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MSc Biomedical Science with Education

Through deepening our understanding of biological processes and our ability to control them during health and disease, we can develop treatments that can save and improve lives. Biomedical science underpins these breakthroughs but in order to continue this vital work, we need qualified teachers to train the scientists of tomorrow.

The MSc Biomedical Science with Education course brings together specialist pedagogical and advanced research training, enabling you to be an effective and engaging teacher with the ability to carry out your own scientific research. You'll learn about the latest developments in biomedical science from experts at Sheffield including molecular cell biology techniques and the ethical influences that inform research. Through training in curriculum and learning resource development, as well as regular opportunities to demonstrate to current undergraduate biomedical science students during practical classes, you'll develop your pedagogical skills in a supportive environment.

Accreditation

This course has been designed to align with the UK Professional Standards Framework of the Higher Education Academy. By completing this course, you'll be eligible to apply for Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy – the professional accreditation required of Higher Education practitioners in the UK.

Whether you’re currently working within higher education and looking to further strengthen your research skills and pedagogical training, or you're taking the first step towards your teaching career, the MSc Biomedical Science with Education will provide you with excellent training to both teach the subject and carry out your own research projects within the field.

Start date

Teaching on this course begins two weeks before the standard start of term.

Applying

To apply for this course, complete the University of Sheffield's postgraduate online application form.

Online application form

You can find more information about the application process on the University's postgraduate webpages.

How to apply: applying essentials

Contact

Course Director: Professor Steve Winder

If you would like to know anything else about this course, contact our admissions office: bmspgadmissions@sheffield.ac.uk | +44 (0)114 222 2319

You can also visit us throughout the year:
Postgraduate open days, visit afternoons and online chats

International students
Don't meet our entry requirements? Pre-Masters at our International College

About the course

This 12-month MSc is designed to enhance your ability to deliver training in biomedical science in higher education. Throughout the course you'll cover two major themes: a detailed study of practical and lecture modules in cell biology, developmental biology, neuroscience and stem cells, and hands-on training to become an effective, engaging teacher. 

During your studies we'll introduce you to the strategies, methods and tools to enable you to convey knowledge and skills, design curricula and develop learning resources as a confident and authentic teacher. You'll get the opportunity to explore these new techniques in your own learning and teaching before applying them as part of your masters training. In the lab, you'll get first-hand experience of teaching in higher education through leading undergraduate biomedical science practical classes in molecular and cell biology with opportunities to reflect and adapt your style based on feedback.

Delivered by experts from across biomedical science, through your training you'll develop in-depth subject specific knowledge as well as advanced research skills. Modules include: Critical Analysis of Current Science, and Ethics and Public Awareness of Science. Optional lecture modules cover the breadth of biomedical science and will give you the opportunity to deepen your knowledge further in a new or existing area including Sensory Neuroscience, Cancer Biology and Modelling Human Disease. A full module list can be found below.

The biggest part of the course is the Advanced Techniques in Bioscience module. Here you'll receive hands-on practical training in the form of five-mini projects, each posing a question that allows you to apply an appropriate advanced research technique. Topics may include pharmacological activation of stem cells, measurement of gene expression in cells and whole organisms, and signalling pathway analysis. You'll have the opportunity to use our state-of-the-art facilities, including Light Microscopy and Screening, and techniques may include PCR, stem cell culture, ELISA, DNA sequencing, western blotting, cryosectioning, high content microscopy and quantitative image analysis.

Accreditation

This course has been designed to align with the UK Professional Standards Framework of the Higher Education Academy. By completing this course, you'll be eligible to apply for Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy – the professional accreditation required of Higher Education practitioners in the UK.

In addition to technical skills and specialist knowledge of biomedical science and how to teach it, throughout your course you’ll also develop transferable skills around problem solving and communication, sought after by employers around the globe. In order to build these skills, you’ll learn through a mixture of laboratory classes, lectures, seminars, workshops and problem solving classes. Assessment includes, but is not limited to, debates, portfolios, essays, examinations, oral presentations and a dissertation.

Read more about this course on the University of Sheffield's webpages for postgraduate students:

MSc Biomedical Science with Education

After your degree

The demand for skilled biomedical science teachers continues to grow, creating many new career opportunities for talented graduates looking to train the scientists of tomorrow.

Whether you’re already working within higher education and looking to further strengthen your knowledge, research skills and pedagogical training or you're at the start of your career, this course is designed to train you for a wide range of exciting roles in higher education.

Graduates will be equipped with the specialist knowledge and transferable skills to pursue careers teaching bioscience or related specialist areas including physiology, medical laboratory sciences, biochemistry, biotechnology or medicine. Roles may include:

  • Junior lecturer;
  • University teacher;
  • Demonstrator in higher education.

