Biomedical Sciences

MScBiomedical Sciences

Why this course?

This course provides Masters-level knowledge and practical skills in the full range of biomedical sciences.

It'll help you to enter scientific jobs in biomedical and pharmaceutical industries, hospitals and universities. You can also continue studying for an MPhil or PhD.

The course is flexible, allowing you to choose from a wide range of specialist topics.

You’ll study

You’ll develop key laboratory skills through an introductory course covering molecular biology, separation techniques and cell biology assays.

In Semester 1, you’ll be taught generic skills, including academic writing, statistics, project management and ethics for the biomedical sciences.

In Semester 2, you’ll take a class in commercialisation and entrepreneurship.


The course is taught in the Strathclyde Institute for Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences. It’s located in a brand new building with state-of-the-art laboratories.

Take a tour of our facilities.

Course content

You follow a similar curriculum to the joint honours courses up to year 3, but instead of specialising in only two of the biochemistry, microbiology, pharmacology or immunology options, you take classes selected from all four disciplines, thereby developing a broad understanding of all aspects of biomedical sciences.

Biomedical Sciences 2016/17

As part of the Institute’s revision of all taught material relating to Biomedical Sciences ready for 2016/17, this current list of MSc classes will change.

As the new curriculum is completed in the next few months, we will revise this page’s contents accordingly. Our aim is to provide you with classes that present the cutting-edge of the subject area, delivered using exciting and engaging teaching methods matched to the needs of postgraduate-level students. Please feel free to contact us if you want further details in the meantime.

Compulsory classes

Generic Biomedical & Pharmaceutical Research Skills (Semester 1)

The aim of the class is to enable you to use information sources, apply statistical methods, appreciate ethical issues and develop personal effectiveness.

Class Content

  1. Information & Database Searching
  2. Data Handling & Experimental Design
  3. Ethics in Research & Medicines Regulation
  4. Personal Effectiveness & Personal Development Planning
Practice & Application of Biomedical Sciences

The aim of the class is to provide you with an understanding of the laboratory practice and commercialisation of Biomedical Sciences.

Class content

  • Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Commercialisation
  • A relevant methods laboratory class

Elective methods classes

You'll choose five classes.

Advanced Techniques in Biomedical Research (Semester 1)

The aim of the class is to provide training in a range of standard techniques in biomedical sciences and to develop an ability to apply techniques to specific problems in biomedical research.

Class content

  • Lab calculations, use of pipettes and analytical instruments
  • Enzyme linked immunoassays (ELISA)

  • Bioassays

  • Chromosomal DNA preparation and analysis
  • Polymerase chain reaction and analysis
  • Protein electrophoresis

  • Western blotting

  • Presentations
Advanced Techniques in Biochemistry (Semester 2)

The aim of the class is to provide training in advanced methods in biochemistry and to develop an ability to apply techniques to specific problems in biomedical research.

Class content

  1. Cholesterol and bilirubin assays
  2. Enzyme assays using b-galactosidase
  3. Enzyme equilibrium & HPLC
  4. Fatty acid composition of oils and fats using GC
  5. Protein expression

  6. Protein purification

Advanced Techniques in Immunology (Semester 1/2)

The aim is to teach you a series of advanced techniques that are commonly employed in modern immunology laboratories.

Class content

This class will include the following laboratory topics:

  • leucocyte morphology
  • lymphocyte proliferation
  • immunoglobulin preparation
  • antibody isotype
  • antibody secretion
  • macrophage killing;
  • T-helper cell cytokines
  • toxin-specific antibodies
Advanced Techniques in Microbiology (Semester 2)

The aim of the class is to train you in the safe handling of microorganisms, the use of identification techniques and the preparation of appropriate lab reports.

Class content

  • Gram -ve Bacteria
  • Gram +ve Bacteria
  • Mycology
  • Bacteriophages
  • Macroarray
Advanced Techniques in Molecular Biology (Semester 2)

The aim of the class is to provide training in advanced methods in molecular biology and to develop an ability to apply techniques to specific problems in biomedical research.

Class content

  1. Plasmid DNA Preparation & Use of Restriction Endonucleass
  2. DNA ligation & Bacterial Transformation
  3. Recombinant Protein Expression
  4. Recombinant Protein Purification
  5. Multiple sequence alignments
  6. Quantitative RT-PCR
Advanced Techniques in Pharmacology

The aims of the class are to provide you with a thorough understanding of the practical approaches to pharmacology.

