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Duration

Three years, full time

Application Deadline

Applications are still being accepted through UCAS

Location

St George's, University of London

UCAS Code

B120, institution code S49

Start dates

September 2021

Apply via UCAS

Overview

Healthcare Scientists play a vital role in the prevention, diagnosis, therapy, monitoring and rehabilitation of patients with a wide range of medical conditions. This programme is accredited by the Registration Council for Clinical Physiologists (RCCP) and the Academy for Healthcare Science (AHCS). It is unique in allowing you to experience the different specialisms before choosing your route in cardiac physiology or respiratory and sleep physiology. You will spend 50 weeks on placement.

St George’s is the only UK university based on a hospital site, which specialises in medical and health sciences education, training and research. You will study in a clinical setting, adopting a patient-centred approach from the outset and mixing with the many different healthcare students and professionals you will go on to work with. On graduation, you will be eligible to register with the RCCP and apply to join the AHCS to work as a healthcare scientist. Previous graduates have also undertaken further work-based learning, including the NHS funded Scientist Training Programme, accredited by the National School of Healthcare Science (NSHCS).

Read more information about our courses and university services terms and conditions.

Highlights

  • Accredited by AHCS and RCCP with eligibility to apply for professional registration with both on graduation.

  • Clinical experience in both cardiac physiology and respiratory/sleep physiology during the first year with the choice to specialise in either route.

  • 50 weeks spent on placement in a variety of clinical settings within leading NHS clinical physiology departments from as early as the second semester.

  • Cutting-edge facilities include a pathology museum, anatomy and dissection rooms, which enable you to learn clinical skills and practice techniques in a safe environment.

  • St George’s is the only UK university based on a hospital site.

  • A specialist university, you’ll be surrounded by like-minded individuals – our expertise and learning focuses on healthcare, science, medicine and the many medical professions to build your multidisciplinary understanding and context.

Course info

With an ageing and increasingly obese population, healthcare scientists are in increasing demand. Cardiovascular and respiratory diseases are among the leading causes of premature death worldwide; in the UK alone, one in four of us will die from heart disease and one in five from lung disease. With a strong desire to identify novel therapies and improve our understanding, rapid advances in science and technology make healthcare science one of the most exciting, challenging and rewarding areas of the NHS.

During clinical placements you will come across patients with a wide range of cardiovascular (e.g. arrhythmia, heart failure, coronary artery disease, hypertension) and respiratory and sleep disorders (e.g. asthma, cystic fibrosis, COPD, sleep apnoea, pulmonary fibrosis).

Healthcare scientists are involved in 80% of all clinical decisions in the NHS. The diagnostic tests that you perform, analysis and interpret will ensure patients have the correct diagnosis, medications and improve their quality of life.

Taught by academics, scientists and researchers, our accredited BSc (Hons) Physiological Sciences (Healthcare Science) provides professional training to equip you with specialist skills and knowledge to test and evaluate the functioning of different body systems, diagnose abnormalities and direct therapeutic intervention and long-term management and care. It offers a unique opportunity to experience both cardiac and respiratory and sleep physiology before confirming one of these specialist routes in your second year.

Your learning begins with a broad foundation of knowledge about all of the body systems and the disease processes that affect them, becoming highly specialised by the second and third year.

Over the course of three years, you will spend 50 weeks on clinical placement in several different hospitals, most of which are in London, Surrey, Sussex and Kent, which specialise in cardiac, respiratory/sleep or both. This practical experience will build your confidence and competence to produce, analyse and report clinical diagnostics, with a deep understanding of the physical causes of disease or injury and how to evaluate patient conditions and assign the patient along a risk spectrum (known as clinical risk stratification).

You will treat a wide range of patients of all ages and disabilities (visual, hearing, communication, physical disability, learning disability, mental health issues), as well as patients who are anxious, scared or do not speak English. The tests you perform will often rely on patient cooperation and sometimes maximal effort. Excellent verbal and non-verbal communication skills – being able to explain difficult concepts in a jargon free manner and checking understanding – are therefore essential to perform high quality and reliable clinical measurements. You will also need to take medical and drug histories prior to performing tests, checking for contraindications to ensure the correct tests are performed, and performed safely.

Find out more

Learn more about what it’s like to study at St George’s, University of London. Sign up for our free intro email series.

“One of the best things about this course is that most of your time is spent on placement which is a brilliant opportunity to learn on the job. You’re treated as part of a clinical team, which comes with real responsibilities. It’s a great way to put your knowledge into practice. ”

- Mariam

Healthcare Science BSc (Cardiac Physiology)

“I found the eight-week placement programme in my first year so beneficial. You do four weeks in respiratory and sleep, and four weeks in cardiology in a hospital environment, which allows you to see how each differs and what’s really involved. It’s a great way to help you decide which one you’d prefer to specialise in for the next two years.”

- Derek

Healthcare Science BSc (Respiratory and Sleep Physiology)

Tuition fees

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Home (UK) tuition fees

Academic Year

UK (per academic year)

Total fee*

2022/23

£9,250

£27,750

*Tuition fees for Home (UK) students are determined by UK Government Policy. Tuition fees are charged for each year of your course. Fees for second and subsequent years are likely to increase annually in line with UK inflation as measured by the Retail Price Index (RPI-X) and subject to maximum regulated fee rates set by the UK Government.

International (including EU) tuition fees

Academic year

International (per academic year)

Total fee*

2022/23

£17,250

£51,750

For more information, see our fees and funding pages, and read the UK government information about fees and funding.*Tuition fees for international students are set by St George’s, University of London. Tuition fees are charged for each year of your course. Fees for second and subsequent years are likely to increase annually in line with UK inflation as measured by the Retail Price Index (RPI-X). They will not normally increase by more than 5 per cent each year, except when the rate of inflation is significantly more than that projected in the preceding year.

