BSc in Biomedical Science


Program Description

Ever wondered who analyses your tissue or blood sample? It is not the doctor or nurse, it's a Biomedical Scientist.

Biomedical Science is the study of human disease, looking at the causes of disease and its effect on the normal structure and functions of the human body. Biomedical scientists perform key roles in the NHS and private healthcare services, using scientific knowledge and laboratory skills to diagnose patients.

100% of Biomedical Science Students were satisfied with their course - National Student Survey 2018.

Key Facts

  • UCAS Code – 7Y63
  • Location – York campus
  • Duration – 3 years full-time, 5 years part-time
  • Start date – September 2020
  • School – Health Sciences

Course Overview

Our programme explores the biology of disease at the tissue, cellular and molecular level. You will gain a deep understanding of biological processes and detailed knowledge of the causes and effects of diseases. You'll do this by studying a variety of fascinating human disorders and pathological processes.

Topics of study include:

  • Genetics
  • Cellular pathology
  • Clinical biochemistry
  • Clinical immunology
  • Haematology
  • Medical microbiology.

Our practical programme ensures you receive extensive laboratory experience. This includes practical teaching sessions and access to the laboratories in your own time. Academic and technical staff will supervise these sessions. Students from the years above you can also mentor you as you develop your practical and academic skills.

Our team of academic and technical staff will interact with you during and after your studies. They are passionate about helping you achieve your ambitions. While studying, you'll develop your scientific knowledge and employability. Our focus on transferable and multidisciplinary skills give you a range of employment options when you graduate.

Our established network provides opportunities for placements in the NHS or industry, plus short summer internships, or laboratory-based placements.

You can choose to take a year-long placement in an Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) accredited laboratory. This will extend your course length to four years. During this placement, you will complete the IBMS Registration Training Portfolio. You'll receive the IBMS Certificate of Competence that enables you to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) after graduation as a Biomedical Scientist.

Course Structure

Level 1


  • Personal and Professional Development - This module will develop your study skills, laboratory skills and professional skills to help you during your course and in future employment or studies. Topics include analysis of scientific data, report writing and some statistical analysis, plus how to undertake laboratory techniques safely and with precision.
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology - You will study the organisation of the nervous system and endocrine control of cell function, plus the structure and function of the cardiovascular, pulmonary, musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal and the renal systems.
  • Biological Molecules and Reactions - You will analyse the major classes of biomolecules (nucleic acids, proteins, carbohydrates and lipids), their physical and chemical make-up and how these properties affect their biological functions.
  • Cellular Biology - You will study cellular and sub-cellular structures and their functions, plus the structure of intra- and intercellular communication networks. This module also includes an analysis of the genetic basis of some common human diseases.
  • Biochemistry and Metabolism - This module examines how and why energy is derived from biological molecules such as carbohydrates, lipids and proteins. Amino acid and protein metabolism and the regulation of biochemical reactions using enzymes are also studied.
  • Introductory Microbiology and Immunology - This module provides an introduction to microorganisms, their culture, structure and classification. Microbial interaction with humans leads into an introduction to immunology and our innate defences against infection.

(All 20 credit modules)

Level 2


  • Research Methods and Professional Practice - This module will further develop your laboratory skills, research skills and ability to work competently to improve your academic and professional skills, thus enhancing your ability to work autonomously and your employability.
  • Haematology, Immunology and Transfusion Science -This module analyses the constituents of blood in health and disease. You will study haemostasis, thrombosis and bleeding diseases, leading into blood transfusion/transplantation and the health and safety aspects of handling blood. Key causes and immunotherapies for autoimmunity, immunodeficiency and allergy are also studied.
  • Clinical Biochemistry - This module explores the principles and application of methods used in clinical biochemistry for the diagnosis, evaluation and prognosis of diseases. Organ function tests, lipoproteins and cholesterol, diabetes, renal function and the biochemical effects of malignant disease are all considered.
  • Molecular Biology - This module examines the structure and function of bacterial and eukaryotic DNA in detail. The tools of molecular biology including gene cloning, restriction enzymes, PCR, DNA sequencing, constructing plasmids and selection of clones are also investigated.
  • Medical Microbiology - This module will explore the isolation and identification of medically important bacteria and viruses and the epidemiology of the infectious disease. Diagnostic techniques for gastrointestinal disease, urinary tract pathogens, respiratory tract infections and sexually transmitted infections will be discussed
  • Cellular Pathology - The effects of injury and disease on cells and tissues will be discussed in this module. Tissue preparations for histopathological examination, including histology, fixation and processing, staining methods and immunohistochemistry will be examined.

