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BSc (Hons) Health and Wellbeing Practitioner

Prepare for a career in the expanding fields of public health and person-centred healthcare. Health and Wellbeing Practitioners support patients with mental health, nutrition, physical health and social health needs. You’ll train to support people with serious diseases and to change lives.

Student trains client in strength training in the on-site clinic

Gain practical experience and embedded qualifications

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Full-time Part-time

Entry requirements

Three A-levels at grades CCC or above

Or BTEC triple grades MMM or abov

Or Access Level 3, 23-45 credits with a minimum of 6D

And GCSE English Language at grade 4 or grade C or above

UCAS points 96

UCAS code HWB1

UCAS institution code P63

Duration Three years full-time or up to six years part-time

Course Summary

Developed in consultation with NHS trusts, BSc (Hons) Health and Wellbeing Practitioner is designed to prepare students to work in the areas of public health, health improvement and person-centred healthcare. 

You will be equipped with the skills and experience to set up, deliver and evaluate health promotion schemes.  You will help people gain the knowledge, skills and confidence necessary to become active participants in their own care so that they can reach self-identified health and wellbeing goals. You'll be taught these things in line with the NHS Long Term Plan and Personalised Care initiative, which is designed to improve patient choice and self-management.

Initially you will study modules that are fundamental to your understanding of health and wellbeing, including physiology, psychology and sociology. You'll move on to study public health, health coaching, physical activity, social prescribing, healthy nutrition, and health policy. You will also develop an understanding of the theory behind behaviour change and health literacy.  

You will have the opportunity to gain professional qualifications and experience in a range of on and off campus clinics and wellbeing schemes. These include our own health check services and several health and Wellbeing clinics (e.g. chronic back pain, cancer, fibromyalgia, leg ulcer or diabetes). Marjon Health & Wellbeing is a pioneer of health and wellbeing provision in the South West and is increasingly recognised as a centre of excellence for health and wellbeing practice by regional health care providers. We run clinics both onsite and out in the local community, where student practitioners train alongside expert clinicians.

Our strong links to the local healthcare system means you will also have access to a range of internal and external partners which provide excellent opportunities for hands-on experiences to enhance your academic experience and professional development. You'll also develop contacts for your future career through the organisations we work with which include Livewell Southwest, Macmillian Cancer Support and the NHS.

The high professional standards our students work to are endorsed by the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA). It meets their Professional Standards for ‘Health Navigator’ and ‘Working with people with long term conditions’. This demonstrates to employers in the sport and physical activity sector that you’ve got the knowledge and skills for specific roles, and also assures the high quality of your training.

The good thing about the clinics is that they if you wanted to specialise in a particular area, it allows you to specialise but if you're not sure and you want to dip your toe in, you can kind of, you know, try the different clinics and see how they how they work with you.

It gives you I think it gives you quite a few opportunities to clinics, because essentially I think you go into health and well-being to help people and so right from the get go from year one, you're given the opportunity to go into the clinics, which I was amazed by. I didn't I didn't expect it for year one being involved in the clinics but as a student, you come to the clinics to gain experience and you come out with that clinical experience but at the end of it, it was really lovely, is how thankful the patients were or, you know, uses of the clinic, if you like were for having had that in place.

You get such a variety of things that you do in the clinic. So they don't just come along and you kind of give a program and, you know, that's what you go away with.

It's about helping people to try out different things, to become more physically active, and have the confidence to be active. And they get to try a range of different things, so we're not saying, okay, do all of this and this is what's going to work for you it's try this and see what works for you. See what tools you can put into your toolbox to help you moving forward. So I was really impressed with the kind of variety this in the clinics. I think it does give you confidence for your future, even as a mature student.

I've come to university, not exactly knowing the direction that I want to go in. So having the opportunity to work in the clinics not only gives you confidence that you've had practical experience, but also, you know, it's going to help along the way to help decide where you want to go with the degree. So it has these kind of two benefits, really. That was another big win for me, the Marjon was a small community, a small university. I think it's really helped me. I don't know what it's like in other universities, but we've had like a really personal connection with each one of our lecturers. I felt that's been really, really helpful and great.

