Sexual Health Studies

Sexual Health Studies BSc (Hons)

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.

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

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 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

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

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.

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


zambia beach

Key Information

  • Duration:

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

  • Level:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time and Part-time

  • Award Type:

    BSc (Hons)

  • UCAS Code:


  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:


  • Fees 2018/19

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

  • View 2019/20 Fees

Scholarships and Bursaries

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

Discover More

Entry Requirements

Our typical offer is 112 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: Distinction, Merit, Merit 
BTEC Diploma: Distinction*, Distinction*
Pass Access Course: 112 UCAS Points  
International Baccalaureate:Pass Diploma with 112 UCAS points from Higher Level Subjects
IELTS: 6.0 with no score lower than 5.5
GCSE: 5 at grade C/4 including Maths & English or equivalent 

Not got the grades?

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

Foundation Entry Route

Check your points

Not sure how many points you have? Use our handy calculator and find out.

Points calculator

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.

Course Overview

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

Clearing 2018

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.

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.

Clinical Skills Suite


India Henry

Third Year BSc (Hons) Sexual Health Studies 2018

Hannah Roughley

Third Year BSc (Hons) Sexual Health Studies 2018



"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
Third Year, BSc (Hons) Sexual Health Studies 2017



Important Information

Contact Us

This course is based in the School of Community Health and Midwifery
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: 2017 Entry | 2018 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 2017/18 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.