School of Biomedical Sciences

BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science

Experience research-informed education by exploring the scientific basis of human health, disease and therapeutics. You'll benefit from a rich and varied learning environment that highlights recent developments and examines how these inform clinical and diagnostic practice. Receive the input of internationally-recognised researchers and NHS staff and open up a range of employment opportunities in both industrial and public research laboratories.

You will stand out with a degree accredited by the Institute for Biomedical Science (IBMS). You’ll develop practical skills, critical thinking and professional competence. You will enjoy our unique open access laboratory and resource centre designed for students studying science and engineering courses. You’ll also have the opportunity to experience more with an optional placement year.

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First choice for health

Delivered by professional experts, our programmes are tailored to you and your career. Together, we address today's most challenging healthcare issues, through research-informed teaching and active, real-world learning.

#firstchoiceforhealth

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Careers with this subject

Advice from graduate Liana Gynn: 

"Experience is key. Working directly in the field is the best way to learn the key skills and processes to develop your passions and understanding. My research placement transformed me from an average student to a high achieving one with the confidence and independence which is so essential for a postgraduate career. "

Read more from Liana in her case study.

Useful links:

Key features

  • Stand out with a degree accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS).
  • Delivered by the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry and enhanced by links with healthcare professionals.
  • Develop practical skills, critical thinking and professional competence.
  • Taught components of the course are enriched by the varied research activities of staff within the school.
  • LABplus is a unique open access laboratory and resource centre designed for students studying science and engineering courses. The lab provides a flexible workspace, computing facilities, specialist software, access to microscopes, microscope cameras and bespoke resources. 
  • Experience more with an optional placement year.
  • Gain a positive learning experience within a work setting that will support your studies and future employability – the school offers 12 work placements between Stage 2 and the final year of your programme.
  • Ten research summer placements are available between the first and second year and 20 between the second and final year. These competitive placements are available for students who demonstrate excellent performance in their studies and allow students to gain valuable research experience within the Biomedical Research Group.

Progression options

This course has up to ten ring-fenced places available at the end of year 1 for progression onto medicine and dentistry. Applicants must meet the following requirements for consideration:

  • Minimum of AAB at A Level to include A grades in Biology and one other science from Chemistry, Maths, Physics, or Psychology. General Studies will not be accepted.
  • >70% average across all Year 1 modules
  • Satisfactory DBS check and Occupational Health screening


We also have an additional route for our Biomedical Science graduates. This involves an enhanced admissions process, as follows:

  • On track to gain 1st Class (>70%) OR already holds a 1st Class Biomedical Science degree with us achieved in the two years prior to applying
  • GAMSAT requirement waived
  • Satisfactory performance in Interview
  • Satisfactory DBS check and Occupational Health screening

There are also 10 ring-fenced places for our graduates onto the Physician Associate programme.

For further information regarding admissions and interviews please contact us at meddent-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.


Course details

  • Year 1
  • In your first year, you'll start building a foundation for future learning. You'll develop key skills in communication, data acquisition and analysis.
    Core modules
    • BHCS1001 Biomedical Investigation and Experimentation

      To introduce the learner to key elements of investigation and experimentation within the biomedical sciences and to support the development of the basic skills and knowledge required for effective practice in these discipline areas

    • BHCS1002 Human Anatomy and Physiology: Cells to Systems

      This module offers an introduction to the key anatomical features of the body and how physiological function is controlled to maintain homeostasis and health. It will commence with an exploration of cell and tissue biology and the founding principles of genetics, embryology and human development. The module will conclude with an exposition of anatomy and physiology of the major human organ systems.

    • BHCS1003 Human Metabolism

      This module offers an introduction to the biochemistry underlying human metabolism. In particular, the module explores the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which the human body extracts energy from nutrients to sustain life. The significance of metabolic dysfunction in relation to human disease pathology and diagnosis is emphasised.

    • BHCS1004PP Introduction to Human Pathology

      This cross-disciplinary module provides the learner with an introduction to the study of human disease, exploring historical, social and scientific perspectives as well as an opportunity to explore how modern pathology services are structured and operated.

    • BHCS1005 Human Disease

      Concepts associated with altered health states due to environmental, developmental and genetic causes are explored. Pathological changes at the cellular, tissue and organ level are discussed. Genomic and bioinformatic technologies are introduced, and their application to clinical and personalised medicine considered.

    • BHCS1006 Infection and Immunity

      This module introduces the student to infection & immunity and the study of microorganisms with a particular emphasis on food-borne pathogens. It explores concepts of food safety, gut organisms, infectious disease and the body's ability to resist and repel such disease via a range of immune responses.

