Undergraduate study
Life & Physical Sciences

BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science (Extended)

UCAS code: C904 BSc/BiomSE

Biomedical science is the study and investigation of a wide range of subject areas to understand the cause, diagnosis and treatment of human disease. Biomedical scientists undertake a broad range of clinical laboratory investigations including cancer screening, identifying genetic disorders, diagnosing HIV, blood transfusion screening, preparing for surgery, food poisoning and infectious disease control.

Course information

Full-time

  • Length: 4 years (including a foundation year)

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Part-time

  • Not available part-time

Contact details

Further information

  • Facilities

    Microscopy laboratory

    Here at Teesside we have world-class facilities, including our microscopy laboratory, it's a 360 video so have a scroll around.

 

Biomedical scientists work in partnership with doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals to perform many different roles in NHS laboratories. Without biomedical scientists the diagnosis of disease, accident and emergency, and operating theatres could not properly function, and evaluating the effectiveness of treatment and research into the causes and cures of disease would not be possible. Biomedical scientists are at the forefront of our modern healthcare system.

As a biomedical scientist you are critical in the investigation to aid the diagnosis and prevention of disease. The structure of this degree reflects the knowledge and clinical laboratory skills required by a biomedical scientist. Fundamental concepts of cell biology, human anatomy and physiology, biochemistry, genetics, immunology and microbiology underpin the study of biomedical science.

This degree also develops skills for employability including good laboratory practice, COSHH assessments, health and safety policies, Human Tissue Act, quality assurance and transferable skills including verbal and poster presentations, written reports, independent research and teamworking skills.

In the first year of study you develop your knowledge in maths and the fundamentals of biological, chemical and physical sciences. You study material to help you develop numerical, communication, practical and learning skills. Successful completion of your first year enables you to proceed confidently on to the remainder of your degree course.

Professional accreditation

This course is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science This course is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science

Course structure

Year 0 (foundation year) core modules

Experimental Methods for Life Sciences

This module is based on a series of practical sessions. The first emphasises important basic skills such as how to work safely in a practical environment and how to properly document practical work. This is followed by a series of practical sessions based on your wider academic interests. If you are interested in biology, you investigate the basics of microscopy and handling microorganisms. If you are interested in food sciences, you look at safely handling food. If you are interested in chemistry, you begin to use volumetric glassware and investigate acid base titrations.

Fundamentals of Biology

Biology is arguably the most dynamic and rapidly-growing of all the sciences. Its key principles underlie diverse fields such as medicine, nutrition, biotechnology, forensics and crime scene science. The module develops your understanding of cell structure and function, the basic principles of genetics and protein synthesis, biochemistry, human anatomy, disease-causing microorganisms, environmental management and the role of biology in the forensic and crime scene disciplines.

Fundamentals of Chemistry

Chemistry is a key science that underpins many areas of science, and contributes hugely to our quality of life. Without chemistry we would have no pharmaceuticals or plastics, perfumes and paints, and numerous other materials that we take for granted. You develop an understanding of the fundamentals of chemistry, including study of the structure of elements and compounds, how they interact with each other, and how new chemical compounds are formed. Building on these foundations, you study the basics of organic and biological chemistry.

Fundamentals of Mathematics for Science

This module refreshes and enhances your maths skills as you prepare to study science at undergraduate level. It introduces the mathematical notation and techniques relevant to studying science, developing the skills you need to analyse and solve science problems. You study numerical and algebraic manipulation, solving equations, solving triangles, and introducing probability and descriptive statistics.

You are assessed by an in-course assignment (40%) focusing on the practical application of statistics to scientific data. You also sit an end examination (60%).

Fundamentals of Physics

You develop an understanding of the fundamentals of physics, and their application in science. Concepts from physics and physical measurement underpin nearly all other areas of scientific endeavour. You develop an understanding of the fundamental ideas, particularly common units of measurement.

Learning Skills for Science

The module aims to develop an understanding of the learning skills required for successful study at undergraduate level in science. Students will be encouraged to reflect on and manage their own learning. Time management and good learning practices will be emphasised during the module.
The first few weeks of the module are delivered in the library, and will focus on effective use of information resources.
Later in the module, you will develop your understanding of essay form, referencing, and how to avoid plagiarism.
Professional skills are also emphasised in this module, including how to effectively plan and manage your personal and professional development.

