So you’re thinking of pursuing Health Science at USYD, but you want to know about what it’s really like?
Meet Nikki, a third year Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Health) student.
She’ll fill you in on all the things no one tells you about this degree, and let you know the best and worst parts of studying Health Science at USYD. If you haven’t had the chance to read our other article on this degree, you can check it out here.
So, let’s dive in!
Why should you study a Health Science degree at USYD?
If you’re interested in health and science but not sure which career path to take, this degree will equip you with a broad and multifaceted skill set. You won’t be required to do intensive maths units or compared to other science courses, with the health ‘stream’ taking a more social science-centred approach, says Nikki.
In addition, this degree is only 3 years, compared to many of the longer health/science degrees on offer in Australia, meaning you will likely be able to enter the workforce faster and apply yourself!
Top 3 Pros of a Health Science degree
#1: Flexibility of the content
You’re pretty much spoiled for choice with the structure of this degree. You can take this as an opportunity to explore interests outside of the realm of science!
#2: Friendly culture and staff
“The Health Science culture is probably one of the best. Everyone is so friendly. I think it’s also because if you’re doing a Health Science major you already have that mindset of wanting to help people, and a compassionate nature…” Nikki mentions.
She adds, “The staff are amazing as well. I love the culture in the health science stream… They’re all really invested and know exactly what they’re teaching. If you have any questions they’ll respond really quickly as well.”
#3: Developing researching and writing skills in different contexts
“My favourite thing about the degree is learning about different health contexts and how we are able to develop our research and writing skills (developing evidence-based arguments) and critical thinking to construct our arguments, reports, develop strategies and implementations for particular health issues or scenarios,” Nikki shares.
She explains, “Our assignments are based on applying these skills through projects like creating a recommendation for a strategy document, analysing a current health issue or developing design solutions for a health scenario. These skills I feel like would be valuable traits to have in the future once entering the workforce.”
Top 3 Cons of a Health Science degree
#1: Politics and economics study requirements
“[It] is inevitable to learn about but can just be a bit bland at times. Despite this, in order to be a well-rounded health professional, it is important that we understand all aspects of the external environment because it all has an influence on individual and population health and it’s important we understand how structures at the macro level have a role in impacting health outcomes,” Nikki explains.
#2: Not many applied skills
“There’s not a lot of applied skills that you might expect from hard science courses like chemistry or physics. It very much focused on writing skills, group work, collaboration, and communication,” she says.
Fortunately writing skills are an important part of working in the health sector. Health professionals need to be able to send patient reports and communicate with others to ensure the best health care possible in emergency situations. However, if you are looking to build practical medical skills this degree may not be for you.
#3: No work placement provided by the university
“We didn’t have placements or anything like that. Internships are very much something you look for yourself,” Nikki mentions.
However, Nikki says that the interdisciplinary project units will help you place those stepping stones to find a job, as you partner with industry professionals on projects. However, the responsibility to find work experience very much falls on the the individual.
“I don’t have any regrets at all!” Nikki tells us.
“At the start of my Bachelor of Science and Advanced Studies (Health) degree, I was a bit doubtful just because I didn’t really know what kind of degree I was getting into in terms of what the scope that health sciences would cover, but now that I’m in my third year — I absolutely love it and would not have made any changes to the health science component of my degree!”
What do you wish you had known before starting Health Science at USYD?
“I wish I knew more about what it would entail. I did read the course description on the website and read the introductory unit outlines… but I guess at the time it still sounded quite vague to me,” Nikki shares.
“Luckily, it turned out nicely because I did end up enjoying learning about the health sciences! During the semester I do remember hearing from friends that it was very similar to the things they learnt in Year 12 PE in high school though. I don’t think many of us knew there would be that resemblance/connection coming into this course.”
What makes this degree different from the ones offered at other universities?
“This opinion would be slightly biased just because I have only experienced studying health sciences at USYD, but I would say the highlight of this degree is how it covers such a diverse range of areas within the health science field. This includes research methods, international health, eHealth and innovations in health technology, health policies, health promotion as well as learning about different health services, issues and settings and their unique challenges, and much more!”
Nikki says another thing that stands out about USYD’s course is that the university focuses on unlearning and challenging common assumptions, knowledge and understanding of the world, as well as surrounding you with peers who are bright-minded and driven.
“Another thing about USYD which (at the time I enrolled it hadn’t been built yet) I’d say is attractive about the Health Sciences at USYD is that we have our very own (and new) health sciences building called the Susan Wakil Health Building! The building consists of world-class facilities and is such a cute space where all of the health science and allied health disciplines are able to learn and study in the same building together!”
What inspired you to choose Health Science at USYD?
“I remember when I was selecting my UAC preferences for the health sciences, I was evaluating the courses offered by USYD and another university who also offered health sciences and I felt like it was because of the diversity of the content and the flexibility of the course structure that really compelled me to pick USYD,” Nikki explains.
“From the top of my head, I remember that at other universities, the structure of the units taught were quite rigid, not offering much room for me to explore particular interests within health in-depth. However at USYD, you have the choice to pursue specific areas in health of your interest once you get into your third year!”
What are the possible career paths?
“You could go into policy making, health promotion, health management, maybe even administration,” says Nikki. “I’d say this degree is quite broad. There are a lot of options out there.”
A Bachelor of Science (Health) at USYD often leads to careers that are critical to supporting our current health systems! Some of these are:
- Project and case management
- Logistics and procurement
- Business development
- Public relations
Zara Zadro is a Content Writer for Art of Smart and a current undergraduate student at the University of Sydney. She studies a Bachelor of Arts/Advanced Studies majoring in Media & Communications and English. In her free time, she enjoys reading, listening to music and discovering new parts of Sydney. She has also written for the student publications Honi Soit and Vertigo. After she graduates, Zara hopes to do a Masters in creative writing and live overseas, which she cannot wait for!