Postgraduate study
Life & Physical Sciences

MSc Advanced Biomedical Science*

Biomedical science is about deepening our understanding of the human body in health and disease, helping to develop treatments that can save and improve lives.

Course information

Full-time

  • September enrolment: 1 year, January enrolment: 16 months, including a summer break

More full-time details

2019 entry

Part-time

  • September enrolment: 2 years, including a summer break, January enrolment: 28 months, including two summer breaks

More part-time details

2019 entry

Contact details

Further information

 

The MSc Advanced Biomedical Science provides the skills and knowledge to create wide-ranging opportunities for employment in fields such as hospital science, biomedical and pharmaceutical industries or public health laboratories within the NHS. The opportunity to develop your research skills, explore specialist areas, and complete an independent research project, provides preparation for careers in research or teaching or to pursue studies towards a PhD. The course aims to produce postgraduates who have the knowledge and skills to become professional biomedical scientists and operate at an advanced level. Core modules will develop knowledge of the biological aspects of disease processes while introducing cutting edge analytical skills.

Our extensive links with NHS and private laboratories, ensure course content is kept up to date and relevant to employers. You are introduced to some of the contemporary issues facing the industry. The course provides hands-on practical experience of both laboratory and bioinformatics techniques. You are trained in biotechnology research strategies and gain a sound understanding of the nature of business based on bioscience knowledge and research, their opportunities for innovation and regulatory requirement constraints, intellectual property and ethical issues. The course develops comprehensive knowledge and understanding of biomedical science in the 21st century. It focuses on genomics and bioinformatics together with emerging clinical biochemistry and diagnostic techniques. You also have the option to explore pathobiology of genetic disorders or neurodegenerative disease or infectious diseases in great depth. The course is delivered at the University’s National Horizons Centre, a new £22m research, teaching and training facility which addresses the growth needs of the bio-based industries set to transform the UK economy, including biologics, industrial biotechnology and bio-pharmaceuticals.

The centre’s imaginative design includes a blend of teaching, learning and collaboration spaces, hi-tech laboratories and a state-of-the-art computing suite. Open innovation spaces provide businesses with the tools for project development using data analytics, modelling and simulation, visualisation and process improvement and control. Next to CPI’s National Biologics Manufacturing Centre and the University’s Centre for Professional and Executive Development, the NHC is at the heart of an ecosystem of life science excellence. Our extensive links with NHS and private laboratories, ensure course content is kept up to date and relevant to employers, meaning students are introduced to some of the contemporary issues facing the industry.The NHC offers state-of-the-art analytical and digital infrastructure supporting basic and applied research in the biosciences and across disciplinary boundaries, aligned to academic excellence and industry needs. It exposes students to a significant internationally competitive research and innovation capability that is responsive and engaged with industry needs to develop sustainable relationships with regional and national partners to power growth and innovation in the bioscience sector.

Facilities in the centre enable students to engage with a range of advance and innovative research themes including:
• Provision of a comprehensive genomic, proteomic, metabolomics data acquisition, processing and modeling capability with internationally competitive instrumentation, software and technical support.
• Studies of disease pathways including biomarker discovery, treatment monitoring, development of diagnostics and screening. Supported by bioinformatics modeling and development of predictive models.
• Biopharmaceutical research including product characterisation, metabolism and drug interaction studies.
• Protein structure/function studies including aggregation, modification, activation and inhibition.
• Use of advanced cellular imaging capabilities, including live cell imaging, using light, confocal and Raman, which among other topics, enables the study of;
o molecular interactions
o conformational changes
o drug interactions with living cells
o tissue characterisation.

To qualify at master’s level, you undertake a research project/dissertation, which may be carried out in the University labs or in the workplace if you are currently employed. We offer a range of projects in biomedical science as well as more specialist research areas.

For an MSc award you must successfully complete 120 credits of taught modules and a 60-credit master's research project.
The programme has been developed in consultation with local health trusts and you are taught by a team of experienced practitioner-based academic staff and researchers and benefit from lectures by visiting HCPC registered experts; ensuring your learning is relevant to current practice.
The programme develops comprehensive knowledge and understanding of biomedical science in the 21st century. As such it focuses on genomics and bioinformatics together with emerging clinical biochemistry and diagnostic techniques. You also explore the pathobiology of neurological disease and infectious diseases in great depth.

Course structure

Core modules

Advanced Biological Aspects of Disease

You investigate a range of innovative forward-looking research into the basic physiological aspects of disease and the associated pioneering treatments that are currently being developed. The topics include: the mechanisms and treatment of depression, transporter gene acquisition and innovation in microsporidia intracellular parasites, the potential roles of mitochondrial defects and iron accumulation in Parkinson’s disease, the contributions of the structure and function of airway epithelium to asthma and respiratory disease, molecular and cellular portraits of cancer, and sphingolipids as potential drug targets in protozoan parasites. You will fully develop the essential transferable skills of research, communication, and critical thinking by regularly reading and judging the data in primary research articles by formative presentations and in-class debate, as well as the summative written scientific review. These employability skills will be indispensable in your career development whether you progress to posts in research, industry, or hospitals.

