View our recent Online Q&A with a current Biomedical Sciences student, Dominika, and find out about life here at Brunel, her experiences on the course and the social activities available.
Our BSc Biomedical Sciences courses are accredited by the Royal Society of Biology which assures employers that our graduates meet defined sets of learning outcomes, including subject knowledge, technical ability and transferable skills.
Brunel University London’s impact on the future wages of its graduates is among the best in the country compared to other universities, according to a new analysis of government data by The Economist (2017).
About the course
The modern biomedical scientist needs to be familiar with a wide range of subject disciplines. Brunel's Biomedical Sciences degrees provide students with a sound grounding in all the key subject areas.
Students will be encouraged to exercise leadership, initiative and responsibility, and to appreciate the need for continual professional development.
The Royal Society of Biology has awarded its accreditation to Brunel's BSc Biomedical Sciences programmes. This award is great news for current students as it proves to employers that Brunel graduates have the subject knowledge and technical skills they are seeking.
The aim of the Biomedical Sciences BSc programme is to provide students with an understanding of the main subject areas in biosciences and medically related research. The pathways include biochemistry, genetics, human health and immunology and are designed to explore health and disease. There are compulsory study blocks taken for each of the pathways at year 2 and 3, allowing specialisation in that area of Biomedical Science.
In contrast, the straight Biomedical science degree (no pathway) allows students to tailor their degree to their own interests giving them opportunities to select any of the option study blocks they wish. Thus the programme seeks to develop within graduates good practical, analytical and transferable skills applicable to a wide range of employment opportunities, including medicine, MSc and PhD, pharmaceutical research, pathology and diagnosis, clinical trials and data management. Students will be encouraged to exercise independence, initiative and responsibility and appreciate the need for continual professional development.
Contact our Enquiries team.
Course Enquiries: +44 (0)1895 265599 (before you submit an application)
Admissions Office: +44 (0)1895 265265 (after you submit an application)
Level 1 is compulsory for all pathways, and gives a background in cellular and biochemical processes. Practical lab skills and research skills (IT, communication, information retrieval/analysis etc.) are included to prepare you for the practical nature of the subject, and to give you a 'taster' of the various pathway options.
At Level 2, we more formally introduce the biochemical and molecular processes which are altered in various human diseases. The Career Skills study block develops employability skills alongside further practical skills needed by biomedical scientists
At Level 3, you are given as much choice as possible to allow you to follow your interests. Topics are studied to a greater depth than in earlier years. All students must undertake a research project, which allows you to bring together the skills developed at Levels 1 and 2. This will probably be the greatest challenge of your degree, but also the most rewarding. You are usually associated with one of our research centres and your project will normally be clinically-related.
- The Human Body: Principles of Anatomy and Physiology
- Biochemistry: Structure and Function
- Research Skills
- Practical Skills in Biomedical Sciences
- Biology of the Cell
- Critical Thinking 1
- Career Skills
- Critical Thinking 2
- Molecular and Cellular Biology
- Genetic Engineering and Immunobiology
- Principles of Human Disease
- Analytical Biochemistry
- Medical Microbiology
- Genetics and Development
- Metabolic Regulation
Optional (choose one in Term 1 and 3 in Term 2)
- Genomic Medicine
- Medical Biochemistry
- The Biology and Treatment of Cancer
- Gene Therapy and Related Technologies
- Cellular Pathologies
- Methods in Forensic Investigation
- Endocrine Disorders
- Microbial Pathogenesis
- Medical Immunology
- Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology
Final year project
In your final year you will be required to complete a research project of your own under the supervision of a member of staff. Final year projects are often the most fulfilling aspect of the course.
Projects may take a variety of forms (from lab-based research to complex data analysis), but it will be related to your chosen programme pathway, and may relate to your future career plans. Your project experience is often what sets you apart as an individual and employers usually ask about your project in interviews.
Read more about the structure of undergraduate degrees at Brunel
and what you will learn on the course.
A biomedical science degree ensures you are readily employable on a wide variety of graduate-entry career paths. Many of our graduates find fulfilling work in clinical genetics laboratories, forensics laboratories, university, government or charity-funded research laboratories, clinical trials, and the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. A number of our graduates also go on to obtain higher degrees by research or by studying for further qualifications such as medicine, dentistry, ophthalmology or teaching.
We give all our students the opportunity to develop the skills and competencies needed for employment through a unique, credit-rated study/assessment block at Level 2, which is delivered in partnership with employers and the Professional Development Centre.
