Biomedical Science with Foundation Year BSc (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (4 years)


January, September

Intermediate awards: CertHE, DipHE


Our Biomedical Science degree will give you an intellectually stimulating education in the fast-moving field of the science that underpins modern medicine.

Full description
The next stage of my career involves me completing my ‘trainee BMS’ year at work in a diagnostic NHS Microbiology laboratory
BSc Biomedical Science


This IBMS-accredited degree allows graduates to get a trainee position within an NHS laboratory to become a Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registered Biomedical Scientist. We’ll provide a valuable introduction to the UK’s professional body for Biomedical Scientists, as well as a chance to link with professionals working in the industry.

When you graduate you’ll also be in demand for a wide range of biomedical roles, from scientific or laboratory-based jobs in pure research, - both in university and industrial laboratories, to pharmaceutical manufacturing, and working for the Medical Research Council or other health-related public bodies and charities.

Our BSc Biomedical Science degree is also a route into Medicine. Upon graduation you’ll need to pass the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) and have gained relevant work experience in the healthcare sector. You can then apply for a 4 or 5 year accelerated programme at a UK Medical School.

Cambridge has become a world-leading centre 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’d like to continue your studies, we offer a wide range of full-time and part-time postgraduate courses, including MSc Biomedical Science (distance learning) and MSc Applied Bioscience.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • Biology of Cells
    In this module practical sessions on cellular respiration, osmosis and cell diversity will support your lectures. You will study the structure and function of cellular organelles, membranes and transport systems, in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. In addition, cell metabolism - the biochemical processes undertaken in living organisms - is a key component of this module, with the emphasis on cellular respiration of glucose and the role of mitochondria. The fundamental principle of biology, the ability to renew (cells) and reproduce, both sexually and asexually and the mechanisms of cell division, including mitosis and meiosis, will be studied.
  • Biomolecules
    In this module you will focus on the composition, structure and function of the four groups of macromolecules - proteins, carbohydrates, nucleic acids and lipids. The central importance of water and carbon and the mechanism of action of enzymes and factors that affect enzyme function also will be studied. The lectures will be complemented by practicals that build on the lecture material and teach a range of laboratory skills.
  • Chemical Principles
    This module provides an introduction to chemical science and includes the study of materials and the undergoing chemical changes. These principles will be developed further by exploring the periodic table, chemical equations, calculating concentrations, quantitative chemical analysis such as colorimetry, chemical equilibria and organic chemistry. The practical component of the course will allow students to gain practice in laboratory techniques based on the concepts covered in the lectures and how to report their findings. Tutorials will be held for students to practice questions and calculations based on the lecture material.
  • Mathematics for Science
    Maths for Science is a course that ensures students have the necessary mathematical skills required for their chosen degree. Each mathematical concept is introduced by a lecture, in which examples of how to use and apply the concept are demonstrated. Students practise problems in a tutorial for each topic, using worksheets that include applied problems to indicate the importance and applicability of mathematics to their future degrees. The subjects covered are arithmetic skills, algebra, areas and volumes, trigonometry and basic statistics. In addition, there are sessions using Excel for manipulation of simple data sets using formulae and graphical presentation of the results. Students will be expected to apply the skills learnt in graphically presenting data to the other modules they are studying.The worksheets include problems applied to the various degree pathways to which the students will progress, to indicate the importance and applicability of mathematics to their future degrees. The subjects covered are a range of arithmetic skills, algebra, areas and volumes, trigonometry and basic statistics. In addition, there are sessions using Excel for manipulation of simple data sets using formulae and graphical presentation of the results. Students will be expected to apply the skills learnt in graphically presenting data to the other modules they are studying where applicable.
  • Physical Principles
    This module provides an introduction to the principles and laws of physics which underpin all life sciences. No prior knowledge of physics is assumed, and the focus will be on those aspects which are specific to the future requirements of students. The module will be taught with a mixture of lectures, workshops, tutorials and laboratory practicals. The module will encompass aspects such as how organisms move in relation to their environment, how they perceive their environment in terms of light and sound, how the physics of fluids and gasses affect the anatomy and physiology of organisms, how electricity is used to allow communication, and finally how radioactivity impacts on organisms, and the applications of physics in modern medicine The practical component of this module will allow the students to develop an understanding of how the theory they are taught in lectures is applied in practical situations.
  • Physiology
    Physiology is the science of body function and is related to the structure (anatomy) of the organism. In this module the main organ and regulatory systems that work to enable the body to function and respond to change, whilst maintaining a constant internal environment, will be studied. Although this module will focus mainly on the human body as an example of a much studied organism, reference to other organisms will be made to illustrate particular principles or to contrast different systems and mechanisms. Laboratory-based practicals and workshops will be used to build on the knowledge gained from the lectures. The practical sessions will enable the development of a range of laboratory-based skills, which will include the recording of observational findings as well as experimental results.
  • Biological Diversity
    The Biological Diversity module will provide you with an introduction to key processes operating within living organisms, including energy provision, transport, control and co-ordination. The structural detail and functions are considered at a range of scales from cells, through organ systems to whole organisms and applied to the main micro-organism, animal and plant phyla as appropriate. Interactions between organisms and their environment are examined together with the biotic and abiotic factors which control their distribution and abundance. The systems and mechanisms required to control and regulate water and temperature and how gas exchange is achieved will be studied. Basic principles of genetic inheritance will be introduced and considered in the context of Darwin’s theory of natural selection. Practical skills will be developed in laboratory session that will require observation and experimentation.
  • Introduction to Biology of Disease
    This module is designed to introduce and develop topics and skills related to biomedical sciences to prepare students for entry to level 4. The module will build on the knowledge and skills developed in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics by applying these principles to biomedical sciences. A variety of teaching modes will be utilised to cover topics such tests and investigations used in the diagnosis of disease, the normal structure and function of the eye and discussion of some common eye conditions. Some of the more common diseases, for example, cardiovascular problems and cancer, will be studied. A project related to biomedical or ophthalmic science will be carried out that will give more in-depth knowledge of an aspect of these subject areas. The project will be carried out as a group and therefore enhance transferable skills developed by group work and also provide experience in different types of scientific writing and presenting, to produce written work and deliver a presentation on the project. The module will be assessed through coursework on the project that will include a presentation and a study on a given disease.

