Applied Biomedical Science Degree Apprenticeship BSc (Hons)

A student working in the Biochemistry and Biology lab
Mode of Study
4 years part-time
Start Date
September 2022


If you work in a supporting role in a pathology lab environment and want to register as a Biomedical Scientist with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), this 4-year, part-time BSc (Hons) Applied Biomedical Science degree apprenticeship is for you.

You'll build on your existing knowledge of working in a pathology lab, learning more about how diseases behave and how this can be exploited in the lab to diagnose disease and monitor patients.

You'll learn about the main pathological disciplines and the practical approaches used in their investigations. You'll learn how to interpret data effectively, and have the opportunity to apply what you learn straightaway in your role.

You'll study alongside your existing job, and won't need to pay anything towards your course fees.

When you complete the course successfully, you can apply to register as a Biomedical Scientist with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). You'll have a vital, in-demand skill set, opening paths to roles from diagnosing illnesses such as COVID–19 to establishing whether a patient and donor are compatible for transplantation. 

TEF Gold Teaching Excellence Framework
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Institute of Biomedical Science accredited programme

Accredited by:

This degree apprenticeship course is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS), the professional body for Biomedical Scientists.

IBMS accreditation ensures that you learn the knowledge and skills you need to meet the Health and Care Profession Council (HCPC) standards of proficiency for Biomedical Scientists.

Entry requirements​

Applied Biomedical Science (Degree Apprenticeship) entry requirements

Typical offers
  • A levels – AAB–BBB from 3 A levels, or equivalent, to include Biology plus one other Science subject or Mathematics. All applicants to the Degree Apprenticeship courses must have an acceptable Level 2 qualification in English and Mathematics. Acceptable qualifications include GCSE with grade C/4 or above and Functional Skills with Pass – please note that we are not able to accept all kinds of Level 2 qualifications, so if you are unsure whether you have a suitable qualification please get in touch. If you do not have an acceptable qualification you may be required to take an additional assessment during the application process.
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) – DDD–DDM
  • International Baccalaureate – 31
Selection process
  • All shortlisted applicants will need to attend an interview. Applicants must pass Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and Occupational Health checks before starting the course.

See full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Values and the NHS Constitution

We embed the principles and values of the NHS Constitution in all our health and social care courses. When you apply for this course, we’ll expect you to demonstrate how your values align with the values of the Constitution.

Find out more about the values we look for.

What you'll experience

On this Applied Biomedical Science Degree Apprenticeship course, you'll:

  • Learn about the main pathological disciplines, including haematology, blood transfusion, microbiology, clinical biochemistry, histology and immunology
  • Develop your skills in interpreting data in a laboratory context
  • Have the opportunity to apply for membership to the IBMS, opening up a further portfolio of training courses, and the potential for future professional advancement
  • Share your experiences with the wider undergraduate biomedical science community, developing both your independence, and your ability to work in a team
  • Improve your communication skills in scientific and analytical writing, learning how to communicate complex scientific concepts to a broad audience
  • Learn with a university that has been teaching prospective biomedical science practitioners for more than 40 years
  • Continue your full-time job as you study, allowing you to put what you learn in to action in the workplace
  • Have access to the University's student support services and community, including the Library, study support, sports and recreation facilities, and the Students’ Union
  • Get a personal tutor from the University and a workplace mentor, with 12-weekly reviews of your progress with your tutor and mentor

During the first year of the Applied Biomedical Science Degree Apprenticeship, I feel I can already apply my newly gained knowledge to my working role in the microbiology laboratory. I have enjoyed attending the campus for lectures, practicals and to use the wide array of facilities on offer, including the well stocked library.

Simon Alidina, BSc (Hons) Applied Biomedical Science Degree Apprenticeship

Careers and opportunities

Never has the role of Biomedical Scientists been so prominent and publicly important. Qualification as a Biomedical Scientist gives you the opportunity to make a significant impact on the health of the nation.

Whether it’s testing during a pandemic to enable effective Test, Track and Trace or determining if a patient has active immunity following vaccination, Biomedical Scientists have a significant role to play. 