Additional costs

The following table gives you an indication of additional costs associated with your course.  These costs are not included in your tuition fees.

Item 

Description

Admissions costs

DBS - £40
Post office verification - £5 
Administration fee - £6

Technology requirements

Find out more about technology requirements associated with online learning.

 

:

Clubs, Societies and Community Projects at St George's

Visit the Students' Union website
Our entry requirements for 2021 entry and 2022 entry may differ. Please scroll down if you would like to view our 2022 entry criteria.

Entry criteria 2021

With the exception of GCSEs, all qualifications must have been awarded no more than five years before your year of application.

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Nationality

Citizens of the UK, or those with indefinite leave to remain in the UK, can apply for this course.

GCSEs

Grades

5 subjects graded C (4) or above

Subjects 

Five subjects which must include English Language, Maths, and sciences.

Additional information

We accept resits of GCSEs. We do not accept Adult Literacy and Numeracy or Functional Maths instead of GCSEs.

A Levels

Grades

BBB

Subjects

To include Biology and at least one other science subject or Maths. 

Contextual admissions

At St George’s, we want to attract students who share our mission to improve the health of society, regardless of their background. That’s why our Contextual Admissions schemes take into consideration additional information from your application, like the school you attended or the area you live in or if you have been in care, to make the admissions process fairer. Further details on Contextual Admissions are available here.

Additional information

General Studies, Key Skills and AS Levels are not accepted. A2 and modular resits will be considered, however, you may be required to achieve higher grades.

International Baccalaureate

Award

Full Award Diploma

Overall score

Overall score of 32.

Higher level

A minimum score of 15 points at Higher Level.

Standard level

A minimum score of 5 must be attained in Maths at Standard Level if at least a 5 (Grade C) has not previously been attained in GCSE/IGCSE/O Level Maths.

Access Diploma

Award

Full Award Diploma

Scores

60 credits at level 3 (45 graded and 15 ungraded)

Grades

Credits must be in pure science subjects, excluding sociology. Any additional credits outside of the 60 credit diploma will not be accepted.

Overall 21 credits must be graded at Distinction and 24 at Merit.

Additional information

You are required to have GCSEs in English Language, Maths and Science alongside the Access Diploma as per the requirements outlined above.

Students studying an Access Diploma need to provide a detailed transcript. All units must be verified by the local Open College Network (OCN).

Other qualifications

Birkbeck College
Certificate in Life
Sciences 

65 per cent overall.

Advanced GNVQ 

AGNVQ Science at distinction.
Biology or Human Biology A Level (A2) at grade B.

National Diploma
(BTEC) 

Pearson BTEC Diploma in Science: DD, with Biology or Human Biology A Level at grade B

Pearson BTEC Level 3 Extended  National Diploma: DDM

Subjects in Science are essential

Advanced Diploma 

Society, Health and Development at grade B, or Sport and Active Leisure at grade B.
Supplemented by Additional and Specialist Learning: A Level (A2) Biology or Human Biology at grade B.

Open University 

120 units at Level 1 and 2.
Level 1: Exploring Science module, 60 units. (Last offering at OU is Feb 2016)
Level 2: Human Biology module, 30 units.
Any other module, 30 units.
All results must be received and verified by 1 September of the year of entry.

Scottish Highers 

Five B grades at Higher level including Maths, English Language and Science.

BBB at Advanced Higher Level at BBB including Biology or Human Biology.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Six B grades at Higher Level, including English, Maths and Biology.

English and Maths must be a minimum of B2 at HL.

Applicants should list their Junior Certificates on UCAS form

Undergraduate Degree

2.2 Honours or higher in a Science related subject.

Foundation Degree

Minimum overall score 65 per cent in a Science related subject.

Other

All qualifications equivalent to BBB at A Level (or better) according to UKNARIC will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

English language

If English is not your first language and you are not a national of a country deemed by either the UK Home Office or St George’s, University of London to be ‘majority English speaking’ listed here, you will be required to meet the English Language requirements outlined below. Tests are valid for a period of two years.

GCSE / IGCSE

English Language grade 6 / B or above.

IELTS 

(International English Language Testing System)


7.0 overall (including 7.0 in Writing and Speaking component and a minimum score of 6.5 in the Reading and Listening Component)

You are able to take two attempts to achieve your IELTS qualification per year and your test results are valid for two years. 

Pearson’s Test 

67 overall (including 67 in written element, and no section less than 61)

Other essential criteria

Work experience

Please see below.

Personal statement

Should demonstrate an awareness of clinical physiology and an interest in a clinical career.

Health and police screening

Satisfactory clearance in both, including immunisation against Hepatitis B, MMR, Meningitis, TB and Chicken Pox
Enhanced Police Disclosure via the Disclosure and Barring Service.

Candidates accepted onto healthcare courses are required to pass an occupational health screening. When admitting candidates to study and practice as a health practitioner, we have an obligation to both patients and to the individual student. Candidates who are concerned about a health issue are strongly advised to contact us prior to applying. All offers of places are made subject to satisfactory health clearance and an agreement to undergo appropriate blood tests and immunisations.

Offer holders will be asked to be immunised against Hepatitis B for personal safety, and will receive a confidential health questionnaire and further information about the process of health screening if they firmly accept their offer. However, you may wish to contact your general practitioner (GP) to begin a course of Hepatitis B immunisation before  you receive an offer, as it consists of three injections over a six month period.

This course will include work with children and vulnerable adults so all applicants will be required to have an enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check. More information about this is sent to offer holders as part of the admissions process, but you can read more about DBS checks here.

Professional registration 

If you are a current healthcare professional or a member of a registered professional body, you must provide details of your registration. If your professional registration has been suspended or revoked, or undergone a disciplinary/fitness to practice investigation, you will be required to provide further information if selected for interview. This will be reviewed by the admissions tutor and you may be required to provide full copies of related documentation. Any information you disclose will only be used for the purpose of considering your application to the applied course.

