Biomedical Science BSc (Hons)
Study human disease using laboratory skills in this fascinating degree, with placement opportunities for experience in industry.
Biomedical Science is the study of human disease, looking at the causes of disease and the effect on the normal structure and functions of the human body. Biomedical scientists perform key roles in the NHS and private healthcare services, using scientific knowledge and laboratory skills to diagnose patients.
- Available in Clearing
100% of Biomedical Science Students were satisfied with their course - National Student Survey 2018
- UCAS Code – 7Y63
- Location – York campus
- Duration – 3 years full-time | 5 years part-time
- Start date – September 2019, September 2020
- School – Health Sciences
Minimum Entry Requirements
104 UCAS Tariff points to include a minimum of BCC at A2 with a grade B or above
4 GCSEs Graded C/4 or above (or equivalent) including English Language, Maths and Double Integrated Science
UK and EU 2019-20 £9,250 per year
International 2019-20 £12,750 per year
The York St John Experience
You will explore the biology of disease at the tissue, cellular and molecular level, working with our experts, in workshops, practical classes, tutorials and case studies. Topics include genetics, cellular pathology, clinical biochemistry, clinical immunology, haematology and medical microbiology.
Throughout your studies you will interact with Biomedical Scientists and professionals from a range of other careers. You’ll study a range of core human biology-based subjects to gain knowledge fundamental biological processes and a deep understanding of the biology of disease through investigation of a range of human disorders and pathological processes.
Extensive laboratory experience is gained from practical classes in small groups of up to 20 students. A 20-week research project in your final year enhances your practical experience and supervised access to the laboratories for extracurricular learning allows you to develop practical skills.
Our established industry network provides opportunities for placements in the NHS or industry, including short summer internships, or laboratory-based placements. All students who register for the Biomedical Science degree will have the opportunity to transfer to the award title of Biomedical Science (With Placement) during Year 2 and undertake a year-long placement. During a placement in an Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) accredited laboratory, you will complete the IBMS Registration Training Portfolio and receive the IBMS Certificate of Competence upon completion of your degree, enabling you to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a Biomedical Scientist.
Graduates find employment as scientists in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and other related industries. Alternatively, you could continue your education through higher degrees or academic research, or training for teaching, medicine, dentistry, optometry or pharmacy. As an HCPC-registered Biomedical Scientist you can apply for Biomedical Scientist posts directly, rather than trainee positions.
- Professional Skills for Biomedical Sciences - This module will develop your study skills, laboratory skills and professional skills to help you during your course and in future employment or studies. Topics include analysis of scientific data, report writing and some statistical analysis, plus how to undertake laboratory techniques safely and with precision.
- Human Anatomy and Physiology - You will study the organisation of the nervous system and endocrine control of cell function, plus the structure and function of the cardiovascular, pulmonary, musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal and the renal systems.
- Biological Molecules and Reactions - You will analyse the major classes of biomolecules (nucleic acids, proteins, carbohydrates and lipids), their physical and chemical make-up and how these properties affect their biological functions.
- Cellular Biology and Genetics - You will study cellular and sub-cellular structures and their functions, the structure of chromosomes and genes and their replication during cell division. This module also includes analysis of the genetic basis of some common human diseases.
- Biochemistry and Metabolism - This module examines how and why energy is derived from biological molecules such as carbohydrates, lipids and proteins. Amino acid and protein metabolism and the regulation of biochemical reactions using enzymes are also studied.
- Introductory Microbiology and Immunology - This module provides an introduction to microorganisms, their culture, structure and classification. Microbial interaction with humans leads into an introduction to immunology and our innate defences against infection.
(all 20 credit modules)
- Research Methods and Professional Practice - This module will further develop your laboratory skills, research skills and ability to work competently to improve your academic and professional skills, thus enhancing your ability to work autonomously and your employability.
- Infection and Immunity - This module will examine host-pathogen interactions in relation to the immune response. The development of disease, diagnostic assays and immunotherapies for cancers, autoimmunity, immunodeficiency and allergy are also studied.
- Clinical Biochemistry - This module explores the principles and application of methods used in clinical biochemistry for the diagnosis, evaluation and prognosis of diseases. Organ function tests, lipoproteins and cholesterol, diabetes, renal function and the biochemical effects of malignant disease are all considered.
- Cell and Molecular Biology - This module examines the structure and function of bacterial and eukaryotic DNA in detail. The tools of molecular biology including gene cloning, restriction enzymes, PCR, DNA sequencing, constructing plasmids and selection of clones are also investigated.
