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33 months practical, plus up to 3 months End Point Assessment

Application Deadline

19 August 2024


St George's, University of London

UK, EU and non-EU

(International) citizens may apply

Start dates

23 September 2024

Apply now

About this programme

The BSc Healthcare Science Practitioner course is a three-year integrated apprenticeship degree that combines academic and work-based learning through employment.

As a clinical physiologist you’ll work with patients to improve the quality of their lives. The diagnostic tests you perform, analyse and interpret will provide patients with the correct diagnoses and therapies. If you want to specialise and develop expert knowledge, but still interact with patients, this is the course for you.

When you train with us, you’ll graduate with a degree in cardiac or respiratory sleep physiology based on your current employment. You will spend a brief time in either the cardiac or respiratory sleep department in your first year. You will be exposed to essential diagnostic investigations such as ECGs, peak flow testing and oxygen saturation right through to complex tasks, for example, optimising pacemakers, Echocardiograms, body plethysmography and cardiac catherisation/intervention.

Over the three years, you will support patients of all ages with different cardiovascular or respiratory and sleep disorders, from arrhythmia to asthma. With an ageing and increasingly obese population, health scientists are in demand.

When you graduate, you’ll be eligible to register with the Academy for Healthcare Science (AHCS).

Download our brochure about this programme (PDF).

Who is this programme for?

Our apprenticeship programme is for those currently in employment who have the support of their employer to start an apprenticeship in Healthcare Science.

Why St George's?

  • A degree recognised by employers - when you graduate, you'll be eligible to register with the Academy for Healthcare Science (AHCS) and apply for clinical physiologist roles within the NHS.
  • We are the UK's only university dedicated to medical and health sciences, education, training and research and we have over 250 years of innovation, keeping pace with the health challenges of a changing NHS.
  • Cutting-edge facilities - including a pathology museum, and Anatomy suite, which enable you to learn clinical skills and practice techniques in a safe environment.

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

Entry qualifications

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A Levels

Grades Subjects
BBB Including Biology or Human Biology and one other science subject (including Maths). General Studies is not accepted

Additional information

Resits may be considered. Accepted science subject include:

  • Applied Science
  • Chemistry
  • Human Biology
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Maths.


Grades Subjects
Five subjects graded 4 (C) or above 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.

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.

Work experience

Evidence of work experience (voluntary or paid) in a healthcare or community setting.

Applicants offered a place on the programme will be required to clear relevant Occupational Health and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks.

Alternative qualifications

Alternative equivalent entry qualifications, including the International Baccalaureate, will also be considered.

Alternative qualifications must be attained at a level equivalent to NQF Level 3 and incorporate teaching and assessment in Biology at a breadth and depth comparable to A2 level.

International and EU qualifications will be assessed using National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) and UCAS Overseas Qualifications manual. 

English Language qualifications

All applicants must hold English Language GCSE at grade C or above.

Alternatively, applicants should have achieved an overall score of at least 7.0 in IELTS (International English Language Testing System) with each individual skills section scoring at least 6.0. 

Initial Needs Assessments

Candidates able to show evidence of a prior qualification containing elements substantially similar to those within the BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science degree may be exempted from not more than one third of the course of study and examinations leading to the degree.

Candidates who have completed 120 credits at Level 4 on a relevant, comparable course within the last five years may present a claim to advanced standing to enter Year 2 (level 5) directly.

Candidates seeking exemption from Year 1 (level 4) will be required to present evidence of qualifications and practical experience which demonstrates sufficiently comparable coverage of Year 1 academic content and clinical competencies.

Candidates may be required to undertake a short entry examination in order to demonstrate basic clinical competencies.

The time on the programme is split approximately 50/50 between university-based learning and work-based learning which you will do with your current employer.

