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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. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

In this section

Year one

Cardiac Physiological Science

Year: 1

This module will provide the student with an understanding of the theoretical principles and practical application of electrocardiography. This module helps to ensure that the student gains an understanding of ECG recording and how to work safely within a clinical area.

Respiratory and Sleep Physiological Science

Year: 1

This module introduces the student to the basic science behind the physiological assessment and diagnosis of the normal lung and simple respiratory disorders. Students will study dynamic lung volumes, respiratory air flow rates and oxygen saturation developing practical and diagnostic skills in respiratory investigation.

Vascular Physiological Science

Year: 1

This module introduces the student to the basic science behind blood pressure measurement and venepuncture. Students will study vascular assessment, blood pressure measurement and blood sampling techniques developing practical skills in these areas.

Anatomy and Physiology 1

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.

Anatomy and Physiology 2

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.

Introduction to Imaging and Information Technology

Year: 1

This module will develop knowledge on the application of basic physics, medical imaging and information technology in the healthcare environment and also how they are used in the management of disease relevant to Healthcare Science.

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

Knowledge and Skills for Professional and Personal Development 3

Year: 2

This module supports student personal and professional development by increasing their knowledge of the healthcare and their awareness of how their personal behaviours can impact on care delivery. The module also supports students to develop personal skills and strategies to enhance opportunities to match career aspirations

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.


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.

Electrocardiographic Interpretation

Year: 2

This module will develop the necessary theoretical and practical skills required to perform, analyse, interpret, diagnose and evaluate electrocardiographical findings. It further develops theoretical and practical competence of electrocardiography.


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.

Sleep Assessment

Year: 2

This module examines the process of sleep in the normal individual and the changes seen in a range of sleep disorders. The student will study a selection of subjective and objective sleep assessment investigations used to identify simple pathologies. This will facilitate the recognition of normal sleep and a range of sleep disorders.

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.

Year three

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.

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.

Knowledge and Skills for Professional and Personal Development IV

Year: 3

This module supports student personal and professional development by facilitating preparation for recruitment and selection procedures, enhancing knowledge of health policy and skills for continuing professional development and lifelong learning.

Cardiorespiratory Provocative Challenge Testing

Year: 3

This module studies the complex area of cardiorespiratory provocative challenge testing. Students will develop the necessary theoretical and practical skills required to perform, analyse, interpret, diagnose and evaluate findings from a range of provocative procedures such as; exercise challenge (cardiac and respiratory), bronchodilation challenge, allergy challenge, head up tilt table testing and valsalva manoeuvres involving patients with a range of cardiac and/or respiratory disorders. Students will also gain an overview of dobutamine stress echo and electrophysiology studies.

Cardiorespiratory Interventions and Therapeutics

Year: 3

This research informed, evidence based module provides the underpinning theoretical and practical skills required to begin to perform, analyse, interpret and diagnose a range of invasive cardiac and respiratory investigations. Investigations included in the module are cardiac catheterisation, percutaneous coronary interventions, haemodynamics and implantable cardiac device management. It provides learners the opportunity to develop specialist knowledge in cardiac and respiratory care pathways and service development.

Health Physiology Work Based Experience

Year: 3

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.

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