Health Studies (Public Health) with Foundation Year - BSc (Hons)

UCAS Code:
B91F
Attendance:
Full Time (4 years)
Starting:
September 2019
Campus:

Are you interested in a job in health or social care, but don't want to work in nursing or a clinical setting? Our specially designed Health Studies degree with a foundation year will set you up to choose from a number of related careers such as Healthy Lifestyles Officer or a Community Cohesion Researcher.

This course will also appeal if you want to make an impact on issues affecting the health of the population, individuals and local communities - like poverty, pollution, poor housing, access to good quality, affordable food and health inequalities.

Tailor your Health and Life Sciences Degree

When you successfully complete your Foundation Year, you will be able to progress onto a range of Undergraduate courses at the Birmingham City School of Health Sciences and School of Nursing and Midwifery. These include:

  • BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences
  • BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography
  • BSc (Hons) Health Studies (Public Health)
  • BSc (Hons) Medical Ultrasound
  • BSc (Hons) Midwifery
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Adult
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Child
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Learning Disability
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Mental Health
  • BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice
  • BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science
  • BSc (Hons) Radiotherapy
  • BSc (Hons) Social Work
  • BSc (Hons) Speech & Language Therapy

Why choose a foundation year course?

By studying a foundation year in Health and Life Sciences, your first year will be spent learning a wide range of broad subject areas which then open up opportunities for you to specialise further in your next year –  which would be the first year of a full degree programme. 

You will study very broad subjects in your foundation year, which is designed to prepare you for a range of courses and not just one particular BSc degree. 

So although you are studying a BSc in a specific course – BSc Health Studies (Public Health) – the foundation year sets you up for a number of other possible degrees starting the following year. It may be that you don’t end up doing a degree in precisely the same subject as your foundation year.

This flexibility is one of the great things about the foundation year category - Health and Life Sciences, allowing you to find out more about your interests and talents before focusing on a three year degree. The foundation year also helps us at BCU to make sure we help to match you to the degree that fits you best.

Please note: entry requirements for degree course

Upon completion of your Foundation Year, if your chosen course is regulated by a professional body such as the National College for Teaching and Leadership, you will be required to successfully complete the University’s selection process for the specific programme which will include an interview in order to proceed onto year one of the full degree programme. Entry onto year one of the degree programme will also be subject to a satisfactory DBS and Occupational Health Assessment. 

What's covered in the course?

If you have a passion for making a difference, this course will allow you to explore your interests and develop core skills so that you can go on to achieve your goals and ambitions. 

You will learn about a wide variety of issues affecting the health of the population such as poverty, pollution, poor housing, access to good quality, affordable food and health inequalities. You will be taught many different skills that are needed in order to improve the health of populations, communities and individuals and will have the opportunity to implement these skills during work placements, in institutions and locations of your choice.

By the end of your undergraduate degree course, you will leave fully empowered to contribute to discussion on the different health systems around the world. You will have gained both knowledge and solid work experience through placements and volunteering projects with our partners, which include public and community health teams in local councils, NHS health projects, housing associations, voluntary organisations and social enterprises.

See what our students say...

“I didn’t know about the number of additional opportunities that would be available to me both within my course and outside of it. There are so many interesting projects within the Health Studies course” Marwa Saeed

Why Choose Us?

  • Students are satisfied with this course! We scored 90 per cent for overall satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2017.
  • We work in strong partnership with local councils, the NHS, Public Health England and voluntary organisations, which means you can benefit from building relationships with these institutions throughout your degree so that you leave with plenty of experience and employability skills
  • You will have the opportunity to study abroad to help extend your skills and experience (last year we sent some students to Taiwan, and they found it invaluable).
  • Real-life experience - you will be actively involved in tackling real-life issues all the way throughout your degree, seamlessly merging theory with practice
  • Study at our £41 million City South campus that is complete with state-of-the-art facilities and learning environments to make sure you get the most out of your time here
  • Excellent experience and placement opportunities available - previous students have been involved in shaping the Birmingham Charter for Health, providing students with practical experience to help boost employability
  • Strong links with the UK Public Health Register – the regulatory body for public health professionals and the West Midlands for public health professionals
  • Complete support throughout your degree and beyond from our practitioners who have first-hand experience working in local councils, the NHS, international public health settings, the media, voluntary organisations, community and housing settings. Our team also has expertise in health psychology, health economics, health policy, health protection and leadership and management in service improvement

Our students consistently praise the supportive learning environment and the supportive atmosphere here. We'll do our best to make sure you get the very best from your whole experience and are ready to step into a wide range of the satisfying health careers out there.

