BlogUniversityWhat It’s Like Studying a Bachelor of Health Science at WSU

What It’s Like Studying a Bachelor of Health Science at WSU

Bachelor of Health Science WSU - Fact Sheet

Whether you want to pursue a career in public/private health services or choose a pathway that will help you gain entry into other health degrees within WSU, a Bachelor of Health Science at WSU is the ideal degree.

During your 3 years, you will be able to combine study with practical, hands-on experience! 

Interested? Let’s delve in!

What is a Bachelor of Health Science at WSU?
Core Units and Majors
How to Get into a Bachelor of Health Science at WSU
What’s the Teaching Format?
What’s the Faculty and Culture Like?

What is a Bachelor of Health Science at WSU?

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. Available campuses for this degree are Campbelltown, Sydney City and online.

The undergraduate degree prepares students for work in both public, private and non-profit sectors. The Bachelor of Health Science at WSU has a strong emphasis on the social model of health, whilst providing a mix of professional and scientific subjects.

During their studies, students are given the opportunity to specialise in up to two areas, including public health, health promotion and even recreational therapy. 

This degree is not just about the knowledge and understanding of illness and disease prevention, but it also teaches students to manage, administer and coordinate health infrastructure and resources!

Career Paths

According to JobOutlook, health care is Australia’s largest and fastest growing industry, employing over 1.5 million people.

This broad field of practice gives students an in-depth understanding of the challenges faced by those working in diverse contexts, allowing students to truly envision the realities of their career path. For instance, 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.

Bachelor of Health Science WSU - Student Quote

Depending on where your interests lie, you could be working in:

    • Hospitals
    • 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! 

Core Units and Majors

A Bachelor of Health Science at WSU has course codes for different courses or methods of study. For example, the course code for a Bachelor of Health Science is 4656 and requires 240 credit points to be completed in order to graduate.

What are the Core Units? 

The Bachelor of Health Science at WSU is made up of a compulsory group of 8 core subjects, resulting in 80 credit points overall. These core units focus on foundational knowledge and the key skills needed to become successful health professionals. 

“In my first year and studying two majors, I found that all my units were core units and already set out for me.” — Lavanya Viswanathan

Topics that these subjects will cover are:

    • Population health
    • Health professional competencies
    • Communication
    • Anatomy and physiology 
    • Human development across the lifespan
    • Diseases
    • Psychology
    • Research and Evidence 
    • Project Development and Management

All Health Science students will share the same core units, some of which will also be shared with students from other clinical health courses. The more people you meet and connect with, the merrier!  

Specialisations/Testamur Majors

Before selecting their units, students must choose a specialisation (also known as a Testamur Major). The 5 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 degree to help students progress to postgraduate study in clinical health areas, ensuring foundation skills and presumed knowledge areas are covered.

Each Testamur Major adds 80 credit points to your course, with Recreational Therapy adding 120 credit points.

The really good opportunity I found, especially at this uni, was that you can pick two areas of interest. It isn’t just limited to one major like health services management or recreational therapy. You can pick both. However, obviously one of them will be your first major and the other the second.” Lavanya Viswanathan

Sub-Majors 

Once students select their Specialisation/Testamur Major, they can choose either a second major (80 credit points), a sub-major (40 credit points each) or a selection of electives (10 credit points each) in order to reach the 240 credit points.

The second majors are Health Promotion, Health Services Management and Public Health.

Sub-majors include:

    • Health Promotion
    • Health Practice Management
    • Public Health
    • Health and Recreation
    • Leisure for Diverse Groups
    • Sport Development
    • Physical Activity and Health
    • Health Informatics
    • Global Sustainability

If you are completing a Bachelor of Health Science (Public Health) with Health Promotion Major, for instance, your total credit points could look like:

    • Core Units: 80 credit points
    • Testamur Major (Public Health): 80 credit points
    • Second Major (Health Promotion): 80 credit points

On the other hand, if you are completing a Bachelor of Science (Recreational Therapy), your total credit points could look like:

    • Core Units: 80 credit points
    • Testamur Major (Recreational Therapy): 120 credit points
    • Sub-Major (Health and Recreation): 40 credit points 

When choosing the remaining credit points left from your specialisation and core units, strategically choose majors or electives that will enhance your abilities and equip you with the skills required to work in the role you wish to enter after graduation. 

