Three students at a lab bench with microscopes


Healthcare Science (Life Science)

This course is open for applications.

About this course

Entry year:
Course code:
Tariff points:
Applied Sciences
Three years
Full-time (with integrated placements)
Programme leader:
Sarah Dean
Key fact:
Healthcare Science gives a solid grounding across the biomedical sciences and offers direct entry to a career in the NHS.

Page last updated 13 September 2017


Why study BSc(Hons) Healthcare Science (Life Science)?

Healthcare scientists play a vital role in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions, as well as in rehabilitation. Studying Healthcare Science is the principal training route for Healthcare Science Practitioners within the NHS. You will have the chance to study and develop an understanding of a wide range of biomedical sciences, before specialising during your second and third years in one of the core areas of investigation within a working hospital pathology department. You will be able to combine theory and practice on integrated training placements and when you complete the course, you can become registered as a Biomedical Scientist.

Why study our course?

BSc(Hons) Healthcare Science (Life Science) at UWE Bristol was the first course of its kind in the UK to gain a professionally recognised accreditation from the Institute of Biomedical Science and Health and Care Professions Council. It will allow you to develop a broad knowledge base in the diagnosis and study of disease before specialising in one area (Blood, Infection, Tissue or Genetics). The course will give you the opportunity to apply your knowledge during work-based placements, through a unique collaboration between UWE Bristol and NHS laboratories across the South West.

The Transfusion and Transplantation pathway is available to NHS staff who can progress from the FdSc Healthcare Science.

Real-world experience

You will have the chance to undertake hands-on work experience on specialist work-based training placements in NHS laboratories. By integrating first-hand work experience with professional development, you will develop an understanding of the importance of patient-centred care, evidence-based practice, clinical audit and multi-disciplinary teamwork.

Where it can take you

As the main training route into the NHS, the course leads directly to a career as a Healthcare Science Practitioner. Alternatively, you will be well prepared for other laboratory-based work in the public or private sectors. You could choose to continue your studies to MSc or PhD level or undertake further NHS-based training or specialisation.

Watch: The learning and teaching experience

Accreditations and partnerships:



The course integrates a wide range of subjects in the study of the biology of disease. The combination of modules offered will enable you to understand the science of the causes, diagnosis and treatment of disease, while working at the cutting edge of healthcare sciences, using state-of-the-art equipment and learning support material.

Year one

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Biomedical Skills
  • Cell Biology, Biochemistry and Genetics
  • Pathophysiology of Disease
  • Anatomy and Physiology.

Year two

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Practice and Communication of Science
  • Physiological and Immunological Systems
  • Studies in the Biology of Disease
  • Service Improvements.

If you are on the Blood, Genetic and Tissue Science pathway, you will also study:

  • Molecular Genetics.

If you are on the Infection Science pathway, you will also study:

  • Microbiology.

Final year

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Healthcare Science Project
  • Professional Practice.

If you are on the Blood Science pathway, you will also study:

  • Blood Sciences
  • Immunohaematology.

If you are on the Genetic Science pathway, you will also study:

  • Medical Genetics
  • Genomic Technology.

If you are on the Infection Science pathway, you will also study:

  • Medical Microbiology
  • Infectious Disease Control.

If you are on the Tissue Science pathway, you will also study:

  • Cellular Pathology and Oncology
  • Human Development and Pathology.

The Transplantation pathway, which is only relevant to NHS staff, will progress from the FdSc Healthcare Science and then complete the following Final year compulsory modules:

  • Applied Transfusion and Transplantation Science
  • Advanced Transfusion and Transplantation Science
  • Healthcare Science Project
  • Professional Practice for Healthcare Science.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

The department promotes student-centred learning in action, with guided individual learning encouraged through lectures, workshops, tutorials and practical work. Your studies will be supported by very well equipped and modern lecture theatres and laboratories.

While on the 15 and 25 week placements, you will undertake a 30-credit Professional Practice in Healthcare Science module. This incorporates the Department of Health's Healthcare Science Practitioner Training Programme Training Manuals, with learning outcomes mapped to assignments to allow the award of marks. During your final 25 week placement, you will conduct a placement-based Healthcare Project.

For more details, see our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Percentage of time spend in different learning activities, per year.

YearScheduled learning and teaching studyIndependent studyPlacement study% check


You will be assessed through a mix of laboratory tasks, coursework, practical project work and examinations.

For more details, see our full glossary of assessment terms.

Percentage of time spend in different assessment methods, per year.

YearWritten exam assessmentCoursework assessmentPractical exam assessment% check


Professional accreditation

This course is accredited by the National School of Healthcare Science as part of Health Education England.

Once you have completed your professional portfolio, you will be able to register with the Institute of Biomedical Sciences (IBMS), the Health and Care Professions Council and Health Education England. 


