School of Biomedical Sciences

BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science (Life Sciences)

Do you aim to be a sought after professional in diagnostic healthcare? Working with NHS Trusts South West, you will be trained in diagnostic and professional skills. With clinical work placements throughout the course, you will gain workplace-ready expertise and an accredited degree (National School of Healthcare Science, Institute of Biomedical Science), to be primed for roles in clinical biochemistry, cellular pathology, haematology, infection and immunity.

You will benefit from a course accredited by the HCPC with professional registration upon graduation. You will integrate into the NHS work force via professional training placements in each year of the degree. You’ll have the opportunity to work as biomedical scientists in the NHS or enter their Scientist Training Programme. You could also go into teaching, research or NHS policy making.

Key features

  • Study core modules at Year 1 in human anatomy, physiology, molecular biology and biochemistry.
  • Become a confident effective communicator, able to present your ideas visually, verbally and in writing to healthcare professionals. 
  • Integrate into the NHS work force via professional training placements in each year of the degree.
  • Become ‘equipped to succeed’: with access to podcasts, suite of eBooks and an ‘open door policy’ by all course lecturers.
  • Choose a course with an 82 per cent overall National Student Survey (2016) satisfaction rate.
  • Benefit from accreditation by the HCPC with professional registration upon graduation.
  • Go on to work as biomedical scientists in the NHS or enter their Scientist Training Programme as most of our graduates do. Some go into teaching, research or NHS policy making.
  • Approved by the Healthcare Professionals Council (HCPC) and accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science and the National School of Healthcare Science.

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 undertake a period of ten weeks’ work experience in a healthcare science setting.
    Core modules
    • BHCS1001 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

    • BHCS1002 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.

    • BHCS1003 Human Metabolism

      This module offers an introduction to the biochemistry underlying human metabolism. In particular, the module explores the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which the human body extracts energy from nutrients to sustain life. The significance of metabolic dysfunction in relation to human disease pathology and diagnosis is emphasised.

    • BHCS1004PP 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.

    • BHCS1005 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.

    • BHCS1006 Infection and Immunity

      This module introduces the student to infection & immunity and the study of microorganisms with a particular emphasis on food-borne pathogens. It explores concepts of food safety, gut organisms, infectious disease and the body's ability to resist and repel such disease via a range of immune responses.

    • 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.

  • 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 life science disciplines. There will also be a 15-week period of practice placement learning in a healthcare science setting.
    Core modules
    • BHCS2001 Biology of Disease

      This module will explore the biology relating to a range of disorders and emphasize the integrated nature of the investigation and study of disease.

    • BHCS2002 Evidence-Based Practice in Biomedical Science

      This module continues the processes of understanding, acquisition and development of the skills and personal attributes necessary for a biomedical sciences practitioner. It also provides a greater understanding of research theory and methodology.

    • BHCS2004 Cell Biology in Health and Disease

      This module examines the fundamental principles of cell biology in health and disease. It will include the theory and practice of cellular laboratory science and introduce the scope and practice of light microscopy and histology in clinical investigation and cellular pathology.

    • BHCS2005 Clinical Haematology and Biochemistry

      Clinical laboratory tests for a wide variety of biochemical and haematological parameters play an important role in disease diagnosis. This module will investigate both the scientific theory underlying commonly used tests and their application in biochemistry, haematology and transfusion science laboratories.

    • BHCS2006 Infection, Immunity and Disease

      This module is to develop an in-depth understanding of the immune system and pathogenic infection. It highlights the integrated cellular responses that prevent infection and the underlying principles that govern these actions, and it looks at measures to prevent and control infections, including health protection measures, antimicrobial therapy and vaccination.

    • BHCS2011 Healthcare Life Science Professional

      This module introduces the healthcare life science practitioner to the importance and operation of multidisciplinary teams in healthcare. They will also explore evidence-based laboratory medicine and how this is used to optimise laboratory services. This module also contains the work placement in n 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.

    • BHCS2032 Contemporary Healthcare Science Practice

  • Final year
  • You'll spend your final year mostly in the workplace.„„ You'll also complete a research project focused on your chosen healthcare science discipline, and apply everything you have learned about science, technologies and techniques to the practice of healthcare science in a 25-week placement in a clinical setting.
    Core modules
    • BHCS3012 Professional Practice in Healthcare Science

      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

    • BHCS3021 Research Project in Healthcare Science

      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.

