Physiological Sciences BSc (Hons)

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Pursue a broad approach to physiological sciences. Specialise in training that is suitable for NHS healthcare science practitioners. Choose your own path with this flexible course.

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The course focuses on the study of body function, particularly how cell, tissue and organ function is integrated in specific systems such as the nervous, respiratory and cardiovascular systems in health and disease. You will develop specialist knowledge and have the option to personalise your learning to suit your interests with our range of optional modules.

Why us?

  • Opportunities to undertake an integrated course which incorporates 50 weeks of clinical placement over three years. You will have the opportunity to move onto BSc (Hons) Healthcare Sciences: Physiological/Life
  • You will be taught by academic staff who are engaged in international research in a range of disciplines, as well as scientists working in the NHS
  • The University has over 100 years of expertise in teaching science
  • 'Hands on' approach to learning in our state of the art interactive learning facility 'The Living Lab' and modern biological science laboratories
  • Our Anatomy, Physiology & Pathology courses are ranked in the top 5 in the UK for Organisation & Management according to the National Student Survey 2019

Course structure

Depending on the availability of suitable placements, and your choice of options, you can work towards one of three possible degree titles: BSc (Hons) Physiological Sciences, BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science (Cardiac Physiology), BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science (Audiology).

Teaching methods include lectures, practical work, seminars and other forms of group work. Assessment is by continuous assessment of coursework and by examinations, in a ratio of roughly 40:60.

  • These are equipped with wide-ranging facilities from proteomics to drug discovery. These include a MALDI-TOF mass spectrometer and nanoHPLC MALDI spotter both 2D-gel based proteomics and bacterial identification, a new BD Accuri bench top flow cytometer for cell based assays, and an imaging suite including facilities for light, confocal and electron microscopy. You will have access to the physiology laboratories equipped with specialist equipment and instrumentation to demonstrate a range of physiological mechanisms including cardiac, respiratory and autonomic mechanisms. We have a number of laboratories dedicated for final year projects where you will gain first-hand research experience.

    Bioscience laboratories
  • We’ve got thousands of books and e-books on pharmaceutical and biomedical science, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. We also subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to-date academic and industry articles.
    Some of the most important sources for your studies include:

    • Embase: A complex database covering drug research, pharmacology, pharmaceutics, toxicology, clinical and experimental human medicine, health policy and management, public health, occupational health, environmental health, drug dependence and abuse, psychiatry, forensic medicine and biomedical engineering/instrumentation
    • PsycARTICLES: Includes information about the psychological aspects of medicine, psychiatry, nursing, sociology, pharmacology and physiology
    • PubMed: Contains life science journals, online books and abstracts that cover fields such as medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine and health care
    • Science Direct: Offers more than 2,000 full-text journals published by Elsevier
    • Web of Science: Covers a broad range of science areas
    Library Services - sciences
  • Our Patient Diagnostic Suite is a multi-professional facility featuring a range of near patient testing/point of care resources for audiology, cardiology and laboratory medicine assessment and diagnostics including consultation areas for simulated patient assessment and feedback.

    Patient Diagnostic Suite
  • Map and directions


Sunderland's exceptional facilities include excellent laboratories and cutting-edge equipment thanks to a multi-million pound investment.

This includes a human anatomy resource, a new state of the art clinical skills suite and bioscience laboratories and a patient simulation suite/theatre.

Entry requirements

Our typical offer is

  • GPA 3.0 or above from High School Diploma along with one of the following at the required grade - SAT I and SAT II, ACT or Advanced Placement

which must include Biology or Chemistry.

We also require three passes at GCSE grade C or above, which must include Mathematics and English Language, or an equivalent qualification, for example; a minimum of Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number. If you have studied for a new GCSE for which you will be awarded a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above.

If English is not your first language we will require an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with an overall score of 6.0 and at least 5.5 or higher in each component: reading, writing, listening and speaking. An alternative approved Secure English Language Test (SELT) can also be considered if the applicant's element scores are equivalent to those required for IELTS.

Fees and finance

The annual fee for this course is:

  • £9,250 if you are from the UK / EU
  • £11,500 if you are an international student

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or international student, find out more in our Help and Advice article.

Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.

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This information was correct at the time of publication.

City Campus by night


NHS salaries for staff working in healthcare science range from around £21,000 to around £80,000 per year. At entry level, the work involves obtaining diagnostic data from patients and working as part of a multidisciplinary team that also includes doctors, nurses and radiographers.

BSc (Hons) Physiological Sciences

Employment prospects are very good for Sunderland graduates in subjects allied to medicine.

Potential employers include the NHS, medical research institutions, clinical laboratories, drug companies, molecular biology companies and other organisations where a strong science background is an advantage.


BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science (Cardiac Physiology/Audiology)

If you choose this degree you will be well-prepared to apply for roles as a healthcare science practitioner within the NHS, with a specialism in cardiac physiology or audiology.

Our course provides significant amounts of work-based learning, with unpaid placements amounting to 10 weeks in year 1, 15 weeks in year 2 and 25 weeks in year 3.


Meet the students

  • As a result of my course, I was able to secure a graduate job in the Freeman Hospital.
    Samuel Ndaa Small

    Samuel Ndaa

Meet the team

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