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BSc (Honours) Healthcare and Health Science

This degree will provide you with some of the essential skills required for working in health and health science settings, providing you with the ability to apply evidence-based scientific methodology to health-related issues. The combination of healthcare and health science topics will equip you with a broad understanding of the range of debates about the provision of healthcare, as well as enabling you to evaluate the relationship between scientific and social understandings about the promotion of health.

Key features of the course

  • Develop skills in interpreting, generating, and presenting information using a variety of sources
  • Learn about the ethical, social, scientific, economic and political issues that influence health and healthcare
  • Engage with an evidence-based, scientific approach to health sciences and gain an appreciation of the limits of scientific knowledge
  • Critically evaluate approaches to service provision and develop strategies for improving practice 

We also offer a Certificate of Higher Education in Healthcare with Health Science (T28) that is the same in structure as the first third of this degree.

Course Summary

+Shortlist Course

Degree

Degree

  • Also known as an undergraduate or bachelors degree.
  • Internationally respected, universally understood.
  • An essential requirement for many high-level jobs.
  • Gain a thorough understanding of your subject – and the tools to investigate, think critically, form reasoned arguments, solve problems and communicate effectively in new contexts.
  • Progress to higher level study, such as a postgraduate diploma or masters degree.
Course code
Q96
Credits

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
360
How long it takes
Part time – 6 years
Full time – 3 years
Time limit – 12 years
Study method
Distance learning

Course details

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.

Prepare for OU study with an Access module

We offer two starting points depending on how confident you are or how long it’s been since you last studied. Choose to dive straight in at Stage 1, or if you’d prefer some extra preparation, you can get started with an optional Access module. See Entry requirements for more details.

Stage 1 (120 credits)

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.

Stage 2 (120 credits)

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 (120 credits)

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 2021.


Accessibility

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

Credit transfer

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 course, we’ll award you our BSc (Honours) Healthcare and Health Science.

The class of honours (first, upper-second, lower-second or third) will depend on your grades at Stages 2 and 3.

You’ll have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.

Regulations

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. 


Compare this course

Entry requirements

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?

  • Most of our students study part time, completing 60 credits a year.
  • This will usually mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.
Find out if you have enough time to study with our time planner

Preparing for study with an Access module

Students who start their study with an Access module are more likely to be successful when they advance to Stage 1 of their qualification. They’re specially designed to give you a gentle introduction to OU study, boost confidence in your study skills, and help you gain a broad overview of your chosen subject area.

You’ll also benefit from:

  • feedback from your tutor through regular one-to-one phone tutorials
  • support from a dedicated team throughout your study
  • detailed written feedback on your work.
The Access module we’d recommend studying in preparation for this qualification is our:

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

How much will it cost in England?

We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread, or even reduce, the cost.

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification up front.
  • A qualification comprises a series of modules, each with an individual fee. Added together, they give you the total cost.
  • Most OU students study part time at a rate of 60 credits a year.
  • Our current fee for 60 credits is £3,168*.
  • Our current fee for 120 credits, which is equivalent to a year's full-time study, is £6,336*.
  • At current prices, the total cost of your qualification would be £19,008*.
  • .

*The fee information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2022. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees.

Additional costs

Study costs

There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as set books, a computer and internet access.

If your income is not more than £25,000 or you are in receipt of a qualifying benefit, you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after you start studying.

Field schools/lab schools

This qualification has modules with optional field schools/lab schools. For each school, you must pay an additional charge (see module descriptions for further information). You must also pay for your travel to and from the venue. Due to the ongoing pandemic, we may replace face-to-face events with online alternatives.


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.

Career relevance

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.

Other careers

Many graduate-level jobs are open to graduates of any discipline, particularly in business, finance, management consultancy and the public sector. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree.

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

Register for this course

Start dates
Credit transfer: apply by 09/12/2021

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