Biomedical Science BSc
School of Biosciences
You are viewing this course for 2022-23 entry.
Be inspired to help shape the future of clinical medicine. This course covers everything from human physiology and pharmacology, to molecular and cell biology. Biomedical science is the study of the human body in health and disease. You’ll study the basis of diseases such as coronavirus and cancer, and tackle challenges such as hearing loss. You’ll explore therapies that use stem cell technology and discover how we develop drug treatment for inflammatory disease.
We're proud to be one of only a few universities in the UK to offer undergraduate students the opportunity to perform full body cadaveric dissection, providing you with an excellent foundation for understanding human physiology and developmental biology.
You’ll study a range of biomedical science modules, with the freedom to explore optional topics from across the breadth of bioscience, including genetics, microbiology, evolution or biochemistry. This flexibility allows you to study biomedical science in greater depth, broaden your interests or switch to another biosciences degree programme. No matter what modules you choose, you’ll develop the practical skills that make our graduates attractive to employers including project management, problem solving, communication skills and data analysis.
We’ll give you plenty of opportunities to apply your new skills and knowledge. You’ll be in the lab completing in-depth practicals, learning about the human body through cadaveric dissection, and sharing your knowledge through peer assisted study sessions.
As you progress through your degree you’ll be able to specialise in key areas such as stem cells, cancer, neuroscience, physiology, pharmacology, and developmental and cell biology. Whichever your specialism, your personal tutor will support you to tailor your degree to your interests and career goals.
The modules listed below are examples from the last academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course. For the very latest module information, check with the department directly.
Choose a year to see modules for a level of study:
UCAS code: B900
In your first year, you'll cover the basic concepts and skills that biomedicine is based on including molecular, cell and developmental biology; pathobiology; physiology, pharmacology and neuroscience. In practical lab sessions, you'll learn the scientific research techniques that you'll use throughout your degree including isolation and cloning of DNA, preparing and staining tissue samples and zebrafish embryos, and taking physiological measurements to determine human fitness. You'll have lectures and take part in small group tutorials where you'll be introduced to the latest research findings from our world-leading academics. You’ll also have the opportunity to share knowledge and benefit from others' expertise through optional peer-assisted study sessions.
- Introductory Developmental, Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology
This module aims to provide students with a general introduction to Developmental, Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology. The approach will be concept-based, with an emphasis on the importance of techniques and the interpretation of experimental data. Topics covered include life cycles of the main animal model systems, how cell differences are generated during development, the basic principles of regenerative biology and wound healing as well as stem cell biology. Teaching will take place in a formal lecture environment, supplemented by online tutorials. Assessment will be by formal examination.10 credits
- Molecular & Cell Biology
This module considers the fundamental processes at the heart of all life on this planet. Students will learn about the basic molecular processes that enable cells to store and use genetic information to make proteins, as well as the mechanisms that allow cell growth, division, and ultimately cell death. Learning materials will be delivered through a combination of lectures, videos, practical classes and independent study.20 credits
- Introduction to Neuroscience
This module aims to provide students with an introduction to neuroscience. It will introduce the fundamental principles of cellular and molecular neuroscience that govern neuronal excitability and neurotransmission. Building on these principles, it will introduce theories relating to how sensory information is processed, and how motor output and aspects of behaviour are controlled by the central nervous system. How the normal functioning of the nervous system is affected by disease and drugs will be examined. It will also provide an opportunity to perform neuroscience experiments and interpret the data. Although focussed on the understanding of human neuroscience, the module will demonstrate how the study of model organisms has contributed to this understanding.20 credits
- Skills in Biomedical Science
The Skills for Biomedical Science module introduces students to the fundamentals of scientific practice: lab practical skills, experimental design, information technology, data visualisation and analysis, writing and presentation skills, skills reflection, professionalism and career development.30 credits
- Introduction to Physiology with Pharmacology