Year two, core modules

  • Mathematics for the Biosciences
    A knowledge and understanding of maths is essential to being a skilled scientist. This module provides you with the core mathematical tools required to perform tasks in experimental design, data collection and data interpretation. By the end of this module you will be able to apply the skills learnt to specific biomedical science case studies. Each mathematical concept is introduced in a lecture where you will gain an understanding of the key principles. Each lecture will be followed by interactive tutorial sessions where you will be able to apply these principles to relevant biomedical situations. This will develop your understanding of and ability to use the mathematic principles as well as allowing you to visualize how they can be used in an appropriate real-life setting. Drop-in tutorial sessions are also held, making the module accessible for students with all levels of mathematic ability.
  • Core Biology 1
    Biology is an incredibly wide-ranging subject. While the focus of a biomedical science degree is human health and disease, the way in which our bodies work is determined by the fundamental laws of chemistry and physics which have to be obeyed in order for life to exist. As graduates, you should also have an appreciation of the wider context of biology, and the historical background and people who have contributed to our current knowledge and understanding of our world, which then creates a platform we can build on as we advance our knowledge even further. In the ‘Core Biology 1’ and ‘Core Biology 2’ modules we, therefore, cover the fundamental principles that underpin the study of biology. The content is wide-ranging, introducing the history and philosophy of science as well as key biological theories, knowledge and techniques. ‘Core Biology 1’ covers a range of topics including the scientific method, experimental design and ethics, basic chemistry for the biosciences, and an introduction to genetics, evolution and biodiversity. Students will also be inducted into the correct methods of working in a laboratory, including use of risk assessments and health and safety best practice. The module delivery is closely integrated with personal tutorial group meetings, which students will have with their personal tutor throughout the semester.
  • Core Biology 2
    Core Biology 2 starts with an overview of the wider context of biology, with lectures on zoology, botany, biodiversity and ecology. You will look at how multicellular organisms develop, and the influence of changes in embryological development on evolution. Size of organisms is also hugely important in determining structure and function of organs and organisms. You will then move onto a history of medicine and an introduction to the biology of disease. We have a number of tools to help you learn to diagnose and treat diseases, including technologies incorporating medical physics. You will discover how drugs are used to treat diseases, and will learn how these are derived, often from plants. The causes of disease are varied, and we touch on a number of these, including diet, aging, neurological, infectious and vector borne and toxicological, in preparation for the pathology modules later in the course. Epidemiology of disease is discussed within these topics. The module aims to help you develop key scientific skills, such as the ability to design experiments and carry them out competently and to present and describe data effectively. Emphasis is also given to the development of good basic numeracy, IT and communication skills and to the ability to work independently and as part of a team. The module aims to help you develop key scientific skills, such as the ability to design experiments and carry them out competently and to present and describe data effectively. Emphasis is also given to the development of good basic numeracy, IT and communication skills and to the ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Foundations of Cell Biology
    Cells are the fundamental units of life. In this module, you will be introduced to the many different types of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, with their identifying characteristics, structures and properties. You will examine eukaryote cellular organelles, including the plasma membrane, nucleus, endomembrane system, lysosomes, mitochondria, chloroplasts and the cytoskeleton, together with the cell growth and division cycle, with particular emphasis on mitosis and meiosis. An overview of bacterial, viral and organelle diseases is given, which underpins the ‘General Microbiology’ and ‘Principles of Pathology’ modules, delivered later in the course. Laboratory skills, including microscopy, spectroscopy and sub-cellular fractionation techniques are developed throughout the module, as are key numerical skills in analysing and presenting data.