Students outside Millennium Point

Open Days

Our next Open Day for this course will take place in Autumn 2018. Register your interest and we'll let you know details as soon as they are available.

Register your interest
This course is not open to International students

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

Entry Requirements
Essential

GCSEs at Grade 4 or above (formerly Grade C), at the point of enrolment. These must include English language, science and mathematics (or equivalent).

If you do not already have the required GCSEs, (or their equivalent) for entry onto this course, and are not registered to take them, visit Equivalency Testing for further information.

72 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2019/20
GCE A Level/ AS Level 72 UCAS tariff points = DDD. Must include either Health & Social Care or a Social Science at a grade C or above.
Access to Higher Education Diploma 60 credits overall in a health related pathway also including GCSE English Language and Maths equivalence if not hold separately.
BTEC Diploma (12-units) DM in Health and Social Care Society, Health and Development or Science equivalent.
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units) MMP in Health and Social Care Society, Health and Development or Science equivalent.
International Baccalaureate Diploma 24 points overall
Irish Leaving Certificate Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 72 tariff points, achieved in four Higher level subjects to include a science or social science.
Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher Achieve a minimum of 72 tariff points achieved in either three Advanced Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers.
Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options) Minimum 72 UCAS tariff points. Core plus combined with other Level 3 qualifications
Other qualifications

If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.

Worried about results?

Worried about your results?
Explore your options with Clearing

If you're worried about your exam results, changed your mind about your course choices or haven't applied yet - Clearing is a great time to explore your options. We explain what Clearing is and how it works.

Advice about Clearing 2018

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BSc (Hons) Sep 2019 FT 4 years
TBC
Apply via UCAS

International Students

Sorry, this course is not available to international students.

Fees for 2019/20 will be published as soon as possible. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

Guidance for UK/EU students

UCAS

UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Our advice for applying to a health care course

Applying for a course and preparing for an interview can be a daunting process, so we have created a series of films to help you through the process, including what to put in your personal statement.

More guidance

Additional costs

We offer a wide range of professionally accredited and vocational courses that require the purchase of, among other things, uniforms, equipment, subscriptions, professional body memberships and DBS checks, and may require you to pay to attend conferences or participate in placements.

The link below provides our estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs to you could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course. We set out where we can, based on experience, where these indicative costs are for activities that are optional or compulsory.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Find additional costs for your course

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

The additional costs listed here are to be used for indicative purposes only and are based on the additional costs for the 2018/19 academic year. The additional costs for 2019/20 will be published as soon as possible.

Year One

Academic Skills for Success
Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity
Interpersonal Skills and Professional Behaviours
Negotiated Study
Introduction to Human Biology
Health and Well-being in Society

Year Two

Improving health for individuals and communities
20 credits

This module is an introduction to the range of different approaches for improving the health of individuals (e.g.  social marketing, behaviour change, motivational interviewing, empowerment) and the health of communities (e.g. healthy public policy, legislative action, community development)

Perspectives on health
40 credits

in this module you will explore three perspectives on health – psychology, sociology and physiology - and case studies focusing on the different contributions of each perspective e.g. to promoting a healthy body image, aggression and health and long term conditions such as cancer.

Public Health Organisations
20 credits

Guest speakers from local authority public health departments (e.g.Sandwell and South Derbyshire); housing organisations (e.g. Walsall Housing Group), voluntary organisations (e.g. Terrence Higgins Trust,  Birmingham  Settlement and SIFA Fireside) and the NHS (e.g. Walsall NHS Trust).  These guest speakers will talk about the wide range of roles, careers and projects that your Health Studies programme can lead to.

Community Profiling
40 credits

 Profiling the health needs of local communities. One of our students focused on people and families affected by the loss of thousands of jobs after the closure of the MG Rover plant.

Year Three

Placement
40 credits

This is the first of two modules which will combine practical work experience in a placement setting with the opportunity to apply your learning.  In this module the focus will be about effectively promoting the health individuals.  You will also develop your skills as a reflective practitioner.

Health Inequalities
20 credits

In this module you will explore data on and examples of initiatives to tackle health inequalities locally, nationally and globally.

Epidemiology and Research Evidence
20 credits

This module will help you to develop skills to interpret epidemiological studies and research evidence as well as developing skills to carry out data collection and analysis.

Improving Population Health through Policy and Strategy
20 credits

In this module you will explore examples of global and national health policies (e.g. a tax on sugary drinks).  You will evaluate the effectiveness of health policies on population health.

