Attachments

 

 

Quality Handbook

 

 

Programme Specification Template - Undergraduate

 

 

 

Faculty of Health Sciences & Wellbeing

School of Nursing & Health Sciences

 

 

BSc Healthcare Science Practice (Life Sciences)

Blood Sciences

Infection Sciences

Cellular Sciences

Genetic Sciences


 

 

2019-20

 

 

PROGRAMME SPECIFICATION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Version History

 

 

 

Version

Occasion of Change

Change Author

Last Modified

1.0

Version presented for approval

Dr J Armstrong, R Turnbull

March 2018

2.0

Amendments required for accreditation/approval

Dr J Armstrong, R Turnbull

June 2018

3.0

Amendments required for accreditation/approval

Dr J Armstrong

August 2018

4.0

Dates updated for 2019/20

R Turnbull

August 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SECTION A:CORE INFORMATION

 

  1.  

Name of programme:

Healthcare Science Practice (Genetic Sciences), (Blood Sciences), (Cellular Sciences) or (Infection Sciences)

 

  1.  

Award title:

BSc Honours

  1.  

Programme linkage:

 

Is this part of group of linked programmes between which students can transfer at agreed points?

No

 

  1.  

Is the programme a top-up only?

 

No

  1.  

Does the programme have a Foundation Year (Level 3) associated with it so that students enter for a four-year programme and progress directly from the Foundation Year to Stage 1 without having to re-apply?

 

No

 

  1.  

Level of award:

 

Level 6

  1.  

Awarding Body:

University of Sunderland

  1.  

Department:

School of Nursing & Health Sciences

  1.  

Programme Studies Board:

Biosciences

  1.  

Programme Leader:

 

Rachel Turnbull


  1. How and where can I study the programme?

 

You will be in employment and undertake academic learning on campus at Sunderland, as well as work-based learning in the workplace.

 

  1. How long does the programme take?

 

 

Min number of years / months

Max number of years / months

Full-time

3 years

9 years

Part-time

 

 

Distance learning

 

 

Work-based learning

 

 

 

For start-dates please see the current edition of the Prospectus or contact the relevant department at the University.

 

SECTION B:FURTHER CORE INFORMATION 

 

Use Outline Programme Proposal Form for ADC for questions 13 to 25

 

  1. Learning and teaching strategy.

All aspects of the learning environment and course organisation support learning, which is at the heart of the University of Sunderland culture. In line with the University’s Learning and Teaching Plan, the methods employed on this programme aim to produce graduates competent in a range of subject-specific knowledge and skills, as well as transferrable skills. The teaching and learning strategy is designed to progressively develop the ability to learn independently and facilitate academic and professional success within a supportive and productive learning environment. The teaching and assessments on the programme have been constructively aligned with the intended outcomes of achievement. The apprenticeship degree integrates traditional lecture- and laboratory-based learning with active, experiential and enquiry-based learning, alongside integrated work-based learning.

 

The programme delivers the Modernising Scientific Careers (MSC) Healthcare Science Practitioner Training Programme (PTP) Life Sciences curriculum and is a partnership between the University and the NHS. Through accreditation by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) and approval by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) graduates will have demonstrated through completion of the IBMS Registration Training Portfolio that they meet the HCPC standards of proficiency for biomedical scientists and are eligible to apply for registration with the HCPC. The teaching and learning methods employed reflect this dual purpose of fitness to practice in terms of competence as well as the required knowledge, skills and associated qualities and behaviours. The delivery of the programme therefore employs not only academic staff from the university but also Biomedical Scientists working in the university and in the workplace to provide the clinical focus of the programme. The diversity of clinical skills and knowledge employed in the delivery is a major strength of the programme which provides a vocational training as well as academic learning.

 

The teaching and assessments on the programme have been constructively aligned with the intended outcomes of achievement and reflect progressive development through the programme. Integration of traditional lecture- and laboratory-based learning with active, experiential and enquiry-based learning, promotes inclusivity of different learning styles and cultural backgrounds. Teaching and learning methods are designed to support and challenge learners, develop investigative and problem-solving skills and encourage creativity, and include a range of approaches to reflect different ways of learning, such as lectures, laboratory sessions, workshops/seminars, case-based learning, group work, one-to-one tutorials, as well as directed and independent study and use of the virtual learning environment (VLE). Assessment practices are an integral part of learning and teaching and a variety of formative and summative assessment types are incorporated to reflect the full range of programme learning objectives, with assessments based on threshold levels of learning.  Formative feedback is often rapid, for example through the use of peer review or interactive response tool software (which also facilitates monitoring of learning). Summative assessments have staggered submissions dates to provide regular assessment and promote constructive use of feedback (which is provided within four working weeks). Both formative and summative assessment feedback contributes to academic development and is intended to support further learning as well as reflection and self-assessment.

 

The programme is designed to promote advancement in terms of academic understanding from fundamental knowledge and skills towards their application within clinical laboratory medicine disciplines and related translational research. A central aim is to provide a curriculum that is informed by current and emerging developments in research and professional practice. There has recently been significant investment in a ‘Living lab’ which provides a true interdisciplinary education environment reflecting advances in laboratory medicine, in particular the increasing use of Point of Care technology and the provision of personalised medicine. This environment also promotes opportunity for inter-professional learning as well as contribution of the patient perspective through involvement of practitioners and patient, carer, and public involvement (PCPI) participants. Furthermore, there is an increasing amount of experiential learning undertaken via work-based learning to support progression through each stage of the programme. Both curriculum and professional portfolios are used to provide evidence of the experiential knowledge and skills developed. In addition, all learners will have the opportunity to gain experience of the approach to, practice and appraisal of scientific research through an individual research project. Learners will use the knowledge and skills learnt in the first two stages to generate, analyse and evaluate scientific data.

 

  1. Retention strategy.

High quality support (both academic and pastoral) is integrated with the programme and aims to build a culture which enables a sense of belonging and partnership. Successful completion of the programme demands learner engagement and appropriate support from those involved in teaching, learning and pastoral care. Inclusivity, equality and diversity are embedded in the Institution values and act to enrich curricular, learning and teaching. A range of practices are implemented to promote learner retention, and include support during the learner journey (induction, on-going personal tutoring, attendance monitoring, social events), academic support (inclusive teaching and learning approach, assistive technologies to aid learning, supportive learning environment), work-based learning support (academic and work-based supervisor/mentor) as well as systems to support learners with personal difficulties and disabilities. Furthermore, consistent and meaningful engagement with the learner acts as a continual feedback mechanism to improve the learner experience.

 

  1. Any other information.    

The Healthcare Science Practice BSc Honours degree is an apprenticeship degree programme that typically will take a minimum of 3 years (but may be longer depending on programme arrangements and the progress of the apprentice) to complete. It leads to a BSc Honours degree qualification that is contextualised for workplace occupational competency as a Biomedical Scientist. The degree integrates academic and work-based learning through employment. The curricula (including the assessment programme) were developed with the input of employers, professional bodies and patients and are a blend of employer-defined knowledge, skills, behaviours and values that are integrated and assessed as part of the degree. The BSc curricula map to the HCSP Apprenticeship Standard, and completion of the degree demonstrates that the apprentice meets the outcomes of the HCSP Apprenticeship Standard, giving assurance that apprentices graduating from these programmes are fit to meet the future needs of employers and patients. By meeting the HCSP Apprenticeship Standard and completing the End Point Assessment for apprenticeships, funding for the programme can be obtained through the apprenticeship levy. The University will deliver the EPA as an integral part of the BSc (Hons) degree for this apprenticeship (integrated degree), where the award of the degree marks both the end of the BSc (Hons) and the end of the apprenticeship.

