Healthcare Play Specialism | Bolton College

Healthcare Play Specialism

Healthcare Play

(FdA) Foundation Degree Healthcare Play Specialism



This part-time Foundation Degree is awarded by the University of West London and delivered at Bolton College’s state-of-the-art Deane Road Campus. It is designed for individuals with experience of working with young people, who want to develop professional competence in the field of therapeutic play for children in a hospital or community setting. The course also leads to registration with the Hospital Play Staff Education Trust (HPSET) – the registration body for the profession of Healthcare Play Specialism, for which a registration fee of £100 is payable to HPSET in the first year of the course.

What can I expect to learn?

This is a two-year part-time course. It runs one day a week at the College's Deane Road campus. Students are required to undertake a 200-hour hospital placement during each year of the course.

Level 4 (Year 1)

  • Using Evidence in Health & Social Care
  • SEARCH for Health
  • Child Development
  • Children and Young People: Policy & Practice
  • Play & Recreation
  • Reflective Skills & Practice Assessment

Level 5 (Year 2)

  • Children and Young People: Leadership & Management
  • Health in Children & Young People
  • The Child, Family & Society
  • Enhancing Resilience in Children & Young People
  • Investigating Resources & Practice Assessment

How will I be assessed?

Assessment is through academic essays, literature reviews, written reports, folder of evidence and exercises through the College's Virtual Learning Environment (Moodle). Assessment of practical skills is undertaken in the workplace throughout both Level 4 and Level 5 of the course.

What qualification will I achieve on successful completion?

Foundation Degree (FdA) Healthcare Play Specialism.

Entry requirements

  • GCSE Maths and English at grade C or above, or equivalent Level 2 in English and Maths
  • Minimum of a current Level 3 qualification in Childcare or a related field
  • Minimum of two years’ employment working with children after gaining the Level 3 qualification
  • Good communication skills
  • Evidence of continuous professional development
  • Evidence of current, regular and relevant employment in the sector
  • Identification of a registered Play Specialist to act as work-based mentor
  • Commitment to negotiate and complete a 200-hour placement each year, if not already employed in a hospital

What can I do with this qualification?

Completion of the course will enable you to register with HPSET as a registered Healthcare Play Specialist; apply for management posts in the NHS; and acquire graduate status by completing a Level 6 top-up course, followed by postgraduate opportunities.

Is there anything else I need to know?

Loans are available through the Student Finance England, and, if you enquire, you need to make it clear that this is a part-time foundation degree.

I'm interested, what do I need to do next?

In the first instance, please contact the Care Services Team on 01204 482 478 or email: You will be sent an HE application form.


Year one: £4,200 + £100 registration fee
Year two: £4,200

For any course queries, please contact:
Care Services Team
Tel: 01204 482 478

For any queries regarding the application process, please contact:
Admissions Office
Tel: 01204 482 181

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Please note, this course information is provided as a reference guide only and is subject to change. It is important that you check all course details, including location, timetable and fees etc, at enrolment.