Are you sociable and love to help people, or perhaps your brain is wired in favour of the sciences? If these are things that resonate with you, then a Bachelor of Health Science at WSU could just be the degree for you!
We had a chat with Lavanya, a Health Science student at WSU majoring in Recreational Therapy and Health Services Management, to learn about the pros and cons of this course.
Let’s check them out!
Why should you study a Health Science degree at WSU?
We asked Lavanya the big question of why should someone pursue a Bachelor of Health Science degree at WSU, and she had some very insightful and honest responses.
When applying for this degree, students can choose one or two specialisations (also known as a Testamur Major). The five specialisations are:
- Health Promotion
- Health Services Management
- Public Health
- Recreational Therapy
- Clinical Sciences
The first four specialisations prepare graduates for industry-based health professional roles, whereas Clinical Sciences is designed as a pathway to help students progress to postgraduate study in clinical health areas, ensuring foundation skills and presumed knowledge areas are covered.
Lavanya also discussed the degree’s flexibility, which helps indecisive high school graduates work out which career path they wish to pursue.
“You can spread your wings, as you are not limited to one profession and can easily switch. The university provides you with flexibility,” she highlighted.
She explained that if you want to do something in science, WSU provides lots of options and you can easily transfer.
“So, if you’re doubtful, WSU will give you clarity in what you do and don’t want to do, as you’re learning about a variety of things that you may not have known before entering the uni. That’s a big reason why I chose it,” Lavanya elaborated.
Top 3 Pros of a Health Science degree
When discussing her favourite part of the degree, Lavanya focused on the course’s content and the way in which you can practically apply it to your profession.
“I really like the content that I’m learning. It’s really relevant and you can see how you would apply it in your profession. For my degree, I feel like my uni notes will be so useful in practice and application,” Lavanya noted.
We further asked Lavanya what her top three pros would be for this degree. In a nutshell, she focused on application, uni culture and resources.
Here are Lavanya’s three pros!
#1: Theory meets practice
In studying a Bachelor of Health Science at WSU, students will have the opportunity to refine and learn a range of theoretical and practical skills!
“The application of what I’m learning — it’s still relevant when I go into my profession. I can see myself using that knowledge,” Lavanya commented.
#2: Uni culture
With over 130 student clubs and the thousands of students involved in the virtual community, WESTERNLife, WSU students will have a vibrant social life on and off campus! WSU also hosts multiple events, such as the Diverse Festival and Western Fair.
“Before COVID hit, the campus life was great and I made some good class relationships getting to know everyone. It was nice to get out of your own bubble and see what everyone else in the world thinks,” Lavanya shared.
She added, “You can meet up with people to discuss content or similar interests. So, I would say that the uni culture is a highlight.”
To connect with fellow students, there are Facebook pages (Western Sydney University – Health Sciences) for you to like and groups for you to join, such as the WSU Health Science Discussion Group, which is created specifically for each year.
When it comes to providing student mentorship and support programs, WSU is at the top of the list! Its genuine focus on diversity, togetherness, awareness and resilience makes it one of the best universities to attend, especially if you appreciate the need for various forms of support.
“WSU has given me a lot of resources to help me along the way. There’s a lot of things in place. I found that compared to some other universities, Western Sydney really helps students with referencing,” Lavanya said.
She elaborated, “The uni’s library team helps you even online and that was really helpful. I went online and asked the library about a hundred questions and it was the biggest relief when it came to exams or assessment tasks.”
Top 3 Cons of a Health Science degree
Following her top three pros, we asked Lavanya what her least favourite part of the degree was and she responded, “I think it can be really difficult to get through assessment tasks and it is easy to be scared of plagiarism and not wanting to accidentally cross that academic honesty line. It can also be a bit overwhelming when adjusting to the workload, coming straight from school.”
Alongside the pressure to adjust to university level assessments and workload, the main downside Lavanya shared with us was the impact of online learning.
Here are Lavanya’s three cons!
#1: Online learning
“Some unis tried to combine on-campus and online when COVID hit, whereas WSU stayed completely online. I found that really frustrating,” Lavanya noted.
