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Sexual Health Studies BSc (Hons)

Sexual Health Studies BSc (Hons)

School of Community Health and Midwifery

UCAS Code

B901

Level

Under- graduate

Campus

Preston

Foundation Entry Route

If you do not meet the formal entry requirements specified, Foundation Entry offers an alternative route to study this degree.

Find out more

  • Duration:

    Full-time: Three years, Part-time: Five years

  • Level:

    Undergraduate

  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time and Part-time

  • UCAS Code:

    B901; Short form: BSc/SHS

  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:

    September

  • Award Type:

    BSc (Hons)

Why study this course?

This programme provides you with the appropriate knowledge and skills required to undertake a variety of careers within adult and young person’s sexual health related services.

You will gain knowledge of the impact of Sexual Health on the individual and wider community from a broad perspective, including: contraception, unplanned pregnancy, sexual health, asymptomatic screening for STI’s, blood borne viruses, sexual health policy, safeguarding, sex and relationships education, motivational interviewing and enhanced communication skills.  You will have the opportunity to learn key practical skills including rapid HIV testing, pregnancy testing, asymptomatic STI Screening and venepuncture.

Entry Requirements

112 UCAS Tariff points at A Level; General Studies accepted
BTEC: Distinction, Merit, Merit
Access to HE Diploma: 112 points plus GCSE English/Maths/Science at grade C or FS2 or KS3.

For changes to 2017 UCAS tariff entry requirements please see our important information. UCLan requires all undergraduate applicants to have a minimum attainment of five GCSEs at grade C and above, or equivalent, (including Maths and English). In 2017 and beyond we will view the new Grade 4 as being equivalent to a C grade and will therefore require students to achieve GCSE Grade 4 or above. However, if the subject is relevant to our degree programme and requires a higher GCSE grade (e.g. GCSE B grade), and/or includes a Professional body that governs the entry requirements, Grade 5 or above may be required.

Open Day (Saturday 18 November 2017) - Register Now

Course at a Glance

Year 1

Core Modules

  • Understanding Health
  • Study and Lifelong Learning Skills
  • Introduction to Sexual Health
  • Cultural and Sociological Perspectives of Sexuality
  • Communication and Collaboration

Year 2

Core Modules

  • Sexual Health and Asymptomatic Screening
  • Sexual Health Communication

Year 3

Core Modules

  • Personal and Professional Development in Sexual Health
  • Health Promotion Within Sexual Health
  • Global Perspectives of Sexual Health
  • Sexual Health Perspectives of Safeguarding (Adults and Children)
  • Dissertation

Further Information

This programme provides you with the appropriate knowledge and skills required to undertake a variety of future careers within adult and young person’s sexual health services. 

You will gain skills in contraception, unplanned pregnancy, sexual health, asymptomatic screening for STI’s, blood borne viruses, sexual health policy, safeguarding, sex and relationships education, motivational interviewing and enhanced communication skills.

This degree utilises UCLan’s COMENSUS (Community, Engagement and Service Users Support group).

This department allows services users the ability to attend relevant sessions throughout the course to presents ‘real-life experiences’.  Recently students have had the opportunity to discuss sexual health issues and perspectives with transgender females, a homosexual male living with HIV as well as BME women discussing their experience of arranged marriage and conflicts between their culture and sexual health. These lived experiences allow students to ask questions, which supports them in developing understanding of an individual’s needs. The students have rated this highly allowing them to link theory with practice, developing understanding of sexual health needs from a service user perspective. The degree will also give you lifelong skills including advanced communication skills, project management, innovation and enterprise experience and afford you the opportunity to consider the range of employment opportunities within sexual health related services.


You will have the opportunity to learn key practical skills, rapid HIV testing, pregnancy testing , asymptomatic STI Screening and venepuncture .


Recently students have had the opportunity to discuss sexual health issues and perspectives with transgender male and females, a homosexual male living with HIV, and BME women discuss arranged marriage and clashes related to culture and sexual health. These lived experiences allow students to ask questions which supports them in developing understanding of an individual’s needs. The students have rated this highly allowing them to link theory with practice developing understating of sexual health care from a service user perspective. The degree will also give you lifelong skills including advanced communication skills, project management, innovation and enterprise experience, and further employment opportunities within sexual health related services.