- Haematology and Transfusion Science - This module analyses the constituents of blood in health and disease. The discussion of haemostasis, thrombosis and bleeding diseases leads to a discussion of blood transfusion / transplantation and the health and safety aspects of handling blood.
- Cellular Pathology - The effects of injury and disease on cells and tissues will be discussed in this module. Tissue preparations for histopathological examination, including histology, fixation and processing, staining methods and immunohistochemistry will be examined.
(all 20 credit modules)
- Research Project (40 credits) - You will be assigned an approved project which offers the opportunity to undertake a substantial piece of laboratory research work. The module will develop communication and presentation skills, individual research skills and allow you to apply your knowledge to a particular research problem.
- Medical Microbiology - This module will explore the isolation and identification of medically important bacteria and viruses and the epidemiology of infectious disease. Diagnostic techniques for gastro-intestinal disease, urinary tract pathogens, respiratory tract infections and sexually transmitted infections will be discussed.
- Clinical Genetics - This module will explore the role of genetic variability in human diseases, plus gene expression, mRNA processing, translation and post-translation modification of proteins linked to disease. Gene therapy and novel treatments for genetic disease will also be discussed.
- Biology of Disease - This module discovers the biological basis, clinical presentation and treatment of important non-infectious human diseases including cardiovascular conditions, diabetes, COPD, neurological disorders, cancer and other genetic diseases.
- Pharmacology and Toxicology - Pharmacokinetic analysis of drugs, pharmacogenomics and the new era of personalised medicine will be discussed. Drugs used in the treatment of bacterial, viral and fungal infection are examined with cancer chemotherapeutics, with emphasis on targeted therapies.
(all 20 credit modules except Research Project)
Teaching & Assessment
The Biomedical Science programme contains modules which build in complexity as you progress. Modules studied in Year One consider the normal physiological state of the human body and how it responds to disease. These disease states are explored in more detail in Years Two and Three of the programme. Specific subject areas including physiology, microbiology, biochemistry, genetics and immunology are explored and the changes that happen at the organ level, cellular level and molecular level are all studied in detail.
The Biomedical Science programme is built so that themes are revisited and subject-specific knowledge is developed throughout the degree in increasing complexity and detail. Each year of the programme follows the same structure: two modules (20 credits each) run in Semester One, two modules (20 credits each) run in Semester Two and last two modules (20 credits each) run throughout the year (Years One and Two). In Year Three, the Research Project module (40 credits) runs throughout the whole year, alongside two modules in Semester One and two modules in Semester Two.
Each module runs on the same day each week throughout the semester, so that you study one subject on each day and this mode of delivery is very popular in student feedback.
Your contact hours may vary week-to-week depending on if you have practical classes that week or not. Typically, each 20 credit module contains 10-15 workshops covering the taught material plus at least three practical classes. In addition to the timetabled hours, you can use the laboratories to enhance your practical skills, supervised by academic staff, technical staff and mentored by students in the year above. You can use these sessions to earn open badges that you collect as part of your key skills modules. The badges are awarded when you are observed and deemed competent at a particular method. You can display these electronic badges in online portfolios and use them to enhance your employability as they show additional laboratory skills and engagement in addition to the taught modules you have completed.
In Year Three you will spend several weeks completing the experiments for your Research Project in your chosen area alongside the taught modules. You will then write up your project work as your Year Three dissertation.
Outside of taught sessions, you will be expected to undertake further reading around the subjects you are studying and complete coursework assessments that include laboratory reports, case studies, reading published journal articles, scientific writing and preparing posters or presentations for assessment.
We have extensive electronic textbooks as part of the reading lists for modules that you can access from the Information Learning Services website from anywhere, interactive databases which include animations, videos and quizzes to support the taught sessions and academic staff will also direct you to relevant sources to support your learning.
The academic staff who deliver the Biomedical Science programme have teaching qualifications and / or Fellows of the Higher Education Academy and the Subject Director is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. The team have research profiles and are actively engaged in both pedagogical research (learning and teaching-based) and scientific research. The subject technicians are Associate Fellows of the Higher Education Academy and trained Biological Safety Officer / phlebotomist.
We regularly have Biomedical Science practitioners from across Yorkshire delivering taught sessions and practical classes for students alongside the academic staff, plus visiting lecturers who are Biomedical Science graduates or research professors at other universities.
