Complementary and Integrative Health BSc (Hons) (Top Up)

This course is validated by: University of Cumbria


Location: University Centre at Blackburn College
UCAS Code: B302
Code: SS3596A16
Fees: View fees and financial information
Validated by: University of Cumbria
Study Mode: Full Time, Part Time
Start Dates: september 2019
Term Dates: View term dates

If you have completed our Foundation Degree in Complementary Therapies (or another suitable qualification, see Entry Requirements) you can progress on to this one year, full-time BSc (Hons) in Complementary and Integrative Health (Top Up) programme from the University of Cumbria which will enable you to gain an Honours degree with one additional year of full-time study.

The theme of integration threads throughout all modules on the programme, developing your understanding of how complementary therapies can be embedded into conventional care, and thus promoting thoroughly person-centred integrative practice.

The main consumers of complementary and integrative healthcare are those living with chronic illness and the programme’s modules equips students in understanding the complexity of living with these conditions as well as the pathophysiology and nutrition needs which will provide students with a broader knowledge-base of complementary and conventional healthcare practices.

Our BSc (Hons) Complementary and Integrative Health (Top Up) is ideal for those students who wish to broaden their knowledge of this growing industry. This is a one year full-time top-up degree developed in partnership with the University of Cumbria. The course is also available to study part-time over two years.

What will I study?

The programme includes a combination of core and optional modules.  A wide variety of modules will be be studied, providing students with underpinning knowledge of many aspects of the complementary and sports therapy industries. 

All students take a total of 120 credits per level.

Level 6 Modules (there are 3 mandatory modules and 1 optional module out of a choice of 2 as indicated by *) include:

  • Dissertation
  • Pain Management
  • Global Complementary and Traditional Health
  • Advanced Pathophysiology and Nutrition
  • Negotiated Study*
  • Sports Therapy (it is a pre-requisite that students must pass Level 5 Anatomy, Physiology and Pathophysiology, and Advanced Sports and Remedial Massage to undertake the optional Sports Therapy module)*

Optional Modules

If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.  If an optional module will not be run, we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.


Entry Requirements

If you have completed the FdSc Complementary Therapies programme at the University Centre, Blackburn College (UCBC), or have received any other related degree such as a foundation degree in Spa Management, Complementary Medicine, Sports Science, Homeopathy, Nursing, Physiotherapy, Midwifery or Osteopathy from another institution, you can top up your qualification by studying this degree validated by the University of Cumbria. 

Prior to the course starting, you may be asked to attend an interview with the Partner Programme Leader at UCBC.  The interview is designed so that both parties can ask relevant questions to determine suitability to attend the programme; this is particularly important if you wish to join the BSc (Hons) from previous study elsewhere.  In this instance, the programme team will need to ensure that you have the relevant entry criteria for the course, especially if you wish to choose the Sports Therapy optional module.

Additional Costs 

You may be required to register as a Student Member with a Holistic Therapy accrediting body at the start of the programme; this costs around £25.00.

You may also be required to undertake a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check (around £46) at the start of the programme and this is organised through UCBC.

Students will be expected to purhcase a unifrom which is organised throught UCBC.  The approximate cost of the uniform is £25.

Students may be expected to purchase uniforms if they choose the Sports Therapy module; this is also organised through UCBC, unless otherwise stated.  

Dark coloured training shoes and track suit style trousers will also be required for the Sports Therapy module. These items are purchased by the student independently.

How will I be assessed?

Throughout the course a full range of assessment techniques will be used. You could be assessed by examinations, including open-book examinations, practical assessments, assignments, briefs, essays, presentations (including group presentations), reports and portfolio building. 

Each module is formally assessed through, for example, examination, open-book test, individual and group presentation, essay, observation of practice, assessment of course work e.g. art portfolio, written report, reflective practice and portfolios of evidence.  This formal assessment will count towards your module mark and feedback is usually given within 3 weeks following the submission of your formal submission of work.

Additionally, some lecturers will provide informal feedback, for example, following an examination they may choose to work through the exam paper in a tutorial. It should be noted that feedback is part of the ongoing learning cycle which is not limited to written feedback. Other forms of feedback include one-to-one meetings with a personal tutor, dissertation and project supervision meetings, a lecturer responding to learner questions or responses during topic or situation discussions. 

Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor.