Voluntary and work experience

We understand the challenges for our prospective applicants for medicine and allied health courses trying to gain work experience at this time, particularly in clinical settings.    

In response to the government’s social distancing guidelines, which have a significant impact on all areas of life, we have chosen to relax our work experience requirements for prospective applicants for our courses which would normally require these.    

Despite the relaxed requirements, we still require our applicants to have an understanding of the realities of working as a healthcare professional and to show they have the necessary skills and attributes for their chosen career. Online resources can give you valuable insight into working in the healthcare sector and outline the wide range of careers and courses available. You can find a number of suggested resources for each of our courses here. 

Health and police screening

We have an obligation to both patients and to the individual students, so if you are accepted onto a healthcare course you are required to pass occupational health screening. If you are concerned about a health issue you are strongly advised to contact us prior to applying. All offers of places are made subject to satisfactory health clearance and an agreement to undergo appropriate blood tests and immunisations.

You will be asked to be immunised against Hepatitis B for personal safety, so please contact your general practitioner (GP) to arrange screening. You should begin a course of Hepatitis B immunisation as soon as you submit your UCAS application, as it consists of three injections over a six month period. If you firmly accept an offer you will be sent a confidential health questionnaire and further information about the process of screening for Hepatitis B.

This course includes working with children and vulnerable adults so you must have an enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check. More information about this will be sent to you as part of the admissions process.

Professional registration

If you are a current healthcare professional or a member of a registered professional body, you must provide details of your registration. If your professional registration has been suspended or revoked, or undergone a disciplinary/fitness to practice investigation, you will be required to provide further information if selected for interview. This will be reviewed by the admissions tutor and you may be required to provide full copies of related documentation. Any information you disclose will only be used for the purpose of considering your application to the applied course.

Exceptions

If you have studied but not completed a degree at an alternative university or are re-applying on the basis of A Levels, you must provide formal evidence as to why you withdrew from your studies previously. We will review each application on a case by case basis; however, we are not able to consider you if you have been suspended from previous studies due to fitness to practice issues or failure in assessments/examinations.

The following qualifications may enhance your application, but will not contribute to the minimum requirements:

  • NVQs
  • Massage courses
  • Sports Coaching degree, unless you have Biology A Level in addition
  • ITEC Anatomy and Physiology
  • Some international qualifications (to be assessed on application).

Entry Criteria: 2022 Entry

To be eligible for the Healthcare Science BSc programme, you must meet the requirements outlined under Entry Qualifications, Other Academic Requirements, and Non-academic Requirements below.

Entry Qualifications

With the exception of GCSEs, all qualifications must have been completed within the previous five years, including the year of application.

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A Levels

If you are applying on the basis of A Levels, you must meet both the A Level and GCSE requirements below.

Grades

BBB

Subjects

Including Biology and one other science subject. General Studies is not accepted.

Contextual admissions

At St George’s, we want to attract students who share our mission to improve the health of society, regardless of their background. That’s why our Contextual Admissions schemes take into consideration additional information from your application, like the school you attended or the area you live in or if you have been in care, to make the admissions process fairer. Further details on Contextual Admissions are available here.

Additional information

Resits may be considered.

GCSEs

Grades

Five subjects graded 4 (C) or above

Subjects

Five subjects which must include English Language, Maths and Science (Double or Triple Award).

Additional information

We accept resits of GCSEs. We do not accept Adult Literacy and Numeracy or Functional Skills instead of GCSEs.

International Baccalaureate

If you are applying on the basis of International Baccalaureate, you need to meet both our Higher Level and Standard Level requirements, as outlined below.

Award

Full Award Diploma

Scores

Overall score of 32

Subjects

15 points at Higher Level, including a minimum grade 5 in Biology.

At Standard Level, a minimum score of 4 must be attained in Maths and English, if at least a 4 (C) has not previously been attained in GCSE/IGCSE Maths and English. We accept both Mathematics: analysis & approaches and Mathematics: applications & interpretations. 

Access Diploma

If you are applying on the basis of an Access Diploma, you must meet both the Access Diploma and GCSE requirements below.

Award

Full award diploma (in a science subject)

Scores

60 credits at level 3 (45 graded and 15 ungraded)

Subjects

45 science related credits. 21 credits at Distinction and 24 credits at Merit.

Additional information

Science subjects include Applied Science, Biology, Chemistry, Human Biology, Physics and Psychology.

GCSEs

Grades

Three subjects graded 4 (C) or above

Subjects English Language, Maths and Science (Double or Triple Award)

Additional information

We accept resits of GCSEs. We do not accept Adult Literacy and Numeracy or Functional Skills instead of GCSEs.

Other UK Qualifications

Pearson BTEC Level 3 Extended National Diploma

If you are applying on the basis of a Pearson BTEC Level 3 Extended National Diploma, you must meet both the Diploma and GCSE requirements below.

DDM 

Must be in Applied Science.

5 GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above. Subjects must include English Language, Maths and Science (Double or Triple Award).

Pearson BTEC Diploma

If you are applying on the basis of a Pearson BTEC Diploma, you must meet both the Diploma and GCSE requirements below.

DM with a Biology A Level at grade B

Must be in a science or healthcare subject.

5 GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above. Subjects must include English Language, Maths and Science (Double or Triple Award).

Cambridge Pre-U Diploma

If you are applying on the basis of a Cambridge Pre-U Diploma, you must meet both the Diploma and GCSE requirements below.

M2, M2, M2

Three principal subjects including Biology.

5 GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above. Subjects must include English Language, Maths and Science (Double or Triple Award).

Scottish Highers

If you are applying on the basis of Scottish Highers, you must meet the Highers, Advanced Highers and National 5 requirements below.

