A student working in the Biochemistry and Biology lab

Applied Biomedical Science Degree Apprenticeship BSc (Hons)

Qualify as a biomedical scientist on this four-year degree apprenticeship for existing medical lab support staff and develop your knowledge of pathological disciplines.

Key information


This course is Accredited

Typical offer:

112-120 from 3 A levels, or equivalent, to include 80 UCAS points in specific subjects

See full entry requirements
Study mode and duration
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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 four-year, part-time BSc (Hons) Applied Biomedical Science degree apprenticeship is for you. 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'll be eligible to apply for registration 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.

Course highlights

  • 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 Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS), opening up a further portfolio of training courses, and the potential for future professional advancement
  • Improve your communication skills in scientific and analytical writing, learning how to communicate complex scientific concepts to a broad audience
  • Earn a degree qualification while you work, with the Government and your employer covering your tuition fees
Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS)
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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.

I'm an employer interested in this degree apprenticeship for my staff

There's more information for you about degree apprenticeships on our information for employers page, or you can contact us directly. 

If you have an employee, or employees, in mind, that's great; if you are creating a new opening, we can help you shape and promote the role.

View employer information for degree apprenticeships

Contact information


+44 (0) 23 9284 5566

Contact Admissions

Entry requirements

Applied Biomedical Science (Degree Apprenticeship) entry requirements

Typical offers

  • A levels - BBB-BBC
  • UCAS points - 112-120 from 3 A levels, or equivalent, to include 40 points from Biology and 40 points from a second Science subject or Mathematics. For A levels which include a separate science practical component, a pass is desirable and may strengthen an application.
  • All applicants to the Degree Apprenticeship courses must have an acceptable Level 2 qualification in English and Mathematics.
  1. 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.
  2. If you do not have an acceptable qualification you will be required to take an additional assessment during the application process.
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) - DDM-DMM
  • International Baccalaureate - 29

Selection process

  • All applicants will be required to complete a Skills Gap Analysis before completing an application form.
  • All applicants will be invited to attend an academic interview and may be asked to submit a portfolio of work or undertake additional assessment.
  • Applicants must pass Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and Occupational Health checks before starting the course.

You may need to have studied specific subjects – find full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept.

We look at more than just your grades

While we consider your grades when making an offer, we also carefully look at your circumstances and other factors to assess your potential. These include whether you live and work in the region and your personal and family circumstances which we assess using established data.

Explore more about how we make your offer

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.

You and your employer

When you begin studying for your degree apprenticeship:

  • You need to be 18 or over
  • You should be able to satisfy government requirements on residency: 
    • you must be a citizen or have the right to live in the UK/EEA
    • you must have been a resident in the UK/EEA (not the Channel Islands or Isle of Man) for a minimum of 3 years
    • you must not need a Student Route visa, and must not have been on a Student Route visa within the past 3 years
  • You need to have the right to work in the UK, and to spend at least 50% of your working hours in England
  • Your job should meet the requirements of the apprenticeship standard relevant to this degree – we can advise you and your employer on this
  • Your employer needs to have registered an apprentice service account – we can help your employer with this if needed

If you aren't currently working in a relevant field, you can apply for a job and degree apprenticeship simultaneously. Read more about applying for this degree apprenticeship.

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

Your facilities

Pharmacy and Biomedical Science Teaching Centre

Practise the skills needed to diagnose and help people manage diseases, including collaborative microscopy - examining 3D microscopic images on a big screen with academics and other students. 

A collective microscopy session in our Pharmacy and Biomedical Science Teaching Centre
Explore Centre

Pharmaceutics Laboratories

Develop a better understanding of the causes and consequences of diseases in these labs, as well as the skills and expertise needed to develop and test new drugs.

Pharmacology students experimenting with syringe in lab
Explore labs

Institute of Life Sciences and Healthcare

We're exploring disciplinary boundaries to discover, understand and develop knowledge for the benefit of the environment and humankind.

Close up of a gloved hand and some petri dishes
Read more

Biophysical laboratories

Use professional-standard equipment to explore how the structures and functions of molecules change under different conditions.

