Biomedical Sciences with Foundation Year - BSc (Hons)

UCAS Code:
C90F
Attendance:
Full Time (1 year foundation followed by 3 year degree)
Starting:
September 2019
Campus:

You will study very broad subjects in your foundation year, which is designed to prepare you for a range of courses, not just one particular BSc degree. Play a leading role in the prevention and treatment of diseases by studying our Biomedical Sciences with a Foundation Year course. Delivered at our recently extended, £71 million, state-of-the-art development at City South Campus, you'll develop a range of practical and analytical skills that will prepare you for a challenging and rewarding career in biomedical science.

Tailor your Health Sciences Degree

When you successfully complete your Foundation Year, you will be able to progress onto a range of Undergraduate courses at the Birmingham City School of Health Sciences and School of Nursing and Midwifery. These include:

  • BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences
  • BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography
  • BSc (Hons) Food and Nutrition
  • BSc (Hons) Health Studies (Public Health)
  • BSc (Hons) Medical Ultrasound
  • BSc (Hons) Midwifery
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Adult
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Child
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Learning Disability
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Mental Health
  • BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice
  • BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science
  • BSc (Hons) Radiotherapy
  • BSc (Hons) Speech & Language Therapy

Why choose a foundation year course?

By studying a foundation year in Health Sciences, your first year will be spent learning a wide range of broad subject areas which then open up opportunities for you to specialise further in your next year –  which would be the first year of a full degree programme. 

You will study very broad subjects in your foundation year, which is designed to prepare you for a range of courses and not just one particular BSc degree. 

So although you are studying a BSc in a specific course – BSc Biomedical Sciences – the foundation year sets you up for a number of other possible degrees starting the following year. It may be that you don’t end up doing a degree in precisely the same subject as your foundation year.

This flexibility is one of the great things about the foundation year category - Health Sciences, allowing you to find out more about your interests and talents before focusing on a three year degree. The foundation year also helps us at BCU to make sure we help to match you to the degree that fits you best.

Please note: entry requirements for degree course

Upon completion of your Foundation Year, if your chosen course is regulated by a professional body such as the HCPC, you will be required to successfully complete the University’s selection process for the specific programme which will include an interview in order to proceed onto year one of the full degree programme. Entry onto year one of the degree programme will also be subject to a satisfactory DBS and Occupational Health Assessment. 

What's covered in the course?

This biomedical science course with a foundation year will develop you into an employable graduate, with the skills needed to tackle a range of situations and challenges. To achieve this, you will be able to choose form either a work or research placement during your second year, where you can apply theoretical knowledge into practice and gain valuable employability skills.

The course offers a unique insight into human life processes, starting at molecular and cell level and progressing to systems physiology, before ending with disease and health within the population. There is provision within this programme for a sandwich year work placement.

The course will be delivered in a new state-of-the-art building for the School of Health Sciences, which will house first-rate laboratories and teaching facilities.

Why Choose Us?

  • We're the region's largest provider of qualified health and social care professionals to the NHS.
  • You'll benefit from our partnerships across health and social care providers both within the UK and internationally.
  • You'll learn in state-of-the-art environments, with access to our cutting-edge virtual technologies and one of the UK's largest specialist health education libraries.
  • The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has cited the support provided for students on our courses as demonstrating good levels of practice.
  • You'll be based at our City South Campus, which is set for major expansion, including newly built laboratories and equipment that will give you a leading edge when seeking employment.
This course is not open to International students

See what we got up to at our last Open Day

Agar Jelly 3

Students visiting the Biomedical Science Open Day sessions got a hands on, practical taster of their course in action. Click below to see their results.

Open Day findings

Entry Requirements

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

Entry Requirements
Essential

A minimum of 3 GCSEs at Grade 4 or above (formerly Grade C), at the point of enrolment. These must include English language, science and mathematics (or equivalent).

80 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2019/20
GCE A Level/ AS Level 80 UCAS tariff points = CCD. Must include one of Human Biology, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Applied Science or Psychology.
Access to Higher Education Diploma 60 credits overall in a science related pathway also including GCSE English Language and Maths equivalence if not hold separately.
BTEC Diploma (12-units) DM in Applied Science
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units) MMP in Applied Science
International Baccalaureate Diploma 24 points overall
Irish Leaving Certificate Minimum 80 UCAS tariff points in science related subjects. 
Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher Minimum 80 UCAS tariff points, must Include Health and Social Care Society, Health and Development, Science or equivalents.
Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options) Minimum 80 UCAS tariff point, must be combined with other acceptable Level 3 qualifications to meet 80 tariff points
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.

