Why this course?
Biological and biomedical sciences (also known as life sciences) are at the heart of science and medicine, and include biochemistry, microbiology, immunology and pharmacology.
Biomedical science represents an opportunity to put scientific knowledge into practical use and performs a key role within medical healthcare that offers career satisfaction for many in the profession.
As a biomedical scientist your skills and qualifications will be recognised across the UK and worldwide.
This course offers a more general degree than the specialist joint Honours biosciences degree programmes.
You’ll follow the same curriculum up to Year 3, but instead of specialising in only two biomedical science options, you’ll take classes selected from all four areas, developing a broad understanding of all the biomedical sciences.
What you’ll study
Years 1 & 2
Subjects include molecular bioscience, biology of organisms, chemistry for bioscience, an introduction to infection and immunity, nutritional biochemistry and metabolism, cell and molecular biology and human physiology.
You also choose two elective subjects from other departments across the University.
Years 3 & 4
You'll take specialist classes in the four biosciences disciplines including Fundamental Immunology/Microbiology, Clinical Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Haematology, Immunohaematology and Immunodiagnostics. You'll also learn about laboratory methods and data collection and presentation.
You can take part in enterprise projects of commercial significance for a pharmaceutical or biotechnology company in the west of Scotland. Student exchange programmes offer the chance to study and take part in lab-based research abroad.
High Flyer Programme
Well-qualified applicants with appropriate A Levels and Advanced Highers will be admitted to the Faculty of Science prestigious 'High Flyer' Programme, which allows students to complete an Honours degree in three years and an Integrated Masters degree in four. If you are studying the relevant subjects you may receive a dual offer, specifying grades to direct entry to Year 2 as a High Flyer and also standard Year 1 entry.
Find out more about our High Flyer Programme.
Accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science.
Accredited by the Royal Society of Biology.
All full-time students will undertake all compulsory classes and one elective class.
Foundation Bioscience & Statistics
The aims of this class include:
- introducing the process of scientific discovery through the analysis and retrieval and evaluation of information using appropriate search engines, and the synthesis of new ideas
- developing a range of writing and presentation skills, which will benefit you, not only throughout University, but also in your future career
- giving you an understanding of basic skills in statistical analysis of data
Biology of Organisms
This class will familiarise you with the basic knowledge and concepts of cell structure and function. You'll also be introduced to the basic concepts underlying classical and molecular genetics, including techniques that form the basis for the study of molecular biology.
Practical Bioscience & Skills Development 1
The aims of this class include:
- introducing you to the biology of microbes, plants and animals
- introducing you to physiological systems
Chemistry for Bioscience
This class will introduce you to laboratory-based practical bioscience. You'll be enabled to analyse your personal and key skills and plan your development.
To provide you with fundamental concepts of general chemistry.
Introduction to Infection & Immunity
Nutritional Biochemistry & Metabolism
This class will provide you with an introduction to the diversity of infectious agents and how the immune response of the mammalian host attempts to clear infection.
Lectures will cover aspects of bacterial, parasitic, viral and fungal infections, describing pathogens, the diseases they cause and mechanisms of control. Lectures will also describe many of the key components of the immune system, before examining how these factors play a role in mediating defence against different infections.
Cell & Molecular Biology
The aims of this class are to:
- To demonstrate the general principles of the design of metabolism, the way in which major pathways are integrated and regulated through signal transduction and the role of metabolism in nutrition
- To provide a biochemical basis for understanding inborn errors of metabolism and metabolism in disease states
- To demonstrate the role of enzymes in controlling metabolic pathways
The aims of this class are:
- To demonstrate the role of genetic analysis in the elucidation of the mechanisms of gene function
- To provide an introduction to cytology and histology
- To develop a deeper understanding of cellular compartments and structures and their functions
This class will provide you with a working knowledge of normal human physiology in preparation for the study of human diseases and the uses of drugs in their treatment.
Laboratory Methods & Skills Development
This class will familiarise you with the current laboratory methods utilised in biomedical science research by attending laboratory sessions intended to provide a wide range of generic skills expected of laboratory science.
