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Professional Support

Duration: 1 year
Attendance mode: Part-time
Award: Cert.HE
Not suitable for international students
Start date: September intake
Faculty of Health Studies
Apply Download course booklet


The Certificate of Higher Education in Professional Support has been specifically designed for support workers currently employed in health and social care to build on work-based competence training. These programmes will equip students for support worker roles across a range of professions and sectors by:

  • Building on knowledge and skills to equip students to fulfil the role of a support worker in their designated area in health and social care
  • Using a wide range of role related practical and theoretical knowledge to inform practice
  • Incorporating core modules, addressing generic skills such as enhanced interpersonal, team working, communication and problem solving skills
  • Helping you to evaluate their practice through reflection, in order to improve patient care

It enables students to develop new skills and to progress in their current role. A high proportion of learning takes place in the workplace, with mentor support and supervision. In addition you will experience a wide variety of teaching and learning approaches, which will include active access  involvement in the VLE which provides a gateway to a number of different learning activities and communication methods.

Each module is assessed separately using a range of different methods, e.g. work-based portfolio, written assignments, presentation and MCQ examination. You will be required to access a computer, as this programme is delivered through a combination of learning and teaching methods, including online learning.

Mentors help to identify specific knowledge and skills required to develop within the students current role, assist with planning and supervise work based learning, offering honest and constructive feedback essential for personal and professional development.

A major focus of the programme is recognition and accreditation of previous experiential learning, either through completion of a programme of in-service training recognised and evaluated by the University of Bradford, or through an individual application for Recognition of Prior Learning

Why Bradford?

This programme has been developed collaboratively by the University with local and regional employers and stakeholders, in response to a nationally recognised need to design and deliver flexible learning opportunities for support workers.

Entry requirements

Applicants should currently be working in a support worker role in health or social care, have a mentor in the workplace, and have the support of their employer to undertake this programme.

Applicants should normally have achieved 120 UCAS points from any combination of A levels, Vocational A levels, BTEC, OCR and AS awards (to include at least 1 full A level or 1 vocational award of equal depth and volume).

Applicants should have achieved a minimum of English Language/ Literature GCSE grade C or equivalent.

Applications are also welcome from students who have significant relevant work experience, but who do not meet the standard entry requirements.

Applicants will also need to meet the non academic requirements of your employer including evidence of:

  • A satisfactory DBS (formerly Criminal Records Bureau Disclosure) check
  • A satisfactory Occupational Health Assessment


Module name Type
Year 1
Developing Lifelong Professional Learning core
Introduction to Human Biology for Clinical Practicecore
Work-based Learning – Professional Support in Practicecore
Work-based Learning – Professional Support Skills in Specialist Contextscore

Reading lists

All reading lists can be found here.

Learning activities and assessment

There are flexible modes of study and exit awards (reflecting the number of credits completed) when studying Professional Support programmes at the University of Bradford

Model 1 - CCE (60 credits)

This model consists of 2 core modules:

  • Developing Lifelong Professional Learning
  • Work-based Learning – Professional Support in Practice

Model 2 - Cert HE (120 credits)

This model consists of 4 core modules: those studied at CCE level, plus 2 additional modules.

The modules studied are as follows:

  • Developing Lifelong Professional Learning
  • Work-based Learning – Professional Support in Practice
  • Work-based Learning - Support Skills in Specialist Contexts (40 credits)
  • Introduction to Human Biology for Clinical Practice (20 credits)

Model 3 - Radiography route (120 credits)

Students may apply to complete the following modules from the Undergraduate Diagnostic Radiography programme to obtain this qualification:

  • Introduction to Abdominal Imaging
  • Principles of Professional Practice
  • Radiography of the Appendicular Skeleton and Chest
  • Radiography of the Axial Skeleton
  • Safe and Professional Radiographic Practice

Career support and prospects

Career support

This programmes will enhance knowledge, skills and application in your current role or support your progression to an extended or Assistant Practitioner role.

A high proportion of learning takes place in the workplace, where a mentor will supervise your work-based learning experience and will help to
develop your skills and confidence. Your mentor will help to identify specific knowledge and skills you need to develop, based upon your job description, assist with planning and will supervise your work-based learning, offering honest and constructive feedback essential for personal and professional development.

Employment statistics

100% of our 2015 graduates in Professional Support found employment or went on to further study within six months of graduating.

Fees, Finance and Scholarships

Tuition fees


Fees are dependant upon the number of credits required.

  • 10 credits     £530
  • 20 credits     £1,060
  • 30 credits     £1,590
  • 40 credits     £2,120

2017/18: TBC

Tuition fees are subject to review for students starting their course in subsequent years. See our Fees and Financial Support website for more details.

Financial support

Funding for eligible staff within the region will be reviewed by Health Education England (HEE) in the coming months for the 2017/18 academic year. We advise all applicants to apply as normal for 2017/18 courses and further information will be provided as soon as it is available.

Students applying to study a Specialist Skills and Post Registration Development (SSPRD) module or programme, and who work for an approved provider in the Yorkshire and Humber region, may be able to access funding through Health Education Yorkshire and the Humber Contract for the cost of their course fees. This funding is subject to availability.

For more information on eligibility criteria please visit the HEYH website, or download their funding guide (external links).

Students who wish to apply for the above funding will need to provide a funding letter from their employer (on a letterhead) confirming their employment in that organisation and that their employer supports their studies.

Alternatively, please complete one of the funding forms attaching a compliment slip or stamp to verify employer support as part of the application process:

Please be aware that employer support does not guarantee the availability of funding.

How do I find out more?

Steps to Postgraduate Study

Find out more about studying at a postgraduate level on the official, independent website Steps to Postgraduate Study (link opens in new window).

How to apply

The easiest way to apply is online.

This will help us process your application more quickly and allow you to submit your supporting documents electronically.

If you are unable to apply online, please email to request a paper application form.

We will also need the following supporting documents, along with any other information specified on the course page:

  • Degree certificates/transcripts
  • Research proposal (if required)
  • Two references (including one academic reference)
  • Evidence of English language level (if required)
  • A copy of your passport

Once you have applied you will have access to the University's Applicant Portal, where you can track the status of your application.

You should also start thinking about how you plan to fund your postgraduate study — you may need to apply for loans or grants at this stage.

This is the current course information. Modules and course details may change, subject to the University's programme approval, monitoring and review procedures. The University reserves the right to alter or withdraw courses, services and facilities as described on our website without notice and to amend Ordinances, Regulations, fees and charges at any time. Students should enquire as to the up-to-date position when applying for their course of study.