The programme team work closely with York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and local Industry laboratories to organise short placements for our students on the 3 year degree programme in the summer between Year 2 and 3.
The academic staff can also offer short laboratory based placements at the University after Year Two summer assessments, where students can undertake some novel research in our Biomedical Science laboratories.
These placement opportunities are in addition to the extensive practical classes, supported open learning laboratory sessions and the Year 3 laboratory-based Research Project.
The assessment strategy for Biomedical Science has been carefully designed to allow you to demonstrate your skills and abilities using a wide variety of assessment types. We have limited the number of examinations and all modules contain additional coursework assessments and some modules are assessed by coursework only. You will have a formative (practice) assessment in advance of any summative assessment (the marks count towards the module mark) you undertake throughout the degree. Your assessments will build in complexity as you progress through the degree, so you will have built your subject knowledge and skills to enable you to tackle them successfully. We have also spread your assessments throughout semester in all years of study, to avoid clustering of deadlines.
In Year One you will be examined, primarily, on your breadth of knowledge via multiple choice and short answer examinations. Coursework assignments will include: laboratory report writing, data handling and interpretation, case studies and laboratory competency. As you progress through Years Two and Three, you will have the opportunity to demonstrate increasing skills of analysis, synthesis and criticism through a wide variety of assessment types, including written and oral assessments, case studies, posters, scientific writing, oral presentations, laboratory competency and the research project dissertation. This dissertation is your opportunity to demonstrate your autonomy in data handling and critical interpretation skills that you have developed throughout the degree in a research context.
The minimum entry requirements for this course are:
- 104 UCAS Tariff points to include a minimum of BCC at A2 with a grade B or above in Biology, or a minimum of DMM from a science based BTEC Extended Diploma. This must include a minimum of three Biology specific modules and where this is not evidenced an additional A2/AS in Biology may be required.
- In addition, we normally expect you to have achieved A2 or AS Chemistry and other sciences. For applicants who have already achieved their A2s we would consider CCC if all subjects are sciences.
- 4 GCSEs at grade C or above (or equivalent) including English Language, Maths and Double Integrated Science (or equivalent)
- Please note, we do not accept Adult Numeracy or Key Skills in lieu of GCSE Maths
- A minimum of 30 points from the International Baccalaureate to include Higher Level Biology at a grade 5
- Access Diplomas to include 45 credits at Level 3 meeting or exceeding 104 UCAS Tariff points, and must be completed in no more than two years. Preference will be given to applicants who have a named Access to Science/Medicine/Health Diploma. Applicants on broader Access Diplomas must have a minimum of three modules at Level 3 in Biology.
- Mature students without standard academic qualifications must be able to demonstrate an equivalent level of knowledge. This may be evidenced through CPD documentation/certificates or work based portfolios. An associated interview will be mandatory.
As well as a strong standard of written English, the ability to demonstrate knowledge and interest in the subject is essential. This can be done in a variety of ways, for example, visits to design exhibitions, museums or collections. Applicants will also show an ability to 'think outside the box' and have relevant experience of group work.
We also value the ability to demonstrate a real enthusiasm for the subject that goes beyond achieving good grades in exams. Examples of this include involvement in projects or entering competitions, and being aware of any current issues relating to design, such as sustainability. Candidates will also be able to discuss influences including favourite designers, design product or style of design.
Terms and conditions
Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. These can be accessed through our Admissions webpages.
Fees and funding
To study for an undergraduate degree with us, you will need to pay tuition fees for your course. How much you pay will depend on whether you're a UK & EU student or an international (non-EU) student. Tuition fees are charged for each year of your course.
Find out more about funding for Foundation Year and/or Placement Year by visiting the Funding Advice pages of our website. York St John offer special reductions to students graduating from York St John University Undergraduate degrees in 2019 and continuing directly onto Postgraduate study. Find out more about discounts and scholarships. There may also be some additional costs to take into account throughout your studies, including the cost of accommodation
Home / EU students
The York St John University tuition fee for the 2019 entry to Foundation Degree, BA and BSc, PGCE Primary and Secondary and UG Health Programme degrees is £9,250 per year for UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.
Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.
The York St John University tuition fee for the 2019 entry to Foundation Degree, BA and BSc, PGCE degrees is £12,750 per year for international students.
Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.
Additional costs and financial support
Whilst studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.
For more information on tuition fee reductions and additional costs for studying abroad, please visit our study abroad webpages.