    • BHCS3022 Contemporary Issues in Human Health

      Rapid developments in the biomedical sciences are affecting many aspects of human health, and there are profound economic, social, legal and ethical implications of many recent advances. This module allows students to select topics of personal interest for in-depth study and encourages effective communication to peers and other audiences, providing good skills for future career development

    Optional modules
    • BHCS3002 Molecular and Cellular Pathology

      This module provides knowledge of the cellular and molecular basis of a range of common altered health states. Current methods and techniques for investigative pathology will also be explored in a critical manner.

    • BHCS3003 Clinical Microbiology

      This module provides knowledge and skills that will enable students to operate effectively in a modern infection sciences laboratory. The module will develop an in-depth understanding of the commonly encountered infections, tests to identify the disease agents and the principles of antimicrobial therapy.

    • BHCS3004 Specialist Biochemistry and Screening

      This module provides theoretical and practical skills that will enable students to operate effectively in a modern blood sciences laboratory. Current practice in clinical biochemistry, pregnancy and paediatric blood sciences will be explored in a comprehensive and critical manner.

    • BHCS3005 Transplantation and Transfusion Science

      This module provides theoretical and practical skills that will enable students to operate effectively in a modern blood sciences laboratory. Current practice in transfusion and transplantation science including haematology and transplantation immunology will be explored in a comprehensive and critical manner.

    • BHCS3014 Reproductive Science

      This module provides the theoretical underpinning that will enable students to operate effectively in a modern reproductive science laboratory. Current concepts and techniques in reproductive biology and pathology, with particular reference to infertility and assisted reproduction, will be explored in a critical manner.

    • BHCS3016 Public Health Infection Sciences

      This module provides an overview of infection sciences in a public health context. It will explore surveillance and control measures for managing infections in hospital and community settings as well as infections acquired by high risk patient groups.

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 Healthcare Sci Prog Spec 17 18 4281

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

UCAS tariff


Requires interview

The interview follows a structured and formal process in order to ensure that every student applying to a particular programme, is asked the same questions and receives the same prompts. The interview should take approximately 20 minutes. It is not a test of scientific knowledge, but aims to explore your attitudes, outlook and way of thinking.

A level

Minimum of three A levels to include grade B in Biology and grade B in a second science subject from Chemistry, Maths, Physics, Applied Science, Geography, Geology, Psychology, Nutrition, or Environmental Science/Studies.

Grade 4 or above in Maths and English Language.

28 points including 5 at a higher level Biology and Chemistry.


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

Non-academic conditions include a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service Enhanced Disclosure check (DBS formerly CRB) and Occupational Health clearance.

If English is not your first language you will have to achieve an IELTS or equivalent qualification at the grades stated below. If you are considering another equivalent qualification, please contact admissions.

Overall average score of at least 7.0, with a score of at least 7.0 in the listening and reading sections and at least 7.0 in the writing and speaking sections.

English language requirements.

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.

For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Student Conduct and Fitness to Practise

Please view our Student Conduct and Fitness to Practise page.

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2018 2019
Home/EU £9,250 £9,250
International £13,000 £13,400
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed 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.

Additional costs 

  • The tuition fees do not cover the costs of purchasing books or stationery, printing, thesis branding, or photocopying costs.
  • If/when you are on placement there may be additional costs incurred for subsistence and travel.
  • Failure to attend the requisite immunisation clinics at the times stated would result in you having to self-fund your immunisation schedule.
  • Failure to attend the scheduled mandatory skills training sessions would result in you having to source and self-fund your training.

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

Student insight

I think it’s great that the placement is integrated into the course, rather than doing a fourth year. It’s an opportunity to learn and to apply the theory that is learnt throughout the academic term.

Isabelle Drummond is in her first year of Life Sciences and is really looking forward to going on placement.

Find out more about what Isabelle has to say about studying with us

Tara Edwards – current BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science (Life Sciences) student

"I am thrilled to be studying such a dynamic, engaging and innovative subject, which has helped me to develop into a confident scientist."

"The integrated placements throughout the BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science (Life Sciences) course are invaluable in developing my professional skills and clinical laboratory expertise and introducing me to a wealth of training pathways. This has motivated me to plan my future career and puts me at a great advantage compared to other graduates. My placement in a busy hospital laboratory has further prepared me for the world post-graduation." 

"The course is tailored to the Modernising Scientific Careers agenda to educate the future professional clinical workforce in Clinical Laboratory Science, and is accredited by two professional bodies, both of which I will register with upon graduation."


Courses are tailored to the Modernising Scientific Careers agenda to educate the future professional clinical workforce in Clinical Laboratory Science.

Find out more about our placements