The Careers and Professional Skills Study and Assessment Blocks incorporate a wide variation of activities:
- Training and assessment centres where you can engage in networking; psychometric and aptitude testing; interview skills; role play interviews; teamwork exercises and producing a CV and covering letter.
- A Careers Day includes talks from a variety of external speakers who have taken different career paths after studying Biomedical Sciences. You are given the opportunity to meet and receive advice from these speakers to assist you with your own career plans.
- Participation in workshops to obtain library/data base research skills to assist you with writing scientific literature reviews.
- Laboratory sessions to allow you to develop your practical skills and to enable you to work efficiently and effectively.
For the duration of your course, you will regularly have the opportunity to practice:
- collecting, collating, interpreting and presenting numerical and literary data
- laboratory skills
- research skills
- oral presentation skills
- information technology skills
- report writing
- self-management and personal organisation
- the ability to work effectively both independently and as a member of a team
- time management
At Levels 1 and 2, the Board of Examiners award our best students with certificates to acknowledge their exceptional skills. This includes the award for Most Employability Skills at Level 2. At Level 3 the best students are also awarded prizes at the graduation ceremony. These awards provide students with an extra opportunity to compete when seeking employment.
In recent years, graduates have found employment with a wide range of companies, in both the public and private sectors. Some examples include:
- Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries
- Home Office Forensic Science Service
- Laboratory of the Government Chemist
- Hospitals and NHS Research Centres
- Celltech Ltd
- Shell Ltd
- National Institute for Medical Research
- Unilever Research Ltd
- Bass Breweries
- Chester Beatty Research Institute
- Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology
- Parexel International.
For those wishing to pursue a career as an NHS medical laboratory scientific officer, please note that this course is not IBMS accredited.
Your employability will be increased by undertaking a one-year work placement at a company or institution. These placements are a great opportunity for you to gain valuable experience in the work place. Our students can opt to spend a year working at top companies such as Mars, Parexel and Bayer in Germany.
Students enjoy applying their knowledge to real life situations and this experience leads to an increase in student confidence, which is directly reflected in their grade profile. Analysing the grade profiles of work placement students has shown a marked increase in their final year performance. Surveys have also clearly shown that placements provide students with a competitive advantage when seeking employment. In addition a work placement is quite frequently the first contact with a potential future employer.
Students at Level 1 and 2 are given the chance to meet and network with Level 3 students who have returned from their placement, to appreciate their experiences and the advantages.
Placement opportunities include:
- pharmaceutical research (eg Astra Zeneca, GlaxoSmithKline)
- basic research at various institutions (cancer research, infectious diseases, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and many others)
- hospital pathology laboratory diagnosis
- data management – clinical trials data analysis and interpretation.
The positive impact of a sandwich placement on graduate employment outcomes across Brunel is considerable. Those who have done placements are also much more likely to be in employment for which their degree was a formal requirement or where they believe their degree gave them a competitive advantage in recruitment.
At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.
» More about Employability
Entry criteria 2019/20
- GCE A-level BBB, including a grade B in Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Applied Science or Physics.
- BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma DDD in Applied Science.
- BTEC Level 3 Diploma DD (all subjects accepted) with an A-level at grade B in: Biology, Human Biology, Applied Science, Chemistry or Physics.
- BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma D (all subjects accepted) with two A-levels at grade B, to include: Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry or Physics.
- International Baccalaureate Diploma 30 points, including 5 in either Higher Level Biology, Chemistry or Physics.
- Access to Higher Education Diploma Complete and pass an Access to Science, Biomedical Science, Medicine or Health and Human Science course, with 45 credits at Level 3 with Merit or above in all units. All Biology and Chemistry units must be Distinctions at level 3.
Five GCSEs at grade C or grade 4 or above are also required, including English Language, Maths and one science subject.
Please check our Admissions pages for more information on other factors we use to assess applicants as well as our full GCSE requirements and accepted equivalencies in place of GCSEs.
Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.
International and EU entry requirements
If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions
This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.
English language requirements
- IELTS: 6 (min 5.5 in all areas)
- Pearson: 51 (51 in all subscores)
- BrunELT: 60% (min 55% in all areas)
You can find out more about the qualifications we accept on our English Language Requirements page.
If you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, you must prove knowledge of the English language so that we can issue you a Certificate of Acceptance for Study (CAS). To do this, you will need an IELTS for UKVI or Trinity SELT test pass gained from a test centre approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and on the Secure English Language Testing (SELT) list. This must have been taken and passed within two years from the date the CAS is made.
Should you wish to take a pre-sessional English course to improve your English prior to starting your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider for the same reason.
We offer our own BrunELT English Test and have pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet requirements or who wish to improve their English. You can find out more information on English courses and test options at the Brunel Language Centre.