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BSc (Hons) Sep 2019 FT 1 year foundation followed by 3 year degree £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS

International Students

Sorry, this course is not available to international students.

Fees for 2019/20 will be published as soon as possible. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

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

Additional costs

We offer a wide range of professionally accredited and vocational courses that require the purchase of, among other things, uniforms, equipment, subscriptions, professional body memberships and DBS checks, and may require you to pay to attend conferences or participate in placements.

The link below provides our estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs to you could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course. We set out where we can, based on experience, where these indicative costs are for activities that are optional or compulsory.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Find additional costs for your course

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.

The additional costs listed here are to be used for indicative purposes only and are based on the additional costs for the 2018/19 academic year. The additional costs for 2019/20 will be published as soon as possible.

Foundation Year

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

Academic Skills for Success
20 credits

This module is designed to support you in your transition to studying in a Higher Education environment at Birmingham City University. Through a range of class-based group and individual activities, discussions, debates, personal reflection and wider reading and research, you will have opportunities to consider academic conventions, which include: effective use of literature; sourcing and reviewing information; various forms of academic writing; developing reflective capacity. You will also receive guidance on study skills and strategies, which will enhance previously acquired skills.

These professional skills are transferable and will be valuable not only in the immediate context but throughout your continued education and employment. By engaging with this module, we have set out clearly what we expect of you at foundation and undergraduate level, and will equip you with the confidence, competence and capacity to utilise resources to be able to meet expectations in this environment.

An essential element of this module will be your ability to analyse and reflect on your own learning and the way in which you have applied your knowledge, skill and understanding to any academic context in which you have engaged to date. Communicating effectively through a variety of academic conventions is a key skill for any student and this will be a feature of this module.

Download the full module specification

Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity
20 credits

This module is designed to help you gain awareness and understanding of current challenges around Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity and how this impacts upon the Health, Education and Social Sciences sector, preparing you for your future education and journey into practice.

Introducing the Equality Act 2010 as the overarching legislation that focuses on Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity, the module is based on themes that are covered by this Act.  The nine protected characteristics, upon which a person can be discriminated, as laid down in the Equality Act, will be discussed throughout and you will be introduced to case studies relevant to your chosen pathways.

The module will give you the opportunity to discuss debate and reflect upon how challenges around Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity may present themselves. Using problem and inquiry based learning you will have the opportunity to explore and discuss ways of working which can help to minimise discrimination in your own practice.  The module will be made up of lead lectures, taught sessions, group work and individual study.

An essential element of this module will be your ability to analyse and reflect on your own experiences and perceptions, whilst gaining an awareness and appreciating the differences of others. 

Download the full module specification

Interpersonal Skills and Professional Behaviours
20 credits

This module will focus on enabling you to gain a deeper understanding of the interpersonal skills and behaviours required to work in your chosen area. Through a range of class based and student focused activities you will explore the different concepts of effective interpersonal and professional behaviours essential to your own personal development and progression. By engaging in this module you will  reflect on your own and others  values, beliefs and behaviours identifying how this can impact on the way in which you will  be viewed by others. You will also address the importance of effective communication and how this can lead you to have a more professional approach in your chose area of work.

Download the full module specification

Negotiated Studies
20 credits

This module is designed to support you in your transition to studying in a Higher Education environment at Birmingham City University, allowing you the opportunity to negotiate learning of a bespoke subject. Under the guidance of tutors, you will be able to direct your learning and identify relevant learning opportunities that you feel enable you to learning more about a specific field of study.

The subject area within this module is student-led, with guidance and facilitation from designated academic and practice support. You will identify an area of study that you would like to review and evaluate, and which relates to your foundation year pathway and indicate programme.

A significant proportion of the module is based around negotiation with academic facilitators to identify extended areas of study and opportunities that are possible to enhance your towards completion of the study.

The module is not reliant on traditional taught subject sessions, although you will be expected to attend classes where you will work in peer learning groups exploring and developing your negotiated study. This approach to studying is closely allied to learning within the workplace.

Download the full module specification

Introduction to Human Biology
20 credits

An appreciation of the principles of Human Biology plays a central role in the understanding of the workings of the human body. This module is organised into three distinct phases from fundamental principles, to physiological processes, and then disruption of the interplay of such systems in human disorders. This understanding provides a solid foundation for the subsequent study in a range of disciplines from healthcare, allied healthcare, and other disciplines requiring an understanding of human biology. The topics covered will also be underpinned by practical activities. Pre- and post-session activities will help to develop your key transferable skills such as being able to reflect and ask probing questions as well as being able to think independently.  Development of these skills will ensure a growth in maturity and boost your confidence which will lead to unlocking your learning potential.