Highers: BBB including Biology

Advanced Highers: BB

English Language and Maths National 5 at grade C or higher is required.

UK Undergraduate Degree

If you are applying on the basis of a degree, you do not need to meet our GCSE or Level 3 (A Level) requirements.

2:2 Honours

Must be in a science subject.

Other

Please contact us.

Other Academic Requirements

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English Language

If you are applying from outside of the UK, you will need to meet the English language requirements outlined here. This is a group 1 course.

Non-academic Requirements

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Nationality

Citizens of the UK, or those with indefinite leave to remain in the UK, can apply for this course.

Personal Statement

Applicants should demonstrate an awareness of clinical physiology, and an interest in a clinical career.

Work Experience and Insight

We understand the challenges for our prospective applicants for medicine and allied health courses trying to gain work experience at this time, particularly in clinical settings.    

In response to the government’s social distancing guidelines, which have a significant impact on all areas of life, we have chosen to relax our work experience requirements for prospective applicants for our courses which would normally require these.    

Despite the relaxed requirements, we still require our applicants to have an understanding of the realities of working as a healthcare professional and to show they have the necessary skills and attributes for their chosen career. Online resources can give you valuable insight into working in the healthcare sector and outline the wide range of careers and courses available. You can find a number of suggested resources for each of our courses here.

Occupational Health Check

Should you receive an offer to study at St George’s, you will be required to complete a health check and be declared fit to study and practise by the Occupational Health (OH) department before you begin your studies.

The following vaccinations are mandatory for all healthcare students before you begin your studies:

  • MMR (measles, mumps and rubella)
  • Meningococcal meningitis
  • Diphtheria
  • Pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Poliomyelitis
  • Tetanus

As part of the process, you will also be screened by the OH team for Chickenpox, Tuberculosis, HIV and Hepatitis B and C.

When admitting candidates to study and practise as a health practitioner, we have an obligation to both patients and to the individual student. Candidates who are concerned about a health issue are advised to contact us.

Disclosure and Barring Service Check & Additional Declarations

This course will include work with children and vulnerable adults, so you will be required to submit a series of declarations.

If you are invited to an interview, we will request some additional information from you, regarding your criminal record, educational history and employment history. You will also have the opportunity to make any other declarations that you’d like us to be aware of. We may not able to consider applicants who were suspended from previous study/work due to fitness to practise issues or failure in assessments/examinations.

If you are made an offer, you will be required to complete an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. More information about this is sent to applicants as part of the admissions process.

The time on the programme is split approximately 50/50 between university based learning and clinical placements.

Year 1

In Year 1, you’ll be introduced to the scientific 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. You will undertake 10 weeks of clinical training, divided between different sites to give you a variety of experiences, working in both cardiology and respiratory/sleep departments before selecting your speciality preference at the end of the year. During placements, you will perform (under supervision) a range of routine cardiac and respiratory procedures, including electrocardiograms (ECG), blood pressure, spirometry and pulse oximetry.

Working as part of a multi-disciplinary team, you will start to develop a range of essential patient skills, such as maintaining dignity and confidentiality, developing effective observational and communication skills, learning to appreciate cultural and ethical issues, as well as health and safety, such as infection control procedures. As part of the University’s Essentials for Allied Health Professionals programme, you will work with students on other health courses – physiotherapists, occupational therapists, therapeutic and diagnostic radiographers, for example –  so you can begin to appreciate the concept of multidisciplinary healthcare teams.

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Year 1 modules

 Location

Module

University campus

Essentials for Allied Health Professionals

University campus

Preparation for Practice

University campus

Science and Technology

University campus / Practice Placement

Principles & Practice of Radiography 1

University campus

Professional Values & Ethics for Radiographers

Year 2

In Year 2, you deepen your knowledge and understanding of the pathophysiology of common cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), fainting (syncope), sleep apnoea, heart attacks, heart failure and irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia). Focused on your specialism, interactive sessions cover the highly skilled diagnostic techniques, methodologies and interpretation required for clinical practice. For example, calibration of equipment is required to ensure patients get accurate and reliable test results and receive the correct diagnosis, treatments and interventions. This is reinforced by 15 weeks of speciality-specific training on placement, during which time you will build on your existing clinical skills and undertake more advanced procedures, such as measurement of gas exchange, lung volume and sleep studies (respiratory/sleep) or ambulatory ECG and blood pressure monitoring and assisting with cardiac exercise tests (cardiology).

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Year 2 modules

 Location

Module/placement

University campus

Radiographic Science and Technology

University campus / Practice Placement

Principles & Practice of Radiography 2

University campus

Research & Evidence Based Practice

Year 3

In the final year, the focus is on application of skills and final preparation for practice, so you graduate with the knowledge, experience, professionalism and clinical competencies required of a clinical practitioner. You will spend 25 weeks on clinical placement, providing the hands-on experience needed to build real expertise, undertaking yet more advanced clinical procedures. In cardiac physiology, this includes diagnostic and interventional cardiac catheterisation, Cardiac Rhythm Management (CRM), device implants and optimisation of these implanted devices. In respiratory/sleep physiology, it involves setting up, analysing and interpreting sleep studies and initiating life changing treatments, such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy in patients with sleep apnoea.

You will also complete your data collection/analysis and write up your clinical audit/research project. Previous students have covered a fascinating array of subject matter: from the effect of BMI on lung function to manual versus automated analysis of sleep studies in the diagnosis of sleep apnoea; and from exercise testing for Grown Up Congenital Heart Disease (GUCH) to one student’s service evaluation of a renal transplant stress echo service, results of which she presented at the prestigious British Society of Echocardiography’s 2020 Conference.

