Bachelor of Health Sciences in Nursing Systems Science at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

Study a Bachelor of Health Sciences in the field of Nursing Systems Science (BHSciNSS)


This fully online qualification has been specifically designed for practising nurses who want to grow their academic qualification who want to obtain a degree as a pathway to further academic achievement and specialisation.


Admission requirements

You may qualify for this programme if you have a:


South African applicants

• Senior Certificate (SC) with Endorsement, or National Senior Certificate (NSC) with a Bachelor’s degree pass.

• Three or four-year Diploma or equivalent from a nursing college.


International Applicants

• Certificate from the Nursing Education Institution indicating the qualification obtained.

• Relevant Matriculation Exemption from the SA Matriculation Board (USAf).



Year One

NRSE1006O – Culture and Identity (10 Credits)

This course provides an overview of aspects of culture and identity relevant to learners and patients, with a view to deepening understanding of other people’s points of view. It underlines the importance of culture and identity in healthcare. The topics include self-concept, spirituality, culture and diversity, norms, family dynamics and cultural competence.


NRSE1007O – Medical Sociology (10 Credits)

In this course, you will gain awareness of the social and structural factors which influence health, healing, and illness. Emphasis is given to perspectives on the medicalisation of society, the influence of the social environment on health and illness and health and illness behaviour. The topics include utilisation of complementary services, Healthcare practitioners and their relationships with patients and the influence of health technology.


NRSE1008O – Stratification and differentiation in HC (10 Credits)

This course sensitizes you to the impact of stratification and differentiation in healthcare on patient outcomes. Topics include stratification/differentiation according to self-concept, spirituality, culture and diversity, norms, family dynamics and cultural competence as well as the link between these concepts and patient outcomes.


NRSE1009O – Healthcare communication (10 Credits)

The success of a healthcare system depends on communication and cooperation. Every member of the system needs to play a part in ensuring that all forms of communication are collaborative and constructive. This course covers the use of written verbal, online social media and mass media in health care.


NRSE1010O – Human body organisation (10 Credits)

This course explores the various levels of organisation in the body, from the simplest to the most complex. It covers the functional relationships between each level needed for human health and survival. Topics include cells and tissues, cellular regulation, anatomical structures and interrelationships of human body systems. This knowledge provides a background for later more in-depth courses relating to human body systems.


NRSE1011O – Human body: integration and control systems (10 Credits)

This course explores the integration and control of the body systems. Topics include regulatory and coordinating activities responsible for maintaining homeostasis and preventing imbalances and disease; and methods of regulation and control used by the divisions of the CNS. This knowledge provides a background to later more in-depth courses relating to human body systems.


NRSE1012O – Human body: regulation and maintenance (10 Credits)

This course covers the physiological mechanisms that play a part in regulating and maintaining a stable internal environment despite changes in the external environment. This knowledge will provide a background to later more in-depth courses relating to human body systems.


NRSE1013O – Human survival and development (10 Credits)

This course explores the physiological compensatory mechanism of the human body in an attempt to maintain homeostasis by referring to immunity, inflammation, infection, tissue integrity and development. This knowledge will provide a background to later more in-depth courses.


NRSE1014O – Physical health (10 Credits)

This course explores the factors influencing patient’s physical health. It addresses aspects of how sleep (fatigue) and pain influence the patient’s physical health, including how pain may affect the patient’s ability to move. The course includes the role of exercise and recreation in improving the patient’s physical health and well-being; and the importance of oral health on a patient’s general well-being.


NRSE1015O – Emotional health (10 Credits)

This course is designed to enhance your ability to understand factors that influence emotions. It will equip you with the skills to identify signs of clients experiencing challenges with emotions, mood and cognition, coping, and interpersonal violence.


NRSE1016O – Social health (10 Credits)

This course covers social health, and how to actively manage and relate to oneself and others. You will be required to apply this knowledge in various contexts, and understand how perception and adaptation influence the daily activities of a professional health worker. The course also includes financial management, resilience and maladaptive behaviour such as substance abuse and its consequences.


NRSE1017O – Environmental health (10 Credits)

This course considers the health of both healthcare providers and healthcare users within the healthcare environment. The broader environmental issues that affect both groupings, and all people, are covered in the first two topics, namely sustainable development goals and climate change. The factors that impact physical access to healthcare services are included, as is the working environment of healthcare providers.



Year Two


NRSE2005O – Endocrine system (10 Credits)

This course explores the regulation and action of hormones of the endocrine system, and the response of this action to physiological and pathophysiological processes in an attempt to understand, manage and maintain homeostasis. Common disorders of the endocrine system, assessment and diagnosis of endocrine disorders, and collaborative management of patients with endocrine disorders are included.


NRSE2006O – Nervous system (10 Credits)

This course explores the pathophysiological response to diseases of the nervous system in an attempt to understand, and restore homeostasis. Topics include neurological disorders and their treatment, and their impact on the patient’s family or caregivers.


NRSE2007O – Acid-base balance (10 Credits)

This course explores the response of the body to a shift in acid-base homeostasis, either caused by or resulting from disease. Attempts to restore this balance, based on diagnostic tests as well as the interpretation thereof, are included.


NRSE2008O – Cellular regulation (10 Credits)

This course covers the spectrum and processes of cellular regulation, and the consequences of altered cellular regulation. Physiological and pathophysiological cellular growth and the management thereof within a multi-disciplinary context are included.


