Health and Well-being Accelerator

The University of South Wales has delivered health, care, and related education for decades. Accordingly, it has a wealth of experience and expertise, and is superbly networked, across the Welsh health education and healthcare delivery ecosystem. We are rooted in South Wales and inspired by the opportunity to improve the health and wellbeing in the region, and focused on applying these principles to deliver impact both within and far beyond the region. Our expertise in developmental disorders, intellectual disabilities, cognitive psychology, and sport and exercise science is helping to tackle a wide range of issues around healthy ageing, the promotion of population health, and reducing gaps in the quality of care experienced by vulnerable groups. We work collectively across USW, faculties and professional services, to access the vast range of expertise available to innovate and create user led training, curriculum, and solutions to address challenges that organisations and businesses may be facing. 

Our curriculum

Developed by industry professionals, our health, well-being and sport courses provide a unique mix of scientific knowledge, practical expertise and experience. With a strong emphasis on simulated and challenge-based learning,  placements and professional qualifications, our wide-spectrum of career-focused courses enhance skills, leadership and applied knowledge for undergraduate and postgraduate students.

USW is commissioned by Welsh Government, via Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW), to deliver education for the current and future NHS workforce in a range of disciplines. From pre-registration undergraduate degrees to postgraduate qualifications, CPD, and advanced practice programmes - USW enhances skillsets to support career development, progression and a high-quality health provision for the public. 

We have traditionally offered Midwifery and Nursing courses, and in the most recent HEIW pre-reg health education tender secured contracts to deliver new programmes in Operating Department Practitioner, Physiotherapy and Occupational therapy from September 2022. Our core offer is additionally complemented by broader health, well-being, and social care offer.

Pre-registration healthcare programmes

Health and well-being programmes

USW offers a broad range of programmes that are aimed at developing and supporting health and wellbeing. From community-based health and social care to professional sport coaching, we cover a broad spectrum of skills that are required to support a healthier population:  

Our research

USW’s multi-disciplinary research in the field of health and well-being produces applied, impactful research that has a direct benefit for individuals, groups and organisations at a local, national and international level.  We ensure that our teaching and learning is research-informed, and in some cases, research-led, ensuring our graduates are receiving contemporary knowledge and skills, ready for contributing to our society and economy.

The group focuses on four functionally-integrated clinical and applied impact themes that reflect long-standing interests in Vascular Health and Sports Performance: Neurovascular Research Laboratory; Sport Psychology; Injury, Training Load and Monitoring, Rehabilitation; and Sports Coaching and Development. 

Their mission is to enhance quality of life and quality of service provision for people with intellectual disabilities and their families and carers. They do this via an integrated programme of intellectual disability research, education and practice that includes a focus on end-of-life care; safeguarding and participatory research. 

A vibrant multi-disciplinary research group comprising nursing, physiology, health psychology and human geography, centred around two broad health-related research themes that relate across the lifespan: Prevention and Intervention, and Policy and Practice Interface. They have a strong record of impacting on health and welfare, public policy and services for the benefit of regional, national and international communities. 

Their aim is to make a significant contribution to professional preparation, public education, and ultimately to improvements in care through the use of genomics. They are doing this through our research, by generating new knowledge and applying that knowledge to policy developments in health and education, and through building health workforce capacity and leadership. They have made a significant contribution to the development of policy and practice in genomics at national and international level with pioneering work in the fields of public engagement and training of health professionals (particularly nurses and midwives). 

Bridging the many divides between research, policy and practice in health and social care, they aim to increase knowledge and understanding, and to apply academic rigour to the complex realities of the real world. They have a national reputation for impact as a leading health and care policy research institute, which is built on a robust self-financing platform derived from the delivery of excellent academic research, evaluation and consultancy. 

They conduct impactful research into geographical accessibility modelling; landscape visualisation, spatial data generalisation, population estimation and small-area modelling; automated cartographic design, GIS-based optimisation techniques; ethical surveillance; digital surface modelling; and remote sensing including UAV surveying and mapping. 

PRIME Centre Wales focuses on primary and emergency care research to improve the health and well-being of people in Wales and beyond, conducting research on topics of national policy priority. The Centre is co-led by the University of South Wales, Bangor University, Cardiff University, and Swansea University.

The Wales School for Social Prescribing Research aims to build a world-leading critical evidence base for social prescribing in Wales, using a translational research model to ensure findings have high impact in academia, practice, policy and education. Social prescribing is ‘connecting citizens to community support to better manage their health and well-being’. In Wales, social prescribing is predominantly based in the community, with social prescribers funded by voluntary sector organisations. Individuals can be referred to social prescribing through clinical and social pathways, and a self-referral model is emerging.


USW has had a significant increase in the amount of world leading research according to the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021) outcomes. There has been a 49% improvement in world leading research (categorised as 4*) at USW since the last REF in 2014. 

USW is now fourth in Wales for impact (up from eighth in 2014, based on 4* / 3*) with 81% of USW’s research impact being classed as world leading or internationally excellent (4* / 3*). Almost two thirds of the USW researchers submitted to REF 2021 have research that has been categorised as world leading or internationally excellent (4* or 3*).

Bespoke training needs

Our experience at training at many levels, along with our applied research, allows us to develop high quality bespoke training packages. Experts across USW work together to innovate and create user led training, curriculum, and solutions to address challenges that organisations and businesses may be facing. We develop and deliver bespoke training needs for a wide range of organisations.