When you graduate, you'll be ready to work in a Band 5 Biomedical Scientist role in areas such as:

  • Main pathology disciplines, such as haematology, biochemistry, blood transfusion, microbiology, histology or immunology
  • Molecular medicine
  • Genetics
  • Government and professional research

With further training and experience, this qualification allows progression to roles such as:

  • Section leader
  • Laboratory manager
  • Consultant Biomedical Scientist

You'll also be able to continue onto qualification routes such as:

  • Master's
  • PhD
  • Professional Doctorate
  • IBMS professional qualifications
  • The Scientist Training Programme (STP)

​What you'll study

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits. You'll study modules worth 360 credits over 4 years.


Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4
  • Cells to Systems – 20 credits
  • Experiential 1 – 40 credits
  • Pathological Sciences 1 – 20 credits
  • Applied Human Physiology – 20 credits
  • Biomedical Toolbox – 20 credits
  • Experiential Practice in Biomedical Science – 20 credits
  • Introduction to Neuroscience and Pharmacology – 20 credits
  • Pathological Sciences 2 – 20 credits
  • Experiential 2 – 20 credits
  • Genetic Basis of Disease – 20 credits
  • Integrated Pathology – 20 credits
  • Research Methods – 20 credits
  • Scientific Basis of Disease – 20 credits
  • Experiential 3 – 20 credits
  • Pathological Sciences 3 – 20 credits
  • Projects in Pathology – 40 credits

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.


Teaching on this course includes a mix of face-to-face and online activities, such as:

  • recorded online lectures
  • online extension activities
  • online self-assessment quizzes 
  • face-to-face seminars
  • workplace training sessions
  • work-based practice and proficiency testing
  • case study analysis

How you're assessed

You'll be assessed through:

  • written exams
  • multiple choice assessments
  • interpretation of case studies
  • portfolios of work
  • written evidence sheets 
  • learning contracts
  • short video documentary productions
  • proficiency testing 
  • final year research project
  • IBMS registration portfolio during years 3 and 4

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

How you'll spend your time

On this degree apprenticeship, you'll study for around 25 hours a week. This includes teaching time, independent learning and the formally scheduled sessions that constitute your training at work.

In your first 3 years of study, you'll attend the university on a rolling cycle of 1 day a week followed by 2 days a week.

In your final year you'll begin your project during the summer break, and attend 1 day a week during term.

The day of the week you're at University varies through the course, but will be the same day of the week each year so you can fit your study time into your working routine and other commitments.

Overall, you'll spend about 20% of your time learning outside of your main job role. Your off the job training includes training for the new responsibilities you may be assigned as your role evolves over the course of your degree.

Supporting your learning

You'll get face-to-face support from teaching and support staff when you need it. These include the following people and services:

Learning support tutors

You'll have help from a team of faculty learning support tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • understanding and using assignment feedback
  • managing your time and workload
  • revision and exam techniques

Academic skills support

As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • Academic writing
  • Note taking
  • Time management
  • Critical thinking
  • Presentation skills
  • Referencing
  • Working in groups
  • Revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Library support

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from the faculty librarian for science.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

Support with English

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

​Course costs and funding

The course fee is shared between the Government and some employers, meaning no cost to you as the degree apprentice. Total tuition fees are £27,000 paid over 4 years.

Your employer will also need to pay the End Point Assessment (EPA) fee, which is included in the total tuition fees.

Please see our Degree Apprenticeships page, or contact us, for further information about the EPA.

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional course costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each modules. You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

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

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.

The cost of your End-Point Assessment (EPA) – which your employer pays – is included in your course fees.

You'll need to cover the cost of travel to the university.


How you apply depends on whether you’re currently employed or not.

How to apply with your current employer

If you’re in full-time employment and would like to do a degree apprenticeship with your current employer, ask them to contact us so we can discuss with them how we can work together. 

You might find it useful to share our information for employers page with them.

How to apply with a new employer

If you’re not employed full-time or not working for a company that can fund and support your degree apprenticeship, you'll need to apply for a degree apprenticeship with a company that offers them.

You'll follow their standard recruitment process and we'll assess your academic suitability for the course once you've applied.

We can let you know when there are degree apprenticeship vacancies available with companies we work with – contact us to give us your details.

You can also browse degree apprenticeship vacancies with employers with whom we already have relationships.

If you have questions about degree apprenticeships, please get in touch with us

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.

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