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Health and Human Sciences BMedSci

Division of Nursing and Midwifery, Health Sciences School

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You are viewing this course for 2021-22 entry.

Key details

Course description

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By studying Health and Human Sciences you'll develop expertise in a range of fields related to some of the most pressing, important and challenging public health issues of our time.

You'll be challenged to explore questions such as:

  • Why do richer people live longer, healthier lives?
  • Why do some public health initiatives worsen health inequalities?
  • How can we use research evidence to inform health policy?
  • How can psychology help us understand people's behaviours?
  • How is a social model of health different to a medical model?

During your three years of study, you'll focus on five core themes: health systems, organisation and delivery; determinants of health and wellbeing; understanding and promoting relationships; information skills and digital literacy; biology and the body.

You'll be taught and supported throughout the course by a team of dedicated academics. Our teaching team includes experts in the fields of public health, health care delivery, leadership and management, health psychology, sociology, social policy, biology and biosciences.

In your third year, you'll have the opportunity to gain vital work experience in an area that reflects your career aspirations, by undertaking a professional work placement.

This placement could be in an organisation related to public health, health policy, health management, social care and other related areas.

You might choose to carry out your placement in a clinical healthcare setting, such as midwifery, radiography or A&E. Alternatively, you could work on a real-life research project in a partnership with an academic or as part of a research group.

Whichever placement option you choose, we'll help you develop the professional skills you need for your chosen career.


The modules listed below are examples from the last academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course. For the very latest module information, check with the department directly.

Choose a year to see modules for a level of study:

Title: Health and Human Sciences BMedSci course structure
UCAS code: B991
Years: 2021

Core modules:

Health Inequalities

There are significant inequalities in the ways in which different social groups and communities experience health and illness. This unit seeks to explore which groups are most likely to be affected by such health inequalities and consider reasons why this might be the case. Using lectures, tutorials and problem solving exercises, it explores the significance of socio-economic status, gender, ethnicity, age, disability, lifestyle and healthcare provision on individuals health experiences.

20 credits
Introduction to Epidemiology

Epidemiology is the basic science underpinning effective public health practice. Epidemiology considers the frequency, patterns and causes of disease in populations and applies this knowledge to address public health issues through public health surveillance, investigation, measurement, evaluation and health policy development . A knowledge and understanding of epidemiological concepts and methods is a basic requirement for effective public health practice and for a complete understanding of the nature of health in society. This module offers an introduction to epidemiology covering key concepts such as measures of disease; comparison, association and causation; research and population health measures such as screening.

20 credits
Information and digital literacy

Making appropriate use of a range of information sources is a skill which is pivotal to positive undergraduate outcomes. This year one undergraduate unit will provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary in the retrieval, understanding and critical appraisal of evidence in the health sciences literature. Taking a broad perspective of the term `research skills¿ the module will incorporate critical awareness of the distinction between scientific and other types of knowledge and the analysis of the quality of each of these sources. The technical skills associated with information retrieval will also be developed.

10 credits
Organisation of Modern Health Care

This unit will explore the range of professional health care roles within the NHS. It will examine how these individuals with different roles and responsibilities work together and deliver care to patients. The changing demands made on those professionals by both the government and patients are challenging traditional roles and responsibilities. An introduction will be made to the background and theory of how organisations work, which will enable students to develop an understanding of the modern NHS in a wider context. In a rapidly changing NHS students will discuss the current debates and the prospects for future professional developments.

10 credits
The Body in Health 1

The course will provide a concise overview of human physiology and anatomy, relating function to structure as well as to underlying biological principals and processes. The initial sessions will cover the basics of anatomy and homeostasis before examining the body's organisation on chemical, cellular and tissue levels. Specific bodily systems such as the musculo-skeletal and nervous systems will then be considered in more detail. The `Body in Health 2' unit is designed to follow on from this to complete the overview. Detailed prior knowledge of the subject matter is not expected but some knowledge of the biological sciences would be beneficial.

10 credits
The Body in Health 2

The course builds on the content of the Body in Health 1 unit to provide a more comprehensive overview of human physiology and anatomy, relating structure and function. A number of bodily systems will be covered in detail including the respiratory, cardio-vascular, immune, digestive and endocrine systems. A consideration of reproduction and development leads into a final discussion of inheritance and human evolution.

10 credits

Optional modules:

Health Promotion

Health promotion is the process of enabling people to take control of, and improve, their own health (WHO, 2014). Health promotion is increasingly regarded as effective way to address the burden of chronic disease and widening health inequalities. This year one undergraduate unit will introduce students to a range of contemporary issues in health promotion including, the politics and policy of health promotion, community engagement and power, health literacy and understanding risk. The sessions are designed to enable students to develop a critical appreciation of the links between theory and practice in health and explore some of the socio-economic, cultural, political and personal factors that influence our health beliefs and health choices.

20 credits
Participation and Society

This module aims to introduce students to issues related to understanding persons as individuals, and as members of society. Content includes: theoretical models of disability; psychosocial impact of disability across the lifespan; concepts of self and identity; concepts of attitudes and their measurement; health beliefs and behaviours and the role of gender, socioeconomic and cultural factors in healthcare and education. Students will be encouraged to reflect on their own experiences, attitudes and interpersonal skills in the context of their impact on interactions with clients, their families and other professionals.

