BSc Hons Biomedical Science

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Key facts

  • UCAS Code: C192
  • Start date: Sep 2020
  • Accreditation: Institute of Biomedical Science, Royal Society of Biology
  • International study: study or take part in lab-based research abroad

  • Flexible degree: Flexibility to change to other Biomolecular Science courses throughout your studies

  • High Flyer Programme: qualified applicants can complete course in 3 years

Study with us

  • learn at a pioneering academic institution
  • our Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences (SIPBS) is a leading centre for research focused on new medicines, better medicines and better use of medicines
  • courses are underpinned by our strong research base, links with industry, the NHS and international partners
  • Ranked 7th in the UK for Biological Sciences (Complete University Guide 2020)
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Why this course?

A biomedical scientist is a scientist trained in biology, particularly in the context of medicine. These scientists work to gain knowledge on the main principles of how the human body works. They try to find new ways to cure or treat disease by developing advanced diagnostic tools or new therapeutic strategies.

Biomedical science represents an opportunity to put scientific knowledge into practical use. It performs a key role in medical healthcare and offers career satisfaction for many in the profession.

As a biomedical scientist, your skills and qualifications will be recognised across the UK and worldwide.

Our 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.

Students working on an experiment in a lab

What you’ll study

Years 1 & 2

Students on all the biosciences degrees study the same classes in the first two years. This means you can defer your ultimate choice of degree until the end of Year 2.

In Year 1 you'll study classes in cells and their molecules, organisms and diseases and Bio-organic chemistry. These are all underpinned by the "Being a Biomolecular Scientist" class which begins with basic laboratory skills, statistical and data analysis and presentation, report writing, health and safety and ethics.

You also choose 20 credits of elective subjects from across the University.

In Year 2 to will gain an introduction to each of the four discipline biochemistry, immunology, microbiology and pharmacology again supported by the "Being a Biomolecular Scientist” class which develops various skills gained in Year 1.

Years 3 & 4

You'll take specialist classes in the four biosciences disciplines including Biomedical Immunology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Haematology and Immunodiagnostics and Cell and Molecular Pathology. You'll also learn about laboratory methods and ethics, data collection and presentation.

In your final year of study, you will participate in a research project focusing on a defined biomedical science topic. We offer various types of laboratory-based research projects including which would be applicable to a variety of careers.

Student exchange programmes and internships 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.

Student Competitions

Biomedical Science prize: Institute of Biomedical Science President’s Prize. This is awarded to the student with the best academic performance in the final Biomedical Science classes and research project.

QS logo 2019 - 5 stars
Athena Swan bronze logo
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Course content

In Year 1, you’ll study classes in Cells & their Molecules, Organisms & Diseases and Bio-Organic Chemistry.  These are all underpinned by the Being a Biomolecular Scientist class which begins with basic laboratory skills, statistical and data analysis and presentation, report writing, health and safety and ethics.

In Year 2, you’ll gain an introduction to each of the four disciplines (biochemistry, immunology, microbiology and pharmacology) again supported by the Being a Biomolecular Scientist class which develops various skills gained in Year 1. There’s a strong emphasis on practical laboratory skills and the development of generic skills such as scientific writing and problem-solving.

Being a Biomolecular Scientist 1

This class aims to give students:

  • the foundation practical skills required for a biological biochemistry
  • the foundation practical skills based around 'health and the body'
  • foundation presentation skills
Cells & their molecules

The aims of this class are to:

  • provide Foundation level knowledge relating to basic functions of cells
  • set out principles of biological action and function that will be encountered through all four years
  • expose students to the basic suite of teaching, learning and assessment paradigms used throughout their degree with particular focus on oral communication and presentation
Organisms & Disease

From this class, students will gain:

  • foundation level knowledge relating to basic evolution, species diversity, development, homeostasis, and infectious disease
  • principles of biological action and function that will be encountered through all four years
  • learn about methods of teaching, learning and assessment used throughout the degree, with particular focus on finding, citing and using information, and teamwork
Bio-Organic Chemistry

The aims of this class are to:

  • understand nucleotide/nucleic acid molecular structure, stereochemistry and conformation as the foundation of nucleic acid chemical and biological potential
  • understand amino acid/protein molecular structure, stereochemistry and conformation as the foundation of protein chemical and biological potential
  • understand monosaccharide/polysaccharide molecular structure, stereochemistry and conformation as the foundation of carbohydrate chemical and biological potential
  • understand the chemistry, stereochemistry and biological roles of polyketide/polyisoprene natural products and their biosynthetic origins
Being a Biomolecular Scientist 2

The aims of this class are to:

