Biomedical Science BSc (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (3 years)


January 2017, September 2017


Our Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS)-accredited course gives you a thorough grounding in the theory and practice of diagnosis and treatment of diseases and the underlying molecular and cellular biology, preparing you for a career in a range of biomedical fields.

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Full description


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Biomedical scientists work in laboratories analysing fluid and tissue samples from patients to aid in the diagnosis of disease and to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment. Our course is accredited by the professional body for biomedical scientists, the Institute of Biomedical Science, and we foster links with this and with other professionals working in the industry.

With the IBMS-accredited degree, you will be equipped with the appropriate qualification to apply for a trainee Biomedical Scientist position in the NHS, if you wish to progress further in this field.  After successful completion of a portfolio, the IBMS will then award you with the  Certificate of Competence, allowing you to apply for admittance to the register to practice as a Biomedical Scientist with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). To be eligible for registration with the HCPC, it is essential that you have obtained both our IBMS accredited Biomedical Science degree and the Certificate of Competence (from your employer). 

Although many of our graduates pursue a career as a biomedical scientist, a BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science degree is an appropriate qualification with which to begin a career in a variety of different Bioscience-associated and graduate roles. Examples include scientific or laboratory-based jobs in pure research - both in university and industrial laboratories - pharmaceutical manufacturing, and working for the Medical Research Council or other health-related public bodies and charities. Cambridge has become a world-leading centre for biomedical research and commercial activities of the biotechnology industry. You will benefit from proximity to world-renowned institutions based in the city such as the Sanger Institute and the Wellcome Trust laboratories. Alternatively, you could use the transferable skills you have developed in business or further education.

Graduation doesn’t need to be the end of your time with us. If you would like to continue your studies, we offer a range of full-time and part-time postgraduate courses, including MSc Biomedical Science and MSc Biotechnology, as well as PhDs in Biomedical Science, which will offer you the opportunity to study your favoured specialist area.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • Biomeasurement
    This module introduces the use of statistics and computing software in the biosciences. Although we focus on biological applications, the quantitative and IT skills you will gain will be of benefit in a number of graduate employment roles. You will be shown how to use information in the form of data to answer questions about biological systems, and learn a range of visual data presentation and statistical techniques. We will also show you how to choose the most appropriate technique for a range of data types and circumstances, perform and interpret numerical and graphical analyses correctly, and communicate the results clearly and transparently.
  • Core Biology
    This module, which runs throughout the year, addresses key biological concepts and the scientific methods which underpin our study of biology. We introduce a broad range of topics including among others, chemistry for the biosciences, cell structure and function, genetics, evolution, and the fundamentals of animal and plant biology. We explore the history of the different disciplines of biology, and put into practice a number of fundamental scientific techniques. These lectures will help you to understand how we have arrived at the major theories of biology. These topics will then be explored in greater detail in other modules. We also introduce the main disciplines of biomedical science, themes which run through the entire course. Key scientific skills will be developed, such as the ability to design experiments, carry them out competently, and present and describe your data effectively. As part of Core Biology, personal tutorials help you develop those key skills needed to succeed in higher education. You will write a personal development plan, to help you foster those transferable skills which are part of a broader university education.
  • Foundations of Cell Biology