Teaching and learning
The rapid change and development of knowledge in the biosciences necessitates a learning strategy that enables graduates to continue their self-education. We are therefore focusing on developing graduates who have a range of professional (including practical) and generic skills; who are capable of independent and life-long learning; who are able to apply their knowledge to unfamiliar problems and situations; who can critically analyse and interpret data and information; and who can communicate complex information with clarity.
We pursue excellence in both teaching and research, and believe that by linking the two we can provide the best education and experience for our students. Our degree programmes combine innovative and classical teaching methods with leading-edge research, and we recognise the value of practical experience in the learning process.
Biomedical sciences is a fast-moving field, and we ensure that text book information is supplemented with the latest scientific discoveries to give you a topical, up-to-date education.
As well as offering students some of the best teaching in our subject areas, we are committed to helping you progress confidently through the levels of your degree programme. Throughout your course, you will be supported by a personal tutor who will advise you on academic issues and provide pastoral care. In addition, you can approach subject lecturers, your project supervisor, and technical and administrative staff, who are all available to help. Should you decide to do a work placement, you will be allocated a tutor who will visit you at your place of work (unless you are abroad) and take a keen interest in your progress.
How will I be taught?
The course is taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars, and practical laboratory sessions.
Lectures – Most study blocks involve two hours of lectures per week. These give a broad overview of key concepts and ideas relating to your course and provide a framework for independent study.
Seminars – These examine lecture material in more detail, and are used to discuss issues arising from the study blocks. Typically, student involvement is greater than in lectures, and includes formative activities that support learning.
Laboratory Work – Practical classes are an integral part of the course, and are included in most first and second year study blocks. They give you ‘hands-on’ technical experience, but equally important is the analysis, interpretation and reporting of the results you obtain. In the first year, competencies in basic laboratory skills are developed in the ‘Practical Skills for Biomedical Sciences’ study block.
One-to-one – You will have one-to-one supervision during your final year project, and at all levels you will have a personal tutor who is available to discuss personal and academic issues.
How many hours of study are involved? (for all the pathways) – Students will have an average of 20 contact hrs per week and will need to put another 20 towards reading/studying.
Assessment and feedback
Your learning is assessed in specific assessment blocks, where you will be required to integrate information obtained from various sources, demonstrate critical and analytical thinking, application of knowledge, independent and reflective learning. These include coursework throughout the year and formal written examinations at the end of each year that tests knowledge, understanding, problem solving and data interpretation.
You must pass Level 1 in order to progress to the next level, but the grades do not contribute to your final degree classification. Level 2 grades contribute one third and Level 3 grades contribute two thirds to the overall degree award.
- Our curriculum reflects up-to-date discoveries together with a detailed grounding in all major subject areas within biomedical sciences.
- During your first year, our flexible course structure allows you to switch courses if your interests change, and gives you the opportunity to specialise in an area of interest in later years.
- We will supply you with your own lab coat at the start of term. You will also receive a one-year subscription to the Royal Society of Biology.
- We have extensive state-of-the-art teaching and research laboratories.
- You will be taught by academics who are internationally renowned scientists in their fields of expertise and are involved in making major advances and breakthroughs in human diseases and syndromes, including: breast, prostate and skin cancer; leukaemia; progeria (premature ageing), tuberculosis; malaria; aspergillus infection; trinucleotide repeat diseases; aberrations caused by irradiation; and normal ageing. Our academics are also involved in the development of 21st century treatments for disease, such as: novel vaccines; stem cell, gene and antibody therapies; novel drug development; and artificial biomaterials.
- In your final year you will have the opportunity to contribute to our research programmes in cellular and biochemical pathways, the regulation of gene expression, DNA repair and immunological responses to microbial infection.
Fees and funding
Fees for 2019/20 entry
£9,250 full-time; £1,000 placement year
Some courses incur additional course related costs. You can also check our on-campus accommodation costs for more information on living expenses.
UK/EU students can opt to pay in six equal monthly instalments: the first instalment is payable on enrolment and the remaining five by Direct Debit or credit/debit card.
Overseas students can opt to pay in two instalments: 60% on enrolment, and 40% in January for students who commence their course in September (or the remaining 40% in March for selected courses that start in January).
Fees quoted are per year and may be subject to an annual increase. Home/EU undergraduate student fees are regulated and are currently capped at £9,250 per year; any changes will be subject to changes in government policy. International fees will increase annually in line with RPI, or 5%, whichever is the lesser.
There is a range of financial support available to help you fund your studies. Find out about undergraduate student funding options.