Biomedical Science BSc 2021

If you’re seeking to deepen your understanding of human biology, diseases, infections and the diagnostic tools and treatments we need to treat them, study Biomedical Science at Aston University, Birmingham.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type

Full-time

Course format

Optional placement year

Duration

3 years / 4 years (with placement year)

UCAS code(s)

C900

Start date

Overview
Explore Biomedical Science BSc at Aston University

Biomedical Science student Albert Jie talks about his Aston experience, find out more about BSc Biomedical Science at Aston University

biomedical science bsc testimonial

“My placement was the best decision I made in University. It allowed me to apply the knowledge I had gained in University to real world scenarios. It prepared me not only for my job in the future, but also for my final year of Uni and was a major factor in the improvement of my performance in my exams."

Sophie Protheroe

Graduate role: Biomedical Scientist, Wye Valley Trust, Hereford

biomedical science bsc testimonial

“My placement was the best decision I made in University. It allowed me to apply the knowledge I had gained in University to real world scenarios. It prepared me not only for my job in the future, but also for my final year of Uni and was a major factor in the improvement of my performance in my exams."

Sophie Protheroe

Graduate role: Biomedical Scientist, Wye Valley Trust, Hereford

Course outline and modules

Our dual Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) and Royal Society of Biology (RSB) accredited Biomedical Science degree focuses on current clinical practice. It has been designed to provide you with the necessary academic requirements to allow you apply to become a registered Biomedical Scientist with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

It covers a range of disciplines including microbiology, physiology and immunology, as well as common aspects of medicine and care, such as blood transfusions; and explores the impact on the human body on things like exercise, temperature, and disease.

During your time on the course you could get to:

  • Undertake liver function tests
  • Learn how to set up and read an ECG
  • Determine your own blood group
  • Undertake research to explore new clinical treatments
  • Practice key techniques used in pathology laboratories like preparing and staining tissue samples, and examining serum samples.
     

Placement year

By studying at Aston, you’ll have the opportunity to gain invaluable real-world experience in the NHS or industry through an optional placement year: giving you the platform for a career that saves and transforms lives.

Designed to make you stand out in the graduate crowd, you could undertake a placement in a hospital, industrial or research laboratory, or in a non-laboratory setting.

Our students have completed placements in:

  • Clinical trial companies
  • Research institutes
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Medical sales
  • Biotechnology companies
  • NHS organisations

International students and post-study work visa

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students. Students from over 120 different countries choose to study with us every year and Aston is not only a great place to study, based in the centre of Birmingham it’s also a great place to live.

The new post-study work visa enables international students to remain in the UK for two years after they have completed their studies to find work. For more information visit the government website.

Course outline

Studying Biomedical Science at Aston University gives you the abilities needed to provide healthcare, undertake medical research and understand the pharmaceutical industry. You’ll develop thorough knowledge of the core principles of how the human body works, and a deep understanding of the vital role biomedical scientists play in the healthcare sector.

Our teaching is research-led; meaning you learn about the research our world-leading academics are doing, particularly in your final year. We also make sure you gain exposure to practicing biomedical scientists via guest lectures, so you can hear first-hand what this rewarding role is really like.

From your first year at Aston you’ll learn more about the careers available to graduates with biomedical science degrees, as well as spending time reflecting on skills acquired and needed for your future career.

Modules

Year 1

Learn from a range of bioscience academics and complete a number of specialist sessions with practicing biomedical scientists. You’ll study the key biology topics that will form the basis of your biomedical science education, preparing you for specialist modules in later years. You will also develop the knowledge to undertake laboratory work safely.

Core modules:

  • Biomolecules
  • Cells to Systems
  • Microbiology and Genetics
  • Metabolism and Physiology for Biomedical Science
Year 2

Study new specialist subject areas and revisit previously studied topics at a deeper level. You’ll learn how to select appropriate experimental approaches and test hypotheses, in addition to participating in Problem Based Learning (PBL), where you (as part of a group) will be set a problem and asked to provide a solution through independent research.

