Queen’s University Belfast Biomedical Science

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Queen’s University Belfast Biomedical Science

Our Biomedical Science degree enables you to explore the sciences related to medicine and in particular, the specialist disciplines of diagnostic Biomedical Science as practised in Health Service Laboratories.


Biomedical Science comprises the sciences related to medicine and in particular these specialist disciplines of diagnostic Biomedical Science as practised in Health Service Laboratories:

  • Clinical Bacteriology and Immunology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Haematology and Transfusion Science
  • Histopathology and Cytology

Why Queen’s?

Accreditation: this degree, which is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science, is aimed at students wishing to pursue a career in diagnostic laboratory science as biomedical scientists within the NHS, research or management careers in the pharmaceutical industries or academic research.

Facilities: the School has excellent research facilities as well as strong links with clinical departments.

Research-led Teaching: our teaching staff comprises enthusiastic teachers with world-class research in the biomedical sciences. Professional biomedical scientists from NHS laboratories also make a major contribution to the degree.

Placement: the School has established links with two universities in the USA – the University of Nevada in Reno and the University of Vermont, where several students are given the opportunity to work in their research laboratories for a year between second and final year.

Course Content (including module information)


The Biomedical Science degree at Queen’s is based on a foundation knowledge of:

  • Genetics
  • Integrated Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Mammalian Biochemistry
  • Microorganisms
  • Molecular Biology


This theme is continued at Level 2, with:

  • An integrated presentation of human disease mechanisms (Pathobiology)
  • Specialist knowledge of all the individual disciplines within diagnostic Biomedical Science (Biomedical Science in Practice)
  • The core Biomedical Science subjects of Molecular Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics
  • A standalone module in Immunobiology, which underpins much of our teaching in human disease as well as modern assay techniques


The clinical disciplines of Clinical Biochemistry, Bacteriology, Haematology and Histopathology are further developed at Level 3 in conjunction with a double module of individual research in a final year laboratory project.

This degree has been developed to provide our graduates with the key skills to function effectively in diagnostic and research laboratories within the NHS, pharmaceutical industry or academia. Our students demonstrate practical laboratory skills in addition to a deep understanding and ability to communicate their underlying scientific principles.

In addition to the specific degree content, there is an emphasis in our study modules on teamwork and communication skills, problem-solving and IT – skills which should assist graduates in careers beyond those immediately related to medicine.

Assessment & Feedback

The way in which you are assessed will vary according to the Learning objectives of each module.  Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments.  Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations.  Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction.Students are assigned an Advisor Studies who can advise on person and academic matters.  Students will also be assigned to a tutor in one of the School’s Research Centres where they will gain experience with research teams in a working laboratory setting.



As you progress through your course you will receive general and specific feedback about your work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and your peers.  As a university student, you will be expected to take a greater role in reflecting on this and taking the initiative in continuously improving the quality of your work.  Feedback may be provided to you in a variety of forms including:

  • Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that you, as an individual or as part of a group, have submitted.
  • Face to face comment.  This may include occasions when you make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help you to address a specific query.
  • Placement employer comments or references.
  • Online or emailed comment.
  • General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
  • Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid.  In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which you can review in your own time.
  • Feedback and outcomes from practical classes.
  • Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.

Once you have reviewed your feedback, you are encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work.

Learning and Teaching

The Biomedical Science course at Queen’s is designed to equip our students with the knowledge and skills base required for life-long learning in one of the most rapidly expanding areas of modern science.  To do this we provide a range of learning experiences:

  • Lectures: are given in large groups and introduce students to new topics to provide direction and inspiration for private study.
  • Practicals: are generally given to smaller group sizes and are designed to allow students to see how some of the principles introduced in lectures can be observed in living organisms.  This type of class also provides the opportunity to develop technical skills and since they are assessed, receive formative feedback on academic progress.
  • Tutorialshelp to engage students with the learning process, since they involve the formation of small groups to problem solve and disseminate information to the rest of the class.
  • E-Learning: Much of the resources to support lectures and tutorials are provided through a Virtual Learning Environment called Queens Online, which uses a range of e-learning experiences including interactive group workshops and podcasts.
  • Work-related Learning: Between second and final year students are given the opportunity to take a year out to work in a research laboratory in the USA, a significant learning and employability enhancement opportunity.
  • Supervised Projects:  In final year, a supervised research project on a topic of your choice, makes a significant contribution to the final degree classification and provides valuable skills and insight into the world of academic research.
  • Self-Directed Study:  Students are expected to undertake private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research or preparation work.
  • Personal Tutors.  Students are assigned an Advisor of Studies who can advise on person and academic matters.  Students will also be assigned to a tutor in one of the School’s Research Centres where they will gain experience with research teams in a working laboratory setting

Many of our lecturers are world-class researchers who enrich their teaching with methods and models from the cutting edge of biomedical research and whose international collaborations provide our students with research opportunities abroad. Professional Biomedical Scientists from NHS laboratories also make a major contribution to the programme.

Entry Requirements

In addition to the entrance requirements below, it is essential that you read the How We Choose Our Students pdf prior to submitting your UCAS application.



  • AB (in any order in Biology/Human Biology and Chemistry) B + GCSE Mathematics grade C


  • A (Biology/Human Biology or Chemistry) AB including a second science subject + GCSE Biology and Chemistry grade C or GCSE Double Award Science grades CC + GCSE Mathematics grade C.

Irish Leaving Certificate: H2H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H2 and H3 in any order in Biology and Chemistry + if not offered at Higher Level then Ordinary Level grade O4 in Mathematics.


For information on international qualification equivalents, please click on Your Country in the International Students website.

If you are an international student and you do not meet the entrance requirements, you should consider a preparation course at INTO Queen’s University Belfast, which will prepare you for successful study on these degree courses. INTO at Queen’s is based on the University campus and offers a range of courses including the International Foundation in Engineering and Science.

For students whose first language is not English

An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO Queen’s University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this degree. Please click the links below for more information:

  • English for University Study – an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English – a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree
    programme at Queen’s University Belfast and who need to improve their English

Fees & Scholarships

There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union. Higher education funding arrangements mean that students can study now and pay later.

Further details can be found on our fees and funding section.

Queen’s works to ensure that all those who can benefit from a university education have the chance to do so, and a generous system of financial support is in place to help them. Each year Queen’s offer a range of scholarships and prize for new students. The most up to date listings are available here.

For international students, information on tuition fees, can be found here. Information on scholarships for international students, can be found here.