The University of Southampton
Health Sciences

B120 / 7D25 BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science (Cardiovascular & Respiratory and Sleep Science)

Our BSc Healthcare Science degree is a recognised NHS practitioner training programme that is based at University Hospital Southampton. It is a three year full time course that can also be completed over four years part time.

The programme focuses on learning to use state-of-the-art technology to diagnose health problems, minimise disabilities, and improve all round health. There is a high level of patient interaction throughout this NHS practitioner training programme thanks to its supervised practice placements.

Our Healthcare Science degree has been commended by the Registration Council for Clinical Physiology and the National Academy for Healthcare Science, for its innovative approach to learning.

Introducing your degree

This course offers a pathway to professional registration and a rewarding career in cardiac physiology and presents a unique opportunity to combine science and technology with patient care. You will receive high quality tuition and practical training sessions.

As a practicing graduate of the Healthcare Science degree, you will be at the forefront of technological advances that aid the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac and respiratory conditions. You will study both cardiac physiology and respiratory and physiology in year one before specialising in cardiac physiology in year two.

Healthcare Science


What is this? (More Information) This information is based on historical data and may have been aggregated. Find out more.

Duration: 3 years full time or 4 years part time 

You will study cardiovascular and respiratory and  sleep physiology in year 1. In years 2 and 3 you will focus on cardiac physiology. Cardiac physiology is concerned with heart function, whilst respiratory and sleep physiology concentrates on breathing difficulties and sleep disorders.

Throughout your studies you will learn how to diagnose a whole spectrum of complaints thanks to our world class learning facilities and highly respected academics. Furthermore, our research groups will give you access to some of the latest scientific discoveries to strengthen your knowledge. Additionally, we put special emphasis on acquiring skills of emotional intelligence like empathy and compassion. These are particularly important because people with undiagnosed conditions will often be deeply worried or anxious.

You will undertake practical training in a dedicated skills lab using the latest clinical equipment at University Hospital Southampton to prepare you for clinical placements. 2,000 hours of placements will allow you to apply and develop your clinical skills.

View the programme specification document for this course

To Apply

All undergraduate applications should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Visit our How to Apply page for information on the application process and further details about UCAS' website, phone and contact details. Specific application deadlines are available on the UCAS website.

  • Full time Cardiovascular: B120
  • Part time Cardiovascular: 7D25


This programme is accredited by the Registration Council for Clinical Physiologists and the National School of Healthcare Science, making you eligible to register in practice.

Programme Structure

This NHS practitioner training programme is a mixture of theory and integrated practical training in using the latest clinical equipment.

Practice placements will be mainly in the south central healthcare region, although students may also be placed in other healthcare regions.

Key Facts

  • 100 per cent of students are in work or study six months after graduation (DLHE 2014/15)
  • Pathway to professional registration and rewarding career following graduation
  • Opportunity to combine science and technology with patient interaction
  • Practical training using the latest clinical equipment at University Hospital Southampton
  • 2,000 hours of practical placements requiring you to work as part of a multidisciplinary team
  • Nationally accredited programme
  • 50/50 split of academic and practical learning
  • 100 per cent of Healthcare Science students agreed staff are enthusiastic about what they are teaching, NSS 2016

Life in Healthcare Sciences

Find out more about the typical day of a Healthcare Science student at the University of Southampton

Apply now

Student Testimonial

Thumbnail photo of Christina Vinothan

“I have gained technical knowledge through the course, in the recording systems used for cardiac investigations, including non-invasive tests such as resting ECGs, ambulatory monitors, exercise tolerance tests and more invasive procedures like angiograms and pacemaker implants.”

Christina Vinothan - BSc Healthcare Science

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

Please note these may be subject to change
GCSE 5 GCSEs at grades A*-C or 4-9 including Maths, Science and English Language (or IELTS at 7.0 with no component below 7).
GCE A-level

ABB including at least one science subject

Applicants taking the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) will also be made an alternative offer one grade below the standard offer, conditional on achieving an A grade in the EPQ.

International Baccalaureate 32 points (16 at higher level).
Access to HE Diploma Science based Acess to HE Diploma (125 UCAS Tariff Points including 27 distinctions at level 3).

BTEC Extended Diploma in health studies or science (D*DD).

Irish Leaving Certificate

5 Higher Level subjects. At least 1 subject at H1 and 3 subjects at H2, including science subject.

Plus English and Maths ILC Ordinary Level O4 or higher.

Other Other qualifications may also be considered. Please contact  or 023 8059 5500 to find out more.
Selection process:

To enrol on this course, you must meet our entry criteria. You must also have undertaken some relevant formal academic study within the past three years.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Application process

Applications should be submitted through UCAS ( Once you have submitted your application, the Admissions Team will review it to check that you either already meet or are on target to meet our academic entry criteria for this course. If so, your application will be passed to the Programme Admissions Tutor who will review your personal statement and reference and assess these against fixed criteria.

What will the Admissions Tutors look for in my Personal Statement?

The Admissions Tutor looks for evidence that you offer a caring and compassionate approach; that your personal values and attitudes align with those of the NHS Constitution and the University; that you have realistic insight to the area you plan to study; and that you are committed to both study and practice parts of the course.