Download the full module specification

Health and Well-being in Society
20 credits

Students embarking on health related studies and careers need to have a knowledge and understanding of the factors that contribute to creating good health.  Evidence shows that the majority of these factors lie outside of the healthcare and clinical remit and so it is important that students are aware of the wider social, economic, environmental and political drivers of states of health of the population, group or client group they may encounter.   As health services are reoriented towards prevention of ill-health and health improvement, all health science students need to consider the ways in which they may work in future, to both understand the social determinants of health and the principles and practice of health promotion in order to improve health, prevent ill-health and reduce health inequalities.

Download the full module specification

Year One

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

Biochemistry
20 credits

The aim of this module is to introduce the biochemical reactions that occur within the human body, framed in the context of human health and disease.

Download the full module specification

Fundamentals of Cell Biology
20 credits

This module will introduce you to key cellular and sub-cellular concepts associated with biomedical sciences. You will encounter the cell as the fundamental, yet dynamic, unit of life. The module aims to describe the relationship between structure and function, and how the characteristics of cells facilitate their activities and allow them to contribute to the activity of tissues.

Download the full module specification

Essential Skills for the Biosciences
20 credits

This module will provide you with the fundamental scientific skills that will form the foundations for your success throughout your degree and into your career beyond. Many scientists are involved in the direct generation of data; be it physiological measurements of blood glucose levels pre- and post- exercise; the activity of an enzyme in a biochemical assay; or the rate of growth of a pathogenic bacterium on a particular food source. Therefore, understanding the basic principles of how to process this data is essential, and equally as important is knowing how to correctly use the scientific instruments available in the laboratory to generate the initial data.

Download the full module specification

Introduction to Human Physiology
20 credits

This module is delivered in the second semester of your journey on the Biomedical Sciences programme and will provide you with the essential knowledge and understanding of human physiological systems. You will start with the fundamentals of homeostasis and gradually work towards exploring the physiological and scientific principles of organ systems. Theory and practice will be linked throughout by use of clinical examples to import the significance and relevance of the topics covered.

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Genetics
20 credits

This module will provide you with an introduction to the field of Genetics. An understanding of genetics is fundamental to understanding biological processes, and the role of genes in health and disease. This module will discuss modes of inheritance, how information is encoded in DNA, how this information is translated, and the impacts of mutations on genetic conditions.

Download the full module specification

Microbiology
20 credits

This module introduces students to the fundamentals of the microbial world. Students need to understand the important principles of how microorganisms function and survive before advancing to the topics where we explore the roles of microorganisms in disease.

Download the full module specification

Year Two

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

Research Methods in Science and Engineering
20 credits

This module is designed to give you the necessary skills and knowledge required to design, execute and disseminate a research project in the biomedical sciences and clinically-related research fields.

Download the full module specification

Clinical Biochemistry and Cellular Analysis
20 credits

Disruption of normal cellular and biochemical processes has an impact on an individual’s health and wellbeing. In this module, you will investigate cellular and tissue function, and assess the investigative methods used for determining abnormalities at a biochemical and cellular level. These will include biochemical methods for detection of biological molecules. The module aims to bring together the ability to represent data in an appropriate manner and assess the impact on an individual’s health.

Download the full module specification

Fundamental Principles of Pharmacology and Drug Development
20 credits

This module will build on the knowledge and skills developed at level 4 and will explore the scientific foundations of pharmacology. You will use this underpinning knowledge to examine how the pharmaceutical industry designs and develops novel drug entities to treat the underlying pathophysiology of common diseases.

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Blood Science
20 credits

This module will provide you with an introduction to the components of human blood, the functions of the different cell types, and the disorders that affect them. This module will also include the techniques for diagnosis and monitoring of blood disorders, the interpretation of clinical and laboratory data, and the essential features of modern clinical and laboratory haematology.

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Infectious Disease
20 credits

This module will build upon the level 4 Microbiology module, by introducing you to the different types of microorganisms that infect humans and cause disease.

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

Work Placement
20 credits

The aim of this module is to provide a practical context for you to develop key employability attributes such as communication, organisation, interpersonal and networking skills. The work placement is an excellent opportunity for you to apply your scientific academic knowledge and skills outside of the University environment. By engaging with a placement provider you will be viewing first-hand the scope of a job role and demands placed on employees.