NRSE2009O – Microscopic life (10 Credits)

This course explores the human body as a multicellular, biochemical life form. It covers the impact of disease and the environment on a microscopic level in an attempt to understand physiological and pathophysiological processes and the management thereof.


NRSE2010O – Microbial diversity and human interaction (10 Credits)

This course explores synergetic contributors to the health of communities, including the relationship between human and veterinary health, the environment, and the consequences of humans manipulating the environment and disrupting biodiversity.


NRSE2011O – Epidemiology of infection (10 Credits)

This course explores specific community and disease characteristics related to disease (acute and chronic) outbreaks. The calculation and interpretation of basic statistics relevant to epidemiology are also included.


NRSE2012O – Disease outbreak management (10 Credits)

This course explores the preparation of and development of disease outbreak events; as well as the management, and containment of outbreaks at all healthcare levels. The role and responsibilities of the multi-disciplinary team and the coordination thereof are also included.


NRSE2013O – Pharmacodynamics (10 Credits)

This course covers the mechanisms of drug reaction, and the relationship between dose and response or its effect on the human body. Course content includes factors that need to be considered to ensure safe medication management, as well as a multidisciplinary response to adverse reactions to medication.


NRSE2014O – Pharmacokinetics (10 Credits)

This course focuses on the movement of drugs, from ingestion by a person, through and out of the body. This includes absorption, bioavailability, distribution, metabolism, and excretion as pharmacokinetic processes. Patient-related factors and the chemical properties of the drug contributing to the pharmacokinetic effect are included.


NRSE2015O – Medication management (10 Credits)

The purpose of this module is to review the role of the professional nurse in the cycle of medicine management in clinical practice within the legislative framework. It comprises the functions of ordering, transcribing and storage of medication in a clinical unit as well as preparing, dispensing and administration of medication to the patient. Documenting all these functions is the final task of the professional nurse with an ongoing responsibility to monitor the response of the patient to the treatment administered.


NRSE2016O – Medication safety (10 Credits)

This course considers the role of the health professional in shared decision making, case management, coordination, supervision, and the provision of comprehensive patient care as a member of the interdisciplinary healthcare team.


Year Three


NRSE3008O – Healthcare systems (10 Credits)

This course emphasises that all processes within health care organisations are interdependent, and that the role of each health worker is important in the system. Systems thinking provides methods for ‘seeing the whole’, and a framework for seeing interrelationships rather than objects or individuals. It helps people see healthcare in terms of patterns of change rather than snapshots of events.


NRSE3009O – Governance in healthcare (10 Credits)

This course covers the concept of governance, which is a structured process used in organisations to make decisions about policy, plans, and rules of collective action to improve the quality of health services and ensure the maintenance of principled leadership and functioning. The course covers international and national healthcare governance; governance and the law; stewardship in healthcare organisations; technology and informatics in health; leadership styles, characteristics and attributes and clinical and executive leadership.

NRSE3010O – Healthcare economics (10 Credits)

This course discusses the concept of healthcare economics, which is the study of how scarce healthcare resources are allocated among competing interventions and groups in society. The course introduces concepts and practical issues faced by decision-makers at all levels in the health system in allocating scarce resources so that the choices they make maximise health benefits to the population.


NRSE3011O – Coordinating community care (10 Credits)

This course discusses community care an essential component of the health system which supports patient flow to and from healthcare facilities. Community care demands an individual consumer-centered approach to care within a multidisciplinary framework.


NRSE3012O – Quality management in healthcare (10 Credits)

This course will equip you to apply the theory of quality management to improve the quality of care in health-care environment. You will learn the skills to measure, manage and improve quality in healthcare, and to conduct a clinical audit.


NRSE3013O – Healthcare law and policy (10 Credits)

Health care policy guides all those who work within a very complex health care system. It helps care to be standardised and optimised. It provides for the foundation of cost-effective safe care to patients and the broader community. This module deals not only with health care law as set out by the central and provincial government but also with policies that are developed at various levels of health care. The module provides insights into the agendas that underpin laws and policies and an understanding of how law and policy guide us in the right direction.


NRSE3014O – Customer care in the health services (10 Credits)

This course locates both patients and staff members as customers of the healthcare organisation. The roles and responsibilities of both internal and external customers are discussed. Structures to manage customer satisfaction information are also included.


NRSE3015O – Patient safety (10 Credits)

This course covers patient safety and the importance of safety in health care. You will expand your knowledge on how to improve patient safety in the clinical setting, thereby preventing or minimising incidences of adverse events, and the reduction of negative patient outcomes.


NRSE3016O – Clinical Judgement (15 Credits)

This course encourages an integrated perspective on the knowledge gained in previous courses related to healthcare practice. It provides an opportunity for in-depth exploration of clinical decision making to improve patient outcomes.


NRSE3017O – Evidence-based practice (15 Credits)

This course encourages an integrated perspective on the knowledge gained in previous courses related to healthcare practice. It provides an opportunity for in-depth exploration of issues relating to the use of evidence in improving patient outcomes.


NRSE3018O – Professional practice and development (10 Credits)

This course encourages an integrated perspective on the knowledge gained in previous courses related to healthcare practice. It provides an opportunity for in-depth exploration of issues affecting the profession and professionals in health services.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like