BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science - University of Portsmouth
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BSc (Hons)

Biomedical Science

UCAS codeB940

full time3yrs

placement option1yr

Enhance your career prospects by learning about the biology of disease

Course Overview

Why take this course?

This joint Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) and Royal Society of Biology accredited course is designed to appeal to students who have diverse career aspirations. With expertise covering all the pathological disciplines and University of Portsmouth Student Union (UPSU) award winning staff, we aim to provide you with an excellent educational experience that will build your academic and practical skills whilst developing your confidence and independence. Biomedical Science in Portsmouth benefits from high student satisfaction (NSS) ratings, great links with employers and excellent employment prospects (DLHE) and an in house world-renowned neuro-oncology and muscular dystrophy research centres.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Opt to join one of our internationally-recognised research groups and complete a final-year project
  • Use our modern laboratories and state-of-the-art facilities to enhance your learning
  • Apply to the Erasmus exchange scheme which involves a summer research placement at a European university, take a shorter work-based learning option, or even apply for one of our competitive sandwich placements.

What opportunities might it lead to?

Accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS), our graduates are scientists in training and possess many transferable skills, which opens up a range of careers. Many choose to enrol on MSc and PhD programmes to continue pursuing the academic interests developed throughout their undergraduate studies.

Graduates who have completed a placement in an IBMS approved NHS training laboratory and have successfully completed their IBMS registration portfolio may apply to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) to join the Biomedical Science register. This will allow them to practise as qualified Biomedical Scientists immediately following graduation.

Graduates are also eligible to apply for Associate Membership of the Society of Biology. This entitles them to membership benefits which include access to professional networks and attendance at conferences. Associate members are awarded the post-nominal letters AMSB.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

  • Registration and practise as a diagnostic Biomedical Scientist
  • scientific research
  • teaching
  • scientific writing and the media
  • pharmaceutics
  • instrumentation
  • further study at medical school


Laura Porcza BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science graduate

The lecturers support you and encourage you to get involved with the endless opportunities available, so you can make the most of your student experience, while also gaining key transferable skills.

Laura Porcza BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science graduate


Health Sciences and Social Work

Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:

  • The clinical and real-life learning approach that will equip you for your chosen career
  • Our simulated environments that mean you’ll gain and practise the skills you’ll need before entering the workplace 
  • Approachable lecturers, many of whom are teacher practitioners

Browse all courses in Health Sciences and Social Work

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Structure & Teaching

Year one

A general introduction to university-level education and to the systems of the body and the diseases that affect them.

Core units in this year include:

  • Neuroscience and Pharmacology
  • Cells to Systems
  • Pathological Sciences One
  • Case Discussions in Biomedical Science
  • Graduate Skills and Careers
  • Laboratory Skills

Year two

In this year you will build on your knowledge, including a greater in-depth approach to the different biological disciplines.

Core units in this year include:

  • Research Methods
  • Applied Human Physiology
  • Biomedical Toolbox
  • Scientific Basis of Disease
  • Pathological Sciences Two

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • Development: How Form and Function Changes
  • Language
  • Health Effects of Nutrition and Exercise
  • Protein Science
  • Business for Biosciences

Year three*

In your final year you will obtain an in-depth view of the body's systems and how they are affected in both health and disease:

Core units in this year include:

  • Integrated Pathology
  • Genetic Basis of Disease
  • Pathological Sciences Three
  • Research Project

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • Clinical Research in Integrated Medicine
  • Genes and Development
  • Work-Based Learning
  • Case Studies in Biomedical Research

*This course is also available as a 4 year sandwich course with a year in industry or working with the NHS between years 2 and 3.

We use the best and most current research and professional practice, alongside feedback from our students, to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.


You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical laboratory work and guided reading. Our academic staff have expertise in clinical practice and research, and we provide a student-centred approach to teaching, with all units fully supported by online lecture and study materials.

The time you spend in teaching activities may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:

  • Year one students: 34% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 66% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year two students: 26% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 74% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year three students: 40% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 60% studying independently and 0% on work placement


On this course there is a balance of formal examinations and coursework assessment. Exams take place at the end of the academic year, whereas you will be expected to complete a range coursework throughout the year. Here’s how we assess your work:

  • essays
  • laboratory reports
  • workshops
  • poster presentations
  • group work
  • measures of practical competence

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year one students: 38% by written exams, 8% by practical exams and 54% by coursework
  • Year two students: 63% by written exams, 7% by practical exams and 30% by coursework
  • Year three students: 36% by written exams, 18% by practical exams and 46% by coursework

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Facilities & Features


Biomedical sciences is one of the University’s strongest areas of research with high-quality facilities to match. Here is a taste of what we have to offer:

  • a purpose built Neuro-oncology research laboratory
  • a molecular medicine research laboratory
  • comprehensively furnished microscope suite

Specialist Software and Scientific Equipment

We have an outstanding array of microscopy facilities and excellent analytical instrumentation facilities in our labs, including:

  • confocal, electron and fluorescence microscopes
  • live cell imaging
  • spectroscopy equipment
  • chromatography instruments
  • a NMR machine

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Budgeting for your studies

There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Recommended texts:
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.

General costs:
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.

Other costs to consider

You will be issued with safety equipment and audience response handsets free of charge at the start of the programme (fees of £100 apply if not returned in good condition at the end of the course).


If you undertake optional Work-Based Learning units you will be required to pay for travel to and from placements. This will be in the region of £50.

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Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Career prospects
Where next?

The research-intensive final-year project will develop you as an independent researcher and provide both specific skills in scientist training, and transferable skills suitable for a variety of work place environments. Whilst some students opt to follow a post graduate taught programme, others successfully apply for PhD projects in a range of medically related subjects. A number of our graduates have successfully secured entry on to both four and five-year medical and dental programmes, whilst others have secured places as Biomedical Scientists, on the NHS Scientist Training Programme, teacher training programmes and in publishing.

Work experience

Work experience
Employment boosting opportunities

Throughout the course you will focus on developing your transferable skills so that you are successful when you begin to apply for graduate entry jobs. During the final stage of your course, you’ll carry out a laboratory-based project. You can apply to complete this project whilst completing one of our Erasmus exchange placements, or within the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences. If you are lucky enough to secure an Erasmus Plus placement – ask anyone who has taken a study/work abroad programme and they will tell you that it was one of the best experiences of their university life. Living abroad is the best way to learn a new language or improve existing skills. This fun and challenging experience will not only improve your ability to communicate with a range of people, but you will become more adaptable and resilient – qualities that will undoubtedly make you stand out to future employers.

Career planning

Career planning

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

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Apply now or visit us

Apply for 2018 entry

To apply, you'll need this course's UCAS code, which is at the top of this page, and the University of Portsmouth institution code – P80.

Apply now

After you apply, we'll invite you to an Applicant Experience Day where you’ll get to speak to lecturers and meet your future classmates.

Open Days for courses starting in 2019

Come to an Open Day and explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

Book your Open Day

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

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