Foundation Degree in Healthcare Play Specialism

L5 Level 5
Part Time
12 September 2022 — 12 July 2024
City Centre Campus, Cardiff

About this course

This is a 2-year part-time qualification, validated by the University of West London. Developed in collaboration with the Hospital Play Staff Education Trust (HPSET), this programme has been designed to enable you, as a Level 3 practitioner, to undertake the additional academic study and practice skills required to work towards gaining graduate status as a Healthcare play specialist (HPS). From the beginning you will be actively developing study skills and extending the knowledge and understanding necessary to develop your skills when working with sick children, young people and their families. This intensive course requires a significant amount of independent work to enhance the knowledge and skills developed in class, away from college.

In addition to attending college one day a week, applicants are required to secure a placement under the guidance of a HPSET registered, qualified HPS. The placement requires 200 hours of practice per year and is assessed via the completion of a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate the achievement of a number of competencies. 

What you will study

Year 1 learning outcomes:

  • Recognise the established principles for working with sick children, young people and their families and the way those principles have developed.
  • Develop knowledge and understanding of child development theory and research related to specialised play and recreation.
  • Explore opportunities to develop practice based on current theoretical, legal and ethical perspectives.
  • Appraise your own professional practice through the development of personal, professional and strategic goals.

Year 2 learning outcomes:

  • Analyse and demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of the well-established principles for working with sick children and young people and the way those principles have developed.
  • Evaluate and apply underlying concepts and principles of working with sick children and young people and the application of those principles in a work context to inform planning.
  • Demonstrate the importance of reflection in implementing policy in practice.
  • Critically evaluate the different approaches to solving problems and applying these in a work context.
  • Assess, review and evaluate theoretical perspectives relevant to Children and Young People: Leadership and Management roles in working with sick children and young people.

A variety of teaching methods will be used in support of the module outcomes. Assessment methods used include: academic essays, literature reviews, written reports, folder of evidence and exercises through Moodle (the College Virtual Learning Environment) - assessment of practical skills within the workplace is also undertaken at Levels 4 and 5.

Course fee per year

Tuition Fees: £4,600.00

Entry requirements

Level 3 Childcare qualification, 2 years post qualifying experience of working with children and young people. provide evidence of being employed or having a placement in a healthcare setting with a HPSET registered health play specialist who is able to act as their mentor, for the 2 years of the course GCSE maths and English @ grade C or above.

Teaching and assessment

  • Written, online and work based assessments

Important points

  • The College welcomes contact with parents/guardians of students who are under 18.
  • Additional support is available for students with learning difficulties and disabilities.
  • Cardiff and Vale College is committed to inclusion and values diversity. We are determined to promote equality of opportunity and to treat everyone fairly and with respect.
  • Cardiff and Vale College reserves the right to make changes to this course without prior notice.
  • Course fees are subject to change. Your fee will be confirmed prior to enrolment.
  • All courses are accurate at the time of upload or print.
  • Courses can only run if there are sufficient numbers.
  • Please note, if you choose three or more course choices, then you may be referred for a careers appointment first. This does not apply to A Level or GCSE choices.
Key information

Start date

12 September 2022

End date

12 July 2024

Time of day

Day Time

Part Time

7 hours per week


City Centre Campus, Cardiff
Maps & directions

Course code



Foundation Degree in Healthcare Play Specialism


What our students say

I live in Bristol and travel to the City Centre Campus by Train and the experience here has been great. I have had a range of tutors and have been able to build good relationships with them. With smaller class sizes, it was great to get to know everyone, and it’s helped me get where I am today. From my experience I’d say, it’s a great opportunity but you’ve got to be committed to put in the hours outside of just your tutored hours. If you’re passionate about it, then go for it.

Thomas Lonsdale
Healthcare Play Specialism Foundation Degree Graduate

Career prospects & further study

After completing this course, successful candidates may pursue various employment opportunities within the industry. Registering with HPSET as a play specialist (health) may also lead to the BA (Hons) Top up Working in integrated services for children and young people. Furthermore, graduate status on completion of Level 6 could lead to many post graduate opportunities.

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City Centre Campus, Cardiff
City Centre Campus, Cardiff

City Centre Campus,

Dumballs Road,


CF10 5FE