Biomedical Science MBiomedSci

2024-25 entry
School of Biosciences

Designed for students who want to pursue a career in industrial or academic research, this course involves a major research project in your fourth year. The first three years of your course have the same structure as the BSc.

Key details

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    Course description

    Biomedical Science students in the lab

    This course is designed to give you the best start for a career in industrial or academic research. The first three years have the same structure as the BSc, with the fourth year devoted to a major research project where you’ll work in the lab with our world-leading academics.

    Biomedical science is devoted to understanding the human body and our ability to control it during health and disease.

    Our biomedical science courses cover everything from human physiology and pharmacology, to molecular and cell biology, helping you to define the future of clinical medicine. You’ll study the basis of genetic diseases, cancer, the physiological consequences of ageing (including hearing loss) and consider how we tackle antimicrobial resistance. You’ll explore therapies that use stem cell technology, and discover how we develop drug treatment for inflammatory disease.

    As you progress through your degree you’ll be able to specialise in key areas such as stem cells and cancer, neuroscience, physiology and pharmacology, and developmental and cell biology. Whichever specialism you’re interested in, your personal tutor will support you to tailor your degree to your interests and career goals.

    As a biomedical science student you'll learn in lots of different ways, from lectures and small group tutorials to learning by doing during practical lab sessions and research projects.

    From your first year you’ll study a range of biomedical science modules, with the freedom to explore optional topics from across the breadth of bioscience. You might incorporate genetics to focus on heritable disease, microbiology to focus on infectious disease, evolution to focus on developmental defects, or biochemistry that underpins all life.

    We encourage our students to be fully engaged throughout their courses, so you'll have lots of opportunities to be creative, think independently, and express your ideas. You’ll be in the lab completing in-depth practicals, studying human anatomy alongside our medics using dissection and advanced modelling techniques, and even sharing your own knowledge and benefiting from others' expertise through peer assisted study sessions. All giving you plenty of chances to gain new transferrable skills and experience to put on your CV.

    A day in the life of a Biosciences student at the University of Sheffield

    Modules

    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 MBiomedSci course structure
    UCAS code: B909
    Years: 2022, 2023
    First year

    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:

    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
    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
    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
    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

    Optional modules:

    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
    Fundamental Maths for Bioscientists

    Proficiency in basic calculations is essential for all scientists. In this module, designed for first-year students in the School of Biosciences who have not studied maths to A-level or equivalent, we will develop the mathematical skills needed to excel as a biologist. Using video tutorials, worksheets, and in-person workshop sessions, students will have the opportunity to build their skills and confidence and develop strategies to tackle complex calculations. Topics covered include arithmetic; concentrations, dilutions and molarity; logarithms; equations and functions; graphical representation of data and descriptive statistics; and probability. 

    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
    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
    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
    Principles of Evolution

    This course is an introduction to the core concepts of evolutionary biology and presents evolution as the central unifying theme of modern biology. Students will examine evolutionary patterns throughout earth history from the geological past to the present, and investigate evolutionary mechanisms of selection, adaptation and the origin of species. Concepts and examples will be introduced in lectures and videos, students will then develop their understanding through practical sessions, quizzes, and independent study.

    10 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.

    Learning and assessment

    Learning

    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

    Assessment

    Throughout the course you will be assessed through a variety of methods, including exams, tests, presentations, coursework and practical work.

    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.

    Standard offer

    The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
    AAA
    including two science subjects

    A Levels + a fourth Level 3 qualification
    AAB, including two science subjects + B in the EPQ; AAB, including two science subjects + A in Core Maths
    International Baccalaureate
    36, with 6 in two Higher Level science subjects
    BTEC Extended Diploma
    (RQF) D*DD in Applied Science (Basic, Biomedical Science, or Analytical & Forensic Science* streams only), or Health and Social Care**
    BTEC Diploma
    DD in Applied Science + A at A Level
    Scottish Highers + 2 Advanced Highers
    AAABB + AA in two science subjects
    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels
    A + AA in two science subjects
    Access to HE Diploma
    Award of Access to HE Diploma in Science, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 39 at Distinction (all in science units), and 6 at Merit
    Other requirements
    • Science subjects include Biology/Human Biology, Chemistry, 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

    • *Applied Science (Analytical & Forensic Science) must include the units: Practical Chemical Analysis, Applications of Organic Chemistry, and Applications of Inorganic Chemistry; and at least one of the following units: Physiology of Human Body Systems, Human Regulation & Reproduction, Biological Molecules & Metabolic Pathways, Diseases & Infections, Microbiology & Microbiological Techniques, Biomedical Science, or Medical Physics Applications
      **Health & Social Care must include at least two of the following units: Infection Prevention and Control, Microbiology for Health Science, Genetics, Biomedical Science, or Biochemistry for Health

    Access Sheffield offer

    The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
    AAB
    including two science subjects

    A Levels + a fourth Level 3 qualification
    AAB, including two science subjects + B in the EPQ; AAB, including two science subjects + A in Core Maths
    International Baccalaureate
    34, with 6,5 (in any order) in two Higher Level science subjects
    BTEC Extended Diploma
    (RQF) DDD in Applied Science (Basic, Biomedical Science, or Analytical & Forensic Science* streams only), or Health and Social Care**
    BTEC Diploma
    DD in Applied Science + B at A Level
    Scottish Highers + 2 Advanced Highers
    AABBB + AB in two science subjects
    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels
    B + AA in two science subjects
    Access to HE Diploma
    Award of Access to HE Diploma in Science, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 39 at Distinction (all in science units), and 6 at Merit
    Other requirements
    • Science subjects include Biology/Human Biology, Chemistry, 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