Class content

The four practical sessions will be

  1. Antagonist Activity 1
  2. Antagonist activity 2
  3. Radiolabel Binding 1
  4. Radiolabel Binding 2
Advanced Techniques in in vivo Biology (Semester 1)

The aim of the class is:

  • to understand in vivo research including reduction in numbers and ethical issues
  • to gain exposure to specific research techniques used in neuroscience, cardiovascular, immunology and cancer
  • to gain a personal licence

Class content

  • Lectures: scientific reasons for in vivo research, anaesthesia, pain control, prevention of infection, animal welfare issues, experimental design and power calculations
  • Workshop sessions: data analysis for the three Rs, completion of an ethical application
  • Lab sessions: techniques and research applications for neuroscience, cardiovascular, immunology and cancer in vivo research
  • Personal licence: you’ll attend preparation and licence training and will be awarded a personal licence
Advanced Techniques in Toxicological Analysis (Semester 2)

The aim of the class is to provide you with appropriate practical training in some of the techniques used in toxicological analysis.

Class content

  • Overview of Analytical Techniques
  • Drug Extraction from Liver and analysis by thin layer chromatography (TLC)
  • Drug Extraction from Blood and analysed by Gas Chromatography-Mass spectrometry (GC-MS)
  • Caffeine Extraction from Urine and analysis by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)
  • Cholesterol & Bilirubin assay
  • Enzyme Assays
Advanced Cytology, Histology & Clinical Pathology (Semester 1)

The aim of the class is to provide you with a thorough grounding in the main techniques and approaches in the study of healthy and diseased cells and tissues, and to demonstrate how these approaches are used in clinical histopathology in the NHS.

Class content

Cytology & Histology Labs

  • Tissue preparation and sectioning
  • Haemotoxylin and Eosin staining
  • Masson’s Trichrome & Southgates Mucicarmine Staining
  • Immunohistochemistry


  • Hyperplasia, metaplasia,
  • Cellular aging; replicative senescence
  • Neoplasia; types of tumour, classification
  • Grading and stages of tumours; histological evaluation, metastasis
  • Surgical histopathology & analysis
  • Cervical Screening 1 – cytology & histology of the cervix
  • Cervical Screening 2 – The cervical screening programme, process & quality assurance
  • Forensic pathology and post-mortem specimens
  • Breast screening pathology – The breast screening programme

Elective lecture classes

You'll choose four classes.

Advanced Topics in Biochemistry (Semester 1/2)

To provide advanced in-depth study in selected topics in biochemistry, with a focus on understanding of diseases at a molecular level.

Class content

  1. Signalling Mechanisms Regulating Gene Transcription (4 lectures)
  2. Membrane Traffic (4 lectures)
  3. Protein structure prediction (4 lectures)
  4. Cardiovascular disease (4 lectures)
  5. Metabolic and Endocrine disorders (4 lectures)
  6. Neurodegenerative Disease (4 lectures)
  7. Cancer (4 lectures)

Alternatively, you may choose two of the above topics plus:

  • Clinical Biochemistry (8 lectures)
Advanced Topics in Immunology (Semester 1/2)

The aim of the class is to teach advanced topics in immunology that are of relevance to current important areas of immunological research

Class content

  • Innate Immunity (5 lectures)
  • Acquired Immunity (5 lectures)
  • T cell and B cell activation (5 lectures)
  • Immunity to viruses (5 lectures)
  • Immunity to bacteria
  • Immunity to protozoa
  • Immunity to Viruses (5 Lectures)
  • Autoimmunity (5 lectures)
  • Blood Grouping, Blood Transfusion and Haemolytic Disease of the Newborn (3 lectures)
  • Cancer (5 lectures)
  • Pregnancy and Oncofoetal Antigens (4 lectures)
  • Mucosal Immunity (5 lectures)
  • Immunopharmacology (5 lectures)
Advanced Topics in Microbiology (Semester 1/2)

The aims of the class are to provide you with:

  • a sound knowledge and understanding of the mechanisms by which bacteria regulate their cellular activity and cause disease
  • a comprehensive knowledge of the procedures by which microbial infection can be contained and controlled
  • an understanding of the technological and microbiological developments in fermentation

Class content

You choose two of the following blocks:

  • Molecular Bacteriology
  • Infection Control
  • Fermentation technology
Advanced Topics in Molecular Biology (Semester 1)

The aim of the class is to provide you with a broad understanding of molecular biology and molecular genetics as applicable to the biomedical sciences.

