Health and Human Sciences BMedSci
Division of Nursing and Midwifery, Health Sciences School
You are viewing this course for 2021-22 entry.
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:
UCAS code: B991
- 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
- 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
- Communication in Health Care
This unit will explore communications within various common healthcare settings, from a micro- to a macro-level. The prevailing theories of communication across a range of disciplinary perspectives will be examined. These underpinning principles will be explored within the context of current patient-centred approaches to healthcare delivery and in relation to the goal of effective communication within the organisation of health care. Emphasis is given to developing self-awareness concerning interpersonal skills through critical reflection The unit will be delivered by experienced lecturers and clinicians. Assessment will consist of a group presentation and an academic evidence-based assignment.20 credits
- Research Methods and Paradigms
An ability to understand various research method is crucial and is a desirable undergraduate outcome. This year two undergraduate unit will provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to understand various research methods and paradigms relevant to health sciences literature. The unit will introduce the students to various qualitative and quantitative research methods and underlying paradigms. The meaning of research terminology will be explored and methodological techniques and practices associated with data collection and analysis will be explored. The unit will equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to understand qualitative and quantitative research in the health sciences literature20 credits
- Health Care Management
This unit will explore the development of management and leadership theory and consider its application within the current NHS and within social care organisations. Topics covered will include: classical management theory and bureaucracies; human relations theory and workplace motivation; team development and team effectiveness; leadership; the application of theory and research to the NHS and health care organisations (recognising the unique nature of management of the NHS); economic principles underpinning the NHS; organisational behaviour and the management of change and the management of clinical risk.10 credits
- Health Psychology
The unit will introduce students to key psychological concepts of the individual and her/his health. In particular, subjective experiences of health and illness and adjustment to challenging life events will be considered. The influence of social context and interpersonal factors in the experience of health and illness will also be covered. Students will explore three inter-related areas: 1. The psychology of health-related behaviour e.g. why individuals do things that are bad for their health such as binge drink or smoke cigarettes; 2. The psychology of illness and disease e.g. what it is like to live with a chronic condition; and 3. Psychological health and well-being e.g. how do individuals cope with potentially traumatic life events.10 credits
- Making Sense of Health Policy
Making Sense of Health Policy aims to introduce students to the policy process - from the origins of policy through to implementation and methods of evaluation. Health policy affects everyone - but what is it? Where does it come from? How is it developed and implemented - and how is its success measured? Using lectures, seminars, tutorials and on-line learning, this unit aims to make health policy accessible and is essential for anyone anticipating a career in the health or social care sector.10 credits
- Sociological Approaches to Health and Illness
This module examines the inter-relationship between health, illness, disease and society. The topics covered in the module include: introducing and critiquing the medical model of illness, exploring concepts of health and illness across the life cycle, introducing key theories in the sociology of health and illness and considering debates about the role of medicine and medical professionals in contemporary societies.10 credits
- The Body in Illness
The course will examine the medical approach to pathology, illness, and diagnosis. A systematic knowledge of all diseases, or a detailed knowledge of regional pathology is not the aim. Rather, the course will use some common conditions like diabetes and lung cancer to illustrate principals. Taught sessions will focus in detail on one condition per week and examine the aetiology, pathology and presentation of: infection; degenerative disorders; endocrine and metabolic diseases; malignancy; cardiovascular disease; congenital and genetic disorders; trauma. Examples of the more common manifestations of these disorders will be used to illustrate the relationships between pathology, clinical features and diagnosis.10 credits
- Physiology of Pregnancy and Childbirth
This module offers students an overview of the key anatomical structures and physiological processes constituting normal pregnancy, childbirth and in the postnatal period. It also details the routinely used pharmacological interventions in UK maternity care and introduces students to the basic principles of their effects and, therefore, their strengths and limitations and the evidence base for their use. Through this, students will develop an understanding of the meaning of `normality¿ in pregnancy, childbirth and postnatally and what, by implication, is a deviation from normality. The learning structure will mirror the chronology of pregnancy and childbirth, beginning with conception and moving through the antenatal, intrapartum and postpartum phases.20 credits
- Ageing, Health and Wellbeing