Teaching and Learning

The learning environment and facilities could include lecture theatres, classrooms, technology suites, laboratories and workshops, library and skills labs, art and photography studios, small group and quiet zones. Learning methods will vary according to the programme of study but will include lectures and group tutorials. In addition, seminars, field trips, work placements, role play or scenario activities, laboratory and workshop practical, demonstrations, guest lectures, discussions and debates all contribute to the learning experience to support the acquisition of subject specific skills and knowledge and the development of transferable and employment related skills.

You should typically expect to have around 15 contact hours per week if you are studying full time.

In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor.  

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course.  The team could include senior academics, professional practitioners with industry experience, demonstrators and technical officers.  You can learn more about our staff by visiting our staff profiles.


We endeavour to make timetables available one month before you start your course.  Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week.  Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week. 

Overall Workload

You overall workload consists of class contact hours, around 15 hours of independent learning and assessment activity and any field trips which may take place.

Academic Support

We have a dedicated Student Engagement Team who will be able to provide support in the following areas;

  • Study Skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills)
  • Written English
  • Academic Writing (including referencing)
  • Research Skills


What can I do next?

The BSc (Hons) Complementary and Integrative Health (Top-up) degree will offer students the opportunity to expand their knowledge and to potentially progress to Masters level study.

The need for a level 6 programme is particularly important.  Surveys continue to demonstrate that the UK public are utilising complementary therapies  and within certain areas of healthcare, complementary therapies are well integrated. 

Based on this there are employment opportunities for graduates to work in the private, public and 3rd sector.  Specific settings include:

  • NHS, hospice care, GP practices
  • Charities
  • Corporate private and public sector
  • Self-employment
  • Beauty salons and spas
  • Cruise ships and overseas employment
  • Leisure centres and Sports clubs/gyms.

These health and wellbeing environments provide opportunities for integrated working practices with other health and leisure professionals.

Supplementary Information

Download the Programme Specification for BSc (Hons) Developing Practice in Complementary Therapies (Top Up). The Programme Specification will give you further information about the course structure and detailed information about the assessment you can expect during the course.

Career Options


  • £
    + starting salary
  • Variable hours per week

Aromatherapy is a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) which uses essential oils to help improve emotional wellbeing and relieve the symptoms of ill health.

As an aromatherapist, you would need good communication skills for working with clients. You would also need the ability to understand the properties of a wide range of essential oils. If you are interested in helping people using complementary therapies, then this could be the career for you.

To practise as an aromatherapist, you will need insurance and membership of a professional body. To join a professional body, you will usually need to complete a course which meets the National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Aromatherapy.???

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Massage Therapist

  • £
    + starting salary
  • Variable hours per week

Massage therapists press, rub, and manipulate the muscles and soft tissues of the body to help relieve stress, tension and pain. As a massage therapist, you would use your skills to help people with sports injuries, to give relief to people with long-term health conditions, and to help clients with relaxation.

In this job you would need to be able to listen to clients and empathise with their health or emotional issues. If you are enthusiastic about complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), and you want a job working with your hands, this career could be for you.

To work safely as a massage therapist, you will need to take an in-depth course of at least six months full-time or 12 months part-time. You may be able to get into this job through an Apprenticeship scheme if there is one available locally.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Sports Physiotherapist

  • £
    + starting salary
  • 30-40 hours per week

Sports physiotherapists help sportsmen and sportswomen perform at their best by identifying and treating sports injuries. They develop treatment programmes to help recovery, and also give advice on how to avoid sports injuries. If you are enthusiastic about sport, and you want to help athletes and sportspeople be as good as they can be, then this could be a perfect career for you. You will need strong communication skills and a patient and caring personality in order to help people recover from their injuries. To become a sports physiotherapist you will need a first degree and postgraduate master’s degree in sports physiotherapy, and some work experience as a physiotherapist.?

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Nutritional Therapist

  • £
    + starting salary
  • Variable hours per week

Nutritional therapy is a complementary or alternative medicine (CAM). A nutritional therapist helps people improve and maintain their health and sense of wellbeing through diet and nutrition.

In this job, you would use your knowledge of food and nutrition to give advice on diet, which may encourage the body’s natural healing process.

If you are interested in nutritional science, would like to help people, and you have good communication skills, then this may be the career for you.

To prepare for work as a nutritional therapist, you will need to do a course in nutritional therapy that is recognised by a professional body. Once qualified, you can register with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC).

Job Opportunites in Lancashire