This module aims to provide students with an introduction to human physiology and pharmacology. It will introduce the fundamental physiological principles that govern the functioning of all cells and tissues within the body. The physiology of normal bodily functions will be explained using a systems-based approach which encourages students’ to integrate their understanding of events at a molecular and cellular level with the structure and function of tissues and whole organs. It will examine how these normal bodily functions are affected by disease and drugs, with examples of how model organisms can inform this understanding. It will also provide an opportunity to perform and interpret physiological measurements, giving students hands-on experience of the experimental methods that they will be learning about in lectures.20 credits
- Principles of Zoology
This course is an introduction to the scientific study of animals. Students will explore the wonders of the animal kingdom through investigations of the physiology, reproduction, development, form and function of a wide diversity of both invertebrates and vertebrates. Students will learn through lectures and videos, practicals and independent study.20 credits
- Climate Change and Sustainability
This course introduces the core scientific issues required to understand climate change and sustainability. Students will learn the causes of climate change, its impacts in natural and agricultural ecosystems, the influence of biogeochemical cycles in these ecosystems on climate, and strategies for sustainably managing ecosystems in future. Learning will be achieved via lectures and videos, practicals and independent study.20 credits
- Animal Behaviour
This unit will provide an introduction to behaviour, focussing on the four fundamental questions: (i) the evolution of behaviour; (ii) the function of behaviour, (iii) the ontogeny of behaviour and (iv) the causation (or mechanisms) of behaviour. The course will introduce the major concepts and information on specific topics, including sexual behaviour, foraging behaviour and social behaviour in humans and non-humans. A central theme will be the extent to which animal behaviour can inform us about human behaviour and in particular the similarities and differences between the evolutionary approach to animal behaviour and evolutionary psychology.10 credits
- Maths for Molecular Bioscience
Proficiency in basic calculations is essential for all scientists. In this module, designed for first-year students who have not studied maths to A-level (or equivalent) we will develop the mathematical skills needed to excel as a molecular bioscientist. Using video tutorials, problems classes, and worksheets, we will give students plenty of practice performing calculations, building their skills and confidence. Topics covered include arithmetic, exponential numbers and logarithms, mathematical and statistical notation, probability, functions, precision and accuracy of measurements, and the graphical presentation of data.10 credits
- Biochemistry 1
This module provides a broad introduction to Biochemistry and examines the molecules that carry out and control all the chemical reactions in biological cells. The basic chemical concepts underlying the structures, functions and mechanisms of action of biomolecules.20 credits
- Principles in Plant Science
This course is an introduction to the scientific study of plants and associated organisms. Students will explore plant origin, diversity, form, reproduction and development, photosynthesis, nutrient and water acquisition, as well as interactions with symbiotic and pathogenic microbes. Students will learn through lectures and videos, practicals and independent study.20 credits
- Principles of Evolution
This course is an introduction to evolution as the central unifying theme of modern biology. Students will examine evolutionary patterns from the geological past to the present, and investigate evolutionary mechanisms of selection, adaptation and the origin of species. They will be introduced to the approaches used to study evolution including classical population and quantitative genetics, phylogenetic trees, and the fossil record. Students will learn through lectures, videos, practical sessions, quizzes, and independent study.20 credits
- Microbiology 1
This course is an introduction to the field of microbiology. Students will explore the diversity of microorganisms including Bacteria, Archaea, unicellular Eukaryotes and viruses. They will examine the diversity of the structure and the function of these microorganisms, emphasising the fundamental role that they play in our everyday lives by using examples in medicine and biotechnology.20 credits
- Genetics 1
This course is an introduction to the principles of genetics. Students will explore the genetics of pro- and eukaryotes by studying the mechanisms of gene transmission, genetic exchange, mutations and gene mapping. Additional topics are the genetic basis of diseases, prenatal diagnosis, genetic counselling, gene therapy and genetic basis of antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Students will learn through lectures and videos and independent study.10 credits
In your second year, you'll begin exploring more advanced scientific techniques, both in the lab and in lectures, with topics including molecular physiology and cell and developmental biology. Many students choose to take our 'Introduction to Human Anatomy' module, where you'll have the opportunity to learn about the human body by performing cadaveric dissection.
