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Online Courses

Would you like to study remotely without needing to attend College, but not sure what to choose or who to go to? HSDC can help.

Online courses (also known as distance learning courses) are a great way to improve your career prospects, learn new skills and achieve a nationally recognised qualification. You can arrange your study time to fit into your everyday life over a 12-week period.

We are passionate about making learning accessible to all. That’s why our part time online courses are flexible, helping you fit learning around your routine and commitments.

Although requirements may vary from course to course (see the individual course pages for more information), please note that you must be aged 19 or over as of 31/08/20 to be eligible to study any of these courses. We are now accepting applications for this academic year. You may only apply for one course at a time.

The courses we currently have on offer are –

Free Courses (All Level 2 unless stated otherwise)

Business Administration

This qualification will give you the underpinning knowledge that is required to ensure you can successfully work in a range of different environments in a business administration role. You will develop essential knowledge of how to carry out administrative tasks, such as how to manage information and supporting events. You will also learn how to apply your knowledge in a variety of industries and job roles.

Children and Young People’s Mental Health

This course will equip learners with a detailed understanding of children’s and young people’s mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety, the legislation and guidance surrounding mental health, risk factors that may affect mental wellbeing and how to build resilience against these.

Counselling Skills

This course will benefit anyone who wishes to develop their use of counselling skills for use at work or in a personal capacity. You will cover units such as Counselling Skills, Counselling Theories, Diversity and Ethics and Personal Development.

Customer Service

This qualification will provide you with the underpinning knowledge required by employers to work in a range of different environments in a customer service role. You will develop essential knowledge of how to carry out customer service-related tasks such as how to manage information and support events. Once you have completed the qualification you will be able to apply your knowledge in a variety of industries and job roles.

Dementia Care

This qualification aims to provide you with the vital knowledge needed to begin tackling dementia through understanding what it is and how to support those who are affected by it. It also ensures that you will develop an essential understanding of caring for people with dementia, as well as covering the benefits of positive communication and the importance of individualised, person-centred care.

End of Life Care

This qualification aims to help you identify, develop and formally recognise your knowledge and skills surrounding the care of patients, friends and families during this sensitive and emotionally demanding time of life and is ideal if you are already working in, or intending to work within, the healthcare or social care sector.

Equality & Diversity

UK employers are often looking to improve both equality and diversity within their companies, so having an equality and diversity qualification is a great addition to any CV. This qualification aims to promote your social awareness and good practice of equality and diversity in any setting, including the workplace, the community, at home and in society.

Event Planning

This qualification will introduce you to the skills that are required to plan, organise and evaluate events by developing their knowledge and understanding. Areas covered include marketing methods and resources, market research, human resources, communication and customer service relevant to events.

Information, Advice and Guidance

UK employers are often interested in candidates who can demonstrate an understanding of the importance of interacting appropriately with customers, clients and colleagues. By studying our Level 2 Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) course, you will gain an in-depth understanding of the key areas associated with providing effective IAG, including signposting, referrals, record keeping, confidentiality and communication/listening techniques.

IT User Skills

This online course will encourage you to think about how to use IT in a number of ways to aid you in everyday life. You will cover the best tools to use for specific tasks, to improve your productivity and efficiency. IT security, including unwanted emails and viruses, will also be covered on this qualification.

Lean Organisation Management Techniques

This qualification will develop your understanding of lean organisation techniques and the skills and knowledge required to work effectively in a team in the business sector.

Mental Health Awareness

This qualification is designed for any learner that wants to raise their awareness of mental health and will equip learners with a good understanding of mental health conditions including stress, anxiety, phobias, depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, dementia, eating disorders and their causes.

Nutrition and Health

This qualification aims to improve your understanding of nutrition and health, covering factors such as the principles of healthy eating and weight management, nutrition in the context of eating disorders and how to prepare food safely in a home environment.

Prevention and Control of Infection Level 2 Certificate & Level 2 Award

By studying this online course, you will learn how to effectively prevent and control the spread of infection to ensure that you do not unknowingly cause your colleagues, friends and family to become unwell. Units covered include Causes and Spread of Infection, Principles of Infection Prevention and Cleaning, Decontamination and Waste Management.

Safeguarding and Prevent (Including British Values)

This free Level 2 course is ideal for you if you wish to increase your awareness and understanding of the issues surrounding Prevent, including radicalisation, extremism, propaganda, social media, and the promotion of British Values, such as democracy and the rule of law.

