course page main image

Biomedical Sciences - BSc (Hons)

Currently viewing course to start in 2023/24 Entry. Switch to 2022/23 Entry

Do you want a career in biomedical sciences? Our practice-led degree offers a unique insight into human life processes, as well as disease and health within the population. You’ll develop a range of practical and analytical skills, with the opportunity to put them into practice during an optional sandwich year work placement....

  • Level Undergraduate
  • Study mode Full Time
  • Location City South
  • School School of Health Sciences
  • Faculty Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences

Overview

Do you want a career in biomedical sciences? Our practice-led degree offers a unique insight into human life processes, as well as disease and health within the population. You’ll develop a range of practical and analytical skills, with the opportunity to put them into practice during an optional sandwich year work placement. This course is based at our recently extended state-of-the-art £71 million campus in Edgbaston, Birmingham.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

Biomedical sciences embrace a number of important disciplines, including physiology, biochemistry, cell biology, microbiology and genetics. These subjects are of great importance in the provision of healthcare, medical research and underpin the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. On this course you will learn about how the human body functions in health and disease, and develop an understanding of the diagnosis, management and treatment of a range of diseases. This degree emphasises critical thinking and independent problem solving skills, which will help you to navigate a successful career after graduation.

Throughout this course you will acquire important practical and scientific skills whilst being taught in our new state-of-the-art life sciences laboratories. You will have the opportunity to take an optional sandwich-year placement in an industrial, clinical or research setting between years 2 and 3 of this course. In the final year you will undertake an independent Research Project where you will execute your own experiments under supervision.

Graduates may go on to a range of careers directly or after further post-graduate training and study. These careers include medical laboratory assistants, trainee biomedical scientists, physician associates, clinical trials for drug companies, research assistants and research technicians, marketing assistants and medical and scientific representatives. Graduates may also use their qualifications to progress into teaching careers, as well as post-graduate study to obtain MSc, MPhil, Physician Associate/Assistant and PhD qualifications. Exceptional graduates may be able progress into post-graduate Medicine and Dentistry.

Why Choose Us?

  • We’ve invested £71 million in our City South Campus - featuring specialist labs and over £250,000 worth of new equipment
  • Industry partnerships - you’ll benefit from our partnerships with employers to gain relevant work experience and opportunities
  • Access to our cutting-edge virtual technologies and one of the UK's largest specialist health education libraries
  • Passionate staff - learn from experienced tutors who are experts in their field
  • Student support - we provide you with a personal tutor to support you in achieving your learning goals
  • Get work experience abroad - you can apply for a travel scholarship as part of our Go Abroad scheme to carry out exciting work placements overseas

Similar Courses

Studying with us during the Covid-19 pandemic

The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses. Should the impact of the pandemic continue in future years, any additional or alternative arrangements put in place by the University will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

Open Days

Join us for an on-campus Open Day where you'll be able to explore our campus and facilities in person. You'll be able to hear more about your chosen subject area in our course talks.