You'll also be trained in data collation and presentation and be able to write reports in a coherent and scientific manner. It's also intended that you'll gain an understanding of the underlying design of experimental studies.
The aim of this class is to familiarise you with fundamental concepts of the immune system to form the basis for further study.
Clinical Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics
The key aims of the class are:
- to provide you with a sound knowledge and understanding of microbial biochemistry, growth and function that underpins classification, survival and virulence
- to provide a comprehensive knowledge of the pathogenicity mechanisms of viruses, bacteria and fungi, and factors which influence their spread
Haematology, Immunohaematology & Immunodiagnostics
With its distinct molecular and clinical components, the class has a broad scope that is united by its focus on our modern understanding of human genetic disorders and their diagnosis and treatment.
The study of diseases and disorders from both the frontiers of basic molecular, cellular and pre-clinical research as well as the ‘frontline’ of hospital diagnostic procedures gives you a feel for the breadth of biomedical research and practice.
The clinical biochemistry section also provides a detailed overview of the physiologies and pathologies of major organ diseases and disorders affecting Western populations in the 21st Century.
The exposure to clinical expertise from external Glasgow Royal Infirmary lecturers is an important feature.
Finally, as a complementary part of the Clinical Biochemistry section, the major biochemical steps in drug metabolism are described.
The aims of this class are to:
- introduce haematology and immunohaematology
- familiarise you with the intermediate concepts of the immune system and aspects of clinical and laboratory practice
Research in Biomedical Sciences
Honours Immunology 2
The aims of this class are:
- to provide training in skills required for carrying out a research project
- to develop an awareness of ethical issues in biomedical research
- to develop higher order cognitive abilities of analysis, synthesis and evaluation
- to develop personal skills
Honours Microbiology 1
The lectures consist of a series of advanced topics designed to expand and consolidate the basic immunological knowledge from year 2 and 3 lectures. The aim of the class is to advance knowledge of the subject of immunology and gain a broad understanding of its basic concepts and role in clinical immunology.
Honours Biochemistry 2
The aims of this class are:
- to provide students with a sound knowledge and understanding of the mechanisms by which bacteria regulate their cellular activity and cause disease
- to provide a comprehensive knowledge of the procedures by which microbial infection can be contained and controlled
- to present and analyse advanced information on both topics
Molecular & Cellular Pathology
The aims of this class are:
- to provide you with an understanding of the molecular basis of selected human diseases
- to demonstrate how knowledge of disease mechanisms can be used to develop diagnosis and treatment
The aim of the class is to provide a basis for the diagnosis of disease at the cellular level.
Knowledge and understanding are assessed by written examinations, essays, presentations and computer-aided learning (CAL) exercises and quizzes, available on our virtual learning environment, Myplace.
Competence is assessed through practical tests, practical write-ups, project reports and CAL exercises and quizzes.
Communication skills are assessed through essays and oral presentations.
Project work is assessed from project reports and oral presentations.
There’s an individual research project in the final year of the course where you’ll demonstrate research skills, problem-solving and a research approach.
Learning & teaching
You’ll gain knowledge and understanding through lectures, including review-type lectures, practical classes, tutorials and computer-aided learning.
To allow you to prepare, class handouts are available in advance from Myplace. Hand-outs will also be supported by essays, oral and tutorial/workshop presentations.
Quantitative skills are taught by the Department of Maths & Statistics, the Department of Pure & Applied Chemistry as well as the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences.
Most laboratory classes, including the chemistry classes in Year 1, include number and numeracy and statistical skills that are used in the institute. Communication skills are taught throughout the course. Information retrieval, interpretation and research skills are gained through project work which also develops team-working skills.