This unit aims to explore the general position of older people in contemporary society and the specific responses of society to older people in the forms of health and social care provision. Historical factors are outlined. Particular challenges faced by older people, such as mental health problems and associated consideration of mental capacity, as well as adult safeguarding initiatives are given emphasis. Consideration is also given to physical, sensory and cognitive limitations that may occur in later life. The impacts of central policy responses, such as pensions, finance, `rationing¿ of healthcare and reliance on family care are critically evaluated.10 credits
- Biography and narrative in palliative, supportive and end of life care
Biography and narrative tell us what is important to people affected by life-limiting illness. Narrative methods offer a broad approach to experience, whilst biographical methods, including oral history, life story, autobiography and reminiscence, focus on specific issues and personal identity. Stories told at the end of life give insight into illness experience, they are frequently used in qualitative research and have potential to inform policy and practice. First-hand accounts communicate personal truths and understandings of illness and care and the extent to which medical and societal forces influence how individuals view themselves, and how they are viewed by others.10 credits
This module affords the student the opportunity to synthesise academic endeavour with health and social care science. It requires the student to sustain reasoned analysis and argument throughout a substantial piece of work. Critical application of research and theory to a chosen area of health and social care practice will be undertaken and the impact to the patient/client, the family and/or health care provision and policy explored.40 credits
- Current and Future Challenges in Health and Social Care
The module builds on the study undertaken in year one and two of the programme (NURU 146) and will explore the challenges facing health and social care in the 21st century in greater depth. Topics covered will include: commissioning and the potential risks to service delivery, the personalisation and self directed support agenda, persisting health inequalities, economic pressures, management of scarce resources, demographic challenges, health promotion strategy in hard to reach groups, the need for evidence based interventions and their cost implications, consumerism and the market in health care.20 credits
- Ethics in Practice
This module builds of the first year module SNM129 Ethical Dilemmas in Modern Health Care. (Successful completion of SNM129 is compulsory for attendance on this advanced module). Ethics in Practice builds on the students basic understanding of ethics in health care. It will offer a deeper consideration of the philosophical underpinnings of ethics and demonstrate the value of these to resolving ethical issues in health care through consideration of applied examples. Key topics, such as killing and letting die (euthanasia and abortion), the allocation of scarce resources, using life (organ transplantation, animal experimentation, research on humans) and professional issues (whistle blowing) will be used to develop students' understanding of the issues involved in these areas and their ability to reason ethically and rationally.20 credits
- Health and Human Sciences Placement
This module provides a safe learning experience enabling students to shadow staff within a health or social care placement area of their choice. The student works in the placement area 3 days and has study time 2 days a week. Students negotiate with their host supervisor and academic supervisor to undertake a small project related directly to placement which forms the basis of their module assessment. This is an ideal opportunity to experience, observe, and reflect upon an area of health or social care that the student feels will be directly relevant to their future area of interest.20 credits
- Maastricht University Study Placement
The Maastricht University Study Placement allows students to study modules, up to the value of 20 credits (or European equivalent), relevant to the BMed Sci Health and Human Science at Maastricht University. All the modules are taught in English and will complement those delivered on the degree programme. Maastricht University provides a range of modules and details will be made available to you should you choose this option.20 credits
- The Biomedical Basis of Disease Management
This unit is designed to follow on from the biomedical units included within years one & two of the BMedSci Health and Human Sciences programme. It will explore the clinical management of a range of health problems, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and ageing, focusing on the biomedical basis of diagnosis and treatment. It will consider the relationship between the underpinning pathology and the treatment options for these conditions, exploring screening and diagnostic techniques, pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions. The epidemiology of the conditions will be addressed and the available evidence base explored.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
You'll be assessed by exams, coursework and practical tasks.
This tells you the aims and learning outcomes of this course and how these will be achieved and assessed.
With Access Sheffield, you could qualify for additional consideration or an alternative offer - find out if you're eligible
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
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
If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.
Division of Nursing and Midwifery, Health Sciences School
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.
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
National Student Survey 2019
Times Higher Education (THE) World Subject Rankings 2021
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 run regularly throughout the year, at 1pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
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