Health Protection

Focusing on infectious and non-infectious hazards and challenging topics such as violence – where Professor John Middleton, current President of the UK Faculty of Public Health and renowned nationally and internationally talks about his work on armed organised conflict and health.

Year Four

Placement
40 credits

This is the second of two modules which will combine practical work experience in a placement setting with the opportunity to apply your learning.  In this module the focus will be about leadership.

Global, national and local perspectives on contemporary issues
20 credits

You will have the opportunity to influence the content of this module and your Module Coordinator will ask you for your ideas about contemporary health issues you would like to explore.  Examples include communicable diseases, climate change, the impact of conflict, food security.  You will develop skills to evaluate factors influencing public health practice and develop strategies for tackling public health issues and dilemmas.

Developing Healthy Communities
20 credits

In this module you will critically appraise examples of community health development projects and evaluate the role of community participation and community-based work in public health.

Honours Project
40 credits

In this module you will work independently to develop and reflect on a project in an area of theory, policy or practice that is clearly linked to improving health and wellbeing outcomes for populations/ communities and groups

You have the flexibility to transfer to any standard undergraduate programme from the School of Health Sciences or the School of Nursing and Midwifery upon successfully completing your Foundation Year including:

  • BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences
  • BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography
  • BSc (Hons) Medical Ultrasound
  • BSc (Hons) Midwifery
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Adult
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Child
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Learning Disability
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Mental Health
  • BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice
  • BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science
  • BSc (Hons) Radiotherapy
  • BSc (Hons) Social Work
  • BSc (Hons) Speech & Language Therapy

Course structure

You’ll study a range of subjects on this health studies course and you will have the opportunity to develop your knowledge and understanding through lectures, group activities, peer learning visits, placements, specialist guest speakers and online study.

You'll also have opportunities to put your knowledge and understanding into practice through placements and extra-curricular learning opportunities. These include voluntary work (we can help you find volunteering opportunities) and your own campaigns (eg one of our students is raising awareness of the wide range of activities and resources available to promote the health of students at City South including free passes to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens and a free Student Counselling Service).

Two of our most popular modules are:

  • Community Profiling - Profiling the health needs of local communities. One of our students focused on people and families affected by the loss of thousands of jobs after the closure of the MG Rover plant.

  • Health Protection – focusing on infectious and non-infectious hazards and challenging topics such as violence – where Professor John Middleton, current President of the UK Faculty of Public Health and renowned nationally and internationally talks about his work on armed organised conflict and health.

You can study our course on a full-time or part-time basis. We'll assess your learning preferences (eg strategic, deep and surface learning) and work with you to maximise your success on the course. We recognise that our students are all very different, and provide structured support to help you successfully manage the transition to self-directed learning including additional seminars and one-to-one tutorials.

For example, some of our students wanted to improve skills in academic reading - so we encouraged them to form small reading groups and directed them to various texts which they then discussed in their groups.

You also benefit from activities throughout the course which enable you to submit and get feedback on work directly related to your assignments.

Your access to e-learning resources (Moodle) for all modules offers you a great set of online resources, discussion forums and directed and self-directed study to help you. We also have a culture of supporting students who have their own ideas about how to promote their learning, for example through volunteering opportunities (we have identified these through our partnerships). By using initiatives like this, and others, you will enhance your employability and apply the learning to practice.

We want to empower you to develop your skills in developing health projects whether this is starting a campaign on levels of pollution in the city; or supporting others to develop the skills to stand against aggression and discrimination.

Additional support

If you are dyslexic, have a specific learning difference or a disability, we have a Disability Tutor who can help and support you.

Teaching breakdown

valuelabelcolor
24 Time in lectures, seminars and similar MidnightBlue
61 Time in independent study RoyalBlue
16 Time on placement LightSkyBlue

Accreditation

Our course is aligned with the UK Public Health Register – a register of professionals who have been assessed as meeting nationally agreed public health standards. The Register is currently voluntary but employers are increasingly specifying on job details that applicants should be on the register or working towards registration. As a Birmingham City University graduate, you will be well-placed to meet this requirement.

Trips and visits

As part of our links with health employers, students have had the opportunity to get involved in a variety of visits and events. One of these was to SIFA Fireside, a Birmingham-based homeless charity that has a pioneering approach to improving the health of people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Our students got to visit the 'drop-in,' where service users can get meals, access showers, laundry facilities and health clinics, talk to staff about housing issues and find out about volunteering in SIFA's social enterprises. Student Natasha Dawson said:

Enhancing your employability skills

You will gain the knowledge and practical skills to make an impact on the wide range of issues that affect the health of the population and change lives for the better. This is whether you see your future career in local authority public health services, the voluntary or private sectors or the NHS.

