School of Biomedical Sciences

BSc (Hons) Clinical Physiology

The BSc (Hons) Clinical Physiology degree is a four-year course with integrated practice placement learning intended to be the main route for the training of Clinical Physiologists and Healthcare Science Practitioners. Our awards are focused on the training of Healthcare Science Practitioners for the physiological science discipline of Cardiovascular Physiology.

Graduates disciplines work in a range of healthcare settings to deliver quality assured tests, diagnostic investigations and interventions for patients/clients.

This course (formerly BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science Physiological Sciences) is available for September 2020 entry.


Key features

  • Multi-disciplinary programmes integrating traditional and clinically-focused subject areas, delivered by specialist academic and clinical healthcare associates and informed by patients, carers and lay associates.
  • Study the specialist area of Clinical Physiology in Cardiac Physiology as well as maintaining academic breadth of organ function and impacts on the human body.
  • A coherent, progressive curriculum underpinned by experiential and workplace learning, ensuring competence in core knowledge, personal and practical skills designed to enhance the students’ academic performance and professional development.
  • Enthusiastic, accessible and committed academic staff that offer student support via personal tutoring throughout their programme of study.
  • Teaching and Learning informed by nationally and internationally recognised research, scholarship and professional expertise in biomedicine, clinical physiology and pedagogy.
  • A learning environment enriched by the presence of a “critical mass” of healthcare education in the form of the Faculty of Health, well-equipped modern laboratories and facilities, plus the legacy of the Centres of Excellence in Teaching and Learning.
  • A route to apply for registration as a Clinical Physiologist/Healthcare Science Practitioner.

Progression options

This course has a progression route onto medicine and dentistry for graduates who meet the following requirements:

  • On track to gain 1st Class (>70%) or already holds a 1st Class Biomedical Science degree with us achieved in the two years prior to applying.
  • GAMSAT requirement waived.
  • Satisfactory performance in interview.
  • Satisfactory DBS check and occupational health screening.

For further information regarding admissions and interviews, please contact us at

Course details

  • Year 1
  • In your first year, you'll be introduced to the healthcare science profession and receive a sound grounding in the basic science underpinnings of modern disease diagnostics, evaluation and treatment. You'll also undertake a division-specific programme of study and complete clinical experiential learning in NHS clinics by day release in semester 2.

    Core modules
    • BHCS1001ZA Biomedical Investigation and Experimentation

      To introduce the learner to key elements of investigation and experimentation within the biomedical sciences and to support the development of the basic skills and knowledge required for effective practice in these discipline areas

    • BHCS1002Z Human Anatomy and Physiology: Cells to Systems

      This module offers an introduction to the key anatomical features of the body and how physiological function is controlled to maintain homeostasis and health. It will commence with an exploration of cell and tissue biology and the founding principles of genetics, embryology and human development. The module will conclude with an exposition of anatomy and physiology of the major human organ systems.

    • BHCS1004PPZA Introduction to Human Pathology

      This cross-disciplinary module provides the learner with an introduction to the study of human disease, exploring historical, social and scientific perspectives as well as an opportunity to explore how modern pathology services are structured and operated.

    • BHCS1005Z Human Disease

      Concepts associated with altered health states due to environmental, developmental and genetic causes are explored. Pathological changes at the cellular, tissue and organ level are discussed. Genomic and bioinformatic technologies are introduced, and their application to clinical and personalised medicine considered.

    • BHCS1007 Foundations of Healthcare Science Practice and Workplace Learning

      This module provides an introductory framework for Healthcare Science practice, being the major vehicle for the understanding, acquisition and development of the theoretical, practical and personal attributes necessary for a Healthcare Science Practitioner.

    • BHCS1008 Cardiovascular and Respiratory Physiology

      This module provides the learner with the theoretical and practical foundations for practice in healthcare physiological sciences, by introducing the underpinning biological principles of cardiovascular, respiratory and sleep physiology

    • BHCS1009 Cardiovascular and Respiratory Pathophysiology

      This module provides the learner with the theoretical and practical foundations for practice in the healthcare physiological sciences, by introducing the underpinning pathophysiological principles as applied to cardiac, respiratory and sleep physiology.

  • Year 2
  • In your second year, you'll continue to study the roles and responsibilities of a healthcare science professional and begin to specialise in the techniques and methodologies used by healthcare science practitioners in the physiological science disciplines.You will have NHS clinical experiential learning by day release in Year 2.

    Core modules
    • BHCS2013 Clinical Cardiovascular, Respiratory and Sleep Physiology

      This module will review the common disorders affecting cardiovascular, respiratory and sleep function. It will include aetiology, risk factors, pathogenesis and the body's responses to a range of conditions. Learners will also develop an understanding of the patient pathway and explore the key principles of measurement techniques underpinning cardiovascular, respiratory and sleep analysis in a clinical setting.

