Healthcare Scientists perform key scientific roles within the National Health Service (NHS) these include diagnostic investigations, monitoring and treatment of patients. The BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science programme at Wolverhampton aims to equip graduates to be able to enter the NHS workforce where they will provide the underpinning clinical investigations for diagnosis and health monitoring, support disease prevention and help develop treatment strategies for patients. The Modernising Scientific careers agenda underpins this course which forms part of the Practitioner Training Programme. The course is designed to provide education and training in cardiac physiology and respiratory and sleep science to enable a student to enter practice as a Healthcare Science Practitioner upon its completion. The programme is highly clinical and patient-focussed and benefits from the involvement of a range of lecturers and practitioners who have experience of working within a healthcare environment.
Cardiac physiology involves assessing patients with heart disease using a variety of tests and equipment. Cardiac Healthcare Scientists have direct patient contact often working in large teams to provide appropriate patient care. They interact with patients of all ages performing electrocardiographs (ECGs), blood pressure monitoring and a range of other techniques. Healthcare scientists who specialise in cardiac physiology assist in the diagnosis of heart disease, pacemaker implantation, on-going patient monitoring and exercise stress testing.
Respiratory physiology and sleep science involves assessing patients with a range of breathing disorders. Respiratory and sleep scientists interact with patients of all ages performing a range of tests that require considerable encouragement and technical accuracy combined with a dedicated and caring approach. They perform a range of tests including spirometry, measurements of lung volume, allergy testing, blood gas analysis, full cardio-pulmonary exercise testing and overnight monitoring of patients with sleep disordered breathing.
The academic component of the programme provides an understanding of the scientific basis of healthcare science along with discipline specific study in cardiac physiology and respiratory and sleep science. Practical training is provided in partnership with a number of local NHS hospitals. Placements are provided in each year of the programme so that competency can be achieved in the required techniques. The aim is to provide the opportunity for students to develop the practical skills required to enable them to be employed as healthcare science practitioners in either cardiac physiology or respiratory and sleep science upon completion of the course.
After the end of year one you will transfer to either
Year One The programme of study includes an introduction to the scientific basis of healthcare science including subjects such as anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, genetics, immunology and microbiology. You will then build upon this foundation to focus initially on the theoretical aspects of both cardiac physiology and respiratory and sleep science.
All students are required to have an appreciation of good professional practice in the workplace so classes are held to facilitate this focusing on health and safety, patient communication and welfare, clinical governance and ethical practice. Professional practice and patient-centred care are themes that run throughout the three years of the course.
During your first year you will undertake clinical placements in both cardiac physiology and respiratory physiology departments. Each of these placements will be approximately five weeks long, this will enable you to experience the dynamics of each discipline so that you can make an informed choice regarding your specialist area.
At the end of your first year you will specialise in either cardiovascular physiology or respiratory and sleep science so that over the final two years of the course you develop a sound theoretical understanding of the knowledge that is required to support your practice within that discipline.
Year Two You will learn about the various diseases which affect the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, consider the tests which are available to confirm their diagnosis, and develop an understanding of the treatments available to help such conditions.
Your studies in diagnostics will be supported with the inclusion of physics classes so that you develop an understanding of the physical processes which underpin both clinical investigations and diagnosis of disease.
This year you will spend 15 weeks in a clinical placement within a local hospital trust in your chosen specialist area. During your placement you will begin to develop the skills needed to become a competent healthcare science practitioner and you will have an opportunity to put the academic theory that you have covered into practice.
Year Three During your final year you will consolidate your knowledge in your chosen discipline with the introduction of the theory required for more advanced clinical procedures. You will focus on recent developments within your specialist area and this will be complemented by your honours project as you undertake your own research.
This year your time in placement is extended and you will spend 25 weeks within your chosen discipline area within a hospital setting.
General Considerations As this is a professionally accredited award the programme has some exemptions from the universities usual academic regulations. In order to progress to year 2 of the award you must successfully pass all year 1 modules in one academic year (you will be allowed three attempts at each assessment during this period). Students who are not successful will be able to transfer to the related BSc (Hons) Medical Physiology and Diagnostics route. In addition throughout your study you must pass all of the modules associated with the award as compensation for marginal failures is not permitted on this route.
The Wolverhampton course in Healthcare Science has long standing collaborative support from many local hospital departments who provide excellent placement opportunities to enable students to complete practical training in the workplace. The course is patient-focused and aims to develop the knowledge and skills that you will need to begin a successful career in your chosen specialist area.
At Wolverhampton our smaller cohort sizes and extensive use of practitioners provides you with a learning experience that puts your learning into clinical context. Your clinical placements are aligned with the material that you cover in class with carefully staged progression which will help you gradually build confidence in your skills and knowledge as you progress through the course.
Graduates will be fully prepared and eligible to enter a career as a Healthcare Science Practitioner in cardiac physiology or respiratory and sleep science in a variety of healthcare settings including working in a hospital or in the community. Graduates from the course will also be eligible to apply for entry onto the Scientific Training Programme (STP) where they will be able to continue their training at masters level. As technologies are becoming more specialised and new techniques are continually evolving healthcare science provides challenging and rewarding career options
Opportunities exist as your career develops to progress to higher levels within the Healthcare Science career framework this will involve taking responsibility for higher level diagnostic investigations, training, and management roles.
Graduates may also seek employment working in industries associated with cardiac physiology and respiratory and sleep science.
As healthcare professionals Healthcare Scientists are expected to maintain their competence and ‘fitness to practice’ throughout their working lives. As such they are actively involved in Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and are expected to design and implement their own learning strategies.
The course seeks to produce Healthcare Science graduates who are fit for purpose and able to enter clinical practice. You will be equipped with the knowledge and skills required to meet the needs of the patient and the Healthcare Science profession in your chosen specialised area of practice.
During this programme of study you will develop a knowledge of the anatomical structure and development of the human body.
You will also show an understanding of the integrated function and control of the component parts of the major systems of the human body.
You will develop an understanding of cell structure and function at the molecular level, and an appreciation of the interplay of complex molecular events that help to maintain cell homeostasis.
You will appreciate disease processes and the use of pharmacological and interventional treatments against them.
All students need to be able to demonstrate an understanding of the basic principles of physics and signal processing associated with their practice and how information can be recorded, stored and analysed in the concept of clinical physiology.
Through placements in local hospitals you will develop competence in the physiological practical techniques employed within cardiac physiology or respiratory and sleep science and be able to explain the rationale for the investigation and treatment of disease, modification of the investigations, and interpret test results.
You will also be made aware of professional and research issues in clinical physiology including safe and ethical working practices, the importance of communication in a therapeutic relationship and research methodology.
This course is accredited by Health Education England (http://hee.nhs.uk/) and the Registration Council for Clinical Physiology (RCCP)
Those successful in application and interview will subsequently be required to meet a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check and medical requirements
Those who do not meet the entry requirements may be offered an alternative course.
The University also offers a range of Bursaries and Scholarships in addition to other financial support packages
These fees are applicable for new entrants in 2018/9. If you have any queries regarding the fees listed please contact
These fees are for the current academic year only. Any subsequent years may be subject to an annual increase, usually in line with inflation.