Three students at a lab bench with microscopes


Healthcare Science (Life Science)

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) Healthcare Science (Physiological Sciences) course page.

About this course

Entry year:
Course code:
Tariff points:
Applied Sciences
Three years
Full-time (with integrated placements)
Programme leader:
Sarah Dean
Key fact:
We're the first university in the UK to gain professionally recognised accreditation for this course. You'll get an excellent grounding across the biomedical sciences, setting you up to go straight into the NHS.

Page last updated 11 July 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.

After graduation, you'll have  a strong grounding in biomedical sciences, and experience working in a hospital pathology department, you'll be able to register and work as a biomedical scientist.

Why UWE Bristol?

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.

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 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.

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

  • Molecular Genetics.

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

  • Microbiology.

Final year

You will study:

  • Healthcare Science Project
  • Professional Practice.

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

  • Blood Sciences
  • Immunohaematology.

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

  • Medical Genetics
  • Genomic Technology.

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

  • Medical Microbiology
  • Infectious Disease Control.

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

  • Cellular Pathology and Oncology
  • Human Development and Pathology.

NHS staff on the transplantation pathway join the course from our FdSc Healthcare Science to go straight into the final year.

You will study:

  • 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.

Approximate percentage of time you'll spend in different learning activities*:

YearScheduled learning and teaching studyIndependent studyPlacement study

*Calculated from compulsory and optional modules (where applicable) each year


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.

Approximate percentage of marks awarded by each assessment method*:

YearWritten exam assessmentCoursework assessmentPractical exam assessment

*Calculated from compulsory and optional modules (where applicable) each year


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

Additional costs are for 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.


Students starting this course in September 2018 should follow this link to view their joining instructions.

We automatically send a message via your Welcome website plus an email to notify you once your joining instructions are available. It is important that you regularly check your Welcome website for new messages about your Registration and Enrolment. If you have not received the email please contact our Applicant Experience Team by email at so we may check that we have the correct address.

For more information about joining the University, please see our New Students pages.

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 six 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.

Offer Types

If you have not received your exam results, your offer from UWE Bristol will be conditional and will be subject to you achieving the tariff points/grades required for your course.

If you have already satisfied the academic entry requirements of your chosen course, you are likely to be made an unconditional offer. Please note that UWE Bristol will only make unconditional offers if you have already achieved your qualifications.

To make sure our applicants are academically prepared for when they start their studies at UWE Bristol, we do not make unconditional offers to those that are still studying their Level 3 qualifications (such as A levels, BTEC, Access or equivalent). We hope that this will encourage our applicants to value their academic achievements as much as we do.

How to apply

Read more about undergraduate applications.

For further information


UWE Main Campus

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