BSc Hons Biomolecular Sciences

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Key facts

  • UCAS Code: C193
  • Accreditation: Royal Society of Biology
  • Flexible degree: flexibility to change to other Biomolecular Science courses throughout your studies

Study with us

  • our courses are underpinned by our strong research base, links with industry, the NHS and international partners
  • accreditation by the Royal Society of Biology
  • opportunity to study and take part in lab-based research abroad
  • choose at the end of Year 2 to progress to single, joint Honours or an Integrated Masters degree in any of the biomolecular sciences
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Why this course?

Our Biomolecular Science degree programmes will equip you with the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours needed for careers in all branches of bioscience and allied professions.

The MSci programmes are appropriate if you're interested in pursuing an academic or research-related career.

You can defer your choice of degree specialisation until the end of Year 2, giving you the option to progress to single, joint Honours or an Integrated Masters degree in any of the biomolecular sciences.

Our courses have a strong research base and benefit from excellent links with industry, the NHS and international partners. Student exchange programmes offer you the chance to study and take part in lab-based research abroad.

Students conducting experiments in lab.

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner

What you'll study

You can choose from the following degree programmes all of which have a common curriculum in Years 1 and 2. This means that whichever degree you apply for, you can defer your ultimate choice of degree until you have experienced introductory classes in each of the subjects.

Work placement

We offer opportunities for you to engage with research full time in the summer preceding your final year. Since 2010, 47 undergraduate students have benefited from summer internships, of which 27 were funded by external organisations (including the Wellcome Trust, Nuffield Foundation, Carnegie Trust and professional societies) and others received internal funding (including the University's ResearchInterns@Strathclyde).

You'll receive in-depth training through the host lab as well as skills development workshops on public engagement, networking and poster/presentation preparation. Additionally there are opportunities for students to participate in the ERASMUS scheme. Students have worked in universities from Poland to Portugal, from the Czech Republic to Spain.

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Our department holds a Silver Athena Swan award, recognising our exceptional commitment and excellence in the advancement of gender equality.

Major projects

You'll have the opportunity to take part in a Vertically Integrated Project – VIP@Strath. These projects give students from first year through to postgraduate level the opportunity to work with staff in multi-disciplinary teams on cutting-edge research and development projects.

By taking part in the VIP project, you'll be able to:

  • learn & practice many different professional skills
  • make substantial technical contributions to a project
  • experience many different roles on a large design team
  • interact & receive support from more senior students &, in some instances, receive mentoring from PhD students involved in the project
  • contribute to the completion of large-scale design projects that are of significant benefit to the research programmes of staff members

Postgraduate study

Students from these courses have gone on to Masters postgraduate studies including MSc in Biomedical Sciences, Industrial Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical Analysis and Forensic Science. A number of students have pursued PhDs at a number of universities. Many students also go on to study for a PGDE in order to qualify as future science teachers.

Student competitions

Prizes for the best students are awarded each year by a number of societies including British Society of Immunology, British Physiological Society, the Institute of Biomedical Science and the Royal Society of Biology. Students are encouraged to enter a number of competitions such as Life Sciences CV Competition.

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Course content

The programme has five major subject strands:

  • biochemistry
  • immunology
  • microbiology
  • pharmacology
  • biomedical science

You can choose to specialise in two of the four biomolecular science subjects to joint Honours or in one subject to single Honours. These degrees take four years.

There's also an option to continue to a research-based fifth year and graduate with an MSci.

The four-year BSc Honours Biomedical Science programme has its own curriculum from Year 3. It's accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) and the Royal Society of Biology and is designed to equip graduates with the skills for future NHS employment.

In Years 1 & 2 all biomolecular students study the same classes.

