Biomedical Science BSc

Biomedical Science

Key information

Duration:
3 years full time
Typical A-level offer:
AAB-ABB
UCAS code:
C702
Start date:
September 2018

At Sussex, you develop the knowledge and practical skills to tackle human diagnosis, disease and treatment.

You learn from a range of experts – from those at the forefront of genetics research into cancer treatments to NHS Trust and Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) faculty.

And with our guaranteed interview scheme for medicine, the clinical skills you develop make this course a perfect pathway to studying medicine.

“The lecturers are incredible at taking complex concepts and making them easy to understand.” Ahmad EbadiBiomedical Science BSc

MSci or BSc?

We also offer this course as a four-year MSci, or as a four-year MSci with research placementsFind out about the benefits of an integrated Masters year.

Entry requirements

A-level

Typical offer

AAB-ABB

Subjects

A-levels must include Biology (or Human Biology) and another science (from Chemistry, Geology, Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Statistics or Physics). You will also normally need to pass the separate science practical assessment in Biology. If you are not able to take the science practical assessment, applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

GCSEs

You will also need GCSE (or equivalent) English, Mathematics and two Science subjects with grade B in each (or grade 5 in the new grading scale).

Other UK qualifications

Access to HE Diploma

Typical offer

Pass the Access to HE Diploma with 45 level 3 credits at Merit or above, including 24 at Distinction.

Subjects

You will need substantial amounts of Level 3 credit in Biology and another science subject or to have taken A-level Biology alongside the Access course.

GCSEs

You will also need GCSE (or equivalent) English, Mathematics and two Science subjects with grade B in each (or grade 5 in the new grading scale).

International Baccalaureate

Typical offer

32 points overall from the full IB Diploma.

Subjects

You will need Higher Level in Biology and another Higher Level science subject (from Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics) with at least grade 5 in both.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma)

Typical offer

DDD

Subjects

The BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma will need to be in Applied Science and you will need to have opted for substantial numbers of modules in Biology, Biomedical and Chemistry related topics.

GCSEs

You will also need GCSE (or equivalent) English, Mathematics and two Science subjects with grade B in each (or grade 5 in the new grading scale).

Scottish Highers

Typical offer

AABBB

Subjects

Highers must include Biology and another science, with at least grade B in each. Ideally, you will have one or both of these sciences as an Advanced Higher. 

GCSEs

You will also need Mathematics and English at Standard Grade, grade 1 or 2.

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced

Typical offer

Grade B and AB in two A-levels.

Subjects

A-levels must include Biology (or Human Biology) and another science (from Chemistry, Geology, Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Statistics or Physics).

GCSEs

You will also need GCSE (or equivalent) English, Mathematics and two Science subjects with grade B in each (or grade 5 in the new grading scale).

International baccalaureate

Typical offer

32 points overall from the full IB Diploma.

Subjects

You will need Higher Level in Biology and another Higher Level science subject (from Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics) with at least grade 5 in both.

European baccalaureate

Typical offer

Overall result of at least 77%

Additional requirements

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential (at least a score of 8).

Other international qualifications

Australia

Typical offer

Relevant state (Year 12) High School Certificate, and over 85% in the ATAR or UAI/TER/ENTER. Or a Queensland OP of 5 or below.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Austria

Typical offer

Reifeprüfung or Matura with an overall result of 2.2 or better for first-year entry. A result of 2.5 or better would be considered for Foundation Year entry.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Belgium

Typical offer

Certificat d'Enseignement Secondaire Supérieur (CESS) or Diploma van Hoger Secundair Onderwijs with a good overall average. 

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Bulgaria

Typical offer

Diploma za Sredno Obrazovanie with excellent final-year scores (normally 5.5 overall with 6 in key subjects).

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Canada

Typical offer

High School Graduation Diploma. Specific requirements vary between provinces.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

China

Typical offer

We usually do not accept Senior High School Graduation for direct entry to our undergraduate courses. However, we do consider applicants who have studied 1 or more years of Higher Education in China at a recognised degree awarding institution or who are following a recognised International Foundation Year.

If you are interested in applying for a business related course which requires an academic ability in Mathematics, you will normally also need a grade B in Mathematics from the Huikao or a score of 90 in Mathematics from the Gaokao.

