Biomedical students in the lab

Biomedical Science with a Year in Industry BSc

School of Biosciences

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    You are viewing this course for 2022-23 entry.

    Key details

    Course description

    Biomedical science is the study of the human body in health and disease. Our four-year BSc covers everything from human physiology and pharmacology, to molecular and cell biology. You’ll do a year-long, paid work placement as part of your degree.

    Our students have found placements at organisations that include RB, Eli Lilly and GSK. A placement is a great opportunity to test out a career path that you're considering, whether that's in the lab or through applying your scientific knowledge and transferable skills in industry. Many students are even offered a graduate-level job at the end of it. You'll pay reduced fees for the year you're on placement and you'll have the support you need from your tutor and the University.

    During your time at Sheffield you’ll study the basis of diseases such as coronavirus and cancer, and 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 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. Whatever 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 in Industry / with an Industrial Placement Year BSc course structure
    UCAS code: B902
    Years: 2022, 2023

    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.

    You’ll learn from our top scientists who are working on global challenges from cancer, antibiotic resistance and healthy ageing, to saving the planet’s biodiversity and climate. Their expertise means that we can offer a huge range of modules for you to choose from across the full breadth of biology.

    Through lectures, small group tutorials and workshops, field courses, research projects and practical sessions in the lab and field we’ll show you how you can help to tackle these problems. You'll have your own personal tutor who will be there to guide you through your time at Sheffield, and help identify the skills you need to work on in time for graduation.

    To support your learning, you’ll always have access to a virtual learning environment with interactive course materials.

    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 | 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

    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

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

    The School of Biosciences is based at the heart of campus across the interlinked Firth Court, Alfred Denny, Florey, Perak and Addison buildings which house lecture theatres, teaching labs and research facilities. You’ll be over the road from 24/7 library facilities and the UK’s number one students’ union, a short walk from our student accommodation, sports facilities and the city centre, and just a bus ride away from the Peak District National Park.


    Our students have access to world-class laboratory and computing resources for biological research and are trained in specialist teaching laboratories. The school is home to state-of-the-art facilities, including the Medical Teaching Unit where our students work alongside trainee medics to gain an excellent foundation for understanding human physiology and developmental biology. We also have the Alfred Denny Museum of Zoology that we use for teaching animal anatomy, biodiversity and evolution. 

    To further support our research and teaching, we have a world-leading controlled environment facility which allows our staff and students to study the impacts of climate change; multi-million pound microscopy equipment that’s helping us to understand and prevent diseases such as MRSA; and facilities for genomics, proteomics and metabolomics research, Biological Mass Spectrometry, and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance imaging.

    Find out more about the School of Biosciences

    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

    Top 10 in the UK for Biomedical Sciences

    Complete University Guide 2022

    1st in the UK for Medical Research

    Research Excellence Framework 2014

    Top 5 in the UK for Biological Sciences Research

    Research Excellence Framework 2014

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

    Graduate Outcomes 2020

    Biomedical Science with a Year in Industry

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

    Graduate Outcomes 2020

    Graduate careers

    School of Biosciences

    Biosciences graduates have a growing range of career options available to them. Whether you want to work in industry, join a Top 100 graduate employer, or continue your studies, employers seek out our graduates because of their ability to communicate complex ideas to a range of audiences, handle data, and work to deadlines, independently and as part of a team.

    A research career is a popular path, with our graduates choosing to work within higher education, for public bodies, or in research and development at institutions around the world. Others are interested in industrial research, joining pharmaceutical, biotechnology and consumer goods companies like Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Reckitt.

    Many of our graduates pursue careers in healthcare, joining the NHS, private healthcare providers, or charities; working in analytical labs or specialised healthcare sectors. A number of students progress into postgraduate medicine, or begin training to become Physician Associates.

    Further study in areas including veterinary science, physiotherapy and teaching, or taking the next step onto a PhD is another popular route. 

    A biosciences degree from the University of Sheffield can even take you into roles in marketing, teaching, human resources, IT, science communication and beyond. Each year our graduates apply their transferable skills and begin careers in these areas with Top 100 employers like GSK, Google and Aldi.

    You can find out more about where a biosciences degree can lead to on our careers web pages.

    Laura Bradley student profile

    My year in industry helped me secure a graduate role with Sanofi

    Laura Bradley Hammersmith Medicines Research

    Laura spent her year in industry working as a Student Biomedical Scientist at clinical research organisation Hammersmith Medicines Research.

    Katherine Meade

    Studying Biomedical Science at Sheffield is one of the best decisions I've ever made.

    Katherine Meade BSc Biomedical Science

    Thanks to the practical research experience that she gained on her course, Katherine is now beginning life as a PhD student at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology. Katherine believes that studying Biomedical Science Sheffield was one of the best decisions that she has ever made.

    Work experience

    Each year undergraduate students can apply to join the Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) scheme. This gives you the chance to spend around six weeks working in one of our research groups over the summer. It's a unique opportunity to pursue research in an area that you’re excited about, and can help inform your future career aspirations.

    Fees and funding


    Additional costs

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    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.

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