The programme incorporates a single work-based learning opportunity (equivalent to 50 weeks) with one employer. It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that the learner can complete all workplace competencies as described within the Practitioner Training Programme curricula for the specific Healthcare Science practice programme on which they are studying before enrolment. Those on Life Science programmes must be working in IBMS approved training laboratories and supported to complete the IBMS Registration Training Portfolio in order to demonstrate they meet the HCPC standards of proficiency for biomedical scientists. Trusts may meet this requirement wholly, or in conjunction with other Trusts. The University appreciates that service consolidation changes during an apprenticeship may affect this but it remains the responsibility of the employer to negotiate support from other Trusts if it becomes required to complete the curricula.

 

 

SECTION C:TEACHING AND LEARNING

 

  1. What is the programme about?

The Healthcare Science Practice programme delivers a programme which meets the Department of Health Modernising Scientific Careers and Health Education England agendas, a curriculum which is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science, and a curriculum and work-based training (Practitioner Training Programme) which is accredited by the National School of Healthcare Science and approved by the Health and Care Professions Council. The programme will give graduates the knowledge, skills, experiential learning and associated personal qualities and professionalism required by the HCPC standards of proficiency for biomedical scientists to work safely and effectively in the NHS as a Biomedical Scientist.

 

 

 

  1. What will I know or be able to do at each Stage of the programme?

 

Learning Outcomes Stage 1 (level 4) – Skills  

 

By the end of this Stage of the programme successful learners should know, understand or be able to do the following:

 

S1 Analyse data from experimental techniques

S2 Communicate concepts and ideas using a variety of appropriate methods

S3 Identify and reflect upon interpersonal, transferable, and study skills

S4 Effectively apply principles of health and safety legislation to the clinical environment

 

Learning Outcomes Stage 1 (level 4) – Knowledge

 

By the end of this Stage of the programme successful learners should know, understand or be able to do the following:

 

K1 Discuss a wide range of mechanisms and processes of life, from the molecular and cellular level through to those of the whole body systems

K2 Recognise the role and professional practice of healthcare scientists

K3 Understand the importance of health and safety in the work place

K4 Outline how the patient experience is central to the structure and processes within the NHS

 

Learning Outcomes Stage 2 (level 5) – Skills  

 

By the end of this Stage of the programme successful learners should know, understand or be able to do the following:

 

S5 Analyse and interpret biomedical data using appropriate techniques

S6 Evaluate and synthesise information, arguments and analyses supported by evidence from appropriate sources

S7 Employ an analytical approach to an important research question in healthcare science

S8 Recognise safety and ethical issues within a scientific investigation

S9 Effectively perform and demonstrate quality control compliance using a range of relevant methods

 

Learning Outcomes Stage 2 (level 5) – Knowledge

 

By the end of this Stage of the programme successful learners should know, understand or be able to do the following:

 

K5 Articulate using appropriate terminology fundamental knowledge of cellular and physiological processes relevant to human health and disease

K6 Differentiate the clinical laboratory specialities specific to the investigation of disease processes

K7 Explain the principles of current techniques underpinning modern healthcare science

K8 Effectively benchmark the principles and practices relevant to the routine investigations and procedures within healthcare science (Life Sciences)

 

Learning Outcomes Stage 3 (level 6) – Skills  

 

By the end of this Stage of the programme successful learners should know, understand or be able to do the following:

 

S10 Evaluate the application of a range of established techniques that form the basis of pathological diagnosis

S11 Evaluate the relevance and significance of scientific information

S12 Apply research and analytical methodologies to an individual research project

S13 Effectively apply the competence and professional standards of conduct expected of a Biomedical Scientist in a practice-based setting

S14 Professionally perform routine tasks expected of a Healthcare Science Practitioner (Life Sciences)

S15 Demonstrate competency and suitability for the role of a Healthcare Science Practitioner

 

Learning Outcomes Stage 3 (level 6) – Knowledge

 

By the end of this Stage of the programme successful learners should know, understand or be able to do the following:

 

K9 Explain the pathophysiology of clinically relevant human diseases

K10 Summarise advanced understanding of current biomedical specialities and their application to patient care

K11 Theoretically underpin how emerging science and technology will impact the future of healthcare delivery

K12 Appraise the role of quality assurance systems within healthcare science (Life Sciences) and apply principles of this to the context of professional practice

 

Note:

The title BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science Practice is a dedicated title by which the graduate must have gained all the required university credits and must also have successfully completed the Practitioner Training Programme and must have successfully completed the apprenticeship standard End Point Assessment (delivered by the University) and have successfully completed the IBMS Registration Training Portfolio and verification. A learner who fails to do any of these cannot be awarded the title in BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science Practice and they cannot apply to register with the HCPC as a Biomedical Scientist.  An Aegrotat degree does not allow the learner to register with HCPC. 

 

Interim awards

In cases, where the learner does not fulfil all the above requirements for the BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science Practice degree, they could be eligible for a University interim award of:

  • Certificate of Higher Education in Healthcare Science Practice (120 credits at stage 1)
  • Diploma in Higher Education in Healthcare Science Practice (120 credits at stage 1 and 120 credits at stage 2)

 

 

  1. What will the programme consist of?

 

Each undergraduate programme consists of a number of Stages from a minimum of 1 to a maximum of 4, each of which is equivalent to a year’s full-time study. The summary below describes briefly what is contained in each Stage. Most programmes have a mixture of core (ie compulsory) modules and optional ones, often with increasing choice as you move through the programme and gain in experience. In some programmes the choice of optional modules gives you particular ‘routes’ through the programme.

 

The BSc curricula map to the HCSP Apprenticeship Standard as well as the requirements of the Health Education England Healthcare Science PTP Life Sciences curriculum, as well as the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) and the UK Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Standards of Proficiency. The programme is constructed to promote advancement in terms of academic understanding from fundamental knowledge and skills towards their application within clinical laboratory medicine disciplines, and consists of three stages, with core modules at Stages 1 (level 4) and 2 (level 5), and a mix of core and optional modules available at Stage 3 (level 6), depending on the subject specialism. One of the key elements of the Healthcare Science Practice programme is its integrated approach to academic content and work-based learning. Work-based training increases throughout the programme to allow achievement of learning outcomes for each stage of study (equivalent to 10 weeks in stage 1, 15 weeks in stage 2 and 25 weeks in stage 3). The programme modules cover the breadth and depth of the apprenticeship standard using formative and summative assessment methods that integrate the knowledge, skills, behaviour and values components. This will ensure that the apprentice is sufficiently prepared to undertake the final synoptic End Point Assessment (EPA), integrated as the final assessment within the degree programme.

