Healthcare Science

Healthcare Science BSc (Hons)

If you wish to follow this route you must initially apply for BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science and successfully complete the first year. Cohort size is dependent on placement capacity. Admission to the programme will depend on a successful interview to transfer to the second year of Healthcare Sciences and you will then start your first clinical placement. Completion of subsequent modules and final year placement will lead to the award of the degree title BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science. Combining practical and theoretical modules, you’ll gain the knowledge you need to make confident, informed decisions about patient care and treatment in a laboratory setting. Everything you’ll learn is tailored to the NHS, and you’ll spend time each year preparing for an NHS career by learning and working in one of their pathology laboratories. To be admitted to this course you must successfully complete year one of the Biomedical Science degree at UCLan and pass a selection interview.


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National Student Survey 2018

Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology at UCLan - ranked top in the NW for overall satisfaction and 5th nationally and number 1 in the NW for an intellectually stimulating course (98.6%). 100% of students agreed that staff are good at explaining things.

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Post-Molecular Biology Laboratory

Biology Laboratory

Healthcare Science involves an in-depth understanding of how the human body functions in both normal and diseased states so healthcare scientists must appreciate how events arising at a molecular, cellular or tissue level can contribute to and also affect health and wellbeing. This course combines practical and theoretical modules to provide a sound underpinning knowledge that can be used in a laboratory setting to make informed decisions about patient care and treatment. 

Many of the staff who teach on this course have a long association with the NHS pathology service and have a deep understanding and extensive experience of pathology laboratory procedures.

As you progress through the course you will undertake an increasingly greater degree of specialisation that will allow you to move towards defined paths in either blood, cellular, infection.

The first year of the course provides a broad-based understanding of the key scientific concepts that will be developed and explored in greater depth in Years 2 and 3 of undergraduate study. You will cover cell biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, physiology and pharmacology. These areas will be supported by skills and professional practice modules that together form a sound starting point for a career in the NHS. The material that is covered forms part of a common mode of study for all students on our biosciences routes and, in this way, provides the opportunity for transfer into and out of the course on a seamless basis. Students will study a number of modules that explores how the human body functions on a variety of levels. Allied to this will be periods of laboratory training and research skills as well as an introduction to the working of the NHS. Importantly there will be a 10 week placement period in the first year of the course where you will be located in a pathology laboratory seeing processes and procedures at first hand. This will allow you to begin to amass portfolio-type evidence that will form part of the professional registration process.

The third year of the course involves a further level of specialisation in a single discipline consolidated by a 40 week placement that will give you a unique insight into how this area of pathology operation functions in a busy NHS setting. This will extend and build upon the Year 1 placement experience.

In addition to the placement period you will also expand your academic studies to cover areas such as how disease process originate, how a variety of techniques can be brought to bear on identifying and treating a range of disease states and an in-depth appreciation of how the NHS functions to provide patient care. You will also refine your skills at data and information handling - an essential step in preparing you for the final year of your course which involves a research project in one area of healthcare specialism.

See the APEL Student Guidance document for further information

Ellen Whiteside studied BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science at UCLan which gave her the opportunity to undertake a placement at Blackpool Victoria Hospital. Since graduating Ellen has gained a full-time position at the hospital as a Biomedical Scientist, working in Histology.

Key Information

  • Duration:

    Full-time: Three years

  • Level:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time

  • Award Type:

    BSc (Hons)

  • UCAS Code:


  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:


  • Fees 2019/20

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

Scholarships and Bursaries

The University offers a range of scholarships and bursaries to support you through your studies.

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Entry Requirements

104-112 points at A2 level including Biology or Chemistry or Applied Science or Environmental Science. General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted. BTEC DDM or equivalent

To follow this route you must initially apply for BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science using the above UCAS details and successfully complete the first year. Cohort size is dependent on placement capacity. Admission to the programme will depend on a successful interview. Completion of subsequent modules and final year placement will lead to the award of the degree title BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science.


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DBS Checks

This course will involve access to children and/or vulnerable adults. You will be required to obtain a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service clearance (formerly termed CRB) and we will guide you through this process.

Course Overview

Year 1

  • Fundamentals of Biosciences
  • Essential Skills in Biosciences
  • Biosciences in Practice

Year 2

  • Bioscience Practical Skills
  • Biology of Disease
  • Molecules to Cells
  • 10 week Placement and Professional Practice

Year 3

  • Research Project
  • Extended 40 week Placement


  • Blood Sciences for Healthcare Science or
  • Clinical Microbiology for Healthcare Science or
  • Cellular Pathology for Healthcare Science


Learning Environment and Assessment

A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises 360 credits and each 20 credit (a standard module) equates to 200 hours of study, which comprises of a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical sessions and independent study. Independent study is an important aspect of your degree course. The exact combination of study time will be detailed within your module descriptors, and will depend on your option choices.

Teaching on the course involves a diverse range of methods and styles including lectures, tutorials, seminars, computer-based learning, case studies and laboratory practicals. As well as the traditional methods of teaching, e-learning (based around a virtual learning environment) and problem-based learning techniques will be used. Years 1 and 3 of the course will involve a work-based learning element based in an NHS pathology laboratory.

Assessments are by a combination of examinations, essays, data handling and interpretation, log-books, portfolios, practical reports, project reports, poster and oral presentations all allowing a full range of information handling and presentation skills to be developed.

Professional Accreditation

The course is accredited by Health Education England (HEE) and the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS). The course has been approved by the regulatory body Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).


This course provides a government prescribed route into NHS pathology. Healthcare scientists are employed in a range of areas including, hospitals, industry and the Civil service. You may decide to follow a career in medical sales, technical writing or progress to teaching by obtaining a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).


Our state-of-the-art practical and research laboratories constantly evolve to ensure they are in line with modern practice, having recently been further enhanced by our impressive purpose-built JB Firth Building.

Important Information

Contact Us

This course is based in the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences
Telephone us for further information +44(0)1772 892400
or email us at: | Book a visit

Course Handbook

For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry: 2018 Entry | 2019 Entry
For information on possible changes to course information, see our Essential and Important Course Information.

Tuition Fees & Finance

*Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated.
For 2018/19 fees please refer to our fees page.

Further Information for students

You can find regulations and policies relating to student life at The University of Central Lancashire on our Student Contract page.

Entry Requirements

For changes to 2017 UCAS tariff entry requirements please see our Essential and Important Course 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.