Experience and Learning (APEL) Policy* at
  • Applicants will be required to pass an Access NI Check.
  • Applicants must demonstrate their ability to study at academic level 4 and the potential to progress to level 5.
  • Applicants will be required to attend a 'Selection Day' which will consist of an information session, scenario based interviews and an individual interview. Selection will then be made on the student's suitability and a waiting list will be compiled.
  • Applicants will be asked to complete a Health Declaration.

 *Please note, Accreditation of Prior Experience and Learning, does not cover the GCSE Maths and English requirements.

Please Note: The entrance criteria above may change subject to awarding body regulations. The College reserves the right to enhance the entrance requirements beyond the minimum 48 UCAS points where demand exceeds the number of available places. In addition, where places remain available the College reserves the right to offer places to candidates with a profile less than 48 UCAS points.

Applicants progressing to higher education courses at Level 4 and above in the College or UK Universities may require a specific GCSE/ A Level profile. In some cases, the Essential Skills in Literacy and Numeracy may not be a suitable alternative to a GCSE. The list of acceptable qualifications for equivalency to English and mathematics for Ulster University is available from the following link: It is the responsibility of the applicant to check each University’s progression requirements before enrolling on a course at the College.


Student will complete 2 Modules of study;

K102 Introducing Health & Social Care (60 academic credits)

This is an academic unit where you will be taught essential knowledge and theory of Health and Social Care. It is delivered face-to-face in SRC Newry Model and Lurgan campus and consists of 6 Blocks of learning topics that include;

•       Roles and settings in HSC. 

•       Human development across the life course. 

•       Safeguarding.

•       Sociology.

•       Innovative practices.


K104 Introduction to Healthcare Practice (60 academic credits)

This is a taught module that equips you for your practice development on placement. In this module you will be introduced to the essential aspects of practice and help you develop the skills essential for safe and effective care. Topic of study include;

Becoming a Healthcare student in practice
Being a professional 
Person and family-centred care
Communication skills
Numeracy skills and observation of medicines management
Quality and safety of care
Infection prevention and management
Assessment skills and care planning
Bladder and bowel health
Nutrition and hydration
Hygiene, skin integrity and wound care
Acute and emergency care
Promoting health
Supporting skills.

In addition to these modules, you will complete 770 Hours of Practice. 480 hours will be provided by the Trust and the remainder will be made up in an appropriate healthcare setting, which is normally in a paid role. You will be allocated a Placement Supervisor. This will be a registered nurse who has completed further training in supporting students and will be on shift with you approximately 50% of your Trust placement. In addition, SRC will allocate a Placement Assessor who will work with you on your practice development. Much of this evidence is captured through the use of the Northern Ireland Practice Assessment Document (NIPAD) adapted for Healthcare Practice students.


1 Year


Assessment methods include;

Teacher marked assessments, to include essay style questions and presentations.

End of module assessments.

Online tests.

Assessed simulation exercises,

Observation of practice.

Completion of the Northern Ireland Practice Assessment Document. (NIPAD)


Open University


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Students will be allocated a placement setting by the SHSCT. This will normally be in a hospital setting and will require travel at the students personal cost to and from this. While there will be attempts to consider placements that are geographically close to your home, the Trusts availability of placements will be the determining factor. Placement sites may include, Craigavon area Hospital, Lurgan Hospital, Daisy Hill Hospital and South Tyrone Hospital.

Student will be provided with an SRC Healthcare uniform and identity badge which must be worn at all time when on Placement.


While this course is delivered as a standalone qualification, it also provides the equivalence of stage 1 of the Open University Nursing Degree and allows progression opportunities to Stage 2 with the SHSCT in the 4 areas of nursing practice . This is dependent on the following requirements;

  • Successful completion of all components of this qualification.
  • Securing a permanent position with the SHSCT at a minimum of 26hrs per week.
  • Places are available.
  • Applicants are successful at interview.
  • In addition, this course will allow you to apply for other undergraduate courses that are healthcare related including nursing at a range of Universities. Some Universities may consider exemption of modules on the basis of your achievement on this course.


This course will also be effective when applying for employment in the Health & Social Care sector.


All Higher Education courses starting in September 2022 are open for applications. Please click on the 'Apply Now' button above to begin your application. 

If you require any assistance with your application you can call us on 0300 123 1223.


Karen Templeton - Course Director This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mairead Ruddle - Course Director This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

or alternatively - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



In light of the continuing Covid-19 situation, Southern Regional College may have to amend the delivery methods for a number of courses for the new academic year, or should the need arise effect a temporary College closure. This may also lead to restrictions when accessing student services. Please be assured that the safety of our students is paramount and as such we will be implementing a range of measures in line with government advice and protocols. We will make all appropriate and reasonable adjustments to maintain the ongoing quality of teaching and learning and our support services.

In accordance with the Consumer Rights Act 2015, you will be notified of any such changes, the reasons for the changes and any options available to you to avoid such changes having an adverse impact on your future career. All higher education students and applicants should refer to the Consumer Protection page.


Information about our fees policy including details on registration and reduced fees as well as refunds can be found HERE

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  • Course Code
  • Start Date
  • Day and Time
    Subject to Timetable
  • Weeks
  • Fees
    £2500 (Course)




Full Time Level 4 Lurgan Campus Higher Education Pre Nursing 22