School of Nursing and Midwifery

BSc (Hons) Professional Development in Health and Social Care

Gain a degree and advance your career with our BSc (Hons) Professional Development in Health and Social Care, a flexible course aimed at a wide range of healthcare professionals at various stages of career and professional development. You will have the opportunity to choose from a large variety of modules to reflect diversity of practice and take an innovative approach to gaining specialist and advanced knowledge specifically aimed at your individual area of interest and expertise.

First choice for health logo

First choice for health

Delivered by professional experts, our programmes are tailored to you and your career. Together, we address today's most challenging healthcare issues, through research-informed teaching and active, real-world learning.


The Cumberland Centre

Key features

  • Study an up-to-date syllabus which intends to meet and exceed tomorrow’s, as well as today’s, workforce needs on a programme developed with stakeholder engagement through commissioners, employers and students on both content and delivery mode.
  • Become a critical thinking practitioner with a range of transferable skills who can effectively contribute to service enhancement.
  • Use the best available evidence, contemporary knowledge and high-level clinical decision-making skills to underpin interventions.
  • Develop confidence, competence and emotional resilience to consistently exercise personal responsibility and professional accountability for decision making and the provision of high-quality safe care.
  • Undertake a course that enables choice and values prior experiential learning and experience; targeted at the career development needs of a wide range of healthcare professionals with excellent opportunities for inter-professional learning.
  • Select modules that enhance your specific work role with course pathways offering over 100 module options addressing a wide range of specialist clinical areas.
  • Flexibly designed course enabling you to ‘step on and step off’ over a five-year period in response to service need and professional circumstances.

Course details
  • Year 1

  • This course offers the awards of BSc/BSc (Hons), graduate certificate and graduate diploma.

    BSc – to achieve a BSc you will need to earn 80 credits by undertaking up to four modules – one core 20 credit module and up to three optional modules adding up to 60 credits.

    BSc (Hons) – to achieve a BSc (Hons) you will need to earn 120 credits by undertaking up to five modules – two core modules adding up to 60 credits and up to three optional modules adding up to 60 credits.

    Students who have previously obtained a health related degree at 2:2 or above are eligible to access the course via the graduate certificate or graduate diploma route – please see panel below for further details.

    For further information on the modules that make up this course please visit the BSc (Hons)/BSc Professional Development modules.

    Examples of optional modules (not exhaustive)

    HEAC385 – The child and young person with mental health needs
    MENT604 – Confirming proficiency in professional practice

    The module 'HEAD361 - Independent study' is only a core module for students who wish to achieve the BSc (Hons) Professional Development in Health and Social Care award.

    Core modules

    • Understanding Evidence to Inform Clinical Decision Making (HEAD360)

      The module is designed to extend students' knowledge around evidence-informed decision making. This will be achieved through students identifying and evaluating a body of research-based evidence relevant to clinical practice.

    • Independent Study (HEAD361)

      This module extends knowledge of primary and secondary research and develops critical appraisal skills. Students construct an integrative literature review of a practice focused research topic.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BSc Hons Professional Development in Health and Social Care overarching pathway spec 6149

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the changeable nature of the situation and any updates to government guidance, we may need to make further, last minute adjustments to how we deliver our teaching and learning on some or all of our programmes, at any time during the academic year. We want to reassure you that even if we do have to adjust the way in which we teach our programmes, we will be working to maintain the quality of the student learning experience and learning outcomes at all times.
Entry requirements

To be eligible for the BSc or BSc (Hons) programme you will need to be either a registered health and social care professional or a health and social care worker in possession of previous study at level 5 (foundation degree/diploma of higher education).

If you wish to undertake the graduate certificate or graduate diploma award pathways you must already hold an honours degree at 2:2 or above in a health or health related subject.

If you wish to undertake any clinical skills modules as part of your course you will need to be working in an environment where you can meet the learning outcomes.

Applicants whose first language is not English must also provide evidence of competence in written and spoken English in accordance with the University’s Admissions Code of Practice – minimum overall International English Language Testing System (IELTS) of 6.5 average with a minimum 5.5 in each category.

Claims for credit for prior learning, whether certificated or experiential are accepted and will be assessed following University regulations and faculty procedures.

Extended entry requirements

Fees, costs and funding

The UK is no longer part of the European Union. EU applicants should refer to our Brexit information to understand the implications.

The fee for this course is dependent on the modules undertaken. Please see the relevant module web pages for further information.

How to apply

When to apply

Applications for this programme can usually be made throughout the year. Please check the closing date and apply as early as possible as our programmes are popular.

Apply for this programme

**COVID 19**

We are currently unable to access post on the main campus. Please send applications ONLY via email.

To apply for this programme please complete the application form and return via email to:


Tel: +44 1752 586951

What happens after I apply?

You will normally receive a decision on your application within four weeks of us receiving your application. You may be asked to provide additional information, to take part in an interview (which in the case if you are an overseas student may be by telephone or video conference) or you will be sent a decision by letter or email.

If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by University of Plymouth, please visit our Disability Services website.

Support is also available from our International Office if you are an overseas student applying to the University.

Graduate certificate and graduate diploma

If you have previously obtained a health related honours degree at 2:2 or above, you are eligible to access this course via the graduate certificate/diploma route:

Graduate Certificate Professional Development in Health and Social Care - 60 credits at degree level

Graduate Diploma Professional Development in Health and Social Care - 120 credits at degree level

Students seeking to achieve either qualification will be required to achieve the specified number of credits by choosing from a range of optional modules. 

Please contact the Professional Development Unit for further information.

Opportunities for postgraduate study in nursing

Be at the forefront of changes to the traditional ways of working and become a Clinical Practitioner (CP) with our MSc Advanced Professional Practice (Clinical Practitioner).

You’ll be equipped with the knowledge and skills to assess, diagnose, treat and manage patients who present with undifferentiated and undiagnosed conditions, across all sectors of healthcare.

Certain clinicians can also exit as a non-medical prescriber, i.e. nurses, pharmacists and optometrists can become independent and/or supplementary prescribers, whilst radiographers, physiotherapists and podiatrists can become supplementary prescribers.


  • Academic Partnerships Lead - Health and Social Care Providers
    Pathway lead and overall BSc (Hons) Professional Development programme lead
  • Lecturer in Adult Nursing (Education)