BSc Hons Biomedical Science

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Key facts

  • UCAS Code: C192
  • 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

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
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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.

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THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner

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.

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.

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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.

Semesters 1 & 2

Being a Biomolecular Scientist 1 - 40 credits

This module aims to give you:

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

Semester 1

Cells & their Molecules - 20 credits

The aims of this module are to:

  • provide you with Foundation level knowledge relating to basic functions of cells
  • set out the principles of biological action and function that you will encounter through all four years
  • expose you to the basic suite of teaching, learning and assessment paradigms used throughout your degree with a particular focus on oral communication and presentation

Semester 2

Organisms & Disease - 20 credits

From this module, you will gain:

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

Bio-Organic Chemistry - 20 credits

The aims of this module are to:

  • understand nucleotide/nucleic acid molecular structure, stereochemistry and conformation as the foundation of nucleic acid chemical and biological potential
  • learn about amino acid/protein molecular structure, stereochemistry and conformation as the foundation of protein chemical and biological potential
  • study 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

Semesters 1 & 2

Being a Biomolecular Scientist 2 - 40 credits

The aims of this module are to give you the fundamental:

  • practical skills required for a biochemist
  • practical skills required for an immunologist
  • practical skills required for a microbiologist
  • practical skills required for a pharmacologist
  • skills in presentation and teamwork

Semester 1

Introduction to Immunology - 20 credits

By studying this module, you'll be able to demonstrate an understanding of:

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

Semester 2

Introduction to Biochemistry - 20 credits

The aims of this module are for you:

  • 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 Microbiology - 20 credits

The aims of this module are to help you 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 - 20 credits

This module aims to develop your understanding of:

  • systems biology and homeostasis
  • the somatic, autonomic and central nervous systems
  • the cardiovascular and respiratory systems
  • the hepatic and renal systems
  • the endocrine and reproductive systems

Semesters 1 & 2

Being a Biomolecular Scientist 3 - 40 credits

The aims of this module are to:

  • give you generic practical skills in biomolecular science
  • further develop your practical skills in specific biomedical biochemistry, microbiology, immunology, histopathology and serology that align with the module choices of the degree programme
  • enhance your report writing and presentation skills

Semester 1

Biomedical Biochemistry - 20 credits

The aims of this module are:

  • to understand and appreciate the key features of cellular signalling and associated molecular mechanisms that regulates gene transcription
  • to learn 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 gain knowledge in the genomic basis of eukaryotic/human disorders and disease
  • to understand and appreciate the biochemical approaches that underpin drug discovery

Fundamental Immunology - 20 credits

The aims of this module are:

  • to provide you with an understanding of how pathogens are recognised
  • to give you an appreciation of how immune cells are activated
  • to teach you about the cytotoxic mechanisms used by immune cells
  • to demonstrate how the immune system is regulated
  • to give you knowledge in what immunological memory is and how it functions

Semester 2

Biomedical Microbiology - 20 Credits

The aims of this module are to:

  • understand the difference between taxonomic and phylogenetic classification of microorganisms
  • gain knowledge on the principles that underpin bacterial, fungal and viral identification
  • become familiar with the structure, function and growth characteristics of bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa and 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 - 20 credits

The aims of this module are to:

  • introduce haematology & immunohaematology
  • familiarise you with the intermediate concepts of the immune system & aspects of clinical & laboratory practice
  • this will include material delivered by the Scottish Blood Transfusion service

Semesters 1 & 2

Being a Biomolecular Scientist 4 - 40 credits

This module helps you to develop your research skills in a capstone project. Six types of research project are available:

  1. Laboratory based research
  2. Data-based analysis research
  3. Educational research
  4. Critical analysis
  5. Science communication
  6. Knowledge Exchange

There will be concurrent workshops on research methods and ethics. This will reinforce and develop learning in areas such as the ethics of scientific research, statistical analysis, database searching and annotation, writing a thesis and presenting a seminar. In addition, you will choose from and attend a series of tutorials & workshops on supplementary skills topics that relate to the projects. The material will be delivered using staff/student led workshops.

The aims of this module are to:

  • use your skills to critically interpret data and develop conclusions or hypotheses based upon your findings
  • use your skills to analyse and present data
  • gain knowledge in a key area that is relevant to your career aspirations
  • have the opportunity to carry out original research

Semester 1

Clinical Biochemistry - 20 credits

This module 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
  • this will include material delivered by NHS Clinical Scientists and Biomedical Scientists

Clinical Immunology - 20 credits

The aims of this module are:

  • to give you an understanding of the immune responses associated with transplantation
  • to provide you with a knowledge of the immune responses associated with cancer
  • to help you to understand the immune responses associated with autoimmunity
  • to give you an appreciation of the immune responses associated with allergy
  • to teach you about the immune responses associated with immunodeficiency

Molecular & Cellular Pathology - 20 credits

The aims of this module are to:

  • diagnose disease based on cell and molecular pathology techniques
  • define the molecular basis of cell injury caused by toxic compounds and drugs
  • describe the morphological changes associated with cell damage and relate this to specific disease processes
  • appreciate the role of the biomedical scientist in the histopathology lab
  • this includes material delivered by the NHS Biomedical Scientists and Pathologists

Semester 2

Clinical Microbiology - 20 Credits

The aims of this module are to:

  • understand the principles of epidemiology in infectious diseases
  • become familiar with 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
  • recognise the mechanisms and importance of infection control in the immune-compromised host

In addition to the modules above, you’ll also choose one module from the Biochemistry, Immunology or Microbiology 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.

Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city

Our campus is based right in the very heart of Glasgow. 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.

Life in Glasgow

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BSc Hons Biomedical Science entry requirements

Entry requirements for our BSc Hons Biomedical Science are as follows.

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)

Advanced Highers

Year 2 entry: BB

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

A Levels

Standard entry requirements*:

Year 1 entry: BBB

(two sciences required, at least one of which must be Biology or Chemistry; GCSE Chemistry 6/B (if not at A Level); GCSE Maths 6/B, GCSE English Language 6/B or Literature 6/B)

Year 2 entry: BBB

(Chemistry and Biology, GCSE Maths 6/B, and GCSE English Language 6/B or English Literature 6/B)

International Baccalaureate

Standard entry requirements*:

Year 1 entry: 30

(Two science subjects at HL5 at least one of which must be Biology or Chemistry. Maths SL5 and English SL5)

Year 2 entry: 30

(Chemistry and Biology, one at HL6, the other at HL5. Maths SL5 and English 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

View the entry requirements for your country.

Deferred entry

Accepted

*Standard entry requirements

Offers are made in accordance with specified entry requirements although admission to undergraduate programmes is considered on a competitive basis and entry requirements stated are normally the minimum level required for entry.

Whilst offers are made primarily on the basis of an applicant meeting or exceeding the stated entry criteria, admission to the University is granted on the basis of merit, and the potential to succeed. As such, a range of information is considered in determining suitability.

In exceptional cases, where an applicant does not meet the competitive entry standard, evidence may be sought in the personal statement or reference to account for performance which was affected by exceptional circumstances, and which in the view of the judgement of the selector would give confidence that the applicant is capable of completing the programme of study successfully.

**Minimum entry requirements

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

Contextual Admissions for 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.

University preparation programme for international students

We offer international students (non-UK/Ireland) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for an undergraduate degree at Strathclyde the option of completing an Undergraduate Foundation Programme in Business and Social Sciences at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre. ​

Upon successful completion, you can progress to your chosen degree at the University of Strathclyde.

International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 140 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

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

Fees may be subject to updates to maintain accuracy. Tuition fees will be notified in your offer letter.

All fees are in £ sterling, unless otherwise stated, and may be subject to revision.

Annual revision of fees

Students on programmes of study of more than one year should be aware that tuition fees are revised annually and may increase in subsequent years of study. Annual increases will generally reflect UK inflation rates and increases to programme delivery costs.

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Scotland
  • 2024/25: TBC
  • 2023/24: £1,820

Fees for students who meet the relevant residence requirements in Scotland are subject to confirmation by the Scottish Funding Council. Scottish undergraduate students undertaking an exchange for a semester/year will continue to pay their normal tuition fees at Strathclyde and will not be charged fees by the overseas institution.

England, Wales & Northern Ireland

£9,250

Assuming no change in fees policy over the period, the total amount payable by undergraduate students will be capped. For students commencing study in 2024/25, 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.

International

£25,250

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 

  • approximately £25

International students

International students may have associated visa and immigration costs. Please see student visa guidance for more information.

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

Fees for students who meet the relevant residence requirements in Scotland, 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. Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

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International Students

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

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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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Apply

Start date:

Biomedical Science (1 year entry)

Start date: Sep 2024

Biomedical Science (1 year entry)

full-time
Start date: Sep 2024

UCAS Applications

Apply through UCAS if you are a UK applicant. International applicants may apply through UCAS if they are applying to more than one UK University.

Apply now

Direct Applications

Our Direct applications service is for international applicants who wish to apply to Strathclyde University at this time.

Apply now

Start date:

Biomedical Science (2 year entry)

Start date: Sep 2024

Biomedical Science (2 year entry)

full-time
Start date: Sep 2024

UCAS Applications

Apply through UCAS if you are a UK applicant. International applicants may apply through UCAS if they are applying to more than one UK University.

Apply now

Direct Applications

Our Direct applications service is for international applicants who wish to apply to Strathclyde University at this time.

Apply now
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Contact us

Dr RuAngelie Edrada-Ebel

Telephone: +44(0)141 548 5968

Email: sipbs-biomed@strath.ac.uk

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