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Biomedical Sciences - BSc (Hons)

Currently viewing course to start in 2024/25 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

This course is:

Open to International Students

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 £71 million campus in Edgbaston, Birmingham, which includes state-of-the-art facilities.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

Biomedical sciences encompass a number of important disciplines, including physiology, biochemistry, cell biology, microbiology and genetics. These subjects are hugely important in providing healthcare and medical research as well as underpinning 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 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 the second and third year of this course. In the final year you will undertake an independent Research Project where you will execute your own experiments under supervision.

On graduation, you may go on to a range of careers directly or after further postgraduate 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 postgraduate study to obtain MSc, MPhil, Physician Associate/Assistant and PhD qualifications. Exceptional graduates may be able progress into postgraduate Medicine or Dentistry.

Why Choose Us?

  • Taught by expert academic staff with a range of experience from the biotechnology industry, clinical sciences, education, and research.
  • Work in our well-equipped teaching laboratories and develop a broad range of skills that will prepare you for a career in the Life Sciences and beyond.
  • Get involved in our cutting-edge research, and work alongside our research staff on an independent project in the final year.
  • Apply for a travel scholarship as part of our Go Abroad scheme to carry out exciting work placements overseas.

Open Days

Join us for an on-campus Open Day where you'll be able to meet us in person, hear from our trailblazing academics and explore our innovative £400m facilities.

Next Open Day: 23 March 2024

Book Now

Entry Requirements

These entry requirements apply for entry in 2024/25.

All required qualifications/grades must have been achieved and evidenced at the earliest opportunity after accepting an offer to help confirm admission and allow for on-time enrolment. This can also include other requirements, like a fee status form and relevant documents. Applicants can track their application and outstanding information requests through their BCU mySRS account.

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

Essential

112 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level

Please note: If you qualify for our BCU Accelerate scheme, you could receive an offer that is two grades below our normal entry requirements. Find out more about BCU Accelerate.

Applicants must normally have evidence of formal study within the last five years. However, we are sometimes able to waive this requirement if a candidate has a significant amount of professional experience in a relevant field, for example healthcare, social care, or education. 

Level 2 qualifications

GCSE

GCSE English Language or English Literature and GCSE Maths at grade C/4 or above. If you do not have these or are not undertaking them, we accept other Level 2 equivalents, or we may ask you to pass BCU's GCSE equivalency tests.

Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level)

See level 3 entry requirements under Irish Leaving Certificate for full details.

Scottish National 5

English Language or English Literature and Maths at grade C or above. If you do not have these or are not undertaking them, we accept other Level 2 equivalents, or we may ask you to pass BCU's GCSE equivalency tests.

Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) qualifications

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, in a relevant subject
  • 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
  • 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 Higher/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.

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

Extra Information for EU/international students

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.

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 2024

  • 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 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 3 years
  • £16,085 in 2024/25

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.

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/EU students

UCAS

UK and EU 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

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 120 credits).

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 University's 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

Placements are not a compulsory part of this course, however, we would encourage you to explore opportunities to gain valuable work experience placements, either in the UK or internationally. This could be done in a local hospital, biotechnology company, or university for example. 

More about our placement opportunities

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

We have invested over £400 million in our facilities, including an upgrade to our Skills and Simulation facilities at City South Campus. We boast up-to-date, innovative facilities that simulate the real situations that you may come across in the workplace. These resources are essential in offering you a hands-on introduction to health and social care practice.

Biomechanics Laboratory 

Our biomechanics laboratory features pressure plates in the floor and cameras mounted at the side. Sensors linked to a computer are used to record motion, evaluate people’s movements and analyse gait.

Nutrition Science Kitchen

Our kitchen has several workstations to allow you to wash, prepare and cook food. There are multi-coloured chopping boards (following food hygiene standard regulations) and a range of utensils and appliances. This space is used by a range of courses including Dietetics, Secondary Design and Technology and Sport. You may use this room to prepare certain meals for teaching basic cooking or baking skills to school children and exploring nutritional education, or protein high recipes for athletes to support their training and fitness regime.

Microbiology Laboratory

The lab is equipped with modern equipment for teaching the molecular biology techniques that underpin modern clinical and research labs such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machines and a variety of cell-analysis and cell-culture tools. The department also has DNA sequencing equipment.

Bioscience Laboratory

Our purpose-built bioscience laboratory features a range of specialist equipment to support your studies, including Zeiss PrimoStar microscopes.

Nutrition Science Research Laboratory

This laboratory is used by staff or students doing specific projects such as analysing the chemistry of food in the later stages of their degree.

Skills Classroom

This room can be used to practise a variety of skills but is primarily home to our Anatomage tables. An Anatomage table allows you to investigate anatomy digitally, from organs and muscles to skeletal forms and blood flow, the software includes real-life MRI scan data to help you develop your understanding of anatomy.

Our staff

Dr James Barnett

Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences

Dr Barnett joined BCU in 2019, and enjoys teaching on the Biomedical Sciences degree course. He is passionate about science and has had a varied career spending time working in both industry and academia.

More about James

Dr Chris Hartley

Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences

Dr Hartley completed a BSc in Sports and Exercise Science at the University of Leeds before working for an orthopaedic company. Whilst working he completed an MSc in Biomechanics at Manchester Metropolitan University. Chris completed his PhD at Loughborough University, investigating ‘the effect of high impact exercise on markers of bone and joint...

More about Chris

Dr Irmgard Haussmann

Associate Professor in Health Sciences

Irmgard is an Associate Professor in Health Sciences and teaches at undergraduate and postgraduate level. In her role as Director of Postgraduate Research Degrees for Life and Sport she leads all aspects of recruitment and student experiences for PhD Life and Sport Sciences.

More about Irmgard

Manoher Singh

Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences

Manoher Singh, a dedicated Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences at Birmingham City University since 2019, brings a wealth of experience from teaching across secondary, further, and higher education sectors. With a solid background in scientific research, Manoher has notably contributed to developing an ELISA assay at the University of Birmingham and...

More about Manoher