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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 2022-23 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 a clinical health care setting or an organisation related to public health, health policy, health management or social care. 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.


    A selection of modules are available each year - some examples are below. There may be changes before you start your course. From May of the year of entry, formal programme regulations will be available in our Programme Regulations Finder.

    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 health outcomes and experiences between different social groups and communities in the UK today. This unit seeks to explore some of the key axes through which inequality is patterned in the UK (gender, ethnicity, disability and socioeconomic position) and different explanations for this patterning (behavioural, material, biological and psychosocial).

    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 skills 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 runs across two semesters. Semester one facilitates the transition to University study and introduces students to University resources and information retrieval. The second semester provides 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.

    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. The module will introduce the background and theory of how organisations work, and enable students to develop an understanding of the modern NHS in a wider context. Students will discuss the current debates and the prospects for NHS health and social care, and reflect in implications 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). Effective health promotion has the potential to help address the burden of chronic disease and widening health inequalities across the globe.

    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 inequality, health literacy and ethical dilemmas in health promotion.

    Students will mobilise their learning to design and create a health promotion resource (e.g. poster, infographic, leaflet, game) which tackles a pressing health issue of their choice. They will accompany their resource with a rationale which describes the importance of the health issue, the specific aim and target audience of their resource, a rationale for the content and design and an exploration of how the resource is informed by attention to the contemporary issues outlined above.

    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

    The A Level entry requirements for this course are:

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

    International Baccalaureate 32

    BTEC Extended Diploma DDM in a relevant subject

    Scottish Highers AABBB

    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels B + BB

    Access to HE Diploma 60 credits overall in a relevant subject, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 24 credits at Distinction and 21 credits at Merit

    Other requirements

    The A Level entry requirements for this course are:

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

    International Baccalaureate 31

    BTEC Extended Diploma DMM in a relevant subject

    Scottish Highers ABBBB

    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels B + BC

    Access to HE Diploma 60 credits overall in a relevant subject, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 15 credits at Distinction and 30 credits at Merit

    Other requirements
    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

    Other qualifications | UK and EU/international

    Pathway programme for international students

    If you're an international student who does not meet the entry requirements for this course, you have the opportunity to apply for an International Foundation Year in Science and Engineering at the University of Sheffield International College. This course is designed to develop your English language and academic skills. Upon successful completion, you can progress to degree level study at the University of Sheffield.

    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 2022
    QS World University Rankings

      92 per cent of our research is rated in the highest two categories
    Research Excellence Framework 2021

      No 1 Students' Union in the UK
    Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2020, 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?

    Ella Jones student profile - female in harness and hard hat

    Alumni - Ella, Health and Human Sciences

    Ella Jones Health and Human Sciences

    "Don't be afraid to apply for a job even if you don't completely fit the bill!"

    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.

    Open days: book your place

    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

    Apply for this course

    Make sure you've done everything you need to do before you apply.

    How to apply When you're ready to apply, see the UCAS website:

    Not ready to apply yet? You can also register your interest in this course.

    The awarding body for this course is the University of Sheffield.

    Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

    Our student protection plan

    Terms and Conditions upon Acceptance of an Offer