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Important notice – campus change This course will move to the Coleraine campus in September 2018.  Students will change campus part way through this course. Find out more

Health Physiology provides learners with sophisticated diagnostic skills to interpret well-being through telemedical formats.


Study Health Physiology at Ulster University in the United Kingdom.

One of the fastest growing career areas in the country is that related to health, fitness, and exercise physiology in both the public and private sectors. Business and industry are becoming aware of the increased efficiency of a work force where the wellness level is high and medical costs and absenteeism are reduced. The wellness consciousness of the general population is at an all-time high, and health and fitness services and technologies permeate our society through business and industry, hospitals and rehabilitation centres, fitness assessment clinics, fitness clubs/gyms, wellness programmes projected through public and private recreation, along with the efforts of schools to serve the wellness needs of their communities.

The BSc (Hons) Health Physiology programme at the Ulster University encompasses study across a range of topics focused upon the relationships between human physiology, health and exercise, applied physiological measurement and technology. Graduates from this course will have a solid foundation and understanding of the relationship between health and exercise and the extensive range of technology applied in the sports and health diagnostics fields, with an emphasis placed upon the business and marketing aspects of these applications to physiological measurement. This course will appeal to you if you are interested in the physiological aspects of health and the application of technology both in the health service and sports industry.

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About this course

In this section


This course is unique to the Ulster University.

This course is scheduled for revalidation in 2016 subsequently there may be alterations to the course content as specified.


On campus attendance required for all modules.

Start dates

  • September 2017
How to apply


Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand.

In this section

Year one

Health Technology

Year: 1

This module is designed to provide students with an over view of a range of technologies used in clinical practise across the range of disciplines with health sciences.

Scientific Basis of Healthcare Science I (Anatomy and Physiology I)

Year: 1

This module will examine how biological systems are organised and controlled at the cellular and molecular level and the study of anatomy and physiology of the cardiovascular system, the blood and lymphatic systems (including the role of the renal system) and the respiratory system. The role of these systems in the maintenance of homeostatic balance in the overall function of the body is considered.

Scientific Basis of Cardiovascular, Respiratory and Sleep Science I

Year: 1

Scientific Basis of Cardiovascular, Respiratory and Sleep Science I is the first division specific module for students undertaking the Cardiovascular, Respiratory and Sleep Sciences theme within Healthcare Physiological Science. The overall aim of this module is to ensure that the student gains an understanding of the breadth of application of science across Cardiovascular, Respiratory and Sleep Science and is prepared to work safely within these environments. This module concentrates on electrocardiography, peak flow measurement and dynamic lung volumes.

Scientific Basis of Healthcare Science II (Intro to the Diagnosis & Treatment of Disease)

Year: 1

This module will examine how population health and epidemiology influence disease processes and how physiological measurement and pharmacology are used in the management of diseases relevant to Healthcare Science.

Scientific Basis of Healthcare Science III (Anatomy and Physiology II)

Year: 1

This module involves the systematic study of the functional anatomy and physiology in the human body of the nervous system, the special senses, the endocrine, reproductive and musculoskeletal systems and the gastrointestinal tract. The role of these systems in the maintenance of homeostatic balance in the overall function of the body is considered.

Scientific Basis of Cardiovascular, Respiratory and Sleep Science II

Year: 1

Scientific Basis of Cardiovascular, Respiratory and Sleep Science II is the second division specific module for students undertaking the Cardiovascular, Respiratory and Sleep Sciences theme within Healthcare Physiological Science. The overall aim of this module is to ensure that the student continues to broaden their understanding of the breadth of application of science across Cardiovascular, Respiratory and Sleep Science and is prepared to work safely within these environments. This module concentrates on automated measurement of blood pressure and oximetry.

Knowledge and Skills for Personal & Professional Development 1

Year: 1

This module provides opportunities to learn in an interprofessional context. Students will acquire skills for both academic and practice based learning. It will provide them with an opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills on issues relating to professional practice and personal development within a supportive environment.

Knowledge and Skills for Personal & Professional Development 2

Year: 1

This inter-professional module introduces students to the key concepts in health communication and health psychology that are necessary for effective practice as a health professional. The module is delivered primarily through online activities which students complete independently and using group work.

Year two

Fundamentals of Management (for Health Physiology)

Year: 2

The fundamental management functions of planning, organising, leading and controlling are pervasive activities that are central to the operation of organisations and integral to the marketing curriculum. Given that perceptions of the nature of this process of management have changed and continue to change quite radically, it is beneficial also to have informed insights of these changes and the changing external and internal context within which management takes place. The module therefore introduces a coherent range of concepts and ideas that provide the basis for further more specialised study of management.


Year: 2

This module will help the student to develop an understanding of modern concepts of drug action and the pharmacology, clinical uses and limitations of drug therapy. The student will also learn to critically evaluate available information and current research on the efficacy and limitations of drugs.

Strategic Personal Development

Year: 2

This module facilitates and encourages the student to examine aspects of professional development and entrepreneurial skills in an area of employment of interest to themselves. The module will prepare the student for independent and group working in the work environment and encourage the student to plan for their immediate and long term future.

Pathophysiology of Common Cardiovascular & Respiratory Conditions

Year: 2

This module introduces and develops key concepts in relation to common cardiovascular and respiratory conditions. It provides the student with the necessary underpinning knowledge in pathophysiology for effective practice as a healthcare science practitioner.

Instrumentation, Signal Processing and Imaging

Year: 2

This gives the student theoretical and practical understanding of equipment used in the diagnosis and monitoring of normal and diseased states. The student will be able to describe and converse at the appropriate level with both clinical staff and patients on the application of the equipment. They will also be aware of the governing legislation and safety of application of these technologies.