(All 20 credit modules)

Level 3


  • Research Project (40 credits) - You will be assigned an approved project which offers the opportunity to undertake a substantial piece of laboratory research work. The module will develop communication and presentation skills, individual research skills and allow you to apply your knowledge to a particular research problem.
  • Cancer Biology - This module considers the basis of carcinogenesis and the molecular, cellular and physiological hallmarks of cancer. You will investigate key oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes and their effects on cell signalling pathways, DNA repair, the cell cycle, apoptosis, senescence and metastasis.
  • Clinical Genetics - This module will explore the role of genetic variability in human diseases, plus gene expression, mRNA processing, translation and post-translation modification of proteins linked to disease. Gene therapy and novel treatments for genetic diseases will also be discussed.
  • Biology of Disease - This module discovers the biological basis, clinical presentation and treatment of important non-infectious human diseases including cardiovascular conditions, diabetes, COPD, neurological disorders and sepsis.
  • Pharmacology and Toxicology - This module considers the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic analysis of different types of drugs. You will also study pharmacogenomics and the new era of personalised medicine. Drugs treatments for a range of health disorders will be analysed, with emphasis on targeted therapies.

(All 20 credit modules except for Research Project)

Teaching & Assessment

Modules build in complexity as you progress. In year one you'll consider the normal physiological state of the human body and how it responds to disease. Explore these disease states in more detail in year two and three.

Delivery and Contact Time

Each module runs on the same day each week throughout the semester. You'll study one subject each day. This mode of delivery is very popular in student feedback.

Depending on whether you have practical classes, your contact hours will vary week-to-week. Usually, each 20 credit module contains 10-15 workshops plus at least three practical classes. You can use the laboratories to enhance your practical skills in your own time. Academic and technical staff will supervise these sessions.

We expect you to undertake further reading outside of taught sessions. Completing coursework assessments is a further expectation. These may include:

  • Laboratory reports
  • Case studies
  • Preparing posters or presentations
  • Reading published journal articles.


We've designed the assessment strategy for this programme to allow you to show your skills and abilities. We use a wide variety of assessment types. We have a small number of examinations and all modules have coursework assessments. We assess some modules by coursework only. We will always offer practice assessments before any formal assessments. Your assessments will build in complexity as you progress through the degree. This means you will have the subject knowledge and skills to tackle them. We also spread your assessments throughout the semester to avoid clustering of deadlines.

Entry Requirements

The minimum entry requirements for this course are:

  • 104 UCAS Tariff points to include a minimum of BCC at A2 with a grade B or above in Biology, or a minimum of DMM from a science-based BTEC Extended Diploma. This must include a minimum of three Biology specific modules and where this is not evidenced an additional A2/AS in Biology may be required.
  • In addition, we normally expect you to have achieved A2 or AS Chemistry and other sciences. For applicants who have already achieved their A2s, we would consider CCC if all subjects are sciences.
  • 4 GCSEs at grade C or above (or equivalent) including English Language, Maths and Double Integrated Science (or equivalent)
  • Please note, we do not accept Adult Numeracy or Key Skills in lieu of GCSE Maths
  • A minimum of 30 points from the International Baccalaureate to include Higher Level Biology at a grade 5
  • Access Diplomas to include 45 credits at Level 3 meeting or exceeding 104 UCAS Tariff points, and must be completed in no more than two years. Preference will be given to applicants who have a named Access to Science/Medicine/Health Diploma. Applicants on broader Access Diplomas must have a minimum of three modules at Level 3 in Biology.
  • Mature students without standard academic qualifications must be able to demonstrate an equivalent level of knowledge. This may be evidenced through CPD documentation/certificates or work-based portfolios. An associated interview will be mandatory.

Essential Criteria

As well as a strong standard of written English, the ability to demonstrate knowledge and interest in the subject is essential. This can be done in a variety of ways, for example, visits to design exhibitions, museums or collections. Applicants will also show an ability to 'think outside the box' and have relevant experience of group work.

Valued Criteria

We also value the ability to demonstrate a real enthusiasm for the subject that goes beyond achieving good grades in exams. Examples of this include involvement in projects or entering competitions, and being aware of any current issues relating to design, such as sustainability. Candidates will also be able to discuss influences including favourite designers, design product or style of design.

Fees and Funding

To study for an undergraduate degree with us, you will need to pay tuition fees for your course. How much you pay will depend on whether you're a UK and EU student or an international (non-EU) student. Tuition fees are charged for each year of your course.

UK and EU 2020 Entry

The tuition fee for 2020 entry to our Foundation, BA and BSc, PGCE Primary and Secondary and undergraduate Health degrees is £9,250 per year for full-time UK, EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

For UK, EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students studying part-time, the tuition fee for 2020 entry to the above courses is £4,265 per year.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

Find out more about funding for Foundation or Placement Year by visiting the Funding Advice pages of our website.

International (non-EU) 2020 Entry

The tuition fee for 2020 entry to our Foundation, BA and BSc, PGCE Primary and Secondary and undergraduate Health degrees is £12,750 per year for international (non-EU) students.

Due to immigration laws, international students on a Tier 4 visa must be studying full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

More information about funding your studies is available on our International Fees and Funding page.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

Additional Costs and Financial Support

There may also be some additional costs to take into account throughout your studies, including the cost of accommodation.

Course-Related Costs

Whilst studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

Last updated Feb 2020

About the School

York St John University is an outstanding university, known for its academic excellence and responsive nature, always putting the student at the heart of everything it does.

York St John University is an outstanding university, known for its academic excellence and responsive nature, always putting the student at the heart of everything it does. Read less
York , London + 1 More Less