 

Year 1 core modules

Anatomy and Physiology

This module provides you with a basic knowledge of human anatomy and develops your ability to relate this knowledge to the mechanisms associated with controlling and regulating physiological processes of the major organs of the body. This module develops contexts of applied knowledge such as constructing biological profiles for human identification including sex, age at death, stature determination and biological affinity.

Biochemistry and Chemical Science

Biochemistry, the study of the chemistry of life, is one of the most important and exciting areas of science. It spans areas including biomedical science, nutrition, drug design, forensic science, agriculture and manufacturing. It covers the most important principles of biochemistry including the structure of the atom, chemical bonding and the forces that operate between molecules, chemical reactions and biological pathways. You study the chemistry of carbon and why it is capable of forming the complex 3D modules that make life possible. And you study important groups of biological molecules in detail including proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and nucleic acids.

Biological Methods

Life sciences is a multifaceted field drawing on knowledge and understanding from the molecular level to whole organisms and ecosystems. Biologists must be able to work in teams, drawing on this vast knowledge to solve problems in the field. In this module, you work in teams to solve a biologically relevant problem, taking into account the principles of health, safety and ethics facing professionals in the workplace. You develop a range of employability skills such as time management and presenting your work. You also gain the research skills needed to support problem solving in the field and to help you become a well-rounded, professional scientist.

Cell Biology and Microbiology

The cellular basis of all living organisms is one of the characteristics which defines life. This module explores the common features and the immense diversity of form and function displayed by cells of organisms. The module will increase your understanding of biological processes at the cellular level. It covers the structure and function of major cellular components and examines how fundamental processes within cells are organised and regulated, such as gene and protein expression. It also addresses the mechanisms by which cells divide, reproduce and differentiate. You study the historical development of cell biology and microbiology advances in theoretical and practical aspects of the discipline. You explore how knowledge of the biology of microorganisms, including bacteria and viruses, has informed the identification and control of infectious diseases. You also examine the beneficial roles of many microorganisms and their utilisation in genetic engineering and biotechnology.

Core Skills in Life Sciences

Knowledge of the degree subject is not the only thing you learn whilst at university and it’s not the only thing that potential employers are looking for after graduation. You also need to develop a range of skills applicable for a variety of career pathways These include your ability to articulate yourself clearly, confidently and effectively to different audiences; to work independently or on your own initiative demonstrating creativity and adaptability when tackling problems where you don’t have all the necessary information available; to locate information and critically assess its usefulness; and to make efficient and effective use of the latest information technology.

You also learn to assess your own performance, giving you the chance to recognise and build on your strengths, and identify and improve your weaknesses as a way to raise your aspirations. This module also introduces you to basic principles and good practice in collecting, recording and evaluating data, and using information resources and referencing. You also consider the assessment and handling of scientific errors. You review a range of basic mathematical skills and introduce statistical methods that are essential in a wide range of scientific endeavour. Emphasis is placed on using spreadsheets for data recording, presentation and statistical analysis.

Medical Laboratory Science

Within this module you recognise, use and demonstrate good laboratory skills in the biomedical laboratory. You develop your understanding of the role of a biomedical scientist and the skills set associated with the good laboratory practices, including knowledge of quality procedures.

 

Year 2 core modules

Clinical Pharmacology

This module focuses on treating and preventing disease. You study the nature of the adverse effects of drugs and other chemicals on living systems. You explore treatments of diseases in major organs and the effects of drugs used in chemotherapy.

Genetics and Molecular Biology

This module introduces you to a range of modern molecular biology concepts and techniques. It addresses general molecular biology, molecular biology of genetic diseases and using molecular biology for producing recombinant proteins and forensic applications. The new age of molecular biology is underpinned by gene and genome sequencing, sequence analysis and sequence manipulation. You are introduced to the principles of sequence analysis and how these techniques have revolutionised all areas of molecular biology, particularly the technique of polymerase chain reaction (PCR). You learn through lectures and tutorials that allow you to gain insight into the theoretical aspects of molecular biology. A series of laboratory practical sessions introduce the basic techniques at the heart of modern molecular biology such as DNA purification, PCR, restriction digestion, control of gene expression, nucleic acid analysis through agarose gels and sequencing.