Analytical Techniques

You focus on a range of analytical instrumentation used in bioscience research applications. Emphasis will be placed upon chromatography, mass spectrometry and spectroscopy instrumentation. The importance of these practical instrumentation techniques to modern investigations, including proteomics, metabolomics and genomics, will be explored. You will learn advanced laboratory skills for sample extraction, sample preparation, instrumentation methodology and how to interpret spectra. You will develop essential data handling skills, including the use of a range of statistical programmes.

Clinical Biochemistry and Diagnostic Techniques

You explore advanced topics in biochemistry with special focus on clinical applications and diagnostic techniques. This involves the study of clinical analysis of bodily fluids and other biological materials to aid in the diagnosis, therapy and monitoring of a variety of diseases. You will acquire the knowledge necessary for understanding the essential concepts of clinical biochemistry and of the associated diagnostic techniques.

Genomics and Bioinformatics

You gain an in depth understanding of advances genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics knowledge and their applications in specific disease state. You learn about the most recent technologies including next generation gene sequencing, genome editing, genomic and bioinformatics analyses. This module also explores the genomic application for disease treatment and prevention (pharmacogenomics), personalised medicine as well as ethical challenges in this field.

Pathobiology of Infectious Diseases

You gain a deep understanding of infectious disease and will cover a wide range of medically-important human pathogens. Key aspects of pathobiology will be taught including pathogen genomics and evolution, bioinformatics, and the cellular and molecular biology that underpin these host pathogen interactions. Subversion of key mammalian cell biological processes, including immunology, that are targeted by pathogens will also be described. Advanced laboratory techniques and bioinformatics will be introduced that are commonly used to uncover mechanisms of pathogenesis.

Pathobiology of Neurological Diseases

You explore the pathophysiological basis of diseases commonly associated with the central nervous system, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy and stroke. The module will explore the genetic, molecular, cellular and neurochemical pathways involved in diseases of the central nervous system and how such abnormalities manifest clinically. It will also examine the various treatment strategies available for such diseases.

Research Project

Investigate an area of engineering or science for an extended period through a research project or design project, working independently at a level recognised as at the forefront of the discipline. You develop key research skills, applying and creating your knowledge through keynote lectures and self-managed independent study. You will demonstrate your capacity for comprehensive and objective analysis, and for developing innovative and constructive proposals as a solution to the project topic. We support you through tutorials and/or one-to-one guidance but you require a high degree of autonomy.

 

Modules offered may vary.

How you learn

Making the transition to postgraduate-level study can be challenging. Support with making this transition is seen as an important element.

The Analytical Techniques and Clinical Biochemistry and Diagnostic Techniques modules help you understand the requirements of academic study at postgraduate level, to enhance your skills in academic writing and referencing, and to help you develop the skills necessary to operate professionally, safely and ethically in planning and implementing a master’s-level research project.

By including work-based problem-solving projects and case study exercises this programme emphasises real-world working. This helps to develop your critical thinking skills as well as your ability to design, execute and present findings of research, allowing you to cultivate the skills employers are seeking to set you on a successful career path. 

A significant feature of the programme is the opportunity to gain experience of working in state-of-the-art biomedical research facilities within the National Horizon Centre.

How you are assessed

You are assessed on subject knowledge, independent thought and skills acquisition through formative and summative assessment. 
Modules are assessed by a variety of methods including examination and in-course assessment with some utilising other approaches such as, oral presentations, technical interviews and technical reports alongside literature surveys, evaluations and summaries.

You are presented with an assessment schedule providing details of the submission deadlines for summative assessments.

Work placement

There may be short-term placement opportunities, particularly during the project phase of the course.

Career opportunities

This course is the ideal progression route for BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science graduates or other bioscience disciplines. It enhances your career prospects in the bioscience and biotechnology industries as well as preparing you for pursuing PhD positions.

Entry requirements

Applicants are normally expected to have at least a UK 2.2 honours degree, or equivalent, in a subject related to life or physical sciences, for example biomedical science, human biology and biological science. If your first degree is not listed above, or you have non-standard qualifications and/or relevant experience, please contact our Admissions Office.

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

In addition, international students normally need at least a 6.0, with no component below 5.5, in the International Language Testing System (IELTS) test.

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

Health conditions requiring adjustments

For this particular course, you may need to undertake an occupational health or work-based risk assessment check. If you have a disability, specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism spectrum condition, sensory impairment or medical condition that may require reasonable adjustments during an external placement, in the university or in a clinical practice area, this must be declared as part of the enrolment process. If you are unsure you can contact the relevant admissions or course tutor for guidance.

* Subject to University approval

Course information

Full-time

  • September enrolment: 1 year, January enrolment: 16 months, including a summer break

More full-time details

2019 entry

Part-time

  • September enrolment: 2 years, including a summer break, January enrolment: 28 months, including two summer breaks

More part-time details

2019 entry

Contact details

Further information