BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science (Respiratory and Sleep Physiology)

Course Overview

NO TUITION FEES: UK and EU students are eligible to apply for an enhanced support package through the NHS Wales Bursary scheme. *to receive funding, students will have to commit to working in Wales for 2 years following the completion of the course.

EMPLOYABILITY: 100% of Healthcare Science graduates are employed in a professional or managerial job 6 months after graduating (Unistats 2017)

AVERAGE EARNINGS: Graduate starting salary of £24k on average

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: Minimum BBB at A2 level including biology, chemistry, physics or maths. Minimum of five A-C GCSE passes including Welsh/English Language, Mathematics and a Physical Science or Double Award Science.

ACCREDITATION: Accredited by the NSHCS (National School of Healthcare and Science), on behalf of Health Education England, for the purpose of eligibility for registration as a Healthcare Science Practitioner on the AHCS (Academy for Healthcare and Science) voluntary register.

Key Features

Why study at Swansea?

  • 50% of time at University, 50% in practice placements
  • 100% of Healthcare Science graduates are employed in a professional or managerial job 6 months after graduating (Unistats 2017)
  • Graduate starting salary of £24k on average 
  • Our state- of-the- art facilities and clinical practice suite allow students to gain confidence and experience before moving on to their work placements.
  • Small student cohorts allow for a personal learning experience
  • Many academic staff are also professional healthcare scientists and still work in practice
  • Strong links with health boards with the nearest hospital next-door to the campus
  • There is varied access to further study in health or social care at postgraduate level upon completion
  • The RCCP and the Association for Respiratory Technology and Physiology have also accredited this degree.
  • Our academics have many research interests. Here is more information about College of Human and Health Sciences research.
  • Respiratory graduates can apply to the voluntary register held by the Registration Council for Clinical Physiologists and enter the workplace as an independent practitioner. 

But University isn’t just about studying. Swansea offers a great student experience in a beautiful environment. Here are more lifestyle reasons why you should choose Swansea 


Disclaimer: Module selection options may change.

Year 1 (Level 4)

FHEQ 4 Undergraduate / HECert
Compulsory Modules
Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule Name
SHC150Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)10Professional Practice 1
SHC151Academic Year30Anatomy and Physiology for Healthcare Science
SHC152Academic Year20Pathophysiology for Healthcare Science
SHC153Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)10Basics of Mathematics and Physics for Healthcare Science
SHC157Academic Year20Introduction to Cardiovascular Science
SHC158Academic Year20Respiratory and Sleep Physiology
SHC159Academic Year10CVRS Patient Pathways and Work-Based Training

Year 2 (Level 5)

FHEQ 5 Undergraduate / HEDip
Compulsory Modules
Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule Name
SHC230Academic Year10Professional Practice 2
SHC231Academic Year10Research Methods and Statistics
SHC232Academic Year20Instrumentation Signal Processing and Imaging
SHC233Academic Year10Healthcare Science Work Based Placement 1
SHC238Academic Year20Pathophysiology of Common Cardiovascular and Respiratory Conditions
SHC241Academic Year30Respiratory and Sleep Physiology - Diagnostic Interventions
SHC242Academic Year20Respiratory and Sleep Physiology - Physiology

Year 3 (Level 6)

FHEQ 6 Undergraduate / Honours
Compulsory Modules
Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule Name
SHC330Academic Year10Professional Practice 3
SHC331Academic Year30Healthcare Science Research Project
SHC332Academic Year20Healthcare Science Work Based Placement 2
SHC339Academic Year20Respiratory and Sleep Physiology - Sleep Diagnostics and Therapy
SHC340Academic Year20Respiratory and Sleep Physiology - Blood Gases and Respiratory Failure
SHC341Academic Year20Respiratory and Sleep Physiology - Challenge and Exercise Testing


Why take this course?

Students of BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science (Respiratory and Sleep Physiology) go on to become Respiratory Physiologists. They work directly with patients suspected or known to have diseases of the respiratory system and those with sleep-related breathing disorders.

Practitioners deliver diagnostic tests of breathing and perform diagnostic sleep studies and provide treatment for patients with sleep-related breathing conditions, in hospital and at home.

They use specialist equipment to obtain data about respiratory structures and their function, and produce clinical reports that are used by the healthcare team to diagnose and treat patients. Respiratory Physiologists also diagnose and treat sleep-related breathing disorders in partnership with the medical team.

Patients may be referred because of chest pains, abnormal chest X-rays, breathing difficulties, respiratory disease or sleep disorders. Measurements made typically include:

  • Lung volumes and forced expiratory flows
  • Respiratory gas exchange
  • Blood gases
  • Response to treatment
  • Breathing during sleep
  • Allergy testing, and
  • Physiological responses to exercise

Graduates must be reliable and accurate as patients’ lives often depend on their skills. They need a keen interest in science and human biology along with effective communications skills to work with patients of all ages and disabilities.

The University is the Welsh Government’s preferred provider for Healthcare Science (Respiratory and Physiology) professional pre-registration education in south west Wales.

Students are advised to visit a hospital medical physics department to familiarise themselves with the role and daily activities of medical physics technologists before applying.

Take a look at the Facilities at the College of Human and Health Sciences.