Human Diseases and Immunology

Infectious diseases are responsible for a third of global mortality and have a significant impact on quality of life on a worldwide basis. This module examines the organisms able to generate pathogenic interactions with human populations and takes a systems-based approach, for example gastrointestinal, respiratory and genitourinary tract, to examine the virulence determinants, pathology, characteristics and epidemiology of selected pathogens. You are also introduced to the current molecular and cellular biology of pathogen interactions and co-evolution with host cells, and their relevance to human diseases. And you consider the factors contributing to the emergence of devastating pandemics and new diseases, in particular the significance of zoonotic diseases. The module reviews the extensive array of protein and cell-based responses which are typically launched against microbial pathogens as part of the innate and acquired immune response. You analyse the effectiveness of strategies used to treat and control the transmission of infectious diseases.

Human Metabolism and Clinical Biochemistry

This module provides you with a broad understanding of the linked themes of metabolism and endocrinology. Metabolism, the chemical processes that occur in living organisms, is examined in the context of cellular respiration, and the metabolism of exogens such as drugs and vitamins. Endocrinology, the study of the physiological role of hormones, is covered in detail, including review of the mechanisms underpinning hormone action, the roles of second messengers, and endocrine system disorders. This module also explores the methods used for collecting, measuring and analysing clinical samples.

Molecular and Cellular Pathology

This module provides you with an understanding of visualisation and imaging techniques such as microscopy whilst exploring the structure and function of different tissue types. This module addresses the incidence and causes of major human disease, investigating the histopathology and cytopathology indicative of abnormal tissues and diseases. You also work in groups to solve a routine problem typically associated with histology and biomedical laboratories.

Science Research Methods and Proposal

You will take this module if you are studying a science degree and complete a hypothesis-driven research project at Level 6 of your degree studies. It is delivered though lectures, tutorials and workshops.

You develop a proposal for your research project, which includes an explanation of the project targeted at both a specialist audience and the general public, and details of experimental design and statistical analysis to be employed. The proposal considers academic beneficiaries and economic, environmental and societal impacts. Project costs are estimated on the basis of a full economic costing model. In addition, the proposal is supported by a targeted CV.

A short lecture series at the start of the academic year provides you with an introduction to the module and advice on completing the research proposal documentation, followed by a series of assessment centre-style workshops and tasks which help assign you to a specific research project area and supervisor. These tasks familiarise you with the type of activities you might face during the application, interview and selection procedures.

You must produce a research proposal for your individual project. You are supported by a series of meetings with your supervisor to provide feedback on your progress.

For the proposal to be considered you must acquire ethical clearance from the School Research Ethics Committee. Once you are allocated a project you join discipline-based tutorials with other students. Each discipline operates tutorial sessions, which are used to provide academic guidance and support for completing ethical clearance documentation and the proposal. A series of research methodology-based workshops introduce you to various experimental designs and statistical techniques relevant to your discipline. These sessions also demonstrate how you can use software such as Minitab, SPSS and Excel to present and analyse datasets. These workshops help you decide on the design and analysis of the data associated with your project.

The module is assessed by you successfully acquiring ethical clearance (pass/fail) and submitting a completed research project proposal and supporting CV (100%).

 

Final-year core modules

Biomedical Science Research Project

The Biomedical Science Research Project allows you to bring together a range of practical and academic skills, developed in previous years of study, to interrogate a particular aspect of your field of study. This project allows you to specialise in a particular area of science and involves a significant contribution on your part. An appointed academic staff member supports you as your research supervisor – they act as a mentor and guide as you develop and complete your research project.

You are required to present a poster and abstract at the annual School of Science & Engineering Poster Day, attended by academic members of the School, external examiners and professionals from the region. The poster contributes to your final project mark. Throughout the project you are expected to maintain systematic and reliable records of your research. These records are regularly reviewed by your supervisor and assessed at the end of the project. You present your research in the style of a paper which could be submitted to an appropriate scientific journal.

Clinical Biochemistry

You explore the function and dysfunction of systems, organs and tissues by measuring biochemical biomarkers. You explore modern analytical techniques used for measuring biochemical markers which aid the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of diseases. You also explore therapeutic drug monitoring methods including those used to investigate drugs of abuse.