- Advanced concepts in molecular physiology
The module focuses on molecular physiology and pharmacology, with students covering advanced concepts in areas such as receptors, pharmacokinetics and systems such as the cardiovascular, respiratory, renal and nervous system. Within these systems you will consider a number of pathophysiological conditions. Supporting content will cover areas related to the human development and cellular and molecular biology, providing a broad understanding of areas that support understanding of physiology. You will develop practical and analytical skills with the completion of physiology and pharmacological practical classes. In addition, sessions on employability will allow you to develop key skills for the future.80 credits
- Developmental, Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology
This module focuses on cellular and developmental biology, with students covering advanced concepts in embryo formation, development of cell types, assembly and maintenance of the nervous system and processes that govern stem cells, ageing and cancer. Within these you will consider a number of disease conditions. Supporting content will cover areas related to pharmacology and cellular and molecular biology, providing a broad understanding of areas that support developmental processes. You will develop practical and analytical skills with the completion of developmental and pharmacological practical classes. In addition, session on employability will allow you to develop key skills ofr the future.80 credits
- Introduction to Human Anatomy (Part A)
This practical unit introduces UGL2 students to the anatomy of the human body. Students will dissect and study the systems of the human body in small groups as well as view pre-dissected specimens and models. The module will allow students to develop their anatomical knowledge and enterprise skills to complete a coursework project. The module is designed to enable students to acquire a solid foundation and understanding of the anatomy of the human body including the thorax, abdomen, pelvis and upper limb. The practical sessions will be supported by a series of briefing lectures and independent/guided learning activities. Assessment will be by one summative exam.10 credits
- Introduction to Human Anatomy
This practical unit will introduce Level 2 undergraduate students to the anatomy of the human body on both a cellular and gross level. It will give them an opportunity to dissect and study the systems of the human body in small groups as well as view pre-dissected specimens and models. It is designed to enable students to acquire a solid foundation and understanding of the anatomy of the human body, trunk, abdomen, pelvis, upper and lower limbs, neck and the head. The practical session will be supported by a series of lectures and assessment will be by examinations. Students will be expected to work independently to complete some of the work. Upon successful completion of the course, students should be well equipped to embark on advanced anatomy courses at Level 3 if they choose to do so.The focus of this course is to correlate the structure of the human body with function. The location and relationship of structures within the thorax, limbs, abdomen, pelvis and head will be determined through cadaveric dissection and the examination of pre-dissected material and models.20 credits
- Biology of Stem Cells, Ageing and Cancer
This module will allow you to gain in-depth knowledge and understanding of the processes that govern stem cell biology, ageing and cancer. Emphasis will be placed on key concepts linking stem cells, embryonic development and the maintenance/growth of adult body systems. Furthermore, you will gain knowledge of the biological basis of cancer, deepening your understanding on the mechanisms that drive tumour formation.10 credits
- Cardiovascular and Respiratory Physiology
This module covers the advanced physiological concepts of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.10 credits
Within these systems you will consider the normal physiology of these systems, but also examine a number
of pathophysiological conditions, such as cystic fibrosis, asthma, hypertension, sudden cardiac death and
acid base balance disturbances. Within the module there will be self-directed learning tasks for you to
complete, including an electronic journal exercise to help you get to grips finding research papers. You will
also see how research approaches can be used to help inform our understanding of inherited diseases.
- Developmental Neurobiology
How is the nervous system built and maintained so that it functions appropriately? This module will equip you with the ability to apply basic principles in developmental biology to nervous system assembly and maintenance. You will examine experimental evidence that reveals the principles underpinning development of the vertebrate nervous system. Emphasis will be placed on understanding core principles gained through analysis of model organisms, emphasising that mechanisms are evolutionarily conserved. You will see how these core principles underpin our ability to understand and manipulate the human nervous system, so that we are better able to understand degeneration and regeneration.10 credits
- Neural circuits, behaviour and memory
This module aims to provide you with a broad understanding of neuroscience. You will cover areas such as10 credits
neurophysiology, molecular biology, model organisms and simple behaviours. The topics covered will add to
your knowledge and understanding from first year, putting in place a more advanced understanding of the
concepts needed to support the more complex topics concerning higher brain function, behaviour, biological
psychiatry and neurodegenerative disease.
- Physiology & Pharmacology of Cells
This module covers the advanced physiology and pharmacology of the nervous, muscular and renal systems.10 credits
Within these systems you will consider the normal physiology, with a specific focus on cellular mechanisms.
You will examine a number of pathophysiological conditions, such as myotonia, ataxia, epilepsy, myasthenia
gravis and Liddle's syndrome. You will study the pharmacological approach used to treat diseases of the
central nervous system. Experimental evidence presented in lectures will also show you how research
approaches can be used to help inform our understanding of disease.
In your third year, you'll complete a research project alongside your chosen specialist modules. If you choose to be lab-based, you'll be embedded in one of our research groups, working within a team to conduct and report research findings. If you choose to undertake your project in a non-laboratory setting, you could complete an extended library project, gain experience of teaching in local schools, or even join the "Patients as Educators" scheme to interact with and discuss clinical conditions with patient volunteers.
