A male student working in a science lab.


Healthcare Science (Life Science) (with Foundation Year)

Please note that new student recruitment to this course has been suspended for the September 2018 intake. Applications for 2019 should be made through UCAS from September 2018. If you would like information about our alternative course, please visit the BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science (with Foundation Year) course page.

About this course

Entry year:
Course code:
Tariff points:
Applied Sciences
Four years
Programme leader:
Sarah Dean
Key fact:
You'll get a solid foundation across the biomedical sciences, setting you up to go straight into the NHS.

Page last updated 14 February 2018


Why study healthcare science?

Healthcare scientists play a vital role in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions, and rehabilitation.

Studying this discipline is the main training route for healthcare science practitioners within the NHS.

You'll get a strong grounding in biomedical sciences, and experience working in a hospital pathology department, so you can register and work as a biomedical scientist.

Why UWE Bristol?

BSc(Hons) Healthcare Science (Life Science) at UWE Bristol is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science, and Health and Care Professions Council.

You'll build a broad knowledge base in the diagnosis and study of disease, before specialising in blood, infection, tissue or genetics.

Apply your learning on specialist work-based placements, through our unique links with NHS laboratories across the South West.

Through work experience and professional development, you'll learn about patient-centred care, evidence-based practice, clinical audit and multi-disciplinary teamwork.

The transfusion and transplantation pathway is available to NHS staff who join the course in the final year from our FdSc Healthcare Science.

Where can it take me?

As the main training route into the NHS, the course gives you a direct path into working as a healthcare science practitioner.

You'll be well equipped for other laboratory-based work in the public or private sectors, and for work in the health service.

With the depth of knowledge the course provides, you could continue your studies to MSc or PhD level, or embark on NHS-based training or specialisation.

Watch: The learning and teaching experience

Accreditations and partnerships:



The optional modules listed are those that are most likely to be available, but they may be subject to change.

Year zero (foundation year)

You will study:

  • Biology in Practice
  • Chemistry in Practice
  • Skills for Science
  • People and Science.

You normally need to pass your foundation year before going into year one.

Year one

You will study:

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

Year two

You will study:

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

Plus the following if you're on the Blood, Genetic and Tissue Science pathway:

  • Molecular Genetics.

Or the following if you're on the Infection Science pathway:

  • Microbiology

Final year

You will study:

  • Healthcare Science Project
  • Professional Practice.

Plus the following if you're on the Blood Science pathway:

  • Blood Sciences
  • Immunohaematology.

Or the following if you're on the Genetic Science pathway:

  • Medical Genetics
  • Genomic Technology.

Or the following if you're on the Infection Science pathway:

  • Medical Microbiology
  • Infectious Disease Control.

Or the following if you're on the Tissue Science pathway:

  • Cellular Pathology and Oncology
  • Human Development and Pathology.

If you're on the Transplantation pathway, which is only relevant to NHS staff, you will progress from the FdSc Healthcare Science and then complete three compulsory modules from:

  • 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

With a big focus on student-centred learning, we'll guide and encourage you to learn independently, through a mix of lectures, workshops, tutorials and practical work.

Explore a broad spectrum of healthcare science subjects, to gain a comprehensive overview and understanding of the biology of disease.

Learn about the science underpinning the causes, diagnosis and treatment of disease.

Gain insights into the latest developments in healthcare sciences, using specialist equipment, laboratories and learning materials.

See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Percentage of time you'll spend in different learning activities, each year: 

YearScheduled learning and teaching studyIndependent studyPlacement study% check


We'll assess you using a mixture of laboratory tasks, coursework, practical project work and examinations.

On your second and final year placements, you'll take a Professional Practice in Healthcare Science module which we'll assess against information in the Department of Health's Healthcare Science Practitioner Training Programme Manuals.

See our full glossary of assessment terms.

Percentage of time you'll spend on different assessment methods, each year: 

YearWritten exam assessmentCoursework assessmentPractical exam assessment% check


Professional accreditation

BSc(Hons) Healthcare Science (Life Science) is accredited by the National School of Healthcare Science as part of Health Education England.

We're the first university in the UK to gain professionally recognised accreditation for this course.

After completing your professional portfolio, you can register with the Institute of Biomedical Sciences (IBMS), the Health and Care Professions Council and Health Education England.

You'll have a one-year advantage over biomedical science graduates, who need to complete their professional portfolio in the workplace, as you can register with the IBMS as soon as you graduate.


Students who go on work experience tend to graduate with better degrees. Experience also hones your skills, industry knowledge and professional network, making you a sought after graduate.

You'll go on numerous work placements in NHS laboratories a six week placement in year one, 15 weeks in a specialist discipline in year two, and 25 weeks in your final year.

You'll finish the course with over 40 weeks of work-based experience and training behind you, putting you in a strong position for employment opportunities with your placement provider.

You'll also get to work for a week with the local NHS transfusion service, carrying out clinical observations.

During your final 25-week placement, you'll work on a placement-based healthcare project.

You'll get help to find a placement and support throughout from department staff and our award-winning careers service.

Study facilities

BSc(Hons) Healthcare Science is taught at UWE Bristol's main campus at Frenchay.

We've spent £3.2 million on refurbishing our science laboratories, giving you access to the very latest facilities to support your studies.

Carry out practical work in our Bioluminescence room, Invitrotoxicology laboratory and the Centre for Research in Biosciences laboratory suite.

Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.


Careers / Further study

As the recognised training route for healthcare science practitioners, this course gives you a direct route into jobs with the NHS through their Modernising Scientific Careers initiative. 

With a broad knowledge base of biosciences, specialisation in one area, and practical experience of working in a lab on placements, you'll be well equipped for a career in the health service or for other laboratory-based work.

The course is also a good foundation for further study at MSc or PhD level, or for going onto NHS-based training or specialisation.

Get inspired

Our award-winning careers service will develop your employment potential through career coaching and find you graduate jobs, placements and global opportunities.

We can also help find local volunteering and community opportunities, provide support for entrepreneurial activity and get you access to employer events.

Visit our employability pages to learn more about careers, employers and what our students are doing six months after graduating.


Full Time Course

FeesAmount (£)
Home/EU-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee9250
Home/EU-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1156
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

Additional costs

This refers to items you could need during your studies that aren't covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, textbooks, travel, clothing, software or printing. 

Learn more about costs.


Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 48
  • 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.
  • A-level subjects: Science AS or A2. 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 one A-Level.
  • Specific subjects: Science at GCSE, A or AS-Level
  • Relevant subjects: Maths
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: To include six units in a science subject.
  • Access: Achievement of the Access to HE Diploma; to include level 3 credits in Science.
  • Baccalaureate IB: A pass in a higher level science subject.

Entry requirements

The Foundation year is designed to accept a wide range of people with different educational backgrounds. Each applicant will be considered on an individual basis.

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.

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 expect to achieve a higher tariff score, you may also be interested in our BSc(Hons) Healthcare Science (Life Science) course.

Read more about entry requirements.

How to apply

Read more about undergraduate applications.

For further information


UWE Main Campus

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