Applicants who have the Senior High School Graduation may be eligible to apply to our International Foundation Year, which if you complete successfully you can progress on to a relevant undergraduate course at Sussex. You can find more information about the qualifications which are accepted by our International Study Centre at  http://isc.sussex.ac.uk/entry-requirements/international-foundation-year .

 

 

 

 

 

 

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Croatia

Typical offer

Maturatna Svjedodžba with an overall score of at least 4-5 depending on your degree choice.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Cyprus

Typical offer

Apolytirion of Lykeion with an overall average of at least 18 or 19/20 will be considered for first-year entry.

A score of 15/20 in the Apolytirion would be suitable for Foundation Year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Czech Republic

Typical offer

Maturita with a good overall average.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Denmark

Typical offer

Højere Forberedelseseksamen (HF) or studentereksamen with an overall average of at least 7 on the new grading scale.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Finland

Typical offer

Finnish Ylioppilastutkinto with an overall average result in the final matriculation examinations of at least 6.0.

Additional requirements

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential.

France

Typical offer

French Baccalauréat with an overall final result of at least 13/20.

Additional requirements

You will need to be taking the science strand within the French Baccalauréat with good results (12/20) in Biology and at least one other science subject.

Germany

Typical offer

German Abitur with an overall result of 2.0 or better.

Additional requirements

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science subject with good results (12/15) are essential.

Greece

Typical offer

Apolytirion with an overall average of at least 18 or 19/20 will be considered for first-year entry.

A score of 15/20 in the Apolytirion would be suitable for Foundation Year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Hong Kong

Typical offer

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) with grades of 5, 4, 4 from three subjects including two electives. 

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Hungary

Typical offer

Erettsegi/Matura with a good average.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

India

Typical offer

Standard XII results from Central and Metro Boards with an overall average of 75-80%. 

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Iran

Typical offer

High School Diploma and Pre-University Certificate.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Ireland

Typical offer

Irish Leaving Certificate (Higher Level) at H1,H2,H2,H3,H3.

Additional requirements

Highers will need to include Biology and another science subject with a score of H1.

You must have at least grade O5 in Mathematics and English.

Israel

Typical offer

Bagrut, with at least 8/10 in at least six subjects, including one five-unit subject.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Italy

Typical offer

Italian Diploma di Maturità or Diploma Pass di Esame di Stato with a Final Diploma mark of at least 81/100.

Additional requirements

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential.

Japan

Typical offer

Upper Secondary Leaving Certificate is suitable for entry to our Foundation Years. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Latvia

Typical offer

Atestats par Visparejo videjo Izglitibu with very good grades in state exams.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Lithuania

Typical offer

Brandos Atestatas including scores of 80-90% in at least three state examinations (other than English).

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Luxembourg

Typical offer

Diplôme de Fin d'Etudes Secondaires.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Malaysia

Typical offer

Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM). As well as various two or three-year college or polytechnic certificates and diplomas.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Netherlands

Typical offer

Voorereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs (VWO), normally with an average of at least 7.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Nigeria

Typical offer

You are expected to have one of the following:

  • Higher National Diploma
  • One year at a recognised Nigerian University
  • Professional Diploma (Part IV) from the Institute of Medical Laboratory Technology of Nigeria
  • Advanced Diploma

You must also have a score of C6 or above in WAEC/SSC English.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Norway

Typical offer

Norwegian Vitnemal Fra Den Videregaende Skole - Pass with an overall average of at least 4.

Additional requirements

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential.

Pakistan

Typical offer

Bachelor (Pass) degree in arts, commerce or science.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Poland

Typical offer

Matura with three extended-level written examinations, normally scored within the 7th stanine.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Portugal

Typical offer

Diploma de Ensino Secundario normally with an overall mark of at least 16/20. 

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Romania

Typical offer

Diploma de Bacalaureat with an overall average of 8.5-9.5 depending on your degree choice.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Singapore

Typical offer

A-levels, as well as certain certificates and diplomas.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Slovakia

Typical offer

Maturitna Skuska or Maturita with honours, normally including scores of 1 in at least three subjects.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Slovenia

Typical offer

Secondary School Leaving Diploma or Matura with at least 23 points overall.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

South Africa

Typical offer

National Senior Certificate with very good grades. 

