Sexual Health Studies (Foundation Entry) BSc (Hons)

Sexual Health Studies (Foundation Entry) BSc (Hons)

School of Community Health and Midwifery




Under- graduate



Contact UCLan

University of Central Lancashire
Preston, PR1 2HE, United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400

  • Duration:

    4 years

  • Level:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time

  • UCAS Code:

    H365; Short form: FESHS

  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:


  • Award Type:

    BSc (Hons)

Why study this course?

Foundation Entry degree courses are designed for students who have the ability to study for a degree, but don’t have the necessary formal qualifications to enter directly onto their chosen Honours degree programme. This is the UK’s first ever non-clinical undergraduate specialised degree programme available on UCAS, and is ideal if you wish to pursue a graduate career in adult and young people’s sexual health services.

You’ll study contraception, unplanned pregnancy, sexual health, asymptomatic screening for STIs, blood borne viruses, sexual health policy, safeguarding, sex and relationships education, motivational interviewing and enhanced communication skills, enabling you to develop specialist theoretical knowledge in the care of clients accessing sexual health services. 

Entry Requirements

Our typical offer is 72 UCAS Points. We operate a flexible admissions policy and treat everyone as an individual. This means that we will take into consideration your educational achievements and predicted grades (where applicable) together with your application as a whole, including work experience and personal statement. General Studies accepted

BTEC Extended Diploma: Merit, Merit, Pass
Pass Access Course: 64 UCAS Points plus English and Maths

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.

Find out more about our virtual open days Find out more about our virtual open days

Course at a Glance

Year 1

  • Academic Writing and Studying in Health and Social Care
  • Learning development and using information communication technology to present information
  • Developing skills for delivering health & social care (1)


  • Developing skills for delivering health & social care (2)
  • Foundations in Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology and Disease
  • Measuring Health and Wellbeing

Year 2

Core Modules

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

Year 3

Core Modules

  • Sexual Health and Asymptomatic Screening
  • Sexual Health Communication

Year 4

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.

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 Students International Visits

The BSc (Hons) Sexual Health students, in the past, have attended 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. 

International Trips 2017 (.docx) 2.74mb

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.

BSc (Hons) Sexual Health – 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

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
  • Specialist Education Practitioners within Brook Young People's Service
  • Independent Sexual Violence Advisor
  • Outreach and support service
  • Sexual Health Support Workers within the NHS
  • Transitional Coach
  • Graduate Intern roles at UCLan

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.

 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.


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.

Fees 2020/21

Full-time: The fee for the first year of the course will be £5,500 (UK/EU). Fees for years 2 to 4 will be £9,250* (UK/EU) per year

*Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated.

Further information:

For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

Scholarships and bursaries

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.


"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."