Think with the end goal in mind and see the array of options as an opportunity to differentiate yourself from other graduates and pursue a course that truly interests you!

Built-In Internships

Each Testamur Major/Specialisation offers built-in internships/work placement that is tailored to each individual course. These placements will guarantee you a foot in the door, making you one step closer to scoring your dream job!

    • Health Services Management offers 280 hours of work-integrated learning
    • Health Promotion includes 140 hours of professional practice placement
    • Recreational Therapy includes a total of 720 hours of fieldwork placement to attain a valuable practice-based experience — made up of 160 hours of compulsory practical placement in second year and a third-year internship of 560 hours
    • Public Health includes 140 hours of professional practice placement
    • Clinical Sciences does not provide work placement or an internship.

“You get a placement in the second semester of your second year in your area of profession. You also have a placement in third year as well. In order to do your placements in second and third year, you have to fulfil all the health requirements in your first year.

In terms of exchanges, there was a global opportunity and program where you could go to a country and help people in the community.” Lavanya Viswanathan

 

How to Get into a Bachelor of Health Science at WSU 

To receive guaranteed entry into the Bachelor of Health Science at WSU, you need an ATAR of 70 or above with assumed knowledge of any two units of English.

Further Requirements

However, in order to complete a health-related course or undertake work placement, there are further requirements needed to be met. Such is the life of a health professional!

Additional requirements include a Working with Children Check, National Police Check, documentation of vaccination history, current approved First Aid Certificate and other health forms.

You can find more details about the special requirements on the WSU website here!

Early Entry/Pathways 

Whether you are looking for guaranteed entry as respite from a hectic HSC year or are seeking alternative pathways to admission, WSU has got you covered.

In terms of early entry, WSU has introduced the HSC True Reward early offer program, which provides you with the opportunity to receive early entry into Western Sydney University based on your Year 11 or Year 12 results and not your ATAR. Please note, however, that if you apply based on your Year 11 results, you will need to successfully complete the HSC.

If you didn’t achieve your desired ATAR or HSC results, you can pursue a pathway certification that will allow you to transfer into the Bachelor of Health Science. Some pathway courses include, Diploma of Fitness, Diploma in Health Science, Diploma of Leisure and Health, Diploma of Mental Health and Diploma of Outdoor Recreation.

To view the full list of pathway courses for the Bachelor of Health Science Degree, click here!

Scholarships 

WSU offers $25 million in undergraduate scholarships every year! You can choose from a large range of scholarships across Western Sydney University here. 

However, within the School of Health Science, there are four scholarships that you may be eligible for:

    • Allianz Refugee Scholarship valued at $7500 for one year
    • Dean’s Scholarship valued at $5000 per year
    • GO Foundation Aboriginal Allied Health Scholarship valued at $7000 per year for up to four years
    • Sports Scholarship valued at $5000 for one year

What’s the Teaching Format?

Full-time Health Science students at WSU are required to study in two semesters, labelled Autumn and Spring. 

Bachelor of Health Science WSU - Class Structure

It is best to note that each unit and its teaching format will vary. However, generally speaking, a unit consists of a lecture and tutorial. This does not include the built-in internship units such as, ‘Professional Health Placement.’

In terms of student attendance, a lecture theatre has a capacity of 200 students, while a tutorial has 25 to 30 students.

The types of activities or topics that students may engage in during lectures and tutorials are contemporary issues related to communicable and non-communicable diseases, policy and intervention, social, biological and environmental determinants of health.

Other topics you may discuss include:

    • emerging trends and issues in the provision of health care
    • notion of wellbeing
    • structure and organisation of the Australian healthcare system
    • models in health and health systems
    • global, national and regional patterns in the distribution of health, wellbeing and illness

“Some units are more textbook based, which involves going through the content and discussing it in tutorials and analysing certain issues and conflicting perspectives. The lectures and tutorials, depending on your unit, are usually one hour each.” Lavanya Viswanathan

How many hours do you have to go into University?

