Undergraduate study
Health Sciences

BSc (Hons) Health Sciences

UCAS code: C990 BSc/HSci

This course provides a broad understanding of the physiology of the body’s major systems as well as human health and disease. You study the cause, diagnosis and treatment of human disease from a multidisciplinary and evidence-based perspective, which will help you with a career in a variety of healthcare and life science settings.

Course information

Full-time

  • Length: 3 years (or 4 years with work placement)

More full-time details

Part-time

  • 5 years

More part-time details

  • Enrolment date: September
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 738800

Contact details

Further information

  • Facilities

    Microscopy laboratory

    Here at Teesside we have world-class facilities, including our microscopy laboratory, it's a 360 video so have a scroll around.

 

By studying nutrition, physiology and epidemiology, you explore how humans change over the lifespan, adapt to external stressors, and how lifestyle can have an impact on health over an individual’s lifespan. You research and identify potential therapeutic and clinical strategies to reduce the effect of these risk factors on disease states.

Alongside this, you develop skills for employability including good laboratory practice, control of substances hazardous to health (COSHH) assessments, health and safety policies, Human Tissues Act, quality assurance and patient care. You also develop transferrable skills including verbal and poster presentations, written reports, independent research and teamworking skills. Delivered in partnership between our School of Science, Engineering & Design and our School of Health & Social Care, this degree also prepares you for postgraduate study including research degrees and taught masters programmes (MSc) including public health, dietetics, physiotherapy, diagnostic radiography, radiotherapy, occupational therapy and nursing detailed here. After completing Year 1 of this course, you can also apply for entry onto a range of undergraduate programmes offered by our School of Health & Social Care.

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

Anatomy and Physiology

This module provides you with a basic knowledge of human anatomy and develops your ability to relate this knowledge to the mechanisms associated with controlling and regulating physiological processes of the major organs of the body. This module develops contexts of applied knowledge such as constructing biological profiles for human identification including sex, age at death, stature determination and biological affinity.

Application of Health Sciences

You study the breadth of health science, clinical and non-clinical support services within the National Health Service in the delivery of high- quality, person-centred care.

You learn through a variety of teaching methods, including lectures to provide the core underpinning knowledge, seminars, group work, and role play to develop your knowledge, understanding and confidence.

Service user/carer involvement provides you with a valuable insight into personal experience of current healthcare provision.

Biochemistry and Chemical Science

Biochemistry, the study of the chemistry of life, is one of the most important and exciting areas of science. It spans areas including biomedical science, nutrition, drug design, forensic science, agriculture and manufacturing. It covers the most important principles of biochemistry including the structure of the atom, chemical bonding and the forces that operate between molecules, chemical reactions and biological pathways. You study the chemistry of carbon and why it is capable of forming the complex 3D modules that make life possible. And you study important groups of biological molecules in detail including proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and nucleic acids.

Biological Methods

Life sciences is a multifaceted field drawing on knowledge and understanding from the molecular level to whole organisms and ecosystems. Biologists must be able to work in teams, drawing on this vast knowledge to solve problems in the field. In this module, you work in teams to solve a biologically relevant problem, taking into account the principles of health, safety and ethics facing professionals in the workplace. You develop a range of employability skills such as time management and presenting your work. You also gain the research skills needed to support problem solving in the field and to help you become a well-rounded, professional scientist.

Cell Biology and Microbiology

The cellular basis of all living organisms is one of the characteristics which defines life. This module explores the common features and the immense diversity of form and function displayed by cells of organisms. The module will increase your understanding of biological processes at the cellular level. It covers the structure and function of major cellular components and examines how fundamental processes within cells are organised and regulated, such as gene and protein expression. It also addresses the mechanisms by which cells divide, reproduce and differentiate. You study the historical development of cell biology and microbiology advances in theoretical and practical aspects of the discipline. You explore how knowledge of the biology of microorganisms, including bacteria and viruses, has informed the identification and control of infectious diseases. You also examine the beneficial roles of many microorganisms and their utilisation in genetic engineering and biotechnology.