    • BHCS2014 Clinical Physiology Instrumentation and Techniques

      This module is taken by students of both cardiovascular and respiratory & sleep sciences. It provides a familiarisation with the functions and characteristics of clinical equipment used for assessing and recording key physiological parameters

    • BHCS2015 Healthcare Physiological Science Professional

      This module continues the processes of understanding, acquisition and development of the skills and personal attributes necessary for a Healthcare Physiological Science Practitioner. It also provides a foundation in research theory and methodology for systematic study of the evidence base in healthcare science. During this module there will be a work placement in the clinical setting of their chosen discipline, where learners will further develop their skills and professional conduct

    • BHCS2016 Electrocardiography

      This module introduces students to the routine practical techniques applied in cardiac physiological monitoring. It will allow students to develop the requisite skills and confidence to practice safely and effectively in a healthcare science context. Students will gain insight into patient impact (including carers), whilst developing requisite skills and knowledge of a Healthcare Science practitioner

  • Placement year
  • You will spend a minimum of 40 weeks full-time clinical work placement activity in a host NHS trust completing all competencies within the specialist portfolio for your chosen discipline.

  • Final year
  • You'll spend your final year at University, completing a research project and specialist modules focused on your chosen discipline. You will apply everything you have learnt about science, technologies and techniques to the practice of Clinical Physiology / Healthcare science.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BHS378 Programme Specification BSc Hons Clinical Physiology202021 6798

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

Mathematics and English Language grade C/4, plus one of the Level 3 qualifications outlined below

104-120 points UCAS points from three A levels to include grade B in Biology and grade B in another Science subject from Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Applied Science, Geography, Geology, Psychology, Nutrition or Environmental Science/Studies.

BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma
DMM Biology, Science or Healthcare Science.

International Baccalaureate

28 points including 5 at Higher Level Biology and 5 at a second Higher Level Science.

Other suitable combinations, international and non A level qualifications, including Access and BTEC courses, will be considered on an individual basis.

Other requirements
Applicants must also pass Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and occupational health checks satisfactorily in order to be eligible to enrol on the programme.

Other requirements
Applicants must also pass Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and occupational health checks satisfactorily in order to be eligible to enrol on the programme. 

Other suitable combinations, international and non A level qualifications, including Access and BTEC courses, will be considered on an individual basis.

English Language

If English is not your first language, an IELTS with an overall average score of at least 7.0, with a score of at least 7.0 in all sections will be required. Equivalent English Language qualifications may be considered, please contact the Admissions Team at for confirmation on whether your English Language qualification is accepted.

If you are uncertain whether your academic profile will be suitable to apply please contact the Admissions Team on Tel: +44 1752 437333 or by email at prior to submitting an application.

We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary. Please note that from 2021 entry applicants from the EU will be considered international students for fee paying purposes and may be required to obtain a visa to allow study in the UK.

Student Conduct and Fitness to Practise

Please view our Student Conduct and Fitness to Practise page.

Fees, costs and funding

The UK is no longer part of the European Union. EU applicants should refer to our Brexit information to understand the implications.

New Student 2021 2022
Home £9,250 To be confirmed
International £14,200 To be confirmed
Part time (Home) N/A To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. For more information about fees and funding please visit

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Health and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Health additional costs.

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email

Graduate insight

I would definitely recommend undertaking a course with University of Plymouth. It has truly been a fantastic and life changing experience.
Read more about Ben Guan


Programs are tailored to the Modernising Scientific Careers agenda to educate the future professional clinical workforce in Clinical Physiology.

Find out more about our placements

Cardiovascular Physiologist wins prestigious award in recognition of her teaching expertise

Cherith Wood, Lecturer in Cardiovascular Physiology in the School of Biomedical Sciences, has been honoured by Health Education England after receiving their Inspiring Educator Award for the South West region. Cherith, who has worked at the University for seven years teaching cardiology to undergraduate students on the Practitioner Training Programme, was presented with her accolade at the HEE Star Awards in Taunton. The Star Awards recognise the very best in education and training across the health and care sector, and are open to people in all professions, staff groups and at all levels across the 260 miles from Gloucestershire to Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, including Wiltshire, Bath and North East Somerset, and Bristol. 

Cherith was nominated by Lynn McCallum, Programme Lead for Healthcare Science at the University, for the remarkable support, teaching and clinical training she provides to students, travelling across the region to liaise with trusts to ensure that the student experience is enjoyable as well as high-quality.