University teams up with school to launch healthcare course

Northumbria University’s department of nursing and midwifery is partnering with a local school to offer a T-level course for young people interested in a career in healthcare.

The course, which will be offered at Bede Academy in Blyth, provides an alternative to A-levels or apprenticeships for students who have completed GCSEs and are interested in a career in healthcare.

“We are confident this new programme will encourage more young people to consider the vast range of career opportunities available in health and social care services”

Gill McGill

The T-level qualification was introduced in 2020. It combines classroom learning with an extended 45-day placement so that students have hands-on experience of the workplace.

The course being offered at Bede Academy is intended to encourage more people to work in the NHS, health and social care.

The curriculum was developed with input from the university’s Department of Nursing, Midwifery and Health. It has also been involved in training teachers to deliver the course at the academy.

T-level students from the academy will also have access to the university’s facilities, receive support to secure placements and have the opportunity to shadow students at Northumbria.

The two-year course, which will be offered from September 2024, will cover topics including health and safety, managing information and data, good scientific and clinical practice.

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Students will also learn about person-centric care, health and wellbeing, infection prevention and control and safeguarding, as well as some core science concepts and their application in health.

They will be able to specialise in the second year before progressing to a higher-level apprenticeship, degree or employment in roles such as healthcare or maternity support worker, said the university.

If successful, similar T-levels in health could be rolled out across other schools and colleges partnering with Northumbria University.

Dr Gill McGill, assistant professor in health policy and research at the university, said: “It is hugely important to Northumbria to ensure that we find ways to support students from all backgrounds into highly skilled jobs that can open up new opportunities and transform their lives.”

She added that the collaboration with  Bede Academy was an “excellent opportunity” to share collective skills, knowledge and experience to develop the T level in health studies for sixth form students.

“We are confident that this new programme will encourage more young people to consider the vast range of career opportunities available to them in all areas of the health and social care services and progress into higher education to become healthcare professionals of the future,” Ms McGill added.

Natalie Winchester, Dr Julie Derbyshire, Andrew Thelwell, and Professor Alison Machin from Northumbria University, with pupils from Bede Academy

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