Respiratory and Sleep Physiology students have multiple opportunities to use the College of Human and Health Sciences’ state-of-the-art facilities. Our clinical practice suite allows students to learn practical skills before using them in a real life situation.

Take a virtual tour of the campus here.

Entry Requirements

Minimum BBB at A2 level including biology, chemistry, physics or maths. Minimum of five A-C GCSE passes including Welsh/English Language, Mathematics and a Physical Science or Double Award Science.

Alternative Requirements:

  • Access to Science: Distinction and Merit profile against the rules of combination. Please note: we do not accept Access to Healthcare or Access to Healthcare and Nursing.
  • Welsh Baccalaureate: Pass and either BB at A2 level (including maths or physics) or DD at BTEC
  • Irish leaving certificate: 360
  • Students  whose first language is not English require IELTS English language requirement: 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5/7.0 in all indicators
  • A Disclosure and Barring Service (previously CRB) check, or approved equivalent.
  • An Occupational Health check.
  • Please view our vaccinations policy.

Applicants should also familiarise themselves with the NHS Wales Values and Standards of Behaviour


International students 

Unfortunately this course is currently unavailable to international students. Here is further information about opportunities for International Students at Swansea

How To Apply

UK and EU students wishing to apply for the Healthcare Science (Respiratory and Sleep Physiology) course must apply through UCAS. There is no deadline, but an early application is advised because there is strong competition. We do not usually offer deferred places. 

Candidates need to demonstrate a strong educational profile.

Prospective applicants are expected to fully investigate the profession. Evidence of this will be sought during the selection process.

Apply via UCAS 

If you are offered an interview you will need to print and complete the   Declaration of Suitability for CHHS Professional Programmes

Tuition Fees

Annual tuition fees for entry in the academic year 2018/19 are as follows:

UK/EU International
BSc (Hons) Full-time WEDS N/A

Fees for full time Undergraduate UK/EU students may be increased in subsequent years of study by an inflationary amount determined by Welsh Government.

Fees for full time Undergraduate International students will increase by 3% for each subsequent year of study.

You can find further information on fees and how to pay on our tuition fees page.

You may be eligible for funding to help support your study. To find out about scholarships, bursaries and other funding opportunities that are available please visit the University's scholarships and bursaries page.

Current students: You can find further information of your fee costs on our tuition fees page.

Additional Costs

The tuition fees do not cover the costs of purchasing books or stationery, printing, thesis binding or photocopying costs.

There are no mandatory additional costs specified for this course.

Fees and Funding

From September 2017, any student studying an NHS course (Nursing, Midwifery, Paramedic Science, Healthcare Science) has the choice as to whether they receive funding from the NHS Wales Bursary Scheme or via Student Loans and Grants. In normal circumstances, students cannot change their funding route. Exceptional cases will be considered through an appeals mechanism.

To receive funding from the NHS Wales Bursary Scheme, students will have to commit to working in Wales for 2 years following the completion of their course. (different timescales apply for courses longer or shorter than 3 years).

It is advised that all students read the NHS Wales Bursary Scheme FAQ’s and Terms and Conditions.

Find out more about tuition fees at Swansea.


Course Structure

Healthcare Science (Respiratory and Sleep Science) is a full–time three-year course. Students attend 45 weeks per year. The course starts in September, before the usual University term times

Also, students have different leave entitlements.

The degree is modular and comprises academic study mainly at our Singleton Park campus and hands-on clinical placements at hospitals across Wales, organised by the College.

Over the three years, total direct contact time at University will be about 850 hours. This will include lectures, tutorials, seminars, group work, laboratory and clinical simulation work.  

Students on this course spend half their time at university and half on placements, preparing for the world of work. These placements are organised by the College. Students do not need to be employed by the hospital department or organise their own placements. This on-the-job experience means the course will have taught you to do the job.

Students will attend 61 weeks of placement before graduating. While on placement the student is expected to work 9am until 5pm, Monday to Friday, with a half-day to study each week. This totals about 2,200 hours.

The College has the support of many healthcare providers and is able to offer a wide range of clinical experiences to students across a wide geographical area.

Students will be expected to travel to different clinical environments and live in nearby accommodation. Consideration is given to the residential and travel requirements of students when allocating placements.  

Assessment: If you study Healthcare Science (Respiratory and Sleep Science) you will be assessed in a number of ways, including by exam, assignments and on practical work.


Students of BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science (Respiratory and Sleep Sciences) at Swansea University have excellent career prospects. As well as working within the NHS it is possible to work in research, education, management and in Her Majesty’s Forces, governmental departments and the private sector.

Almost all previous graduates of Healthcare Sciences – 100% – have gone on to work in their chosen profession within six months of graduating.

The NHS starting salary for Respiratory Physiologists is £21,176 (Band 5). Typical career earnings range from £21,176 to £40,157. A significant proportion of Healthcare Science graduates now work in Band 6 and Band 7 (specialist) roles. The maximum earning potential in the NHS for a consultant respiratory physiologist is £97,478.

Individuals with a scientific outlook, an interest in practical applications of knowledge and a desire to help others would find this a rewarding career choice.

Read our graduate success stories and download our  Undergraduate Prospectus


Accommodation in residences is designated for new first year Human and Health Science students. Here are your Swansea University accommodation options.

To make sure you get a room in residence in your first year, click here to read the Swansea University accommodation guarantee.