Examples of the variety of employment options awaiting you include:

  • Public health practitioner
  • Health promotion advisor
  • Health trainer and training coordinator
  • Community development and community outreach worker
  • Health information officer
  • Youth worker
  • Drug and alcohol team and project worker
  • Health researcher

Upon graduating you will have made an excellent start towards demonstrating your competence as a Public Health Practitioner. In your degree (or modules) you will have been assessed in your knowledge of all of the National Standards, you will understand the portfolio process and you will have demonstrated your practical application of a number of the technical competencies in your placement. You will have made a tremendous start towards entering onto the UK Public Health Register.

Our students take part in our annual 'Meet the Employers' event, organised by the University's careers team, where a panel of employers working in health-related fields are available to answer students' questions about health careers. One of these is 'The Challenge' which recruits students with experience in health studies to undertake paid summer placements working with young people with a range of needs to mentor them and support them to develop community projects.

Placements

You'll have opportunities to develop links with employers from your first year, when a wide range of public health organisations come to talk to you about health roles and work opportunities in diverse fields such as working with people with disabilities, maintaining a healthy weight, tackling substance misuse and addressing homelessness.

You will undertake five-week placements in your second and third years. You can opt for placements with existing partner organisations or talk to the team about your own ideas.

Dr Phil Shelton, our Placements Coordinator, works tirelessly to develop a wide range of placements for students including Birmingham Settlement, SIFA Fireside, Walsall Housing Group, Walsall NHS Healthcare Trust, South Derbyshire District Council, Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, Ideal for All, a user-led charity of disabled people in Sandwell and Change Kitchen – a Birmingham-based social business.

Several students on our course are keen to take their public health skills overseas and are working with the team here to set up such opportunities.

More about our placement opportunities...

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Facilities

Birmingham City University is one of the largest providers of nursing, health care and non-clinical health education in the UK, with more than 7,000 students. That means if you choose to study here, you will have access to some of the most advanced training and education facilities available.

The course is based at our City South Campus, where we offer a state of the art collection of advanced learning tools and practice/simulation facilities.

We have facilities around simulation and state of the art learning technology and many other tools, like our unique SPACE (Skills Practice and Care Enhancement), an innovative practice area all students can access outside of lecture time to use equipment and resources to practise a wide range of skills in a safe, welcoming and supportive environment.

Take a virtual tour of our skills suites at Seacole

In a sector where new techniques are constantly being discovered, we work hard to ensure that students learn using the most up-to-date equipment available. These include the only mock operating theatre in an English university and a cutting-edge radiography virtual clinical training facility, virtual ward and virtual case creator.

Mary Seacole Library

The Seacole library, based at City South Campus, is one of the UK's largest specialist health education libraries. The state-of-the art facility offers an extensive range of range of information and reference materials set out in a relaxing environment, conducive to studying. There are comfortable seating areas, group study areas, a silent study area and private study rooms.

Computer Facilities

The Seacole building houses a large open access IT Suite which comprises of 96 PCs, full colour printers, photocopiers and scanners. Our PCs utilise the latest Intel i5 core technology, all with:

  • Fast (unrestricted) internet connectivity
  • Ability to save files to USB, DVD & CD
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Research and statistical software
  • Storage space which can be accessed from any PC across the University and from home

Our PCs are also designed to support students who may have difficulties with reading and writing, featuring specialised software with zooming/magnification and screen reading capabilities, which may also be customised for individual student needs.

The IT Suite offers extended opening hours and is supported by a specialist Open Access Assistant during term time. In addition to the open access PCs within the IT Suite, there are 12 networked student PCs available within Seacole library.

Paula Smith

Ms Paula Smith

Senior Lecturer (Subject Lead) Public Health and Wellbeing Programme Leader BSc (Hons) Public Health/BSc (Hons) Health Studies (Public Health)

Paula Smith brings a wide range of experience, knowledge and skills to her post including:

  • Practitioner roles - Public Health/Health Promotion practice
  • Policy and Research in third sector organisations
  • Academic Research funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Economic and Social Research Council
  • Consultancy as part of Kilbride Smith Partnership focusing on health inequalities, health overview and scrutiny, community regeneration and health strategies.
  • Teaching and training in a variety of settings including Birmingham City University (as a Visiting Lecturer); De Montfort University and the University of Birmingham
  • Working with vulnerable groups
  • Complementary therapist – working with the Social and Emotional Development Department at Hereward College to develop and deliver a complementary therapies service for students with physical and learning disabilities.

