University of Hertfordshire - BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science

University of Hertfordshire

BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science

Ever wondered how diseases occur? How genetic disorders lead to abnormalities? Or how microbes evade our immune system? As a biomedical science undergraduate, you’ll study the causes, diagnoses, and treatments of diseases like cancer, blood disorders, and infectious disease.  

Be inspired to become a biomedical scientist contributing to patient diagnosis. In the UK, the term 'biomedical scientist' is a protected title used by professionals working within the pathology department of a hospital. Our course is accredited by the professional body; the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS). Studying our degree is the first step to becoming a registered biomedical scientist.  

How will you get there with us? You will use our newly built labs to practise microbiological techniques and do blood analyses. You’ll also have exclusive access to IT rooms for your bioinformatics analyses. You will experience the healthcare setting in our clinical simulation suite. This is equipped with adult, child and baby mannequins, a realistic ICU, operating theatre setting and more.  

You’ll be at the forefront of exploring exciting new areas in the biomedical field. Our course is designed to provide you with a solid-stepping stone for your scientific career. You may choose to help save lives as a registered Biomedical Scientist. Research in pharmaceutical companies or academic environments offer exciting opportunities for our graduates. You may decide to take a new direction such as business or teaching for example. You’ll have a wide range of options with your biomedical science degree.  

Rest assured; we’ll be with you all the way. You will be guided by your personal tutor in gaining subject-specific skills in scientific writing, data interpretation and communication. In short, everything you need to know to succeed during your time at Herts. Lastly, you can take advantage of peer support in group workshops.   

What's the course about?

A big focus is how scientists use laboratory tests to support patient diagnosis. You will learn about the structure and function of tissues and organs in normal and disease states. You’ll link your expert knowledge of biology and chemistry to understand biochemical pathways and their influence in disease development. You’ll explore haematology, microbiology and blood transfusion techniques that form the basis of modern medical diagnostics. In other words, you will literally learn how to save lives.  

You have 20 hours of contact time, with lectures and workshops taking up about 6-10 hours per week.  

In your first year you’ll gain a solid foundation in topics such as genetics, how drugs work inside our bodies and how viruses and fungi are formed. Your first year is shared with other degrees in biosciences. You may find you enjoy subjects explored further on the Molecular Biology pathway for example. Our shared first year gives you the opportunity to consider your bioscience pathway before committing. We believe in flexibility. 

In your second year, you’ll specialise even more. You will study areas of Pathology; Biochemistry, Blood Transfusion, Cytology, Genetics, Haematology, Histopathology, Immunology, and Microbiology. Patient case studies allow you to apply theory from each area. You will analyse the different methods of research on diseases and treatment options. Building your skills as a researcher is developed through our Bioscience Research Methods module. 

Work placement/study abroad option: Between your second and final year, you’ll have the possibility to study abroad or do a work placement for up to a year. Not only will this give you an amazing experience to talk about but will also give your CV a boost. If you’d rather go straight to your final year, that’s absolutely fine too.   

In your final year you’ll find that you have grown to love certain topics and now you have the chance to delve further. Final year is the chance to bring knowledge of subjects studied together. The final year project shows how you can answer a research question independently working with a member of our subject specialist staff.  

Entry Requirements

UCAS pointsA LevelBTEC

BCC-BBC: Including 2 science GCE A Levels (or equivalent) one of which must be a grade C in either biology or chemistry (acceptable A levels are Human Biology, Psychology, Geography, Maths, Physics,  ICT and Sports Studies). Pass required in A level science practical.

MMM-DMM: Extended Diploma in Applied Science (depending on optional units studied) with DMM profile.

GCSE: Grade 4/C in English Language, 4/C in Mathematics and 4/C in Double Science or two Single Science grades at 4/C.

All students from non-majority English speaking countries require proof of English language proficiency, equivalent to an overall IELTS score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each band.

Career Prospects

On graduation, you'll be eligible for employment as a biomedical scientist in the National Health Service and Public Health Service laboratories. In addition, job opportunities exist in the Blood Transfusion Service Laboratories; pharmaceutical and healthcare industries; forensic laboratories; sales and marketing in the healthcare field; education and research. 80% or our students have gone on to work or study after graduation (Unistats, 2013).

Typical job titles of recent graduates:

  • Trainee Biomedical Scientist,,
  • Clinical Trials Associate,
  • Drug Safety Coordinator,
  • Medical Representative,
  • Lab Scientist,
  • Microbiologist,
  • Research Assistant,
  • Tissue Culture Technologist,
  • Donor Transplant Assistant.

Typical employers of recent graduates:

  • Pfizer,
  • Denfleet Pharma Ltd,
  • Health Protection Agency,
  • GlaxoSmithKline,
  • AstraZeneca,
  • NHS Trusts
  • Lark Technology.

Upon graduation and completion of your IBMS portfolio, you'll be eligible to work as biomedical scientist in the NHS and public health laboratories. Alternatively, you could pursue a career in blood transfusion laboratories, pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, forensic laboratories, healthcare sales and marketing, education and research.

Course Details

Degree programmes are structured into levels, 4, 5 and 6.  These correspond to your first, second and third/final year of study.  Below you can see what modules you’ll be studying in each.     

Part-time study

If you are studying part-time you will have up to seven years to complete your course from registration. You will complete 60 credits per year and the modules you will study each year will depend on how they fit together on the timetable. For some modules there are several sessions run for each workshop and practical.  As a part-time student you will be able to choose the slots that fit best with when you are at the University for other teaching sessions,

Year 1

Human physiology with pharmacology
Practical and transferable skills
Molecular biology and genetics
Core biochemistry
Cell and microbiology

Optional modules
Chemistry for biologists
Molecular structure and reactivity

Year 2

Bioscience research methods
Microbiology of disease
Cytology and histopathology
Blood sciences
Principles of immunology
Genes and genomes
Cell and molecular biology
Bioscience Work experience

Year 3

Clinical microbiology
Clinical biochemistry and immunology
Cellular and molecular pathology
Applied and integrated biomedical science
Year abroad: bioscience
Sandwich placement; bioscience

*The information’s are correct at the time of publishing, however it may change if university makes any changes after we have published the information. While we try our best to provide correct information, It is advisable to call us or visit university website for up to date information.

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