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Spain

Typical offer

Spanish Título de Bachillerato (LOGSE) with an overall average result of at least 8.0.

Additional requirements

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential.

Sri Lanka

Typical offer

Sri Lankan A-levels.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Sweden

Typical offer

Fullstandigt Slutbetyg with good grades.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Switzerland

Typical offer

Federal Maturity Certificate.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Turkey

Typical offer

Devlet Lise Diplomasi or Lise Bitirme is normally only suitable for Foundation Years, but very strong applicants may be considered for first year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

USA

Typical offer

We look at your full profile taking into account everything you are studying. You must have your high school graduation diploma and we will be interested in your Grade 12 GPA. However, we will also want to see evidence of the external tests you have taken. Each application is looked at individually, but you should normally have one or two of the following:

  • APs (where we would expect at least three subject with 4/5 in each)
  • SAT Reasoning Tests (normally with a combined score of 1300) or ACT grades
  • and/or SAT Subject Tests (where generally we expect you to have scores of 600 or higher). 

We would normally require APs or SAT Subject Tests in areas relevant to your chosen degree course.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Biology and another science with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

My country is not listed

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, email ug.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

6.5 overall, including at least 6.0 in each component

IELTS scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test.

If you are applying for degree-level study we can consider your IELTS test from any test centre, but if you require a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) for an English language or pre-sessional English course (not combined with a degree) the test must be taken at a UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)-approved IELTS test centre.

Find out more about IELTS.

Other English language requirements

Proficiency tests

Cambridge Advanced Certificate in English (CAE)

For tests taken before January 2015: Grade B or above

For tests taken after January 2015: 176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill

We would normally expect the CAE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Advanced.

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)

For tests taken before January 2015: grade C or above

For tests taken after January 2015: 176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill

We would normally expect the CPE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Proficiency.

Pearson (PTE Academic)

62 overall, including at least 56 in all four skills.

PTE (Academic) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Pearson (PTE Academic).

TOEFL (iBT)

88 overall, including at least 20 in Listening, 19 in Reading, 21 in Speaking, 23 in Writing.

TOEFL (iBT) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about TOEFL (iBT).

The TOEFL Institution Code for the University of Sussex is 9166.

English language qualifications

AS/A-level (GCE)

Grade C or above in English Language.

Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE)/ AS or A Level: grade C or above in Use of English

French Baccalaureat

A score of 12 or above in English.

GCE O-level

Grade C or above in English.

Brunei/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

Singapore/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

GCSE or IGCSE

Grade C or above in English as a First Language.

Grade B or above in English as a Second Language

German Abitur

A score of 12 or above in English.

Ghana Senior Secondary School Certificate

If awarded before 1993: grades 1-6 in English language.

If awarded between 1993 and 2005: grades A-D in English language.

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE)

 Level 4, including at least 3 in each component in English Language.

Indian School Certificate (Standard XII)

The Indian School Certificate is accepted at the grades below when awarded by the following examination boards:

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) – English Core only: 70%

Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) - English: 70% 

International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB)

English A or English B at grade 5 or above.

Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM) 119/GCE O-level

If taken before the end of 2008: grades 1-5 in English Language.

If taken from 2009 onwards: grade C or above in English Language.

The qualification must be jointly awarded by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES).

West African Senior School Certificate

Grades 1-6 in English language when awarded by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) or the National Examinations Council (NECO).

Country exceptions

Select to see the list of exempt English-speaking countries

If you are a national of one of the countries below, or if you have recently completed a qualification equivalent to a UK Bachelors degree or higher in one of these countries, you will normally meet our English requirements. Note that qualifications obtained by distance learning or awarded by studying outside these countries cannot be accepted for English language purposes.

You will normally be expected to have completed the qualification within two years before starting your course at Sussex. If the qualification was obtained earlier than this we would expect you to be able to demonstrate that you have maintained a good level of English, for example by living in an English-speaking country or working in an occupation that required you to use English regularly and to a high level.

Please note that this list is determined by the UK’s Home Office, not by the University of Sussex.

List of exempt countries

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada**
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United Kingdom
  • USA

** Canada: you must be a national of Canada; other nationals not on this list who have a degree from a Canadian institution will not normally be exempt from needing to provide evidence of English.

