Healthcare Science (Physiological Sciences)

Course Introduction

Healthcare science is one of the fastest-moving areas of the NHS, as well as one of the most exciting, challenging and rewarding. Healthcare scientists play a vital role in making accurate and timely diagnoses, carrying out investigations and interpreting and reporting the results. They also monitor, manage and treat patients with chronic disease. They contribute to decisions about patient treatment and are developing some of the most cutting-edge and innovative clinical and technological advancements.

Our Healthcare Science BSc combines academic study with NHS placements to provide professional training in the medical and biological sciences. It focuses on physiological sciences, one of the four key areas of healthcare science (the others are clinical bioinformatics, life sciences and physical sciences.) Our clinical placement sites are NHS hospital departments, largely in London, Surrey, Sussex and Kent. Many are in teaching hospitals and tertiary centres that can offer a wide range of facilities and experiences, meaning you will be immediately ready for the workplace when you graduate.

The course has two main focuses: cardiac physiology and respiratory and sleep physiology. You will experience both of these in academic and clinical settings in year 1, before making an informed decision about which to focus on. Year 3 includes designing and undertaking a comprehensive clinical research project.

This is an integrated apprenticeships programme, which means that it is employer-led: employers set the standards, making sure that apprentices are trained to meet their skills needs; they fund the apprenticeship; and are responsible for employing and training the apprentice.

After completing the course, you will have opportunities to carry on your studies at postgraduate level and specialise further throughout the UK in conjunction with a variety of NHS Trusts. You will be eligible for professional registration and may apply for NHS positions up to Band 5. You will also be eligible to apply for registration with the Academy of Healthcare Sciences (AHCS) and the Registration Council for Clinical Physiologists (RCCP).

**Course highlights**

- 50 weeks spent on clinical placements doing work-based training

- High levels of patient contact and interaction throughout the course

- Small cohort sizes, allowing for excellent and individualised academic support

- Inter-professional learning in preparation for work within multidisciplinary clinical teams

**About St George’s, University of London**

As the UK’s specialist health university, we’ve been improving health for over 250 years. Our close links with healthcare providers and our shared campus with one of the UK’s largest teaching hospitals, St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, means St George’s will provide you with a unique taste of what your future working life holds. 

Course Modules

This is a modular degree that begins with a broad foundation of knowledge about all of the body systems and the disease processes that affect them but becomes highly specialised by the third year.

Year one combines an introduction to the biomedical knowledge underpinning healthcare science as a whole, and especially the field of physiological sciences. From the start the course is explicitly designed as a preparation for clinical practice, slanted towards medically relevant information and clinical context. During this year you will undertake 10 weeks of clinical training, divided between different sites to give you a variety of experiences. You will work in both Cardiology and Respiratory/Sleep departments at this stage.

At the end of year one you will select your speciality preference, either Cardiac Physiology or Respiratory/Sleep Physiology. Thereafter your learning will be divided between modules that are common to both strands and specialist modules that are specific to your choice.

In year two you will learn about the pathophysiology of common diseases affecting both the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, taught by clinicians and researchers who specialise in these subjects and aided by time spent working with the specimens in our extensive pathology museum. You will learn to understand the scientific basis for the complex instruments that Clinical Physiologists use, calibrate and quality assure. You will also receive training in the research skills necessary for successful completion of your third-year audit/research project. Most importantly, the

specialist modules cover the detailed physiology of your chosen system (Cardiac or Respiratory/Sleep), in interactive sessions delivered by our core staff of registered Cardiac and Respiratory/Sleep Physiologists. They will cover the highly skilled diagnostic techniques, methodologies and interpretation required for clinical practice, reinforced by 15 weeks of speciality-specific training in your designated clinical placement site.

Year three focuses on developing your ability to apply everything that you’ve learned so far to the practice of Clinical Physiology. University-based teaching will focus on developing your specialist academic skills, while 25 weeks in the clinical workplace will complete your clinical training, providing the hands-on experience needed to build real expertise. You will complete and write up your clinical audit/research project. The third year will see you transform from a student to someone who has the knowledge, experience, professionalism and clinical competencies required of a Clinical Physiology Practitioner.

Start Date


Tuition & Fees

Duration & Attendance Qualification Tuition fees Fee type
3 years
Full Time
Bachelor of Science (with Honours) - BSc (Hons) Other Fees

Qualifications Required

  • IELTS (Academic): 7.0 -- 7.0 overall (including 7.0 in Writing and a minimum of 6.5 in all others components)