Aldo Mussi

Tutor, Health Promotion / Public Health

Aldo trained in Earth sciences and social sciences, and has been a qualified teacher for over 25 years. He has worked in industry, education and as a VSO in Malawi, before spending 12 years in the NHS in various health promotion/public health teams. His particular interests are in Community Development and Sustainable Development.

For the last 10 years he has applied his experience to teaching BSc and MSc students here at BCU. Aldo is an Assessor for the West Midlands pilot of the UK Public Health Register for practitioners, and continues his involvement in health promotion/public health practice via his voluntary activities.

Dr Phil Shelton

Senior Lecturer/Placement Co-ordinator, Public Health and Health and Well-Being

Phil teaches health sociology and research methods. He is Placement Co-ordinator for BSc (Hons) Health and Wellbeing (Nutrition Science) and BSc (Hons) Public Health. he has trained as an Assessor for the Public Health Practitioner Scheme (UKPHR).

Phil's interest in student placements is extended into his current research project on Students’ Advising Students on Placement Success.

Dr Paul Allen

Senior Lecturer/Subject Quality Coordinator

I have teaching interests in Health Policy, Health Economics, Sociology of Health and Qualitative Research Methods. I teach on a range of undergraduate, professional and postgraduate health courses. Part of the team for the new BSc (Hons) Public Health. 

Angela Hewett Staff profile

Dr Angela Hewett PhD, CPsychol

Senior Lecturer in Health Psychology/Programme Lead MSc Public Health

Angela specialises in health psychology and has a keen interest in gender and health. She is particularly interested in women’s reproductive health psychology. She also has experience of working in practice as a Health Promotion Coordinator, with a focus on mental health promotion.

Angela is interested in differences in various indicators of health and wellbeing across cultures, and has researched in Norway, the United States, Canada and the UK.

Lynda Stobert

Senior Lecturer MSc Public Health

Lynda Stobert is the Programme Director to the MSc Public Health Programme and is also the module lead for the Social Science and Public Health module delivered on the course. She has extensive experience in teaching healthcare and public health students across a range of modules related to the sociology of health and illness, the sociology of the body and health inequalities.

She is an experienced qualitative researcher and has recently contributed to a HTA-funded study in women’s healthcare (qualitative arm of the study concerned with women’s experiences).

She is a part of the team that will also deliver a BSc Public Health from September 2013.

Lynda is a member of the British Sociological association and is also an assessor with the United Kingdom Public Health Register (UKPHR).

Olatunde Aremu

Dr Olatunde Aremu

Lecturer in Health Economics and Management, and Enterprise Lead, Public Health and Therapies

Dr. Aremu specialises in Health Economics and Management and Population health. Dr. Aremu completed doctoral training at Karolinska Institute, Stockholm. He has more than 15 years’ of experience spanning MedTech consulting, Public Health, clinical practice and academia. Dr. Aremu has held a couple of postdoctoral academic research fellowships and lectureship positions. During these periods,  he worked across a range of funded research and commissioned reports both as a co-investigator and grant holder. Prior to coming to academia, Dr. Aremu was the European Lead, Evidence Generation - HEOR Medical Device and invitro diagnostics for a globally renowned Consulting firm.  

Dr Kate Thomson

Associate Professor

Dr Kate Thomson is Director of Postgraduate Research Degrees for Health and leads on all aspects of recruitment, oversight and student experience for PhD (Health). She is also a member of the Public Health & Therapies department. 

Kate completed her postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham with a PhD on learning disability services and welfare development in Russia. She has more than 15 years’ experience of teaching health policy, sociological aspects of health and research skills at undergraduate, postgraduate and post-qualifying levels. Her main interests lie in health and welfare systems, global health and sociological public health. 

Dr Anne Robbins

Senior Lecturer, Public Health

Anne's background is in public health and health promotion, on research based projects at a local, regional and national level. This has been within the NHS, Local Authorities, BBC and National Charities.

She has undertaken a wide range of research and consultancy appointments on health promotion and public health which have focused on qualitative research and multiagency collaboration. Key areas of interest include communication and community engagement.

Isabella Nyambayo

Isabella Nyambayo

Lecturer in Nutrition Science

Isabella joined Birmingham City University in 2014 as Lecturer in Nutrition Science.