  • General Microbiology
    Microbiology is the study of microorganisms - organisms that are too small to be seen without magnification. The taxonomic diversity of microorganisms is reflected in the huge diversity of their lifestyles. In this module you will explore the major groups of microorganism: bacteria, archaea, algae, fungi, protists and viruses. In so doing, you will learn the basic concepts of microbiology and apply them to a scientific understanding of the subject area. You will consider the diversity of microorganisms from many different perspectives including their cell structure (if present), function, taxonomy and ecology. Microorganisms have a long history of association - mostly negative - with humans, and the importance of microorganisms as human pathogens is explored, as are their actual and potential uses. Throughout this module you will be introduced to the latest advances in microbiology, whilst also learning a sound basic understanding. Furthermore, through a series of laboratory-based classes, you will be given training in handling microorganisms and the use of the aseptic technique as the basis for preparing cultures. You will also acquire the fundamental practical skills required by microbiologists and biomedical scientists, including performing a Gram stain, viable counts, subculturing techniques and maintaining safe and efficient working practices. The laboratory sessions are held within a well-equipped microbiology suite. The range of laboratory techniques experienced in this module coupled with the broad theoretical basis will be useful for a range of laboratory-based careers, particularly in the biomedical sciences.
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology 1
    On this module you will learn about how the human body works at various levels going from the underlying biochemistry, to basic cell biology and on to how cells form tissues. You will go on to study how organs function and interact in organ systems. The emphasis is on how structure at all these levels is related to function. All through the module you will find out how the body maintains a constant internal environment (homeostasis) and how this helps maintain health. You will also learn how disruptions to this homeostasis can lead to disease. The organs and systems covered in this module include the brain, nervous system and the special senses, the heart and cardiovascular physiology, the respiratory system and the lymphatic and immune systems. There will also be an introduction to haematology. There are lots of practicals in this module, including dissections, which will help you understand the concepts covered in class. On this module you will be introduced to concepts that have a strong medical relevance, focussing on how health is maintain.
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology 2
    This module goes hand in hand with Human Anatomy and Physiology 1. On this module you will gain an understanding of the following organ systems: the musculoskeletal system, the endocrine system, the urinary system and fluid and electrolyte balance, the integumentary system, the digestive system including the liver and biliary system, the endocrine and exocrine pancreas, and the reproductive system. You will also learn about embryonic development. You will learn about how health is maintained and also develop an understanding of how disease, disorder and dysfunction occur in the various systems. The module forms the foundations of knowledge about the functioning of the human body which is vital for studying many modules that come later on in the degree, including ‘The Physiology of Organ Systems’ and ‘Principles of Pathology’ in the second year and ‘Human Pathology’ and ‘Clinical Immunology’ in the third year.
  • Introduction to Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
    This module goes hand in hand with topics covered in 'Foundations of Cell Biology' and provides a sound basis for understanding the processes of life at the molecular level. Key aspects of biochemistry and molecular biology are considered, including the four major classes of biological macromolecules, enzyme structure, function and kinetics. An overview of the central, energy generating pathways of metabolism (Glycolysis, Krebs cycle and Oxidative phosphorylation) is provided to underpin more advanced material delivered in ‘Metabolism and its Control’, later in the course. Genetic material, its replication and the mechanisms and control of gene expression are also studied. Throughout the module a number of different biochemical techniques, including chromatography, measuring enzymatic reactions and protein purification will be discussed and then employed 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 Biomedical Science laboratories.