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Year 3 modules

 Location

Modules/placements

University campus

Dissemination of Research

University campus / Practice Placement

Clinical Competence and Practice

University campus

Contemporary Issues in Radiography

Practice placement

Quality and Innovation in Health & Social Care

Placement

The variety, volume and quality of clinical placement opportunities we offer is what students tell us they like most about our course – you will sample professional life in hospitals specialising in your chosen specialism. You will gain experience of working as part of a team, demonstrating professional behaviour and performing (under supervision) a range of cardiac and respiratory/sleep procedures, beginning with routine procedures and culminating in more advanced, highly skilled techniques by the end of your course.

As a student, you will be allocated a hospital placement to attend in several clinical blocks throughout each of the three years. You will be provided with a free student uniform. We also assist with travel expenses to some placement sites (travel bursary). Placements usually take place in Semesters 2, 3 and 4. You will spend a minimum of 30 hours per week, usually over four days. We also build in teaching sessions during these blocks.

  • Year 1: 10 weeks, Semester 2

  • Year 2: 15 weeks, Semester 3 and 4

  • Year 3: 25 weeks, Semester 5 and 6

On placement, you are supervised by experienced physiologists/scientists and trained mentors. You receive support from your University clinical placement co-ordinators/specialist lecturers who will visit you regularly. You should be prepared to travel for your placements across Greater London and surrounding areas.

Below is a list of hospitals that offer clinical placements*

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Cardiac placements

  • Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

  • Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

  • Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

  • Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust

  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Woolwich)

  • Royal Surrey County Hospital (Guildford)

  • St Bartholomew's Hospital, Bart's Health NHS Trust

Cardiac and Respiratory/Sleep placements

  • East Surrey (Redhill)

  • Guy's and St Thomas's NHS Foundation Trust

  • Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

  • King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

  • North Middlesex University Hospital

  • Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust

  • Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

  • St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Respiratory/Sleep placements

  • Great Ormond Street Hospital (Paediatric placement)

  • Homerton Hospital

  • Whipp’s Cross University Hospital

Apprenticeship

The BSc (Hons) Physiological Sciences (Healthcare Science) degree is a three-year integrated apprenticeship degree programme.

Contextualised for workplace occupational competency, it combines academic and work-based learning through employment. The curriculum is a blend of employer-defined knowledge, skills, behaviours and values that are integral to and assessed as part of the degree.

Completion of the degree demonstrates that the apprentice meets the outcomes of the Healthcare Science (HCS) Practitioner Apprenticeship Standard, giving assurance that apprentices graduating from these programmes are fit to meet the future needs of employers and patients.

Apprentices without Level 2 English and Maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and Maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.

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Highlights for employers

  • Course content covers both cardiac physiology and respiratory/sleep physiology.

Highlights for employees

  • Gain a BSc (Hons) in Healthcare Science while on your apprenticeship journey.

  • At least 20% of the time in off-the-job training.

  • Employment in a job with legal and contractually acceptable terms and conditions.

  • Entry to a recognised occupation and a guaranteed starting salary point up to NHS Band 5, with clear training and progression.

  • Eligibility for professional registration with RCCP or AHCS on successful completion.

The only course in London to train in both cardiac physiology and respiratory/sleep physiology, this is an accredited NHS Clinical Physiology Practitioner Training Programme, developed under the Department of Health Modernising Scientific Careers initiative to train scientists for a patient-centred role within the NHS. It will provide you with the skills and knowledge for a career as a clinical physiologist, either in the cardiac or respiratory/sleep speciality.

Teaching methods include lectures, seminars, tutorials, case-based learning, data interpretation exercises, group work, computer-aided learning, clinical skills training in simulated environments and clinical placements. You will have anatomy tutorials in the dissecting room during your first year and spend time working with the specimens in our extensive pathology museum. On placement, you’ll build a portfolio of clinical and professional skills and competencies, to the standard expected for professional registration.

One of the many benefits of studying at St George’s is the opportunity to study and work with students on other healthcare-related courses, including medicine, physiotherapy, diagnostic and therapeutic radiography, to lay the foundation for future practice as part of a clinical multidisciplinary team.

Case based learning (CBL) allows small groups to work together (with a facilitator) to discuss and debate clinical cases (e.g. kidney disease, diabetes, heart/lung disease etc), and review patient history, medication, diagnostic tests and test results to identify the correct diagnosis.

Small group tutorials in the final year are conducted with external Clinical Scientists who are specialists in their field, providing you with an opportunity for Q&As with some of the UK's leading scientists, working at the cutting-edge of healthcare science.

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Our expertise

You’ll be taught by staff with a background with experience of leading specialist cardiac, respiratory and sleep services. Where possible, current clinical physiology practitioners will also share their experiences: guest lectures have previously covered interpretation of sleep studies, paediatric lung function, hypoxic challenge testing, tilt testing for heart conditions and introduction to echocardiography and implantable cardioverter defibrillators.

Our teaching draws on the wealth of experience of our placement collaborators and alumni, who present masterclasses and workshops that enrich your learning. In previous years, the Royal National Institute of Blind People has highlighted to students best practice when dealing with blind patients.

On placement, you will be supervised, mentored and assessed by practising physiologists. Some of our placement sites also have STP and HSST scientists, who have to teach as part of their programme.

Assessment methods

We use a range of assessment techniques, chosen to match the competencies being learned and tested within each module. These include written exam papers, academic coursework (essays, posters, presentations, reflective writing), the final year project dissertation (including clinical viva), clinical assessments that take place during placements and a portfolio of clinical work.

We use some formative assessments early on, including an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) in Year 1 prior to going on placement, to help you to develop your skills, and provide interactive learning resources to help you judge your own understanding of some of the more difficult material. Clinical Training modules are pass-fail, but marks for the other modules accumulate to give your final degree classification.

Martyn Bucknall

Admissions Tutor

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Cynthia Simon

Course Director

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While the St George’s programmes are recognised by many different countries, applicants are advised to check with their own individual national authorities if they wish to practise in their chosen country.