 

Standard delivery model:

Apprentices will divide their time between academic learning, work-based learning and service delivery. The initial offer by the university is that the programme will follow the defined curricula and be delivered using a day-release method, whereby learners are expected to attend campus for a defined number of days each semester (September to December and February to May) in order to attend lectures and practical sessions or workshops. A 20-credit module typically requires attendance on campus one day a week for 12 weeks. As the programme progresses, less time will be spent on campus as the work-based learning content increases. Approximate days learning in an academic setting and in the workplace:

 

Stage

Academic learning (on campus) (days)

Work-based learning (days)

1

70

25

2

60

75

3

36

125*

 

 

 

 

 

 

*in addition, a research project will be undertaken in the workplace.

 

Furthermore, learners can opt to study between 1 and 3 modules per semester, with each stage of the programme taking 1 or 2 years, and a total programme duration of 3-6 years.

 

Bespoke delivery model:

The programme will follow the defined curricula; however the programme may be delivered using a bespoke method established by negotiation with an employer, not defined in this programme specification.

 

 

A commitment statement is agreed between the apprentice, the employer and the University, which must include:

  • the planned content and schedule for training
  • what is expected and offered by the employer, the University and the apprentice
  • how to resolve queries or complaints

 

Regular progress review (tripartite) meetings will discuss progress to date against the commitment statement (which will be updated as needed) and the immediate next steps.

 

 

The curricula structure of BSc Healthcare Science Practice: Life Sciences and the specific routes (Blood Sciences, Infection Sciences, Cellular Sciences, Genetic Sciences) are shown below.

 

 


 


Stage 1 (level 4)

Module

Code

Credits

Fundamental Skills in Biomedicine

HCS111

20

Human Physiology

HCS102

20

Chemistry for the Biosciences

HCS112

20

Molecular and Cellular Biology

HCS113

20

Microbes and Host Defences

HCS114

20

Clinical and Professional Practice for Healthcare Science

HCS116

20

 

In stage 1 (level 4), all Life Sciences apprentices will undertake a common first year. The aim of this year is to ensure all learners have reached the same level of scientific development in core scientific subject areas. These core concepts and principles will provide the underpinning science for Stages 2 (level 5) and 3 (level 6). Four core modules (HCS102, HCS112, HCS113, HCS114) in Stage 1 of the programme introduce learners to human physiology, cell biology, chemistry and biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, immunology and microbiology. Each module has a significant practical component, allowing development of subject-specific practical skills, alongside transferrable skills (numeracy, data handling, and use of information technology). A skills module (HCS111) will provide learners with the tools to acquire the fundamental skills required in biomedical and healthcare sciences. This includes development of basic competency in laboratory skills and an understanding of laboratory health and safety, as well as science study skills.

 

Work-based training:

In stage 1, learners will undertake the equivalent of 10 weeks work-based training, comprising on campus learning with learning in the workplace. HCS116 allows learners to put their studies into a professional context. This module introduces the principles and practices of working in a clinical environment, relevant professional standards and appropriate attitudes and behaviours, as well as self-management and reflective practice. Learners will also undertake 25 days work-based learning to gain an overview of life sciences specialisms in the workplace, start their portfolio of evidence and complete relevant sections of the Work-based Learning Guide for year 1 of the PTP Life Sciences curriculum.

 

Stage 2 (level 5)

 

Module

Code

Credits

Pathophysiology and Therapeutics

HCS201

20

Blood Science

HCS206

20

Research and Analytical Skills for Biosciences

HCS226

20

Molecular and Cellular Analysis

HCS227

20

Infection and Immunity

HCS228

20

Professional Practice and Work-based Training for Life Sciences

HCS230

20

 

In stage 2 (level 5), all Life Sciences apprentices will undertake a common second year. Learners are introduced to the clinical specialities within laboratory medicine, as well as an appreciation of the biology of disease and its analysis (HCS206, HCS227, HCS228). Learners will further develop their practical skills beyond the basic competencies, with direct experience of a range of techniques relevant to the diagnosis and investigation of disease. An integrative module in Pathophysiology and Therapeutics (HS201) will provide learners with a holistic understanding of selected disease processes and the scientific basis of pharmacology and the therapeutic management of disease, enabling learners to reflect on the broader role of clinical laboratory specialisms.

 

A research and analytical skills module (HCS226) will focus on the role statistics in healthcare research and evidence-based medicine, as well as the principles and practice of scientific research. Learners will also have the opportunity to work in a state of the art Instrumentation Analysis Laboratory as well as the Point of Care Centre. To extend the range of transferrable skills, analytical and problem-solving skills are introduced at this Stage, which will enable learners to appreciate some of the issues related to the laboratory investigation of disease.

 

Work-based training: The first large discipline-specific element of work-based learning is delivered in HCS230. Learners will undertake the equivalent of 15 weeks work-based learning in a specialist discipline where they will gain the knowledge, skills and experience of routine investigations in their specialist area. Learners will continue their portfolio of evidence and complete relevant sections of the Work-based Learning Guide for years 2 and 3 of the PTP Life Sciences curriculum. During this stage, learners will also start to compile evidence for the IBMS Registration Training Portfolio.

 

Stage 3 (level 6)

The final year of the programme focuses on the theoretical and practical knowledge underpinning the specialisms within clinical laboratory medicine, and aims to demonstrate application to practice and includes increased experiential learning. Learners will undertake a substantive research project during their third year which will be based on their work-based learning (HCS326). This will provide the opportunity to demonstrate the knowledge, skills and experience acquired during their work-based learning and academic studies.

 

Work-based training: The second large element of work-based learning will commence in stage 3, and learners will undertake the equivalent of 25 weeks of work-based learning in a specialist discipline (HCS335). Learners will progressively develop an understanding of the importance of patient-centred care, evidence-based practice, clinical audit and multidisciplinary team working. Learners will continue their portfolio of evidence and complete the Work-based Learning Guide for years 2 and 3 of the PTP Life Sciences curriculum as well as the IBMS Registration Training Portfolio.

 

The core/optional modules are defined by the specialism undertaken, in line with the indicative content specified by the Healthcare Science: Life Sciences curriculum, and are outlined below:

 

Blood Science:

 

Core Modules

Code

Credits

Clinical Biochemistry

HCS304

20

Clinical Immunology

HCS328

20

Haematology and Transfusion Science

HCS329

20

Advanced Professional Practice and Work-based Training for Healthcare Science Apprenticeship (Life Sciences)

HCS335

30

Healthcare Science Practice Research Investigation

HCS326

30

 

 

 

 

Infection Science:

 

Core Modules

Code

Credits

Medical Microbiology

HCS309

20

Clinical Immunology

HCS328

20

Advanced Professional Practice and Work-based Training for Healthcare Science Apprenticeship (Life Sciences)

HCS335

30

Healthcare Science Practice Research Investigation

HCS326

30

Optional Modules (one from four)

 

 

Cellular Pathology

HCS303

20

Clinical Biochemistry

HCS304

20

Human Genetics and Genomics

HCS308

20

Haematology and Transfusion Science

HCS329

20

 

Cellular Science:

 