Clinical Genetics

You are introduced to the organisation of diagnostic hospital laboratories offering genetic services. Methods such as cytogenetics, molecular genetics and clinical genetics are used for identifying and mapping genes on human chromosomes which are related to the pathology and genetics of a number of diseases. You critically evaluate the importance of family history in recognising patient symptoms, the role of animal models, ethical issues and gene therapy approaches to disease.

Clinical Haematology and Transfusion Science

You study blood groups and their classification. You cover the structure, genetics and inheritance of blood groups as well as preparing, storing and using various blood components in transfusion science. You explore the skills required to collect, prepare and analyse blood cells and further develop them to appreciate the safe supply and use of blood and blood components.

Medical Microbiology

The module helps you explore how modern clinical microbiology can be used to detect, diagnose and control infectious diseases. You extend your understanding of the molecular basis of microbial pathogenesis and it allows you to explore how modern molecular biology techniques have been employed to define the nature of host-pathogen interactions.

 

Modules offered may vary.

How you learn

You are expected to attend a range of lectures, small group tutorials and hands-on laboratory sessions. Part of your course also involves a substantial independent research-based project.

The course provides a number of contact teaching and assessment hours – such as lectures, tutorials, laboratory work, projects, exams – but you are also expected to spend time on your own. This self-study time is to review lecture notes, prepare coursework assignments, work on projects and revise for assessments. Each year of full-time study consists of modules totalling 120 credits and each unit of credit corresponds to 10 hours of learning and assessment (contact hours plus self-study hours). So, during one year of full-time study you can expect to have 1,200 hours of learning and assessment.

One module in each year of your study, excluding your first year (Level 3), involves a compulsory one-week block delivery period. This intensive problem-solving week, provides you with an opportunity to focus your attention on particular problems and enhance your team-working and employability skills.

How you are assessed

Your learning involves different types of assessment including coursework assignments and exam.


Our Disability Services team helps students with additional needs resulting from disabilities such as sensory impairment or learning difficulties such as dyslexia
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Career opportunities

As a biomedical science graduate you can work in the healthcare system to support the diagnosis of disease and monitoring of treatments by analysis of samples.

Biomedical science is a rapidly changing profession and graduates are sought by a range of industries and organisations including food production, pharmaceuticals, environmental agencies and government laboratories. Some graduates also go into teaching or do further research and development work in higher education.

Biomedical scientist salaries start at £21,388 - £27,901 and increase to around £25,783 - £34,530 for team leaders or specialist roles. Typical salaries at senior level and with experience, for roles including team manager or advanced practitioner, are around £30,764 - £40,558. Higher salaries may be available after this with further progression (www.prospects.ac.uk).

Entry requirements

Depending on the Level 3 subjects previously studied, typical offers are normally 32-88 tariff points. The points can be accumulated from any combination of Level 3 qualifications. We also consider a range of alternative qualifications and relevant work experience.

Acceptable entry qualifications can include any of the following:
1. Any combination of Level 3 qualifications (for example, A/AS levels, BTEC Certificates/Diplomas, Access to HE courses)
or
2. A High School Certificate/Diploma with good grades completed after at least 12 years of primary and secondary education
or
3. Demonstrable evidence of appropriate knowledge and skills acquired from at least three years of relevant post-school work experience.

There are no mandatory Level 3 subjects required for entry to this course, but normally we expect you to provide evidence of English language and mathematical skills equivalent to GCSE grade 4 or higher. We consider a wide range of English and maths qualifications alternative to GCSEs. Please contact our admissions staff for advice.

If you are in the UK you may be required to attend an interview before we make you an individual offer tailored to your background, experience and qualifications. During your visit you also have the opportunity to see our campus, get more information on your course, tour our facilities and meet our staff.

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Guaranteed Place Scheme (for UK/EU students only)

If you have completed Level 3 qualifications (for example AS Levels, BTEC Nationals) and have at least five GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including English and Mathematics, you may be eligible for a guaranteed place on an Extended degree course in your chosen subject whilst still working towards meeting the conditions required for a course with higher entry requirements.
Find out more and check your eligibility

For additional information please see the entry requirements in our admissions section

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country


You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
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Course information

Full-time

  • Length: 4 years (including a foundation year)

More full-time details

Part-time

  • Not available part-time

Contact details

Further information