Core Skills in Life Sciences

Knowledge of the degree subject is not the only thing you learn whilst at university and it’s not the only thing that potential employers are looking for after graduation. You also need to develop a range of skills applicable for a variety of career pathways These include your ability to articulate yourself clearly, confidently and effectively to different audiences; to work independently or on your own initiative demonstrating creativity and adaptability when tackling problems where you don’t have all the necessary information available; to locate information and critically assess its usefulness; and to make efficient and effective use of the latest information technology.

You also learn to assess your own performance, giving you the chance to recognise and build on your strengths, and identify and improve your weaknesses as a way to raise your aspirations. This module also introduces you to basic principles and good practice in collecting, recording and evaluating data, and using information resources and referencing. You also consider the assessment and handling of scientific errors. You review a range of basic mathematical skills and introduce statistical methods that are essential in a wide range of scientific endeavour. Emphasis is placed on using spreadsheets for data recording, presentation and statistical analysis.


Core Skills in Life Sciences

Knowledge of the degree subject is not the only thing you learn whilst at university and it’s not the only thing that potential employers are looking for after graduation. You also need to develop a range of skills applicable for a variety of career pathways These include your ability to articulate yourself clearly, confidently and effectively to different audiences; to work independently or on your own initiative demonstrating creativity and adaptability when tackling problems where you don’t have all the necessary information available; to locate information and critically assess its usefulness; and to make efficient and effective use of the latest information technology.

You also learn to assess your own performance, giving you the chance to recognise and build on your strengths, and identify and improve your weaknesses as a way to raise your aspirations. This module also introduces you to basic principles and good practice in collecting, recording and evaluating data, and using information resources and referencing. You also consider the assessment and handling of scientific errors. You review a range of basic mathematical skills and introduce statistical methods that are essential in a wide range of scientific endeavour. Emphasis is placed on using spreadsheets for data recording, presentation and statistical analysis.

 

Year 2 core modules

Human Development

This module introduces you to recent advances that have taken place in our understanding of human reproductive and developmental biology. You examine the process of human development from the formation of gametes (gametogenesis) through to birth and identifying genetic disorders. To complement this, you see how to apply this knowledge in the areas of stem cells, IVF and genetic counselling.

Human Diseases and Immunology

Infectious diseases are responsible for a third of global mortality and have a significant impact on quality of life on a worldwide basis. This module examines the organisms able to generate pathogenic interactions with human populations and takes a systems-based approach, for example gastrointestinal, respiratory and genitourinary tract, to examine the virulence determinants, pathology, characteristics and epidemiology of selected pathogens. You are also introduced to the current molecular and cellular biology of pathogen interactions and co-evolution with host cells, and their relevance to human diseases. And you consider the factors contributing to the emergence of devastating pandemics and new diseases, in particular the significance of zoonotic diseases. The module reviews the extensive array of protein and cell-based responses which are typically launched against microbial pathogens as part of the innate and acquired immune response. You analyse the effectiveness of strategies used to treat and control the transmission of infectious diseases.

Science Communication and Bioethics

Central to this module is using teamwork for problem-based learning and monitored or facilitated self-directed learning. You explore the way science is communicated within the scientific community, to stakeholders and the general public. You discuss and critically analyse the different communication methods. You are also introduced to bioethical issues central to your programme of study. You are expected to debate these issues and sensibly communicate the complexity of the themes which are embedded within the scientific disciplines.

Science Research Methods and Proposal

You will take this module if you are studying a science degree and complete a hypothesis-driven research project at Level 6 of your degree studies. It is delivered though lectures, tutorials and workshops.

You develop a proposal for your research project, which includes an explanation of the project targeted at both a specialist audience and the general public, and details of experimental design and statistical analysis to be employed. The proposal considers academic beneficiaries and economic, environmental and societal impacts. Project costs are estimated on the basis of a full economic costing model. In addition, the proposal is supported by a targeted CV.

A short lecture series at the start of the academic year provides you with an introduction to the module and advice on completing the research proposal documentation, followed by a series of assessment centre-style workshops and tasks which help assign you to a specific research project area and supervisor. These tasks familiarise you with the type of activities you might face during the application, interview and selection procedures.

You must produce a research proposal for your individual project. You are supported by a series of meetings with your supervisor to provide feedback on your progress.