  • give students the fundamental practical skills required for a biochemist
  • give students the fundamental practical skills required for an immunologist
  • give students the fundamental practical skills required for a microbiologist
  • give students the fundamental practical skills required for a pharmacologist
  • give students fundamental skills in presentation and teamwork
Introduction to Biochemistry

The aims of this class are:

  • to understand gene structure and function and the regulation of gene expression
  • to understand how human genetic variation arises and its uses in medicine and forensics
  • to understand the basic structure and function of proteins, lipids and carbohydrates
  • to appreciate the key metabolic pathways in the absorptive and post-absorptive states
  • to understand the pathways involved in cell growth and cell death
Introduction to Immunology

By studying this class, students will be able to demonstrate:

  • an understanding of how immune cells recognise antigens
  • an understanding of key concepts in induction of acquired immunity
  • an understanding of effector mechanism of the immune system
  • an understanding of helpful immune responses
  • an understanding of harmful immune responses
Introduction to Microbiology

The aims of this class are to help students to:

  • understand the fundamental taxonomic grouping and evolutionary relationships of microbes
  • appreciate physiological, structural and molecular differences between different microorganisms
  • understand the role and control of microorganisms in disease
  • learn how organisms adapt to hostile environments and appreciate the biotechnological exploitation of extremophiles
Introduction to Pharmacology

This class aims to:

  • develop understanding of systems biology and homeostasis
  • develop understanding of the somatic, autonomic and central nervous systems
  • develop understanding of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems
  • develop understanding of the hepatic and renal systems
  • develop understanding of the endocrine and reproductive systems
Being a Biomolecular Scientist 3

The aims of this class are to:

  • give students generic practical skills in biomolecular science
  • further develop students' practical skills in specific discipline (A) that align with the class choices of the degree programme
  • further develop students' practical skills in specific discipline (B) that align with the class choices of the degree programme
  • further develop students presentation skills
Biomedical Biochemistry

The aims of this class are:

  • to understand and appreciate the key features of cellular signalling and associated molecular mechanisms that regulates gene transcription
  • to understand the key features of membrane and organelle trafficking
  • to understand the basis of molecular and cellular toxicity underlying tissue/organ dysfunction and organism pathologies
  • to understand the genomic basis of eukaryotic/human disorders and disease
  • to understand and appreciate the biochemical approaches that underpin drug discovery
Fundamental Immunology

The aim of this class are:

  • to provide students with an understanding of how pathogens are recognised
  • to provide students with an understanding of how immune cells are activated
  • to provide students with an understanding of the cytotoxic mechanisms used by immune cells
  • to provide students with an understanding of how the immune system is regulated
  • to provide students with an understanding of immunological memory
Biomedical Microbiology

The aims of this class are to:

  • understand the difference between taxonomic and phylogenetic classification of microorganisms
  • understand the principles that underpin bacterial, fungal and viral identification
  • understand the structure, function and growth characteristics of bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa. Apply that knowledge to their role in disease development
  • describe the distinguishing features, pathogenic properties, epidemiology, treatment and control of medically important bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa
Haematology, Immunohaematology, Immunodiagnostics

The aims of this class are to:

  • introduce haematology & immunohaematology
  • familiarise you with the intermediate concepts of the immune system & aspects of clinical & laboratory practice
Clinical Biochemistry

This class aims to provide:

  • an understanding of the aetiologies, pathologies, and symptomatologies of the major disorders that are diagnosed through sample analysis within a Clinical Biochemistry Laboratory
  • a theoretical and practical understanding of the diagnostic assays and assay parameters that are used in a Clinical Biochemistry laboratory
  • experience of the arrangement and workflow of a typical Clinical Research laboratory gained through a visit
Clinical Immunology

The aims of this class are:

  • to give students an understanding of the immune responses associated with Immune responses associated with transplantation
  • to give students an understanding of the immune responses associated with cancer
  • to give students an understanding of the immune responses associated with autoimmunity
  • to give students an understanding of the immune responses associated with immune responses associated with allergy
  • to give students an understanding of the immune responses associated with immunodeficiency
Clinical Microbiology

The aims of this class are to:

  • understand the principles of epidemiology in infectious diseases
  • understand the diagnosis of microbial identification using genotyping and viable and non-viable approaches
  • understand the mechanisms of antimicrobial agents and antimicrobial resistance as well as the significance of biofilms in antimicrobial resistance
  • understand the mechanisms and importance of infection control in the immune-compromised host
Molecular & Cellular Pathology

The aims of this class are:

  • diagnose disease based on cell & molecular pathology techniques
  • define the molecular basis of cell injury caused by toxic compounds & drugs
  • describe the morphological changes associated with cell damage, & relate this to specific disease processes
  • appreciate the role of the biomedical scientist in the histopathology lab

You'll also choose one other class from the Year 4 curriculum.