Core Modules

Code

Credits

Cellular Pathology

HCS303

20

Advanced Professional Practice and Work-based Training for Healthcare Science Apprenticeship (Life Sciences)

HCS335

30

Healthcare Science Practice Research Investigation

HCS326

30

Optional Modules (two from five)

 

 

Clinical Biochemistry

HCS304

20

Human Genetics and Genomics

HCS308

20

Medical Microbiology

HCS309

20

Clinical Immunology

HCS328

20

Haematology and Transfusion Science

HCS329

20

 

Genetic Science:

 

Core Modules

Code

Credits

Human Genetics and Genomics

HCS308

20

Haematology and Transfusion Science

HCS329

20

Advanced Professional Practice and Work-based Training for Healthcare Science Apprenticeship (Life Sciences)

HCS335

30

Healthcare Science Practice Research Investigation

HCS326

30

Optional Modules (one from four)

 

 

Cellular Pathology

HCS303

20

Clinical Biochemistry

HCS304

20

Medical Microbiology

HCS309

20

Clinical Immunology

HCS328

20

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. How will I be taught?

 

Scheduled teaching activities

lectures, interactive laboratory and simulation practicals, computing sessions  and seminars and workshops, including verbal presentations and posters, group work, case-based learning, directed learning, research project supervision

Independent study

Virtual learning environment

Placement

Work-based learning

 

The strategy behind the teaching and learning approach used on the programme is to utilise a broad range of methods that reflect the different types of learning apprentices will undertake in terms of both skill development and knowledge acquisition, as well as to provide a diverse learning experience which addresses different learning styles. The programme integrates traditional lecture- and laboratory-based learning with active, experiential and enquiry-based learning, and is designed to encourage a progressive acquisition of subject knowledge and skills by moving from study methods that have a greater degree of support gradually towards more independence and self-direction.

 

Seminal lectures

Key subject knowledge will be delivered in lectures throughout the programme. These sessions incorporate various methods to convey ideas and concepts (such as verbal and visual presentation of information, demonstrations, multimedia and external speakers) with integrated active learning approaches (such as quizzes, brainstorming activities, and use of interactive response tool software) which can be used to inform teaching practice as well as assess learning and monitor progression. The active learning approach will progress from the early stage (Level 4), where activities test the acquisition of knowledge and understanding, to the final stage (Level 6) where activities are designed to promote analytical and critical thinking (in line with summative assessments).

 

Laboratory and practical classes

Laboratory and practical classes are an essential part of the learning experience, and are designed to promote development of a wide range of discipline-specific techniques and transferrable skills, as well as to demonstrate and reinforce material taught in lectures. A key feature is the extensive training in laboratory-based skills relevant to clinical laboratory medicine. Skills are developed sequentially during the programme, from developing competence in basic practical skills and an awareness of safe working practices in Stage 1 (level 4), discipline-specific techniques and analytical skills in stage 2 (level 5), towards the opportunity to develop skills of scientific inquiry and investigation at Stage 3 (level 6), alongside development of transferrable skills such as self-dependence and management of resources which are of significant value beyond the programme.

 

Enquiry-based learning

A number of strategies for learning through enquiry-based approaches have been adopted, such as the use of case studies, small-scale investigations and engagement with research activity. These activities can be taken from real life or areas of professional practice, and the process of enquiry is facilitated by academic staff. This form of learning promotes a research-orientated approach to a problem and helps gain essential skills that are highly valued in the workplace.

 

E-learning

Independent study is facilitated through the virtual learning environment (VLE) which gives access to learning materials, self-assessment exercises, sample data and virtual experiments, and discussion group facilities, as well as submission of work electronically. Links are provided to enable access to web-based tutorials, webinars and videos, which are central to the learning experience.

 

Work-based learning

Work-based learning (WBL) takes place in recognised training laboratories that meet the criteria for an IBMS approved placement (as demonstrated by University audit). Work-based learning runs vertically throughout the programme and as some learning outcomes can only be achieved in the workplace; the PTP and IBMS portfolios are incorporated as assessments in work-based learning modules. The requisite knowledge, skills and attitudes of a Healthcare Science Practitioner will be developed in all three stages of the programme, both on campus and in the workplace, and supported by the WBL tutor and trained hospital mentors. Work-based learning provides a broad appreciation of the range of work undertaken within healthcare science, and aids learning in the context of practice and real life experience. Training within a clinical laboratory specialism provides the opportunity to demonstrate quality control compliance using a range of core and specialised methods and techniques, completion of the relevant competencies (as defined in the Life Science training manual for each specialism) and finalise evidence relating to the HCPC standards of proficiency in the IBMS Registration Training Portfolio.

 

A summary of the types of teaching, learning and assessment in each module of the programme can be found in the Matrix of Modes of Teaching (section 34).

 

 

  1. How will I be assessed and given feedback? 

Written examinations

Multiple choice questions

Short/long answer questions

Problem-solving

Case study & data interpretation

Coursework

Laboratory report, portfolio, health & safety review, media summary, essay (descriptive and reflective), case study, oral presentation, poster, research proposal, dissertation, science communication exercise, research report, evaluative analysis, professional portfolio, PTP portfolio

Practical assessments

Direct observation of Practical Skills (DOPS)

Case Based Discussions (CbDs)

Observed Clinical Experience (OCE)

Competencies

 

 

A summary of the types of teaching, learning and assessment in each module of the programme can be found in the Teaching, Learning and Assessment matrix. 

 

The generic assessment criteria which we use can be found here. Some programmes use subject-specific assessment criteria which are based on the generic ones.

 

This programme uses the Generic University Assessment Criteria

YES

 

This programme uses the Subject Specific Assessment Criteria

YES

 

 

The University regulations can be found here.

 

The assessment strategy has been developed in line with University policy, but also aims to build on good practice developed in the department to date. Assessments are designed to become more demanding as the programme progresses in line with the development of skills in the interpretation and evaluation of scientific information.

 

Written examinations

Written examinations are included in most modules, with an emphasis on knowledge retention at Stage 1 (Level 4), short answer/essay and problem solving questions demonstrating understanding and application at Stage 2 (Level 5), and long essay questions focussed on interpretation and evaluation of scientific information at Stage 3 (Level 6).

 

Coursework

Laboratory reports are a key assessment type and are used throughout the programme to practice the ability to analyse and interpret data and place experimental results within a broader scientific context, and to underpin professional standards of presenting scientific reports. This is highlighted in the final year where the research project assessment is a report in the style of a research paper suitable for submission to Bioscience Horizons (an online journal which publishes undergraduate and taught masters bioscience research).

 

A range of additional coursework assessments are included at different stages, which progress from short descriptive essay writing, oral presentation and media summary (designed to identify appropriate sources of information and promote communication of scientific concepts to a variety of audiences) in Stage 1 (level 4), to the introduction of problem solving questions and case studies as well as a scientific research proposal (which have a greater emphasis on application and analysis) in Stage 2 (level 5). In Stage 3 (level 6), assessment methods are designed to encourage critical evaluation of information and data interpretation in the context more complex problems, clinical cases or areas of emerging technology and innovation in healthcare.