Next Open Days: Autumn 2022

Register your interest

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

Essential Requirements

112 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level

Level 2 Qualifications
UK Qualification Requirements
GCSE
  • Three subjects at grade C/4 or above
  • Must include Mathematics, English language and Science subject
  • Level 2 equivalent qualifications (e.g. Functional Skills) are accepted
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
  • Preference is given to applicants who have obtained these grades on application
BTEC Level 2 Diploma
  • Pass
  • Science subject
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
  • Must be considered alongside GCSE or equivalent in Mathematics and English Language
  • Preference is given to applicants who have obtained these grades on application
BTEC Level 2 Extended Certificate
  • Pass
  • Science subject
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
  • Must be considered alongside GCSE or equivalent in Mathematics and English Language
  • Preference is given to applicants who have obtained these grades on application
City and Guilds Level 2 Certificates in Adult Numeracy/ Adult Literacy
  • Pass
  • Adult Numeracy / Adult Literacy
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
  • Must be considered alongside GCSE or equivalent in Mathematics, English Language and Science subject
  • Preference is given to applicants who have obtained these grades on application
Functional Skills/ Essential Skills level 2
  • Pass
  • Mathematics and English Language
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
  • Must be considered alongside GCSE or equivalent in Science subject
  • Preference is given to applicants who have obtained these grades on application
Key Skills level 2
  • Pass
  • Application of Number and Communication
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
  • Must be considered alongside GCSE or equivalent in Science subject
  • Preference is given to applicants who have obtained these grades on application
Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level)
  • See level 3 entry under Irish Leaving Certificate for full details
Scottish Intermediate 2
  • Three subjects at grade C or above
  • Must include Mathematics, English language and Science subject
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
  • Preference is given to applicants who have obtained these grades on application
Scottish Credit Standard Grade
  • Three subjects at grade 2 or above
  • Must include Mathematics, English language and Science subject
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
  • Preference is given to applicants who have obtained these grades on application
Scottish National 5
  • Three subjects at grade C or above
  • Must include Mathematics, English language and Science subject
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
  • Preference is given to applicants who have obtained these grades on application
IELTS
  • Applicants who have not received their secondary school education in English will require an overall IELTS score of 6.5, with no subtest below 6
  • If English is studied at GCSE Level but as a second language, IELTS must be completed to qualify for UK L2 requirement.
Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) Qualifications
UK Qualification Requirements
A level and Advanced VCE
  • BBC / 112 UCAS points
  • Including Psychology or Science subject at A-level or Level 3 equivalent
  • Psychology or Science subject must be at Grade B
  • Excluding General Studies, Critical Thinking and Extended Project
  • A maximum of 3 subjects are considered. These can be other A-levels or Level 3 equivalents
Access to HE Diploma
  • Science related pathway
  • Pass with 60 credits overall. At least 45 credits at Level 3 with 24 credits at Merit or Distinction (of which 18 must be in a Science or Health related subject)
  • If applying with an Access course you only need GCSE Mathematics and English Language at grade C/4 or above or accepted equivalent. You are not required to hold three GCSEs in total and GCSE Science is not required
British bachelor's degree
  • Minimum 2.2 at full honours
  • Considered on an individual basis
  • Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF) (2010 - 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (2002 – 2010)
  • DMM
  • Must be in Applied Science
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Diploma (QCF) (2010 – 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Certificate (2002 – 2010)
  • 112 UCAS points
  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification
  • Either the BTEC level 3 National Diploma or the accompanying A-level / level 3 equivalent must be in Psychology or Science subject
  • Pearson BTEC National Foundation Diploma (2016 to present)
  • Pearson BTEC 90-Credit Diploma (QCF) (2010 - 2016)
  • 112 UCAS points
  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification
  • Either the BTEC level 3 National Foundation Diploma or the accompanying A-level / level 3 equivalent must be in Psychology or Science subject
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Subsidiary Diploma (QCF) (2010 - 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Award (2002 - 2010)
  • 112 UCAS points
  • Considered with two A-levels or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)
  • Either the BTEC level 3 National Extended Certificate or one of the accompanying A-levels / level 3 equivalents must be in Psychology or Science subject
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Certificate
    (2016 - present)
  • BTEC Level 3 Certificate (QCF)
    (2010 - 2016)
  • 112 UCAS points
  • Considered with two A-levels or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)
  • Either the BTEC level 3 National Certificate or one of the accompanying A-levels / level 3 equivalents must be in Psychology or Science subject

International Baccalaureate Diploma

  • Obtain a minimum of 28 points overall with grade 4 or above in at least one Higher Level subject from Group 4 (Biology, Chemistry and Physics)
  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in Mathematics at Grade C/4 or above, we will accept grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level) from the IB Diploma
  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above, we will accept Standard Level English Language (not literature) English A - Grade 4 or above or English B - Grade 5 from the IB

Irish Leaving Certificate (Highers)

  • Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 112 tariff points, achieved in five Higher level subjects. This must include Maths and English Language taken at either Ordinary level (minimum grade O1-O4 (or A-C/A1-C3)) or Higher level (minimum grade H1-H7 (or A-D/A1-D3))
  • Must include Psychology or Science subject in Higher Level

OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma

  • DMM
  • Must be in Applied Science

OCR Cambridge Technical Diploma

  • 112 UCAS points
  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification
  • Either the OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Diploma or the accompanying A-level / level 3 equivalent must be in Applied Science, Psychology or Science subject
  • OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Foundation Diploma
    (2016 - present)
  • OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Subsidiary Diploma
    (until-2016)
  • 112 UCAS points
  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification
  • Either the OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Foundation Diploma or the accompanying A-level / level 3 equivalent must be in Applied Science, Psychology or Science subject
  • OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate
    (2016 – present)
  • OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma
    (until 2016)
  • 112 UCAS points
  • Considered with two A-level or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)
  • Either the OCR level 3 Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate or one of the accompanying A-levels / level 3 equivalents must be in Applied Science, Psychology or Science subject

Open University courses

  • Considered on an individual basis
  • Must be in a science subject

Scottish Advanced Higher

  • Achieve a minimum of 112 tariff points achieved in either three Advanced Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers
  • Where three Advanced Highers have been taken achieve a minimum of grades CCD.
  • Where a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers have been taken you must achieve (grades of CD in two Advanced Highers plus grades of CC in two Highers)
  • Must include Health and Social Care, Psychology or Science subject at Higher level or above

T-Levels

  • 112 UCAS points (Merit overall)
  • Must be in science

Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate - Skills Challenge Certificate (first teaching September 2015)

  • 112 UCAS points
  • Considered with two A-level or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)
  • One of the A-level / equivalent qualifications being taken must be in Psychology or Science subject

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma – Core (awarded until 2016) ESW/KS Combined component

  • 112 UCAS points
  • Considered with two A-level or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)
  • One of the A-level / equivalent qualifications being taken must be in Psychology or Science subject
Other qualifications

If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Recent relevant study to GCE A-level standard or above must have been completed within five years of the course intake date the applicant is applying for.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.

Extra Information for EU/international students
Essential
EU/non-EU (international) qualifications Requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall with 6 minimum in all bands
International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses). 28 points (minimum grade 5 in Higher Level Mathematics) Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.

 

International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).

Fees & How to Apply

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2023

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

International students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2023

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 3 years
  • TBC

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead.

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.

Printing

You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key Software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

Free access to Rosetta Stone

All students can sign up to the online learning language platform for free through the Graduate+ scheme.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Books (optional)

All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. You may choose to purchase a copy.

Subscriptions (optional)

You may wish to purchase subscriptions to additional journals and websites.

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

Guidance for UK students

UCAS

UK students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Our advice for applying to a health care course

Applying for a course and preparing for an interview can be a daunting process, so we have created a series of films to help you through the process, including what to put in your personal statement.

More guidance

Guidance for International students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and Equal Opportunities Form, and submit them together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.

3) Through UCAS

If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.

Personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

Course in Depth

Year One

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Year Two

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 100 credits).

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete at least 20 credits from the following indicative list of OPTIONAL modules.

All core modules are guaranteed to run. Optional modules will vary from year to year and the published list is indicative only.

Sandwich Year

With the support of our dedicated placement team, you'll secure a year-long work placement with an organisation that allows you to further explore an area that interests you.

The placement is an incredible opportunity to apply the knowledge that you have developed to a hands-on role and get invaluable work experience before you graduate. Employers and graduates feedback to us about how important this year is and if gives you a real head start when finding a job.

Placement

Final Year

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 80 credits).

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete at least 40 credits from the following indicative list of OPTIONAL modules.

All core modules are guaranteed to run. Optional modules will vary from year to year and the published list is indicative only.

Download course specification

Download now

How you'll learn

Our teaching philosophy is focused on enabling students to progress as self-directed learners. You will be encouraged to investigate, to be creative and enterprising, and to think critically about the current and future global challenges faced by modern day scientists. These attributes will be developed within independent subject modules, overseen by a dedicated team of scientists with teaching and research expertise covering the whole range of biomedical sciences disciplines.

You'll be exposed to a number of different teaching and learning styles, as well as a range of assessment types. You will also be able to influence your learning pathway by choosing from a choice of optional modules in your second and final years of study.’

Employability

Enhancing your employability skills

We'll develop you into a work-ready graduate. Employability skills are embedded throughout the programme that will enable you to succeed in careers in science, and which are transferable across a variety of graduate careers

You will also have access to the Universities Graduate+ programme which will provide you with opportunities to engage in extracurricular activities that will help to expand your employability attributes. There are modules in the programme that provide you with opportunities to develop employability skills on work placements or as part of research-focused projects.

