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Six things you should know about studying life sciences courses at Birmingham City University

Choosing your degree subject and university is a big decision. We’re sure you have lots of questions about everything from the social life to what topics are covered in your chosen course. If you’re considering studying a Biomedical Engineering or Biomedical Sciences degree, we’ve brought together some key information to help you understand our courses better.

Biomedical Engineering

Q

What is it?

Biomedical Engineering examines the links between engineering and the human body. It focuses on subjects such as biology (particularly anatomy and physiology), mathematics, computing and engineering, and how these combine to help lead advances in technology in healthcare. This involves the design and production of biomedical equipment and machinery that helps healthcare professionals perform tasks, and improve patient care. This could be in the form of external devices (e.g. leg braces, prosthetic limbs) or internal items (e.g. stents).

Q

What are the entry requirements?

We offer a Bachelor’s degree and a four-year integrated Master’s in Biomedical Engineering.  Certain subject qualifications are required, including: GCSEs at grade 4/C or equivalent in Maths and English, and 112 UCAS tariff points at Level 3 (A Levels, BTEC, etc.), which must include Maths (at grade C or above) and one other in science, technology, or computing.  Full entry requirements and equivalencies.

Q

Where will I study?

Usually, as a student of the Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences, you’d be based at our City South Campus (in the Edgbaston area of the city), but as a Biomedical Engineering student, you’ll get to spend time at our City Centre Campus too – so you get the best of both worlds!  The City Centre Campus is used for the some of the computing and engineering modules, and the rest is taught at the City South Campus.

Q

What facilities are available for this course?

At the City South Campus, you’ll have access to our biomedical engineering laboratory.  This contains equipment such as automated soldering stations; portable and stationary 3D printing stations and related software (ANSYS, CAD and Simpleware); sensors and transducers with integrated software packages (the Matrix Laboratory (MATLAB); wireless technology for the measurement of physical activity using the activPAL™ system and the Biometrics System, and access to a portable 3D motion capture system.

Q

What additional opportunities are open to me?

This course offers research projects and short placement opportunities both within and outside the University, through our strong partnerships and links with medical institutions and healthcare provider companies.  Some students have gained experience in Orthotics at a local hospital, and Anneline went on a 9 week placement in California.

Q

Is this for me?

If you have a keen interest in how things work (both in terms of machinery and the human body) and have an inventive, creative and persistent nature, this could be for you.  The coronavirus outbreak has certainly shone a light on the industry and showcased elements of what Biomedical Engineers can do.

Biomedical Sciences

Q

What is it?

Biomedical Sciences examines health and human life processes, and looks at the diagnosis, management and treatment of illnesses and diseases. It has a strong biology focus and covers areas such as physiology, biochemistry, cell biology, microbiology and genetics. The practical elements are often laboratory based, so having good methodical and analytical skills is important if you’re considering this subject. 

Q

What are the entry requirements?

To study on our Biomedical Sciences degree, you’ll need GCSEs at grade 4/C or equivalent in Maths, English and Science, and 112 UCAS tariff points at Level 3 (A Levels/BTEC) (excluding general studies), with a grade B in one the following subjects - Human Biology, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Applied Science, or Psychology.  Full entry requirements and equivalencies.

Q

Where will I study?

You'll be based at our City South Campus (by the Birmingham Botanical Gardens), with everything you need on one campus, from course related facilities to pizza in the Students’ Union!

Q

What facilities are available for this course?

There are two main laboratories for you to use – a microbiology lab, and a bioscience lab.  These contain several work stations with sinks, gas points for bunsen burners and plug sockets, and space for you to complete experiments.  The bioscience lab also contains Zeiss PrimoStar microscopes with camera head that enable the view from one microscope to be shared with the rest of the room via the central teaching screens.

Q

What additional opportunities are open to me?

You can choose to take an optional placement year on this course, to improve your knowledge and skills and gain valuable work experience in the industry.  Two students worked within the Biomedical Sciences Department for their placement year. They were able to see the University from a staff perspective, access equipment they wouldn't normally use, and help other students with their practical lessons.

Q

Is this for me?

If you have a keen interest in science and health, have a methodical and inquisitive nature, and want to make a difference to others from behind the scenes, then this could be for you.  You never know, you could go on to be involved in projects to find future vaccines for viruses such as the coronavirus!

Want to find out more?

Our website has lots of useful information about our courses, facilities, support and opportunities, and is a great place to start exploring Birmingham City University.

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