20 credits

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.

Learning and assessment


You'll learn through lectures, independent study and placements

We invest to create the right environment for you. That means outstanding facilities, study spaces and support, including 24/7 online access to our online library service.

Study spaces and computers are available to offer you choice and flexibility for your study. Our five library sites give you access to over 1.3 million books and periodicals. You can access your library account and our rich digital collections from anywhere on or off campus. Other library services include study skills training to improve your grades, and tailored advice from experts in your subject.

Learning support facilities and library opening hours


You'll be assessed by exams, coursework and practical tasks.

Programme specification

This tells you the aims and learning outcomes of this course and how these will be achieved and assessed.

Find programme specification for this course

Entry requirements

With Access Sheffield, you could qualify for additional consideration or an alternative offer - find out if you're eligible

Standard offer
Access Sheffield offer

The A Level entry requirements for this course are:

The A Level entry requirements for this course are:

A Levels + additional qualifications | BBC + B in a relevant EPQ; BBC + B in Core Maths BBC + B in a relevant EPQ; BBC + B in Core Maths

International Baccalaureate | 32 31

BTEC | DDM in a relevant subject DDM in a relevant subject

Scottish Highers | AABBB ABBBB

Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels | B + BB B + BC

Access to HE Diploma | 60 credits overall in a relevant subject with 24 Level 3 credits at Distinction and 21 Level 3 credits at Merit 60 credits overall in a relevant subject with 15 Level 3 credits at Distinction and 30 Level 3 credits at Merit

Mature students - explore other routes for mature students

English language requirements

You must demonstrate that your English is good enough for you to successfully complete your course. For this course we require: GCSE English Language at grade 4/C; IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component; or an alternative acceptable English language qualification

Equivalent English language qualifications

Visa and immigration requirements

We also accept a range of other UK qualifications and other EU/international qualifications.

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

Division of Nursing and Midwifery, Health Sciences School

Mix of male and female students look towards front of seminar room

We’re leaders in health professions education and training. You'll join a broad and supportive community, led by passionate teachers, clinicians and researchers who help individuals to fulfil their ambitions.

Our courses are delivered by a mixture of academic staff and clinical staff, who all bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to help develop excellent healthcare practitioners.

We're part of the University's Heath Sciences School in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health. We're based on Glossop Road, just outside the city centre, close to the Medical School and the Hallamshire Hospital, five minutes' walk from the main campus.

We work closely with the Royal College of Nursing to explore how education meets the needs of the NHS workforce. This means that we're ideally placed to offer you high-quality courses, informed by the latest research in the field.


We provide an excellent study environment for health professionals across our main campus. If you study a health professions course with us, you’ll be based close to the Royal Hallamshire Hospital. The hospital is home to the Sheffield Medical School, and is where you’ll find our dedicated Health Sciences Library.

Health Sciences School

Why choose Sheffield?

The University of Sheffield

  A Top 100 university 2021
QS World University Rankings

  Top 10% of all UK universities
Research Excellence Framework 2014

  No 1 Students' Union in the UK
Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2019, 2018, 2017

Division of Nursing and Midwifery, Health Sciences School

97% overall student satisfaction

National Student Survey 2019

University of Sheffield is within the top 100 in the world for clinical and health subjects

Times Higher Education (THE) World Subject Rankings 2021

Graduate careers

When you graduate from this course, you'll be passionate about improving people's lives and the health of the population. You might pursue a career in public health, healthcare management, health research, health policy or in a range of other areas.

You might also do postgraduate training in a specific health profession, such as occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech therapy, nursing and other frontline roles.

Why study a degree in health and human sciences?

Study abroad

During the third year of your course, you'll have the opportunity to apply to spend a semester at Maastricht University in the Netherlands.

Studying abroad is an opportunity to further broaden your horizons, experience another culture, and study health and social care related issues in a different setting, alongside other European students.

Fees and funding


Additional costs

The annual fee for your course includes a number of items in addition to your tuition. If an item or activity is classed as a compulsory element for your course, it will normally be included in your tuition fee. There are also other costs which you may need to consider.

Examples of what’s included and excluded

Funding your study

Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for a bursary, scholarship or loan to help fund your study and enhance your learning experience.

Use our Student Funding Calculator to work out what you’re eligible for.

Visit us

University open days

There are four open days every year, usually in June, July, September and October. You can talk to staff and students, tour the campus and see inside the accommodation.

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Taster days

At various times in the year we run online taster sessions to help Year 12 students experience what it is like to study at the University of Sheffield.

Upcoming taster sessions

Applicant days

If you've made an application to study with us, we may invite you for an interview. If you are then successful in receiving an offer, we'll invite you to one of our applicant days. These applicant days have a strong department focus and give you the chance to really explore student life here, even if you've visited us before.

Campus tours

Campus tours run regularly throughout the year, at 1pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Book your place on a campus tour

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