There are four pathways in level three:
- Developmental and Cellular Biology
- Physiology and Pharmacology
- Stem Cells and Cancer
Each pathway has core lecture modules, and you then select which optional modules you want to take.
- Laboratory Research Project
Contact department for more information.40 credits
- Library Project - Autumn Semester
The Library Project is a 30-credit module designed to improve students' literature searching, research, analytical and synthetic skills, together with skills in design and presentation (in written, oral and multimedia work). The module will run in Semester 1: submission of written and video elements will be in the last teaching week of Semester 1, with an oral presentation within the Semester 1 exam period. The emphasis is on independent study and research, but students will be guided via five one-to-one supervision sessions as well as group advice sessions, optional group training sessions, and online training sessions where skills in relevant software packages are reinforced or introduced.30 credits
- Patients as Educators Project
Sheffield University Medical School runs a highly successfully Patients as Educators scheme. Local patients are recruited and trained to interact with medical students. This project allows students in BMS a chance also to meet with a small set of patients, who share a clinical condition, and explore their experience of their illness. The PaE project is a 30 credit module designed to improve students' literature searching, research, analytical and synthetic skills. Students are expected to thoroughly explore and describe the condition allocated to them, propose and contextualise areas of future research to alleviate it, and develop literature to support patients.The Medical School has for many years trained patients in interacting with medical students and we have arranged for BMS students to undertake a project involving these volunteers. As part of the project module students will interview patients in their homes and record the details of these conversations. The interviews make up a small part of the overall workload on the module, and are primarily offered to allow the student to gain experience in this area. This module is not available for students on the Dev and Cell route.30 credits
- Science Communication and Policy
Open to up to 10 students this module provides an exciting opportunity to learn about science policy and communication in a small group environment. Together we will explore the complexities of communicating science to lay audiences and the different formats through which this takes place. You will identify an area of bioscience research that you would like to present to a non-specialist, or lay, audience through both an oral presentation and a written ‘briefing document’. This ‘briefing document’ is something tangible you will be able to give to potential future employers as part of a job application or at interview; something that may help to make you stand out amongst other applicants.30 credits
- Students as Educators
The science in schools project will introduce you to the theory and practice of teaching. You will write a review of a specific area of pedagogical research, and liaise with local school teachers to develop and deliver exciting science lessons that complement the current curriculum for that particular school class. An important part of the project will be to assess the impact of these lessons on the school pupils perception of science, allowing evaluation of your activity in a written report. You will work in pairs to design and deliver the lessons, however, the associated reports and presentations will be written and assessed individually.30 credits
- Forensic Anatomy
In this module students apply their knowledge of gross human anatomy and forensic science techniques to determine the identity of human remains. During the course students will be trained in facial reconstruction, forensic anthropology, and DNA profiling. Assessment for the module will be a combination of coursework and examination.20 credits
- Neuroscience Techniques
The module is based around teaching students a range of modern neuroscience techniques by trying to answer the overall question: Can the MED cells provide a replacement for primary DRG? The practical sessions are divided into two halves (i) establishing the in vivo molecular properties of DRG neurons and (ii) Can the MED cells provide a replacement for primary DRG? The practical utilises an in-house conditionally immortalised mouse dorsal root ganglion cell line (MED17.11) derived by M. Nassar and M. Holley which can differentiate easily (temperature change from 33°C to 37°C) into nociceptors over 7 days. Students will be taught basic cell culture using this cell line and can set up flasks of cells that can either be grown in an undifferentiated state or be differentiated into sensory neurons for use in downstream practical sessions. In addition, students will be shown how to section either (i) Frozen rat tissue (DRGs) using a cryostat or (ii) Paraffin-embedded section (again DRGs) using a microtome. Following on from the session on the basic techniques of cell culture, cryostat and microtome, two 'molecular' techniques will be taught in subsequent practicals (i) immunofluorescent staining for NF200 and peripherin and image analysis (ii) cDNA production/RT-PCR. The results from these techniques will be compared to staining results obtained from (i) paraffin-embedded and (ii) eg OCT fresh/frozen samples of mouse DRG stained for the same antibodies.20 credits
- Bioinformatics for Biomedical Science
It will use a multidisciplinary approach integrated with programming tools and cloud environment to introduce students statistical concepts underpinning advanced data analysis and methods that are suitable for high-throughput data analysis. Theoretical concepts and detailed examples will be introduced to provide the students with key steps to perform experimental design in data collection, data analysis and results validation.The course will present state-of-the art research in computational biology with guest lecture and enable students to critically assess statistical methods and enhance innovative thinking in data analysis.10 credits