I think you can there is very much a family feel to the university, and it does feel like a close knit family. People that are kind of in year three, they don't want to leave. And people say that how special it is and a special is nice and you do get that nice close knit feel from it.

During my third year, I was involved in a placement that basically exposed me to a whole aspect of health care that I hadn't even thought about before and by working on a placement at the clinics, I kind of really discovered a passion for working with people, looking after their health, long term managing conditions such as diabetes, Venous leg ulcers chronic pain and cancer, back pain as well.

The clinics have a very hands-off approach so it's quite independent to work with people, but with that kind of safety net in the background so it gives you a chance to find your own style, to try and apply the knowledge that you learned through your degree in a kind of practical way, but without somebody kind of, you know, hovering over the top of you but you always felt like there was somebody around to ask for help if you needed it and that really built my confidence, particularly working with people and building the communication skills that I think are really necessary for this kind of role.

What I will say that I think is the most awesome thing about this course is that there are so many things that you learn is very, very diverse so not only are you learning about the clinical application, but you're learning about public health. So it really brings a broad area from which you can kind of start from and branch out from and then, you know, there's so many different things that you can learn and try so that you can really get onto your path. So I would say absolutely go for it. Yeah, it's a brilliant course. Great lecturers, lovely people. Definitely recommend it.

Why this course at Marjon?

We work closely with NHS teams and local health employers to ensure students develop the skills and knowledge that are most desired by graduate employers

You’ll get real world experience in our laboratories and on-site clinics and through our extensive professional networks

You'll be taught by a multi-disciplinary team of academics ensuring you learn from a range of experts

You'll develop the ability to design, deliver and evaluate a variety of health intervention programmes using physical activity, social engagement and behaviour change models

Gain practical skills training at our on-site clinics and in our sports science lab which is accredited by the British Association of Sport & Exercise Science (BASES)

You'll work with real patients as part of a professional health and wellbeing team

Modules for this course

Course Snapshot

In your first year you will learn a sociological, psychological and physiological viewpoint on the wellbeing of a person. You will also learn techniques to help people via physical exercise and engagement. During the second year you will learn more about health and wellbeing across all ages, including nutrition, as well as how to encourage behaviour changes in patients via counselling techniques. During the third year you will learn about healthcare policy, provision and nutrition and hone your practical skills as a health care professional.
Dr Joe Layden - Course Leader

1st Year

The health and wellbeing professional
Right from the start students will gain an insight into the role of a health and wellbeing practitioner and will have opportunities to experience and lead practical sessions both laboratory and gym based settings.
Exercise for health
Whilst working towards the REPs Gym Instructor qualification students will learn how to design, deliver and evaluate effective and well-balanced exercise programmes.
Anatomy and physiology of health and wellbeing
Explore the anatomy and physiology of health and disease with consideration for how these systems adapt to physical activity and exercise across the lifespan. You'll learn how to undertake physiological measurements on variables such as cardiovascular health and fitness, functional strength, metabolism and body composition.
Sociological perspectives in health and wellbeing
You'll learn about the sociological concepts and theories that relate directly to health and wellbeing. You'll also gain an understanding into how social norms and cultural values shape our understandings of our bodies, each other, health and health-seeking behaviours.
Psychological perspectives in health and wellbeing
Explore the psychological aspects of health and illness. You'll delve into issues such as individual behaviour, stress and coping strategies, disability and ability, loss and bereavement, and ageing.
Exercise prescription and the fitness professional
You'll learn about the structure of health care provision in the UK, including how it has been shaped by economics and politics, how social inequalities can impact upon individual lifestyle choices and how this influences health and wellbeing.