Year three, core modules

  • Diagnostic Techniques in Pathology
    Diagnostic Techniques in Pathology introduces the biomedical science diagnostic disciplines of medical microbiology, clinical chemistry, cellular pathology, haematology and immunology. This will include the day to day workings of an NHS pathology department as well as the scientific background of the diagnostic procedures performed. In this module you will learn to describe and discuss 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 and quality assurance procedures and you will study legislation governing these, which will enable them to identify 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, as well as a range of separation techniques and the principles behind some of the major analytical methods. Finally you will learn the fundamental principles used in obtaining results and how results are communicated to service users. Assessment is based on a series of linked assignments, some of which can also be used as supporting evidence for the construction of the IBMS registration portfolio. Teaching is delivered by appropriately qualified academic/biomedical scientists.
  • Laboratory Techniques for the Biomedical Sciences
    This module is designed to develop your experience and understanding of 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, Haematology and Medical Microbiology. In addition to equipping you with essential laboratory skills, you will have continued engagement with good laboratory practice and health and safety practices that are required of biomedical 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. The majority of the teaching will be through practical classes where you will gain hands on experience of the techniques taught. Lectures will be used to provide further theoretical background to the techniques used and the processes required for the analysis, interpretation and presentation of results. Lectures and feedback sessions will take place during practical classes where appropriate. Teaching will be predominantly delivered by our lecturers but where appropriate, external lecturers will be employed to provide expert tuition, professional support and assistance. These will include biomedical and research scientists.
  • Metabolism and its Control
    Building on the knowledge you will gain in the first year, you will further 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. You will also discuss the effects of drugs and inhibitors and the role of allosteric enzymes in the feedback control of metabolism. Attention is also paid to the organisation of the genome and how genetic material is transcribed and translated. This leads to an understanding of the significance of inborn errors of metabolism and the effects of therapeutic drugs on individual reactions of metabolism. Finally there is more examination of cellular specialisation and the structure and biological functions of the major cellular organelles, as well as intracellular trafficking and hormonal signalling. While providing you with detailed subject specific knowledge, this module will help you to develop a number of transferable skills including practical (laboratory) techniques and skills relevant to general employment including report writing, data collection, handling and presentation.
  • Physiology of Organ Systems
    This module builds upon the first year Human Anatomy and Physiology modules and develops a detailed knowledge of major theories of physiological principles, extending and broadening the skill base, whilst fostering increasing autonomy. Centred around the concepts of homeostasis and the biology of disease, the module starts with an introduction to the role of drugs and drug action, and their role in physiology and pathophysiology. The module then examines circulatory function in detail, looking at normal functioning and control of the heart and circulatory system, and differential supply of blood to the tissues. Respiration and its control are examined, in relation to gas exchange in the lungs and the tissues. The response of the body to physiological perturbations including altitude, diving, exercise and pregnancy are discussed. Additional aspects covered include a detailed discussion of the brain and neurotransmitters, liver metabolism, and relationships between diet and risk of disease. There is a detailed examination of blood as a tissue, closely surveying both the cellular and plasma fractions, and the physiological responses to haemorrhage. Students receive an overview of normal integrated physiological processes which is then contrasted with changes resulting from disease conditions, thus preparing them for more detailed analysis of systemic disease at level 6. Case studies are investigated and discussed for each topic. The students participate in practical sessions, with collection of physiological data using themselves as subjects. The assessment in this module includes an essay, a practical report with data handling and an end-of-semester exam.
  • Preparation for Research