The School of Community Health & Midwifery is committed to the values and principles of the NHS Constitution and these are integral to our programmes. The approaches to delivery and the content of our programmes aim to foster a culture which embraces the NHS Values of:

  • Working together for service users
  • Respect and dignity
  • Commitment to quality of care
  • Compassion
  • Improving lives
  • Everyone counts

BSc (Hons) Sexual Health Studies Students International Visits

The BSc (Hons) Sexual Health Studies Course offers a number of opportunities to attend trips, nationally and internationally. Most of these are optional but students are encouraged to consider the opportunities available to them to gain not only work-based experience but also life experience. Our current students have visited Amsterdam, Kenya and Zambia.

International Trips 2017 (.docx) 2.74mb

BSc (Hons) Sexual Health Studies – International Students

Applications are welcomed from students all over the world. Currently we have students from Ghana, Ireland and Lithuania.

International students perspective of studying SH at UCLan (.docx) 15.2kb

Opportunities

Work-Based Experience and Career Opportunities

The Course Team have developed close links with a variety of Health and Education related organisations allowing you to undertake work-based experience opportunities throughout your degree. You will be encouraged to undertake work-based experience within a variety of sexual health related organisations such as Brook Young Peoples service, George House Trust, Youth Zones, Drug and Alcohol Services, Barnado’s as well as some local schools & colleges.

The School of Community Health & Midwifery will pay for your initial DBS, students are then responsible for maintaining this, for use whilst undertaking work-based experience related to the course. Although work-based is not a requirement for completing the course students who have undertaken this have explained that they feel this has helped them to develop a greater depth of understanding of the theory and feel it has helped them to strengthen their grades. A current DBS is not essential at the point of applying for or commencing the course.

Graduate Careers

This specialised degree will open up opportunities in the NHS and primary care trusts, Local Authorities, independent providers of sexual health services and education providers, locally and nationally.

Recent graduates have been successful in undertaking full time careers in the area they volunteered within upon graduating. These include:

  • Community Sexual Health Development Workers within the NHS (Band 5)
  • Specialist Education Practitioners within Brook Young People's Service (Band 5 equivalent)
  • Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (Band 6)
  • Outreach and support service (Band 5 equivalent)
  • Sexual Health Support Workers within the NHS (band 5)
  • Transitional Coach (Band 6 equivalent)
  • Graduate Intern roles at UCLan

What Graduate opportunities are available to me following successful completion of the BSc (Hons) Sexual Health Studies course?

Progression Routes

There is the opportunity to continue to study at Post Graduate level in the following related topics:

MSc Sexual Health Studies
MSc Pre-registration Nursing (Adult or Mental Health branches)
MA Social Work
MSc Psychosexual Therapy

This list is not exclusive – as achieving 2:2 classification or above in an undergraduate degree is usually sufficient for you to apply for a wider range of other health and social care related topics.

For students with a degree classification of a 2:1 or above may be eligible to apply directly for PhD courses without having undertaken prior Level & (post graduate) Study.


Miriam Mame Akyene ama Akoto

I choose to study sexual health, because I have always been interested in educating people, especially adolescents about behaviour, sexuality, sexually transmitted diseases and other related sex and relationship issues. I have had a major interest in reproductive health and the rate at which people go through unwanted pregnancy and the need for them to know about family planning and making informed choices without coercion. After surfing the internet searching for a Bachelor of Science undergraduate course which is specific to my interest, I found the University of Central Lancashire as the only university that offers sexual health as a specific degree programme in the United Kingdom.  I also found out this course is taught by experienced lecturers in this field of work which was very important for me, because they teach with the know-how they have gained from offering sexual health services. I appreciate the fact that this course also offers volunteering services for students in organisations the school has established a relationship with. Also the international trips organised during the years of study in sexual health, opens the student to experience real situations happening in other parts of the world.

As an international student in the University of Central Lancashire, my experience so far has been heartwarming right from meeting the Welcome Team at the airport. The welcome event by the Students’ Union was superb. It helped me to sync as an international student. Moving around the university in the initial days was easy because of the campus maps around and the campus tour that was organised. My lecturers have been very helpful and offer advice when needed. The environment is very welcoming and the staff at the university I have come into contact with are extremely helpful. I also found a society within the university that suits my culture which for me is very relevant, so as to associate with other people who share a common culture. The environment in the university is very conducive for learning. The library offers a good 24-hour service for all students. My experience so far has been very beneficial and interesting and I look forward to more fun times ahead. 


