Diploma of Higher Education in Healthcare Practice
On this page
The role of healthcare support worker is fulfilling and increasingly challenging, and there are some exciting new roles emerging – particularly if you have the right qualifications and experience. The Diploma of Higher Education in Healthcare Practice will help you get ahead by developing the knowledge and competences needed to deliver high quality, safe and compassionate care. You’ll also be in prime position to take advantage of new opportunities as they arise. This DipHE course integrates theory with work-based learning and meets the needs of healthcare support staff working in a range of settings. When studying Stage 2, you’ll have the opportunity to select from study themes such as health and wellbeing; mental health; long-term conditions; children and young people; dementia care and end-of-life care, all with a strong emphasis on enhancing the experience of patients/service users. You must have the support of your employer to study this course, as you’ll undertake the two work-based modules in your own workplace.
This diploma of higher education will be of particular interest to those living and working in Scotland. The same programme of study is also offered as the
Foundation Degree in Healthcare Practice (X16).
Fees and facts
Where will you be resident whilst you study?
If your country isn’t shown here, please visit our website for
Choose country above to see fee and ways to pay.
Flexible, part-time study through
Diploma of Higher Education
Diploma of Higher Education
A Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) is equivalent to two thirds of an honours degree. They are nationally recognised qualifications focusing either on a particular job or profession, or academic study.
DipHEs are designed to increase the professional and technical skills of staff within a profession or extend your knowledge and understanding of a particular subject. A DipHE shows that you are capable of extended study at university level.
You can use a DipHE to:
change careers or progress your current career gain technical and professional skills gain a greater knowledge and understanding of a subject you are interested in gain professional recognition achieve a full honours degree through additional study.
The Diploma of Higher Education might be of particular interest to those living and working in Scotland.
This diploma is only offered with support from employers. You need to be employed as a healthcare support worker in a healthcare setting for a minimum of two days per week.
The level of competence required in the practice-based learning module at Stage 2 will require you to be employed as a healthcare support worker.
You’ll undertake the work-based component of the qualification in your own workplace. The OU provides study resources and tutorial support and manages the assessment processes. Your employer is required to provide a suitable learning environment in your work place and to work with us to prepare and support practitioners to take on the role of workplace supervisor and assessor.
Career relevance and employability
This DipHE in Healthcare Practice is designed to promote the development of healthcare career pathways and to prepare healthcare assistants/healthcare support workers for the role of assistant/associate practitioner. Although it provides no guarantee of promotion, it is particularly relevant for staff working in healthcare support roles wishing to gain a qualification that helps them to deliver high quality, safe and compassionate care.
Following completion of this qualification, you may wish to pursue further study opportunities leading to, for example, an honours degree in health and social care or as a registered practitioner in your respective field of practice.
Delivering quality care requires teamwork and people management skills. Studying this DipHE course will encourage you to work in your multi-professional team to improve the patient/service user experience, and develop your skills in:
the use of IT facilities
organisation of self and others
analysing and problem solving.
You’ll also be prepared for further study, For example, you might aim for an honours degree or, possibly, a professional qualification in your particular field of practice.
There’s more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the
OU’s Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication and look at our OU study and your career subject pages to find out about career opportunities.
Register your interest
For academic year 2014/15, registration opens on 24/04/2014. If you would like to be kept updated, you can register your interest now.
Credit for previous study elsewhere
If you have already completed some successful study at higher education level at another institution you may be able to transfer credit for this study and count it towards this qualification. If you wish to apply to transfer credit you must do so as soon as possible, and before you register for this qualification.
If you are awarded credit for study completed elsewhere, you may find that you need to study fewer OU modules to complete this qualification. This may also mean that the next start date and the maximum time limit for this qualification are different to those shown above.
Credit Transfer site for more information and details of how to apply for credit transfer.
The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:
Knowledge and understanding
Practical and professional skills
Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes, and how they are acquired through teaching, learning and assessment methods.
On successful completion of the required credits and modules you will be awarded a Diploma of Higher Education in Healthcare Practice and will be entitled to use the letters Dip HE (Open) after your name.
As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the following regulations:
These regulations are also available on our
Essential Documents website.
If you have a disability
Choosing the qualification that’s right for you is very important. Depending on your disability, long-term health condition, mental health disability or specific learning difficulty, you may need to consider any challenges posed by:
the learning objectives: for example, to gain an honours degree in a language you must be physically able to speak the language
how the modules are taught: for example, some of our science qualifications require that you complete laboratory work
any work-based competency requirements.
Choosing the right qualification can be a complex mix of the subject requirements and the support you may need. To help you assess whether the qualification you are interested in will work for you, further advice is available from:
You will need a computer with internet access to study for this qualification. For most OU qualifications a Microsoft Windows (new since 2007),
Apple Mac (OS X 10.6 or later) or Linux computer should be adequate. However, some qualifications require more specific IT equipment, in which case you
will need additional software to use an Apple Mac or Linux computer. A detailed technical specification for your modules will be made available when you
register. Please note, technical specifications do change over time to match computer developments and the way we teach.
The Open University is the world’s leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities
we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you’re at home, at work or on the move.
As an OU student you’ll be supported throughout your studies – your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed
feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online
tutorials, or by phone.
For more information read
Distance learning explained.