Core modules:

  • Clinical Sciences
  • Mechanisms of Pathology
  • Cell Signalling and Physiology
  • Clinical Genetics and Human Disease
Placement

Placement year (optional)

Gain valuable career boosting experiences by setting your studies in a real world context of a working environment alongside professionals.

For students who wish to practice as a biomedical scientist in the NHS, this year is your opportunity to complete an IBMS registration training portfolio in a UKAS accredited CPA hospital laboratory. Students who achieve minimum set grades and complete an accredited placement will graduate with a BSc Applied Biomedical Science qualification and be eligible to apply to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) for registration as a biomedical scientist.

The availability of NHS placements are limited and highly competitive. You will have to undergo an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and occupational health checks; the cost of these checks will be payable by the student.

Final Year 

Acquire the skills required to undertake an individual original research project, study a small number of advanced topics, in addition to critically reflecting on the enhancement of patient care and the importance of codes and acts in biomedical science.

Core modules:

  • Immunology and Inflammation
  • Clinical and Food Microbiology
  • Research Project Preparation
  • Research Project
  • Professional Skills for Biomedical Scientists.

 

In addition you will complete one of the following two modules*:

  • Cancer Biology
  • Bench to Bedside.

*Please note the availability of any optional modules will be subject to staff availability and a minimum number of students who express an interest in studying the optional modules.

Entry requirements

Typical offers:

A Level

BBB to BCC including Biology (depending on EPQ, Core Maths or Contextual offer)

BTEC

Are welcome with the relevant A Level subjects, please see below for further details

International Baccalaureate Diploma

31 Overall (HL 5, 5, 5 must include Biology)

GCSEs

Five GCSEs which must include Maths and English Language all at grade C/4. Please note we do not accept Key skills or Functional skills in place of these.

 

Further details

A Levels
  • BBB in three A Level subjects including Biology.
  • BBC in three A Level subjects including Biology and B in either Core Maths or Extended Project Qualification (EPQ).
  • BCC in three A Level subjects including Biology for our contextual offer scheme

The following subjects will not be considered as one of the core three A Levels - General Studies, Critical Thinking, Citizenship Studies.

We welcome applications from students who have tried to improve their examination grades by taking resits and only your latest grades will be accepted. We treat these applications in exactly the same way as other applications.

BTEC

Contextual offer applicants need to achieve a grade C as listed below.

BTEC qualification name

BTEC grades required

A Level requirements

Extended Diploma (QCF/National)

Distinction, Distinction, Distinction (DDD)

With this BTEC you must also achieve grade B in A-Level Biology

Diploma (QCF)

National Diploma

Distinction, Distinction (DD)

With this BTEC you must also achieve grade B in A-Level Biology

Subsidiary Diploma (QCF)

National Extended Certificate

Distinction (D)

With this BTEC you must also achieve grades BB in two A levels of which one must be Biology

90 Credit Diploma (QCF)

Distinction, Distinction (DD)

With this BTEC you must also achieve grades BB in two A levels of which one must be Biology

National Foundation Diploma

Distinction (D)

With this BTEC you must also achieve grades BB in two A levels of which one must be Biology

International Baccalaureate Diploma

31 points overall and must include grades 5, 5, 5 in Higher Level subjects which must include Biology. You must also have Standard Level grade 5 in both Mathematics and English Language.

Access to Higher Education

We accept the QAA-recognised Access Diploma which must consist of 45 credits at Level 3. You must obtain a minimum of 30 distinction and the rest must be at merit or distinction. Please note that we do not accept the English and Maths components within the Access qualification and you must meet the GCSE entry requirement. Subjects Accepted: Applied Science, Biology combined with Chemistry, Biomedical Science, Biosciences, Combined Sciences, Health Sciences, Health Sciences Professions, Life Sciences and Sciences.