Admissions information for applicants

Transfers into Year 2

Yes. Find out more about transferring into Year 2 of this course. We don’t accept transfers into the third or final year.

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, email ug.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk.

Why choose this course?

  • Top 10 in the UK for Biological Sciences (The Guardian University Guide 2018 and The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).
  • 94% for overall satisfaction (National Student Survey 2016).
  • Thinking of a career in medicine? This course offers you a guaranteed interview for Medicine at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) if you meet the criteria.

Course information

How will I study?

You learn how our cells and bodies function, covering topics such as the fundamentals of molecular and cell biology and human physiology.

You explore common human medical conditions, their symptoms, and the basis for diagnosis and treatment. Combining this with microbiology and pharmacology allows you to appreciate disease processes and how these can be modified by drugs. Laboratory and field skills you develop now will be applied in later research projects.

Teaching is through lectures, practical classes and seminars. You are assessed through exams and coursework.

Modules

These are the modules running in the academic year 2017. Modules running in 2018 may be subject to change.

Core modules


Customise your course

Our courses are designed to broaden your horizons and give you the skills and experience necessary to have the sort of career that has an impact.

Gain programming skills and apply them to areas such as digital media, business and interactive design. Find out about our Year in Computing

How will I study?

You explore medical microbiology and the principles of drug action under different medical conditions in more detail.

You learn about:

  • cell signalling and cancer
  • clinical biochemistry
  • anatomy including whole-body dissection in BSMS
  • haematology and transfusion science
  • virology and immunology.

There is a strong practical component running throughout the year.

Modules

These are the modules running in the academic year 2017. Modules running in 2018 may be subject to change.

Core modules


Customise your course

Our courses are designed to broaden your horizons and give you the skills and experience necessary to have the sort of career that has an impact.

Gain programming skills and apply them to areas such as digital media, business and interactive design. Find out about our Year in Computing

Study abroad (optional)

Apply to study abroad – you’ll develop an international perspective and gain an edge when it comes to your career. Find out where your course could take you.

Placement (optional)

A placement is a great way to network and gain practical skills. When you leave Sussex, you'll benefit from having the experience employers are looking for.

Recent Life Sciences students have gone on placements at:

  • Oroboros Instruments
  • Pfizer
  • the NHS.

Find out more about placements and internships.

How will I study?

You choose from a wide range of modules, allowing you to focus on your areas of interest.

Topics covered include:

  • cell signalling and its application in therapeutics and disease
  • cancer biology, genomics and neuroscience
  • immunology in health and disease.

 You also carry out an extended research project. This gives you a great opportunity to experience research at the forefront of biomedical science.

Modules

These are the modules running in the academic year 2017. Modules running in 2018 may be subject to change.

Options

“I am a microbiologist and have been previously involved in clinical research in the area of superbugs, such as MRSA.” Dr Prabha ParthasarathyTeaching Fellow in Microbiology

Fees

Fees are not yet set for entry in the academic year 2018. Note that your fees, once they’re set, may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

The UK Government has confirmed that if you’re an EU student applying for entry in September 2018, you'll pay the same fee rate as UK students for the duration of your course, even if the UK leaves the EU before the end of your course. You'll also continue to have access to student loans and grants. Find out more on the UK Government website.

Find out about typical living costs for studying at Sussex

Scholarships

Details of our scholarships are not yet set for entry in the academic year 2018.

Careers

Graduate destinations

98% of Biomedical Science graduates were in work or further study six months after graduation. Recent students have gone on to work as:

  • laboratory chemist, ALcontrol
  • healthcare and science associate in reproductive medicine, St Bartholomew’s Hospital
  • support and information assistant, The Brain Tumour Charity.

(HESA EPI, Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2015)

Your future career

Throughout your course, transferable skills such as time management, communication and analytical skills are embedded within the modules. 

You can go on to graduate medical school or to the expanding Physician Associate programmes. You can also pursue postgraduate study, leading to academic and applied medical research in the pharmaceutical industry, hospitals, universities and research institutes.

You can also go into a career in:

  • nutrition or physiotherapy
  • paramedical work or management of clinical trials
  • other areas related to medicine.