Research Methods

Year: 2

The module provides a foundation of knowledge and skills for using research evidence to inform practice and for designing and conducting research and clinical audit post-registration. The focus is on research design and qualitative and quantitative methods appropriate for healthcare research. A series of lectures and workshops provide theoretical knowledge and practical experience of research activities including data analysis.

Physiology of Sport and Exercise

Year: 2

This module considers the acute and chronic responses and adaptations of exercise on the physiological systems. The effects of nutrition on sport and exercise performance will also be discussed. Practical experience of the use of contemporary sport and exercise physiological techniques is also provided. The knowledge and skills obtained from this module will be pertinent for related sport, exercise and health modules chosen in final year.

Year three

Advanced Applied Physiology

Year: 3

This advanced module is designed to encourage collaboration and in depth analysis of the commonalities between the Clinical Physiology disciplines and the application of complex physiological principles.

Controversial Issues in Health Science

Year: 3

The module develops the students' appreciation that scientific processes may be viewed very differently by the professionals and by the public in general. Three controversial issues relevent to health science will be selected for study and students will analyse both their scientific bases and the views of public groups opposed to aspects of their use, giving their findings and their own analyses in both oral seminar and written presentations.

Health Challenges in Practice

Year: 3

Health and wellbeing are important issues in society and this module is designed for the student to examine UK public policy concerning a health related issue of their choice and how public behaviour has impacted ion implementation.

Research Project

Year: 3

In this module students will develop research skills by undertaking a research study on a topic related to practice. Each student, supported by a supervisor, will have an opportunity to undertake one of the following types of research project (i) a systematic critical review to inform practice; (ii) a research protocol involving the design of a research study to produce evidence to inform practice or (iii) research report involving the collection and/or analysis of data to produce evidence to inform practice.

Exercise Metabolism

Year: 3

This module will provide an overview to an exciting new area of exercise science, and will provide the student with an opportunity to further develop an understanding of the human body during conditions of exercise stress.

Physical Activity, Exercise and Health

Year: 3

Society is faced with an inexorable rise in chronic disease development, often linked to lifestyle factors such as poor diet and physical inactivity. This module equips students with a critical understanding of the role of exercise in the prevention of such diseases, by exploring the underlying physiological mechanisms, and the importance of health promotion in target populations.

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

A level

The A Level requirement for this course grades BBC to include a grade B from one of the following: Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Double Award Applied Science or Double Award Health & Social Care. Applicants may be able to satisfy the requirement for the A-level grade C (or equivalent) by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications to the same standard as defined by UCAS. (This may be subject to change).


Overall BTEC award profile DDM (to include a unit profile of 9 distinctions) in a relevant science based BTEC. Applicants must also meet the GCSE science requirements for the course. (This may be subject to change).

Irish Leaving Certificate

Overall Irish Leaving Certificate profile B2,B2,B3,B3,C1 to include Highers in the following: English, Maths and at least two from Chemistry, Physics and Biology. (This may be subject to change).

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Overall Access profile pass with an average of 65%, including two modules at level 3 from the following: mathematics, physics, biology or chemistry. NICATS maths (25 credits) or maths 1 & 2 or GCSE grade C Maths. (This may be subject to change).

Please note that this is currently under review with UCAS for 2017. Please refer to the Equivalence of Qualifications for indicative requirement.


GCSE Profile to include English Language and Mathematics at grade C. Plus GCSE Physics grade C or GCSE Double Award Science grade BB. Essential/Key Skills in Application of Number is not regarded as an acceptable alternative to GCSE Mathematics.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Additional Entry Requirements

Applicants should note that, as they will be engaged in 'regulated activity' involving children or vulnerable adults as part of their course, there is a compulsory, legal requirement to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure from AccessNI. The cost for this is payable by the applicant and is currently £33. More information on Enhanced Disclosures may be accessed by (

HND (science related) entry requirement:

Pass HND with overall Merit to include 45 distinctions in level 5 credits/units

HNC(science related)entry requirement:

Pass HNC with overall Distinction to include 75 distinctions in level 4/5 credits/units

Applicants may also meet the course entry requirements with combinations of the different qualifications to the same standard as defined by UCAS (provided subject requirements as noted above are met). Examples of acceptable combinations include:

2 A Levels and BTEC Subsidiary Diploma

OCR National Diploma and BTEC Subsidiary Diploma

2 A Levels and Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma

A Level and BTEC National Diploma

For further information regarding combination offer requirements, please contact Faculty Office staff on T: +44 (0) 28 9036 6098 or E:

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Career options

This degree course is designed especially to prepare graduates for the myriad of career opportunities relating to this emphasis which include education or communication fields, fitness media/journalist, health promotion, pharmaceutical, sports and medical device company sales/marketing. You may also elect to undertake further study for a PhD and opportunities exist for post graduate research studies at Ulster and elsewhere.


Applications for full time undergraduate courses are made through UCAS

How to apply

Start dates

  • September 2017

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (per year)

Important notice - fees information Tuition fees shown are for last years entry. Fees are correct at the time of publishing and may be subject to an annual increase. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study. Read our Tuition Fees Payment Policy

Northern Ireland & EU:
England, Scotland & Wales:

Additional mandatory costs

Additional Costs - AccessNI check.

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel and normal living are a part of university life. 

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them in the online prospectus. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course. 

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees. 

Please contact the course team for more information.


Faculty Office (Karen McCarroll)

T: +44 (0) 28 9036 8983


Course Director: Cathal Breen

T: +44 (0) 28 9036 6860