- Biological Basis of Brain Disease 1: Neurodegeneration
The module will examine recent and current research into human neurodegenerative disease including Huntington's, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and motor neuron disease. In addition, reference may be made to the spongiform encephalopathies, frontal dementias and Lewy body disease, with emphasis on their inter-relationships and commonalities. The genetic and non-genetic aetiological influences, defining pathology and pathophysiology and current understanding of the underlying biology will be examined by a detailed consideration of current research in these areas. The module will also include discussion of the prevention and treatment of the diseases, highlighting possible therapies which may be useful in several pathologies.10 credits
- Biomedical Technology and Drug Development
This module examines some of the key technologies that underpin modern biomedical research. Over the course of the module we will follow the development of a hypothetical antibody-based anti-cancer treatment through discovery, development and clinical trials. Teaching will be via a combination of lectures and site visits to local facilities. Led by experts in these technologies, site visits will demonstrate the application of cutting edge biomedical technologies at first hand. The aim is for students to gain a fundamental understanding of the biology, chemistry and physics that underlies some of the key techniques in modern biomedical research.This module will examine the steps involved in the development of a hypothetical new antibody- based treatment for malignant melanoma. This ‘bottom up’ approach will be used as a framework from which to examine some of the technologies underlying modern biomedical science. Each of these key technologies will be studied at the level of the physics, chemistry and biology involved so as to gain a fundamental insight into how they work, what they can do and what their limitations might be.The course will begin by examining gene discovery approaches involving the use of next generation sequencing which could be used to identify genes whose expression is up regulated in tumours. High throughput screening of RNAi libraries will then be examined as a means of phenotypic / functional screening for gene validation.10 credits
- Cancer Biology
The unit will provide a description of the nature of genomic complexity as revealed using next generation sequencing technology. It will explore cancer genotypes and phenotypes in the context of 8 essential characteristics that are common to all cancers, and which collectively dictate malignant growth. These characteristics are : self-sufficiency in growth signals, insensitivity to growth-inhibitory signals, evasion of programmed cell death, limitless replicative potential, sustained angiogenesis, tissue invasion/metastasis, avoidance of immune destruction, and de-regulated cellular energetics. It will discuss how genome instability arises, and together with tumour-promoting inflammation, how these enable the emergence of all other cancer characteristics. It will utilize this conceptual framework to discuss recent and future developments in cancer therapeutics. A brief review of fundamental principles in genetics and molecular cell biology will be given. Nevertheless, students should have a basic understanding of genetics, molecular biology and cell biology10 credits
- Cardiovascular Pharmacology: personalising medicine
This module aims to describe all aspects of modern cardiovascular pharmacology to enable the student to understand how and why medical treatments for cardiovascular disease are becoming increasingly personalised. Drugs that influence the function of the heart, blood vessels and blood cells in cardiovascular disease states and their interactions in humans will be discussed. New approaches to the multimodal treatment of heart disease will be explained. Formative assessment will be by an on-line quiz; summative assessment will be by an extended coursework essay from a choice of up to 3 with emphasis upon contemporary pharmacological themes in cardiovascular medicine.10 credits
Epigenetic mechanisms regulate gene expression throughout life. Developmental processes, maintenance of physiological homeostasis, and adaptive responses to sensory stimuli or metabolic signals, are all subject to epigenetic regulation. Moreover, abnormal epigenetic changes are associated with chronic disorders, including cancer, cardiovascular diseases and mental illnesses. The main aim of this module is to explore the roles ofepigenetic mechanisms in these varied biological processes. Through engagement with research literature on how the epigenome facilitates integration of genomic, developmental and environmental information, students will have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of how epigenetic mechanisms shape phenotypes andmodify disease risks. Epigenetic mechanisms regulate gene expression throughout life. Developmental processes, maintenance of physiological homeostasis, and adaptive responses to sensory stimuli or metabolic signals, are all subject to epigenetic regulation. Moreover, abnormal epigenetic changes are associated with chronic disorders, includingcancer, cardiovascular diseases and mental illnesses. The main aim of this module is to explore the roles of epigenetic mechanisms in these varied biological processes.10 credits
- Epithelial Physiology in Health and Disease