Working while you study

Our Careers and Employability Centre can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work

Academic Skills in Life Sciences

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

Human Physiology

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

An introduction to homeostasis, physiological mechanisms and control in humans and other mammals. This module deals with circulatory and respiratory systems, fluid balance and kidney function, digestion and feeding. The approach to regulation and control uses hormonal signalling as a unifying principle, with several negative feedback examples. Furthermore, some case studies are explored such as exercise related cardiovascular and respiratory changes, diabetes as a break-down of control and regulation, and satiety mechanisms and obesity.

Introduction to Human Disease

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

This module is an introductory module in microbiology and human diseases. The main aim is to introduce you to the fundamentals in microbiology and discuss key medical conditions thus laying the foundation for future courses. The first set of lectures will introduce you to prokaryotes, their classification, structure and genetic mechanisms, methods of identification including the use of staining and microscopy, culture media and biochemical tests, concept of asepsis and an introduction to viruses. Learning would be facilitated with the help of practical sessions in microbiology and regular feedback and assessment. In the second series of lectures, selected human conditions such as neurodegenerative diseases, chronic lung diseases and cancer will be taken in detail.

Molecular Biology

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

Despite the diversity of life, the molecular mechanisms that ensure the flow of genetic information from one generation to the next, and the expression of genes from DNA to protein via an RNA intermediate, are remarkably conserved.

This module aims to teach fundamental mechanisms such as DNA replication, transcription and translation.

You will also learn about how the structures of nucleic acids and proteins relate to their functions. Finally, you will find out how the tools of molecular biology, such as cloning and PCR, allow us to manipulate and understand genes and proteins.

Biological Chemistry

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

Biological Chemistry is a module that addresses the central chemical concepts in Biology. It is not a chemistry module, but does require some chemistry knowledge. The topics covered in the module include understanding enzymes and the mechanism by which they catalyse biological reactions as well as carbohydrate and lipid structures. Protein structure discussed in the Molecular Biology module in autumn term will be built upon and discussed in terms of the structure and mechanisms of action of haemoglobin.

The module includes practical sessions as well as tutorial problems and lectures.

Cell Biology

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

In this module, you cover the fundamentals of cell structure and function.

You begin with a comparison of procaryotic and eucaryotic cells, and then proceed with a systematic dissection of a eucaryotic cell - attending lectures on:

  • the nucleus
  • membrane architecture and permeability
  • the secretory apparatus
  • origin and function of mitochondria and chloroplasts and their role in metabolism
  • the cytoskeleton
  • the cell cycle
  • the extracellular matrix and cell adhesion.

Emphasis is placed on the role of key proteins in regulating specific cellular functions and on experimental techniques used to study cellular processes.

Introduction to Metabolism and Pharmacology

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

This module aims to introduce you to the general principles of metabolism and pharmacology. The initial lectures cover ATP, substrate-level phosphorylation, Chemiosmosis and oxidative phosphorylation, glycolysis, and the the Krebs cycle. This is complemented by lectures covering glycogen, nucleotide and lipid metabolism, introducing metabolic flux with exercise as an example. Anti-metabolites, anti-cancer drugs and G protein agonist and antagonists will be discussed as examples of therapeutic intervention. The pharmacology aspects of the module will cover how drugs act at receptors, ion channels and specific enzymes, their molecular targets and the underlying cellular mechanisms of action. It will cover methods and measurement in pharmacology and the absorption and distribution of drugs, their elimination and pharmacokinetics.

Research Methods in Biochemistry

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

The aim of this module is to give students a deeper understanding of important techniques which underlie modern biochemistry.

These include methods for separation and purification, such as centrifugation, column chromatography; methods for detecting and measuring molecules, such as gel electrophoresis and scintillation counting, and methods for studying molecules, such as spectroscopy including NMR, redox potential measurement, crystallography and mass spectrometry.

Theory in lectures is closely linked to practical classes and computer simulations.

Cell Regulation and Cancer

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

This module aims to introduce you to the mechanisms by which cell metabolism and growth is regulated in normal and diseased states, focussing on cancer.

You cover cell regulation at the level of single cells and the body as a whole and will discuss the major signal transduction pathways used by hormones, neurotransmitters and growth factors to control cell growth and metabolism in the normal state and also the use of pharmacological agents to discriminate between receptor subtypes.