 

Marking guidelines are used for all assessments, which undergo internal and external review, and are used to ensure consistency of marking. Assessments are marked according to the University of Sunderland generic assessment criteria, and all modules undergo standard moderation procedures to ensure fair assessment. Formative feedback is given throughout the programme, either informally through interactive learning activities, or formally in selected modules. Summative assessment feedback is provided within four working weeks, promoting constructive feed-forward throughout the programme. Past examination papers are provided for revision purposes, and sessions are scheduled to discuss exam technique using past questions as examples.

 

The VLE is used extensively to deliver assessments and provide feedback, with significant use of Turnitin and Grademark. This is a very useful strategy to promote information literacy as originality reports generated by Turnitin are available, therefore identifying inappropriate writing practices.

 

 

PTP and IBMS Portfolio assessment strategy

The assessment of competence will be performed in the workplace by HCPC registered Biomedical Scientists who in addition to their professional training, are also qualified assessors (which is checked by audit). Training for mentors is provided by the University for those NHS staff who wish to undertake this role. Their assessment skills are reinforced through CPD support days provided by the University. Demonstration of clinical competence by the learners is through the completion of a series of clinical competencies. As each competency is completed and assessed the learner builds up a portfolio of evidence which confirms their competency. There will be continuous assessment across the work-based learning, using a series of Directly Observed Procedures/Direct Observation of Practical Skills (DOPs), Case Based Discussions (CbDs) and Observed Clinical Experience (OCE) as specified in the Work-based Learning Guide. The completed portfolio of evidence built up by the trainee is then moderated by a clinical mentor to ensure that all elements have been assessed and that the standard of training is appropriate. It is the responsibility of the learner to maintain their own portfolio and ensure all assessments are completed on time. The final assessment is by the module lead at the University.

 

In addition, completion and external verification of the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) registration portfolio for the certificate of competence is required in order to gradate with the named award and enable graduates to apply for registration with the HCPC as a Biomedical Scientist.

 

End Point Assessment

As an apprentice, learners will also need to pass the End Point Assessment (EPA) which is incorporated into HCS335. The purpose of the EPA is to test that an apprentice is fully capable of doing their job before they receive their apprenticeship certificate. It also helps to demonstrate that what an apprentice has learned can be applied in the real world. In accordance with Skills Funding Agency rules, the University and employer will work together to ensure the learner is supported and prepared to undertake the EPA. The EPA will be conducted by the University as an integrated part of the degree programme, therefore the learner must pass the EPA in order to graduate with the named award (BSc (Hons)) and obtain the apprenticeship certificate. The apprenticeship certificate does not give eligibility to apply for statutory regulation as a biomedical scientist with the HCPC. Learners in Life Sciences achieve this through completion of the IBMS Registration Training Portfolio which is mapped to the HCPC standards of proficiency for biomedical scientists and is a mandatory component of the programme.

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeship-standard-healthcare-science-practitioner-degree-apprenticeship

 

The University aims to return marked assessments and feedback within 4 working weeks of the assignment submission date after internal moderation processes have been completed. If this is not possible, learners will be notified by the Module Leaders when the feedback is available and how it can be obtained.

 

The Academic Misconduct Regulations and associated guidance can be found here. It is the responsibility of learners to ensure they are familiar with their responsibilities in regards to assessments and the implications of an allegation of academic misconduct.

 

Learners should refer to the University Regulations for information on degree classifications and compensation between modules.


  1. Teaching, learning and assessment matrix

NB. Not all option modules may be offered in any one academic year and will depend on the availability of staff and the priorities of the school. In addition, modules will usually need to be selected by a minimum number of students. Option modules may be available on more than one programme and the Programme Leaders will liaise with the Faculty Management Team to ensure there is a reasonable amount of choice in any given year.

 

Stage 1

 

Module

Code

Core / Option

Modes of T&L

Modes of Assessment

LO K1

LO K2

LO K3

LO K4

LO S1

LO S2

LO S3

LO S4

Fundamental Skills in Biomedicine

HCS111

Core

L, LP, W, DS, IS, GW, RE

P, E

 

 

TD

 

TD

TDA

TDA

 

Human Physiology

HCS102

Core

L, LP, W, DS, IS, GW

Ex, Pr

TDA

 

 

 

TD

TDA

TD

 

Chemistry for the Biosciences

HCS112

Core

L, LP, W, DS, IS, GW

Ex, LR

TDA

 

T

 

TDA

TDA

TD

 

Molecular and Cellular Biology

HCS113

Core

L, LP, W, DS, IS, GW

Ex, LR

TDA

 

T

 

TDA

TDA

TD

 

Microbes and Host Defences

HCS114

Core

L, LP, W, DS, IS, GW

Ex, MS

TDA

TDA

TD

 

TD

TDA

TD

 

Clinical and Professional Practice for Healthcare Science

HCS116

Core

L, W, DS, IS

HSR, P,  PTP

 

TDA

TDA

TDA

 

 

TDA

TDA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Modes of T&L: DS = Directed Study, GW = Group Work, IT = Individual Tutorial, IS = Independent Study, L = Lecture, LP = Laboratory practical, PBL = Problem Based Learning, RE = Research Engagement, W = Workshop.

Modes of Assessment: E = essay, Ex = Examination, LR = Laboratory Report, MS = Media Summary, P = Portfolio, Pr = Presentation, PTP = work based practice portfolio, HSR = Health & Safety Review.

T = Taught, D = Developed, A = Assessed

 

 

Stage 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Module

Code

Core / Option

Modes of T&L

Modes of Assessment

LO K5

LO K6

LO K7

LO K8

LO S5

LO S6

LO S7

LO S8

LO S9

Pathophysiology and Therapeutics

HCS201

Core

L, LP, W, DS, IS, GW

Ex, LR

TDA

 

TD

 

TD

TDA

 

 

 

Blood Science

HCS206

Core

L, LP, W, DS, IS, GW, CBL

Ex, C

TDA

TDA

TDA

 

TDA

TDA

 

 

 

Research and Analytical Skills for Biosciences

HCS226

Core

L, LP, W, DS, IS, RE, EBL

Ex, RP

 

 

TD

 

TD

TDA

TDA

TDA

 

Molecular and Cellular Analysis

HCS227

Core

L, LP, W, DS, IS, GW

Ex, SC

TD

TDA

TDA

 

TDA

TDA

 

 

 

Infection and Immunity

HCS228

Core

L, LP, W, DS, IS, GW, CBL

Ex, LR

TDA

TDA

TD

 

TDA

TDA

 

 

 

Professional Practice and Work-based Training for Life Sciences

HCS230

Core

DS, IS, PPr, W

PTP

 

 

 

TDA

 

 

 

 

TDA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Modes of T&L: CBL = Case-Based Learning, DS = Directed Study, EBL = Enquiry-based Learning, GW = Group Work, IT = Individual Tutorial, IS = Independent Study, L = Lecture, LP = Laboratory practical, RE = Research Engagement, W = Workshop, PPr=Professional Practice.

