University of Essex

FdSc Health Science

Our Foundation Degree (FdSc) in Health Science is:

  • designed for support workers in the health and social care sector
  • a nationally recognised, work related qualification

The course is offered as a Higher Apprenticeship, so you'll be supported by your employer and will continue working while studying part-time.

What you'll learn

  • The principles and philosophy of health and social care.
  • The physiology, organisation and function of the human body.
  • Lifespan developments and healthcare needs from prenatal to end of life/bereavement.
  • Research and development in the health and social care sector to inform and improve quality of care.
  • Provision and promotion of holistic person centred care and support, duty of care and safeguarding of individuals.

Course modules (subject to validation)

The list below shows the course modules which are subject to validation. The modules may vary in future years, but it will give you an overview of the areas you'll study. If you're particularly interested in a specific module and want to know if it will be running in the future, please contact us before applying.

First year Second year

Study & Lifelong Learning

Biopsychosocial Science

Patient Safety

Health Illness & Disease

Long Term Conditions

Skills 1 Portfolio

Acute Interventions & Rehabilitation

Developing Critical Appraisal Skills

Law & Ethics

Delivering Public Health

Skills 2 Portfolio

How you'll learn


You'll complete your apprenticeship over 18 months (subject to validation), doing a mixture of on-campus and work-based learning. You'll attend university one day per week.


Your teaching will include lectures, group work, e-learning, computer skills-based assignments, peer review and student-led sessions.

Each module has a set of resources on our e-learning platform, Moodle, where you can download readings, presentations-points, podcasts and video clips, and contribute to online discussions.


The course uses a variety of assessment methods, including:

  • essays
  • reflective essays
  • posters
  • presentations
  • short-answer written papers
  • OCSEs
  • a skills book that records key competencies
  • a research project/dissertation

Location and facilities

This course is available at both our Colchester Campus and our Southend Campus.

Both campuses provide you with outstanding facilities. We offer excellent physical and online resources including libraries, computer labs, datasets, archives and other research materials, and have simulation labs where you can practise your clinical skills safely.

Why Essex?

You'll be a student in our School of Health and Human Sciences, which is at the forefront of preparing people to solve real-life issues in health and society.

Nervous about returning to education?

You'll be supported throughout by both Essex and your employer.

  • You'll be studying alongside other people in the same position.
  • We offer academic mentors and small class sizes to help build your confidence.
  • You'll be supported by a workplace supervisor who will help you reflect on what you've learned and use it in your role.

Before you know it, you’ll have the confidence to ask questions, reflect on practice and start to make decisions which will allow you to improve patient care.

Fees and costs

Your employer will pay your tuition fees. You'll need to cover your living costs but you'll be earning an apprentice wage which will help.

Entry requirements

Our usual entry requirements for this course are:

  • GCSE (or equivalent) grade A-C in English and Maths
  • some experience of studying at A-Level or equivalent level

You can be considered for a place if you don't meet these requirements. We are just as interested in your current job role, your professional experience and how determined you are to succeed in your career.

If you aren't sure whether your experience and qualifications are suitable for this foundation degree, please contact us on

How to apply

For more information on how to apply, please email


The University makes every effort to ensure that this information is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep prospective students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

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