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BSc (Hons) Digital Healthcare Science

BSc (Hons) Digital Healthcare Science

--Key Facts--

Overview

This course is accredited by the National School of Healthcare Science as part of Health Education England.

Completion of the programme confers eligibility to apply to the Academy for Healthcare Science for registration.

What will I learn?

You will learn how to support individuals to help themselves to better health and wellbeing. Most importantly, you will be equipped to use leading-edge science and to contribute to improving health services for individual users.

There is a recognised need for a new type of health science practitioner, educated in ’fusion sciences’*, to undertake a role perhaps best described as a Digital Healthcare Scientist.

With four fusion sciences* interwoven throughout the programme, this course will give you a breadth of scientific training including high-level consultation skills; a holistic, evidence- and values-based approach to shared decision making; and clinical physiology. You will also develop the knowledge and skills to work with the digital technologies that play an ever-increasing role in supporting health and wellbeing.

Year 1
The theme for Year 1 is ‘individuals, wellbeing, choices and decisions’. You’ll be introduced to the concepts of digital healthcare, and of personalised health and wellbeing. You will gain an understanding of the science of wellbeing; nutrition, metabolism and physical activity; health behaviour; and clinical decision-making.
Year 2
In Year 2 you will learn to support people within their context, and to optimise digital healthcare technologies as part of that support. From big data, machine learning, artificial intelligence and the design of digital healthcare systems, to applied behavioural science and the psychology of mental health, you will be able to understand the importance of context and personalisation and the digital systems that can support this approach.
Year 3
Year 3 continues to build on this and addresses practice and research in more depth.

*The four fusion sciences:

  1. Behavioural Science
  2. Healthcare and Physiological sciences
  3. Science of Digital Healthcare
  4. Science of Shared Clinical Decision-making

How will I learn?

The course will be a mix of taught sciences and practical placements.

There are seven taught modules in each of the first two years, blended into five concentrated learning blocks each year. Between these concentrated blocks, there is a programme of activities including an average of one day per week on an NHS placement.

Before each teaching block, you will study a virtual case designed to integrate the different strands of science learning on that block. This case-based learning will incorporate personal and group study, web-based discussions and tutor interaction.

The third year comprises four taught modules, a placement-learning project, and a 30-credit work based project/dissertation.

How will I be assessed?

How will I be assessed?

The course has been designed so that your learning is integrated across the fusion sciences and a Personal and Professional Development (PPD) strand, and so your assessments will also be integrated to reflect that.

In the first two years you will complete three written assignments per year, as well as being marked on the quality of the work demonstrated in your learning log, which you will maintain throughout the course. At the end of each year there will be a practical examination known as an ‘Objective Structured Science and Clinical Examination’.

Throughout the course you’ll have formative tests to help you ensure that your learning is on track. You will also have regular tests within your NHS placements. These comprise Case-based Discussions, (CBD) where you will talk about someone you have engaged with in the workplace, showing your supervisor that you have a grasp of the important points, and Directly Observed Practical Skills (DOPS) where you demonstrate your competence to an educational supervisor.

Your third year research project is assessed not only through your written report, but also by your presentation. You’ll also be expected to engage in a professional discussion with an assessor and in an ‘Observed Clinical Event’ to demonstrate your handling of a typical situation that might be encountered by a health and wellbeing scientist.

Opportunities

What opportunities are there for further work placements?

Vacation placements
University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust is offering six students the opportunity for a paid summer vacation placement at the end f Year 1. Two places will be available at Birmingham Childrens’ Hospital, and four at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham.

Full details of how to apply for one these posts (offering anticipated earnings around £3,000) will be available in November 2018, and appointments will be made early in Term 2 of the course, by which time you will already have had one term’s experience of placements at the Trust.

Transfer to an NHS Degree Apprenticeship Programme
At the end of your first year you may apply to transfer into Year 2 of a BSc Degree Apprenticeship with the NHS (continuing to study with Warwick on a part-time block-release basis while working as an NHS employee) or continue as a full-time student on this course.