This will lead to a discussion of how loss of control of these signalling pathways by the generation of oncogenes or changes in tumour suppressor genes leads to alterations in the cell cycle and the development of cancer.

You review the difference between normal and transformed cells, the altered signal transduction mechanisms and the epidemiology, incidence and mortality in different cancers.

Genetics and Genomics

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

This module covers aspects of both classical and molecular genetics. Starting from the basic principles of Mendelian inheritance and meiosis, the concepts of genetic linkage, recombination and mapping will then be introduced. We discuss, in detail, how the understanding of these processes can be used in the analysis of human disease traits.

You then move on to looking at the structure of genomes – again with an emphasis on the human genome and how changes to this structure can relate to human disease. Finally, we build on basic molecular genetics (covered in the Level 4 molecular biology module) to describe the advanced techniques now being used to analyse and manipulate genomes.

Haematology and Anatomy

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

This module intends to introduce you to two important disciplines in medicine, namely haematology and anatomy. It will consist of a series of lectures and practicals to supplement teaching. Lectures in anatomy will cover the various structures in human body and how structures such as muscle, skin, bone , organs etc are organized in different anatomical regions of the body. You will be given the opportunity to experience the dissection hall at the BSMS.

The haematology lectures aim at providing knowledge of normal and abnormal haemology. This will include the functions of bone marrow, the different blood cells and their role, haemostasis , common haematological disorders such as anemias, leukemias, disorders of clotting and a discussion on blood grouping and transfusion. The practicals would cover RBC, WBC count, blood smears, blood grouping and interpretation of routine haematological tests.

Structural Basis of Biological Function

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

This module builds on the topics of protein structure and function relationships introduced by first year modules Fundamentals of Cell and Molecular Biology and Biological Chemistry. Topics covered will include:

  • an introduction to protein structure and folding
  • the methods used to determine high-resolution protein structures
  • protein superfamilies
  • the functional properties of enzymes
  • the methods of analysis for exploring enzyme mechanism
  • how enzyme properties can be modified by protein engineering techniques to produce new enzymes with desirable properties, illustrated using a case study of subtilisin
  • the specificity of small molecule enzyme interactions, illustrated using an example of rationale drug design
  • the role of proteins as transducers of mechanical energy, explored by considering the role of actin and myosin in muscle contraction.

Clinical Biochemistry

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module outlines the biochemical mechanisms for controlling the pathways of lipid, carbohydrate, and amino acid metabolism under different physiological and nutritional conditions and will discuss the importance of diseases arising from defects in these pathways.

Particular emphasis is placed upon the aetiology, symptoms and treatment of diseases such as:

  • Type I and II diabetes mellitus
  • the obesity epidemic and metabolic syndrome
  • hypertension
  • atherosclerosis and other lipid disorders
  • inborn errors of carbohydrate and amino metabolism.

You discuss a variety of routine biochemical tests, together with their importance for the diagnosis, prognosis, monitoring and screening for disease.

This module consists of lectures, including visiting lecturers with direct experience of the clinical field, online quizzes, a problem class and practicals.

Combating Disease

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

In this module, you cover the basic concepts that are essential for a first understanding of contemporary aspects of cellular and molecular immunology, at the same time expanding on the modes of action of a range of common therapeutic agents, in terms of their modes of action, receptor/drug targets and associated physiological responses.

You discuss the role of innate and adaptive immunity in defence mechanisms, explaining how the innate immunity is able to recognise non-self-antigens and the meaning of inflammation.

Emphasis is given to how the structures of the antibody classes are related to their function and how antibody diversity and T-cell receptor diversity are generated. You review the structure and function of T-cells receptor and major histocompatibility complex. In order to understand T-cell activation, you cover antigens processing & presentation and the function of cytokines networks. Particular emphasis is given to how cell mediated and humoral immune responses are coordinated.

You also cover:

  • antibiotics and their mode of action
  • adrenergic transmission and the use of sympathomimetic agonist and antagonists
  • the cardiovascular system and the regulation of blood pressure by the renin angiotensin-aldosterone system.

Medical Microbiology

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module aims at providing a comprehensive knowledge of medical microbiology and focuses mainly on infectious disease agents with the exception of viruses.