Throughout your course, external lecturers will visit to give talks on their chosen career paths, allowing you to gain a better understanding of the vast range of careers available to a Biomedical Science with Education MSc graduate.

The University's Careers Service runs workshops on CV and application writing, job hunting and preparing for interviews. They offer events where you can meet employers, and opportunities to get work experience while you study. The Careers Service will even continue to support you for three years after you graduate.

Entry requirements

For this course, we usually ask for a 2:1 degree in Biomedical Science or related subject bioscience subject including physiology, medical laboratory sciences, biochemistry, biotechnology or medicine.

Applicants with professional experience may also be considered following interview.

We can also accept qualifications from other countries. You can find out which qualifications we accept from your country on the University's webpages for international students.

Prospective international students: Your country

International pathway programmes

If you are an international student who does not meet our entry requirements, the University of Sheffield International College offers a Pre-Masters in Science and Engineering programme. This programme is designed to develop your academic level in your chosen subject, introduce you to the study skills that will be vital to success and help with language if you need it.

Upon successful completion, you can progress to this degree at the University of Sheffield.

Pre-Masters in Science and Engineering


English Language Requirements

If you have not already studied in a country where English is the majority language, it is likely that you will need to have an English language qualification. We usually ask for:

  • International English Language Testing Service (IELTS): Overall grade of 6.5 with 6 in each component

You can find out whether you need to have an english language qualification, and which other English language qualifications we accept, on the University's webpages for international students.

English language requirements

The English Language Teaching Centre offers English language courses for students who are preparing to study at the University of Sheffield.

English Language Teaching Centre

Funding and scholarships

Funding is available, depending on your fee status, where you live and the course you plan to study. You could also qualify for a repayable postgraduate masters loan to help fund your studies.

Funding your postgraduate course

UK/EU scholarships

100+ scholarships image

We're offering 100+ scholarships worth £10,000 each for home students starting a taught postgraduate course in 2019 that can be used towards fees or living expenses.

Find out more

International scholarships

International scholarships image

We're offering 100 International Postgraduate Taught Merit Scholarships, each worth 25% of the original tuition fee for a postgraduate taught programme starting in September 2019.

Find out more

Alumni rewards

Alumni rewards

If you’ve previously graduated from the University and intend to pursue further studies with us then you may be eligible to receive a 10% discount on your tuition fees.

Find out more

Up-to-date fees can be found on the University of Sheffield's webpages for postgraduate students:

Tuition fees

Current modules

Core modules:

Students and the Learning Environment (15 credits)

This module supports participants to develop the skills and confidence to become a credible, authentic and collegiate teacher. Participants attend a transdisciplinary Workshop Week engaging in peer supported learning, collegiate observation and feedback, critical reflection on practice and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. A range of strategies, methods, tools and working practices are introduced through experiential learning that participants then explore and experiment with in their own learning and teaching context. Participants produce a set of artefacts to evidence their learning which can contribute to an application for recognition against Descriptor 2 of the UKPSF via LTPRS Personal Pathway.

Advanced Techniques in Bioscience (60 credits)

This module will provide students with a grounding in the theoretical basis and practical execution of techniques that underpin modern biomedical research. The unit will include an introduction to aspects of experimental design and analysis before going on to provide in-depth and intensive practical training in a range of molecular cell biology techniques. The unit’s overall aim is to equip students with essential biomedical skills and to provide a platform for further study or research.

Critical Analysis of Current Science (15 credits)

This unit is designed to develop the student’s ability to read and understand the scientific literature relating to their own research area and also enable them to integrate their own work into the wider scientific field. The unit consists of three components; a tutorial/seminar programme of up to 16 tutorial sessions designed to develop student skills in reading, understanding and criticising scientific literature; attendance at departmentally organised review lectures covering broad areas of science delivered by internationally recognised scientists; participation in all support sessions provided by the research groups in support of their research programme. Each component would be assessed separately with written reports, some undertaken under formal examination conditions.

Retrieval and Evaluation of Scientific Information (30 credits)

Before starting on the laboratory component of their research, project students must undertake an in depth survey of the literature relevant to the project and prepare a research proposal. Students will be required to carry out an exhaustive search of material relevant to their project using the resources of the University, including the web. This will involve primarily private study by the student under the direction of the project supervisor who will meet with the student at regular intervals to ensure satisfactory progress.

