Professional Development in Health and Social Care Top Up

BSc (Hons)

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Key facts

Start dates

September 2024 / September 2025

Course length

Full time: 1 year

Part time: 2 years


This top-up degree is designed for students already working in health, allied health or social care. It allows you to build your qualifications up to a full university degree with Honours. Your workplace is important for learning and development. So, we encourage you to link your studies to your professional practice through discussion and work-based learning.

Our teaching is inspired by our staff’s excellent research. 95% of our research is of internationally recognised standard (Research Excellence Framework 2014). You can contribute to cutting-edge professional research within:

  • nursing
  • allied health
  • social care
  • public health

working alongside experienced researchers. 
Our students go on to have great careers. We align the course content with professional requirements and practice setting priorities. This means completion of the degree increases your employability and career progression. A university degree can also be a gateway to postgraduate study which is prized in many health and social care organisations. 

Watch recording of our recent webinar for more information.

Male student training

How to apply

Entry requirements

Specific entry requirements

The following entry criteria apply:

  • Applicants must hold a Dip HE or equivalent qualification in a health or social care subject.
  • Applicants would normally be working in health, allied health or social care.

Students will need to use a computer or similar device to browse websites, send emails, produce documents and upload files. Their computers or devices must have access to the Internet and Google Meet, and we recommend the following minimum standards for your device:

  • Processor: 1.0 GHz or faster if possible
  • Memory 4GB RAM
  • Running a recent version of Microsoft Windows or Apple Macintosh or Linux or Google Chrome or Google Android operating systems
  • Bandwidth requirements 600kbps (down) or higher

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first award is not in English and for whom English is not a native language, you must have IELTS 6.5 or above (with 6.0 or above in reading and writing and 5.5 or above in listening and speaking) or PTE 58 or above (with 51 or above in all skills).

Please also see the University's standard English language requirements.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Credit transfer

Many of our courses consider applications for entry part-way through the course for students who have credit from previous learning or relevant professional experience.

Find out more about transferring to Brookes. If you'd like to talk through your options, please contact our Admissions team.

Application process

Apply through our application portal.

Apply direct to the University

Apply now

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
2023 / 24
Home (UK) distance learning full time

Home (UK) distance learning part time
£1,155 per single module

International distance learning full time

International distance learning part time
£1,990 per single module

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2023 / 24
Home (UK) distance learning full time

Home (UK) distance learning part time
£1,155 per single module

International distance learning full time

International distance learning part time
£1,990 per single module

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 534400

Please note, tuition fees for Home students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning Home students at the maximum permitted level.

Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students. 

The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support. 

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds please visit our Refund policy page

Financial support and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see our Fees and funding pages.

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course are detailed below.

We try to keep additional costs to a minimum by providing your materials online.  However, some students may wish to purchase their own copies of key texts. 

The published course and module descriptions were accurate when first published and remain the basis of the course, but the University has had to modify some course and module content in response to government restrictions and social distancing requirements. In the event of changes made to the government advice and social distancing rules by national or local government, the University may need to make further alterations to the published course content. Detailed information on the changes will be sent to every student on confirmation in August to ensure you have all the information before you come to Oxford Brookes.

Learning and assessment

This programme is taught online.  All parts of the teaching curriculum have been designed for distance learning delivery, taking into account that students are not expected to have physical access to on-campus resources.

Teaching uses a combination of

  • pre-recorded concise lectures in video format
  • webinars allowing discussion with teaching staff
  • asynchronous forums and activities allowing for feedback from teaching staff and peers
  • formative online group work
  • bespoke reading materials to address the learning needs of all students on the programme.

Although students may not meet face-to-face we provide support to link students with their peers and to facilitate a sense of belonging. 

