Certificate of Higher Education in Healthcare Sciences
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If you’re already employed in a healthcare setting, the Certificate of Higher Education in Healthcare Sciences will help you develop the essential knowledge, skills and competences that underpin healthcare practice. It takes an interdisciplinary approach to learning, and is attuned to the NHS modernisation agenda, the Knowledge and Skills Framework and the Health and Care Professions Council’s standards of proficiency. This certificate course combines work-based with distance learning, so you’ll need the support of your employer – who will share responsibility for your learning with the Open University. We provide study materials, tutorial support and assessment, while your employer manages the practice learning element of the course. The OU can also offer support in training staff identified as workplace mentors.
Fees and facts
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Flexible, part-time study through
Certificate of Higher Education
Certificate of Higher Education
A Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) is a nationally recognised qualification focusing on either a particular job or profession, or academic study. Equivalent to the first year of a full honours degree, they are the most basic level of qualification that can be gained in higher education and show that you are capable of studying successfully at university level.
You can use a CertHE to:
gain confidence to study successfully at university level change careers or progress your current career build on your existing experience and gain new skills gain a broad introduction to a subject you are interested in achieve a foundation degree, DipHE or full honours degree through additional study.
Career relevance and employability
The Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) in Healthcare Sciences was developed to meet the training needs of staff already employed in healthcare settings. It values and builds on your experience, and will benefit both you and your employer by enhancing your skills base. A qualification in its own right, it also prepares you for Level 2 study within the career structure for support workers (defined in the Knowledge and Skills Framework and skills escalator schemes). Paramedic practitioners will have the opportunity to progress to the
Foundation Degree in Paramedic Sciences (X08) or the Diploma of Higher Education in Paramedic Sciences (W08) by studying a further 120 credits at Level 2.
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.
Choose a pathway and register
It is not possible to apply online to study for this qualification. For more information, read
our entry requirements for this qualification.
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 modules you will be awarded a Certificate of Higher Education in Healthcare Sciences entitling you to use the letters Cert 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.