Please note that the BSc Degree Apprenticeship is currently subject to final NHS approval, so this is not guaranteed, and those seeking apprenticeships will need to be accepted by NHS or other employers.

Subject to approval, this course will also be offered as an Integrated Masters course and, subject to meeting the progression requirements, students on the BSc course may have the option of transferring onto the Integrated Masters course and completing a fourth year at Level 7 for the award of MSci.

What careers can a Warwick degree in Health Sciences and Technology lead to?

Equipped with this degree, you could apply for career posts in the NHS, in private practice, in occupational health within industry and commerce, and in wider digital health practice. With further training you could apply for academic posts in universities.

The field of practice is opening up, as employers recognise that massive national investment in preventative medicine is unlikely to bear fruit unless there is more support for people to change their lifestyles. Doctors, nurses and allied health practitioners will often identify for patients the ways in which their lifestyle needs to change, and may ‘prescribe’ smoking cessation, weight loss, exercise, dietary changes, etc, but these clinicians may not be able to support change effectively. Often they do not have the time, as emergency care pressures are competing, and they may not have the broad range of skills with which you will be equipped when you graduate.

A degree in health sciences and technology offers you more than the skillset offered by many who set up in unregulated roles as nutritionists, personal trainers or lifestyle coaches. You will be amongst the first to offer employers a university accredited training in high-level consultation skills, scientific training in relevant clinical physiology and behavioural science, as well as digital healthcare.

Early career roles could include:

  • NHS Health and Wellbeing Scientist - supporting patients in many different areas of clinical practice, including care of ongoing conditions like diabetes, mental health problems, and smoking.
  • NHS Health and Wellbeing Scientist - supporting health service staff. University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust for example, employing some 20,000 people, has recognised the need to invest in a modern Health and Wellbeing service for its workforce.
  • Health and Wellbeing Scientist - in industrial Occupational Health Services. Many large employers are likewise recognising a need to invest in their people in this way as there is strong evidence of better health and wellbeing improving productivity
  • Health and Wellbeing Scientist - in Community Health Projects. Sustainability and Transformation Projects (STP’s) are collaborations between health and social services to improve health in the community. Increasing recognition that many of these projects depend on supporting change in individuals has led to demand for trained practitioners. You will already have experience of working on an STP as part of your training.
  • Health and Wellbeing Scientist - in Private Practice. Your training should equip you to provide a first class service to those willing to pay to improve their health and wellbeing.

Later career roles could include:

  • Health Service Management
  • Digital Healthcare and Health Informatics (following further training)
  • Focus on a particular aspect of Healthcare Science such as dietetics (following further training)
  • an academic career (following further training)
  • Graduate-entry Medicine
Module Information

All modules are core.

Year 1: Individuals, wellbeing, choices and decisions

  • Introduction to Digital Healthcare
  • Personalised Health and Wellbeing Stratification
  • Eating Behaviour
  • Science of Wellbeing,
  • Nutrition, Metabolism, and Physical activity
  • Science of Clinical Decision-making
  • Personal and Professional Development (1)

Year 2: Supporting people in their context and optimising digital healthcare

  • Design of Digital Health Systems
  • Big Data in Healthcare, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence
  • Psychology of Mental Health and Behavioural Change
  • Applied Behavioural Science
  • Mental Health, Addiction, and Sleep
  • People in Context: Determinants of Health and Wellbeing
  • Personal and Professional Development (2)

Year 3: Practice and research

  • Health Ergonomics and Human Systems Integration
  • Self-help Across the Lifespan
  • Activating Health and Wellbeing
  • Contributing to a Health and Wellbeing Service
  • Research Project
  • Personal and Professional development (3)


* The modules mentioned above may be subject to change. Please read our terms and conditions for more detailed information