Year 1 entry: AABB or AAAC (two sciences, including Higher Biology/Human Biology B or Chemistry B; Chemistry |(if not at Higher) National 5 B/Standard Grade 2/Int 2 B; Maths National 5 B/Standard Grade 2/Int 2 B; English National 5 B/Standard Grade 2/Int 2 B)
Year 2 entry: BB (Chemistry B and Biology/Human Biology B, in addition to requirements for Year 1 above)
Year 1 entry: BBB (two Sciences, including Biology B or Chemistry B; Chemistry (if not at A Level) GCSE B, Maths GCSE B, GCSE English Language B or English Literature B
Typical entry requirements: ABB
Year 2 entry: ABB (Chemistry and Biology (AB/BA), Maths and English as for Year 1 entry)
Typical entry requirements: AAA
Please note if you are taking the newly reformed Biology A level, we'll require you to pass the practical assessment included in the A level.
32 (two sciences, Biology/Physics/Chemistry HL5; Maths SL5, English SL5)
Year 1 entry: relevant HNC, B in Graded Unit
Year 2 entry: relevant HNC, A in Graded Unit or relevant HND, BB in Graded Units
Year 3 entry: relevant HND, AB in Graded Units
- Deferred entry is accepted
We want to increase opportunities for people from every background. Strathclyde selects our students based on merit, potential and the ability to benefit from the education we offer. We look for more than just your grades. We consider the circumstances of your education and will make lower offers to certain applicants as a result.
Find out if you can benefit from this type of offer.
Find out entry requirements for your country.
Degree preparation course for international students
We offer international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the entry requirements for an undergraduate degree at Strathclyde the option of completing an Undergraduate Foundation year programme at the International Study Centre. To find out more about these courses and opportunities on offer visit isc.strath.ac.uk or call today on +44 (0) 1273 339333 and discuss your education future.
You can also complete the online application form, or 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.
Rest of UK
Bachelor degrees at Strathclyde will cost £9,250 a year, but the total amount payable will be capped at £27,750 for students on a four-year Bachelors programme. Students studying on integrated Masters degree programmes – for example MSci, MEng and MPharm – will pay £9,250 for the Masters year.
Course materials & costs
Lab coats and safety goggles
PVG scheme (Protection of Vulnerable Groups)
Masters of Pharmacy students must pay for a PVG certificate during their first semester at a cost of £57. This is applicable across all schools of pharmacy.
Please note: All fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.
How can I fund my studies?
Students from Scotland and the EU
If you're a Scottish or EU student, you may be able to apply to the Student Award Agency Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish government. Scottish students may also be eligible for a bursary and loan to help cover living costs while at University.
For more information on funding your studies have a look at our University Funding page.
Students from England, Wales & Northern Ireland
We have a generous package of bursaries on offer for students from England, Northern Ireland and Wales
Biomedical Science is a dynamic profession with diverse career prospects in management, research, education, advanced roles and specialised laboratory work.
UK biomedical scientists are employed in NHS and private sector laboratories. They also work in organisations such as the National Blood Authority, Health Protection Agency and Medical Research Council.
Biomedical scientists usually work in laboratories in the areas of diagnosis, screening, monitoring and research. Over 80% of medical diagnoses are based on biomedical scientists’ laboratory test results. Biomedical scientists handle over 150 million samples every year. If you or anyone you know have given sample to a doctor or nurse to be analysed it will have most likely been analysed in a laboratory by a biomedical scientist
You could also be employed within forensic labs, food and drink companies, scientific publishers and lab suppliers. Some of our graduates choose to apply the transferable skills they have developed in a commercial role either within the science sector or beyond.
How much will I earn?
Within the NHS, biomedical scientists’ salaries start at approximately £21,000 to £28,000 (Band 5). Team leader or specialist roles progress to £26,000 to £34,800 (Band 6).*
Where are they now?
91.2% of our graduates are in work or further study.**
Recent job titles include:
- Project Coordinator
- Study Analyst
- Lab Technician
- Medical Lab Assistant
- Research Scientist
- Science Technician
- Waste and Fuels Strategist
Recent employers include:
- Dounreay Sight Restoration Ltd
- Mission Therapeutics
- National Milk Laboratories
- NHS Wishaw Hospital
- Thomas and Eco
- University of Strathclyde
*Information is intended only as a guide and based on NHS pay grades.
**Based on the national Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) Survey 2012/13, 2011/12 (aggregated data).