Advanced Certificate in Health Science

Learn human biology, anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and nutrition as a foundation for working in health care, support roles or administration.

Course CodeVSC031
Fee CodeAC
Duration (approx)900 hours
QualificationAdvanced Certificate

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Understand the Science Behind Human Health

Science has so many branches that the more you know about one area, the more you realise you don't know about others.

This course focuses on the science behind our physical bodies and the bi0olgical and chemical processes which take place in them. There is also some leeway to choose electives which suit your specific goals and learning needs, so you can complement your core studies with some psychology oriented modules if you wish to.

Learn the skills for a successful career in health

Through the guidance and feedback of experienced professional tutors, you will increase your knowledge in science and the skills required of health service workers.  

For ongoing success, you need to become "connected".  This networking within the industry will provide the basis to remain "connected", so that you can evolve and adapt to changes as your career moves forward.

How studying with ACS can benefit your career

This may be an excellent course for people looking to enter into a career in health sciences, health support services or medical roles.

It can provide an equally sound foundation and starting point for people working as a medical receptionist, administrative officer, wellness coach or any of a wide range of other roles. 

Study this alone, or as a foundation course for more extensive learning programs.


Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Advanced Certificate in Health Science.
 Biochemistry I (Animal and Human) BSC103
 Cell Biology BSC110
 Human Anatomy & Physiology (Human Biology 1A) BSC101
 Human Nutrition 1 BRE102
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 5 of the following 12 modules.
 Biopsychology I BPS108
 Counselling Skills I BPS109
 Introduction to Psychology BPS101
 Physiology II (Human) BSC111
 Research Project I BGN102
 Biochemistry II (Plant & Animal) BSC203
 Biopsychology II BPS204
 Human Nutrition II BRE202
 Research Project II BGN201
 Wellness Coaching BPS222
 Biochemistry III (Plant Processes) BSC302
 Human Nutrition III BRE302

Note that each module in the Advanced Certificate in Health Science is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.


The human body is made up of chemicals and our state of well being depends very much upon what is happening with the chemicals in our body. Chemicals are absorbed through the food we eat, then change form through various chemical reactions as they move around the body. Understanding these processes helps us to understand why a person may be well or sick; and knowing about biochemistry allows us to better manage the health and well being of the individual.

Consider just one type of chemical -neurotransmitters.

Neurotransmitters are chemicals that send messages within the brain to regulate our bodily and emotional functions.  Emotional behaviour or emotions can trigger the release of neurotransmitters, as can exercise.

Different types of neurotansmitters include:

Acetylcoholine (ACTH)
ACTH lowers blood pressure, reduces cholesterol, important for memory, stress reduces the enzyme that converts choline to acetylcholine.
Vitamin B5 is needed by the body to convert choline to acetylcholine. Lecithin is also used to make choline.  Sources rich in acetylcholine include breast milk, soyabeans, fish, seaweed, oatmeal, brown rice, peas, lentils, kale and cabbage.

Improves mood, sex drive and memory. Gives us pleasure and motivation through the regular release of endorphins. People with low dopamine levels may try to compensate through sugary food, cigarettes, alcohol, caffeine or other drugs, which release endorphins. Or engage in activities that release endorphins, such as gambling, exercise or work. Without B5, the body cannot provide dopamine, endorphins and serotonin, noradrenaline (norepinephrine).  

Natural pain killers released by exercise. They can also be released when we listen to music with a strong beat, according to research.

Needed for relaxation and sleep, enables us to withstand craving. People with low levels, such as addicts or alcoholics, can be tense, anxious, easily aroused to anger.


Facilitates memory retention and long term learning. A role in our tolerance to pain. GABA balances glutamate’s effect on the brain.

Noradrenaline (norepinephrine)
A hormone, acting like a neurotransmitters, released in response to low blood pressure. It enhances memory, makes us alert, gives us power and control.  

Natural tranquiliser. Relaxes us. Regulates body temperature and appetite, sets internal clock to make us sleep peacefully and contentedly. Natural counterbalance to dopamine. People with low levels of serotonin tend to become easily depressed, act rashly and aggressively.

This neurotransmitter is a recently discovered messenger molecule that plays a role in pain, depression, appetite, memory, and fertility

This course will build an understanding and appreciation of biochemistry. You will be able to understand what you see, investigate it more intelligently, and see how the knowledge of biochemistry can help to better manage a wide range of different aspects of human health.

Job Tips for a Career in Health

  • A qualification helps open doors, but it's only part of what you need.
  • Keep your options wide -this industry is always changing, as new research findings emerge and new opportunities arise, you need to be well placed to take them up.
  • Get experience, even if it is unpaid -volunteering can be a great way to get a foot in the door.
  • Join a professional body as a Student Member and get active.
  • Networking is critical - we show you how and get you started in this course. Often it's who you know as much as what you know that gets you the job.
  • Build your communication skills. This is a service industry. You need to deal with people, communicating clearly and concisely.
  • Be prepared to do anything to get started. Many successful professionals started out doing menial jobs. Consider working in allied industries at first (e.g. sales in a health food shop, reception in a clinic or a health club, fitness instructor, working for a medical supplies company, etc.). 
Why Study this learning program before moving onto a more extensive studies?
While many people do commence studies in medicine or complimentary medicine, with a serious intention of completing their course; it is common for a high proportion of students to either find the challenge more than what they anticipated; or to discover other opportunities along the way that take them along a different path.
The reality is that many medical and health science students will end up changing their ambition from being a "practitioner"; and instead become a member of the huge and diverse industry that supports practitioners. 
  • This course allows you to start along the path to being a practitioner, but keeps your options open. Under our system, you can use credits for anything already completed, and change direction, and the range of subjects you are studying, at any point along the way; and with greater ease than with most colleges.
  • If you undertake your learning program with ACS then advanced studies elsewhere; you have the advantage of studying with two different schools; gaining access to two different groups of staff, and two different collections of resource and support services. This results in a richer, more diverse, overall training -and that is attractive to employers
In recognition of the fact that career ambitions may tend to evolve over time, you may also wish to consider using your learning bundle as credit towards expanded studies in the fields of;
Graduates may find work in any of a  wide variety of situations, such as: Health support services (marketing, supply of health equipment and products), health clubs, administrative positions (eg. in a medical centre, with a physiotherapist or other allied profession, medical insurance, etc.).

What Should You Study?

Let us help you make the Best Decision for You!
  • Contact us and tell us about your passions and ambitions
  • Let us understand your situation so we can advise you properly
  • Then make a better unformed decision about what to study.

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Karen Lee

Nutritional Scientist, Dietician, Teacher and Author. BSc. Hons. (Biological Sciences), Postgraduate Diploma Nutrition and Dietetics. Registered dietitian in the UK, with over 15 years working in the NHS. Karen has undertaken a number of research projec
Lyn Quirk

M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy Over 30 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head fo
Jade Sciascia

Biologist, Business Coordinator, Government Environmental Dept, Secondary School teacher (Biology); Recruitment Consultant, Senior Supervisor in Youth Welfare, Horse Riding Instructor (part-completed) and Boarding Kennel Manager. Jade has a B.Sc.Biol, Di
Tracey Jones

B.Sc. (Psych), M.Soc.Sc., Dip.Social Work, P.G.Dip Learning Disability, Cert Editing, Cert Creative Writing, PGCE. Member British Psychological Society, Member Assoc. for Coaching, Member British Learning Assoc. 25 years industry experience in writing,
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