This degree has three stages, each comprising 120 credits.
- You’ll start Stage 1 with a broad introduction to health and social care and health science.
- At Stage 2 you’ll build on the knowledge and skills acquired at Stage 1 and study modules covering key concepts in health and wellbeing, human biology and the science of the mind.
- Finally, at Stage 3, you will study modules covering infectious disease and public health and conclude your degree with a project-based module.
Optional Access module – visit Entry requirements to find out about starting this course with a preparatory Access module.
You will explore the experience of receiving care and working in the care services. You'll examine human health by focusing on particular health conditions, using science, maths, psychology and epidemiology to explore the causes and distribution of ill health and disability and their impact on individuals and populations.
Building on the broad introduction to healthcare and health science, Stage 2 study provides a more in-depth understanding of the determinants of health and the key factors which influence health with modules covering key concepts in health and wellbeing, human biology and the science of the mind.
Stage 3 applies your understanding from Stage 2 to a range of public health issues, with modules covering infectious disease and public health. You'll conclude your degree with a project-based module.
We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 17 March 2020.
We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The BSc (Honours) Healthcare and Health Science uses a variety of study materials and has the following elements:
- studying a mixture of printed and online material – online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes
- using mathematical and scientific expressions, notations and associated techniques
- working in a group with other students
- using and producing diagrams and screenshots
- finding external/third party material online
- online tutorials
- undertaking practical work
- using technology for research purposes involving access to catalogues and databases online
- continuous and end-of-module assessment in the form of essays, short answer questions, quizzes, and in some cases an examination
- using feedback: continuous assessment involves receiving detailed feedback on your work from your tutor and using this feedback to improve your performance
In addition to the above, the regulatory body the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) also has guidance on health and disability relating to fitness for professional practice. For more detailed information, see the Accessibility Statements on individual module descriptions. If you feel you may need additional support, visit Disability support to find more about what we offer.
Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment
This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:
- Knowledge and understanding
- Cognitive skills
- Practical and professional skills
- Key skills
The level and depth of your learning gradually increases as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; elearning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.
Read the detailed learning outcomes here
If you have already studied at university level, you may be able to count it towards your Open University qualification – which could save you time and money by reducing the number of modules you need to study. At the OU we call this credit transfer.
It’s not just university study that can be considered, you can also transfer study from a wide range of professional or vocational qualifications such as HNCs and HNDs.
You should apply for credit transfer before you register, at least 4 weeks before the registration closing date. We will need to know what you studied, where and when and you will need to provide evidence of your previous study.
For more details of when you will need to apply by and to download an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.
Classification of your degree
On successfully completing this undergraduate course, you'll be awarded the BSc (Honours) Healthcare and Health Science degree. The class of degree (first, upper second, lower second or third-class honours) depends on your grades at Stages 2 and 3.
You'll have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.
As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.
There are no formal entry requirements for this qualification.
At The Open University we believe education should be open to all, so we provide a high-quality university education to anyone who wishes to realise their ambitions and fulfil their potential.
Even though there are no entry requirements, there are some skills that you'll need to succeed. If you're not quite ready for OU study we can guide you to resources that prepare you, many of which are free.
Answer a few quick questions to check whether you're ready for study success
How much time do I need?
Find out if you have enough time to study with our time planner
- Most of our students study part time, completing 60 credits a year.
- This will usually mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.
Preparing for study with an Access module
If your study skills are a bit rusty or you want to try out Open University study before committing yourself, don’t worry! The OU offers Access modules designed to introduce the subject area, build your confidence and prepare you for further study, and you may be eligible to study an Access module for free! You'll get:
- a personal tutor providing regular feedback with one to one telephone tutorials
- support from a dedicated team throughout your study
- detailed written feedback.
For this qualification we recommend:
People, work and society Access module
What you will study
This multidisciplinary module provides an excellent introduction to studying with The Open University; you'll get to cover a wide range of subject areas, including childhood and youth studies, social science, psychology, health, business and law.
View full details of People, work and society Access module
Science, technology and maths Access module
What you will study
This multidisciplinary module is an ideal starting point if you have little or no previous knowledge of the sciences, technology and mathematics. It'll help develop your study skills in advance of your OU qualification, and you get to explore a number of STEM subjects including science, engineering and design, environment, mathematics, and computing and IT.
View full details of Science, technology and maths Access module
Skills for career development
You will gain some of the skills required for working in health science and be able to apply scientific methodology to health-related issues. The broad knowledge base in healthcare and health science that you will acquire will equip you with the necessary skills to identify key factors which influence the health of individuals and the health of populations. You will develop skills in handling scientific data and applying this to debates about the provision of healthcare. You will also gain skills in constructing an evidence-based argument which will enable you to contribute to debates about health policy.
This degree will enable you to contribute to the planning and delivery of a range of healthcare services, as well as the development of policy about healthcare. The degree provides a sound and critical understanding of the relationship between scientific understandings of health and the social influences on health, and of health and social care policy, theory and practice. You’ll also understand how ethical, legal, scientific, social, and political factors influence the provision and development of services; and gain the critical and analytical skills that underpin evidence-based practice.
Exploring your options
Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice – including online forums, website, interview simulation, vacancy service as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser. Some areas of the careers service website are available for you to see now, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career.
In the meantime if you want to do some research around this qualification and where it might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point (note that some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience):
- Medical technician
- Medical journalism
- Pharmacy technician
- Health service administrator
- Health advisor
- Health trainer
- NHS communications officer
- Advocacy worker
- Team leader or supervisor