University of Essex Biomedical Science

university of essex logo

University of Essex Biomedical Science

University of Essex Biomedical Science

BSc Biomedical Science

Course options2017-18

UCAS code: B990
Duration: 3 years
Start month: October
Location: Colchester Campus
Based in: Biological Sciences (School of)
Fee (Home/EU): £9,250
Fee (International): £15,450
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

Course enquiries

Telephone 01206 873666

About the course

From cancer-screening to blood transfusions, from infections to genetic diseases; biomedical scientists research the causes and diagnosis of diseases and the effectiveness of the medicines that cure them. You apply the concepts of biochemistry and cell biology to the study of health and disease in the human body. Our multidisciplinary approach means you learn skills that are at the forefront of advances in medical research.

At Essex, our research focuses on genetic diseases, infection and immunity, and age-associated conditions such as dementia, cancer and heart disease.

On our BSc Biomedical Science, you study areas including:

  • The structure of viruses, and how they interact with cells in infected organisms
  • The anatomy and structure of the human immune system
  • Pathogenic and non-pathogenic bacteria
  • Drug design

You discover the molecular basis of cellular dysfunctions, and describe modern strategies to diagnose and treat them.

“My favourite part of my degree was probably the placement year at Ipswich Hospital in their histology department. I decided that I really wanted to pursue this as a career and I was fortunate to be offered a job there.”

Sarah O’Mahoney, BSc Biomedical Science, 2012

Professional accreditation

Our course is fully accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Sciences (IBMS), resulting in fast-track career progression within the NHS.

Students who undertake a placement year with the NHS also qualify for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), which allows you to work as a biomedical scientist in healthcare in the UK.

Study abroad

Your education extends beyond the university campus. We support you extending your education through providing the option of an additional year at no extra cost. The four-year version of our degree allows you to spend the third year studying abroad in an English-speaking country or employed on a placement, while otherwise remaining identical to the three-year course.

Studying abroad allows you to experience other cultures, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised. Recent destinations include:

  • Curtin University of Technology
  • University of Saskatchewan
  • University of Arkansas
  • University of Otago
  • Monash University
  • Koç University

Placement year

Alternatively, you can spend your third year on a placement year with the NHS in an IBMS-approved lab. You complete a portfolio of assessed work, which results in HCPC registration after completion of the course. This provides you with hands-on experience using specialised equipment and techniques which are in demand from employers, and is a great route into work in an NHS hospital.

All Biomedical Science students also have the opportunity to participate in a one-week summer school, where you learn about clinical biochemistry, cellular pathology, medical microbiology, and haematology and transfusion science. This time spent with NHS professionals improves you laboratory skills and helps you to develop an understanding of career paths in this sector.

Our expert staff

As one of the largest schools at our University, we offer a lively, friendly and supportive environment with research-led study and high quality teaching. Two-thirds of our research is rated “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” (REF 2014), and you learn from and work alongside our expert staff.

Our research covers a wide spectrum of biology – from the cell right through to communities and ecosystems. Key academic staff for this course include Professor Elena Klenova, who specialises in molecular oncology, Professor Nelson Fernández, who works on viral and bacterial infections and autoimmunity, and Dr Selwa Alsam, who is researching hospital-related infections and human microbial diseases including MRSA, wound infections, and infection control.

The University of Essex has a Women’s Network to support female staff and students and was awarded the Athena SWAN Institutional Bronze Award in November 2013 in recognition of its continuing work to support women in STEM.

Specialist facilities

Recent spending by our University has allowed for major refurbishment and expansion of our School of Biological Sciences, including:

  • Work in an open and friendly department, with shared staff-student social spaces
  • Conduct your final-year research alongside academics and PhD students in shared labs
  • State-of-the-art research facilities, from protein purification, to cell culture and imaging, to molecular modelling.
  • Teaching facilities including new undergraduate laboratories

Your future

You graduate ready to move into a wide variety of industrial and public sector environments, from the NHS to pharmaceuticals, research, health and safety, teaching.

Our students have gone on to work in a number of laboratory-based roles in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, and in hospitals, clinics and healthcare companies. Others have gone on to work in sales, publishing and management, while others still have chosen to enhance their career opportunities by studying for MSc or PhD degrees.

Biochemistry and biomedical science courses also provide the ideal background for entry onto postgraduate medicine programmes, and eight of our 2011 graduates obtained places at medical schools across the UK.

Other recent graduates have gone on to work for the following high profile organisations:

  • NHS Hospitals at Moseley Hall, Basildon, Barts and Colchester
  • Nuffield Health
  • HSBS
  • John Lewis

We also work with the university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

For more information on careers in Biochemistry and Biomedicine, visit the websites of the Biochemical Society and the Institute of Biomedical Science.