Placements

You will have the opportunity to gain valuable work-life skills as part of a placement that will be relevant to biomedical sciences. You'll be offered a choice of placements in educational, industrial or research based settings, but we'll also encourage you to find your own placement that suits your interests and needs.

More about our placement opportunities

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

International

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Facilities & Staff

The creation of our new suite of courses in Sport and Life Sciences is yet another exciting development at Birmingham City University. The 10,500sq metre building at City South Campus will enable us to offer a wide range of new health, nutrition, biomedical science and sports courses, as well as providing a new home for our education programmes.

Not only are we investing £41 million in a new building to house the laboratories and teaching spaces needed, but we also plan to open up these facilities to benefit all students and the wider community. This will complement our existing sports facilities, which already provide a base for students to compete in activities ranging from rugby to jiu jitsu.

The courses will reflect the latest developments in our teaching and our focus on practice-led learning with work placements and live industry case studies incorporated into the curriculum. All courses have been co-designed with employers and are endorsed or accredited by professional bodies where appropriate.

By expanding our provision to these new areas, we will be helping to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing society today, such as obesity and unhealthy lifestyles, by encouraging and supporting healthy eating and greater physical activity.

In addition, we will be producing graduates who can support elite performers in meeting the UK’s ambitions for sporting success at events such as the Olympics and other world sporting tournaments. We are constantly looking to enhance the range of courses we offer - please check all our courses for the latest additions to our portfolio.

Simulation Mannequins

We have several Simulation men (SIM men) and Simulation babies (SIM babies) which are leading edge, anatomically correct mannequins used for teaching specific techniques such as advanced adult and paediatric life support skills, acute and high dependency clinical skills, first aid and communication skills.

Simulation Mannequins

SPACE skills practice model

S.P.A.C.E.

SPACE is an innovative practice area all students can access to use equipment and resources to practise a wide range of skills in a safe, welcoming and supportive environment. It provides students with a creative learning environment to get the best educational experience before becoming a health care professional.

S.P.A.C.E.

Learning Facilities

We offer up-to-date, innovative facilities that simulate the real situations that medical staff may come across. These resources are essential in offering students a hands-on introduction to health and social care practice.

Learning Facilities

Nursing - Facilities - Virtual Tour

Virtual Tour

Explore our facilities in 360 panoramas, including welcome videos from key members of staff and Health and Wellbeing student profiles.

Virtual Tour

Doug Ellis Sports Centre

Our £8.5 million Doug Ellis Sports Centre boasts an 80-station fitness suite, an eight-court sports hall, and workout and spinning studios. The centre offers state-of-the-art fitness training equipment and plenty of room for team sports including five-a-side football and cricket. An all-weather pitch adds the finishing touches to the centre.

Visitors to the gym can choose a personalised fitness programme, instructed by qualified fitness trainers, and take advantage of a selection of classes, such as yoga, salsa or body combat.

Doug Ellis Sports Centre website

Our staff

Dr Andy Powell

Course Leader for BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences

In 1996 Andy graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Physiology from the University of Manchester; he then completed a PhD in Pharmacology at the University of Bristol where he investigated the Modulation of Neurotransmitter release by Purinoceptors.

More about Andy

David Lee

Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences

David completed his degree and PhD at the University of Birmingham before embarking on a research career as a Senior Research and Teaching Fellow. He joined Birmingham City University in 2016 as lead for the Biomedical sciences programme. David maintains research links with the University of Birmingham where he continues to supervise a doctoral...

More about David

Dr Martin Goldberg

Lecturer in Clinical Microbiology

After completing his degree in Bacteriology and Genetics at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Martin worked for several years as a Biomedical Scientist in the large microbiology labs at Leicester Royal Infirmary. During this time, he became a Fellow of the Institute of Biomedical Sciences. Martin then moved to the Genetics Department at...

More about Martin

Dr Ashok Patel

Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences

Ashok completed a PhD in genetic predisposition to diabetic nephropathy and retinopathy whilst working in a lab at Kings College Hospital in London. He then worked as a Research Fellow at the Windeyer institute of Medical Sciences, University College London, for three years. This was followed by a Research Fellow post at the University of...

More about Ashok