For the proposal to be considered you must acquire ethical clearance from the School Research Ethics Committee. Once you are allocated a project you join discipline-based tutorials with other students. Each discipline operates tutorial sessions, which are used to provide academic guidance and support for completing ethical clearance documentation and the proposal. A series of research methodology-based workshops introduce you to various experimental designs and statistical techniques relevant to your discipline. These sessions also demonstrate how you can use software such as Minitab, SPSS and Excel to present and analyse datasets. These workshops help you decide on the design and analysis of the data associated with your project.

The module is assessed by you successfully acquiring ethical clearance (pass/fail) and submitting a completed research project proposal and supporting CV (100%).

 

and one optional module

Clinical Pharmacology

This module focuses on treating and preventing disease. You study the nature of the adverse effects of drugs and other chemicals on living systems. You explore treatments of diseases in major organs and the effects of drugs used in chemotherapy.

Genetics and Molecular Biology

This module introduces you to a range of modern molecular biology concepts and techniques. It addresses general molecular biology, molecular biology of genetic diseases and using molecular biology for producing recombinant proteins and forensic applications. The new age of molecular biology is underpinned by gene and genome sequencing, sequence analysis and sequence manipulation. You are introduced to the principles of sequence analysis and how these techniques have revolutionised all areas of molecular biology, particularly the technique of polymerase chain reaction (PCR). You learn through lectures and tutorials that allow you to gain insight into the theoretical aspects of molecular biology. A series of laboratory practical sessions introduce the basic techniques at the heart of modern molecular biology such as DNA purification, PCR, restriction digestion, control of gene expression, nucleic acid analysis through agarose gels and sequencing.

Health Science Project

You develop an independent approach to learning and have the opportunity to pursue a particular area of interest in healthcare. The topic for the project can relate to any area of healthcare practice.

Human Metabolism and Clinical Biochemistry

This module provides you with a broad understanding of the linked themes of metabolism and endocrinology. Metabolism, the chemical processes that occur in living organisms, is examined in the context of cellular respiration, and the metabolism of exogens such as drugs and vitamins. Endocrinology, the study of the physiological role of hormones, is covered in detail, including review of the mechanisms underpinning hormone action, the roles of second messengers, and endocrine system disorders. This module also explores the methods used for collecting, measuring and analysing clinical samples.

Lifestyle and Health

Lifestyle and behaviour choices are important considerations in influencing major risk factors for a number of chronic health conditions including obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, some cancers and high blood pressure. This module develops your understanding of how lifestyle can have an impact on health over an individual’s life span. You take a wider perspective by looking at broader populations. You consider the influence of factors such as the obesogenic environment, socioeconomic status and the impact of life course on health behaviours. You also consider the relationship between physical activity, nutrition, smoking and alcohol consumption to study the impact of lifestyle on health outcomes.

 

Final-year core modules

Health Product Development

This group-work module provides you with the necessary entrepreneurship skills to understand the process of business start-up and learning to manage life science and healthcare ventures. It allows you to connect to the real-world experience of launching a new business venture and product development. You experience challenges similar to those encountered in the launch of a healthcare product from laboratory bench to the bedside. You learn about healthcare product development, regulatory control and intellectual property rights. As part of this learning you learn how to write and produce a business plan including where to raise finance.

Health Technologies

You are provided with an overview of the health technologies that are employed within the health sector in order to prevent, manage and treat diseases.

Your main focus is on the impact of medical technologies, such as medicines, medical devices, diagnostic techniques and surgical procedures.

You explore how certain conditions are diagnosed and treated along with the different measures of efficacy of these technologies.

Human Ageing and Disease

This module furthers your understanding of the molecular, cellular and whole organism ageing processes. It addresses how ageing occurs by the accumulation of damage to molecules, cells and tissues, resulting in a loss of function and leading to an increased risk of death. Ageing is a major risk factor for a number of diseases including dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. This module addresses advances in intervention mechanisms which have contributed to reduced disease risk and development in an ageing population.

 

and one optional module

Clinical Genetics

You are introduced to the organisation of diagnostic hospital laboratories offering genetic services. Methods such as cytogenetics, molecular genetics and clinical genetics are used for identifying and mapping genes on human chromosomes which are related to the pathology and genetics of a number of diseases. You critically evaluate the importance of family history in recognising patient symptoms, the role of animal models, ethical issues and gene therapy approaches to disease.