Class content

  1. Intro to Genomes/genetic code
  2. DNA structure & PCR
  3. Gene structure and sequence annotation
  4. Computer exercise 1 - sequence annotation
  5. Plasmids and cloning
  6. Sequencing technologies & sequence databases
  7. Computer exercise 2 - sequence alignments
  8. Transgenic organisms and expression systems
  9. 4 x Tutorials
Advanced Topics in Pharmacology (Semester 1/2)

The aim of the class is to teach you to critically read, discuss and present current peer-reviewed research papers in pharmacology.

Class content

The class consists of four topics. In each, a recently published paper in a topical area of pharmacology is presented to you and, with guidance from the topic tutor, you’re expected to perform a critical analysis of the research, discuss the paper and to write a suitable report.  For each paper a tutorial provides direct feedback to you. For the fourth paper a 15 minute overhead presentation will be given by the student who is assessing that paper.

Advanced Topics in Toxicology (Semester 1)

Class content

Drugs, Poisons and Toxins

  • Poisons
  • Natural Toxins
  • Metal Toxicity
  • Drugs of Abuse
  • Presentation

Molecular Toxicology

  • Molecular mechanisms of toxicity
  • Cellular Toxicity endpoints: apoptosis and necrosis
  • Xenobiotic metabolism, polymorphism and risk
  • Cellular responses to toxicity; adaptive responses
  • Paper interpretation tutorials x 2
Advanced Haematology and Transfusion Science (Semester 2)

The aim of the class is to provide you with a thorough grounding in the theoretical and clinical aspects of haematology and to apply these to clinical and laboratory practice in transfusion science in the NHS.

Class content

Haematology (10 lectures)

  • Structure and function of bone marrow
  • Role, structure and function of red and white cells
  • Nature and diagnosis of anaemias
  • Haemoglobinopathies and thalassaemias
  • Haematological malignancy
  • Haemostasis and thrombosis

Immunohaematology and transfusion science (10 lectures)

  • Blood groups: ABO, Rh
  • Preparation, storage and use of blood components
  • Selection of appropriate blood components
  • Transfusion Microbiology
  • Quality Control in transfusion science
  • Regulatory requirements in transfusion science
Advanced Topics in Neuroscience (Semester 1/2)

The aim of the class is to provide you with knowledge of specific state of the art topics in neuroscience.

Class content

A range of topics relevant to neuroscience will be covered in depth through critical analysis of recent research papers.

Learning & teaching

The course is delivered through lectures, tutorials and hands-on practical sessions.

You'll have around 240 hours of lectures, tutorials and labs per year in Years 1 to 3. In your Honours year, you'll carry out a research project in one of your specialisations and write this up as a short thesis.

If you successfully complete the required taught classes you may undertake a laboratory project for the MSc.


Assessment of taught classes is through multiple choice tests, computer quizzes, problem solving scenarios, poster and oral presentations, essays, and formal written exams. The laboratory project is assessed through a written thesis.

Entry requirements

We look for a first or second-class Honours degree, or overseas equivalent, in a biological or chemical discipline.

English language requirements

You must have an English language minimum score of IELTS 6.5 (with no component below 5.5).

We offer comprehensive English Language courses for students whose IELTS scores are below 6.5. Please see ELTD for full details.

Pre-Masters preparation course

The Pre-Masters Programme is a preparation course for international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the entry requirements for a Masters degree at the University of Strathclyde. The Pre-Masters programme provides progression to a number of degree options

To find out more about the courses and opportunities on offer visit or call today on +44 (0) 1273 339333 and discuss your education future. You can also complete the online application form. To ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers today.

Fees & funding

How much will my course cost?

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.


  • 2015/16 - £4,500
  • 2016/17 - £5,000

Rest of UK

  • 2015/16 - £5,500
  • 2016/17 - £6,000


  • 2015/16 - £16,700
  • 2016/17 - £17,500

How can I fund my course?

Scholarship search

Please note

The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year.


Biomedical scientists work in healthcare to diagnose disease and evaluate the effectiveness of treatment through the analysis of fluids and tissue samples from patients. They work at the heart of modern medicine, with 70% of diagnoses based on the pathology results provided by laboratory services. 

After graduating you should be ideally qualified for positions in biomedical and pharmaceutical industries as well as hospitals and universities. You may wish to continue studies for an MPhil or PhD.

How much will I earn?

Starting salaries for biomedical scientists in the NHS begin at Band 5: £21,388 to £27,901*

*information is intended only as a guide. Figures taken from Prospects 


Biomedical Sciences

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2016, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

Biomedical Sciences

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2016, Mode of delivery: attendance, part-time

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