    • BHCS1011 Study skills and personal development

      This module supports the development of key study and learning skills. Timetabled tutorials will help promote self-reflection and provide a framework for personal development planning and careers.

  • Year 2
  • In your second year, you'll focus on developing a deeper understanding of core biomedical disciplines,„ with an emphasis on the scientific understanding of pathological processes and diagnostic practice.„ You'll examine key laboratory techniques and acquire research skills.
    Core modules
    • BHCS2001 Biology of Disease

      This module will explore the biology relating to a range of disorders and emphasize the integrated nature of the investigation and study of disease.

    • BHCS2002 Evidence-Based Practice in Biomedical Science

      This module continues the processes of understanding, acquisition and development of the skills and personal attributes necessary for a biomedical sciences practitioner. It also provides a greater understanding of research theory and methodology.

    • BHCS2003 Genetic Continuity and Diversity

      Processes which maintain genetic stability or promote genetic variation at various levels of biological organisation are considered. Applications of advances in genetics are examined in topics such as developmental genetics, epigenetics, genomics and proteomics, recombinant DNA technology, and human genetic diversity.

    • BHCS2004 Cell Biology in Health and Disease

      This module examines the fundamental principles of cell biology in health and disease. It will include the theory and practice of cellular laboratory science and introduce the scope and practice of light microscopy and histology in clinical investigation and cellular pathology.

    • BHCS2005 Clinical Haematology and Biochemistry

      Clinical laboratory tests for a wide variety of biochemical and haematological parameters play an important role in disease diagnosis. This module will investigate both the scientific theory underlying commonly used tests and their application in biochemistry, haematology and transfusion science laboratories.

    • BHCS2006 Infection, Immunity and Disease

      This module is to develop an in-depth understanding of the immune system and pathogenic infection. It highlights the integrated cellular responses that prevent infection and the underlying principles that govern these actions, and it looks at measures to prevent and control infections, including health protection measures, antimicrobial therapy and vaccination.

    • BHCS2027 Placements and Employability

  • Year 3
  • You have the option to take up a work placement as part of your degree course between the end of Year 2 and the final year of your degree. Students can choose to apply for an Industrial or NHS placement. Industrial placements are usually 6 month or 12 month duration and upon successful completion, students will gain the Certificate of Industrial Experience. NHS placements are minimally a 40 week duration full-time or the equivalent. Those successfully completing an NHS placement and the IBMS v4 portfolio, will gain the Certificate of Competence from the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS). Students who have completed a full IBMS accredited degree (BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science; 360 credits) as well as the Certificate of Competence are eligible to apply to the HCPC to register as a Biomedical Scientist.

    Core modules
    • BHCS3030 Biomedical Sciences: Placement

      This module provides an opportunity for professional training of at least 26 weeks duration with an approved placement provider or host organisation between Stage 2 and 4. While on placement, students will gain work experience related to their degree programme, be able to apply their knowledge and expertise, and learn further skills and relevant techniques.

  • Final year
  • Your final year will support your critical thinking and enhance your practical competency. A personal research project allows you to study an area of biomedicine in detail. You will have a choice of research-led topics that discuss current developments and the implications for human health and clinical practice.
    Core modules
    • BHCS3001 Personal Research Project

      The module requires students to perform a self-directed research study project that includes the design, implementation, collection, analysis and interpretation of scientific data. It also involves the evaluation and interpretation of scientific literature, evaluation of current issues and concepts and the ability to reflect upon continuing professional and personal development.

    • BHCS3031 Personal Development and Employability

      The module aims to provide personal academic support and careers guidance. It will provide a forum for students to discuss their achievements and develop plans to address potential areas of weakness and achieve future career goals.

    Optional modules
    • BHCS3002 Molecular and Cellular Pathology

      This module provides knowledge of the cellular and molecular basis of a range of common altered health states. Current methods and techniques for investigative pathology will also be explored in a critical manner.

    • BHCS3003 Clinical Microbiology

      This module provides knowledge and skills that will enable students to operate effectively in a modern infection sciences laboratory. The module will develop an in-depth understanding of the commonly encountered infections, tests to identify the disease agents and the principles of antimicrobial therapy.

    • BHCS3004 Specialist Biochemistry and Screening

      This module provides theoretical and practical skills that will enable students to operate effectively in a modern blood sciences laboratory. Current practice in clinical biochemistry, pregnancy and paediatric blood sciences will be explored in a comprehensive and critical manner.

    • BHCS3005 Transplantation and Transfusion Science

      This module provides theoretical and practical skills that will enable students to operate effectively in a modern blood sciences laboratory. Current practice in transfusion and transplantation science including haematology and transplantation immunology will be explored in a comprehensive and critical manner.