Modes of Assessment: C = case study, D = Dissertation, Ex = Examination, LR = Laboratory Report, Po = Poster, Pr = Presentation, PTP = work based practice portfolio, RP = Research Proposal, RR = Research Report, SC= Science Communication exercise

T = Taught, D = Developed, A = Assessed

 

 

 

 

 

Stage 3

Module

Code

Core / Option

Modes of T&L

Modes of Assessment

LO K9

LO K10

LO K11

LO K12

LO S10

LO S11

LO S12

LO S13

LO S14

LO S15

Cellular Pathology

HCS303

Option

L, LP, W, DS, IS, GW, CBL

Ex, C

TDA

TDA

TD

 

TDA

TDA

 

 

 

 

Clinical Biochemistry

HCS304

Option

L, LP, W, DS, IS, GW, CBL

Ex, EA

TDA

TDA

TDA

 

TDA

TDA

 

 

 

 

Human Genetics and Genomics

HCS308

Option

L, LP, W, DS, IS, GW, CBL

Ex, EA

TD

TDA

TDA

 

TDA

TDA

 

 

 

 

Medical Microbiology

HCS309

Option

L, LP, W, DS, IS, GW

Ex, EA, Co

TD

TDA

TDA

 

TDA

TDA

 

 

 

 

Healthcare Science Practice Research Investigation

HCS326

Core

LP, IT, DS, IS, RE, EBL

SE, Po, RR

 

 

D

 

 

TDA

TDA

 

 

 

Clinical Immunology

HCS328

Option

L, LP, W, DS, IS, GW, CBL

Ex, LR

TDA

TD

TD

 

D

TDA

 

 

 

 

Haematology and Transfusion Science

HCS329

Option

L, LP, W, DS, IS, GW, CBL

Ex, C

TDA

TDA

TD

 

TDA

TDA

 

 

 

 

Advanced Professional Practice and Work-based Training for Healthcare Science Apprenticeship (Life Sciences)

HCS335

Core

DS, IS, W, PPr

RE, PP, PTP, EPA

D

D

D

TDA

D

D

 

TDA

TDA

TDA

 

Modes of T&L: CBL = Case-Based Learning, DS = Directed Study, EBL = Enquiry-based Learning, GW = Group Work, IT = Individual Tutorial, IS = Independent Study, L = Lecture, LP = Laboratory practical, RE = Research Engagement, W = Workshop

Modes of Assessment: C = case study, Co = competency test, D = Dissertation, Ex = Examination, EA = Evaluative analysis, EPA = End-Point Assessment, LR = Laboratory Report, Po = Poster, Pr = Presentation, PTP = work based practice portfolio, RE = Reflective Essay, RR = Research Report, SE = Supervisor evaluation

T = Taught, D = Developed, A = Assessed

 


  1. How does research influence the programme? 

 

The Faculty considers research to be central to its activities and ethos. Many of the staff in the teaching team are research active, and engaged in research projects at the cutting edge of the discipline. The majority of permanent staff have a PhD qualification and most members of the team currently supervise PhD students in their areas of research.  A significant proportion of the teaching staff on the programme was submitted to the last research exercise framework (REF) which measures research quality nationally.

The programme is strengthened by both academic research and clinical experience of the teaching staff, and the programme is underpinned by a research active curriculum (where appropriate teaching is supported by examples grounded in the basic and translational research of academic staff or visiting lecturers). Staff research interests are diverse, and include developing personalised treatments for cancer, improving the outcomes and availability of organs for transplantation, understanding the role of proteins called “chemokines” in inflammation, antibiotic resistance, how cells communicate in cancer, the role of stem cells in cancer, and food biotechnology. Learners will develop their own research skills, culminating in a final year project at Stage 3 (level 6) where learners undertake new research in collaboration with an NHS trust.

 

 

SECTION D:EMPLOYABILITY

 

  1. How will the programme prepare me for employment?

 

The Healthcare Science Practice Degree Apprenticeship is designed to meet the Practitioner Training Programme (PTP) requirements and QAA subject benchmark statements for biomedical sciences (2015) Section 6 requirements for IBMS accreditation. Led by the National School of Healthcare Science, the scientific and professional content of the PTP curricula are reviewed and updated in consultation with the Council for Healthcare Science Education in Higher Education and its PTP Special Interest Group, professional bodies and other stakeholders.

 

BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science Practice (Life Sciences) is accredited by the National School of Healthcare Science, the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) and approved by the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) and leads to eligibility to apply to join the HCPC register as a Biomedical Scientist following graduation.

 

Skills Acquisition - this is an important focus of the programme and it aims:

  • To produce graduates who are skilled and technically competent at a range of measurements techniques and capable of analysis and interpretation.
  • To produce graduates who can work responsibly in line with the HCPC professional code of conduct for Biomedical Science, the IBMS code of conduct and the Academy for Healthcare Science Good Scientific Practice, and in relation to the core skills in health and safety, human rights, patient identification, communication skills and management and quality assurance.
  • To produce graduates with a range of key transferable and intellectual skills that can be applied to the role of the Healthcare Science Practitioner (as defined by the Health Education England Healthcare Science Programme Board) and work in Life Sciences as a registered Biomedical Scientist.

 

Continued employability and professional development in the NHS is a key component in this programme and the development of transferable skills including teamwork, problem solving, IT skills, oral & written communication, analytical & critical thinking as well as clinical skills forms a fundamental part of the programme. Concepts of professionalism are introduced at stage 1 and developed at later stages of the programme. There are elements of group work in a number of modules at stage 1 in order to encourage learners to work together as a team. This is important for these learners who will be required to work with other professional groups in the workplace.

 

It is apparent that successful graduates need relevant academic knowledge and skills, but also need to exhibit ‘professional’ behaviour. The University has developed Fitness for Practise Regulations. This takes into account a range of qualities and behaviours (including respect, honesty, and responsibility) and is monitored on the programme by University Fitness to Practise regulations. This is in line with the HCPC standards of conduct, performance and ethics (2016), as well as the IBMS code of conduct and the Academy for Healthcare Science Good Scientific Practice.

 

The approach to the acquisition of transferrable skills is co-ordinated via scheduled activities throughout each module. Furthermore, personal development planning (PDP) is embedded within specific the modules (HCS111, HCS116, HCS230, HCS226, HCS326, HCS335), so that graduates develop to their full potential as reflective practitioners. PDP is also achieved through the personal tutoring system whereby new learners are allocated a Personal Tutor who is able to provide advice and support throughout the programme.

 

The programme team have a close partnership with NHS employers and regular stakeholder meetings between employers, PCPI participants and the programme team provide a platform for ongoing review and development. This enables employers to inform the University of any relevant changes within clinical laboratory medicine which may impact on programme content. The University offers a short course for NHS staff who act as mentors for apprentices. The University (in collaboration with Northumbria University) also holds annual ‘Train the Trainer’ events for updates on issues within the education sector and NHS and for exchange of other relevant information.

 

  1. Particular features of the qualification

 

Completion of this programme entitles the graduate to apply to join the HCPC register as a Biomedical Scientist. Learners are also entitled to join the Academy for Healthcare Science accredited voluntary register for Healthcare Science Practitioners.