#2: Online interaction
“The difficulty in connecting with people and getting through the content of the unit online. Sometimes you want to be able to ask classmates questions before your teacher and I found it difficult to share contact details and have that sense of community online,” Lavanya shared.
#3: Certain units and teaching methods
“I think one of my units was ‘Intro to Human Biology’ and it felt like I was self-learning. The teacher knew the content but there’s a difference between knowing the content and teaching,” Lavanya mentioned.
She explained, “I felt like they were knowledgeable but when it came to teaching, they didn’t explain much and it was mainly just going through the motions. It was the heaviest content unit out of my four units, so it would’ve been better to have had the extra help.”
“I don’t have any regrets about pursuing this particular degree, as I know I want to help people. My course has also allowed me to grow my passion for occupational therapy,” Lavanya commented.
What do you wish you had known before starting Health Science at WSU?
“I wish that I had known COVID was going to hit so that I could’ve possibly taken a gap year instead, as online learning really didn’t work for me,” Lavanya remarked.
Although Lavanya wished she had known about the impacts of online learning and the potential to take a gap year, she flipped the question on us and told us what prospective students should know.
“In terms of what you should know, they also offer a placement in second year, which helps you discover what path you want to choose. That’s something that’s good to know before starting the degree, as it provides comfort and is a big reason why I chose it,” Lavanya shared.
What makes this degree different from the ones offered at other universities?
The Bachelor of Health Science at WSU is an innovative and flexible degree that equips graduates with the knowledge and qualifications to help improve the health and wellbeing of various individuals and groups. Lavanya supported this by highlighting the university’s flexibility.
“I think WSU in general offers flexibility. You can change your majors, subjects or degree within the Science faculty. It’s also the only uni that offers a second year placement. Generally, other universities only have a third year placement,” Lavanya told us.
She also mentioned how the people, both teachers and students, make this degree at this university particularly enjoyable.
“In Health Science, all the lecturers and tutors are knowledgeable about professional roles and you get exposure to different people doing different degrees within Health Science, which broadens your network. If you want to do science, come to Western Sydney!” Lavanya exclaimed.
What inspired you to choose Health Science at WSU?
“I’ll be honest… I didn’t know what to pick and was quite indecisive when I got my ATAR and when I was applying through UAC. I’ve always been a very social person. I knew I wanted to work and interact with people and I didn’t want to be sitting at a desk,” Lavanya shared.
She then explained, “When I spoke to one of my family friends and a graduate, she told me that Health Science is perfect for what I’m looking for. I checked it out, noticed the second year placement and thought that was great. Sometimes you need to be in the field to know it’s your thing!”
What are the possible career paths?
According to Job Outlook, health care is Australia’s largest and fastest growing industry, employing over 1.5 million people.
This broad field of practice gives students an option to work in diverse contexts. Some graduates may choose to immerse themselves in urban, rural and remote communities within Australia.
On the other hand, those who are passionate and particularly interested in global/international health may prefer to contribute to overseas aid organisations and health initiatives.
Depending on where your interests lie, you could be working in:
- Research Laboratories
- Private Offices or Clinics
- Public Health Organisations
- Rehabilitation Facilities
- Government Agencies
- Clinical Health: Physical Therapist, Physician Assistant, Nutritionist, Occupational Therapist or Dental Hygienist
- Healthcare Administration: Medical and Health Services Manager, Marketing Manager, Medical Records Technician or Health Informatics Specialist
- Public Sector: Epidemiologist, Public Health Officer, Health Education Trainer or Research Director
That’s the beauty of this degree; there are so many options!
Thomasin McCuaig is a Content Writer at Art of Smart and an Arts graduate with majors in English and Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Sydney. Thomasin is a passionate writer, singer and drama teacher, who has had her work published in Holidays with Kids, Signature Luxury Travel and Style and Offspring Magazine. Thomasin also writes junior plays for her students and aims to publish a novel someday. During the COVID isolation period, Thomasin put her passion into practise and launched her own writing and editing business, ‘Re:Write Editing.’ In her spare time you will find her either napping, talking to her cats or looking up real estate for absolutely no reason at all. Fun fact: Thomasin appeared on Japanese morning breakfast show ‘ZIP!’ as a travel reporter, where she presented a six day exposé of Sydney!