Substance Misuse (Level 1)

Studying this Level 1 course will enable you to develop knowledge and understanding of substance misuse and its potential effects on individuals and others. It is aimed to provide a general understanding of substance misuse to support within a job role.

Suicide Awareness (Level 2)

New for 2021, this online course will provide you with knowledge of the scale and context of suicide within the United Kingdom, its associated stigma, the main risk factors and to increase your understanding that suicide is preventable.

Supporting Individuals with Learning Disabilities (Award)

Do you come into contact with individuals with learning disabilities as part of your job role? If so, this course will benefit you if you work in, or wish to work in, the following industries – healthcare, care, housing, employment support, leisure, probation service or working in libraries. The course will cover topics such as awareness of autistic spectrum conditions and understanding physical disability.

Understanding Autism

This online course focuses on Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASCs) and how they can affect people in a variety of ways. You will learn how to support individuals with ASCs. You will also study communication and social interactions in individuals with autism.

Understanding Common Childhood Illnesses

This qualification aims to equip you with a strong understanding of common childhood illnesses, including how to provide a safe and healthy environment for babies and young children, how to recognise when a baby or child is unwell and how to manage acute and chronic health conditions in an early years setting.

Understanding Mental Health First Aid & Advocacy in the Workplace

This is a new online course for those that are considering a career in the health sector. It would also support the progression of those already working in the sector. You will gain an understanding of mental health, its associated care and how this can be applied to individuals.

Understanding Retails Operations

Are you looking to seek employment in the retail industry? Are you new to the retail industry? If so, this online course will cover all of the essential retail operations knowledge that you will need to succeed.

Working with Individuals with Learning Disabilities (Certificate)

This online course is new for 2020 and will provide you with the knowledge and understanding to work with individuals with learning disabilities or difficulties. You will study a range of units ranging from safeguarding and protecting to Autism Spectrum Conditions. Sign up today!

Understanding Working in the Health Care Sector

This online course will support those already in the health care sector or those wishing to pursue a career in the health care sector. Units covered in this course include understanding the role of the healthcare worker, communication skills, personal development, health, safety and security, understanding quality standards and equality and diversity.

Next step: Once you have chosen the online course you would like to do, download and fill in a part time application form here and email it to

Paid Courses (All Level 3)

You may be able to use an Adult Learner Loan to fund the following courses. Visit our Adult Learner Loan page for more information.

Certificate in Customer Service – £399

The Level 3 Certificate in Principles of Customer Service will develop and sharpen your practical skills, enabling you to deliver effective, high-quality customer service within a range of environments. You will be introduced to the key concepts and practices underpinning customer service delivery, from conflict resolution techniques, to how customer service impacts upon an organisation. You will also gain an understanding of business markets, financial management, marketing and the legal requirements of businesses.

Certificate in Dementia Care – £399

This qualification will equip you with the knowledge needed to work in a variety of roles within the health and social care services and is ideal if you want to enter, or progress within this sector. You will develop an in-depth understanding of dementia and its effects. You will explore the various types of dementia and the importance of early diagnosis, as well as focusing on person-centred approaches to dementia care, the role of communication, interaction and inclusion in dementia care and support.

Certificate in End of Life – £375

This qualification will provide you with information on how to support a person’s familial, spiritual, social and emotional needs and will prepare you to confront issues of death and bereavement within your role. This online course will help you understand end of life care, as well as communication, assessment and planning for it.

Certificate in Principles of Leadership and Management (ILM) – £549

This qualification is designed to provide you with thorough knowledge of the key methods used to organise, manage and motivate work teams. You will learn key skills relating to inductions, stress management and discipline within the workplace. This qualification will equip you with the knowledge needed to work as a successful manager or effective leader and is ideal if you want to enter or progress into a role within your career.

Please note: this course requires you to be working within a managerial or team leader job role.

Certificate in Understanding Mental Health – £450

This qualification is designed to provide you with a thorough understanding of mental health and the importance of mental wellbeing. This course is split into five manageable units which will not only provide you with a more comprehensive understanding of mental health, but they will also give you the knowledge required to work in a variety of roles within both the mental health and social care sector. The units will cover the context of mental health and wellbeing and the promotion of it, associated issues and consequences with mental health problems, understanding mental ill health and working in mental health.

Next step: Once you have chosen the online course you would like to do, download and fill in a part time application form here and email it to

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