Zambia Case Study

In my second year of studies I was fortunate enough to be provided with the opportunity to attend a university trip to Zambia. The trip lasted for 16 days, staying in the capital, Lusaka. The HIV prevalence in Zambia is high, so our aim was to educate the local community on HIV transmission and how to prevent sexually transmitted infections, HIV and unplanned pregnancy by using condoms. For the majority of the trip we delivered sex and relationship education (SRE) to pupils in local schools and the community; the main topics we covered were, HIV myth busting and facts, female and male condom demonstrations, puberty and consent. We delivered varying sessions to children and adults of all ages, ensuring the material covered was age appropriate; although we mostly worked with children and young people. We worked in groups and supported one another on the delivery of the sessions and each took it in turns to lead an education session. I even lead an SRE session using materials and content I had previously created for one of my module assessments (Sex and relationship education across the age continuum); I found this amazing to see how the lesson I had created could be used and adapted to a real life session. As the days went on the SRE sessions helped to build my confidence in my sexual health knowledge and in my delivery. The people we worked with were such friendly and positive people and that really had such a positive impact on our visit; they helped translate our sessions and helped us identify what the children wanted to learn and their gaps in knowledge. This helped us tailor our sessions specifically to the groups we were teaching. We also had the opportunity to talk to the ‘street kids’ of Lusaka – which were children of all ages made homeless who were living on the streets. Their positivity and friendly attitude was lovely to see although it was an eye-opening experience, highlighting the difference back home in the UK.

For the last few days of the trip we moved onto Livingstone for activities. We visited one of the natural wonders of the world, Victoria Falls which was breath taking! This waterfall is on the Zambezi river at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. After walking alongside the waterfall we also had the opportunity to zip line across the river, or bungee jump off the bridge. I chose to zip line over the river which was amazing. We also got to experience a safari ride where we got to witness wild animals in their natural habitat such as elephants, giraffes, monkeys, wildebeest, buffalo, zebras and warthogs as well as the endangered white rhino. This was a great experience and a perfect way to end the trip.

Overall the 16 days I spent in Zambia were truly amazing and it is a once in a lifetime experience I will never forget.

zambia children

waterfall

zambia beach

Handbook

For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry:

For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.

Apply Now

You should apply through UCAS to start September 2018 by the UCAS deadline of 15 January 2018

Contact Us

+44(0)1772 892400

cenquiries@uclan.ac.uk

Fees 2018/19

Full-time: £9,250* per year (UK/EU)
Part-time: TBC

*Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated.

Further information:

For 2017/18 fees please refer to our fees page.

Scholarships and bursaries

DBS Checks

Throughout this course you will be working with vulnerable groups of individuals including children. In order to ensure that the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing offers places on their programmes to the most suitable candidates you will all be required to obtain a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service clearance (formerly termed CRB). The Faculty of Health and Wellbeing will be able to guide you through this process once you have been successfully offered a conditional place at the University. It is important to note that any unsatisfactory Enhanced DBS clearance may result in the offer of your place being withdrawn even if you have already started your course.

Professional Accreditation

This course will not equip you to register as a Nurse, Midwife or Doctor but will instead provide you with opportunities to work on the wider aspects of public health and education related directly to sexual healthcare and practice.

Learning Environment and Assessment

We promote student-centred learning. That means that we encourage you to become an independent learner through a variety of strategies including lectures, group discussions, workshops, seminars, student-led study groups/journal clubs.

You will be assessed throughout the course in a variety of ways, including assignments, presentations, an exam, video assessment, poster presentations and an academic story book. This multi-dimensional means of assessment allows you to build upon your personal confidence as well as develop knowledge related to sexual health. This innovative way of assessment has been positively acknowledged by the students and has moved away from traditional means of multiple assignment-based assessment. The third-year dissertation will allow you to utilise literature searching skills around a topic of your own choice, related to a sexual health issue. Students have previously chosen a variety of topics including HIV and men who have sex with men, contraceptive choices for older females, Sex and Relationship Education provision, chlamydia screening programmes, abortion provision and unplanned pregnancy.