    This second year module is designed to prepare the student for their third year research project; the third year project can be based around practical laboratory research, a meta-analysis of a literature topic or bioinformatics. This module will introduce the concept of independent, student-directed research, giving them the opportunity to design and propose their own research project. During the process, each student will be assigned a supervisor to help and guide them through the process, from the initial concept to the final research proposal. The module will deliver a range of lectures, workshops and practical work designed to introduce information, skills and requirements necessary for preparing a successful research proposal. These include defining and developing a conceptual framework, finding and reviewing relevant literature, identifying and understanding appropriate materials and methods for analyses, understanding the potential outcomes and impact of the research, ethical considerations, and health and safety considerations. The module will contain a laboratory-based practical/theoretical assessment designed to test the student’s ability to undertake essential research techniques; this mark will be used to help determine the student’s suitability for the types of third year project available. In addition, the student will attend small group/individual sessions with their assigned supervisor to give research- and project-specific guidance. The module will culminate in the production of a written proposal outlining and justifying the research topic the student would like to undertake.
  • Principles of Genetics
    In this second year module you will learn about the structure, function and inheritance of genes. You will learn how genes give a biological explanation for how organisms look, function and even behave. You will develop your understanding of how variation in genes provides the raw material for evolution. You will start by learning the classical patterns of inheritance, building on concepts covered in the first year module Core Biology 1. You will go on to learn how these classical patterns may be more complicated as two or more genes interact. You will learn how chromosomes may be mutated and the effects of these mutations on the body. Also in this module you will find out about the genetics not only of individuals but also of whole populations. You will learn about the genetics of cancer and epigenetics and about current methods of genetic analysis. The concepts you learn in class will be backed up by practicals you will carry out in the laboratory where you will work in groups to conduct breeding experiments, stain chromosomes to view under a microscope and use various techniques to carry out genetic analysis of DNA. Lectures covering concepts are followed by genetic problems or case studies to work on in class. As well as gaining specific subject knowledge, this module will help you to develop a number of transferable skills including practical laboratory techniques and other skills relevant to general employment including data collection, handling and presentation and report writing.
  • Principles of Pathology
    This 15 credit module builds on the principles introduced in Human Anatomy and Physiology II, Foundations of Cell Biology and Diagnostic Techniques in Pathology. As such, it is the second module in the series that develops student knowledge and understanding of the main pathology disciplines. The module is also intended to provide a detailed knowledge of the processes of general pathology for the Level 6 module Human Pathology. By developing the concept of the biology of disease from the molecular level to the whole organism, it allows consideration of the causes of cellular injury and further develops how these lead to a failure of cellular homeostasis and function. In this context, students will also be expected to be able to identify and/or classify particular diseases with respect to their aetiology, pathogenesis, complications and sequelae and prognosis. Other concepts which are considered comprehensively include acute and chronic inflammation, the immune response to disease, and aetiological agents of disease (e.g. genetic, environmental factors and infective agents). With respect to the latter, emphasis will be placed on understanding the structure, classification, biochemistry and control of significant pathogenic agents. The basic principles of the biology of disease also provide an unifying theme to the module, which is developed through further consideration of genomics and the implications of age, gender, ethnic origin and epidemiology. Key to understanding disease diagnosis and progression is a comprehension of the range of diagnostic techniques currently used in pathology laboratories. Students are required to demonstrate specific knowledge and understanding of these techniques by deciphering case studies. As a corollary, modern-day ethical considerations of biomedical research, and disease diagnosis and treatment are also discussed. Resources include current textbooks, web-based information and image files as well as lecturer-prepared visual aids to assist conceptual understanding. Assessments range from a 1 hour written exam to examine the student's level of comprehension to written essay assignments and group-based poster presentations. As well as providing students with subject specific knowledge, this module helps develop a number of transferable skills including an appreciation of the basis of laboratory techniques and skills relevant to employment including group problem-solving, literacy and numerical skills.

