Health and Behavioural Sciences Department Update

Back to “Alumni Section Addenda”

Last Updated: June 15th 2018

The department comprises of the following subject areas; health and social care, sport, counselling and psychotherapy and psychology. Dr Sarah Sherwin was appointed as head of this new department in February 2018 having previously worked at the University of Wolverhampton. She has a background in community nursing and public health and has research interests in young people and emotional health. Sarah is a national reviewer for the Nursing and Midwifery Council and is Consultant Editor for the British Journal of School Nursing.

The Department of Health and Behavioural Sciences offers a wide range of courses from short 12 week courses such as the Introduction to Counselling Certificate, foundation degrees for example in Health and Social Care, top up degrees such as Sports Science, three year undergraduate degrees such as Psychology including a new course in Forensic Psychology as well as full Masters degrees across all of the subject areas. One of the key features of the department is that the vast majority of the courses on offer can be described as being applied, in that there is a clear focus on how theoretical concepts are applied to the workplace and professional practice settings. Therefore these courses enable students to be able to apply theory to practice, thus helping them to engage with key issues within their future or existing areas of work thus aiding their employability.

One new course that is supported by the department is the Masters degree in Work Based Learning. This programme has a number of options that students can choose to follow depending on their area of professional practice. The course is designed to build upon existing skills, knowledge and experiences of the workplace.  Therefore the course is delivered to fit around professional life suiting people who are employed and where all of the assignments focus on the student’s area of work.  Alumni students of Newman University are entitled to a discount on their Masters degrees and the Student Loan Company now support loans for postgraduate studies.

Many staff continue to be research active and support an increasing number of students undertaking doctoral level research in a wide range of topics. Indeed all of the courses are supported by staff who are recognised as being specialists and experts in their fields of practice. Recently a number of staff within the department were successful in being recognised for their work at the Annual Student Union Excellence Awards. Stella Williams a lecturer from the Psychology team was given an “Outstanding Feedback of the Year” Award and Alexander Coles, another lecturer for the Psychology team, won best “Student-Staff Partnership Award. In addition Mark Holland from the Sports team won the Student Community Partnership Project Award for Golf in the Gambia Project. Debbie Steele and Paul MacDonald from the Health and Social Care Team were both acknowledged for the support they offer to students by winning a “You’re Great Award”.  Finally the Psychology Department were just pipped to the post by the Drama Department in the “Department of the Year” Category. Many congratulations to all the nominees and winners.

Newman University has strong and long established links with the local community, and the department continues to foster these links in a number of ways. The Sports Centre offers the opportunity for local residents to be able to use the facilities such as the gym, sports hall, squash courts and the new all weather sports pitch. Newman Health and Wellbeing Centre provides an onsite counselling service and can also run bespoke workshops for local organisations in relation to mental health and wellbeing.

Sarah is interested in developing the alumni network to support current students and our graduates, so if you are interested in playing a part in this please contact her on

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