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BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science

After working on building sites for seven years, adult learner Louis decided to take a new direction in life and train as a healthcare scientist.

Now in his final year of the apprenticeship BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science degree at Bradford, he shares his story so far.

Swapping health and safety for healthcare

"I was a good builder, but I wanted something else."

"I enjoyed my job as a builder and I was good at it, but during a summer where we didn't have a lot of work on, I decided to go back to college and do an Access to Higher Education course, with a view to working in nursing or becoming a paramedic.

"I realised on the access course that I was good at the health science bit, and perhaps my personality wasn't as suited to nursing."

A student smiling at the camera

How my journey began

"I applied for a job at Airedale Hospital."

"I became a medical lab assistant in the microbiology department, where I still work now.

"I love my job, it's fantastic. Working in the NHS, you have good progression routes and I knew that if I wanted to get past band 4, I would need to do a degree course to enter at the level of a newly qualified nurse."


Within a year at Airedale, I went up a band, and shortly after I secured an apprenticeship with the University of Bradford.

Making the best use of time

"As an apprentice, 20% of my time is allocated to study."

"The apprenticeship is five years long and involves one day a week at university, in and out of term time, and the rest I work in my role at Airedale Hospital. Out of term time, I take part in job shadowing.

"I'm on campus for most of the teaching time, but some modules are more of a self-directed learning style.

"There were lots of lectures in the first two years of the course, bringing everyone up to the same standard, and then year three was more independent.

"I was able to join the dots between all the different disciplines, taught from a bunch of different perspectives. It gave me a broader view of pathology as a whole.

"After that, you drill down more and get to specialise. For me, that's been in infection science."

A student wearing a yellow raincoat jacket smiles a the camera

All the technical information you learn at uni informs the context of your work. You learn a lot about disease states from a clinical perspective.


Why working professionals should consider this course

"You gain a huge amount of knowledge on the course."

"What I think is good about this particular course is that you get so much work-based learning with an emphasis on professional practice. Alongside working in the labs, you learn about what the lab work and results might mean to the patients and their healthcare.

"We're asked to think about why labs run the way they do to provide the best service to the end user. You create a solid portfolio that you submit to the HCPC to become state registered, so you can practice in most NHS laboratories in the country.

"You're in the lab all the time, repetitively practicing your skills. You're taught by highly experienced scientists, who are absolutely lovely, helpful, and know exactly what we need to do to get our registration.

"All of those who teach us work or have a lot of experience in their fields."

Future plans

"My ambition is to secure a band 5 biomedical scientist position."

"With my new degree qualification, I'd like to move up in my department at Airedale and serve my local community, and then perhaps become a specialist biomedical scientist.

"I genuinely love working in pathology. As a discipline, it's always been behind the scenes, but it plays a vital role in people's healthcare."

A student smiling at the camera

Interested in studying Healthcare Science?

Find out more about our course, entry requirements, and how to apply.