School of Health Sciences
We pride ourselves on producing graduates who not only positively impact the lives of individuals but also have the ability to make a valuable contribution to the health of our society.
About the School
An Exciting Time of Change
We’re currently experiencing some radical changes in the delivery of healthcare and, as a result, the level of knowledge and skills required by allied health professionals has never been greater. The wide-range of education and development opportunities provided by our school combines challenge with the reward of doing something truly worthwhile with your career. Our education programmes are innovative in their approach, with a strong emphasis on practice-based learning, allowing you to apply your new knowledge to your own area of practice, interest or area of career ambition.
We’re a leading provider of professional education and research programmes for the allied health professions in Scotland. One of the ways in which we differ from others, is that the principles of public health and health promotion are integrated across all stages of our undergraduate programmes which are also practice-focused. Our graduates enter the workplace well equipped to embark upon careers in the health-care professions and meet the challenges of the workplace both now and in the future. We believe that immersing you in real-life situations throughout your studies will give you the knowledge, skills, experience and confidence to change tomorrow.
We have a strong reputation for producing person-centred, capable and professional graduates. We provide dynamic and transformational learning, as well as teaching and research that makes an important contribution to improving the health and wellbeing of local, national and global communities. We are proud of the employment record of our graduates, and feedback from their employers confirms that our graduates are work-ready and equipped for the ongoing learning required to be successful in today’s workplace.
Our teaching staff are all very experienced and committed to their professions. Many continue to work in practice, so they can keep your curriculum up-to-date with modern practice and cutting-edge developments. They form the ideal team to support your learning and help you to achieve your potential. Our courses follow a student-centred approach. Early placements will develop you as an active partner in the learning process. You will learn through keynote lectures, interactive workshops, tutorials and practical activities including simulated learning experiences. You will develop and apply your theoretical knowledge as you undertake problem-solving activities and experiential learning. This will help your development of analytical skills so that you become increasingly self-sufficient and have the reflective and self-evaluative skills to progress into the workplace equipped to meet new challenges and create tomorrow’s opportunities.
Awards and Recognition
- 1st in the UK overall for Physiotherapy (Guardian University Guide 2024)
- 2nd in Scotland for graduate prospects: on outcomes in Counselling, Psychotherapy and Occupational Therapy (Complete University Guide 2023)
- 2nd in Scotland for overall student satisfaction in Sport and Exercise Sciences (National Student Survey 2023, excludes colleges, small specialist and private providers)
Based at the Garthdee campus on the banks of the beautiful River Dee, we provide access to volunteer patients, a wide-range of equipment commonly encountered in practice, as well as purpose-built facilities including a human performance lab, functional capacity lab, X-ray suite, Physiotherapy practical rooms, ward setting, intensive care room, gym, RGU SPORT, Occupational Health Home Setting, and food handling lab.
Placements & Professional Links
Placement experience is essential for producing graduates who are fit-for-purpose in rapidly changing health and social care environments.
Our students undertake a variety of placements in locations throughout Scotland and, in some cases, abroad. These placements allow students to put theory into practice and develop essential skills for their future career.
Students have the chance to work with community groups such as Brain Injury Grampian, MS Society, Alzheimer’s Scotland and schools across Aberdeen providing fantastic experiential learning opportunities. This work is often alongside other professions which enables realistic inter-professional learning opportunities where you can learn about the roles of the other professions and benefit from the experience of partnership working.
Early placement experience will make you well-prepared for the world of work, as you transfer your learning to real-world situations and gain exposure to a wide-range of learning opportunities in an extensive variety of settings. (Course-specific information on placements is provided on the relevant course page).
We have strong links with practitioners and managers in the acute, community and primary care NHS Trusts, Local Authorities, private sectors. We have a reputation for the quality of the delivery of these professional courses all of which have a strong preference towards practice-based experience.
We are proud to be associated with the following leading organisations, institutions and professional bodies.
HCPC is a regulator which was set up to protect the public by keeping a register of health professionals who meet the Council’s standards for their training, professional skills, behaviour and health.
The Society of Radiographers represents more than 90 per cent of the diagnostic and therapeutic radiographers in the UK. It is responsible for their professional, educational, public and workplace interests and is one of the oldest and most experienced radiography organisations in the world.
The British Association and College of Occupational Therapists is the professional body for occupational therapy staff in the United Kingdom. It exists to help and guide members throughout their studies and careers.
The World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) is the key international representative for occupational therapists and occupational therapy around the world and the official international organisation for the promotion of occupational therapy.
The CSP is a member-led organisation governed by an elected Council, providing a wide range of member services. It campaigns on behalf of physiotherapists and the physiotherapy profession.
The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) is a national professional organisation representing more than 72,000 members. Its goal is to foster advancements in physical therapy practice, research, and education.
The British Dietetic Association is the professional association for dieticians. Its aims are to advance the science and practice of dietetics, promote training and education in the field and regulate the relations between dieticians and their employers through the BDA Trade Union.
The Association for Nutrition (AfN) defines and advances standards of evidence-based practice across the field of nutrition and at all levels within the workforce.
The Nutrition Society was established to advance the scientific study of nutrition and its application to the maintenance of human and animal health. Highly regarded by the scientific community, the Society is the largest learned society for nutrition in Europe.
Sport Scotland is the national agency for sport in Scotland. They see a Scotland where sport is a way of life, where sport is at the heart of society, making a positive impact on people and community.
BASES stands for the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences. BASES is the professional body for sport and exercise sciences in the UK.
There is an increasing requirement within the health care professions and disciplines to engage in evidence-based practice in order to meet the demand for clinical effectiveness and good practice.
Research at RGU is built on strong foundations of education and practice-based research. Over the years we have built up a vibrant research community in partnership with the NHS in Scotland and other Universities. We host multi-disciplinary research that focuses its activities on addressing major issues around the diagnosis, prevention, treatment, care and welfare of patients.
Our School of Health Sciences also draws on the research skills of academic staff in three other our schools: Nursing and Midwifery, Applied Social Studies, and Pharmacy and Life Science, as well as Centre for Obesity Research & Epidemiology (CORE) and Aberdeen Centre for Trauma Research (ACTR) and JBI Centre of Excellence.
We’re proud to offer a unique opportunity to qualify as a Chartered Physiotherapist combined with a PhD leading to a Doctorate in Physiotherapy. It is the first course of its kind in the UK, and the only physical therapy programme outside North America to be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.
We also offer Health Professions research degrees in the following broad areas:
- Motion Analysis
- Back Pain
- Care of the Elderly
- Foot related knee pain
- Developmental Coordination Disorder
- The acquisition of evidence-informed clinical wisdom
Specialised Research Facilities:
- 3D Laser scanning
- Vicon Motion Capture
- Breath-by-breath gas analysis
- State-of-the-Art Clinical Skills Laboratory
- Patient Interview Rooms
Our Research Staff
Our staff have a breadth of experience in teaching and professional practice. Academics also have research expertise in their subject area.