2nd Year

Exercise prescription and the fitness professional
You'll learn about key exercise referral and prescription guidelines in both the general population and in special populations and you'll develop the skills to safely coach groups and individuals in special populations.
Nutrition for health
Study the relationship between nutrition and conditions such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and diabetes and associated morbidity and mortality rates. Examine the range of individual, local and national guidelines and interventions employed to reduce obesity and ill health.
Behaviour change for health and wellbeing
You'll explore the theories of behaviour change in the context of health and wellbeing and learn how to use a blend of interpersonal and communication skills for working with people in a health and wellbeing context.
Health promotion
Study a range of health behaviour theories and examples of their application across a range of interventions such as physical activity in mental health services, exercise referral schemes, falls prevention exercise programmes and weight loss referral programmes.
Research methods and analysis in sport and health sciences
You'll learn the components and nature of qualitative and quantitative research in sport and health science and select and how to apply appropriate research design, techniques and data analysis methods.
Work-based learning

3rd Year

Advanced lifestyle practitioner
Based on a comprehensive understanding of several long-term conditions and diseases, you'll critically analyse lifestyle behaviours and be able to design, adapt and critically discuss a lifestyle change programme for adults with a specific medical condition. You'll start work towards the REPs level 4 qualification Specialist Exercise Instructor.
Physical activity, public health and policy
You'll gain a comprehensive understanding of the implications of key government policies and guidelines used to influence the health of the nation. You'll be able to identify and critique the inter-relationship between policy and health providers at national, regional and local levels.
Nutrition across the lifespan
You'll examine nutrition as it relates to athletes across the lifespan by integrating existing knowledge of physiology and health. Study the nutritional requirements of humans throughout the lifespan, understanding changing physiological status and changes in nutritional requirements associated with specific age groups.
Public health nutrition
We'll introduce the theory of public health nutrition and you'll critically review strategies for Public Health Nutrition initiatives in the UK. You'll develop a comprehensive understanding of nutritional guidelines, food regulation and labelling and issues surrounding food security and sustainability at home and globally.
Honours project
You'll undertake an independent project pertaining to health and wellbeing subject of your choice.

Current students say...

Monika Gregory

“I enjoy every topic of this course and I’m gaining the knowledge and skills to help others with their health and wellbeing needs. I’m also improving my knowledge of how to research things. The support, personal and academic, is amazing and I would recommend Marjon to anyone. I’ve come from Europe and this course is giving me an opportunity to learn about the differences between cultures which makes it really interesting.”

Hayley Knight

“The thing I enjoy most is the broad range of topics, spanning across all aspects of health. Not only does it keep the course exciting, but it provides a broad knowledge base that can be applied to many professions - the skill sets earned are wide. Marjon are focused on developing us individually and help us create an individualised plan towards our long-term career goals. As a first-year I’ve already had opportunities to engage with the University’s clinics which provide unique experience.”

This course is perfect if you’re curious about

How can health and wellbeing interventions better support people in health crisis?

How could we break the cycle of GP and emergency services for some patients and give them sustained ongoing support?

How do health and wellbeing professionals approach working with individuals and groups?

What can the government do to improve the health of the nation?

Why are there inequalities in health between different groups in society, and is there anything we can do about it?

How can science help improve health and wellbeing in vulnerable groups?

This degree provides a solid foundation in the understanding of health and wellbeing, and graduates will comprehend the importance of lifestyle intervention as a model of care. They will have spent time working in a healthcare environment and will have demonstrated skills in health economics and quality improvement. Graduates looking to enter healthcare will be equipped with skills needed to help the change and they will ensure the continual improvement that is required to sustain it.
Matthew Gibbons - Primary Care NHS Manager for Kernow Health

What might you become?

Health and Wellbeing professionals are in high demand. With an ability to understand health inequalities, provide consultancy and advice on health and wellbeing and to be able to initiate, deliver and evaluate health and wellbeing services a broad range of career opportunities open up.

