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    Biomedical Science

    School of Biosciences, Faculty of Science

    Receive advanced academic and technical training within one of our designated pathways and become a highly skilled, multidisciplinary biomedical scientist, ready to make a difference in the rapidly evolving field of biomedicine across academia, healthcare and industry.
    Biomedical Science postgraduates in lab: Caroline Telfer and Chandresh Jain

    Course description

    Biomedical science research aims to understand how the human body functions both in health and disease, and strives to develop treatments that can improve and save lives.

    Through your choice of specialist pathway in either Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine or Cell Biology and Drug Development, this MSc offers the combination of a flexible and specialist module choice to equip you with the knowledge, technical skills and professional attributes to lead innovation in the biomedicine sector that interests you.

    Our Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine pathway is designed to train our students in current academic and practical aspects of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine. You will develop practical skills in cell and 3D tissue culture, genome editing techniques and manipulation of animal models used in stem cell biology.

    Students are also offered a choice of lecture modules in the principles of regenerative medicine and tissue engineering, modelling human disease and dysfunction, stem cell and cancer biology to reinforce their theoretical knowledge in the field of regenerative medicine.

    Our Cell Biology and Drug Development pathway is for students that would like to understand the cell and animal models of disease and techniques that underpin the drug discovery industry. Practical modules will allow you to develop skills from robotics and automation to cell culture, animal models of disease and biomedical assays.

    Our lecture module choices include subjects such as cellular mechanisms, membrane receptors, cancer pathways, cell signalling, sensory neuroscience, the analysis of biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry practices and current trends in new therapeutics.

    In both pathways, you will study a core collection of modules focussing on the development of your scientific, analytical and critical thinking skills. Here we will teach you how to present your science in writing and in other media, use the R statistical analysis software, critically interpret scientific literature and understand the role of ethics in research.

    The most substantial  part of the course is your research project, where you will spend up to five months embedded within one of our internationally recognised research laboratories. Here you'll be working closely with world-leading academics and scientists and using our state-of-the-art facilities to perform your own cutting-edge biomedicine research project.

    The School of Biosciences is home to state-of-the-art light microscopy and electron microscopy facilities, a purpose-built zebrafish facility, a fly facility, and proteomics and single cell omics facilities and you may be working in our Bateson Centre, where studies of model organisms are enabling researchers to understand human disease pathways at the physiological and molecular level.

    Example past research projects include:

    • The use of cell penetrating peptides in Ovarian Cancer.
    • In vitro generation of cardiac neural crest from human pluripotent stem cells
    • Characterisation of subpopulations of otic progenitors derived from human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESCs)
    • Elucidating the role of SNAP29 in endocytic trafficking using CRISPR/Cas9 based approaches
    • Understanding the relationship between heart tube rotation and extracellular matrix regionalization during cardiac looping in transgenic zebrafish models.


    A selection of modules is available each year - some examples are below. There may be changes before you start your course. From May of the year of entry, formal programme regulations will be available in our Programme Regulations Finder.

    All students will study:

    Literature Review and Research Proposal

    This unit involves an in-depth survey of the current literature relevant to the student's research project. Students will carry out an exhaustive search of the literature relevant to their project using the resources of the University, including appropriate databases and specialist search engines, as well as paper-based resources in the University Library. Based on primary research articles, review articles and textbooks, students will work independently under the supervision of the project supervisor to produce a document reporting on the background literature underpinning their research project. The literature review should demonstrate an ability to comprehend and synthesise the experimental evidence presented in the literature, to critically appraise previous studies and identify gaps in the knowledge, and to describe the experimental design of the research project.  To prepare their literature review,  students will meet at regular intervals with their supervisors to discuss their progress.

    15 credits
    Advanced Scientific Skills

    This module builds on existing, and further develops, generic scientific skills to equip postgraduate taught students with strong competences in presenting and reporting their research work using written and oral formats, in analysing data and the scientific literature, and in acquiring and extending their critical analysis skills. Teaching will be delivered using a blended approach with a combination of lectures, workshops, tutorials and seminars together with independent study and on-line teaching.

    Taught throughout the academic year, the module will be articulated around three units addressing: 

    Unit 1) Scientific presentation skills. In this unit, students will explore how to develop their academic (writing and oral) presentation skills. Some of the topics taught may include how to formulate a research question and hypothesis, how to find information, and how to structure a scientific essay or report. Students will learn how to communicate effectively their research to a scientific, as well as lay, audience. Emphasis will be placed on short oral communications and poster preparation and presentation.  The learning objectives will be acquired through lectures, workshops, tutorials and independent study.