  • Why do you want to be a Cardiac Physiologist? What is it about ‘your’ attitudes, values and character that makes this profession so appropriate for you?
  • What do you understand about the role? To further strengthen your application, it is important that you demonstrate a clear insight into your chosen profession and scope of the role. This should hopefully be achieved by reflecting on relevant work experience, volunteering or shadowing you may have undertaken.
  • Discuss your relevant academic preparation. What have you particularly enjoyed during your studies and how do you feel this has prepared you for this degree. Discuss any particularly relevant projects/coursework you may have undertaken.
  • Personal interests sports / music / drama / ‘team’ / job / responsibilities / relaxing / etc. Identify transferable skills that will be useful in your chosen profession

The Admissions Tutor will then decide whether to shortlist your application and invite you to attend a selection session or reject your application. You will normally be notified of this decision within 3 weeks of submitting your application, however at peak times this can be longer.

What happens if my application is shortlisted?

If the Admissions Tutor decides to invite you to a selection session you will receive an invitation via email. You will be offered a range of dates to choose from and further information on how to confirm your attendance. You will also receive a link to a website with important information informing you how to prepare and what to expect during your selection session.

Healthcare Science Selection sessions normally last approximately 5 hours and includes:

  • Group discussion - where small groups of around 6 applicants will have 30 minutes to discuss a particular topic linked to NHS Core Values. Two assessors will monitor this discussion and you will be assessed on your contribution and your interaction with other members of the group. It will be helpful to draw on your experience during this task and hopefully interesting to hear views and opinions from others with similar interests to you.
  • Short Interview - where you will have the opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of the role of a Healthcare Scientist and reflect on your relevant work experience.

Your performance in the group activity and short interview will be considered in conjunction with details from your application to determine whether to make you an offer or reject your application. You will normally be notified of this decision within 2 weeks of attending the selection session.

During the selection session you are likely to meet academic members of staff, current students and clinicians. Their thoughts and observations support the evidence you have provided on the day but be assured that all final decisions are made by the admissions tutor, who will review your whole application to enable a final decision to be made.

As part of the selection session, you will also have the opportunity to pose yours questions to Admissions Tutors and current students in order to discover more about the course and studying at Southampton. We get a lot of information from you in this session so it’s important that you ask all your questions too.

Understanding your offer

If you receive an offer of a place to study on our course, this will be a “Conditional” offer. This means to secure your place on this course you need to meet certain conditions such as attaining certain academic grades/qualifications. Any conditions attached to your offer will be shown on UCAS Track.

All offers are also made on the condition that you pass an Occupational Health check and Disclosure and Barring Service (criminal record) check. Further information on these processes will be provided to you before you start the course.

You will only be able to enrol on the course when you have met all these conditions and your offer becomes “Unconditional”.


Typical course content

The BSc Healthcare Science degree (NHS practitioner training programme) is delivered with a mixture of theory at our university campus and will use integrated practical training on the latest clinical equipment.  Placement opportunities will predominantly be in the South Central healthcare region although students may also be placed in adjoining healthcare regions.

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Course fees for 2017/18 full-time UK and EU undergraduate students are typically £9,250 per year. Tuition fees for international students differ between each course. Most part-time courses cost 50% of the full-time fee.

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationary items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc.). Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile. Calculators: Candidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
ClothingLab Coats: You will need provide yourselves with laboratory coat for use in the Centre for learning Anatomical Sciences. These can be purchased from any source.
Printing and copyingIn the majority of cases, coursework such as essays; projects; dissertations is likely to be submitted on line. However, there are some items where it is not possible to submit on line and students will be asked to provide a printed copy. A list of the University printing costs can be found at
TravelTravel: Attending lectures: Lectures take place both on the Highfield Campus and at Southampton General Hospital which are separated by a distance of 2.3 miles (by road). The sites are connected by a regular bus service, or alternatively students may prefer to travel by bicycle or on foot.
PlacementsThis programme involves mandatory placements in all years. The placements are organised by the University and will take place with a range of healthcare providers; as such students will need to travel to placements/arrange accommodation.
Conference expenses Travel & Accommodation: Conference attendance is not normally expected as part of the HCS programme. If you decide to attend conferences then you will normally be expected to cover the cost of accommodation, travel and admission.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Career Opportunities

Careers in Healthcare Science

Following graduation, you will be eligible to apply for professional registration. Graduates from this NHS practitioner training programme are at the forefront of technological and scientific developments in the health sector. They work as part of medical and surgical teams in hospitals to diagnose cardiovascular and respiratory related conditions.

As a clinical physiologist you will work with people of all ages with suspected illnesses. The ability to work closely with specialist doctors, nurses and other health professionals will also be essential. There is also the opportunity to study at postgraduate level. Some of our graduates go on to clinical academic careers or to working in education.

More information about careers in Healthcare Science (NHS practitioner training programme) can be found on the NHS Careers website.


Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) Survey 2014/15

  • 100 per cent of students are in work or study six months after graduation
  • Typical average salary of £22,600
  • Most common job role: cardiac physiologist

Careers in the NHS

Prinicipal Cardiac Physiologist, Karen Taylor, discusses the career opportunities available to Healthcare Science graduates

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Learning & Assessment

Throughout this Healthcare Science degree course you will be assessed on your skills and knowledge. You will be expected to complete essays and written exams, along with practical exams.

Your practice experience will also count significantly towards your final award.

Study Locations

University of Southampton

University of Southampton Highfield Campus

Based on the University's main Highfield campus, the Faculty of Health...Find out more

University Hospital Southampton

University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust

University Hospital Southampton (formerly known as Southampton General...Find out more

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