Contact hours/days on campus will vary between each student. On a full-time study load, students are approximately on campus 2-4 days a week.

As lectures and tutorials run for a minimum of one hour each, students will need to spend approximately 8 hours or more a week attending classes. To ensure you are content with your working hours, students are able to preference their timetable and organise their classes to suit their personal timetable before the session commences.

Assessments

Assessments in the Bachelor of Nursing at WSU will vary. Yet as majority of the units are theory-based, you can expect to see an assessment structure similar to this:

AssessmentsLengthWeighting %
3 x Quizzes30 minutes each10
Essay500 words 20
Report2 hours30
Final Exam 2 hours30
ParticipationDuring tutorials, over 10 weeks10

Or this:

AssessmentsLengthWeighting %
Literature Review1000 words25
Summary500 words35
Proposal1500 words40

I’ll be honest, coming into Health Science I thought there was going to be a lot of lab but it’s actually a lot of essays and reports. You generally have one group assessment at least per year if not per semester. Across the course, you will have group assessments, reports, essays, quizzes and exams.” Lavanya Viswanathan

Skills That You Will Refine and Learn

Bachelor of Health Science WSU - Skills

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!

During lectures and tutorials, students will be able to identify advantages and disadvantages of various health system and examine the influence and relevance of early professional ideas on current concepts and practices in health science.

They will also critically evaluate roles of various stakeholders in the Australian healthcare system, analyse complexities of the social, biological and environmental factors on health and wellbeing, communicate effectively about health issues in both a written and oral format, and collaborate with fellow students by working in groups.

It’s taught me communication skills and the different ways to make friends and communicate with each other. When you realise when everyone is in the same boat, it’s really easy to get contacts. In general, through assessment tasks, I’ve learnt a lot about the world through the course. Also, academic skills like writing skills and critical analysis.” Lavanya Viswanathan

What’s the Faculty and Culture Like?

Faculty 

The faculty within the School of Health Sciences consists of a group of dedicated and passionate teachers who aim to broaden your knowledge and assist you in your academic career. There are 18 professional academics and 7 clinical placement officers who are determined to provide individual attention in their teaching and assistance.

The faculty also offers students exciting opportunities to develop their professional skills by working closely with industry and community partners. If you are more passionate about the research side of things, the faculty and students have strong and meaningful collaborations with research institutes and public and private health organisations.

If you’re ambitious and grasp at the opportunities that the faculty provides, you are guaranteed to walk out of uni with an abundance of experience, knowledge and connections!

One of the tutors, Elizabeth Atteya, who teaches some of the core units, is a stand out but there are so many others!” 
Lavanya Viswanathan

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.

WESTERNlife is a virtual community for students to share experiences, discover new things, connect with like-minded people and engage in events or discussions that interest you. In the comfort of your own room, students are still able to connect with people and access information that you usually would have on campus. The newsfeed and events are updated everyday, so there is always time to try something new! 

Whether you are interested in degree-based professional groups or social groups, WSU has an array of societies for you to join. Each campus has its own set of student clubs, but you can travel between campuses to join a group that best piques your interest. Heck, you can even be bold and start your own club!

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.

For more information on student life at WSU, click here!

Mentorship/Support Programs

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. 

Here’s what WSU has to offer:

When you first enter uni as a first year student, you get something called the MATES program where you get to pick a mentor and they help and support you through the first year of uni. There are also classes for people from all degrees to help you with general maths skills or academic writing.

According to my friends, I found that compared to some other universities, Western Sydney really goes out of its way to help students with academic support, especially referencing. The uni’s library team even helps you online. You can ask them questions like “How do I reference this?” I went online and asked the library about 100 questions and it was the biggest relief when it came to exams/assessment tasks!” Lavanya Viswanathan

We’ve covered all you need to know, folks! If this degree fits you like a medical glove, then apply right now!

Discover the pros and cons of this degree here!


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!

 

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