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What can I do with my degree?: Health studies

A health studies degree covers a broad range of healthcare issues allowing for careers in social care, leisure, education and health promotion and management...

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here. To find out what jobs would suit you, log in to My Prospects.

Work experience

Healthcare experience might involve working for the National Health Service (NHS), in residential homes or centres for homeless people. Experience of mentoring, counselling or befriending may be useful for those interested in a career in social work.

If you have an interest in alternative approaches to health and healing, you might explore work experience within a holistic health practice. Volunteering on a health project in a developing country is also valuable career preparation.

Other relevant experience includes working within a community setting or within fitness centres in health promotion. When it comes to work experience, quality counts, what matters is that you can demonstrate what you have learnt through experience.

Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.

Typical employers

Many health studies graduates work in the public sector for:

  • the NHS;
  • local authorities, including education departments and social services;
  • schools and colleges.

Others work in the voluntary sector and for medical charities and not-for-profit organisations.

Opportunities in the private sector can be found, for example, in private healthcare organisations working as a lifestyle consultant, and working in the field of alternative medicine and therapies. Many of these options involve being self-employed.

Find information on employers in healthcare, social care, charity and voluntary work, and other job sectors.

Skills for your CV

A degree in health studies looks at health in its broad context and investigates contemporary health issues.

It gives you an in-depth understanding of health and healthcare and you learn to:

  • research, analyse and evaluate health and health-related issues from a multidisciplinary standpoint;
  • use health information and data effectively;
  • understand and formulate health-related arguments and contest theories.

The degree also gives you general skills including:

  • written and oral communication skills;
  • the ability to work both independently and in a team;
  • effective problem-solving and time management skills;
  • research and data analysis skills;
  • skills in information technology.

Further study

In order to take up a relevant health, medical or social work career it may be necessary to undertake further professional study .

For example, getting a specific degree or higher qualification is essential for many medical jobs, such as nursing, speech and language therapy, physiotherapy and occupational therapy. It may be necessary to complete a full vocational course from the beginning or there may be a shortened postgraduate option for health studies graduates.

For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see Masters degrees and search postgraduate courses.

What do health studies graduates do?

More than 60% of health studies graduates are in full-time employment six months after graduating, with a further 25% undertaking study or combining work and study.

The top occupation is nursing, closely followed by laboratory technicians. Other roles include biochemists, medical scientists and care workers.

Graduate destinations for health studies
Destinations Percentage
Employed 61.8%
Further study 19.1%
Working and studying 6.5%
Unemployed 6.9%
Other 5.6%
Types of work entered in the UK
Health professionals 18.1%
Childcare, health and education work 16.8%
Retail, catering and bar work 10.8%
Technicians and other professionals 10.3%
Other 44.0%

Find out what other graduates are doing six months after finishing their degrees in What Do Graduates Do?  

Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

Written by AGCAS editors
May 2015

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