University of Leicester eBulletin

UK eUniversities and UK Healthcare Education Partnership announce Launch of New BSc (Hons) in Health Sciences

UKHEP Press Release

Website: UK Healthcare Education Partnership (UKHEP)

University of Leicester part of consortium set up to develop and deliver high-quality online post-registration modules and programmes for nurses and other healthcare professionals

UK eUniversities (UKeU), the government-backed company set up to provide online degrees from UK universities, announced in August 2003 the launch of a new BSc (Hons) in Health Sciences (third-year, top-up) degree developed by the UKHEP.

This course is part of the UKHEP’s drive to meet the changing learning needs of healthcare professionals across the UK and globally, and to extend the reach of UK university education world-wide through high-quality, online learning programmes.

UK Healthcare Education Partnership (UKHEP) is a private limited company whose shareholders are the City University, London, the University of Leicester, the Royal College of Nursing and the University of Ulster

UKHEP draws together academic, technological and professional expertise in the development and delivery of a portfolio of online, health programmes. It chose to work with UKeU to take advantage of their purpose-built Learning Environment for the course delivery.

Applicants for entry to this programme of study need to have attained a professional qualification in a healthcare profession, normally leading to registration (and equivalent to the first two years of a BSc). The programme consists of six Level 3 modules developed within a Clinical Governance pathway, all of which will need to be completed to achieve the final award – BSc (Hons) in Health Sciences. The first modules, launched in January 2004, are Leadership, Clinical Governance, and User and Carer Involvement; with Developing Effective Practice, Management of Change and Evidence-based Health Care being available from September 2004. The UKHEP also plan to offer other Bachelors degrees and Masters degrees in the fullness of time, with professional accreditation available as appropriate.

Changes in the character and delivery of higher education have had a marked effect on the healthcare sector. The trend towards widening participation, lifelong learning and global education is creating a vibrant, competitive and diverse educational market. The personal lifestyle of healthcare professionals – irregular work patterns and domestic commitments – means that learning opportunities must be delivered and supported in a flexible way. E-learning with UKeU means that students can choose when to study (24 hours a day, seven days a week) and where to study (home or workplace or any centre with online facilities); and course content can be reviewed and adapted quickly to respond to the dynamics of the workplace.

Professor Stephen Miller, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of City University and a Director of UKHEP said: "Healthcare practice and the supporting technologies are developing so rapidly that traditional training systems will have difficulty keeping pace. We aim to work with the employers to anticipate learning needs, particularly in areas of rapid change and cross-disciplinary development, and to provide high-quality, timely education that will complement and augment existing training programmes.

Our goal is that through the UKHEP, every healthcare workplace can become a learning centre and every practitioner a part-time learner. UKHEP will provide organisations with the opportunity to deliver cost-effective education and training to a wide range of healthcare professionals in key areas of emerging practice and thereby to enhance the quality of patient and client care".

John Beaumont, chief executive officer of UKeU said: “I am delighted that UKeU is working in collaboration with UKHEP on this innovative new BSc in Health Sciences. UKeU is developing a purpose-built Learning Environment that will harness the rapid development of learning technologies. This will provide a rich, highly interactive, fast and reliable system.

The UKeU Learning Environment consists of a fully integrated set of applications from which the student will use a single log-on point to access all study areas. It can support multimedia content and thereby enable easier learning and also online discussion with other students and the tutor. UKHEP students can look forward to a rich experience using the Learning Environment. This BSc Hons degree is the first of a portfolio of post-registration modules and programmes being developed by the UKHEP and UKeU looks forward to expanding our relationship with them in the future."

Notes to Editors

About UKeU
UK eUniversities Worldwide (UKeU) was established in May 2001, with UK Government backing, to market and support the online provision of degree courses from UK universities to students outside of the UK and businesses worldwide. UKeU also has a mandate to help widen access to higher education in the UK.

The UKeU Learning Environment has been created in partnership with Sun Microsystems and 24 x 7 worldwide service provision is delivered by Fujitsu.

Service launch with the first students on The Open University/University of Cambridge programme, Learning in the Connected Economy commenced on 1 March 2003.

UK eUniversities Worldwide Limited is the operating company of eLearning Holding Company Limited, whose shareholders are UK universities and colleges. Through the holding company, UK colleges and universities have granted UKeU a licence to deliver their courses online. UKeU is backed with £62m of funding from the UK government, which is committed through to 2004. For more information visit


The UK Healthcare Education Partnership Limited (UKHEP) was incorporated in January 2003 as a joint venture company limited by share capital. Its shareholders – the City University, London, the University of Leicester, the Royal College of Nursing and University of Ulster – have been working as consortium since November 2000 and each has appointed two directors of the new company.

The UKHEP has been set up to develop and deliver a portfolio of high-quality, online, post-registration modules and programmes for nurses and other healthcare professionals that will meet the emerging needs of the NHS. The UKHEP’s vision is to make a significant contribution to the post-registration education of nurses and healthcare professionals across the UK and internationally.

The UKHEP is being funded by the UK eUniversities Worldwide (eUniversities) to develop the first 14 modules and has also successfully bid for additional student numbers, funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), as part of HEFCE’s widening participation agenda. Discussions are also ongoing with the NHSU regarding potential collaboration.

For further information contact:
Tracey Lambert, Head of Communications, UKeU, telephone 020 7932 4430, email


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