The aim of this course is to provide an understanding of the different cellular and molecular mechanisms used by epithelia to solve transport problems. The teaching will consist of conventional lectures and will reflect the University's mission to teach at a research level. The module will draw examples from a variey of epithelia to illustrate particular transport challenges. The module will begin with a consideration of some of the recent methodological advances applied to the study of epithelia and how epithelial transport can be quantified and modelled. Problems such as how epithelia undertake water transport and how transport activity at apical and basal membranes is precisely matched will be explored. Lectures will also examine how epithelial cells transport essential nutrients. The human placenta will be studied extensively to illustrate strategies used to simultaneously overcome multiple transport problems.10 credits
- Group Research Initiatives
This module centres on a research project that is tackled by a group or groups rather than individuals and gives experience in group dynamics of a research team aiming for a specific goal in a finite time. The projects involves the use of animal blood. Tasks involve library searches for relevant references, statistical handling of data, use of graph packages, production of a group report (web based) and writing of a research abstract (individually).10 credits
- Membrane Dynamics in Health and Disease
Many diseases arise from defects in core machinery associated with cell membrane dynamics. The aim of this module is understand fundamental aspects of membrane dynamics including vesicular trafficking, membrane contact sites and autophagy. Using specific diseases as exemplars, we will explore how defects in membrane dynamics at the cellular levels have profound effects on thew whole organism. Emphasis will be placed on the experimental evidence that underpin our current models of cell dynamics in health and disease. Informal journal club presentations describing seminal discoveries will be a key component of the module.10 credits
- Membrane Receptors
Membranes form the interface between the cell and its environment. The module examines in depth aspects of the relationship between membrane structure and function. The roles of the lipid, protein and carbohydrate components in the overall structure and function of the plasma membrane are examined and emphasis is placed on the experimental basis for current views and the strengths and limitations of different techniques and perspectives. Greatest emphasis will be placed on the study of membrane channels, especially through the use of the patch clamp technique and on the molecular basis of cell contact and adhesion.10 credits
- Modelling Human Disease and Dysfunction
The module will provide students with an understanding of how post-genomic developmental biology impacts on our ability to understand, and treat, chronic disease/dysfunction of the body. Students will be introduced to major experimental systems and approaches that are pertinent to disease modelling. These include genetically-tractable animal model and in vitro cellular systems (including stem cells). We will explore the principles involved in how these systems are exploited to develop new strategies for intervention, including new therapeutics. Critical evaluation of research papers will allow students to gain experience of analysing experimental work, data presentation and interpretation of results.10 credits
- Molecular Physiology of Ion Channels and Human Disease
Ion channels are integral membrane proteins responsible for transmitting chemical and electrical signals across membranes, control of cell volume and proliferation, and sensing the extracellular environment. This module reviews current knowledge and thinking about ion channels in mammalian cells. It provides a comprehensive awareness of the major families of channels, illustrates and exemplifies the various ways to study channels, and outlines the theoretical basis for measuring channel function. The module aims to impart understanding of the physiological importance of channels; through examples of the medical and therapeutic significance of ion channel defects leading to disease and exploiting channels as drug targets.10 credits
- Neurodevelopment and Behaviour
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.10 credits
- Pharmacological Techniques
The unit will provide lectures on traditional receptor theory and practical classes giving experience of isolated tissue responses and data analysis, interpretation and presentation. Common techniques employed by the pharmaceutical industry will be used to generate data from isolated living tissues. In problem-solving sessions students will be shown how to enter and manipulate the data in relevant software in order to determine drug affinities, potency and intrinsic activities. Group discussions will bring together all the class data to allow conclusions to be made about the receptor populations being studied. Numbers will be limited for this practical module.Introductory briefings will cover the theory of drug-receptor interactions, drug dilutions and bath concentrations. Students will then perform a practical class providing experience of using isolated tissues and the recording system.Following further group sessions on data manipulation and analysis, more complex practical classes will examine various concepts of receptor theory and mechanisms of neurotransmission. At each stage additional group sessions will allow data analysis, the bringing together of class results that will allow discussion and conclusions that can be justified by the results.10 credits
- Pharmacology of Respiratory Disease
Using the respiratory system as the focus, this module aims to further the students understanding of how the body defends itself from the ever-present threat of pathogenic attack; in particular what happens when the host fails in its defence and succumbs to respiratory disease, and the pharmacological strategies that can be employed in an attempt to restore homeostasis and a return to health. Formative assessment will be by an on-line quiz; summative assessment will be by formal examination.10 credits
- Principles of Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering
This unit will provide students with an overview of the multidisciplinary concepts underpinning tissue engineering. Through detailed examples of tissue engineering strategies for replacing specific organs and tissues, students will be introduced to the key steps of the tissue engineering process from bench to bedside. The course will present topical research in tissue engineering and enable students to critically assess the current limitations and potential applications of tissue engineering for medical applications, drug discovery and food manufacturing.The unit will provide an overview of the central topics of tissue engineering, including cell sourcing for tissue engineering, biomaterial properties and design, and cell-material interactions. Particular emphasis will be given to the recent cutting-edge examples of applying tissue engineering to restore function of various organ systems.10 credits
- Sensory Neuroscience
This module covers the adult function and functional development of the auditory system, including sensory transduction and information processing. It will focus primarily on the periphery but will include representation of information in central pathways, with attention to mammalian animal models. The aims will be to show how physiological and developmental mechanisms combine to create the exquisite structural and functional tuning of the auditory system to the external world and how complex sensory information is encoded in the nervous system.10 credits
- Stem Cell Biology
This unit aims to provide students with an in-depth account of stem cell biology and their application to regenerative medicine. Special reference will be made to the molecular and genetic control of cell fate specification and differentiation. Consideration will be given to existing and potential clinical use of stem cells and their derivatives, and 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. Teaching and learning will be by lectures and tutorials and will be supported by web-based materials. Students will be expected to demonstrate a critical appreciation of the current literature, its controversies and key concepts10 credits
- The Kidney in Health and Disease
The aim of the course is to present an in depth study of the structure/function correlates of normal kidneys and the cell biological processes underlying kidney growth and disease. The development of the vertebrate kidney will be examined and detailed consideration will be given to the structure and role of the glomerulus, proximal and distal tubules, collecting ducts, and to the vasculature of the kidney. Pathological changes in the kidney as a result of nephritis, ischaemia and sclerosis will be investigated. The clinical treatment of human patients with end-stage renal failure will also be considered, including mechanisms of dialysis and transplantation.10 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. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.
Learning and assessment
Our research-embedded teaching ensures you’ll gain knowledge from the forefront of biomedical science and across the biosciences. You’ll learn from top scientists who are working on challenges ranging from cancer, Covid-19, antibiotic resistance, food security and climate change. Our expertise means we can offer a wide range of modules for you to choose from across biomedicine, organisms and the environment, and the molecular biosciences.
You’ll learn through lectures, small group tutorials and workshops, practical sessions in the lab and research projects.
To support your learning, you’ll have access to a virtual learning environment with interactive course materials. You'll also have a personal tutor throughout your course, to give you advice and guidance on both academic and pastoral issues.
Throughout the course you will be assessed through a variety of methods, including exams, tests, presentations, coursework and practical work.
This tells you the aims and learning outcomes of this course and how these will be achieved and assessed.
With Access Sheffield, you could qualify for additional consideration or an alternative offer - find out if you're eligible
The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
including two science subjects
The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
including two science subjects
A Levels + additional qualifications | ABB, including two science subjects + B in the EPQ; ABB, including two science subjects + B in Core Maths ABB, including two science subjects + B in the EPQ; ABB, including two science subjects + B in Core Maths
International Baccalaureate | 34, with 6, 5 in two Higher Level science subjects 33, with 5 in two Higher Level science subjects
BTEC | RQF - DDD in Applied Science or Forensic Science, including no more than one of the following modules: Forensic Evidence Collection and Analysis, Forensic Fire Investigation or Forensic Traffic Collision Investigation.
Scottish Highers + 2 Advanced Highers | AAABB + AB in two science subjects AABBB + AB in two science subjects
Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels | B + AA in two science subjects B + AB in two science subjects
Access to HE Diploma | 60 credits overall in science, with 45 Level 3 credits, including 36 credits at Distinction (all in science subjects) and 9 credits at Merit. Science units can include Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics and/or Physics (specific units are required) 60 credits overall in science, with 45 Level 3 credits, including 30 credits at Distinction (all in science subjects) and 15 credits at Merit. Science units can include Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics and/or Physics (specific units are required)
Mature students - explore other routes for mature students
You must demonstrate that your English is good enough for you to successfully complete your course. For this course we require: GCSE English Language at grade 4/C; IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component; or an alternative acceptable English language qualification
Science subjects include Chemistry, Biology/Human Biology, Maths, Further Maths, Physics, Psychology, or Geography.