Digital Transformation Intensive Learning Academy

The introduction of a Digital Transformation Intensive Learning Academy has involved colleagues from disciplines in each of the three faculties at USW. The Academy, introduced in partnership with Powys Regional Partnership Board, will develop leaders in health and social care to deliver more effective and efficient services to patients.  

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OUR DEVELOPMENTS

At USW we are constantly working to innovate and make sure we are delivering high-quality and relevant, teaching, learning, and research. Examples include:

  • Our digital health village, which will see our physical simulation facilities joined by a virtual simulation environment. This will use a range of technology-enhanced approaches including virtual and augmented reality to prioritise developing graduates who understand the relationship between health and social care due to their exposure to immersive interprofessional and multi-disciplinary practice that develops person-centred care.
  • Our work in digital in health and care which, for example, is seeing us work with the housing sector to integrate technology into homes to improve the air quality and sustainability. We are also developing continuing professional development courses to help upskill the existing health and care workforce to embrace digital technology. 
  • Using more than 25 years of health and social policy evaluation experience from the Welsh Institute of Health and Social Care to collaborate with a range of organisations to improve care quality.
  • The development of the intensive learning academy in Digital Leadership, which is supporting the development of leadership capacity across the health and social care sector. 

Our facilities

Our high-quality research, education and training takes place in our many modern, state-of-the-art facilities, from a simulation centre which is set up to replicate an acute care NHS environment, providing realistic clinical facilities, to our 30-acre Sport Park which includes an indoor FIFA standard 3G football pitch, notational analysis suite, and strength and conditioning room.

The Chiropractic Clinic is housed in a highly impressive state-of-art facility and educational setting that provides effective patient treatment and specialist training. The Clinic, which is regulated by the Health Inspectorate Wales, consists of 20 treatment rooms, a digital X-ray suite, diagnostic ultrasound unit, DXA scanning unit, has access to MRI facilities. 

Student training is also supported by the ‘Anatomage’- a highly sophisticated advanced 3Danatomy visualisation table – a first in Europe for Chiropractic Education. Whether you are experiencing chronic back pain or seeking help to diagnose and treat problems with your joints or muscles, our clinical services offer the opportunity to assess your condition and advise you on your treatment options. 

Our state-of-the-art clinical simulation centre is set up to replicate an acute care NHS environment, providing realistic clinical facilities for our Nursing and Midwifery students and qualified healthcare professionals.  

The centre provides training for a wide range of healthcare professionals such as anaesthetists, junior doctors, medical students, nurse practitioners, ODPs, paramedics, paediatricians, specialist nurse organ donation donor teams and the Territorial Army Medical Service. 

As part of our coaching degrees, including BSc (Hons) Football Coaching and PerformanceBSc (Hons) Rugby Coaching and PerformanceBSc (Hons) Sports Coaching and Development, and associated degrees, students can undertake placements within professional or community club settings. This can involve hands on coaching and community development work, exposing students to the environment and facilities in which they are aiming to gain future employment.  

A modern and purpose-built suite of rooms designed for the integrated use of both course delivery and externally contracted delivery of counselling and psychotherapy. It is based in the USW Newport Campus, which offers an ideally located and accessible venue for all purposes.  

It comprises a counselling suite of five one to one counselling rooms as well as a family/play therapy room, two music therapy rooms and two art therapy rooms. This allows for a wider range of psychotherapeutic interventions to be delivered in appropriately resourced rooms. These include art psychotherapy, music therapy, integrative and cognitive behaviour therapy, and play therapy. 

Hydra is a sophisticated of piece of technology that is used for scenario-based teaching in areas such as social work and nursing. It works by presenting a scenario to the students via a mix of video clips, audio clips and written tasks. The system then tests the student’s ability to take decisions and action. Problems can be varied according to your responses. It also shows you the consequences of your decisions. 

The Neurovascular Research Laboratory is predominately interested in the vascular adaptations that occur with physical activity, aging, healthy eating, and high-altitude adaptation. 

It offers a comprehensive range of facilities for biochemical analysis including EPR spectrometry, ozone-based chemiluminescence, blood ...

... rheometer, as well as lactate, haematocrit, and haemoglobin analysis. Other facilities focus on vascular function (including echocardiography and near-infrared spectroscopy), body composition (including bioelectrical impedance analysis and anthropometry) and exercise physiology (including electromyography, strength assessment and medgraphics).  

The USW Sport Park is a fantastic 30-acre site located in Treforest on the Treforest Industrial Estate. Our top of the range facilities host a wide range of sporting facilities including an indoor FIFA standard 3G football pitch which houses Catapult ClearSky Indoor GPS System a notational analysis suite, a strength and conditioning room, an all-weather pitch an outdoor 3G pitch and numerous multi use grass pitches amongst other things. The Sport Park is used as a training base for lots of local sports clubs and is also used by numerous professional clubs. 

Observation Suite

Hydra Simulation Centre

EEG and Sleep Lab 

Biopac

Our partnerships

USW places partnership working at the heart of what we do and we are proud to contribute to the Welsh health and care ecosystem. We are focused on working with partners to understand their priorities and translate this into collaborative working that spans education, research and innovation. The case studies below illustrate some of the work we do.

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Business Services

USW exchange

Connecting Industry to Academia

USW Exchange is the front door for business engagement at the University of South Wales, connecting industry to academia. 

From professional development to event support and conferencing services, USW Exchange can help you to explore the numerous ways in which your organisation can work with USW. Whether you have an immediate challenge to overcome or need a long-term business growth strategy, we can help facilitate the connections to make it happen.

Get in touch with our dedicated team of Engagement Managers who are primed to support your organisation by harnessing the talent, expertise and facilities of the University of South Wales.