    Unit 2) Critical analysis skills. This unit prepares students to develop their ability to analyse and appraise the scientific value of the published and unpublished literature. Workshops and lectures will introduce students to the process of critical appraisal of scientific work. 

    Unit 3) Statistics and data analysis skills. In this unit, students will learn methods to gather and analyse large datasets. In particular, workshops and lectures will teach students the basics of R coding and statistics for application in biosciences. The unit may also deliver other forms of data analysis relevant to the programme of study. Teaching within this unit will be delivered mainly through on-line material, lectures and workshops. Independent study will be essential to complete the acquisition of skills.

    15 credits
    Critical Analysis of Current Science

    This module 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 module consists of the following components; a seminar and seminar analysis programme designed to develop student skills in listening, understanding and appraising scientific research presented by external invited speakers; contribution, preparation and presentation of journal clubs reporting on the literature published in the field of biomedical science. In the latter component, students will be expected to demonstrate critical analysis skills, which will be encouraged through questions and discussions in classes. Each component is assessed through formal examination and oral presentation.

    15 credits
    Research Project

    The module aims to provide students with experience of conducting a research project, and develop analytical and organisational skills required for a career in science. Students undertake a research project which reflects the research activities in the Department/Faculty/University. Projects will be supervised by a member of the academic staff, although students may have additional contact with various staff contributing to their training. Students will gain experience of experimental design, and in execution, collation, interpretation and presentation of scientific data.
    Assessment of the project will be based on a written dissertation, an evaluation of the research skills developed during the tenure of the project, including keeping a lab book, and delivery of an individual poster presentation.

    60 credits

    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.

    Open days

    An open day gives you the best opportunity to hear first-hand from our current students and staff about our courses.

    You may also be able to pre-book a department visit as part of a campus tour.Open days and campus tours


    1 year full-time


    Throughout your degree, you’ll be taught through lectures, practical sessions, lab placements, tutorials and seminars. In small group teaching classes you’ll discuss, debate and present on scientific and ethical topics.

    Your research project will last for up to five months, where you’ll be working alongside experts in your field to give you first-hand experience of designing your own experiments, analysing results and culminating in you presenting your findings to colleagues.


    Assessment is by formal examinations, coursework assignments, debates, poster presentations and a dissertation.

    Your career

    This course is structured so that the specialist training you receive makes you highly employable when applying roles across the breadth of biomedicine. Some of the fantastic careers of previous students include:

    • Clinical Research Executive, B Braun Group
    • Research Assistant, University of Oxford
    • Research Technician, MRC Epidemiology Unit
    • Associate Scientist, SIRPant Immunotherapeutics
    • Biology Research Scientist, Cellular Agriculture Ltd
    • Research Officer, National Cancer Centre Singapore
    • Flow Cytometrist, The Babraham Institute
    • Scientist, Regend Therapeutics
    • Medical Writer, PharmaReview Ltd

    If you choose to continue your research training, you’ll be ready to pursue a PhD and students from this course have gone on to PhD training in:

    • Stem cell biology
    • Biomedical science
    • Translational neuroscience
    • Osteoarthritis
    • Oncology
    • Tissue regeneration
    • Restorative gene therapy in auditory disease
    • Chronic pain management

    By choosing the School of Biosciences for your postgraduate study you'll join our global alumni network, where 93% of our biosciences graduates are employed in life sciences or related fields across the globe. Explore our interactive map of graduate destinations:


    School of Biosciences

    Firth Court quad

    The School of Biosciences brings together more than 100 years of teaching and research expertise across the breadth of biology.

    It's home to over 120 lecturers who are actively involved in research at the cutting edge of their field, sharing their knowledge with more than 1,500 undergraduate and 300 postgraduate students. 

    Our expertise spans the breadth and depth of bioscience, including molecular and cell biology, genetics, development, human physiology and pharmacology through to evolution, ecology, biodiversity conservation and sustainability. This makes us one of the broadest and largest groupings of the discipline and allows us to train the next generation of biologists in the latest research techniques and discoveries.

    Entry requirements

    Minimum 2:1 undergraduate honours degree in a biomedical-related subject.

    We also accept medical students who wish to intercalate their studies.

    We also consider a wide range of international qualifications:

    Entry requirements for international students

    Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

    Pathway programme for international students

    If you're an international student who does not meet the entry requirements for this course, you have the opportunity to apply for a pre-masters programme in Science and Engineering at the University of Sheffield International College. This course is designed to develop your English language and academic skills. Upon successful completion, you can progress to degree level study at the University of Sheffield.


    We accept medical students who wish to intercalate their studies. Find out more on the School of Medicine and Population Health website.

    If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.


    You can apply now using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.

    Apply now


    +44 114 222 2341

    Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

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    Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.