Female student  on computer in biology lab
Explore labs

Careers and opportunities

Whether it's processing tests for diseases such as coronavirus or providing diagnosis services to GPs, accident and emergency departments and other health services, registered Biomedical Scientists play a key role in public health.

They analyse fluid and tissue samples from patients in order to identify diseases or evaluate the effectiveness of different treatments. In fact, more than 70% of NHS diagnoses are based on lab findings by biomedical scientists, so it's a profession that's always in high demand.

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)


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

What you'll study

  • Cells to Systems – 20 credits
  • Experiential 1 – 40 credits
  • Pathological Sciences 1 – 20 credits
  • Barriers to Disease, Immunity and Immune Dysfunction – 20 credits
  • Biomedical Toolbox – 20 credits
  • Experiential Practice in Biomedical Science – 20 credits
  • Pathological Sciences 2 – 20 credits
  • Principles of Neuroscience and Pharmacology – 20 credits
  • Applied Human Physiology – 20 credits
  • Experiential 2– 20 credits
  • Genetic Basis of Disease – 20 credits
  • Integrated Pathology – 20 credits
  • Research Methods – 20 credits
  • Experiential 3 – 20 credits
  • Pathological Sciences 3 – 20 credits
  • Projects in Pathology – 40 credits

Changes to course content

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, course content is revised and regularly reviewed.  This may result in changes being made in order to reflect developments in research, learning from practice and changes in policy at both national and local levels.


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

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

You'll study for around 25 hours a week, which includes teaching time, independent learning, and scheduled sessions that make up your training at work.

In your first three years

You’ll spend one day or two days (alternate weeks) at the University during term-time.

In your final year

You'll begin your final project during the summer break, and attend University for one day a week during term-time.

The days of the week that you spend at University will vary, but they'll be the same days of the week each year so that you can plan your study time around your working routine and other commitments.

Overall, you'll spend about 20% of your time on activities that contribute to your degree apprenticeship, including training for the new responsibilities you may be assigned as your role evolves over the course of your degree.

Supporting you

The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.

You'll get a workplace mentor who's there to support you during your apprenticeship. They'll understand your workplace responsibilities and help you to balance your workload in your workplace and in your studies

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 in one-on-one and group sessions.

They can help you:

  • master the mathematics skills you need to excel on your course
  • understand engineering principles and how to apply them in any engineering discipline
  • solve computing problems relevant to your course
  • develop your knowledge of computer programming concepts and methods relevant to your course
  • understand and use assignment feedback

All our labs and practical spaces are staffed by qualified laboratory support staff. They’ll support you in scheduled lab sessions and can give you one-to-one help when you do practical research projects.

As well as support from faculty 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.

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to:

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

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 a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

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

The Maths Cafe offers advice and assistance with mathematical skills in a friendly, informal environment. You can come to our daily drop-in sessions, develop your mathematics skills at a workshop or use our online resources.

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

Tuition fees

The course fee is shared between the Government and your employer (£27,000 paid over 4 years), meaning no cost to you as the degree apprentice.

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.

Tuition fees terms and conditions

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.

Costs breakdown

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.

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


Application deadline

  • The application deadline to start in September 2024 is to be confirmed.

Applications received after this date may not be considered.


I'm applying with my current employer

If you're already in full-time work, and your employer is interested in you studying this course, get them to contact us and we'll work out how to work together. 

If your employer isn't interested yet, you might find it useful to share our information for employers page with them.

Employer contact form  Information for employers



I'm looking for a job with a Degree Apprenticeship role

If you're not in full-time employment, or your current employer is not interested in degree apprenticeships, you'll need to find a role that does offer a degree apprenticeship. You can search the gov.uk list of open degree apprenticeship vacancies, or contact us with your details and we'll let you know when degree apprenticeship vacancies come up.

When you apply for a role that includes one of our degree apprenticeships, you'll follow the company's standard recruitment process for the job, while we assess your academic suitability for the course.

Search degree apprenticeship roles (gov.uk)  Contact 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.