Year four, 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 aims to cover some of the most topical and exciting recent developments in biomedical science, focussing particularly on those advances which are likely to become key elements of biomedical careers in the near future. You will learn about next generation DNA sequencing, the gut microbiota, metabolomics, proteomics, stem cell therapy and CRISPR/CAS9 gene editing. This module is taught in a variety of ways; as well as going to lectures, you will learn through going to journal clubs, workshops, a ‘Dragon’s Den’-style group exercise, and by attending three conference days. The first conference day offers insight into the different career paths that are open to graduates of Biomedical Science, through presentations by speakers at various stages of diverse careers. The second conference day focusses specifically on routes of entry into research-centred careers. The third day aims to develop your skills of critical analysis, by presenting a poster and attending a series of presentations by eminent guest researchers. This module places emphasis on self-directed learning, you are encouraged to rely more on current journal articles than 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
    The knowledge and skills of biomedical science and pathology are being applied to an ever increasing number of specialist fields. In this module you will develop a deeper understanding of these advanced specialisms. It will build upon your knowledge of routine diagnostic pathology disciplines gained in the ‘Diagnostic Techniques in Pathology’ module and you will learn to apply these to a range of specialist fields in the clinical, pharmaceutical and forensic pathology sectors, ranging from reproduction and fertility, through paediatrics and neonatology to gerontology, and from pharmacology and neurology to drug monitoring and forensic pathology. You will consider the theoretical and practical aspects of pathology through the application of knowledge and practical skills in each discipline. Additionally, you will gain an appreciation of the governance and legislations involved in these specialisms. This module is designed to impart a systematic knowledge of the theory, skills and techniques required of a graduate biomedical scientist and additionally, prepare you for careers in a variety of specialist fields.
  • Undergraduate Research Project
    You are required to undertake a final year research project, as a key component of your degree, focused on a topic relevant to your degree field. Your project may be based on current Anglia Ruskin University research interests, something of interest to you or, if suitable work-place supervision is available, related to the research of your previous, or current, employer. Your project must show evidence of appropriate academic challenge, technical expertise, and progress. You will be required to identify and formulate problems and issues, conduct a literature review, evaluate information, investigate and adopt suitable research methods, and use appropriate methods for data collection, analysis and processing. You will demonstrate that you have fulfilled these criteria via regular meetings with your project supervisor where you will show evidence of project development via discussion and the presentation of spoken, written and other appropriate evidence. A substantial dissertation will form the bulk of the assessment for this module, supported by a presentation and/or other supporting evidence and including an assessed PDP component. In the course of your studies with us you may generate intellectual property, which is defined as an idea, invention, or creation which can be protected by law from being copied by someone else. By registering with us on your course you automatically assign any such intellectual property to us unless we agree with the organisation covering the cost of your course that this is retained by them. In consideration of you making this assignment you will be entitled to benefit from a share in any income generated in accordance with our Revenue Sharing Policy in operation at that time. Details of our Intellectual Property Policy and Guidelines can be found on My.Anglia under Research, Development and Commercial Services or by contacting this Office for a hard copy.

Year four, optional modules

  • Biomedical Case Studies
    This module is designed to you integrate your knowledge of biomedical sciences across a range of disciplines. The module will be taught using a case-based approach and is designed to you experience of disease diagnosis, medical testing, treatment options and potential patient outcomes. Also, this module will look at the biological basis that underlies the case histories, which biological processes are defective, how the defect(s) leads to the symptoms observed and the molecular basis of any treatment options.
  • 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 & Engineering is one of the largest of the four faculties at Anglia Ruskin University. Whether you choose to study with us full-time or part-time, on campus or at a distance, there’s an option whatever your level – from a foundation degree, 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.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students starting 2018/19 or 2019/20 (per year)


International students starting 2018/19 (per year)


International students starting 2019/20 (per year)


Fee information

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

Additional costs

Poster printing - £20.

Cost of printing dissertation/individual project.

Entry requirements

Loading... Entry requirements are not currently available, please try again later.

Similar courses that may interest you

Biomedical Science

Full-time undergraduate (3 years, 4 years with placement)


January, September

Medical Science with Foundation Year

Full-time undergraduate (4 years)



Forensic Science with Foundation Year

Full-time undergraduate (4 years)