Biomedical Science: course structure

Explore the structure and content of our undergraduate courses in Biomedical Science at Sheffield.

Teaching and learning changes for 2020-21

Due to the coronavirus pandemic we have made some changes to teaching and learning for some courses in the 2020-21 academic year.

Find out about teaching and learning changes

These pages will be updated regularly, so please check back for the latest information about your course.

Our degree programmes are based around a mixture of compulsory modules covering the subjects that every biomedical scientist needs to know, and optional modules that allow you to focus on the subjects that interest you most. Our four-year MBiomedSci degrees are the same as our BSc degrees for the first three years, but have an extra year of research training.

Here you'll find a range of example topics covered in our programmes in the current academic year.

Your first year will cover the basic concepts and skills that biomedicine is based on.

Core lectures and practicals cover:

  • Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Pathobiology
  • Physiology and Pharmacology
  • Laboratory Skills in Biomedical Science
  • Introduction to the Study of Organ Systems 

Your second year will see you getting hands-on with more lab work, including human anatomical dissection classes.

Core lectures and practicals cover one from:

  • Advanced Concepts in Molecular Physiology
  • Developmental, Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology

Optional lectures and practicals cover:

  • Introduction to Human Anatomy – includes supervised human dissection
  • Developmental Neurobiology
  • Stem Cells, Ageing and Cancer
  • Neural Circuits, Behaviour and Memory
  • Cardiovascular and Respiratory Physiology
  • Physiology and Pharmacology of Cells

In your third year you'll have the opportunity to choose from one of four specialist routes of study and complete a 12-week research project.

Specialist routes:

    Physiology and Pharmacology

    This route allows students to focus on human physiology and pathophysiology, exploring from the level of the cell and organ to the whole body.

    Typical practical modules:

    • Group Research Initiatives
    • Pharmacological Techniques
    • Forensic Anatomy

    Typical core modules:

    • Molecular Physiology of Ion Channels, and Human Disease
    • The Kidney in Health and Disease
    • Epithelial Physiology in Health and Disease

    Example optional modules:

    • Biological Basis of Brain Disease
    • Cancer Biology
    • Stem Cell Biology
    • Modelling Human Disease and Dysfunction
    Neuroscience

    This route allows students to focus on the development and function of the human nervous system.

    Typical practical modules:

    • Neuroscience Techniques
    • Forensic Anatomy

    Typical core modules:

    • Molecular Physiology of Ion Channels, and Human Disease
    • Neurodevelopment and Behaviour
    • Sensory Neuroscience

    Example optional modules:

    • The Kidney in Health and Disease
    • Membrane Trafficking
    • Cancer Biology
    Developmental and Cellular Biology

    This route allows students to focus on the development of the human body, from genetic control of cell function to the organisation of the entire human body.

    Typical practical modules:

    • Neuroscience Techniques
    • Forensic Anatomy

    Typical core module:

    • Neurodevelopment and Behaviour
    • Modelling Human Disease and Dysfunction
    • Stem Cell Biology

    Example optional modules:

    • Principles of Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering
    • Membrane Receptors
    • Biological Basis of Brain Disease
    Stem Cells and Cancer

    This route allows students to gain a broad understanding of biomedical science, exploring the potency of stem cells in health and disease.

    Typical practical modules:

    • Neuroscience Techniques
    • Forensic Anatomy

    Example optional modules:

    • Epithelial Physiology in Health and Disease
    • The Kidney in Health and Disease
    • Membrane Trafficking

    Typical core module:

    • Stem Cell Biology
    • Cancer Biology
    • Principles of Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering

    Extended research project

    Students also complete a project in third year, which can be based inside or outside the lab. Lab-based projects are on a topic from your chosen specialism. Examples of projects outside the lab include:

    • Extended library projects for those who want to enhance their scientific knowledge in a specific research area and develop research planning skills;
    • 'Patients as Educators' projects for students who have a strong interest in clinical conditions and their impact on society.
    • 'Students as Educators' - a project for those who are interested in understanding the principles that underpin learning and teaching, and develop skills in teaching in a school environment.
    • 'Science Communication and Policy' - a project for those interested in communicating science to a wide range of audiences.

    Students on the MBiomediSci degree will continue to develop their specialist knowledge in their final year as they complete an independent research project, working with professional researchers in one of our research labs. There are also modules on law, ethics and how the public understand science.

    Find out more


    Spending a Year in Industry

    If you choose to complete a Year in Industry degree, you'll spend 12 months on a paid work placement between your second and third year. This can be a lab or non-lab based position at a local, national or global company. 

    Placements aren't guaranteed – it’s your responsibility to secure one but we’ll do everything we can to help.

    Find out more


    Spending a Year Abroad

    If you take a Year Abroad course you'll spend your third year studying at one of over 40 potential partner Universities where you can select from Biomedical Science related courses as well as having the opportunity to take other courses and experience the local culture.

    Your place at another university isn't guaranteed – it’s your responsibility to secure one but we’ll do everything we can to help.

    Find out more


    The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it is up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research, funding changes, professional accreditation requirements, student or employer feedback, outcomes of reviews, and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

    Information last updated: 30 September 2020