UKAP Qualification Number: UK6163069

DETC Code of reference no.DT1115271




Level 4 Professional Diploma of Education in Health Sciences

If you’re interested in the science behind our health – from what we can do as individuals to stay healthy, to epidemics and the spread of disease – this diploma is for you. It’s particularly relevant if you work in health-related professions, or you’re thinking about doing so. You’ll study the essential scientific concepts underpinning the function of the human mind and body; the incidence, diagnosis and treatment of disease and disability; and the maintenance and improvement of health in different populations. 


Key features of the course

·        Topics include human biology; long term conditions; cellular and analytical biology; psychology; and mental health 

·        Explores health and disease from a multidisciplinary, evidence-based perspective

·        Develops a wide range of transferable skills

·        Builds a solid foundation for further study


Course details

This qualification has two stages, each comprising 120 credits. Stage 1 provides the underpinning knowledge and skills needed for more advanced study at Stage 2.

If you have little or no knowledge or experience of studying, you may prefer to start your studies with an Access module as an additional preparatory stage.


Stage 1 (120 credits)

You’ll begin by exploring the science, psychology and social issues behind health and disease and its management, before focusing more closely on topics in science or health science. Finally, you’ll explore how psychologists investigate the mind and behaviour, and how psychological research addresses real-life issues.


Compulsory modules (120 credits)


·        Science and health: an evidence-based approach (HNED298)

This module introduces the health sciences by exploring eight globally important health topics, ranging from nutrition and infectious diseases to pain and breast cancer screening.


·        Investigating psychology 1 (RBH233)

In this module you’ll explore the different ways in which psychologists investigate the human mind and behaviour, and find out how psychological research addresses real-life issues.


Optional modules (30 credits)


Select one of:

·        Topics in health sciences (HS233)

·        Topics in science (SCH320)


We strongly recommend one of the modules above, although you can choose 30 credits from any other UKAP level 1 module.


Stage 2 (120 credits)


As you deepen your understanding of health sciences, you’ll examine the physiology of different body systems and their coordination; how systems fail; and which medical interventions can succeed. You’ll also choose two options from modules investigating mental health, analytical science or cell biology. Finally, you’ll develop the practical science skills you need to complement your theoretical study, concluding with an exciting team project.


A nationally recognised qualification in its own right, the diploma of higher education is also equivalent to the first two thirds of the BSc (Honours) degree.

The modules quoted in this description are currently available for study. However, as we review the curriculum on a regular basis, the exact selection may change over time.


Educational aims

This is an intermediate science qualification which aims to provide you with:

·        an introduction to health topics in their wider personal, cultural and social contexts; 

·        the ability to engage with an evidence-based, scientific approach to health sciences and to develop an appreciation of the limits of scientific knowledge;

·        an opportunity to develop a range of basic scientific and practical skills;

·        an opportunity to develop your general skills in interpreting, generating, and presenting information and data using a variety of text-based, graphical, numerical, audio-visual and online sources, and using a computer to support your learning;

·        an opportunity to enhance your personal development, in particular your confidence in moving to UKAP level 3 study.

Learning outcomes


Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this diploma, you will have knowledge and understanding of:

·        the fundamental facts, concepts, principles, theories, classification systems and terminology used in the health sciences,

·        the role of science in human health, disease and disability, including basic concepts of cognitive psychology and mental health, and the structure and function of systems, organs, cells and processes in the human body and their interaction with external factors, 

·        the theoretical basis of diagnosis, screening and interventions in defined health conditions,

·        appropriate methods of acquiring, interpreting and analysing health sciences data and information.


Cognitive skills

On completion of this diploma, you will be able to:

·        use and correctly apply knowledge and understanding of essential facts, concepts, principles and theories relating to health sciences in a range of familiar and unfamiliar contexts,

·        describe, critically analyse and interpret scientific information and data presented in a variety of ways, including texts, tables, graphs, diagrams and figures, numerical and mathematical descriptions and computer-based media.


Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of this diploma, you will be able to:

·        conduct practical investigations in a responsible, safe and ethical manner taking proper account of risk assessment and health and safety regulations,

·        obtain, record, collate and analyse data derived from practical investigations, and interpret and report their significance in the light of underlying theory, practical issues and relevant information from other sources,

·        plan your own learning and be adept at time management and organisation so that you can work independently or with others in ways appropriate for continuing personal and professional development.



Key skills

On completion of this diploma, you will be able to:

·        locate health sciences information from a variety of sources (e.g. textual, numerical, graphical, computer-based) and use it in defined contexts to address issues and problems associated with health sciences,

·        prepare, process, interpret and present data using appropriate qualitative and quantitative techniques,

·        communicate health sciences information accurately and effectively using written, visual and numerical forms in a style that suits purpose and audience,

·        use ICT to enhance your own learning, for data analysis and for communicating scientific information to others,

·        use a range of study skills appropriate to level and context to improve your own learning.


Teaching, learning and assessment methods

Knowledge and understanding is acquired from specially prepared teaching materials using a variety of learning approaches which may include self-assessment questions, DVD materials, reference texts, computer-aided learning packages, directed reading, computer forums and web-based resources. Your understanding of the acquisition, interpretation and analysis of data is further developed by practical work.


You will work independently with the teaching materials, but are encouraged to form self-help groups with other students, communicating face to face, by telephone, email and computer forums. Associate lecturers support your learning in a variety of ways which may include options for face-to-face contact as well as other forms of communication.


Skills are developed in parallel with knowledge and understanding. Some modules are more practically oriented than others and also offer the most opportunities to interact with fellow students.


Assessment is by a combination of tutor-marked assignments requiring answers ranging from short reports to essays, computer-marked assignments, and written examinations or end-of-module assessments. In addition, you will have many opportunities for self-assessment, within module texts,online.


Credit transfer

If you’ve already completed some study at another university, you may be able to count it towards your University qualification – reducing the number of modules you need to study.

You should apply for credit transfer before you register, at least 4 weeks before the registration closing date. Just tell us what you studied, where and when, and we’ll compare this against the learning outcomes for your chosen course.


Entry requirements



Study method

Distance Learning



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