As a Healthcare Scientist your role can develop and progress to working as an advanced practitioner, leadership and managerial roles. The services provided can range from working independently, performing and analysing complex diagnostics, such as echocardiography, cardiopulmonary exercise testing, advanced sleep studies or allergy testing, to being part of an emergency on-call multidisciplinary team in a heart attack centre.

Your training equips you with skills to navigate a range of patients from newborns to young adults and the elderly, those with impairment or communication challenges. It prepares you to become a highly professional member of an amazing highly skilled team.

On completion of this degree, you will be eligible for professional registration with the RCCP or AHCS and to apply for NHS positions up to Agenda for Change (AfC) Band 5 in your chosen field. Career prospects are excellent with opportunities for career progression within the NHS through professional practice and development into Senior Healthcare Science roles, as well as progression into management, education and training, or academic career pathways.

Careers advice and skills for employability are embedded into our teaching. These include sessions on applying for jobs (CV writing, interview preparation), applying for STP programmes and professional registration.

Previous students have gone on to undertake further study or study medicine. This degree is an entry qualification for application to the Scientist Training Programme (STP), a three-year programme of work-based learning, supported by a University accredited master’s degree, which several of our students have gained places on.

Cardiac Physiology

 Cardiac Physiologists and Scientists perform diagnostic procedures to investigate cardiac pathology. From the basics of ECGs and ambulatory ECG/blood pressure monitoring and exercise stress tests, up to the complex cardio-pulmonary exercise tests, echocardiography and electrophysiology testing. They work within a multidisciplinary team to provide urgent and elective coronary intervention, implant of devices to manage heart rhythm disturbances and independently run clinics for chest pain, syncope, arrhythmias, valve clinics and cardiac rhythm devices. In many units they are involved in research projects and also run their own research leading to a professional doctorate.

Respiratory and Sleep Physiology

As a practitioner specialising in respiratory and sleep physiology, you will undertake a wide range of routine and highly complex diagnostic procedures on your patients, including spirometry, measurement of gas exchange, exercise testing, blood gas analysis, allergy testing and sleep studies. Patients (including children) may be referred to you for many reasons, including low oxygen levels, abnormal chest X-rays, shortness of breath, suspected sleep disorders (e.g. sleep apnoea), pre-operative assessment (e.g. for lung cancer or transplantation) or suspected respiratory diseases such as emphysema, COPD, cystic fibrosis, pulmonary fibrosis, lung cancer and asthma.

In addition to diagnosis, practitioners are also actively involved in the treatment of patients. This includes set up and initiation of ventilation devices in patients with sleep apnoea or respiratory failure and assessment, prescription and monitoring of home oxygen therapy in patients with low oxygen levels.

Careers

  • Healthcare Scientist

  • Clinical Trials/Research

Facilities

St George’s is the only UK university, which specialises in healthcare education and is based on a hospital site, namely St George’s Hospital, where the Channel 4 television series 24 hours in A&E is filmed. We offer a unique opportunity to study and work alongside the full range of clinical professionals and their patients. Based in the thriving multi-cultural hub of Tooting in South West London, our location has the added advantage of being just a short tube ride from Central London and all the city lifestyle has to offer.

St George’s Hospital has a leading respiratory and sleep service, which provides services for both adult and paediatric placements. In addition to offering placements, members of the clinical team undertake specialist teaching sessions for students on advanced sleep studies (polysomnography) and non-invasive ventilation used to treat respiratory failure.

We also have a range of specialist health and academic facilities to support your learning, listed below.

Dissection room

The dissection room is where present and future healthcare professionals and scientists in the hospital and University learn or refresh their anatomy knowledge directly from the human body, through access to cadaveric material and models, and plastinated (preserved) specimens. 

Pathology museum

Our on-site museum houses a collection of over 2,000 pathological specimens, including a number of original specimens donated by Sir Benjamin Collins Brodie in 1843. This space is used for small group tutorials by students across all of our courses as an educational tool to help you understand the mechanisms of disease.

Clinical cubicles

We have a large number of clinical cubicles to help students across many courses build their skills in physical examinations, while getting used to a clinical environment, reflecting our hands-on approach to student development. We have four clinical skills rooms used for teaching communication and clinical skills. Each room is equipped with a ward style set up including beds, skeletons and mannequins for teaching. In the first year, we will use these cubicles to practise routine skills, such as performing ECG, blood pressure, pulse oximetry, spirometry, checking for vital signs, and resuscitation techniques. Using the latest patient manikins, or your fellow students, you can recreate healthcare scenarios and learn to solve problems prior to going out on placement.

Library and learning technology

Our modern health sciences library offers a wide range of books, e-books, academic journals and other resources to support you. You will also have access to online resources, such as the Canvas virtual learning environment

and our Hunter discovery service to help you find the information you need. The library is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and comprises silent, quiet and group learning areas, as well as four group discussion rooms.

IT facilities

We have five computer suites housing 260 workstations. Three of these suites are accessible 24 hours a day. It’s easy to find a free space with our handy real-time computer locator. We also have 75 self-service laptops available. Free Wi-Fi covers the whole campus, including all accommodation. You can use these resources to access your course materials, discussion boards and feedback through Canvas.

Student support

Whether you are heading off to university straight from school or college, or returning to education as a mature student, we want to ensure your experience is positive from the outset. At St George’s, you’ll be welcomed by a multicultural student and staff body of different ages, ethnicities, nationalities and backgrounds, all with one thing in common – an interest and passion in healthcare, science and medicine.

Students frequently tell us they greatly appreciate the diversity of our student and staff body, as well as the patients who access healthcare services in the borough of Tooting. We attract a substantial number – over two-thirds – of ‘mature’ students, aged 21 or over when they start; many have family and caring responsibilities.