Skills practise

Study modules

Compulsory Modules

Compulsory modules

  • Clinical and Professional Leadership in Health and Social Care

    The aim of this module is to help students gain a systematic understanding of current thinking about the processes of facilitating a culture of collaborative and inclusive leadership within complex public sector organisations. It aims to help students to integrate the emergent changes in leadership theory within the practice environment and the impact of applying traditional private sector leadership styles uncritically within the public sector organisations.

  • Dissertation

    This dissertation module is designed to support students in developing a research project by exploring a critical area of the students' own practice. It aims to allow students to demonstrate their ability to argue coherently, to gather evidence, to evaluate critically, and to synthesise various sources of data within an appropriate framework.

  • Facilitating Workplace Learning

    This module supports students who are registered health care professionals to develop confidence and skill in facilitating effective learning in the workplace. Students are expected to analyse the different ways in which adults learn with the aim of enabling them to develop competencies around facilitating and assessing workplace learning.

  • Research Design

    Students will have the opportunity to explore the research process, methods, data analysis and the ethical considerations associated with health and social care research. The module focuses on issues, techniques and skills for data collection and analysis in quantitative, qualitative or mixed mode approaches to research.

  • Study Skills

    This module aims to help students develop confidence in being able to access, manage, critically analyse, synthesise and apply the huge amount of information that now exists within health and social care domain within their studies.

Optional Modules

Optional modules

Advanced Communication and Supportive Relationships

This module explores verbal and non-verbal communication, and the development of supportive relationships, within a health or social care related context.  The module promotes a critical approach to sources of knowledge about therapeutic and/ or professional communication and relationships, drawing from nursing, allied health, social care and psychotherapy.

Improving the Quality of (Health) Care

Students will gain an understanding of the broader theoretical concepts of quality and clinical governance initiatives. It challenges accepted notions of measuring quality and performance in complex situations and explores how practitioners can develop more appropriate and effective frameworks. Students are introduced to the complexity of change management and the dilemmas in achieving organisational change through clinical governance.

Principles of Infection Prevention and Control

This module has a focus on principles of infection prevention and control which are applicable to both the hospital, community and specialist practice settings. It is designed to encourage students to develop understanding of how best to utilise resources to contribute to the provision of a safe environment and thus promote both infection prevention and infection control practice and minimise minimum the necessity of antibiotic usage.

Promoting Health and Wellbeing

This experiential module examines a variety of theoretical approaches to health education, public health and health promotion, and their use in practice. It is designed to develop awareness and understanding of both the philosophies and concepts underlying health promotion work with individuals, groups and communities.

Work-Based Learning in Professional Development in Health and Social Care

This double module aims to provide students with a secure research methods preparation, prior to their completion of the dissertation module where they will have the opportunity to undertake secondary data analysis.  Students will have the opportunity to explore the research process, methods, data analysis and the ethical considerations associated with health and social care research. The module focuses on issues, techniques and skills for data collection and analysis in quantitative, qualitative or mixed mode approaches to research.

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from those shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Learning and teaching



Assessment methods used on this course

The types of assessments used within this programme are varied and chosen because of their appropriateness for individual module and programme learning outcomes and content, the academic standard expected and the different styles of learning that students' exhibit. Assessments are used to offer an opportunity to demonstrate knowledge as well as the critical and reflective analysis required for professional practice. The assessments will also provide experience of transferable skills that will prove valuable to you in your future career. The assessments are coursework-based and there are no examinations. 

After you graduate

Career prospects

This course will provide you with the opportunity to engage, critically reflect and apply new learning related to contemporary Health & Social care provision; demonstrating your motivation & commitment to the further development of your role to enhance your career progression and employability.

Graduates from our programme sometimes continue their health and social care practice with a deeper understanding of how to develop themselves and others. Their studies also allow them to take up more senior roles within the workplace or to move into related-fields. Some graduates choose to progress to postgraduate study or research. 

Further study

Many of our graduates choose to continue their studies at either master's or PhD level. Your tutors will be happy to advise you about further study. 

Programme changes:
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our changes to programmes page.