Semester 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 2

Foundation Biomolecular Sciences: Organisms and Diseases (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)

This module aims to give you:

  • an understanding of nucleotide/nucleic acid molecular structure, stereochemistry and conformation as the foundation of nucleic acid chemical and biological potential.
  • an understanding of amino acid/protein molecular structure, stereochemistry and conformation as the foundation of protein chemical and biological potential.
  • an understanding of monosaccharide/polysaccharide molecular structure, stereochemistry and conformation as the foundation of carbohydrate chemical and biological potential.
  • an understanding of the chemistry, stereochemistry and biological roles of polyketide/polyisoprene natural products and their biosynthetic origins.

Elective modules

Semester 1 & 2

Pharmaceutical Sciences and Drug Development (10 credits)

After completion of the module you will be able to:

  • understand basic physiology and how drugs work affect this.
  • understand fundamental aspects of pharmacology and how drugs are tested in experimental models and man.
  • have a knowledge of drug discovery from a historical and modern perspective.
  • understand how drug delivery and distribution affects the effectiveness of drugs.
  • have a knowledge that drug development is not always associated with treatment of disease

Semester 1

Foundation Biomolecular Sciences: Cells and Their Molecules (20 credits)

The module aims 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
  • understand and demonstrate an understanding of the basic suite of teaching, learning and assessment paradigms used throughout their degree with particular focus on presentation skills.

Semester 2

Introduction to Forensic Science (10 credits)

On successful completion of this module you will be able to:

  • understand what forensic science is and the general science underpinning it.
  • understand crime scene investigation and the roles and responsibilities of the personnel involved.
  • understand the most commonly encountered evidence types in forensic science and how they can be used in casework.
  • understand the legal framework within which forensic science is conducted and the value and limitations of evidence in this context.

Psychology 1B (20 credits)

By participating in the module, students should acquire a basic understanding of the breadth of study in psychology. They should also begin to understand the importance of taking a critical approach to research findings and theory in the subject, developing an awareness of the need to read around each piece of evidence with which they are presented, seeking alternative explanations of the significance of psychological phenomena.

On successful completion of this module, you will:

  • acquire a basic understanding of the breadth of study in psychology.
  • appreciate the importance of taking a critical approach to research findings and theory in the subject. This means that you become aware of the need to read around each piece of evidence with which you are presented, seeking alternative explanations of the significance of psychological phenomena.
  • appreciate the usefulness of presenting balanced arguments on critical issues in psychological research.
  • appreciate the importance of considering evidence from a variety of sources to understand the mechanisms underlying behaviour

Semester 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 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 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 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

Semester 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

Fundamental Biomedical Science: Haematology and 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

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

Semester 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.

Semester 1

Advanced Biomedical Science: Molecular and Cellular Pathology (20 credits)

After completing the module, you will be able 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

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

Semester 2

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 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

Assessment

Our classes are assessed in a variety of ways. In addition to essays and MCQ in exams we also use laboratory reports, problems solving, critical analysis and presentations.

Learning & teaching

As well as lectures and laboratories, we use a variety of workshop styles, tutorials, online activities and group work.

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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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/Human 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 (or studying standalone modules) 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

£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.

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

Many of our graduates work in the development of drugs, food processing, protecting the environment, fighting disease or slowing the ageing process. They work in a variety of positions including:

  • research in academia
  • NHS & private sector laboratory technician
  • clinical support worker

We also have graduates working in areas such as medical writing, clinical drug trials, medical sales, and production control.

Registration as a biomedical scientist

Institute of Biomedical Science accreditation of the BSc Honours in Biomedical Science ensures that this degree meets the academic requirements for registration as a biomedical scientist. This is required if you wish to obtain registration with the Health and Care Professions Council. Registration with the council is essential if you wish to pursue a career as a biomedical scientist in an NHS laboratory.

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Start date:

Biomolecular Sciences (1 year entry)

Start date:

Biomolecular Sciences (2 year entry)

Start date: Sep 2024

Biomolecular Sciences (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 the University of Strathclyde at this time.

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Start date: Sep 2024

Biomolecular Sciences (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 the University of Strathclyde 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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