We offer a full range of academic support and student services across all institutes, departments and faculties, some of which are listed below. We take pride in offering a transformative educational experience underpinned by cooperation and collaboration between staff and students. Our innovative Student-Staff Partnership Grants (SSPGs), for example, provide funding for small projects led jointly by students and staff.

Academic personal tutor

On arrival, you will be allocated a personal tutor – someone with whom you can have regular contact, who you ask questions and discuss problems with, both academic and personal. The main purpose of a personal tutor is to monitor your progress, pick up and help you resolve any problems, whether academic or welfare related. Even if they don’t have the answer they will point you in the right direction towards the best people to deal or support you with specific problems.

Induction programme

Within your first week at St George’s, you’ll take part in an induction programme to help with your orientation and introduce you to various study skills, including interprofessional learning and use of the Dissecting Room. Additional sessions provide advice and guidance about the Registry, Students’ Union, personal tutor system, safety, occupational health and sexual health awareness.

Academic staff support

You’ll have access to your lecturers, usually by arrangement via email.

Clinical placement support

We have service level agreements with most placement sites and the specialist cardiology and respiratory/sleep lecturers act as clinical placement co-ordinators. They work closely with placement sites to ensure all students receive high quality training and mentoring whilst on clinical placements, and will visit students during placements to support and monitor progress.

Mums and dads scheme

‘Mums and dads’ is a buddy scheme organised by the Students’ Union. Every fresher (first year student) has the choice of being assigned a ‘parent’ from the year above in their respective course. The returning student then acts as a ‘go to’ for advice about courses and university life, providing an additional support system during your first year, both academically and socially. They have been in your position and know the struggles of starting university; they also know all of the best pubs, clubs, restaurants, gyms and will help introduce you to your new St George’s family.

Student Life Centre

Our Student Centre team can help you with every aspect of student life: finances, accommodation, exams and assessment, academic procedures, admissions, international queries, disability and wellbeing, even finding your way around – whatever it takes to make you feel at home. Each course has a designated contact within the student centre to link to and your personal tutor can signpost you to relevant support, including a confidential counselling service.

Careers service

Our careers service works to support current students and recent graduates to find and maintain the career of their dreams. We work with careers tutors from each course area to ensure that careers activities specific to your programmes and future profession come to you.

Apply for this course through UCAS (the University and College Admissions Service) by 15 January in the year of entry. There are no upper age limits, so we welcome applications from mature students.

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Application checklist

 

 

You must provide:

  • full details of your Level 2 (GCSE or equivalent) qualifications with grades

  • full details of your Level 3 (A Level or equivalent) qualifications with achieved/predicted grades

  • a personal statement (more information about this document is available on the UCAS website)

  • an academic reference from your current or most recent institutions with predicted grades

After submitting your application to UCAS:

  • log in to UCAS Track and make sure all your academic details have been included

  • if any subjects or predicted results are missing, email the Admissions Officer with your UCAS number and missing subjects and grades.

Deferred entry

We will consider applications from applicants who wish to defer entry by a year, provided you plan to use the time constructively. If you are offered a place on the course and subsequently decide to defer, you must inform us by 1 June of the year of application.

After application

We will send you an acknowledgement email and letter when we receive your application. Please make sure your email account is able to accept communications from St George’s as we will mainly communicate with you via email. Selected applicants will be invited to attend interview. Decisions from St George’s will be entered onto UCAS Track and direct applicants will be contacted via email.

We have been working hard to find ways to teach our courses without disruption, while keeping our staff and students safe and making sure we follow government guidance on Covid-19. We won’t be making any significant changes to the content of our programmes, but there will be some changes to the way they are delivered. Please see below for further details of how this may affect this course.

If government advice changes, we may need to update our plans. If we do so, we will update this information, and will keep current students and offer holders informed by email.

We will also continue to update our frequently asked question page for applicants and offer holders and current students as more information becomes available.

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Location of study

From the commencement of the academic year the students will primarily access their learning, including learning materials, via the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), Canvas.

However, we intend to deliver hands-on practical teaching, small group tutorial and a selection of Clinical Physiology specific taught sessions on campus with appropriate social distancing and/or personal protective equipment (PPE) measures put in place, and with controls on the number of people in each location. 

We are aiming to deliver 1 day per week of on-site activities per year group.

Placement providers will continue to offer placements as they have in the previous years. We will use our existing procedures for allocating students to placements, although this may be subject to change.

Course content

We are not making any significant changes to the content of the Healthcare Science programme.

There may be some minor changes to how we deliver the programme – see below table.

There is a possibility that government advice on social distancing may change in the future and this may restrict access to the campus. Even if this were to be the case, we expect to be able to continue to deliver the core modules of the programme and the final year specialisms and pathways as planned.

For Year 1 students

Module/
component

Description of change

Clinical Training

(year 1)

It may be necessary to reduce the number of weeks for clinical placement if placement sites cannot accommodate students on-site at the scheduled time

For continuing students

Module/
component

Description of change

Clinical Training

(Year 2)

We intend to increase the standard number weeks of clinical placement to make up for time lost on placement in previous year, however, due to the uncertainty of placement sites it may also be necessary to decrease the number of placement weeks.

Clinical Training

(Year 3)

We intend to increase the standard number weeks of clinical placement to make up for time lost on placement in previous year, however, due to the uncertainty of placement sites it may also be necessary to decrease the number of placement weeks.

 

How the course is being delivered

The existing learning outcomes for our modules and courses will remain in place. From the commencement of the academic year the students will primarily access their learning, including learning materials, via the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), Canvas. However, we intend to deliver hands-on practical teaching, small group tutorial and a selection of Clinical Physiology specific taught sessions on campus with appropriate social distancing and/or personal protective equipment (PPE) measures put in place, and with controls on the number of people in each location. 

We are aiming to deliver 1 day per week of on-site activities per year group.