Clinical Haematology and Transfusion Science

You study blood groups and their classification. You cover the structure, genetics and inheritance of blood groups as well as preparing, storing and using various blood components in transfusion science. You explore the skills required to collect, prepare and analyse blood cells and further develop them to appreciate the safe supply and use of blood and blood components.

Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics

You explore a range of concepts and practical issues associated with the role of diet as a therapeutic measure in various diseases. Strong emphasis is placed on the relationship between clinical data and the nutritional management of patients and you investigate methods of nutritional assessment and diet planning.

You benefit from the knowledge and experience of professional dieticians from local NHS trusts, who visit and explain topics such as the principles of nutritional intervention for eating disorders

Drugs and Toxicology

You examine pharmacological and biochemical aspects of drug action and the subject of toxicology. Mechanisms of drug action are considered as are: intoxication, side-effects and factors affecting response to xenobiotic compounds as well as misuse and abuse issues. Methods for drug testing and the associated analytical techniques for forensic investigation are also considered.

Medical Microbiology

The module helps you explore how modern clinical microbiology can be used to detect, diagnose and control infectious diseases. You extend your understanding of the molecular basis of microbial pathogenesis and it allows you to explore how modern molecular biology techniques have been employed to define the nature of host-pathogen interactions.

Personal Development within the Health Sector

You develop the skills to analyse and evaluate the skills and behaviours required to be personally effective, and to develop strategies to engage in lifelong learning.

You explore the concepts lifelong learning and personal development. You also critically evaluate emotional intelligence and its usefulness in developing personal effectiveness.

 

and one optional module

Healthcare Systematic Review

You develop and demonstrate the skills and knowledge required to undertake a health related systematic review. This enables you to extend your knowledge of the empirical and methodological underpinnings of health-related research through identifying and investigating a health-related problem or issue.

Science Research Project

You bring together a range of practical and academic skills, developed in previous years of study, to interrogate a particular aspect of your field of study. You specialise in a particular area of science, supported by an appointed research supervisor who will act as a mentor and guide you through the development and completion of your research project.

You are required to present a poster and abstract at the School’s annual Poster Day event, which is attended by academics of the School, external examiners, and professionals from the region. The poster contributes to your final project mark. Throughout the project you are expected to maintain systematic and reliable records of your research which are reviewed on a regular basis by your supervisor and assessed at the end of the project. You submit your research in the style of a paper which could be submitted to an appropriate scientific journal related to your discipline.

The module is assessed by a poster presentation (20%) and the submission of a journal paper supported by a research diary and/or laboratory notebook (80%).

 

Modules offered may vary.

How you learn

You learn through a variety of teaching methods including lectures, tutorials, laboratory work, projects and examinations. You are also expected to undertake self-study to review lecture notes, prepare coursework assignments, work on projects and revise for assessments.


Our Disability Services team helps students with additional needs resulting from disabilities such as sensory impairment or learning difficulties such as dyslexia
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs

Career opportunities

Our health sciences degree courses provide you with a broad knowledge and understanding of health-related topics, including nutrition, physiology, epidemiology, lifestyle impact on health, therapeutic and clinical strategies, and diseases. Taught by tutors from our School of Health & Social Care and from our School of Science, Engineering & Design, our courses provide you with a wide range of study routes and career opportunities. You are prepared for graduate roles related to scientific and medical research, clinical science and analytical laboratory work. Potential employers include health service organisations, government, local authorities, industry, and charitable and international organisations. You are also prepared for further postgraduate study opportunities in subjects which could include public health, dietetics, physiotherapy, diagnostic radiography, and radiotherapy.

After one year of study on your health sciences degree the option to transfer (subject to eligibility and selection) to an undergraduate course (including pre-registration courses) in our School of Health & Social Care. Course options include:

  • BSc (Hons) Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy
  • BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography
  • BSc (Hons) Midwifery
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing Studies (Adult)
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing Studies (Child)
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing Studies (Learning Disabilities)
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing Studies (Mental Health)
  • BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy
  • BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice Studies
  • BSc (Hons) Paramedic Practice
  • BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy
  • BA (Hons) Social Work


Transferring between courses
Students enrolled on our Health Sciences degree who wish to be considered for a transfer to a new course will be expected to submit their applications by 15 January in their first year of study. Applications can be made internally (not through UCAS). Late applications may be accepted for some courses which still have places available.

