Health Professions

The School of Health Sciences at QMU provides the largest range of professional healthcare courses in Scotland.


Why QMU?

We aim to create educational courses at the leading edge of today’s issues, with graduates who are in demand, work-ready, able to progress in their chosen profession, and who can challenge current healthcare practices. We strive to ensure that we link our research and practice closely, and wherever possible, engage students with promoting their chosen profession.

The range of undergraduate courses includes: Dietetics, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Radiography (Diagnostic and Therapeutic), and Speech and Language Therapy. We also offer the Higher Education Diploma in Hearing Aid Audiology. Undergraduate teaching is often linked to our Master's Pre-Registration* courses where students in many areas interact to share learning and experiences. Mixing undergraduates with more experienced students allows greater learning opportunities and support through the challenges of our courses.

Our range of courses allows students to be at the heart of healthcare learning and development, and to engage with other professional learners who will be their peers in the working environment. Therefore cross-School teaching and interprofessional education are important components of our courses. Working together as students helps to break down barriers before entering the workplace.

Our courses are approved and recognised by the Health and Care Professions Council where required, and this is augmented by the excellent links we have with the NHS across Scotland and through our collaborations with private, occupational, social service and other care providers. Specialist visiting lecturers in all professional areas engage students with up-to-date health-related issues and help prepare students for working in practice.

Students benefit from a well-equipped School with specialised teaching facilities and state-of-the-art laboratories where practical skills can be honed before clinical placement. We also have a range of research laboratories, and a suite for the measurement of human movement using three-dimensional motion analysis, human performance and neuromuscular analysis.

Our approach to learning and teaching

We believe that clinical practice and experience (placements) are of major importance, and we aim to provide experiences in as many aspects of provision as possible. Placements take place across Scotland and some courses allow elective placements overseas. The range and type of placement will vary, but clinical practice is core to healthcare and we help students to prepare for this from Year One. All module work, theoretical or practical, relates to professional practice or directly to the work engaged in clinical placement. Practical hands-on experience is a core element of preparation for practice and we have the use of state-of-the-art simulation laboratories and clinic treatment rooms to emulate best practice.

Visiting clinicians and clients also help to bring the real health learning experience into the University. Interprofessional learning occurs in all four years of our undergraduate degrees for most students, and you will work with students from the broad range of the nursing and allied health professions at QMU. This starts by introducing team working and enhancing communication skills, and then progresses to allow small groups to work with volunteer patients in the safe environment of the University, and on to understanding healthcare systems and organisations. You will learn to understand the role and boundaries of each profession and become aware of different or shared working practices. You will also discuss the changing practices of healthcare in the UK and the wider workings of the NHS, private practice or industry.

We support student learning through classroom sessions, tutorials, work groups, and practical classes and through web-based learning, which is particularly important for clinical placement. Use of a clinical and/or a personal development portfolio is undertaken on some courses, and this complements the wide range of assessments used across the disciplines. Optional module choice is available in some courses, but this is limited due to the demands of professional learning.


School research collates research into four main themes: Rehabilitation Sciences; Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism in Health and Disease; Speech and Communication; and Health Care Policy and Practice. All students have the opportunity to engage with the wide range of research being undertaken in several ways: as novice researchers during project work, being trial participants, or attending keynote lectures and seminars. Clinical research can only be undertaken in collaboration with frontline health providers and we have numerous collaborators in NHS Boards in Scotland, private and social services, and internationally in Europe and further afield.

You will be taught by lecturers and PhD students who are actively engaged with research and who publish in high impact academic and professional journals. Our aim is to ensure that our research findings link with your learning to keep this as up to date as possible. Understanding research helps to develop and enhance critical thinking and clinical questioning, which are essential in the challenging healthcare practice of today.

Career prospects

Our undergraduate degrees will prepare you for a rewarding career and you will meet graduates from QMU in many of your student placement experiences. In addition to your professional learning, we will help you to develop transferable skills which will be useful not just in healthcare professions, but in many other roles in life. Many of these skills are embedded in our teaching and practice, and we will actively encourage your learning in verbal and non-verbal communication, understanding team work, presentation skills, delegation, etc. Our graduates gain posts in clinical hospital positions throughout the world, but some choose to enter different career paths, for example in research, healthcare management, private practice and industry, sports-related roles or in health promotion and fitness. Graduates who enter employment in the NHS often start with part-time or a “bank” position in the first instance, gaining experiences in a variety of clinical areas and types before a more permanent choice is made. More and more new opportunities for recent graduates are developing in the private sector, social services, or industry, which all require a healthcare background. Some students, however, choose to progress straight to higher degree learning on an MSc or PhD course.

*Pre-Registration courses allow graduates with a relevant first degree to change career in two years.


Find out more information on how to apply for a course at QMU.