Foundation programmes

Foundation Programme in Science: Bioscience and Pharmacy (Aston University)

For students with good A level (or equivalent) grades, but who narrowly miss our standard requirements, it is also possible to gain entry to this course by completing the Foundation Programme in Science.

External Foundation Programmes from another University

We consider external foundation programmes for entry into our year 1 programmes on a case-by-case basis. We will always require applicants to have met the following criteria prior to application:

5 GCSE’s at grade C/4 or above including Maths and English.

CCC at A-Level, including Biology.

If you meet the above pre-requisite qualifications, we will be required to review the programme specification of your foundation programme. After we have reviewed the programme specification a decision will be made. Any conditional offers made will be based on meeting a specific grade in your foundation programme.

International Students

International Foundation Programme in Science (Aston University)

For international students without equivalent qualifications, it is also possible to gain entry to this course by completing an International Foundation Programme in Science. International applicants expected to gain foundation diplomas from other providers are welcomed and will be considered on a case by case basis.

International qualifications

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. Find out more about our English language requirements. International students can discover more about the qualifications we accept on our international pages.

Other

Degree

We consider applicants for year 1 entry who are undertaking a degree in a related field elsewhere. You must meet the GCSEs and A level (or equivalent) requirements as listed. Alongside this you must have gained (or be expected to gain) 60% overall and 120 credits with no fails at another recognised university. If you do not meet the A-Level (or equivalent) requirement but have attained a relevant degree and meet the GCSE requirement, we will be able to consider you on a case-by-case basis. We may also conduct an informal interview. In order to be considered you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications and this must include an academic reference.

Please note that second year transfers are not part of the standard admissions process and is up the discretion of the admissions team and tutor. Applications are only considered if there is space on that year of the programme. Typically, applicants for second year entry must meet the GCSEs and A level (or equivalent) requirements as listed. Alongside this you must have gained (or be expected to gain) 60% overall and 120 credits with no fails on an equivalent programme at another recognised university. The equivalency of the programme is reviewed by the Admissions Tutor and you will be required to provide an official copy of the programme specification of this. It is also expected that you have not previously attempted the second year of a programme elsewhere. In order to be considered you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications and this must include an academic reference.

In line with national requirements for courses leading to a health professional qualification, this course is also subject to Fitness to Practise Regulations. The cost of these checks will be payable by the student. Discover more about DBS Checks & Fitness to Practise.

View our Admissions Policy

Whilst the grades listed here are our entry requirements, we understand that predicted grades are only an estimate. We will therefore consider applicants with predicted grades that fall below these entry requirements if the application is of a high standard (however, initial offers will not be lower than stated above).

*For details on our Aston Ready contextual offer scheme, please see here.

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.

 

Learning, teaching and assessment

As a biomedical science student, you will be taught by experts in biosciences about topics they have a passion for.

There is huge breadth of academic research undertaken across Aston which is integrated into our courses. It’s this integration that gives you a distinct advantage in your studies by ensuring you have access to the latest trends, thinking, issues and research.

You’ll encounter a wide range of teaching approaches, from lectures and group work to practical sessions and interactive workshops and tutorials.

Each year of study is worth 120 credits, with each credit equivalent to 10 learning hours. The learning hours may include but are not limited to lectures, seminars, tutorials, lab sessions, practicals, online activity, reading, other independent study, reflecting on assignment feedback, field trips and work placements.

Assessments

We utilise a wide range of assessments linked to learning outcomes, such as:

  • exams
  • essay writing
  • practical and laboratory reports
  • presentations
  • peer assessment.

Key course staff

Programme Director: Dr Charlotte Law

Admissions Tutor: Dr James Brown

james brown senior lecturer biosciences aston

“The shared experience of learning and teaching is the most fulfilling part of my job, I get to see scientists develop before my eyes.”

Dr James Brown, Admissions Tutor and Senior Lecturer in Biosciences

 

What learning facilities can I expect?

