BSc Biomedical Science with a Year Abroad

Biomedical Science with a Year Abroad BSc

School of Biosciences

Apply for this course

Explore this course:

    You are viewing this course for 2022-23 entry.

    Key details

    Course description

    On this course you’ll spend your third year studying biomedical science at another top university in Europe, or a country such as the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore or Hong Kong. While abroad, you'll have the freedom to study both biomedical science and other subjects at your host university, while also experiencing life in another part of the world. You'll pay reduced fees for the year you're abroad.

    During your time at Sheffield you’ll cover everything from human physiology and pharmacology, to molecular and cell biology. 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 treatments 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.

    From your first year you’ll study a range of biomedical science modules, with the freedom to explore optional topics from across the biosciences, such as genetics, microbiology, evolution and 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 to study, 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 and 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.


    A selection of modules are 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.

    Choose a year to see modules for a level of study:

    Title: Biomedical Science with a Year Abroad BSc course structure
    UCAS code: B901
    Years: 2021, 2022

    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.

    Core modules:

    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
    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
    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

    Optional modules:

    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

    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.

    We invest to create the right environment for you. That means outstanding facilities, study spaces and support, including 24/7 online access to our online library service.

    Study spaces and computers are available to offer you choice and flexibility for your study. Our five library sites give you access to over 1.3 million books and periodicals. You can access your library account and our rich digital collections from anywhere on or off campus. Other library services include study skills training to improve your grades, and tailored advice from experts in your subject.

    Learning support facilities and library opening hours

    Programme specification

    This tells you the aims and learning outcomes of this course and how these will be achieved and assessed.

    Find programme specification for this course

    Entry requirements

    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

    A Levels + additional qualifications | AAB, including two science subjects + A in the EPQ; AAB, including two science subjects + A in Core Maths AAB, including two science subjects + A in the EPQ; AAB, including two science subjects + A in Core Maths

    International Baccalaureate | 36, with 6 in two Higher Level science subjects 34, with 6, 5 in two Higher Level science subjects

    BTEC | RQF - D*DD in Applied Science or Forensic Sciences ncluding no more than one of the following modules: Forensic Evidence Collection and Analysis, Forensic Fire Investigation or Forensic Traffic Collision Investigation 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 | AAAAB + AA in two science subjects AAABB + AB in two science subjects

    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels | A + AA in two science subjects B + AA in two science subjects

    Access to HE Diploma | 60 credits overall in science, with 45 Level 3 credits, including 39 Credits at Distinction (all in science subjects) and 6 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 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)

    Mature students - explore other routes for mature students

    English language requirements

    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

    Equivalent English language qualifications

    Visa and immigration requirements

    Other requirements
    • 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

    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 an International Foundation Year 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 also accept a range of other UK qualifications and other EU/international qualifications.

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

    School of Biosciences

    Biomedical students in the lab

    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.

    School of Biosciences

    Why choose Sheffield?

    The University of Sheffield

      A top 100 university 2022
    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 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017

    School of Biosciences

    1st in the UK for Medical Research

    Research Excellence Framework 2014

    Top 5 for Biological Sciences research

    Research Excellence Framework 2014

    Top 15 in the UK for Biological Sciences

    The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022

    100% of our placement year graduates are in graduate-level work or further study, 15 months after graduation

    Graduate Outcomes 2020

    Our graduates are among the UK's top ten most targeted by leading employers

    High Fliers Research 2020

    Graduate careers

    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.

    Alison Lee BMS

    What I'm doing now: from Biomedical Science to Medicine

    Alison Lee Now studying Medicine at the University of Sheffield

    Alison is confident that her Biomedical Science degree has helped with the quality of her work now she's begun studying medicine at Sheffield. Throughout her here, Alison was heavily involved in activities tailored to international students and it's the inclusive atmosphere of the university that Alison experienced as an undergraduate that played a big part in her choosing to stay at Sheffield for her Medicine degree.

    Mohamed ElGhazaly BMS

    My experience and my tutors’ support are what prepared me and encouraged me to apply to a PhD in Sheffield

    Mohamed ElGhazaly PhD student at the University of Sheffield

    Mohamed discovered his love for research during his undergraduate degree here at Sheffield. He's now a PhD student in our department, with the aim of understanding the disease mechanisms used by Salmonella Typhi to cause global epidemics of typhoid fever.

    Work experience

    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 that you’re interested in and inform your future career aspirations.

    Fees and funding


    Additional costs

    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.

    Examples of what’s included and excluded

    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.

    Visit us

    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.

    Open days: book your place

    Taster days

    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.

    Upcoming taster sessions

    Applicant days

    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

    Campus tours run regularly throughout the year, at 1pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

    Book your place on a campus tour

    Apply for this course

    Make sure you've done everything you need to do before you apply.

    How to apply When you're ready to apply, see the UCAS website:

    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.

    Our student protection plan

    Terms and Conditions upon Acceptance of an Offer