Certificate in Health Sciences
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This certificate provides a broad introduction to health sciences, exploring some of the scientific and social aspects of disease and disability. It integrates biological, chemical and physical sciences with psychology, health statistics and social sciences to investigate the underlying causes and solutions in a range of conditions, from pain and alcohol use to cardiovascular disease and cancer. You’ll learn to evaluate evidence; understand and use scientific terms and concepts; handle numbers; and interpret graphs and tables. The Certificate in Health Sciences explores different lines of evidence and key debates, and encourages you to consider health topics in their wider personal, cultural and social contexts. You’ll improve your numeracy, writing skills, computer-based communication and information literacy, and develop the study skills you need to pursue health sciences at university level.
Fees and facts
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Flexible, part-time study through
OU Certificates are specially designed Open University qualifications focusing either on a particular job or profession, or academic study. For example The Open University's Certificate in Supporting Learning in Primary Schools is designed for teaching assistants and other kinds of classroom support staff, including volunteers. Not all OU Certificates are entry level qualifications.
You can use an OU Certificate to:
enhance or progress your current career gain a greater knowledge and understanding of a subject you are interested in.
There are no formal entry requirements to study this certificate.
Career relevance and employability
By the end of your studies towards the Certificate in Health Sciences, as well as learning some of the basic science that underpins health, you will have evidence of your skills in basic scientific literacy and numeracy, locating and interpreting scientific data, and using computer to find and communicate information; all skills that are highly valued by employers.
While the Certificate in Health Sciences is not attached to any specific professional endorsement, it will be of relevance if you wish to take up a career in the broad area of health science, or if you work in this area already. It also offers a sound foundation for progressing to an honours degree in a relevant area.
There’s more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the
OU’s Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication and look at our OU study and your career subject pages to find out about career opportunities.
Register your interest
For academic year 2014/15, registration opens on 24/04/2014. If you would like to be kept updated, you can register your interest now.
Credit for previous study elsewhere
You cannot count credit for study you have already completed elsewhere towards this qualification.
The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:
Knowledge and understanding
Practical and professional skills
Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes, and how they are acquired through teaching, learning and assessment methods.
On successful completion of the required modules you will be awarded a Certificate in Health Sciences.
As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the following regulations:
These regulations are also available on our
Essential Documents website.
If you have a disability
Choosing the qualification that’s right for you is very important. Depending on your disability, long-term health condition, mental health disability or specific learning difficulty, you may need to consider any challenges posed by:
the learning objectives: for example, to gain an honours degree in a language you must be physically able to speak the language
how the modules are taught: for example, some of our science qualifications require that you complete laboratory work
any work-based competency requirements.
Choosing the right qualification can be a complex mix of the subject requirements and the support you may need. To help you assess whether the qualification you are interested in will work for you, further advice is available from:
You will need a computer with internet access to study for this qualification. For most OU qualifications a Microsoft Windows (new since 2007),
Apple Mac (OS X 10.6 or later) or Linux computer should be adequate. However, some qualifications require more specific IT equipment, in which case you
will need additional software to use an Apple Mac or Linux computer. A detailed technical specification for your modules will be made available when you
register. Please note, technical specifications do change over time to match computer developments and the way we teach.
The Open University is the world’s leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities
we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you’re at home, at work or on the move.
As an OU student you’ll be supported throughout your studies – your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed
feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online
tutorials, or by phone.
For more information read
Distance learning explained.