Division of Health Sciences

Make a difference to health and well-being.

About us

We combine academic and practice-based learning, plus on-site work with the NHS, the voluntary and private sectors. This means you gain valuable real-life work experience while you study, helping you become a competent and highly skilled professional.

All our courses are accredited so you can become a registered Mental Health Nurse or Counsellor. Or you might decide to follow an employment path that leads to research or training.

Our degree in Biomedical Science trains you in practical biology for medical uses. Potential careers paths include microbiology, biotechnology or clinical biochemistry.

An IBMS accredited Biomedical Science degree sets you up as a trainee biomedical scientist in the NHS. As well as being accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Sciences (IBMS), the course is also approved by the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC).

We have a strong focus on practical expertise, with hand-on experience inside and outside the lab. You will be encouraged to take placements in industry, and where available, supervised work experience. This prepares you for a career in medical research.

We aim to give you the skills and talents you need to meet the high standards in these competitive fields.

Head of Division

Dr Kate Smith

Kate Smith

Study with us

Undergraduate Degrees

BSc (Hons) Nursing (Mental Health Nursing) 

BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science (Applied and Non-Applied routes)

BSc (Hons) Psychology and Counselling (Joint Degree)

We also offer Continuing Professional Development for practitioners through our Open Minds programme.

Postgraduate Taught Degrees

MSc Counselling

MSci Biomedical Science

We also offer Continuing Professional Development for practitioners through our Open Minds programme.

Postgraduate Research Areas

Biomedical Science by Research, MSc, MPhil and PhD. Please contact us for more information about this area.

Mental Health Counselling by Research, MSc, MPhil and PhD

Mental Health Nursing by Research, MSc, MPhil and PhD

We also offer Continuing Professional Development for practitioners through our Open Minds programme.


The Counselling and Interpersonal Skills Suite helps us teach our students interpersonal skills and therapeutic interventions.  This area is designed as a therapeutic clinical environment, with comfortably furnished private rooms, a larger meeting space, and a central waiting area.  It is is used by undergraduate and post-graduate students, and provides a confidential and natural environment for practice.  We also use the suite for the assessments of skills, and therapy methods such as CBT. 

On non-teaching days the rooms are used by the Tayside Centre for Counselling, a research clinic which provides student placements and counselling to the local community.  We also use the rooms for research projects including Counselling for Sight-loss.

The Clinical Skills Suite has been created to mimic the healthcare environment, and is set up to allow students to learn core nursing skills and practices on campus.  It provides opportunities for students to learn a range of practical skills for example, basic life support, vital signs (blood pressure, temperature, and pulse), the management of sensory impairments, aseptic technique, and administration of medication.

The Biomedical Science Labs are perfect for carrying out experiments. They feature two labs designed specifically for teaching our biomedical and forensic science students. Both labs are equipped with state-of-the-art features, including controllable and fixed cameras, independent monitors, and 15 IT display screens, which are use to display teaching material, experiments and video clips.

Hospital environment - patient lying in bed and 4 Nursing staff standing around the bed

Our Research

Division of Health Sciences is situated within the School of Applied Sciences. 

Our research contributes to the University research themes of Environment and Society.

In Mental Health Nursing and Counselling we have an ambition to respond to the growing needs within society concerning challenges to mental health, and the provision of mental health care.  Our research focusses on the quality of teaching and training in preparing professionals for practice, in the creation of Pluralistic approaches to mental health and the application of these to particular service-user and client groups.  The research within the division is closely linked to the teaching we do at both undergraduate and post-graduate levels.

Our biomedical sciences staff work to better understand the health effects of environmental pollutants/lifestyle; and to understand the processes related to antimicrobial resistance. We also have a strong focus on bioethics and pharmacology.

Mental Health Nursing

Mental Health Nursing

Our research centres on the reporting of Cause for concern in healthcare settings, the evaluation and management of risk in mental health contexts, and the disparity between management of self-harm and the experiences of those who experience self-harming behaviour, and the use and effectiveness of interventions for people living with dementia.  External collaborations include those with NHS Fife on the skills and training required for helping people living with Borderline Personality Disorder, and the creation of a recovery assessment tool for use by service-users, the Individual Recovery Outcomes Counter (I.ROC) with Penumbra

Our research approach has focussed on the use of advanced qualitative methodologies such as auto-ethnography and the Quasi-judicial and Ward Method of complex case-study data.  We are also collectively engaged in a number of systematic reviews of Mental Health Nursing practice to provide a landscape of the current evidence base for the profession. 

Counselling Research

The Tayside Centre for Counselling is a live project which runs a research clinic for community clients and gathers data to explore and evidence the effectiveness of Pluralistic Framework for Counselling and Psychotherapy. 

It has allowed Abertay to form a consortium of similar clinics across the UK aiming to collaborate on large-scale research projects examining the process and outcomes of therapy.  The clinic also provides a number of post-graduate students with opportunities for practice placement.

Biomedical Sciences Research

Working with staff and researchers at Ninewells hospital in Dundee, our researchers are seeking to combat male infertility. Our research on ion channel function in sperm aims to improve outcomes for couples undergoing IVF.

Our team have also developed ‘mini-hearts’, which are beating heart cells that can be used to test drug therapies for heart disease and processes such as hypertrophy. This research enables efficient pharmaceutical testing and provides a much-needed alternative to animal models. 

Job Opportunities


For Job Openings, including Research Fellowships, in our School view the job search section on our website.

For PhD Studentships in any of our Subject areas, check out the Funded research projects and Postgraduate Research Funding sections.


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