    • BHCS3006 Cellular Basis of Immunity

      This module provides theoretical skills that will enable students to explore immune processes focussing on the role of immune cells and their molecules in host immune defences to pathogens and chronic diseases. Contemporary immunology research issues and their translation to clinical practice will be explored in a critical manner.

    • BHCS3007 Current Issues in Neurobiology

      This module provides an in depth understanding of the molecular, cellular and systems mechanisms that underlies nervous system function and dysfunction related to key contemporary issues in neuroscience

    • BHCS3008 Current Developments in Biomedical Science

      The module will promote an up to date understanding of research developments in aspects of blood, infection or cellular sciences. Students will have a choice of topics to focus on.

    • BHCS3009 Medical Genetics

      Medical genetics explores how genetics affects human health. Techniques for human genetic analyses are considered, and chromosomal, single gene and multifactorial disorders reviewed. The relevance of modern genetic and genomic technologies for public health and personalised medicine are examined.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BSc Biomedical Science programme specification 3628

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

112 - 128

A level: Typical offer of 112-128 points from a minimum 3 A Levels including grade B in Biology OR Human Biology and grade B in second science from one of, Physics, Chemistry, Maths Applied Science or Environmental Science/Studies. Excluding General Studies.

BTEC: DDM Applied Science, Medical Science acceptable provided they have at least 6 specialist units in Biology and Science (Maths, Chem, Phys) subjects. Please contact the admissions team if you require further advice.

International Baccalaureate: 28 overall to include 5 at Higher Level Biology and either Chemistry, Maths, Applied Science, Environmental Science or Physics.

IELTS: Overall average score of at least 6.5, with a score of at least 6.5 in the listening and reading sections and at least 6.5 in the writing and speaking sections.

Access Courses: Pass Access (e.g. science, combined science, medicine) with at least 45 credits at level 3, 30 must be at distinction level and come from at least two specialisms such as: maths, physics, chemistry, biology, psychology. The remaining 15 level 3 credits must be at merit from environmental science, psychology, science related subject. Must have GCSE English and Mathematics at grade C / 4 or above.


For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2018 2019
Home/EU £9,250 £9,250
International £13,000 £13,400
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances.

Additional costs 

  • The tuition fees do not cover the costs of purchasing books or stationery, printing, thesis branding, or photocopying costs.
  • If/when you are on placement there may be additional costs incurred for subsistence and travel.
  • Failure to attend the requisite immunisation clinics at the times stated would result in you having to self-fund your immunisation schedule.

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Student insight

Louise talks about how her biomedical sciences degree at the University of Plymouth prepared her for her studying to become a Physician Associate.

Louise is now a PgDip Physician Associate Studies student with us, but also completed a biomedical sciences degree at the University of Plymouth.

Visit the MSc Physician Associate Studies programme page

Biomedical Sciences

  • Explore human anatomy and physiology

    Biomedical Sciences

    Explore human anatomy and physiology
  • Make use of cutting-edge equipment such as the transmission electron microscope in the election microscopy suite

    Election microscopy suite

    Make use of cutting-edge equipment such as the transmission electron microscope in the election microscopy suite
  • Come view health and well-being from a microscopic perspective.

    Growth plate investigation

    Come view health and well-being from a microscopic perspective.
  • Gain valuable lab experience

    Laboratory work

    Gain valuable lab experience
  • Build skills directly relevant to the workplace with work placements following your second year on the course

    Placement

    Build skills directly relevant to the workplace with work placements following your second year on the course
  • Develop the skills to help diagnose and combat global health issues such as cancer

    Laboratory work

    Develop the skills to help diagnose and combat global health issues such as cancer
  • Expand your knowledge of the human body from the inside, out

    Biomedical Sciences

    Expand your knowledge of the human body from the inside, out

Holly Hardy - student insight

The modules of the course were varied and very attractive. I already had an inkling that I wanted to work in a laboratory and I decided that this course would give me the wide range of skills necessary to follow that path.

People

Our facilities

The School of Biomedical Sciences is based in purpose-built building linked to the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry.

You will find some of the best undergraduate laboratories in the country.

Find out more about our facilities

Systems Biology Centre

The Systems Biology Centre offers genomics and proteomics facilities to researchers within and external to the University.

Find out more about the centre in our video

Research

Learn about our varied research topics within the Biomedical Research Group, which include:

Non-invasive pre-natal testing, new targets for cancer treatment, understanding macrophages, combating sepsis and self-disseminating vaccines.

Discover more about the Biomedical Research Group