    • *Applied Science (Analytical & Forensic Science) must include the units: Practical Chemical Analysis, Applications of Organic Chemistry, and Applications of Inorganic Chemistry; and at least one of the following units: Physiology of Human Body Systems, Human Regulation & Reproduction, Biological Molecules & Metabolic Pathways, Diseases & Infections, Microbiology & Microbiological Techniques, Biomedical Science, or Medical Physics Applications
      **Health & Social Care must include at least two of the following units: Infection Prevention and Control, Microbiology for Health Science, Genetics, Biomedical Science, or Biochemistry for Health

    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

    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.

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

    Graduate careers

    School of Biosciences

    As a Biosciences graduate, you’ll have a huge range of career opportunities open to you. Whether you want to work in industry, join a Top 100 graduate employer, or continue your studies, employers seek out our graduates because of the skills they develop during their time at Sheffield.

    Whatever you’re passionate about, we’ll make sure you get the scientific skills and knowledge to pursue it. Here are just a few of the exciting things our graduates are doing now:

    • Saving local biodiversity and developing solutions to global food shortages at the RSPB and local Wildlife Trusts
    • Working in industrial research at organisations including Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Reckitt
    • Working in healthcare, in the NHS or for private healthcare providers or charities
    • Studying for a PhD

    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.

    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.

    Julie Zhou in the lab

    I'm now a PhD student at the Institute of Cancer Research

    Julie Zhou BSc Biomedical Science with a Year in Industry

    As Julie progressed through her biomedical science degree, she gained a strong foundation in cancer biology. This was a big advantage when she applied for an ICR fully-funded PhD studentship.

    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.

    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.

    Facilities

    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.

    School of Biosciences

    Why choose Sheffield?

    The University of Sheffield

      Number one in the Russell Group
    National Student Survey 2023 (based on aggregate responses)

      92 per cent of our research is rated as world-leading or internationally excellent
    Research Excellence Framework 2021

      Top 50 in the most international universities rankings
    Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023

      Number one Students' Union in the UK
    Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023, 2022, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017

      Number one for teaching quality, Students' Union and clubs/societies
    StudentCrowd 2023 University Awards

      A top 20 university targeted by employers
    The Graduate Market in 2023, High Fliers report


    School of Biosciences

    Top 10 in the UK for Biomedical Sciences

    Complete University Guide 2023

    Top five in the UK for quality of research

    Research Excellence Framework 2021

    98% of our research and impact is rated as world-leading or internationally excellent

    Research Excellence Framework 2021

    Fees and funding

    Fees

    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.

    Placements and study abroad

    Placement

    You may have the opportunity to add an optional placement year as part of your course, converting the four year course to a five-year Degree with Placement Year.

    A placement year will help you to:

    • gain an insight into possible careers
    • develop a range of transferable skills
    • build a professional network
    • get a feel for what you do and don’t like doing
    • add valuable work experience to your CV
    • gain experience of applying for jobs and interview practice
    • apply elements of academic learning in the workplace

    If you know you want to do a placement we also offer a BSc Biomedical Science with an Industrial Placement Year and a MBiomedSci Biomedical Science with an Industrial Placement Year that you can apply for via UCAS. You can test out a career path between your second and third year - whether that's in the lab or applying your scientific knowledge and transferable skills in industry - and earn a salary while you're doing it. Our students have completed placements at organisations including Hammersmith Medicines Research, Pfizer, GSK, Institute for Cancer Research and Covance.

    Another great way to gain extra experience is by applying to join the Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience 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.

    Study abroad

    Spending time abroad during your degree is a great way to explore different cultures, gain a new perspective and experience a life-changing opportunity that you will never forget. 

    You can apply to extend this course with a year abroad, usually between the second and third year. We have over 250 University partners worldwide. Popular destinations include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong. 

    Find out more on the Global Opportunities website.

    Visit

    University open days

    We host five open days each year, usually in June, July, September, October and November. You can talk to staff and students, tour the campus and see inside the accommodation.

    Open days: book your place

    Subject tasters

    If you’re considering your post-16 options, our interactive subject tasters are for you. There are a wide range of subjects to choose from and you can attend sessions online or on campus.

    Upcoming taster sessions

    Offer holder days

    If you've received an offer to study with us, we'll invite you to one of our offer holder days, which take place between February and April. These open days have a strong department focus and give you the chance to really explore student life here, even if you've visited us before.

    Campus tours

    Our weekly guided tours show you what Sheffield has to offer - both on campus and beyond. You can extend your visit with tours of our city, accommodation or sport facilities.

    Campus tour: book your place

    Apply

    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:
    www.ucas.com

    Not ready to apply yet? You can also register your interest in this course.

    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.

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

    Our student protection plan

    Terms and Conditions upon Acceptance of an Offer

    2024-2025

    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:
    www.ucas.com

    Not ready to apply yet? You can also register your interest in this course.

    Designed for students who want to pursue a career in industrial or academic research, this course involves a major research project in your fourth year. The first three years of your course have the same structure as the BSc.