 

  1. Professional statutory or regulatory body (PSRB) accreditation. 

 

PSRB accreditation is not relevant to this programme 

 

PSRB accreditation is currently being sought for this programme

 

This programme currently has PSRB accreditation

X

 

The programme is currently accredited until:

September 2023 by the Institute of Biomedical Science and the Health and Care Professions Council

June 2019 by the National School of Healthcare Science

Please see PSRB Renewal Process for information on the renewal process.

The relevant PSRB(s) is/are:

National School of Healthcare Science: http://www.nshcs.org.uk/

Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS): https://www.ibms.org/

Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC): http://www.hcpc-uk.org/

 

The programme is recognised as: Healthcare Science Practitioner Degree Apprenticeship

 

Accreditation gives graduates: eligibility to apply to join the HCPC register as a Biomedical Scientist. Graduates are also entitled to join the Academy for Healthcare Science accredited voluntary register for Healthcare Science Practitioners. This depends upon successful completion of the programme.

 

There are programme-specific regulations relating to the following. Details are given in the programme regulations:

 

The modules to be studied

 

Pass-marks for some or all modules and/or parts (elements) of modules 

X

Requirements for progression between one Stage and another

 

Placement requirements

 

Attendance requirements

 

Professional practice requirements

 

Degree classification  

X

Other 

 

 

The following interim or exit awards are NOT accredited by the National School of Healthcare Science, the Institute of Biomedical Science, or approved by the Health and Professions Council:

  • Certificate of Higher Education in Healthcare Science Practice
  • Diploma in Higher Education in Healthcare Science Practice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SECTION E:PROGRAMME STRUCTURE AND REGULATIONS

 

Name of programme: Healthcare Science Practice (Genetic Sciences), (Blood Sciences), (Cellular Sciences) or (Infection Sciences)

 

Title of final award: BSc with Honours

 

Interim awards[1]: Certificate in Higher Education in Healthcare Science Practice; Diploma in Higher Education in Healthcare Science Practice

 

Accreditation: BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science Practice (Life Sciences) programmes are accredited by the National School of Healthcare Science, the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS), and approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

 

The other awards are not accredited.

 

University Regulation

Undergraduate Academic Regulations apply, with programme specific regulations relating to university regulations 1, 4.2.2, 5.2.1, 6.1.3, 7.3.

 

Programme specific regulations to meet Professional Body requirements:

 

1)      Admissions regulations: Overseas applicants from countries whose first language is not English are required to produce evidence of advanced competence in English. This will require an IELTS test score of 7.0 or equivalent (with a minimum of 6.0 in each element)

2)      A whole module score must not be below the University definition of a pass – this means compensation between modules is not allowed

3)      For work-based modules (HCS116, HCS230, HCS335), every element of assessment must attain a pass mark (40%)

4)      Interim awards/exit qualifications are titled ‘Healthcare Science Practice’

 

Regulations apply to students commencing their studies from (please state the date / intake that these regulations will apply to students for each Stage):

 

Regulations apply to students

Date the regulations apply

Intakes affected

Stage 1

September 2019

 

Stage 2

September 2019

 

Stage 3

September 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stage 1 (Certificate in Higher Education in Healthcare Science Practice)

 

 

Code

Title

Credits

HCS111

Fundamental Skills in Biomedicine

20

HCS102

Human Physiology

20

HCS112

Chemistry for the Biosciences

20

HCS113

Molecular and Cellular Biology

20

HCS114

Microbes and Host Defences

20

HCS116

Clinical and Professional Practice for Healthcare Science

20

 

 

Progression Regulations

To meet the requirements of the National School of Healthcare Science the following restrictions have been approved by Academic Board on the provisions of the university regulations:

 

Modules cannot be compensated so you must pass each module with an overall mark of 40%.

 

Students must also achieve a pass mark of 40% in each element of assessment in HCS116.

 

Stage 2 (Diploma in Higher Education in Healthcare Science Practice)

 

Code

Title

Credits

 

HCS201

Pathophysiology and Therapeutics

20

HCS206

Blood Science

20

HCS226

Research and Analytical Skills for Biosciences

20

HCS227

Molecular and Cellular Analysis

20

HCS228

Infection and Immunity

20

HCS230

Professional Practice and Work-based Training for Life Sciences

20

 

 

Progression Regulations

 

To meet the requirements of the National School of Healthcare Science the following restrictions have been approved by Academic Board on the provisions of the university regulations:

 

Modules cannot be compensated so you must pass each module with an overall mark of 40%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stage 3 (BSc (Hons) in Healthcare Science Practice (specialism))

 

Core modules

 

Code

Title

Credits

HCS326

Healthcare Science Practice Research Investigation

30

HCS335

Advanced Professional Practice and Work-based Training for Healthcare Science Apprenticeship (Life Science)

30

 

 

Optional modules: Choose modules to the value of 60 credits from the following list (choice depends on specialism)

 

Code

Title

Credits

HCS303

Cellular Pathology

20

HCS304

Clinical Biochemistry

20

HCS308

Human Genetics and Genomics

20

HCS309

Medical Microbiology

20

HCS328

Clinical Immunology

20

HCS329

Haematology and Transfusion Science

20

 

 

Progression Regulations

 

To meet the requirements of the National School of Healthcare Science the following restrictions have been approved by Academic Board on the provisions of the university regulations:

Modules cannot be compensated so you must pass each module with an overall mark of 40%.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SECTION F:ADMISSIONS, LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AND SUPPORT

 

  1. What are the admissions requirements?

 

The programme is work based, as such, admission is subject to the learner being employed by an organisation and remaining in employment with an organisation throughout the duration of the programme. The employer must confirm participants comply with apprentice eligibility criteria during the admissions process, which includes confirmation the apprentice holds a valid Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate. Apprentices should have completed the Employers internal occupational health checks for the role and be suitable to carry out the duties outlined in their job description.

 

The University’s standard admissions requirements can be found in the university regulations. Programme-specific requirements which are in addition to those regulations are given below.

 

Our typical offer is 112 UCAS points from a minimum of two A Levels or equivalent (e.g. 1 x AVCE double award) including biology or chemistry. Please note we do not accept General Studies AS or A Level. Read more on the new UCAS Tariff point system for 2017.

We accept a maximum of 20 points from Level 3 Key Skills qualifications. We also require three passes at GCSE grade C or above, which must include Mathematics and English Language, or a minimum of Level 2 Key Skills in Communication, Application of Number and Information Technology.

Access Courses: We would require successful completion of an Access to Higher Education course that is accredited by the Quality Assurance Agency. We would also require a minimum of grade C in GCSE in Mathematics and English Language or the equivalent as part of your course.

If English is your second language we require a minimum of IELTS 7.0 (or equivalent) with a minimum of 6.0 in each element

 

Applicants not meeting these criteria will be judged on an individual basis by interview in a collaborative approach by the university and employer.

 

 

Can students enter with advanced standing?

YES

 

 

If yes, to which Stages?

Stage 1

X

Stage 2

X

Stage 3

X

Stage 4

 

 

The University has a process by which applicants whose experience to date already covers one or more modules of the programme they are applying for may seek Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL). Full details can be found here but if you think that this may be relevant to you, please contact the department which offers the programme you are interested in.