The admissions criteria for all our courses are available for you to view on the University’s web pages. The time spent studying on your health sciences degree will help your course transfer application by building your knowledge in fundamental key subjects and by developing your competencies in a range of relevant skills. Your health sciences course tutors will be available to advise you on your personal development in preparation for your application and interview.

If you are thinking about transferring to a new course after one or more years of study on your health sciences degree then you are strongly advised to read the guidance on student loan eligibility for transferring students provided by Student Funding England, and to seek individual advice from the Student Loan Company to satisfy yourself that you will have access to sufficient funding to enable you to complete your studies. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/browse/education/student-finance.

Work placement

We produce graduates with the problem-solving and leadership skills necessary to forge successful careers.

This programme allows you to spend an optional year - in-between your second year and final year - learning and developing your skills through work experience. You have a dedicated work placement officer and the University's award-winning careers service to help you with applying for a placement. Advice is also available on job hunting and networking. Employers are often invited to our School to meet you and present you with opportunities for work placements.

By taking a work placement year you gain experience favoured by graduate recruiters and develop your technical skillset. You also obtain the transferable skills required in any professional environment. Transferable skills include communication, negotiation, teamwork, leadership, organisation, confidence, self-reliance, problem-solving, being able to work under pressure, and commercial awareness.

Throughout this programme, you get to know prospective employers and extend your professional network. An increasing number of employers view a placement as a year-long interview and, as a result, placements are increasingly becoming an essential part of an organisation's pre-selection strategy in their graduate recruitment process.

Potential benefits from completing a work placement year include:

  • improved job prospects
  • enhanced employment skills and improved career progression opportunities
  • a higher starting salary than your full-time counterparts
  • a better degree classification
  • a richer CV
  • a year's salary before completing your degree
  • experience of workplace culture
  • the opportunity to design and base your final-year project within a working environment.

Entry requirements

Eligibility for entry to Year 1 of this programme requires study of Level 3 biology, or a subject with a significant content of biology.

The most common acceptable Level 3 qualifications and typical minimum grades required include:

  • A levels (grades BBC)
  • BTEC Extended Diploma (grade DMM, including merit in the mandatory subjects)
  • Access to HE Diploma (with 30 Level 3 credits from science units including 12 Level 3 credits in the mandatory subjects, awarded at merit or higher).

If your qualification is not listed contact our admissions office for advice. We accept many alternative UK and international qualifications.

You are also required to evidence at least a grade 4 in GCSE English language and mathematics.

Interviews
After applying you may be invited to attend an interview. The interview helps us tailor your offer to your individual circumstances to ensure that you join the right course for you. The interview process also enables us to consider applicants from a range of backgrounds and those with non-traditional qualifications, including individuals who may be returning to study after a period of employment.

During your visit you will be offered a tour of our campus and laboratory and teaching facilities, and an opportunity to meet our staff. You also learn more about your course and the range of scholarships, bursaries and grants you may be eligible to receive.

Although we strongly encourage applicants to attend an interview, if you can't come for an interview we will still consider your application based on the information you provide.

English language requirement
Entry to a degree programme requires you to have a good command of spoken and written English. An example of an acceptable qualification is GCSE English language at grade 4.

Non-EU international students who need a student visa to study in the UK should check our web pages on UKVI-compliant English language requirements. The University also provides pre-sessional English language courses if you do not meet the minimum English language requirement.

Alternative progression routes
If you are not eligible to join Year 1 of this course, you have some other options to consider:


Please contact us to discuss the alternative progression routes available to you.

Secure a guaranteed course place now*
Guaranteed Place Scheme (for UK/EU students only)

If you have completed Level 3 qualifications (for example AS Levels, BTEC Nationals) and have at least five GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including English and Mathematics, you may be eligible for a guaranteed place on an Extended degree course in your chosen subject whilst still working towards meeting the conditions required for a course with higher entry requirements.
Find out more and check your eligibility

For additional information please see the entry requirements in our admissions section

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country


You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL

Part-time

What is KIS?

How to understand the Key Information Set

Course information

Full-time

  • Length: 3 years (or 4 years with work placement)

More full-time details

Part-time

  • 5 years

More part-time details

  • Enrolment date: September
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 738800

Contact details

Further information