Healthcare life scientists investigate the causes of illness and disease progression, carrying out tests on tissue, blood and other samples from patients. They play a crucial role in the clinical diagnosis of illness dictating treatment strategies for patients and in the development of personalised medicine for future therapeutics. Healthcare life scientists work in a variety of settings, including hospital diagnostic laboratories and specialist hospitals, agencies such as the National Blood and Transplant Service, or the Health Protection Agency, and within community clinics.
Our integrated healthcare science (HCS) degrees are the principal education and training route for Healthcare Science Practitioners (HCSP) in England and are delivered through a collaborative partnership between Plymouth University and NHS laboratories, who will provide work placement training in each of the three years of the course. Degrees focus on the pathobiology of normal and disease processes. Students will gain expertise from specialist tutors and NHS workplace educators to allow merit in professional competencies required within modern and future healthcare practice. First year introduces foundation knowledge and integrates rotational placement within core disciplines. Students will specialise within year two gaining knowledge in applied, complex and advanced investigations and apply their learning to a research project in year three. Many diagnostic techniques involved in the training programme can be viewed at the Lab Tests Online website
For work in the division of life sciences we offer the following degrees accredited by the NHS and National School for Healthcare Science:
BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science*
• Blood science - To work in clinical biochemistry, immunology, haematology and transfusion medicine. Core techniques in coagulation screening, blood group and antigen screening, Blood film morphology, ESR, sickle cell screens, serological cross matching.
• Cellular science - To work in cytopathology, histopathology and reproductive science. Core techniques in haematoxylin and eosin staining, PAP stains, immunohistochemistry, specialist cytology screening, andrology analysis
• Infection science -To work in clinical microbiology including virology. Core techniques in MRSA and infectious swab screens, urine testing, TB and CI difficile testing, parasite screening, serological techniques, mycology.
*Note : Individual awards subject to availability of NHS training places