It covers the discipline of bacteriology, mycology and parasitology. The module will involve lectures on the medically important bacterial pathogens, infections caused by them, virulence, pathogenesis, diagnosis and identification methods, and diagnostic microbiology with emphasis on antimicrobial testing, clinical microbiology and an introduction to hospital infection and bacterial typing. Learning will be facilitated with the help of practical sessions and online feedback and assessment.

Virology

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module introduces the infectious agents that cause common human diseases. The discovery of the infectious agents, and their life-cycles and contribution to the disease process will also be explored. You will look at the molecular biology underlying the mode of action of current therapeutic strategies, and address - during small-group tutorials - specific aspects of the pathogenesis caused by individual infectious agents .

You will gain key skills through practical work.

Cell Signalling and its Applications in Therapeutics and Disease

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

The aim of this module will be to discuss the major signalling pathways in cells and how perturbations of these can result in disease processes such as hypertension, cancer, gigantism, cholera, secretory diarrhea, polycystic kidney disease and septic shock.

The module will demonstrate how a knowledge of these pathways has led to the design and use of specific pharmacological agents to target these pathways for therapeutic intervention. The signalling pathways covered will include Ca2+, cyclic nucleotides, nitric oxide and guanylate cyclase, MAPK kinase pathways, PI-3-kinase and PKB, Jak/Stat pathways and integrins.

Immunology in Health and Disease

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

In this module, there will be an emphasis on the experimental applications of immunology, important for clinical procedures and for basic research. For example, the module will outline methods for the analysis of antigen expression on cells, for the study of hypersensitivity reactions, for cell-mediated cytotoxicity, for vaccine production and clinical analysis of their effects. Also, the development of diagnostic and therapeutic strategies against cancer, graft rejection and autoimmune diseases will be discussed.

Life Sciences Final Year Research Project

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

This is an individual research project involving the investigation of a biological problem or phenomenon using experimental procedures, or the investigation and evaluation of a medical condition, intervention or treatment using literature-based methods, in addition to patient feedback where possible. You will obtain data and information from either laboratory or field-based experiments; from work performed in silico, or from literature-based research.

Literature Project in Life Sciences

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

Molecular Genetics

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

The module will cover the application of molecular genetics to the study of processes in model systems and higher eukaryotes.

Particular topics will include cell cycle and checkpoint control, recombination and mating type switching in lower eukaryotes, gene mapping and cloning disease genes in higher eukaryotes and the production of transgenic plants and animals.

Neuronal Transduction and Transmission

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

This module explores aspects of neuronal signalling, in both vertebrates and invertebrates, highlighting how molecular structure relates to function in signalling pathways. The emphasis will be on understanding how molecular and cellular mechanisms underlie the function of the CNS at a systems level and the generation of behaviour.

The module begins with the problem of sensory transduction (getting information into the nervous system), with a particular emphasis on mechanical (auditory) and visual modalities. This will be followed by a series of lectures on how information is processed at the synapse, covering electrical transmission and preand post-synaptic mechanisms at the chemical synapse. You will also be introduced to non-synaptic information processing.

Regulating the Transcriptome

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

This module takes an up-to-the-minute look at the molecular mechanisms controlling RNA expression in prokaryotes and eukaryotes, focusing largely on gene transcription but also examining RNA processing events in eukaryotes.

We will examine the way in which bacteria control gene expression in response to different environmental cues through precisely coordinated transcription regulatory networks, and investigate the way in which eukaryotic transcriptional regulators control RNA polymerase recruitment and retention and modulate chromatin structure during transcriptional activation and repression.

Understanding these processes and mechanisms is fundamental for the study of health and disease, for example to aid the development of new antibiotics and decipher how gene regulatory networks are perturbed during cancer development.

Genome Stability, Genetic Diseases and Cancer

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

The design of new therapies for cancer depends on first understanding the molecular events that cause the disease. Genomic DNA is damaged spontaneously, by chemical carcinogens and by radiation. If unrepaired, this damage leads to mutations, cancer and other developmental disorders. All cells have evolved a sophisticated array of repair and response mechanisms to deal with DNA damage.

The aim of this module is to understand the molecular mechanisms that control DNA repair and to appreciate how defects in genes involved in these repair processes are associated with different, in many cases cancer-prone, genetic disorders.

