School of Biomedical Sciences

BSc (Hons) Clinical Physiology (Cardiac Physiology)

The BSc (Hons) Clinical Physiology (Cardiac 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.

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

    • Biomedical Investigation and Experimentation (BHCS1001ZA)

      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

    • Human Anatomy and Physiology: Cells to Systems (BHCS1002Z)

      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.

    • Introduction to Human Pathology (BHCS1004PPZA)

      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.

    • Human Disease (BHCS1005Z)

      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.

    • Foundations of Healthcare Science Practice and Workplace Learning (BHCS1007)

      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.

    • Cardiovascular and Respiratory Physiology (BHCS1008)

      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

    • Cardiovascular and Respiratory Pathophysiology (BHCS1009)

      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

    • Clinical Cardiovascular, Respiratory and Sleep Physiology (BHCS2013)

      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.

    • Clinical Physiology Instrumentation and Techniques (BHCS2014)

      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

    • Healthcare Physiological Science Professional (BHCS2015)

      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

    • Electrocardiography (BHCS2016)

      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. 

    Core modules

    • Professional Practice Placement (BHCS3036)

      This module provides an opportunity for professional training in an accredited clinical placement provider or host organisation between Stage 2 and 4. This module also contains the work placement in clinical environments of their chosen discipline. Here, students will further develop an understanding of the scope and practice of healthcare, whilst developing the skills and professional qualities of a Healthcare Science practitioner/Biomedical Scientist.

  • 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. 

    Core modules

    • Professional Practice in Healthcare Science (BHCS3012)

      This module consolidates material from years one and two of the programme. It extends understanding and acquisition of skills necessary for a Healthcare Science Practitioner, enabling a safe and effective contribution to high quality care in each chosen discipline. This module also contains 25 week work placement in an appropriate clinical setting

    • Clinical Cardiac Sciences (BHCS3017)

      This module is taken by cardiovascular science students to enable them to apply specialist aspects of cardiac physiology and pathology to contemporary practice. It will include exposure to provocative and invasive cardiac procedures in a patient-centred context.

    • Specialist Cardiovascular Investigations (BHCS3018)

      This module will enable students to apply specialist aspects of cardiovascular physiological measurement to practice. It will include exposure to provocative testing and invasive pressure measurement and cardiac investigations

    • Research Project in Healthcare Science (BHCS3021)

      This module is largely comprised of independent self-directed study under the guidance of a project advisor. The project will address a specific research question(s) and will include a literature review and report writing.

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:

BSc Hons Clinical Physiology programme specification 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.

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the changeable nature of the situation and any updates to government guidance, we may need to make further, last minute adjustments to how we deliver our teaching and learning on some or all of our programmes, at any time during the academic year. We want to reassure you that even if we do have to adjust the way in which we teach our programmes, we will be working to maintain the quality of the student learning experience and learning outcomes at all times.
Entry requirements
Mathematics and English Language grade C/4
Plus suitable Level 3 qualifications as outlined below:
A Level
104-120 UCAS points from three A levels to include the following: 
  • Grade B in Biology
  • Grade B in a second Science subject from Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Applied Science, Geography, Geology, Psychology, Nutrition or Environmental Science/Studies
General studies is not accepted for this course.
BTEC RQF National Extended Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma
DMM in BTEC (Science/Human Health based) – depending on the BTEC and units studied. If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application or contact Admissions for further advice.
T level
Accepted – preference pathways would be Health or Science. Typical offer will be confirmed once an application is received. 
Access to Higher Education Diploma
Pass an Access to Higher Education Diploma (Science/Human Health based) with 33 Level 3 credits at merit or distinction, including 15 Level 3 credits in Biology and 18 Level 3 credits in Chemistry, Maths, or Physics.
International Baccalaureate
28 points overall to include the following: 
  • Higher Level 5 in Biology
  • Higher Level 5 in a second Science from Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Applied Science, Geography, Geology, Psychology, Nutrition or Environmental Science/Studies
  • English and Mathematics accepted within as GCSE equivalent at higher level 4, standard level 5
Other UK Qualifications
Other suitable combinations and equivalent international qualifications will be considered on an individual basis. Please contact more information.
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 more information. The University will no longer accept the IELTS indicator (online test). All applicants will have to take the IELTS test at an approved centre.
Other requirements
Applicants must also pass an interview, Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS/Police Check) and Occupational Health (OCH) checks satisfactorily in order to be eligible to enrol on to the programme.
Student Conduct and Fitness to Practise
Please view our Student Conduct and Fitness to Practise page.
Fees, costs and funding
Student 2022-2023 2023-2024
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £14,600 £16,300
Part time (Home) N/A £770
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 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. More information about fees and funding.

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

Progression routes

International progression routes

The University of Plymouth International College (UPIC) offers foundation, first-year and pre-masters programmes that lead to University of Plymouth degrees. Courses are specially designed for EU and international students who are missing the grades for direct entry to the University, and include full duration visa sponsorship. You can start in January, May or September, benefitting from small class sizes, top-quality tuition and 24/7 student support.
Find out more at or contact our team at

<p>Ben Guan</p>

Graduate insight

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


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

Thriving in the NHS

A pre-sessional course for international students 
Over the past two years, we have worked proactively with placement providers to identify the most common cultural issues that demand extra support. The result is Thriving in the NHS, a pre-sessional course that is being piloted in August 2022. The course will not only enhance students' level of preparedness (and thereby their overall experience) but also reduce their need for extra support.
<p>A young male nurse stands in a busy hospital ward.&nbsp;Image courtesy of Getty Images.<br></p>

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. 

<p>Doctor and patient using digital tablet in hospital - Getty images 838723420<br></p>
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