If you’re interested in one of our Health Sciences courses, you probably have lots of questions about everything from course content to the Birmingham night life. So we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions about our courses to help you learn more. For anything that isn’t covered, or if you would like more detail, why not come along to an Open Day and ask us in person?
About the course
What are the entry requirements?
If you’re looking to find the entry requirements of any of our health courses, please visit the course pages:
- Diagnostic Radiography
- Operating Department Practice
- Paramedic Science
- Speech and Language Therapy
In addition to academic entry requirements, most of our health courses will ask to see evidence of customer facing or care experience in your application. There’s no time scale for this as it’s about quality over quantity, however you should highlight this experience in your application.
Do I need any experience to apply for the course?
While it would be great if you could gain some experience to give you an insight into the profession, we are aware that it’s not always easy to find. Remember, there are lots of ways of gaining experience, for example, volunteering for a local charity. If you can’t find work experience, find out about the profession in other ways such as looking at the relevant professional body’s website:
- The Health and Care Professions Council
- Society and College of Radiographers (for both Diagnostic Radiography and Radiotherapy)
- The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists
- College of Paramedics
- College of Operating Department Practitioners.
What is the assessment process?
After submitting your application, for most courses the selection process currently consists of a group task and an individual interview. You will need to pass the group task in order to proceed to the interview. This may not apply for all of our courses, so please check with the admissions tutor on your course. You will receive feedback on your performance should you not be invited to interview and we encourage you to reapply in the future should you not receive an offer.
Does the course have exams?
Yes, all of our health courses do have exams. We aim to offer a range of assessments so that everyone has a chance at excelling. These include written assignments, written exams, poster presentations and practical assessments.
Do I get any holiday on my course?
Holiday allowance and procedures vary between courses so it’s best to discuss this with the course lead. However, all courses usually provide two weeks off at Christmas and Easter, as well as four to five weeks in the summer.
How much of my course is placement-based?
Usually, placements will take up just over 50% of the programme for healthcare courses. Some of these will be elective (optional) placements and some are mandatory. The length of placements can vary from one or two days to six weeks, depending on the year of study and the placement.
Can I choose my placement?
No, but your (and your fellow students’) circumstances will be considered once you enrol. Placements are then allocated on the basis of need and proximity. We are required to ensure that you have a range of clinical experiences and that you are placed in appropriate learning environments with trained placement educators, so we will work with you to find the best place for you.
What will be my hours on placement?
This will vary between professions, but usually will be 9am – 5pm in first year, moving to shift work including some weekends and nights by your third year. You can expect to work approximately 34 hours per week.
Can I take part in placements abroad?
Yes, our HELS Go Abroad scheme gives our Health students the opportunity to apply for work experience abroad. Please be aware that the COVID-19 pandemic may affect this.
Will I be provided with uniform?
Yes, for Paramedic Science, ODP, Radiotherapy and Diagnostic Radiography, you will be provided with uniform. For Speech and Language Therapy, there’s no specific uniform, but it’s best to dress smart-casual. Find out more about uniform requirements.
Am I entitled to any extra funding?
Yes, for courses starting after September 2020, there is new funding of at least £5000 a year available for Diagnostic Radiography, Operating Department Practice, Paramedic Science, Radiotherapy and Speech and Language Therapy. This is not means tested and does not have to be paid back. Find out more about funding.
Do I need a driving licence?
No, however travel to placement can be costly and difficult depending on your placement location so we recommend that you have access to your own transport to enable you to travel more easily.
For Paramedic Science, we also recommend you have the C1 provisional licence as the eye test has stopped a few people from being able to drive an NHS ambulance. Not being able to get this will not prevent you undertaking the course but may affect your future career opportunities. Please contact Karen Gubbins, the admissions tutor for Paramedic Science, if you have any concerns.
What extra costs will I have?
Every course will come with a few extra costs but here are some of the basics. You will need to purchase stationery and some books and learning materials throughout your course (please speak to your course lead about this). You will also need to budget for travel costs to and from the university and during placements, although you may be eligible to apply for the Learning Support Fund, meaning you could get a reimbursement of excess costs incurred while on placement. You may also need to purchase additional uniform. There may also be a cost if you wish to join the professional body of your course, and there is also a cost to join the Students’ Union – membership of this is highly recommended.
Student life in Birmingham
Join us at Birmingham City University and you will be studying right in the heart of a forward-looking and vibrant city with plenty to see and not far from City South campus. Whether you’re moving to Birmingham or you’re a Brummie at heart, there’s so much student life here to explore.