    Cells are the fundamental units of life. This module will introduce you to the different types of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, with their identifying characteristics and properties. Eukaryote cellular organelles, including the plasma membrane, nucleus, endomembrane system, lysosomes, mitochondria and chloroplasts, and the cytoskeleton, are examined, together with cellular energetics, the cell growth and division cycle, and mitosis and meiosis. A brief overview of bacterial, viral and organelle diseases is given, which provides you with an introduction to ‘General Microbiology’ and pathology modules in later years. Laboratory skills are developed throughout the module, as are skills in presenting data and discussing results.
  • General Microbiology
    Microbiology is the study of microorganisms, the taxonomic diversity of which is reflected in the huge diversity of their life styles. You will explore the structure and function of the major groups of microorganism, including bacteria, archaea, algae, fungi, protoctists and viruses. You will learn the basic concepts of microbiology and use them in the laboratory, in order to obtain a deeper understanding of the subject area, and its applicability in clinical laboratories. We will consider the diversity of microorganisms from many different perspectives including their structure, function, taxonomy and ecology, as well as introducing some of the diseases with which they are associated. The aim of this introductory module is to also teach the key practical techniques, such as oil immersion microscopy, aseptic technique, and culturing and staining of microorganisms, which you will apply in later modules such as ‘Laboratory Techniques for the Biomedical Sciences’. You will gain basic knowledge that is explored further in modules such as ‘Principles of Pathology’ and ‘Microbial Pathogenicity’, examining how infectious diseases damage the human host, and the challenges faced by antimicrobial resistance.
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology 1
    This module provides you with a solid foundation of human anatomy and physiology, with the study of the structure and function of the human body at the microscopic and macroscopic levels. We examine the fundamental principles of physiology, including the concepts of homeostasis, set points and feedback mechanisms. Histology, the study of cells and tissues, is central in our understanding how the organs and organ systems work, and is a central theme of the module. Running in parallel with ‘Foundations of Cell biology’, we discuss how the basic cellular building blocks are used to construct tissues, which then make up organs and organ systems. We then focus on specific organ systems, including the nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory and lymphatic and immune systems. There will also be an introduction to haematology. Understanding the basic physiology of a system allows us to understand the perturbations found in disease, and examples of the biological basis of disease are discussed where appropriate.
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology 2
    This module follows on from ‘Human Anatomy and Physiology 1’. The focus on functional histology (which emphasises the importance of tissue design in relation to its role) continues, and additional organ systems are surveyed, many of which are regulated by or form part of the endocrine system. Additional organ systems discussed include the musculoskeletal and integumentary systems, the gastro-intestinal system, and accessory structures such as the liver, gall bladder and pancreas, and the urinary and reproductive systems. There is also brief overview of embryology and development. Where appropriate, examples of human disease, disorder and dysfunction are introduced in parallel with the descriptors of normal structure and function. These introductory topics are explored further in ‘The Physiology of Organ Systems,’ and are the basis of the pathology modules.
  • Introduction to Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
    This module builds on from topics covered in 'Foundations of Cell Biology' and provides a sound basis for understanding the processes of life at the molecular level. The structure and function of the four major classes of biological macromolecules are discussed. Key aspects of biochemistry and molecular biology are considered, including enzyme structure and function, their kinetics and modulation, together with the central pathways of metabolism (glycolysis, Krebs cycle and oxidative phosphorylation). Genetic material and its replication, and the mechanisms and control of gene expression, are also studied. Throughout the module a number of different biochemical techniques will be discussed and then applied in laboratory practicals. The module concludes by looking at the basics of genetic engineering, focusing on the use of restriction enzymes and cloning vectors. Students will also be guided through some of the basic calculations which are used daily in working laboratories. The topics introduced in this module will be explored in more depth in ‘Metabolism and its Control’.

