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RSPH Level 3 Diploma Course

 in Anatomical Pathology Technology

Introduction to the course

In August 2013 the Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH) announced the new national qualification for trainee Anatomical Pathology Technologists - the Level 3 Diploma in APT. This qualification has been developed by the RSPH along with the Modernising Scientific Careers (MSC) team and the Association of Anatomical Pathology Technologists (AAPT).

Unlike its predecessor the new diploma is fully accredited by Ofqual (601/0468/5) and will be the first step on the educational ladder in anatomical pathology technology, allowing upon successful completion, APTs to progress to a Level 4 Diploma, the level 5 foundation degree and then onto a level 6 BSc in Healthcare Science (APT).

North Tees & Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust has full approval from the RSPH to deliver the course and our registered centre number is: 4521.

This level 3 diploma qualification is completed in modules over a 18 month with candidates completing 5 theory modules and 5 practical modules and completion of a portfolio of practical competency with assessment of practical standards by an external assessor.

The theory modules are delivered online via the North Tees Centre with teaching days spread throughout the academic year. Candidate support (learning quires, email, online support, and revision tools) is available in-between formal teaching sessions.

The 5 theory modules are:

  • Human Anatomy & Physiology for APTs

  • Governance & Administration of mortuary practices

  • Health & Safety in the mortuary

  • Microbiology & Infection control for APTs

  • Principals of effective communication for APTs



The theory modules are assessed by way of the candidate completing Centre set assignments and RSPH set examinations (examinations are sat at the North Tees Centre based in North Tees Hospital).


The following practical modules are to be assessed within the candidate’s home mortuary by production of a portfolio of evidence pieces and an external assessor visit to assess practical skills.

The 5 practical modules are:

  • Prepare for PM examination

  • Assist with PM examination

  • Viewing of the deceased

  • Preparation and operation of a mortuary

  • Effective team working


The practical aspects will be assessed by one of a national team of Academy for Health Care Science registered APT assessors that is chosen by the North Tees Centre.

Further course information:

  • Click here for course eligibility criteria - All potential candidates to read before applying for our training. 

Level 3 Apprenticeships now available!

Fees and inclusions (non-apprenticeship)

Last registration date for students is 31st December each year before commencement of the Centre programme in January.

Costs: Total cost of level 3 diploma courses commencing from Jan 2024 is £3800.00 per candidate (or use your apprenticeship levy - click here) and includes:


  • All fees payable to the RSPH for examination and assignment submission –


  1. Candidate RSPH examination fee

  2. External assessor T&S costs (see below)

  3. RSPH External verification fees


  • 5 full online teaching days (live virtual) and a minimum of 5 revision sessions.  


  • Online teaching material access, assignment help and exam revision support.


  • Regular planned access to the course facilitators for support for both the candidate and the mentor throughout the 18-month training period – email / telephone / online zoom meetings (arranged dates & times)


  • Lecture programme / Presentation notes from teaching sessions.

  • Regular portfolio assessment / discussion / advice.


  • Reasonable travel costs paid to external assessors to visit and assess the candidate within their own workplace.

Additional course costs: Any candidate travel and accommodation costs to attend the centre are not included - please note that all training is now delivered remotely but exams must be sat at the North Tees Centre.

Additional costs will be incurred if a candidate is required to retake any failed exams (£95 per resit)  as this attracts a further  RSPH fee. 

There will be an admin charge of £300 should the candidates leave the course early or if training is deferred – please ensure the North Tees Centre is notified in all instances.


Missed teaching sessions. If a candidate, due to reasons beyond their immediate control, is unable to attend a teaching session or meet an assignment deadline; then following discussion and approval with the centre, will be given reasonable support to allow completion of the module and extension to any submitted work. 

Exams. There are no in-year resits. Missed examinations and resits will be completed in the following academic year so can set back a candidates final result being announced by up to a 12 months – it is recommended that candidates are aware of the exam dates in advance and ensure they can attend all dates.


Record of attendance. Regular non–attendance to teaching and revision sesions may result in North Tees Centre being unable to support the candidate appropriately during the training period. This could result in the candidate being asked to leave the course with no refund of fees. All online sessions are recorded along with candidate’s details of attendance (both candidate name and duration they were logged in for the session).


Course fee payments. All fees must be paid in full prior to starting the course – please ensure either payment has been made or a purchase order number has been provided with the application - non payment of fees will result in the centre being unable to register a candidate with the RSPH and progress further with the course.


Refunds of fees; are at the discretion of the centre and will be on a case by case basis following discussion with both candidate and mentor. As a minimum should a candidate leave the course prior to completion there will be an administration charge of £300.00 plus incurred teaching fees and RSPH registration and examination fees which are non-refundable. Please ensure the candidate understands the commitment required to undertake the course prior to attending and payment of fees.


Course conduct. Candidates must ensure their behaviour is appropriate at all times whilst attending the centre and be reminded they are representing their respective organisation (s) – concerns regarding a candidates behaviour may be discussed directly with their employers. 

Further information: See "Important notes to all candidates" for additional key points for candidates on our training courses.

Key information 


Next course: Level 3 Diploma APT (cohort 12)

Programme starting: 31/01/25 (duration approx. 18 months)

Cost: £3800.00 per candidate (non-apprenticeship route)

Final application (s) close date: 31/12/24


The course will require candidate attendance on the following :

  • x 5 Mandatory distant learning training days  - approx. 9:30am to 4:30 pm.

  • x 5 revision seminar sessions  - approx. 10am to 11:30am.

  • x 4 RSPH mandatory exams - all level 3 exams are sat between 2pm to 3pm at a chosen exam venue. Venue choice and transport advice can be found on the 'link' button at the top of this page.


See timetable below for specific key dates relating to this programme:

Page last updated: 06/02/24

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