Throughout the module, emphasis will be placed on the review and critical evaluation of recently published experimental evidence; advances in this area rely on a combination of biochemical analysis, genetic approaches and bioinformatics.

Lectures will be complemented by discussion groups.

Genomics and Bioinformatics

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

This module will introduce the common types of genomic and proteomic data available in biological databases; including DNA and protein sequences, motifs, gene structure, protein interactions and expression profiles. The aims and methods of DNA and protein sequence analysis will be covered, including analysis of homology, identification of motifs and domains, pair-wise and multiple alignments and prediction of gene structure.

The practical sessions will include the analysis of DNA and protein sequence data from biological databases. In these sessions you will learn how to integrate data to find the functional links between disease related genes and proteins.

Innovation in Bioscience and Medicine

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

The purpose of this module is to provide you with an overview of how research in the Life Sciences can lead to innovation in society, and the factors that shape, boost or inhibit such innovation.

The module explores the applications of bioscience, particularly in medicine, its products and processes, and their patterns of development. It examines the mechanisms through which products and services are commercialised, such as university-industry links, spin-off firms and corporate alliances.

Wider regulatory and ethical debates and the role they play in the development of biotechnology are also explored.

Molecular Pharmacology

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

In this module, you examine the actions of drugs at the molecular level. And you analyse the methods employed to study these interactions.

Such methods include molecular cloning, receptor binding and cell-based functional assays.

The focus of your studies in this module is on receptor binding theory and the effects of drugs on intracellular signalling pathways.

In the module, you study a variety of drug targets in detail, including examples of the G-Protein couple receptor (GPCR), ligand-gated ion channel, neurotransmitter transporter and enzyme facilities.

You use GPCRs to exemplify the effects of drugs on second messenger systems (e.g. cyclic AMP, inositol trisphosphate) and related signalling cascades - and the GABAA receptor is highlighted as a prototypic ligand-gated ion channel.

Neuronal Plasticity and Gene Regulation

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

This module will consider how cellular and molecular mechanisms interact in the regulation of neuronal plasticity, the ability of the nervous system to adapt its structural-functional organisation to new situations emerging from changes in intrinsic and extrinsic inputs. During the module particular emphasis will be placed on mechanisms underlying the acquisition, processing and storage of information by the nervous system. You will also discuss recently discovered phenomena such as epigenetic regulation and natural antisense transcripts (NATs) in the context of their importance for the regulation of neural functions.

Post Transcriptional Control of Gene Expression

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

This lecture series investigates what happens to a mRNA from the time it is synthesised, its subsequent processing, remodelling, export into the cytoplasm and ultimate use to make protein. Whilst the processing of mRNA molecules is highly regulated particularly at the levels of transcription and splicing (in eukaryotes), it is the translational machinery which allows the cell to:

  • select whether to use the mRNA to make protein at all;
  • decide which proteins to make;
  • decide how much protein to make and at what time in the cell cycle.

This regulation is crucial to enable gene expression to be finely tuned with growth and allow cells to respond to environmental cues derived from hormones and nutrients.

This module, comprising of a mixture of lectures and seminars, takes an in-depth look at the molecular mechanisms controlling mRNA utilisation and degradation in eukaryotes focussing largely on translational control and what happens if the cell gets it wrong.

Those delivering the lecture series are active researchers in these subject areas, providing their up-to-date interpretation of an active and interesting research area that is relevant to the fundamental understanding of growth control and cancer.

Protein Form and Function

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

Protein Form and Function provides a sense of how protein structures are related to each other and of how these structures relate to protein function. On this module you will be equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to learn about and appreciate this class of molecule. This module covers aspects of protein structure in detail and introduces computational and experimental techniques that are essential for studying proteins, and provides the basis for the in depth discussion of more topical issues such as protein engineering and design, protein folding, chaperones and protein folding diseases.

Structure and Function in the Brain

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

The aim of the module is to reveal the anatomical substrates on which the processing of sensory information and the generation of motor commands depend. Specific attention will be paid to the relationship between structure and function. The module will cover the development of the anatomical features of the nervous system and will give a comparative interpretation of the anatomy of brain regions and their cellular components using a variety of examples including vertebrate and invertebrate models. The module will provide basic knowledge of the main techniques used to study the functional anatomy of the brain at systems, cellular and molecular levels.

Return to top of page