Year two, core modules

  • Diagnostic Techniques in Pathology
    Diagnostic Techniques in Pathology is one of a series of modules that enables you to acquire the key knowledge and skills required of a biomedical scientist. This module provides you with the knowledge which underpins the roles of, and diagnostic techniques used by, the major clinical disciplines within modern pathology laboratories (Molecular Biology, Medical Microbiology, Clinical Chemistry, Cellular Pathology, and Haematology). You will learn about basic sample handling, storage and screening within the various pathology laboratories. There is a firm grounding in the legal requirements for safe working practice, ethical issues, quality assurance procedures and identifying potential risks and hazards within pathology laboratories. You will explore the concepts of reference ranges and the use, analysis and evaluation of quality control data. In addition, a range of separation techniques and the principles behind some of the major analytical methods will be described. You will gain an understanding of the application of computerisation and automation within pathology laboratories, and an awareness of how patient data can be presented in a case study. Finally you will learn the fundamental principles used in obtaining results, and how these results are communicated to stakeholders.
  • Laboratory Techniques for the Biomedical Sciences
    In this laboratory-based module, which runs throughout the year, you will develop your experience and understanding of the techniques that are used in the Biomedical Sciences in both clinical and research settings. You will be provided with experience in a variety of laboratory skills appropriate to the key subjects of Molecular Biology, Cellular Pathology, Clinical Chemistry, Haematology and Medical Microbiology. In addition to equipping you with the relevant laboratory skills, there will be continued engagement with good laboratory practice, and health and safety practices that are required of laboratory scientists in research and clinical laboratories. You will also be provided with further experience in the analysis of experimental data. Additionally, this module will introduce you to techniques and experimental skills that could be employed during your final year research project.
  • Metabolism and its Control
    This module leads on from ‘Foundations of Cell Biology’ and ‘Introduction to Biochemistry and Molecular Biology’. Here you will examine a range of metabolic pathways, with a view to gaining a detailed understanding of the overall strategy of metabolism and the internal logic of key metabolic pathways. Other topics include the role of allosteric enzymes in the feedback control of metabolism and the effects of drugs and inhibitors on enzyme action. You will also study the organisation of the genome, how genetic material is transcribed and translated, and the complex regulation of this process. Once the basic metabolic pathways and contribution of genes are understood, you will consider the problems associated with inborn errors of metabolism and the effects of therapeutic drugs on individual reactions of metabolism. Finally there is a more thorough examination of cellular specialisation and the structure and biological functions of the major cellular organelles, and the roles of intracellular trafficking and hormonal signalling in metabolic control.
  • Physiology of Organ Systems
    This module builds upon the ‘Human Anatomy and Physiology’ modules and develops a detailed knowledge of major physiological principles, extending and broadening your skill base, whilst fostering increasing autonomy. Centred around the concepts of homeostasis and the biology of disease, the module focusses on major organ systems in more detail than in the first year, including the cardiovascular, respiratory and nervous systems, and then looks at physiological stressors which affect these and other systems, including exercise, diving, altitude and pregnancy. An overarching theme of the module is the use of drugs to restore normal physiology in the face of challenges, so we start by introducing the concepts of pharmacology. We also consider nutritional requirements and their effects on the body, of particular importance in the modern world with the growing incidence of obesity. Another theme of the course are the methods used to measure function of the human body, and a number of clinical skills are taught and applied in the practicals. The data analysis skills taught in ‘Biomeasurement’ will be put into practice in the preparation of a lab report based on data collected in the practicals, which will prepare you for your third year undergraduate project.
  • Preparation for Research
    Here, you’ll learn a range of relevant analytical techniques and tools of relevance to employment in science and vital for your final year student-led research project. You’ll learn the information and skills you need to conduct successful research, including: defining and developing a conceptual framework; finding and reviewing relevant literature; identifying and understanding appropriate methods of data collection and analyses; presenting your work orally and in writing; ethical considerations and health and safety issues.
  • Principles of Genetics
    The discovery of the structure of DNA by Watson and Crick, and the publication of the Human Genome, arguably represent the most significant scientific advances of the twentieth century. In the modern era, the study of genetic underpins all of biology. Following on from concepts introduced in ‘Core Biology’, and running parallel with the molecular mechanisms of DNA discussed in ‘Metabolism and its Control’, Principles of Genetics provides an integration of concepts at the organismal, cellular, chromosomal, protein and DNA levels. Genetics offers a biologically-based explanation for morphological, physiological, and even behavioural traits in an organism, and also gives us a mechanism for the generation and maintenance of variation and the raw material for evolution. Modern genetics and genetic engineering offers hope for the cure of many diseases, topics which will be expanded upon in ‘Medical Genetics’.
  • Principles of Pathology
    In this module you will learn how disease starts, how it spreads, and how the body responds. You will consider the biology of disease from the molecular level to the whole organism, especially the causes of cellular injury and how this leads to a failure of cellular and organ function. After the course you will be able to identify and classify particular diseases with respect to their origin and spread, disease mechanisms, complications and sequelae and prognosis and evaluate external and internal factors in disease (e.g. genetic, environmental factors and infective agents). You will also be able to discuss responses to disease including acute and chronic inflammation and the immune response, and their contribution to the pathology.

