Foundation Apprenticeship
Social Services & Healthcare SCQF Level 6

Combining work-based and classroom-based learning in Social Care and Healthcare.


Why take this course?

This programme, delivered over one or two years incorporates classroom-based study with work–based learning, in order to prepare you for entry to the workplace or full–time Further or Higher Education. The course is funded by Skills Development Scotland.

Over 400,000 people work in social services and healthcare in Scotland — caring for people when they need it most. Whether it's helping an older person to get ready in the morning to providing nursing and medical care in a hospital setting, a career in the social services and healthcare sector is a as vital as it is rewarding.

A Foundation Apprenticeship in Social Services could set you on the right track. All Social Work degrees in Scotland accept a Foundation Apprenticeship in Social Services & Healthcare for entry.

Find out more about this course from Skills Development Scotland

For information, the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) provides a useful tool/resource for career planning within the care sector.

What you will experience

The Foundation Apprenticeship in Social Services & Healthcare is for pupils in S5 and S6. In S5 you will complete a National Progression Award at SCQF Level 6 in Social Services & Healthcare. In S6 you will complete the 4 Mandatory Units of the SVQ 2 Social Services & Healthcare.

The National Progression Award in year one will includes units in:

  • Social Services in Scotland
  • Safeguarding People
  • Communication in Care Relationships
  • Safe Practice and Wellbeing in Social Services
  • Human Development and Social Influences

You will also undertake work–based learning, mostly in year 2 (6th year of school) during which you will gain the mandatory units of the SVQ Level 2 qualification. Two additional optional SVQ Level 2 units must be completed upon entry to the social services workforce.

  • Support effective communication
  • Support the health and safety of yourself and individuals
  • Develop your own knowledge and practice
  • Support the safeguarding of individual

Pupils completing this Foundation Apprenticeship on a Short Duration Delivery Model (1 year programme) will be expected to undertake both coursework and work based learning elements within the same year, generally spending equivalent of a day a week in a College staff delivered class and a day a week on placement.

three female students in classroom

Key facts

Subject area

Entry requirements

This course is suited to school pupils who expect to continue at school until the end of S6 and are on track to achieve passes in related National 5 awards in S4.

Related areas would include English, Biology, Modern Studies, PE, Skills for Work Early Education and Childcare or Skills for Work Health Sector. There is now also a 1 year study option available to eligible pupils. Pupils would benefit from studying subjects such as Higher English, Higher Psychology, Higher Biology, Higher Modern Studies, Higher PE during S5 and S6.

Higher Human Biology could support progression to Nursing studies.

All applicants will be required to attend an interview and be eligible for PVG Scheme membership.

What you need to know

Anything else?

Whilst you are taking part in the course you will be required to always: 

  • Be ready to start your class at the given time;
  • Adhere to the School Pupils Code of Commitment.

Eating and drinking are not permitted in the classroom. Drinking water is available from water dispensers in the corridors within the College buildings.

Next steps


At North East Scotland College

Upon successful completion of this course, you may be able to progress to one of the following full-time courses at North East Scotland College:

At University

Foundation Apprenticeships are accepted by all Scottish Universities as equivalent to at least one Higher. Please refer to individual institutions admissions guidance for further information.


View Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) resources for career planning in the care sector

The following infographic provides information on current and projected employment trends in this sector, within Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire. Follow the link on the infographic to view a larger image.

Infographic detailing current and projected employment trends in this sector, within Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire


Please note that courses are subject to minimum viability levels. In the event of insufficient numbers of applications, courses may be withdrawn from the programme. Certain courses are arranged with schools working in a consortium arrangement – in such cases, pupils from consortium schools will be given priority in the allocation of places.