Neither Biology and Human Biology nor Maths and Further Maths are accepted in combination as the two sciences
GCSE Maths grade 4/C
If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.
School of Biosciences
Biosciences at Sheffield is home to over 120 lecturers who are actively involved in research at the cutting edge of their field. You'll learn from scientists who are helping to solve some of the biggest global challenges, from ageing and how to achieve lifelong health with regenerative medicine, to combating infectious diseases like Covid-19 by discovering how the virus works and reproduces.
We're a close-knit community where every student gets the support and encouragement needed to achieve their best work. Whether it’s joining one of our student-led societies and taking part in nights out, trips abroad and quizzes with lecturers, or volunteering, fundraising and organising your own events, there are lots of opportunities to get involved.
Biosciences students are based across Firth Court, the Alfred Denny, Florey and Addison buildings. We are at the heart of the University campus, adjacent to the Students' Union and just a 15-minute walk from the city centre.
Our students have access to world-class laboratory and computing resources for biological research and are trained in specialist teaching laboratories, supported by teaching assistants and our technician team.
Biosciences at Sheffield is home to state-of-the-art facilities, including super resolution light, cryo-electron and atomic force microscopy, NMR and X-ray facilities, a Biological Mass Spectrometry facility and the NERC Biomolecular Analysis Facility, which provides molecular genetics facilities and training to the UK science community.
We also have facilities for RNAi screening, the UK’s leading zebrafish research facility, and the Medical Teaching Unit on campus, where our students work alongside trainee medics to gain an excellent foundation for understanding human physiology and developmental biology.
Why choose Sheffield?
The University of Sheffield
A Top 100 university 2021
QS World University Rankings
Top 10% of all UK universities
Research Excellence Framework 2014
No 1 Students' Union in the UK
Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2019, 2018, 2017
School of Biosciences
Research Excellence Framework 2014
Research Excellence Framework 2014
The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022
Graduate Outcomes 2020
High Fliers Research 2020
School of Biosciences
Our courses equip students for a wide range of careers, from scientific roles to graduate schemes with top employers. Whether you want to pursue a career in science, apply your skills in industry, or continue your studies, bioscience graduates are highly sought after due to their specialist laboratory skills, ability to solve problems, handle and analyse data, and effectively communicate complex ideas to a range of audiences.
As well as progressing onto graduate medicine, a masters programme or PhD, our students secure roles in biopharmaceutical companies like GSK, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Covance, the NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP) and in government bodies like Public Health England.
Transferable skills are embedded and developed throughout our degrees, which means year on year many of our graduates join big employers like the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme, PwC, the United Kingdom Civil Service, Unilever, Sky and Lloyds Banking. You can also apply your degree to other varied careers including forensic science, food and consumer goods research, teaching and science policy.
Each year undergraduate students can apply to join the Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) scheme. This gives you the chance to spend six weeks over the summer working in one of our research groups. It's a unique opportunity to pursue research in an area you’re interested in and inform your future career aspirations.
You can choose to do a full year of work experience as a recognised part of your degree. We have both a BSc Biomedical Science with a Year in Industry degree and a MBiomedSci Biomedical Science with a Year in Industry degree. You can test out a career path that you're considering - whether that's in the lab or applying your skills in industry - and earn a salary while you're doing it.
Our students have completed their year in industry at organisations including Hammersmith Medicines Research, Pfizer, GSK, Institute for Cancer Research and Covance.
Fees and funding
The annual fee for your course includes a number of items in addition to your tuition. If an item or activity is classed as a compulsory element for your course, it will normally be included in your tuition fee. There are also other costs which you may need to consider.
Funding your study
Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for a bursary, scholarship or loan to help fund your study and enhance your learning experience.
Use our Student Funding Calculator to work out what you’re eligible for.
University open days
There are four open days every year, usually in June, July, September and October. You can talk to staff and students, tour the campus and see inside the accommodation.
At various times in the year we run online taster sessions to help Year 12 students experience what it is like to study at the University of Sheffield.
If you've received an offer to study with us, we'll invite you to one of our applicant open days, which take place between November and April. These open days give you the chance to really explore student life here, even if you've visited us before.
Campus tours run regularly throughout the year, at 1pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Apply for this course
Make sure you've done everything you need to do before you apply.
The awarding body for this course is the University of Sheffield.
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.