I chose to come to the University of Central Lancashire because I was interested in sexual health and this is the only specific degree programme being offered in the UK.

Testimonials

"There are several opportunities throughout the degree that allow attendance at sexual health related conferences and information events. In year two of the degree I was given the opportunity to travel to Manchester and attend the National HIV Nurses Association conference. The conference offered a fascinating insight into the effects of HIV as some of the guest speakers shared their lived experiences. It was also extremely valuable to hear about how services are meeting the needs of those with HIV and advances that have been made in testing."

Jane Smith
Year 3, BSc (Hons) Sexual Health Studies 2017

"I choose to study Sexual health, because I have always been interested in educating people especially adolescents about behavior, sexuality, sexually transmitted diseases and other elated sex and relationship issues. I have had a major interest in reproductive health and the rate at which people go through unwanted pregnancy and the need for them to know about family planning and making informed choices without coercion. After surfing the internet searching for a Bachelor of Science undergraduate course which is specific to my interest, I found University of Central Lancashire as the only university that offers sexual health as a specific degree program in the United Kingdom.  I also found out this course is taught by experienced lecturers in this field of work which was very important for me, because they teach with the know-how they have gained from offering sexual health services. I appreciate the fact that this course also offers volunteering services for students in organizations the school has established a relationship with. Also the international trips organized during the years of study in sexual health, opens the student to experience real situations happening in other parts of the world.

As an international student in the University of Central Lancashire, my experience so far has been heartwarming right from the welcome team at the airport till date. The welcome event by the student union was superb. It helped me to sync in as an international student. Moving around the university in the initial days was easy because of the campus maps around and the campus tour that was organized. My lecturers have been very helpful and offer advice when needed. The environment is very welcoming and the staffs of the university I have come in contact with are extremely helpful. I also found a society in university that suits my culture which for me is very relevant, so as to associate with other people who share a common culture. The environment in the university is very conducive for learning. The library offers a good twenty-four hours service for all students. My experience so far has been very beneficial and interesting and I look forward to more fun times ahead."

 

"I have chosen Sexual Health Studies, because this is the only undergraduate none-clinical degree in the whole UK. One of the things that attracted me the most was the controversy of the degree. People are more likely to ignore any information or problems related to sexual health. They don’t know a correct information as it is shameful to talk about sex out loud. I can feel that by doing this degree I can actually make a difference after I graduate. It doesn’t matter if you work at university, schools or clinics afterwards, spreading the correct information can prevent unplanned pregnancies, STIs or self-esteem issues related to sex for many people you will come across to. I strongly feel that this subject should to be talked about more. As international student, I know that in many countries there is not even a sexual health subject in schools, not to mention university programs. In many families you wouldn’t talk about it at loud. I want to change it.

I want to help people realise that sex isn’t taboo, that to go into sexual health clinic and have a check-up isn’t something to be ashamed of. It is ok not to know everything about sex and seek guidance from advisors and doctors. Sweeping a problem under a rug won’t do any good. Just when you accept that there is a problem, you can start fixing it. The (BSc) Sexual Health Studies degree at UCLan is so interesting! Most of the information you learn here will be useful in your future. So many topics and issues we need to address… If you are interested in controversial topics and want to attract more attention to it, it is a right degree for you. I feel passionate even thinking about the future possibilities. The Sexual Health team is extremely supportive.  Being an international student can create a lot of problems (money issues, accommodation, language barrier, loneliness). Lecturers and academic advisors are there for you, doesn’t matter if the problem is academic or not. They are always happy to give you any support you need, if they know there is an issue beforehand.  As international you sometimes can feel isolated from others. Not having family around can be really lonely. However, this university cares about you if you open up to them.

Personally, I feel that I have a little Sexual Health family that always looks out for me. Even with a language barrier, I believe my ideas are heard. There are so many different opportunities (volunteering, societies, sport clubs), that are accessible to anybody. Your level of English language or country you were born in doesn’t matter. At this moment, I can truthfully say that to come to UCLan to study Sexual Health was one of the best decisions of my life, despite any obstacles I may endure."

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