Year three, core modules

  • Clinical Immunology
    The immune system is regarded as second only to the brain in complexity, and is what allows us to survive the onslaught from external hazards. However, at times our immune system can be our own worst enemy. This module builds on aspects introduced in ‘Principles of Pathology’, and allows you to develop a comprehensive and detailed knowledge of clinical immunology at a molecular, cellular, tissue, and whole patient level. You will build a thorough understanding of the normal and pathological operation of the immune system, consider the role and significance of immunity to infection, and the positive and negative roles of inflammation in health and in disease. We will start with the origins, development and properties of lymphoid cells and look closely at antibody structure and function. Other topics include antigen-presenting cells and lymphocyte activation, humoral and cell-mediated immunity, innate and acquired immunity to pathogens, autoimmunity, hypersensitivity, immunodeficiency and immunisation, through to transplantation immunology and vaccine design. Tissue typing and novel cellular approaches to cancer therapy are also included in the course
  • Current Advances in Biomedical Science
    This module fosters your knowledge of up-to-date research from the biomedical and bio-molecular fields in preparation for your career after graduation. Enhancement of employability is a key feature. The module is delivered by professionals who will speak about their own careers and specialist interests, and draw on areas that you have studied over your three years at Anglia Ruskin University. The module includes three conference days. The first conference day will focus on increasing your employability, the second concentrates on post-graduate studentships, while the third (scientific) conference day will enable you to evaluate critically data presented by eminent guest researchers, and present a group poster that will be assessed by a panel of two scientists. In addition, you will attend a series of lectures and a “journal club” focussed on advanced bio-molecular techniques used in academic research and the biotechnology / pharmaceutical industries. Self-directed learning is encouraged, with focus on reading presentations provided by the speakers and current journal articles rather than using standard texts.
  • Human Pathology
    This module will help develop your knowledge of clinical human pathology at a molecular, cellular, tissue, and whole patient level, and provide you with a detailed understanding of the pathological processes at the biochemical, histological and anatomical levels. The module builds on the key concepts of disease introduced in ‘Principles of Pathology’. A wide survey of these processes as they are found in diseases of the main organ discussed in ‘Human Anatomy and Physiology’ and ‘The Physiology of Organ Systems’ will follow, with an emphasis on clinically important areas. You will use case studies to develop a critical evaluation of evidence to support synthesis of conclusions/recommendations and investigation of contradictory information. Building on your knowledge and understanding will reinforce the relevance of the pathological processes that underpin clinical manifestations of the biology of disease. While pathology is a vast field, particular emphasis is put on the causes, progression, side effects and complications, diagnosis and treatment of the major diseases including a special emphasis on diseases of the vascular system (including the cerebrovascular system), blood, heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, and digestive tract. Students are encouraged to explore further topics of interest on their own to develop their autonomy and independent learning.
  • Medical Genetics
    Our increased understanding of genetics has had a profound impact on human affairs. Much of our food and clothing and increasingly, therapeutic agents, come from genetically improved organisms. An increasing proportion of human illnesses have been shown to have a genetic component. Genetic knowledge and research have provoked new insights into the way we see ourselves, particularly in relation to the rest of the biological world. Building from the concepts introduced in ‘Core Biology’, ‘Principles of Genetics’ and ‘Metabolism and its Control’, you will focus on the enormous input genetics has had into our understanding of, and developing treatments for, human disease. Topics such as epigenetic and chromosomal changes, genetics of inborn errors of metabolism, pharmacogenetics and the advent of personalised medicine, developmental genetics, and genetics of cancer are discussed, among others. There will also be an opportunity for you to put your views forward with regards to the ethical dilemmas presented by our greater understanding of and ability to manipulate the genome.
  • Specialist Topics in Biomedical Science
    Running in parallel to ‘Human Pathology’, this module is intended to allow students to integrate their knowledge of biomedical science across the major disciplines. You will critically evaluate the abnormal state and carry out appropriate diagnostic tests by means of a practical “mock" post mortem, to arrive at a justifiable cause of death, which you will then present and defend in our mock court room. You will further develop your employability skills by working as part of a multi-disciplinary team throughout this module. Students will be expected to pool their knowledge from their research to ensure a full coverage of the different topics relevant to your case. Consideration will also be given to possible future developments in biomedical science. Students will be encouraged to seek out aspects that depend on other branches of healthcare science, or other diagnostic techniques. The students will also be responsible for ensuring the quality and validity of the results that they produce during the practical sessions in the laboratory.
  • Undergraduate Research Project
    In your final year, you have the opportunity to create a substantial piece of individual research, focused on a topic of your choice, which may be based on laboratory work, or a research project based on data in the literature. The project will follow on from the proposal developed in ‘Preparation for Research’. Your project will show evidence of appropriate academic challenge, technical expertise, and progress. You will identify and formulate problems and issues, conduct a literature review, evaluate information, investigate and adopt suitable research methods, and develop approaches for data collection and processing. Regular meetings with your project supervisor will ensure your project is closely monitored and steered in the right direction.