  • Extensive and well-equipped laboratories with a variety of equipment designed to support your learning in an industry-relevant environment.
  • 3D computer laboratories for virtual anatomy practicals.
  • Refurbished lecture theatres and seminar rooms.
  • Computer laboratories and a virtual learning environment used for general study, revision and assessment. This platform allows you to access a comprehensive range of study materials, scientific journals, e-journals, databases and Aston Library, fully refurbished and equipped for the digital age. Open 24 hours a day at key points throughout the year with a variety of study spaces, academic support advisors on hand and course texts available electronically or in book form.

Fees and scholarships

UK students (2021/22)

Annual tuition fees: £9,250

During placement year: £1,250

International students/EU students* (2021/22)

Annual tuition fees: £19,300

During placement year: £2,500

The United Kingdom government has confirmed that European Union (EU), other European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals commencing academic courses in England from August 2021 will no longer be charged the same tuition rates as Home students.

*Tuition fees are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. When undertaking a placement year a placement year fee applies.

More information on fees

Scholarships

At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs. Find out more about our scholarships here.

Career prospects

Our biomedical science graduates often work in health, pharmaceuticals, or as HCPC registered Biomedical Scientists* within the NHS. Others choose careers in scientific writing, research or undertake further study including teaching qualifications, MSc, PhD or graduate entry medicine.

Recent gradate employers include:

  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • National University Health Systems
  • NHS trusts such as: Birmingham Women's and Children's Hospital, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire
  • Public Health England
  • Raffles Diagnostica
  • Randox Testing Service
  • Secondary schools
  • The Binding Site.

 

*If you complete an unaccredited placement, or choose not to complete a placement at all and later wish to practice as HCPC registered Biomedical Scientist, you will have to complete the following post-graduation:

  • IBMS training and registration portfolio in an approved clinical laboratory
  • Achieve a Certificate of Competence awarded by the IBMS

Frequently asked questions

How does studying Biomedical Science at Aston University help prepare me for my career?

Our course provides the ideal blend of theoretical grounding, technical skills development, and industry know-how to make you lab-ready for any industrial placement or career.

To ensure you gain a solid understanding of the range of careers available to you and the role that biomedical scientists play in the wider healthcare field, you’ll be exposed to and learn from a wide range of healthcare experts. This includes being taught by practising biomedical scientists and, where available, sessions with medical consultants, nurses and patients about the role of biomedical scientists in patient care.

Will this course help me register as a professional biomedical scientist?

Yes! When you successfully complete a 4-year degree with an integrated placement year in a UKAS accredited CPA hospital laboratory and successfully graduate with a BSc Applied Biomedical Science qualification; you will be eligible to apply to the Health and Care Professions Council for registration as biomedical scientist. You can also choose to complete your IMBS portfolio post-graduation, see our careers prospects section for more information.

Can I go on a placement year on this course?

Yes, you can. Designed to make you stand out in the graduate crowd, you can undertake placements in laboratory settings such as hospital, industrial or research laboratories, as well as non-laboratory settings. We have a dedicated Careers and Placements team who will provide you with ongoing support and an array of opportunities, including on campus placement fairs and CV surgeries, to help you source your placement.

Our students have completed placements in settings such as:

  • Clinical trial companies
  • Research institutes
  • Pharmaceutical companies (eg. AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline)
  • Medical sales
  • Biotechnology companies
  • NHS trusts
What accreditation does this course have?

Our BSc Biomedical Science course is accredited by the Royal Society of Biology (RSB) and the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS). The BSc Applied Biomedical Science qualification is also approved by the Health and Care Professions Council.

Why should international students choose Aston University?

Study at Aston University and you will be part of a multi-cultural community located at the heart of the dynamic city of Birmingham. Our courses are practical, inspired by industry and many have internationally recognised accreditations. Renowned for our employability prospects and connections to business and industry, we provide outstanding careers support, advice and placement opportunities.

For those interested in working in the UK after they have graduated, the UK Government have created a new post-study work visa. For more information visit the government website.

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