You will have the chance to experience work placement modules in NHS laboratories throughout the course - six weeks in Year one, 15 weeks in a specialist discipline in Year two and 25 weeks in your final year. This means you will complete the course with over 40 weeks of work-based experience and training, putting you in a strong position for employment opportunities with your placement provider. You will also participate in a one-week visit to the local NHS transfusion service and carry out clinical observations while on placement.

Study facilities

Healthcare Science is taught at UWE Bristol's main campus at Frenchay. In addition to the first-class campus facilities, the department's science laboratories have recently undergone a £3.2 million refurbishment. The state-of-the-art facilities include a Bioluminescence room, an In vitrotoxicology laboratory and the Centre for Research in Biosciences laboratory suite.

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE Bristol has to offer.

Competitive advantage

Successful completion of the course will enable you to register with the IBMS one year earlier than a Biomedical Science graduate completing their professional portfolio in the workplace.


Careers / Further study

As the recognised training route for Healthcare Science Practitioners, this course offers direct entry into the NHS following its 'Modernising Scientific Careers initiative'. By combining a broad knowledge base of biosciences, together with specialisation in one area and the practical experience of working in a lab on placements, the course is excellent preparation for work. With the knowledge, skills and proficiency necessary for a career in Biomedical Sciences within the NHS or in other laboratory-based work, the course will also give you a strong foundation to continue your studies to MSc or PhD level or undertake further NHS based training or specialisation.

Award-winning careers service

Our award-winning careers service will help you develop your employment potential through career coaching and a vacancy service for internships, along with placements, jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity, plus support for entrepreneurial activity and access to employer events.

Creating employable students

UWE Bristol places strong emphasis on employability and skills development at every level. Through work placements, volunteering, study abroad and initiatives nurturing talent and innovation, you will have opportunities to gain valuable real world experience, allowing you to graduate with diverse career opportunities and a competitive place in the job market.

Visit our Employability pages to find out about careers, employers, real world experience and what our students are doing six months after graduating.

Be inspired

Read how UWE Bristol is the first University in the UK to gain professionally recognised accreditation for this course.


Full Time Course

FeesAmount (£)
International-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee12750
International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1594

Indicative Additional Costs

FeesAmount (£)
Additional Course Costs - Full Time - Home/EU - Indicative Maximum Cost Per year450
OH/Medical assessment - ONLY charged for missed appointments.30

Supplementary fee information

The additional costs listed are those that students could reasonably expect to incur during their studies and are for items not covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, text books, travel, clothing, software or printing.

Further information about fees and funding.


Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 120
  • GCSE: For all applicants, Grade C/4 or above in English Language, Mathematics and Double Science, or equivalent. Please note the University does not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificates in Adult Numeracy and Literacy as suitable alternatives to GCSEs.
  • English Language Requirement:

    If your first language is not English, you should have a minimum IELTS score of 7.0 or above with a minimum of 6.5 in all sections of the test. Full details of this language test can be obtained from the British Council. Please note the University's published list of alternative English Language qualifications does not apply to this course.

  • A-level subjects: Grade B or above in Biology or Chemistry plus a Grade C or above in another science subject. Points from A-Level General Studies and AS-Level subjects (not taken onto full A-Level) can be included towards overall tariff. You must have a minimum of two A-Levels.
  • Specific subjects: Biology, Chemistry
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: To include six units in Biology or Chemistry and 6 units in another science subject.
  • Access: Achievement of the Access to HE Diploma; to include 15 level 3 credits at distinction in Biology or Chemistry, and an additional 15 level 3 credits at merit in another Science subject.
  • Baccalaureate IB: A minimum grade of 6 in higher level Biology or Chemistry and grade 5 in another higher level science subject.

Entry requirements

As well as meeting the academic entry requirements, you should meet the following selection criteria:

Health assessment/declaration/vaccinations. You must be in good health and be up-to- date with your routine immunisations e.g. tetanus, diphtheria, polio and MMR. If you are offered a place, you will be required to complete a questionnaire and must be prepared to undergo a medical examination. You will also be required to confirm your status in respect of a number of infectious diseases and immunisations (tuberculosis, measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, varicella, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV antibodies) and be prepared to have all required vaccinations. If your vaccinations are not up-to-date this will affect your ability to continue on the course. If you have any concerns with regards to vaccinations please raise this at the point of application.

Disclosure of Criminal Background. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 does not apply and all convictions, including those which are spent, must be disclosed. If you are offered a place, you must undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and will be required to complete a Disclosure Application Form. All information will be treated in confidence and only taken into account when absolutely necessary.

Questionnaire. If you are shortlisted, you may be required to complete a biographical questionnaire.

Selection Event. If you are shortlisted, you will be invited to attend a selection event including an individual interview with an academic member of staff and a representative from a laboratory practice setting. On successful completion of all of these criteria, you will be offered a place.

If you don't meet the entry requirements of this course, you may be eligible for Foundation Year entry into this or other related degree courses.

Please read the general information about entry requirements.

How to apply

Please see the general information about applications.

For further information


UWE Main Campus

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