The online components of the course will be designed to balance interactive real-time sessions with lecturers and other students, with self-paced independent study. Students will have clear learning pathways through the activities they are expected to engage with, and there will be opportunities to check learning and progress.

Personal tutor support and all other student support, such as the Academic Success Centre, will also be online for this period, using a range of methods for staying in touch, such as telephone, email and the University’s web conferencing systems BigBlueButton and MSTeams.

Clinical placements are currently expected to take place under timetables traditionally used prior to Covid-19, with year one currently scheduled to commence in January 2022, year two in October 2021 and year three in September 2021. As indicated we intend to increase the standard number of weeks of clinical placements for year two and three students to make up for time lost on placement in the previous year, however, due to the uncertainty of placement sites it may also be necessary to decrease the number of placement weeks. All students on placement will be expected to undertake a risk assessment and adhere to local Trust working patterns and guidance.  

To get the most from online study, hardware requirements have been established and communicated to all existing students and offer holders. Students will need their own personal computer or laptop and an internet connection in their place of accommodation. This needs to be in place at the start of the course. Once enrolled, students will have the ability to use Office 365 as part of our institutional licence, and access software required for their modules/courses via AppsAnywhere. In addition, we offer Office for Mac via Ofice365, but only the following applications are available for Mac: Teams, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, OneNote. Web-based Office applications are available on Mac. Full details are available here.

There is a provision for students who may struggle to meet the hardware requirements to contact our IT Hardship team.

Course length

We are expecting to deliver the course within the planned timescales, and for students to progress and graduate without delay.

Placement providers will continue to offer placements as they have in previous years. Their capacity to offer placements may change if, in the event of a further outbreak of Covid-19, delivering care to affected patients becomes the overriding priority. If that happens, we will limit the impact on students where possible. For first and second year students it may be necessary to delay placements to the following academic year to protect student safety. However, there is a possibility that graduation for some final year students may be delayed until they can complete all placements.

Assessments

We have developed online assessments so that these can go ahead regardless of whether students can attend site.

The assessment tasks are not changing, but may be delivered online. The impact will be limited because, although the way in which the assessment is being delivered is different, the assessment tasks, the learning outcomes that are being tested and the assessment criteria are the same. The assessments are therefore consistent with the way they were intended to be delivered. 

The online assessments are also the same in terms of the challenges they present to students. The assessments are therefore consistent with the way they were intended to be delivered. 

To maintain an inclusive and equitable approach that recognises, for example, challenging domestic circumstances and poor home internet connections, we recognise that students will need to find an appropriate environment in which to take the assessment and make sure that they have IT equipment and a reliable internet connection. This may not be possible for all students.

We aim to lend equipment to students if their own facilities are inadequate. We are also allowing students to apply to take their exam on-campus using a networked computer or laptop with WIFI connectivity. Students can request assistance by contacting examonsite@sgul.ac.uk ideally 4 weeks before their exam if they think you will have difficulties meeting.

Through the process to agree changes to assessments, criteria were developed to ensure that they remained fair, valid and reliable and did not disadvantage any student. 

We will continue to provide live assessment briefings, with opportunities for students to ask any questions or request targeted revision sessions. We don’t run mock exams per se, however many sessions are supported with Canvas quizzes with feedback for their individual lectures, using the same delivery system and format as the online exam.  For initial examination in the first year a mock paper is available for students to take in their own time. It is in two formats; one is without answers, the other has answers and explanations.

The changes will have no bearing on the accreditation of the programme by the NSHCS and RCCP or graduates from it.   

Placements and essential hands-on teaching

Clinical placements are currently expected to take place under timetables traditionally used prior to Covid-19, with year one currently scheduled to commence in January 2022, year two in October 2021 and year three in September 2021.

As indicated we intend to increase the standard number weeks of clinical placements for year two and three students to make up for time lost on placement in the previous year, however, due to the uncertainty of placement sites it may also be necessary to decrease the number of placement weeks.

All students on placement will be expected to undertake a risk assessment and adhere to local Trust working patterns and guidance.  

Additional costs

We do not expect students to incur any extra costs over and above those that we have advertised on the course page.

As a result of our courses beginning with the majority of teaching online, you will need a personal laptop or computer and access to the internet to participate in online lectures. Information is available on recommended device specification.

If you are worried you might struggle to meet these requirements, you should email IThardship@sgul.ac.uk so we can look at support options for you.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) will be provided for you in on-site activities if needed.

Course timetable

Generally speaking a typical week study will involve 4 scheduled days of taught content/activities, with 3 of these taking place online, using a combination of live and self-directed sessions, and 1 day per week of on-site activities.

During placement periods students will be required to attend placement for 30 hours per week, spread across 4 days, with the fifth day being utilised for either independent study or scheduled taught activities.

Course timetables are normally available 1 month before the start of the semester.

Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday–Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities.

Term dates

Consenting to these changes

At enrolment or re-enrolment you consented to the changes we anticipated as a result of the pandemic, which were outlined on the ‘Covid-19 updates’ tab of your course page at: www.sgul.ac.uk/study/courses.

The changes that we are making are the consequence of current public health advice and our need to anticipate changes to that advice. Our capacity to offer alternatives is therefore limited. We do not feel that the changes will adversely affect students.  If you wish to avoid these changes (e.g. by taking a year out from your studies) please discuss this directly with your course team in the first instance. We remain, as always, focused on the best experience and outcomes for our students.  

Making a complaint

If you have concerns about the quality of course delivery, please raise these with your course team in the first instance.

If you wish to take a more formal route, guidance is available to you in our student concerns and complaints procedure.

“I have found online studying to be quite successful for me. You can interact with your peers and lecturers as you usually would, but all from the comfort of your home. ”

- Jennifer, Medicine (MBBS) student, 4th year

Apply now

Duration

Three years, full time

Application Deadline

Applications are still being accepted through UCAS

UCAS Code

B120, institution code S49

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