Typical roles include (but are not limited too): 

  • Health Improvement Practitioner - provides specialist advice on health-related issues in a range of settings to set up schemes and implement government initiatives to promote health and wellbeing.
  • Health and Wellbeing Coach - applies life coaching principles to empower people and organisations to overcome barriers and achieve lifestyle and health improvement goals.
  • Health Navigator - empowers those with long term health conditions to navigate a complex health care system so they can be more confident in managing their condition. 
  • Social Prescriber - supporting local agencies to connect people with community groups and statutory services for practical and emotional support. 
  • NHS Graduate Scheme - focus on health analysis, policy and public health.

The course also provides an excellent foundation for postgraduate study with options to progress onto our Master of Public Health or Master of Research (MRes) programmes.



Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA)

CIMSPA certify that this course meets the professional standards set by employers in the physical activity and fitness sector for ‘Health Navigator’ and ‘Working with people with long term conditions’.

How you’ll be taught and assessed?

How will you be taught?

Innovative and flexible teaching includes interactive lectures, tutorials, group work, practical sessions, online activities and independent study.

How will you be assessed?

A wide range of innovative and contemporary assessments help students develop essential skills. These include essays, report writing, practical assessments, presentations and website development.

Joe Layden

Dr Joseph Layden

Course leader

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Joe has 20 years experience within the area of health and exercise physiology. Prior to arriving at Marjon he worked as an occupational physiologist and researcher for organisations such as the UK Ministry of Defence and the Netherlands National Research Office. Joe's research interests are in health and well-being and he has published work on health care interventions, physiology and metabolism and he is passionate about sharing knowledge and educating others.

Fees and funding

Fees UK students: £9,250 per annum

Fees for International students: £12,500 per annum

This fee covers your tuition and access to course-specific equipment and facilities, as well associated services including access to the library, study skills support, IT support, student support and wellbeing services and membership of the Student Union. There may be additional costs by course.

Funding available for this course

Our Student Funding Advisors offer confidential and impartial advice about your funding options.

Learn more


Professor Saul Bloxham

Dean of the School of Sport, Health & Wellbeing and Professor

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Saul's research focuses on the prevention and treating non communicable disease through lifestyle interventions. He has established several health and wellbeing clinics in partnership with the NHS and charitable organisations to support patients with back pain, cancer, fibromyalgia and leg ulcers.

John Downey


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John is an exercise specialist with an interest in lifestyle behaviour change and health services evaluation. He holds an MSc in Preventive Cardiology and REPS accredited qualifications in exercise referral and cardiac rehabilitation.

Dr Kass Gibson

Associate Professor

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Kass is a qualified PE teacher who has taught in schools, colleges, and universities in New Zealand, Japan, Canada, and the UK. He is a member of the University of Toronto’s Suffering, Pain and Ethics Lab Scientific Team. His research examines experiences and practices in physical activity health promotion, sport, and physical education.

Juliana Hopkins


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Juliana is a BACP Senior Accredited Counsellor/Psychotherapist and currently works in private practice alongside this lecturing role.

Ben Jane

Senior Lecturer

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Ben has more than twenty years of experience working in various health and fitness roles. In this time he has worked with more than a thousand participants and helped train hundreds of fitness professionals.

Dr Alister McCormick

Senior Lecturer

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Alister teaches psychology and its applications to sport, exercise, and health. His main research interest is how psychological interventions can be used to improve the performances of people who participate in endurance events, such as middle- and long-distance running, cycling, swimming, and triathlon events.

Juliet Paterson

Lecturer of Sport, Health and PE

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Juliet is a qualified primary school teacher and has led PE in a number of schools. In addition to this Juliet was South West Lead for British Triathlon's children’s coach development initiative ‘Skills School’. As a British Triathlon Coach Educator and Assessor, she has also tutored coaches to gain their Level 1 and 2 Coaching qualifications.

Juliet’s teaching experiences and coaching qualifications include a wide range of sports, including traditional sports such as hockey and rowing, modern sports such as triathlon and individual sports such as athletics and swimming. She has worked with a range of age groups and experience levels, from young children in primary school and club settings, through to regional academy athletes.

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