Assessment

Knowledge and understanding are assessed by written examinations, essays, presentations and computer-aided learning (CAL) exercises and quizzes, available on 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 by 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 hand-outs are available in advance from Myplace. Hand-outs will also be supported by tasks such as 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.

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Entry requirements

Required subjects are shown in brackets.

Highers

Standard entry requirements:

Year 1 entry: AABB/AAAC

(two sciences – Biology/Human Biology B and Chemistry B; Maths and English National 5 B)

Minimum entry requirements*: 

AABB /AABCC

(Biology B, Chemistry B, Maths and English National 5 B)

*Find out if you can benefit from this type of offer.

Advanced Highers

Year 2 entry: BB

(Chemistry B, Biology/ Human Biology B, plus Year 1 above)

A Levels

Year 1 entry: ABB-BBB

(two sciences, – Biology B or Chemistry B; Chemistry (if not at A Level) GCSE 6/B; GCSE Maths 6/B, GCSE English Language 6/B or Literature 6/B)

Year 2 entry: AAA-ABB

(Chemistry and Biology (AB/BA), Maths and English as for Year 1 entry)

International Baccalaureate

Year 1 entry: 32

(two science subjects (Chemistry/ Biology/Physics) HL5; English SL5; Maths SL5)

Year 2 entry: 36

(Chemistry & Biology HL6; English SL5; Maths SL5)

HNC/HND

Year 1 entry: HNC, Graded Unit B
Year 2 entry: HNC, Graded Unit A or HND, Graded Units BB
Year 3 entry: HND, Graded Units AB

International students

Find out entry requirements for your country by visiting our country pages.

Deferred entry

Accepted

Widening access

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.

Degree preparation course for international students

We offer international students (non-EU/UK) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for an undergraduate degree at Strathclyde the option of completing an Undergraduate Foundation year programme at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre.

Upon successful completion, you will be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.

International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 100 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.

Visit our international students' section

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Fees & funding

2020/21

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

Scotland/EU

TBC

Fees for students domiciled in Scotland and the EU are subject to confirmation in early 2020 by the Scottish Funding Council.

(2019/20: £1,820)

Rest of UK

TBC

Assuming no change in RUK fees policy over the period, the total amount payable by undergraduate students will be capped. For students commencing study in 2020/21, this is capped at £27,750 (with the exception of the MPharm and integrated Masters programmes), MPharm students pay £9,250 for each of the four years. Students studying on integrated Masters degree programmes pay an additional £9,250 for the Masters year with the exception of those undertaking a full-year industrial placement where a separate placement fee will apply.

(2019/20: £9,250)

International

£19,750

University preparation programme fees

International students can find out more about the costs and payments of studying a university preparation programme at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre.

Additional costs

Lab coats and safety goggles 

  • approx £25
Available scholarships

Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

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?

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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.

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Students from England, Wales & Northern Ireland

We have a generous package of bursaries on offer for students from England, Northern Ireland and Wales:

You don’t need to make a separate application for these. When your place is confirmed at Strathclyde, we’ll assess your eligibility. Have a look at our scholarship search for any more funding opportunities.

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International Students (Non-UK Scholarships, EEA)

We have a number of scholarships available to international students. Take a look at our scholarship search to find out more.

Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city

Our campus is based in the very heart of Glasgow, Scotland's largest city. National Geographic named Glasgow as one of its 'Best of the World' destinations, while Rough Guide readers have voted Glasgow the world’s friendliest city! And Time Out named Glasgow in the top ten best cities in the world - we couldn't agree more!

We're in the city centre, next to the Merchant City, both of which are great locations for sightseeing, shopping and socialising alongside your studies.

Find out what some of our students think about studying in Glasgow!

Find out all about life in Glasgow
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Careers

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?

Recent job titles include:

  • Project Coordinator
  • Study Analyst
  • Lab Technician
  • Medical Lab Assistant
  • Research Scientist
  • Science Technician
  • Waste and Fuels Strategist

Recent employers include:

  • Bio-Outsource
  • Dounreay Sight Restoration Ltd
  • Mission Therapeutics
  • National Milk Laboratories
  • NHS
  • NHS Wishaw Hospital
  • Thomas and Eco
  • University of Strathclyde

*Information is intended only as a guide and based on NHS pay grades.

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Biomedical Science

Qualification: BSc

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Contact us

Dr Alan McCruden

Telephone: +44 (0)141 548 3749

Email: sipbs-biomed@strath.ac.uk