In Conversation with Ulster University about the School of Health Sciences

On Tuesday the 2nd of February, we interviewed a spokesperson from Ulster University about the relocation of the School of Health Sciences.

DD: How did the relocation of the Ulster University School of Health Sciences to Derry come about?

UU: As the Ulster University School of Health Sciences, we are the regional provider of most of the Allied Health Professions workforce for HSC in Northern Ireland. Workforce planning within Health and Social Care (HSC) highlighted the need for continued growth in this group of employees so when looking at where best to locate these courses, we carried out a full Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) and took into consideration responses to a public consultation that closed in December 2020.

Following that process, Ulster University has decided that it will re-locate undergraduate Health Sciences programmes from its Jordanstown campus to the Magee campus at Derry-Londonderry from September 2022, bringing 800 students to Derry. The relocation decision is a necessity arising from the decision to close Jordanstown. This will see students train in: diagnostic radiography, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, podiatry, speech and language therapy, radiotherapy and oncology, as well as healthcare science, in the city.

DD: What will the benefits be?

UU: The decision to relocate to the Magee Campus in Derry – Londonderry reflects the benefits and opportunities presented by the co-location of the School of Medicine, Paramedic Practice and the award-winning School of Nursing, all of which are based at the Magee campus. Bringing these programmes together will open up opportunities for an interdisciplinary student learning environment, as well as building on existing research collaborations in personalised medicine and cognitive analytics based at Magee.

It is an exciting time to further enhance our specialism in Life and Health Sciences in the North West as this cutting-edge research environment is set to grow even further through the creation of centres of excellence for health and industry through the Derry and Strabane City Deal in the years ahead. The School of Medicine as well as this growth in the Life and Health Sciences skills provision, will further boost the reputation of Derry-Londonderry as a hub for Life and Health Sciences. Now more than ever, Derry-Londonderry is a great place to study and plan a dynamic career and what better place to learn and acquire skills than in a designated UNESCO Learning City!

DD: Has this decision been influenced at all by the COVID-19 pandemic?

UU: This process commenced in 2018, however in terms of the current context we all find ourselves in; now, more than ever, with a health service that continues to face sustained challenge in tackling COVID-19, we are acutely aware of the vital contribution of our allied health professionals. Our beautiful Magee campus in the heart of the city will best enable the NHS strategic emphasis on development of multi-disciplinary teams and rich opportunities for interprofessional learning.

DD: Is there anything else you would like to add?
UU: We are delighted that students and graduates will get to pursue such exciting and vital career paths in Derry – Londonderry. We look forward to working with our colleagues, the student body, all the HSC Trusts and our many partners in Derry-Londonderry to welcome students and staff to this progressive school on what is a beautiful campus in a vibrant university city.

Derry-Londonderry is an excellent destination in which to study, work, live, visit and invest. In partnership with Derry City and Strabane District Council, we are proud to be part of the exciting growth that is happening in the city and region at present.

Find out all about living in Derry Londonderry here