So you want to know what it’s like studying a Bachelor of Science (Health) at the USYD?
This article will give you an overview of the course itself, entry requirements, career pathways, university culture, and more.
Let’s get into it!
What is a Bachelor of Science (Health) at USYD?
A Bachelor of Science (Health) at USYD focuses on the study of health and health systems at a local, national and global level.
You will engage in active, real-world learning approaches, and develop skills like critical thinking, complex problem solving and empathy. You’ll also engage with some amazing people and health science environments at a university and professional level!
What is the ‘health’ part of a Bachelor of Science (Health)?
A Bachelor of Science (Health) is a regular Bachelor of Science in the health stream.
Because of this, you will complete subjects specific to the Health stream (including a major in Health), as well as a second major or a minor from the vast disciplines that USYD has to offer (e.g. commerce, arts and social sciences). This is great if you have multiple interests and want flexibility in tailoring your learning experience!
Other Ways to Study
If you’re thinking of enhancing your study, you can also enrol in the combined Bachelor of Science (Health) and Bachelor of Advanced Studies, which runs for 4 years.
You can either undertake an Honours year, if you qualify, or take the coursework pathway that will provide further experiential opportunities such as research, industry, or community related projects!
Some career paths that studying USYD Health Science can lead to include:
- Health promotion
- Project and case management
- Logistics and procurement
- Business development
- Public relations
Core Units for this Degree
In your first year you will build a foundation of the study of health, and health systems in Australia and globally.
You will learn from the experiences of guest speakers about the health workforce, and understand health’s socio-political and economic influences, through subjects like Psychology 1002, HSBH1012 Introduction to Health and Health Care and HSBH1013 Society and Health.
Your second year refines your research methods via case studies and cohort studies, in subjects like HSBH2007 Research Methods in Health. You’ll have the chance to study the technological applications of health in HSBH2009 Innovations in eHealth, and even develop yourself as a real-life professional with assessments like making a Twitter profile!
Your third year is an exciting opportunity to further gear the degree towards your interests.
You will choose four units from a selection of research, interdisciplinary, disciplinary and health units. This includes the opportunity to work with industry partners like ANZ and PWC, to collaborate on various projects in the health sector.
While a Bachelor of Science (Health) at USYD doesn’t provide internship opportunities built into the course structure and relies on students to look for these themselves, its third year interdisciplinary projects are useful stepping stones for future career pathways.
However, work experience is certainly a valuable asset for undergraduate students to participate in while still in uni! One of the benefits of a Bachelor of Science (Health) is the flexibility of the skillset it will provide you with, allowing you to seek work experience in a range of areas that may involve your second major.
These include health promotion, management, and administration. The University of Sydney’s CareerHub is an excellent resource for students to find these up-to-date internship opportunities, both in Sydney and worldwide!
How to Get into Health Science at USYD
If you’re thinking of applying for a Bachelor of Science (Health) at USYD, it’s important to check the requirements earlier on. An ATAR of 80 will give you guaranteed entry into the course.
Additionally, to qualify for this degree, students are expected to have studied Mathematics (achieving the equivalent of a Band 4 in the NSW HSC subject Mathematics or Band E3 in Mathematics Extension 1 or 2).
If you don’t receive the required ATAR… it’s okay! There are lots of opportunities to transfer after your first year from different courses, both at the University of Sydney and from different universities into a Bachelor of Science (Health) degree.
Universities from the Group of 8 usually allow the transfer of credit earned at their institutions. You can find out more about this here!
If you receive a high ATAR (98+) you may also be invited to join the University of Sydney’s Dalyell Scholars program, which you can discover more information about here!
What’s the Teaching Format?
The University of Sydney operates on the annual timetable of two semesters per year. If you choose to study a Bachelor of Science (Health) you will need to attend a two hour lecture and one hour tutorial per week.
These classes are informative presentations provided by an academic with expertise in the subject area. Since USYD Health Science has a smaller cohort, you’ll find that lectures may only have around 30 students attending.
Tutorials are class time with teachers/academics often to reinforce and extend on lecture material — these classes tend to have around 20 students. For a Bachelor of Science (Health), this would include collaborative work on group projects, practicing writing skills, and discussions about topics covered in the lectures in your first year.
Second year tutorials also involve brainstorming solutions to possible health-based scenarios. For example, how we can use digital technologies to improve healthcare problems, or improving staff-patient rapports in certain communities.
How many hours do you have to go to university?
Students studying a Bachelor of Science (Health) degree at USYD can expect to spend 3 to 4 days on campus per week. Normally, students try to fit lectures and tutorials within a minimal number of full days, with gaps in between to eat, study and meet friends.
However, sometimes students enjoy coming to uni for activities, including social events run by clubs and societies like HealthSoc (the student-run society for all students studying a health-related degree)! Time may also be spent in the study spaces available on campus. Because of this, students studying a Bachelor of Science (Health) often choose to attend uni on days when they don’t have class.
What are the assessments like?
The assessments for a Bachelor of Science (Health) are mainly individual essays, group work and class presentations, and research projects.
If you don’t plan on studying mathematics at university but still want to pursue science and health, then it may be ideal for you! Mathematics is limited to any two (compulsory) maths subjects from a vast grid of options, across your three years.
What skills do you develop?
The skill set you’ll develop with a Bachelor of Science (Health) is broad and emphasises writing and group work rather than applied science skills (e.g. physio). The Health Science skills of your degree will also be combined with those of whichever second major you choose!
You will gain a deep understanding of research methods in health by conducting case studies and cohort studies, as well as management and leadership skills in your third (and fourth) years’ industry partner projects.
What’s the Faculty and Culture Like?
The Health Science culture at USYD is derived from an incredibly welcoming and diverse community!
HealthSoc, the Faculty of Health Sciences’ main society, is also highly active on social media like Facebook. Here, students may participate in thinking and skill-building workshops, as well as watch zoom interviews with professionals in the health science field.
You can check out the HealthSoc page here!
The Sydney University Science Society (SciSoc) is a larger society that health science students can also take part in! Their social events are great for meeting science students outside of the health stream and experiencing the typical university social-culture, such as First Year Science Camp.
The Bachelor of Science (Health) cohort is also relatively small, meaning students have the rare and valuable opportunity to build up strong ties over the years of their degree.
The faculty also hosts some engaging and highly experienced staff, such as Senior Lecturer in Psychology Dr Andrew Campbell, and Senior Lecturer in Cyberpsychology and eHealth Melanie Keep.
Are there any opportunities to study abroad?
Have you always wanted to experience an overseas learning environment and connect with culturally diverse communities? Unlike many degrees at the University of Sydney, this one provides a specialised exchange opportunity for Bachelor of Science (Health) students called FHS (Faculty of Health Sciences) Abroad.
FHS Abroad allows students to participate in a 4-6 week health or care placement with a community-based organisation in South or Southeast Asia, where they live with a developing community, and reflect on key health and development issues affecting local populations. This is a valuable and unique study abroad experience!
Students can also apply for a short or semester-long exchange, or one of the overseas units from the Open Learning Environment subject pool — all USYD students must complete a certain number of these by the end of their degree.
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!