Curriculum and Programme Development (15 credits)

This module focuses on curriculum design. Participants attend a three half-day Workshop Week engaging in peer supported learning and collegiate dialogue to explore key themes in Higher Education, the development of programmes, module design and relationship to the programme, assessment and feedback. These themes build on those explored in semester 1 which focussed on the individual’s immediate sphere of practice with their learners. Participants will produce a further set of artefacts to evidence their learning which can contribute to an application for recognition against Descriptor 2 of the UKPSF via LTPRS Personal Pathway.

Ethics and Public Awareness of Science (15 credits)

This unit introduces an outline of the legislative limitations and ethical influences on biomedical science. It will address how these are influenced by public attitudes and explore how these, in turn, are influenced by the scientific community. The unit will contain a factual and objective core, however students will be encouraged to explore, develop and express their own beliefs and value systems.

Lecture modules – students choose two:

Cancer Biology (15 credits)

The unit will provide a description and explanation of the characteristics of tumour cells and their relationship to the tissues of origin; genetic and environmental factors in the origins of tumours; cell culture models and animal models; carcinogenesis as a multi-step process, including the concept of stem cells, (cell proliferation and cell differentiation, metastasis and tumour-host interactions; oncogenes, tumour suppressor genes and oncogenic viruses; the relationships between tumour biology and developmental biology; tumour immunology; examples of particular tumours will be used to illustrate the foregoing topics.

Physiology of Ion Channels and Disease (15 credits)

The aim of this module is to provide an understanding of ion channel physiology and pathophysiology in a variety of electrically excitable cells such as muscle and the nervous system, and to give an appreciation of the methodologies used in modern ion channel research.

Stem Cell Biology (15 credits)

This lecture course will provide a thorough grounding in the biology of stem cells and regenerative medicine, with special reference to the molecular and genetic control of cell fate specification and differentiation. Students will also be encouraged to consider the clinical use of stem cells and their derivatives as well as the ethical issues that these raise. As this is a rapidly developing field, strong emphasis will be placed on understanding the current controversies in the literature.

Modelling Human Disease and Dysfunction (15 credits)

This unit aims to provide students with an understanding of the way that post-genomic developmental biology is impacting on our ability to understand, and treat, human disease. Students will be introduced to some of the major experimental systems and approaches that are pertinent to disease modelling. These include genetically-tractable animal model systems, in vitro cellular systems, including stem cells, and bioinformatics. The principles involved in establishing how these systems can be exploited to develop new strategies for regeneration, and the prevention of degeneration, will be explored. Lectures will be interspersed with critical evaluations of primary research papers, so that students gain experience of analysing experimental work, data presentation and interpretation of results.

Sensory Neuroscience (15 credits)

This module covers the adult function and functional development of auditory, visual and whisker systems, including sensory transduction, signal selectivity and information coding. It will focus primarily on the periphery but will include representation of information in central pathways, with attention to animal models including mammals, fish and flies. The aims will be to show how physiological and developmental mechanisms combine to create the exquisite structural and functional tuning of sensory systems to the external world and how complex sensory information is encoded in the nervous system. Special attention will be given to comparative analysis of auditory and visual systems.

Developmental Neurobiology (15 credits)

This course examines the mechanisms that underlie development of the nervous system during embryogenesis. Examples will be described from a variety of model organisms to introduce key steps in the establishment of the CNS and PNS, steps that include neural induction, neural patterning, early segregation of CNS and PNS, the establishment and refinement of connectivity in the nervous system. Recent research from teachers of this course, and from both the classical and current literature is used to analyse and evaluate theories and mechanisms of establishment of the functional nervous system.

Epithelia in Health and Disease (15 credits)

The aim of this course is to provide an understanding of the strategies used by epithelia to effect transport of ions and water, and to explore the pathophysiological states associated with a number of inherited diseases, such as cystic fibrosis. Teaching will consist of conventional lectures together with problem solving exercises. The module initially considers the general properties of epithelia, before focusing on the molecular basis of epithelial transport in health and disease. The emphasis throughout will be to appreciate how experimental research informs our understanding of these issues, reflecting the University’s mission statement to lead teaching by current research.

Principles of Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering (15 credits)

The aim of this unit is to equip students with knowledge and understanding of the fundamental principles of tissue engineering. It will also develop their ability to evaluate current and potential tissue engineering applications, and to make suggestions for novel approaches.

Membrane Receptors (15 credits)

The aim of this module is to provide an understanding of membrane receptors for extracellular signalling molecules, including their molecular structure and transduction mechanisms, their roles in cell physiology, and their exploitation as targets for therapeutic drugs.

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's 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.

We timetable teaching across the whole of our campus, the details of which can be found on our campus map. Teaching may take place in a student’s home department, but may also be timetabled to take place within other departments or central teaching space.

Some optional lecture modules share the curriculum with final year undergraduates.