  1. What kind of support and help will there be?

 

The university has several initiatives for providing help and support for learners across the academic programme. The majority of our support processes are individually tailored to specific faculties, department and programmes so that personalised help can be offered wherever possible.

 

a)       The Personal Tutoring System

The personal tutor is a source of personal and academic support where the learner finds themselves in academic difficulty, and a source of ‘referrals on’ where s/he encounters personal difficulties. Personal tutorial meetings are primarily concerned with looking at the progress the learner is making and identifying areas where they need to improve on the basis of overall module feedback and results. The meetings are also intended to ensure that the learner has all of the information necessary to follow his/her programme and gain the most from it, and that s/he is aware of technical requirements (eg. module choices, policy on extensions). Learners are assigned to a personal tutor who will remain with them for the duration of their programme. All personal tutors are equipped to provide specific and personal guidance about pastoral issues and will readily support learners who might be finding a particular element of the programme challenging or unmanageable. Depending on the nature of issues with which learners present, the personal tutor can become a channel for communication between academic and work-based learning provisions and can liaise directly with the relevant programme or module leaders, and can escalate concerns as required.

The personal tutor system is supported by the central University of Sunderland Support Services and it may be that following discussion, more specialist help needs to be provided for students, for example counselling, to which learners can be referred confidentially. Learners will be advised that they can contact their personal tutor for one-to-one support if they wish to discuss issues in confidence, a service provided as and when required across the programme. Otherwise, personal tutor meetings should occur three times during the course of the year.

 

In the workplace:

Learners are allocated a clinical mentor who is a registered Biomedical Scientist, as well as the WBL tutor who is responsible for support within the workplace and provides tripartite support.

 

b)  in the university as a whole:

The University provides a range of professional support services including wellbeing, counselling, disability support, and a Chaplaincy. Click on the links for further information.

 

 

  1. What resources will I have access to?

 

On campus

X

In a partner college

 

By distance learning

 

 

 

On campus

General Teaching and Learning Space

X

IT

X

Library

X

VLE

X

Laboratory

X

Studio

 

Performance space

 

Other specialist

X

Technical resources 

X

 

The programme has excellent teaching resources including our new multi-million pound development in the Sciences Complex which includes:

  • The latest teaching and learning facilities, including a problem-learning facility and IT suites, simulation areas linked to seminar rooms to facilitate use of state of the art simulation technology (eg. ‘sim man’ which will enable interactive learning of human physiology and pharmacology).
  • A brand new MALDI-TOF MS and nanoHPLC MALDI spotter for both 2D-gel based proteomics and bacterial identification.
  • A number of flow cytometers, including a brand new BD Accuri bench top flow cytometer for cell based assays
  • Imaging suite including facilities for light, confocal and electron microscopy
  • Social learning spaces including
    • Student learning lounge
    • Open access computers with PC help area (with access to relevant software)
  • Exhibition space to promote science to industry and health professionals
  • The Point of Care Centre provides a true interdisciplinary education environment reflecting advances in laboratory medicine. The centre includes the technology to monitor many physiological and biochemical variables, including devices such as a biphasic defibrillator, ECG monitors, audiometry equipment, as well as hand-held and bench-top biochemical analysers.

 

Information about the University’s facilities can be found here.

 

  1. Are there any additional costs on top of the fees?

 

No, but all students buy some study materials such as books and provide their own basic study materials.

X

Yes (optional) All students buy some study materials such as books and provide their own basic study materials. In addition there are some are additional costs for optional activities associated with the programme (see below)

 

Yes (essential) All students buy some study materials such as books and provide their own basic study materials. In addition there are some are essential additional costs associated with the programme (see below)

 

 

  1. How are student views represented?

 

All taught programmes in the University have student representatives for each Stage (year-group) of each programme who meet in a Student-Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC) where they can raise students’ views and concerns. The Students’ Union and the faculties together provide training for student representatives. SSLCs and focus groups are also used to obtain student feedback on plans for developing existing programmes and designing new ones. Feedback on your programme is obtained every year through module questionnaires and informs the annual review of your programme. Student representatives are also invited to attend Programme and Module Studies Boards which manage the delivery and development of programmes and modules.  Faculty Academic Committee, also has student representation. This allows students to be involved in higher-level plans for teaching and learning. At university level Students are represented on University level Committees by sabbatical officers who are the elected leaders of the Students’ Union.

 

The University’s student representation and feedback policy can be found here.

 

Undergraduate programmes only: Final-year students are also invited to complete a National Student Survey (NSS) which asks a standard set of questions across the whole country. The results of this are discussed at Programme Studies Boards and at Faculty Academic Committee to identify good practice which can be shared and problems which need to be addressed. We rely heavily on student input to interpret the results of the NSS and ensure that we make the most appropriate changes.

 

For distance learning operated from Sunderland: if you are studying by distance learning you will have slightly different arrangements from those used on campus. In particular, you are likely to have virtual rather than physical meetings and discussions. However, these arrangements should provide comparable opportunities for you to give feedback. Details are given below.

 

 

SECTION G:QUALITY MANAGEMENT 

 

  1. National subject benchmarks

 

The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for Higher Education publishes benchmark statements which give guidance as to the skills and knowledge which graduates in various subjects and in certain types of degree are expected to have. These can be found here.

 

Are there any benchmark statements for this programme?

YES

 

 

The subject benchmark(s) for this programme is/are: Subject Benchmark Statement: Biomedical Sciences

 

The QAA also publishes a Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) which defines the generic skills and abilities expected of students who have achieved awards at a given level and with which our programmes align. The FHEQ can be found here.

 

  1. How are the quality and standards of the programme assured?

 

The programme is managed and quality assured through the University’s standard processes. Programmes are overseen by Module and Programme Studies Boards which include student representatives. Each year each module leader provides a brief report on the delivery of the module, identifying strengths and areas for development, and the programme team reviews the programme as a whole.  The purpose of this is to ensure that the programme is coherent and up-to-date, with suitable progression from one Stage to another, and a good fit (alignment) between what is taught and how students learn and are assessed - the learning outcomes, content and types of teaching, learning and assessment. Student achievement, including progress between Stages of the programme and degree classification, is kept under review. The programme review report is sent to the Programme Studies Board and the Faculty in turn reports issues to the University’s Quality Management Sub-Committee (QMSC).

 

External examiners are appointed to oversee and advise on the assessment of the programme. They ensure that the standards of the programme are comparable with those of similar programmes elsewhere in the UK and are also involved in the assessment process to make sure that it is fair. They are invited to comment on proposed developments to the programme. Their reports are sent to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) as well as to the Faculty so that issues of concern can be addressed.

 

All programmes are reviewed by the University on a six-yearly cycle to identify good practice and areas for enhancement. Programmes are revalidated through this review process. These reviews include at least one academic specialist in the subject area concerned from another UK university. Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) review reports for Sunderland can be found here.

 

Further information about our quality processes can be found here.

 

Quality assurance of the EPA will be performed in accordance with the guidelines specified in the Healthcare Science Practitioner Assessment Plan.

 

 

 

 


[1] Same as main award unless agreed otherwise at validation – eg to meet PSRB requirements