Download the full module specification

 
Molecular Biotechnology Project
20 credits

Year Three

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

Research Project
40 credits

The Research Project will provide you with experience of how information is reviewed, and how novel information is acquired, analysed and presented. You will be involved in the initial planning of the project, the continual project development, and responsible for the communication of the research findings. It is an opportunity to apply the theoretical, research, and academic skills that you have acquired throughout the programme to answer novel questions. The project enables you to demonstrate initiative and creativity in your approaches to examining a specific problem or question

Download the full module specification

Molecular Basis of Disease
20 credits

An understanding of a disease at the cellular and molecular level is important for those working in the biomedical sciences. This module is designed to explore the molecular, biochemical and cellular changes in human disease and how this has contributed to the development of novel diagnostic tools and of knowledge-based treatment strategies. It will also provide you critical-thinking skills to explore human health and diseases through reference to primary research articles, and reviews.

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Pathophysiology
20 credits

This module aims to look at the conditions that are known to be the main cause of morbidity and mortality nationally and globally according to the Office of National Statistics and the World Health organisation. It is important that individuals are able to recognise key symptoms of the condition and the underpinning physiology accounting for these changes. They should also be able to identify key literature about the incidence, treatment and prevention of the disease from the literature.

Download the full module specification

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

Applied Toxicology
20 credits

Toxicology is the scientific study of adverse effects that occur in living organisms due to chemicals. It involves observing and reporting symptoms, mechanisms, detection and treatments of toxic substances, in particular relation to the poisoning of humans. This module will develop your knowledge and skills gained in the level 5 module, Fundamental Principles of Pharmacology and Drug Development. The module will also develop your employability skills through sessions that develop your critical analysis, communication and academic writing skills.

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New Technologies in Biomedicine
20 credits

Modern healthcare providers are constantly striving to provide better patient care, improved diagnostics and treatments for current and emerging diseases. However, in order to comply with financial pressures and an expanding, increasingly mobile global population, healthcare improvements must be efficient, cost effective and sustainable. Underpinning these improvements are new technologies and contemporary approaches that provide more rapid and rigorous diagnostics and therapies. Research within the Biosciences has had a substantial part to play in these developments, with advances in DNA sequencing, genetic engineering and drug discovery for example, leading to significant medical breakthroughs.

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Control of Global Infectious Disease
20 credits

In this module you will learn about the impact of infectious disease outbreaks around the world and the epidemiological strategies used to monitor and prevent them. You will explore the microorganisms that are the causative agents of disease, learn how infection is transmitted, study the impact on human health and the current strategies to combat disease.

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Neuroscience
20 credits

The World Health Organisation stated recently that “There is ample evidence that pinpoints to neurological disorders as one of the greatest threats to public health”. This module is designed to introduce you into the exciting world of neuroscience, by giving you a clear understanding of basic principles of neuronal (inter)action, learning and memory, emotion and motivation, necessary for your contribution to research in brain disorders like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s’ disease, epilepsy, dementia, anxiety and depression.

This module will build upon the basic understanding obtained in the modules, Introduction to Human physiology, Fundamentals of Cell biology, Pharmacology and Research methods, and will equip you to critically appraise recent developments in brain disease research across all levels of analysis, and evaluate various exciting therapeutic approaches.

Download the full module specification

You have the flexibility to transfer to a standard undergraduate programme from the School of Health Sciences or the School of Nursing and Midwifery upon successfully completing your Foundation Year including:

  • BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography
  • BSc (Hons) Food and Nutrition
  • BSc (Hons) Health Studies (Public Health)
  • BSc (Hons) Medical Ultrasound
  • BSc (Hons) Midwifery
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Adult
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Child
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Learning Disability
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Mental Health
  • BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice
  • BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science
  • BSc (Hons) Radiotherapy
  • BSc (Hons) Speech & Language Therapy

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.’

Overseas opportunities

You can gain international insight and experience a new culture with our Erasmus exchange programme. Students have spent a term at a number of major institutions, including the University of San Diego in the USA, as well as destinations in Cyprus and Denmark.

Further studies

The Faculty has a range of postgraduate Masters and doctoral courses available if you wish to continue your studies.

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.

Graduate jobs

This course has been designed to ensure that you're equipped with knowledge, skills and attributes that are attractive to a range of employers.

Graduates of this course will have the opportunity to pursue a wide range of careers in addition to working in a lab.

Possible career choices include medical journalism and reporting, community health promotion and health education, careers in healthcare sciences and other healthcare professions. You may also use this degree for entry on to a medical course.

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

Meet our staff

Our staff have incredible industry links and a wealth of experience, and often continue to work in their specialist areas.

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 research student.

David’s research interests are focused on bacterial gene regulation and how bacteria acquire foreign DNA: particularly, how they acquire antibiotic resistance. Elements of this research are brought through into his teaching.