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BSc (Hons)/Grad Dip/Grad Cert Professional Practice

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If you want to top-up your Diploma or Advanced Diploma to a full degree this is the course for you. The Professional Practice course is designed for any practitioner and all of our units are essentially work based and will enable you to explore issues which are relevant to your professional speciality.

Our framework is ideal for busy health and social care professionals as it will allow you to study manageable ‘bite sized’ units, at your convenience. You can gain new knowledge, refresh skills and ultimately enhance the client/patient care you are able to offer.

Key information


Bournemouth University, Lansdowne Campus


4 years from registration on to a named award

Entry requirements:

Applicants will normally have a Diploma or Advanced Diploma in Health/Social Care or equivalent. If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS (Academic) 6.5 with minimum 6.0 in each component. For more information check out our our International entry requirements.

Course details

We've designed this course to enable busy health and social care practitioners to be able to study individual units allowing you to steadily work towards a postgraduate qualification, flexibly and at your own pace. There are various entry and exit points explained in our course diagram.

BSc Professional Practice

  • To gain the BSc Professional Practice, you'll need to complete 80 credits from any CPD unit listing.

BSc (Hons) Professional Practice

  • To gain the BSc (Hons) Professional Practice, you'll need to complete 100 credits from any CPD unit listing, along with the 20-credit Locating and Evaluating Evidence for Professional Practice unit.

If you have an honours degree and wish to expand your sphere of professional practice without moving to Master's level study you can choose from our range of units and study 40 credits to gain a Graduate Certificate or 80 credits to gain a Graduate Diploma. Our course diagram provides an easy reference to help explain the flexible nature of this course. 

Graduate Certificate Professional Practice

To gain the Graduate Certificate Professional Practice, you'll need to complete any 40-credit units from the CPD unit listing.

If you are interested in this qualification as a newly qualified social worker or an experienced social worker looking to start the first step of CPD study, please see the NCPQSW website.

Graduate Diploma Professional Practice

To gain the Graduate Diploma Professional Practice, you'll need to complete any 80-credit units from the CPD unit listing.

Programme specification 

Programme specifications provide definitive records of the University's taught degrees in line with Quality Assurance Agency requirements. Every taught course leading to a BU Award has a programme specification which describes its aims, structure, content and learning outcomes, plus the teaching, learning and assessment methods used.

Download the programme specification for Professional Practice.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the programme specification, the information is liable to change to take advantage of exciting new approaches to teaching and learning as well as developments in industry. If you have been unable to locate the programme specification for the course you are interested in, it will be available as soon as the latest version is ready. Alternatively please contact us for assistance.

Selection criteria

We consider lots of different qualifications, to make sure that those who have the talent and the ability to study and learn with us are given the chance to do so.

Transferring credits from existing qualifications

If you want us to take existing qualifications or relevant work experience into account to be granted an exemption from studying individual units or levels, then you should contact the Future Students Enquiry Team.

Transferring students from other University courses

If you wish to transfer from another university course that you are currently studying please contact the Future Students Enquiry Team in the first instance to discuss your suitability for your chosen BU course.

Additional reference

In addition to the reference on your UCAS form, once we’ve received your application we will contact you to ask for a second reference; this can be a different teacher/ lecturer, employer or person who knows you in a professional capacity.

Full entry requirements

Diploma or Advanced Diploma in Health/Social Care or equivalent. A number of different entry routes are available onto this degree course, depending on your previous qualifications.

You must also be engaged in practice for normally a minimum of 20 hours per week.

International entry requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally: 

  •  IELTS (Academic) 6.5 overall with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

View further information about our English language requirements.

A number of pre-sessional English and preparatory programmes are offered through our partner institution,Bournemouth University International College, and will get you ready for study at BU at the appropriate level.

You can also find further details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our international entry requirements page.

How to apply

In the first instance you should talk to your Line Manager/Education Co-ordinator to understand if there are any contractual arrangements in place and whether your chosen course or unit of study can be funded via this route.

If this situation applies to you, you must submit your completed application form (pdf 72kb) via your Line Manager/Education Co-ordinator, who will forward it to the university.

If you are funding the course or unit of study yourself or your employer is sponsoring you (outside any contractual arrangement), please submit your completed application form directly to the university.

Please note: In some cases, we may ask you to provide additional references but we will advise you of this once you have submitted your application form.

Please contact our askBUEnquiry Service if you have any question or if you have any problems downloading the application form.

Career opportunities

This course gives you the opportunity to top-up your Diploma or Advanced Diploma to a full degree, and is designed for any health and social care practitioner. Our graduates are working for a range of organisations in the public sector, such as the NHS, and private care providers. Among the jobs you will be able to take on once you graduate are:

  • Clinical practitioner
  • Specialist nurse
  • Nurse specialist
  • Senior nursing officer
  • Senior staff officer
  • Staff nurse
  • Team leader
  • Ward sister

Industries worked in

  • Healthcare
  • Education
  • Community care

Further study

Once you have completed an undergraduate Honours degree, you can further develop your education by studying for a postgraduate degree. Please visit our Postgraduate section for further details about our range of Master's degrees.

Additional Information

Students in Dylans Bar

Fees and funding

Find out about fees and funding, including scholarships and bursaries.

Open Days

Open Days

We give a warm welcome to anyone who comes to meet us and we love showing off our campuses and Bournemouth to prospective students and their families. 

Purbeck House common room

International students

We have a strong international student community. Find all the practical advice and information you need here.