Degrees and courses for international students
You are viewing information for England.  Change country.
Anatomy model photo

Certificate of Higher Education in Health Sciences

This certificate offers an accessible and engaging introduction to the science behind human health and disease. If you’re interested in health science and developing essential skills for study, this course is for you. By the end of your study, you’ll have a valuable qualification under your belt and be on your way to an honours degree.

Key features of the course

  • Provides a broad introduction to science, focusing on human biology and health
  • Develops skills of reasoning and logic that are highly prized in the workplace
  • Builds a solid foundation for further study

A nationally recognised qualification in its own right, this certificate of higher education is also equivalent to the first third of the BSc (Honours) Health Sciences (Q71).

Course Summary

Certificate

Certificate

  • Widely-recognised qualification.
  • Equivalent to the first third of an honours degree.
  • Study for interest or career development.
  • Shows that you can study successfully at university level.
  • Count it towards further qualifications such as a foundation degree, DipHE or honours degree.
Course code
T18
Credits

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
120
How long it takes
Part time – 2 years
Full time – 1 year
Time limit – 7 years
Study method
Distance learning

Course details

This certificate of higher education has one stage, comprising 120 credits.

Optional Access module – visit Entry requirements to find out about starting this course with a preparatory Access module.

Stage 1 (120 credits)

Stage 1 starts by exploring the science, psychology and social issues behind health and disease worldwide. Next, you’ll choose either to explore how psychologists investigate the human mind and behaviour, or to widen your general science skills and knowledge of scientific concepts in biology; the molecular and physical sciences; and the earth and environmental sciences .

We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 20 March 2019.


Accessibility

We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The Certificate of Higher Education in Health Sciences uses a variety of study materials and has the following elements:

  • studying a mixture of printed and online material – online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes
  • face-to-face tutorials and day schools and online tutorials
  • undertaking practical work or using an online laboratory
  • using mathematical and scientific expressions, notations and associated techniques
  • using and/or producing diagrams and/or screenshots
  • working with specialist reading material such as scientific journals.
  • continuous and end-of-module assessment in the form of essays, short answer questions, and in some cases an examination
  • using feedback: continuous assessment involves receiving detailed feedback on your work from your tutor and using this feedback to improve your performance

All qualifications require you to complete learning and assessment activities within a required timescale and according to pre-determined deadlines. You will therefore need to manage your time effectively during your studies and the University will help you to develop this skill. Information on assessment will be available to you at the start of each module.

For more detailed information, see the Accessibility Statements on individual module descriptions. If you feel you may need additional support, visit our Disability support website to find more about what we offer. Contact us as soon as possible to discuss your individual requirements, so we can put arrangements in place before you start.


Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills

The level and depth of your learning gradually increases as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; e-learning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.

Read the detailed learning outcomes here

On completion

On completion of this undergraduate course, we'll award you the Certificate of Higher Education in Health Sciences.

Recognition in your country

If you intend to use your Open University qualifications to seek work or undertake further study outside the UK, we recommend checking whether your intended qualification will meet local requirements for your chosen career. Read recognition in my country.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website. 

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements to study this qualification; however, to study successfully you’ll need,

  • The ability to read and write to a good standard of English
  • Some basic maths skills
  • Some familiarity with using a computer and the internet.

You can use our online diagnostic tool to help you decide if you’re ready, or if you could do with some extra preparation. There are also some study resources to help you prepare for SDK100.

How much time do I need?

  • Most of our students study part time, completing 60 credits a year.
  • This will usually mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.

Your next step

Call us on +44 300 303 0266 or book a call back. Our friendly team of advisers will discuss your study options with you, and help you decide on the best starting point for you.

In this section:
How much will it cost?
Ways to pay for your qualification and other support

How much will it cost in England?

We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread, or even reduce, the cost.

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification up front.
  • A qualification comprises a series of modules, each with an individual fee. Added together, they give you the total cost.
  • If, like most OU students, you study part time at a rate of 60 credits a year, you'll take six years to complete an honours degree.
  • Our current fee for 60 credits is £3,012*.
  • Our current fee for 120 credits – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study – is £6,024*.
  • At current prices, the total cost of your qualification would be £6,024*.
  • .

*The fee information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2020. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees.

Residential schools

This qualification includes science modules that include or are associated with an optional residential/laboratory school. For each school you choose to attend, you must pay an additional charge to cover costs such as tuition, accommodation and meals (see individual module descriptions for more information). You must also pay for your travel to and from the venue.


Skills for career development

This certificate is for people working in, or wishing to enter, the health-related sector, and who wish to pick up a broad base of subject knowledge and skills. Many of the skills you acquire by studying health sciences modules will be highly valued in the modern workplace, which is increasingly concerned with effective knowledge management, critical thinking and the effective communication and presentation of ideas and arguments. The ability to select and analyse relevant data and to present conclusions concisely and logically is essential in most lines of work, as is the ability to communicate clearly both orally and in writing.

Career relevance

While this course is not attached to a specific professional endorsement, it provides a broad base of subject knowledge and skills appropriate to occupations such as biomedical research, diagnostic services, health promotion, health and safety, health therapy, and health services administration and management.

Other careers

People with science qualifications are well placed to enter both scientific and non-scientific jobs. The logical, reasoned approach needed for science study is relevant to a wide range of financial, business and public sector employment.

In addition to improving your career prospects, studying with the OU is an enriching experience that broadens your horizons, develops your knowledge, builds your confidence and enhances your life skills. 

Exploring your options

Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice – including online forums, website, interview simulation, vacancy service as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser. Some areas of the careers service website are available for you to see now, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career.

In the meantime if you want to do some research around this qualification and where it might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point (note that some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience):

  • health promotion specialist
  • medical sales representative
  • medical writer
  • health services administrator
  • biomedical researcher
  • speech and language therapist
  • dietician
  • further education lecturer
  • laboratory technician
  • physiotherapist
  • social worker

Register for this course

Start dates

Download a prospectus

Our prospectuses are your essential guide to studying with us, covering courses, fees and funding, career prospects and more.

Download prospectus