• Code: HH
  • Duration: One Year
  • Certification:QQI Level 5 Award in Healthcare Support (5M4339)
    • First Aid and CPR
    • Manual Handling and Patient Moving 


This course provides a recognised qualification necessary for working as a Health Care Assistant in a variety of settings, including hospitals, day and residential care, mental health, palliative care and the home. The content of the course focuses on preparing the learner for the workplace. It equips the carer with the knowledge and skills necessary to work in this rewarding role as a member of the care team. Two days per week are allocated to facilitate work experience in order to prepare well for employment. It is suitable for those wishing to embark on a career in caring and those already working in the sector who wish to gain a recognised qualification. Employers consistently seek to employ students directly from this course.

Programme of Study
  • Care Skills
  • Care Support
  • Safety & Health at Work
  • Communications
  • Work Experience
  • Infection Prevention and Control
  • Care of the Older Person
  • Palliative Care Support
  • Activities of Living Patient Care
  • Manual Handling & Patient Moving Techniques (one day course)
  • First Aid & CPR

     Components subject to change

Entry Requirements

One of the following:

  • Leaving Certificate or its equivalent. Extenuating circumstances may be considered
  • Leaving Certificate Applied
  • Full QQI Level 4 award
  • Mature Applicants – experience will be considered in lieu of formal qualifications

Learners must be Garda vetted prior to work experience placement.

Learners are required to source their own work placement.

Career Opportunities

Employment as Health Care Assistants in:

  • Hospitals
  • Residential Care
  • Maternity Care
  • Home Care
  • Hospice Care
  • Community and Day-Care Centres
  • Activity Coordination
Higher Education Progression*

Examples of potential courses include:

TUD Technological University Dublin (Grangegorman Campus):

  • Pharmacy Technician Studies (TU654) Level 6
  • Applied Social Care (TU997) Level 8

SETU – South East Technological University (Wexford Campus):

  • Applied Social Studies in Professional Social Care (SE917) Level 8
  • Professional Social Care Practice (SE926) Level 7

Carlow College:

  • Applied Social Studies (PC404) Level 7

SETU – South East Technological University (Waterford Campus):

  • Social Care Practice (SE919) Level 8
  • Applied Health Care (SE928) Level 7

*Places are not guaranteed in these institutes and are subject to students meeting certain criteria. Please consult the individual college websites for more information on application. Information also on www.cao.ie

Course Co-Ordinator

Emer Shortall

Where are they now?

Meet BIFE students who have graduated from this course...

I was initially recommended BIFE by a close friend who had previously completed two years there. I was interested in entering the area of Care of the Older Person and to gain a better theoretical understanding. I completed the Healthcare Assistant Course. This course was highly satisfactory with each subject equally well-taught by well-informed and efficient teachers. At BIFE, the teachers support their students to achieve their work goals during times of struggle that restrict a student from accomplishing what they anticipate. There is no sense of unfamiliarity as all staff and students are outgoing and approachable.- Roshini Perera

I decided to return to full time education with a view to changing my career as I was unsatisfied in my job. BIFE gave me the opportunity to study the Healthcare Assistant Course as a mature student. The course equipped me with the knowledge to proceed into a full time Health Care Assistant position in the Beacon Hospital which I love.

I found the teachers in BIFE to be very knowledgeable and encouraging together with being right up to date on the relative standards set out by organisations such as HIQA, The HSE and The World Health Organisation (WHO).

This course, together with my work placement, taught me the skills needed to be an efficient, caring and conscientious Health Care Assistant. I would highly recommend this course for anyone who has a genuine interest in helping and looking after people.

The academic year itself, is quite consuming with assignments etc. but a rewarding career in healthcare makes it worth it.

Alison Bermingham

"I found the Institute to be brilliant for mature students like myself. I found the teachers fantastic as they really pushed us to our limits in order to get the best from us.I am now a care assistant in the Beacon Hospital which was the position I hoped for as I had worked in nursing homes but wanted to make the move to hospitals. I feel that I owe my current position to the course in BIFE and the encouragement of my teachers. The  onfidence I gained through the course is what has gotten me to the position I am in." - Liz Golden

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