BSc in Biomedical Science

General

Program Description

BSc Biomedical Science, the new name for our highly successful BMedSc Medical Science course, explores the science of the human body and the causes of diseases that affect humans. Based at the University of Birmingham Medical School, our programme explores the major body systems right down to the cellular and molecular level and is constantly updated to reflect the latest developments in the field. You’ll learn from experts who carry out medical and fundamental scientific research in these areas.

You’ll be taught in our state-of-the-art newly refurbished laboratories, including our modern prosectorium, where you’ll find out how research translates into advances in clinical practice. You’ll have the opportunity to undertake a 10-week research project with our internationally recognised research groups as well as the chance to take an optional placement year either in an industrial or a clinical setting. Financial support is also available to some students opting to take on summer projects in the College’s laboratories.

The career options open to our graduates are varied. The majority go on to be professional scientists. Many pursue further training and qualifications, including Masters, PhD and Medicine programmes.

Our Biomedical Science programme is delivered by staff in the College of Medical and Dental Sciences. You’ll be taught by experts who cover all the major disciplines of biomedical science. We are modifying our course from 2014, so that you’ll follow a broad curriculum in the first and second year, with some choice in the second year to work on a topic of particular interest to you. Year 1 and 2 will allow you to create a strong foundation for further specialisation in the third year when you’ll complete your studies by undertaking an original research project and gain hands-on experience in one of the College research laboratories.

First and second year – broad foundations of knowledge

The first two years of the course builds a detailed understanding of how the human body functions and what can go wrong in disease. The content extends from the single cell to the whole body. You’ll begin to learn about major pathologies such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative disease, arthritis and diabetes, and the genetic basis of inherited disorders.

All students take a common set of key subjects which will provide you with the core knowledge to understand the importance of each of the major disciplines of medical science. This forms a strong foundation for your final year. In addition, throughout the course you’ll develop core research skills, such as data analysis and interpretation, helping you develop an understanding of the key ethical and social issues surrounding medical science.

In the second year, there will be an opportunity to specialise in a scientific area of your choice, linked to our College major research themes. This student selected component will allow an in-depth exploration of the area under the guidance of one of our subject experts. The themes will include cancer, neuroscience, infection and immunity, pharmacology and cardiovascular science. This will provide a platform for further specialisation in your third year.

At the end of your second year, there is the possibility of taking a year out to gain work experience, by securing a placement in, for example, the pharmaceutical industry. You may also opt to undertake a summer research project within the College, for which funding is available.

Third year – follow your interest

During the first term of your final year, you specialise by selecting two taught options from over 20 specialist modules in a wide range of subject areas, including different aspects of neuroscience, cancer, virology, cardiovascular science, pharmacology, endocrinology, stem cell biology, ageing and immunology. You’ll learn about the latest findings and be exposed to advanced research techniques, guided by internationally recognised experts in these fields.

These taught options lead on to a substantial research project in the spring term, which in the majority of cases is laboratory-based specifically within one of our leading research active laboratories. You’ll work independently, under supervision, for ten weeks full-time on an original piece of research, acquiring and analysing your own data. The project develops and enhances not just your practical and analytical abilities, but also a range of other skills that will be a key to success in whatever career path you choose.

Why study this course

Based in a Medical School: You will be taught by leading academics and clinicians working at the interface of translational medicine and biomedical science.

Advanced teaching and learning facilities: Our newly refurbished laboratories and state-of-the-art prosectorium are among the facilities you will use throughout the programme. In addition, the Anatomy Resource Room contains a full set of anatomy models and is available for you to book as an individual or in groups.

Clinical and industrial experience opportunities: You will have the opportunity to take an optional placement year, which you can spend working in industry or a clinical setting. You may also have access to financial support to take on summer projects in the College’s own active research laboratories.

Final year research project: You will gain experience of working in our dynamic research laboratories alongside active researchers to complete a 10-week research project on a topic of your choice.

Connections with major research centres: The College of Medical and Dental Sciences is proud of its well-established links with major national centres for research and the local NHS. These include the Institute for Biomedical Research and the Institute for Microbiology and Infection as well as the Institute for Translational Medicine (ITM), which is due to open in June 2015.

Comprehensive support and career guidance: The University’s Careers Network will provide you with a range of informative fairs and events throughout the year, tailored to Biomedical Science, to support you in choosing, researching and taking the first steps on your chosen graduate career pathway.

Active MedSoc: At the University of Birmingham we believe that student life shouldn't be all work and there is plenty for you to get involved with both within the College and the University outside of your studies. The College has its own Society known as MedSoc. MedSoc is an umbrella organisation for a wide range of activities including sporting, social, musical and charitable – there’s something for everyone.

Entry requirements

  • Number of A levels required: 3
  • Typical offer: AAB or ABB + A in Extended Project Qualification (EPQ). Our Unconditional Offer Scheme is available to outstanding applicants.
  • Required subjects and grades: Two science A-levels from Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, or Physics; GCSE grade B in Mathematics, Biology and Chemistry (or double award science) if not offered at a higher level.
  • General Studies: not accepted as part of the minimum 3 A Level subjects.
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma: Overall score of 32 points, with minimum grades of 6, 6, 5 in higher level subjects, to include at least two sciences (from Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics – Maths Studies is excluded).

Unconditional Offer Scheme

Our Unconditional Offer Scheme is available to outstanding applicants.

A Level

  • Predictions of AAA or above, to include Biology and another science subject from Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics
  • 6 GCSEs at grade A including English, Maths and two science subjects from Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics
  • 2 GCSEs at grade B
  • Academic reference
  • Personal statement

International Baccalaureate Diploma

  • Prediction of 32 with 6, 6, 6 at Higher Level, to include 2 science subjects from Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics
  • 6 GCSEs at grade A including English, Maths and two science subjects from Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics
  • 2 GCSEs at grade B
  • Academic reference
  • Personal statement

Additional information:

BTEC Extended Diploma, Diploma and Subsidiary Diploma not accepted.

Offers are not made on the basis of tariff points. General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted as part of the minimum of three A level subjects.

Scottish Certificate of Education and Irish Leaving Certificate: Please contact Admissions Tutors for further information.

International students:

We welcome applications from students from the EU and overseas. Standard English language requirements apply. We do not consider any BTEC qualifications. Please contact Admissions Tutors for further information.

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities.

Employability

Our Biomedical Science graduates have an excellent record of employment in a wide variety of careers. Many embark on laboratory work in universities, often in PhD positions, hospitals, as clinical scientists and biotechnology companies. Other degree-related careers include work in clinical trials, and in marketing and management in biotechnology companies. Every year a number of graduates also make successful applications to study medicine.

Last updated April 2019

About the School

The College of Medical and Dental Sciences at the University of Birmingham is a major international centre for research and education in medicine, medical sciences, dentistry, nursing and physiotherap ... Read More

The College of Medical and Dental Sciences at the University of Birmingham is a major international centre for research and education in medicine, medical sciences, dentistry, nursing and physiotherapy. Read less