Year 1

In Year 1, you’ll be introduced to the scientific knowledge underpinning the field of physiological sciences. From the start, the programme is explicitly designed as a preparation for clinical practice, slanted towards medically relevant information and clinical context. During work-based training you will perform (under supervision) a range of routine cardiac and or 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

Type Module name Credits
Taught Scientific Basis of Healthcare Science 1 30 credits
Taught Scientific Basis of Cardiovascular, Respiratory and Sleep Science 30 credits
Taught Professional Practice 1 15 credits
Taught Scientific Basic of Healthcare Science 2 30 credits
Clinical Work-based Learning 15 credits

Year 2

In year two, you will focus on your specialism, deepen your knowledge and understanding of the pathophysiology of common cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), syncope (fainting), sleep apnoea, heart attacks, heart failure and irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia).

This is reinforced by speciality-specific work based training, 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).

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.

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Year 2 modules

Type Module/placement name Credits
Taught Pathophysiology of Common Cardiovascular and Respiratory Conditions (15 credits) 15 credits
Taught Instrumentation, Signal Processing and Imaging 15 credits

Cardiology Specialism:

  • Clinical Training 
  • Cardiac Physiology


Respiratory/Sleep Specialism:

  • Clinical Training
  • Respiratory and Sleep Physiology

15 credits

45 credits

Taught Research Methods 15 credits
Taught Professional Practice 2 15 credits

Year 3

The final year focuses on the 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 a significant time on work based training, 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. 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.

The Dissertation is an integral part of the year three programme, you will undertake 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

Type Module/placement name Credits

Cardiology Specialism:

  • Clinical Training/Placements
  • Applying Cardiac Physiology to Practice


Respiratory/Sleep Specialism:

  • Clinical Training/Placements
  • Applying Respiratory and Sleep Physiology to Practice

30 credits

45 credits

Taught Research Project 30 credits
Taught Professional Practice 3 15 credits

Work-based training

Structured work based training focusing on competence-based training and assessment are an integral part of the BSc Healthcare Science programme.

As an apprentice you will spend a significant time in the workplace, with a minimum of 20% off the job training. 

End-point assessment (EPA)

End-point assessment (EPA) is the final stage of the apprenticeship. It is an impartial assessment of the skills, knowledge and behaviours outlined in the apprenticeship standards.

After successful completion of the EPA, apprentices will be awarded a certificate.

Teaching and learning for this programme includes interactive and varied sessions.

We are the only course in London to train in both cardiac and respiratory/sleep physiologist, this programme will provide you with the skills and knowledge for a career as a clinical physiologist, in either cardiac or respiratory/sleep speciality.

Teaching methods include lectures, face to face and online; 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 Anatomy suite during your first year and spend time working with the specimens in our extensive pathology museum. 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.

During your work-based learning, you will build a portfolio of clinical and professional skills and competencies and provide evidence that you have achieved the apprenticeship standards, expected by the NSHCS and 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, and diagnostic, to lay the foundation for future practice as part of a clinical multidisciplinary team.

Key career benefits

  • 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 Academy for Healthcare Science (AHCS) on successful completion.
  • 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.

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.

Cardiac Physiology

Cardiac Physiologists and Cardiac 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 on patients of all ages.

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.


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.

Anatomy suite

The anatomy suite is where present and future healthcare professionals and scientists in the hospital and University learn or expand on their anatomy knowledge directly from the human body, through access to high quality anatomy resources. These include plastinated (preserved) specimens, osteological materials, anatomical models and digital/imaging resources such as Anatomage tables and Complete Anatomy.

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 Anatomy suite. 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.

As an apprentice your employer and the government will pay any tuition fees for your apprenticeship through the apprenticeship levy funding.

The cost of this course is £9,000 a year.

If you are not sponsored by an employer and would like to self-fund a degree in Healthcare Science (Physiological Sciences) please visit the Healthcare Science (Physiological Science) BSc course page.

To apply for this apprenticeship course please complete the application form by 19 August 2024.

Apply now


33 months practical, plus up to 3 months End Point Assessment

Application Deadline

19 August 2024

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