Our Introduction to Healthcare Sciences (IHS) online course is designed for potential undergraduate students who have proven academic achievement but who lack a solid grounding in the sciences.

The course is an intensive online programme, designed to give students the core scientific knowledge to progress on to the M.Ost full-timeor M.Ost part-time course. Subjects covered include cells and tissues, chemical and physical processes, living organisms, diversity and disease, the musculoskeletal and human body systems.

The course is delivered via the UCO's virtual learning environment and supported by online group tutorials and recommended resources.

Key course features

  • Cohorts start at different points throughout the year to prepare students for the M.Ost or BSc starting the following September.
  • The course is offered free to anyone provisionally accepted onto the M.Ost or BSc programme.
  • Students can complete the course from home at their own pace. 
  • Students have access to tutor and peer support via online group tutorials.
  • Students will also be able to contact tutors directly should they need to.

Entry requirements

  • Proven academic ability: typically a non-science degree or equivalent.
  • Suitability will be assessed as part of M.Ost or BSc application process.

The UCO is committed to a policy of inclusion, actively seeking to widen participation and to increase opportunities for high-calibre students with the aptitude and potential to undertake a degree in osteopathy. Students from diverse ethnic and social backgrounds, UCO-leavers, mature ‘second career’ applicants and students with a range of seen and unseen disabilities are all warmly welcomed. Every application to the UCO is considered on its own merits.

Additional entry requirements

All students must agree to comply with our Student Terms & Conditions and Policies & Procedures.

Progression routes

This course is specifically designed to prepare students for further study on the UCO's Master of Osteopathy course.

Course structure & delivery

Course materials are made available through the UCO’s Online Learning Environment (BONE), allowing study at home.

Students may join the course at one of a number of start dates phased throughout the year.

You will be guided through six online units, as outlined in the unit information below. For each unit you will complete a number of formative assessments as you progress through the content before completing a summative assessment at the end. Learning is supported by online group tutorials with course tutors, where students will be able to ask questions related to course content.

Students can progress through the course at their own pace, but we highly recommend following the structure of the course as suggested online and completing the course within two months if possible. Students will need to have completed the IHS course and all summative assessments prior to the enrolment date of their chosen degree pathway. The final date for completion of summative assessments will be communicated to students when they enrol onto the IHS Course.  

Unit information

Over the duration of the course you will gain grounding in areas of science fundamental to understanding osteopathy. Units include:

  • Introduction to the Human Body and Cells & Tissues
  • Chemical & Physical Processes
  • Living Organisms, Diversity & Disease
  • Physical basis of Human Structure & Function
  • The Musculoskeletal System
  • Human Body Systems

Assessment & feedback

You will be assessed throughout the course in the form of online unit quizzes and receive feedback on your progress/performance. Each unit includes a number of formative assessments which must be completed with a minimum score of 60% before you can move on to the next section of unit content. Students must also complete a final summative assessment for each unit. To pass the course students must achieve an average score of 60% or above across all summative assessments, including a minimum of 60% for the Musculoskeletal System and Human Body Systems units. 

More information can be found in the Course Information Form available to download from this page.

Facilities & resources

Students have access to our virtual learning environment (VLE) and Anatomy TV.

Students also have access to a variety of resources at the UCO to support learning. These include a recently refurbished library with an extensive collection of osteopathic recources, an ergonomic IT suite, spaces for group and independent study, a student union and common room. Please be aware that access to physical resources are dependent on COVID-19 measures and opening hours.

Read more about our facilities and resources.

Mode of study

Distance learning.

Dates & duration

Students can join one of a number of staggered start dates throughout the year.

The course can be completed at the student's own pace, but we recommend that it is completed within two months.


This course is delivered via distance learning.

Should students wish to access any of our physical resources these are located at the address below. Please note that access to the site is dependent on COVID-19 measures and our opening hours.

University College of Osteopathy
275 Borough High Street
London SE1 1JE  

Awarding body

This is an unaccredited course provided by the University College of Osteopathy.

Support for students

The UCO has a dedicated Student Support team who are on hand to provide advice and guidance on a range of issues, including learning and welfare, budgeting and finance, disability and dyslexia, pastoral care, bereavement and personal issues, as well as counselling. Find out more.

Costs & financial support

The course is offered free of charge to anyone provisionally accepted onto the M.Ost  or BSc programme.

Students should be aware that there may be some additional costs to consider. 

How to apply

Students do not need to apply for the IHS course as eligibility for the course will be assessed as discussed at the interview stage of the M.Ost or BSc application.

For more information about how to apply and to read a copy of our Admissions Policy & Procedure (including our Complaints Process) visit our How to Apply page.


Please note that while the University College of Osteopathy makes every effort to run courses as advertised, courses are subject to change or cancellation if enrolment targets are not met. 

Courses are typically approved for a period of five years from the point of approval to the point of periodic course review. During this period it may be identified that modifications to a course would enhance the provision. As part of this process current students shall be consulted on any proposed change and current and prospective students shall be notified of any change.

Open days

Discover the UCO for yourself at one of our regular open days...