Year three, optional modules

  • Biomedical Case Studies
    This module is usually taken by part-time students already working in hospitals, but is also available to those full-time students who prefer a more practical approach, with a focus on developing your ability to study independently. This module allows you to integrate your knowledge of biomedical science across the major disciplines by production of a negotiated, multi-disciplinary case study that exemplifies the diagnosis and management of a patient derived from results from laboratories representing the different specialisms of Biomedical Science. Students will be encouraged to work independently, and drive their own research, thereby developing your ability as an autonomous, critical thinker. You will make full use of the laboratory to select and perform a range of diagnostic tests, to help inform your case report. You will justify your clinical outcome based on the critical interpretation of normal and abnormal authentic data, enriched with additional research to support your decision.
  • Microbial Pathogenicity
    This module looks at the breadth of microbial pathogenicity. As such it considers, bacterial, fungal and viral diseases of humans and animals. You will explore the deeper concepts of virulence, the molecular genetics and regulation of virulence whilst also considering the key issues relating to global epidemiology of new and emerging infections. In addition, we will study the complexity of the host-parasite relationship from both sides and critically appraise the broad range of pathogenic mechanisms exhibited by selected microorganisms through case studies and critical review of journal articles. Practical sessions underpin lecture and seminar content, to enable a thorough ability to understand topics in a theoretical and practical sense. Attention is also given to the challenges faced with selection and management of appropriate treatment strategies, including mechanisms of antibiosis and the various causes and effects of treatment failure. You will thus be able to interpret and contextualise microbial pathogenicity by demonstrating a comprehensive understanding of the subject and the challenges faced to public health.
  • Molecular Cell Biology
    Cambridge is regarded as the ‘home’ of molecular cell biology, and is the hub of the UK biotechnology industry. This module will extend your knowledge and understanding of cell structure, function and disease at the molecular level, with particular emphasis on the evaluation and discussion of the experimental evidence that has contributed to current concepts, models and treatments. Processes such as signal transduction, protein sorting, protein targeting, phagocytosis and receptor-mediated endocytosis are discussed as part of your overall consideration of the relationship between molecular structure and biological function in cells and their substructures. Viral infection of eukaryotic cells will also be given detailed consideration, as will the role of viruses in oncogenesis and other factors that contribute to the molecular basis of cancer. Case studies are used to extend your ability to critically analyse data derived from the increasingly sophisticated techniques used to study biology at the molecular and cellular level. This module is recommended for those undertaking their research project in allied subjects.


We use a number of ways to track your learning, and to make sure you are developing the knowledge and skills you need. You will undertake practicals in almost all your modules, developing your practical laboratory skills, and your written, verbal, and numerical skills will be assessed from coursework including essays and lab reports, and poster and oral presentations. There will also be tests and exams, to determine your grasp of the fundamental principles and to develop your problem-solving skills.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Science & Technology is one of the largest of five faculties at Anglia Ruskin University. Whether you choose to study with us full- or part-time, on campus or at a distance, there’s an option whatever your level – from a foundation degree, to a BSc, MSc, PhD or professional doctorate. 

Whichever course you pick, you’ll gain the theory and practical skills needed to progress with confidence. Join us and you could find yourself learning in the very latest laboratories or on field trips or work placements with well-known and respected companies. You may even have the opportunity to study abroad.

Everything we do in the faculty has a singular purpose: to provide a world-class environment to create, share and advance knowledge in science and technology fields. This is key to all of our futures.

Where can I study?

Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

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Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2016/17 (per year)


International students, 2016/17 (per year)


UK & EU students, 2017/18 (per year)


International students, 2017/18 (per year)


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For more information about tuition fees, including the UK Government's commitment to EU students, please see our UK/EU funding pages

Additional costs

Please note, the estimated additional costs for this course are as follows: lab coat - £15; poster printing - £20.

How do I pay my fees?

Tuition fee loan

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Most English undergraduates take out a tuition fee loan with Student Finance England. The fees are then paid directly to us. The amount you repay each month is linked to your salary and repayments start in April after you graduate.

How to apply for a tuition fee loan

Paying upfront

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If you choose not to take out a loan you can pay your fees directly to us. There are two ways to do this: either pay in full, or through a three- or six-month instalment plan starting at registration.

How to pay your fees directly

International students

You must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments. You will also be asked for a deposit or sponsorship letter for undergraduate courses. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees
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Funding for UK & EU students

We offer most new undergraduate students funding to support their studies and university life. There’s also finance available for specific groups of students.

Grants and scholarships are available for:

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Funding for international students

We've a number of scholarships, as well as some fee discounts for early payment.

Entry requirements

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Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

All tariff points must come from A levels. Points from AS levels cannot be counted towards the total tariff points required for entry to this course.

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International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

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English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for undergraduate courses.

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Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry onto a degree course.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

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