This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. To find out more see our Cookies Policy.
By using this site you agree to these cookies being set.
Biomedical Science BSc (Hons) - University of Sunderland

Course overview

92.5% of graduates are in employment or further study within six months of graduating in 2013/14 (source: Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education).

IBMS Institute of Biomedical Science logo‌‌‌You can use this course to work towards one of three possible degree titles:

  • BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science
  • BSc (Hons) Applied Biomedical Science
  • BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science (Life Sciences)

All three courses are accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS), the professional body for those who work within the field of biomedical science. BSc (Hons) Applied Biomedical Science and BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science (Life Sciences) courses are both approved by the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) and leads to eligibility to join the HCPC register as a Biomedical Scientist following graduation. All BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science courses fulfil the requirements of the NHS's Health Education England Healthcare Science Programme Board specification for the Practitioner Training Programme (PTP). The National School of Healthcare Sciences accredits our ‌‌Healthcare Science Professions Council HCPC L500‌‌

The course will build on your A Level knowledge of biology or chemistry to give you expertise in fields such as medical microbiology, immunology, haematology, pathophysiology and clinical biochemistry.

We encourage our students to undertake a year-long placement in industrial or research laboratories between the second and final years, although it is not compulsory.

The Guardian University Guide 2013 ranked Sunderland's department of Pharmacy, Health and Wellbeing as no.6 in the UK. In the most recent review by the Quality Assurance Agency, biology at Sunderland was awarded the highest possible score of 24 out of 24.

Staff members and students from BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science course talk about the content of the programme, the teaching and the opportunities for work placements:

Course content

BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science

Modules on this course include:

Year 1 (national level 4)

  • Analysis and Measurement (20 Credits)
  • Human Physiology (20 Credits)
  • Biological Chemistry (20 Credits)
  • Cell Science 1 (20 Credits)
  • Infection and Immunity 1 (20 Credits)
  • Clinical and Professional Skills (20 Credits)

Year 2 (national level 5)

  • Pathophysiology and Therapeutics (20 Credits)
  • Cell Science 2 (20 Credits)
  • Infection and Immunity 2 (20 Credits)
  • Blood Sciences (20 Credits)
  • Biosciences Dissertation (20 Credits)
  • Analytical Science (10 Credits)
  • Research Methods (10 Credits)

Optional sandwich year

  • 48 week industrial placement

Final Year (national level 6)


  • Biomedical Project (20 Credits)

Optional (select four):

  • Pathophysiology (20 Credits)
  • Cellular Pathology (20 Credits)
  • Clinical Biochemistry (20 Credits)
  • Molecular Pathology (20 Credits)
  • Haematology and Blood Transfusion (20 Credits)
  • Human Genetics and Genomics (20 Credits)
  • Immunology (20 Credits)
  • Medical Microbiology (20 Credits)

BSc (Hons) Applied Biomedical Science (4 years)

Same modules as BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences but with a 48-week clinical placement in NHS pathology department at the end of Year 2.

BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science

Modules on this course include:

Year 1 (national level 4)

Same core modules as BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences.

You will also undertake suitable unpaid work placements amounting to 10 weeks.

Year 2 (national level 5)

Same core modules as BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences, plus:

  • Work-based learning in Life Sciences - 15 week placement

Final Year (national level 6)


  • Research Project in Healthcare Science (30 Credits) 
  • Work-based learning in Life Sciences - 25 week placement (30 Credits) 

You will also undertake specific modules and placements that will determine the exact title of your degree:

  • BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science (Blood Science)
  • BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science (Cellular Science)
  • BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science (Infection Science)
  • BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science (Genetic Science)

Your degree title will depend on which of the following four options you choose:

Blood Science route:


  • Clinical Biochemistry (20 Credits) 
  • Immunology (20 Credits) 
  • Haematology and Blood Transfusion (20 Credits) 

Cellular Science route:


  • Cellular Pathology (20 Credits)
  • Molecular Pathology (20 Credits)

Optional (choose one):

  • Clinical Biochemistry (20 Credits)
  • Immunology (20 Credits)
  • Haematology and Blood Transfusion (20 Credits)
  • Human Genetics and Genomics (20 Credits)
  • Medical Microbiology (20 Credits)

Genetic Science route:


  • Molecular Pathology (20 Credits)
  • Human Genetics and Genomics (20 Credits)


  • Cellular Pathology (20 Credits)
  • Clinical Biochemistry (20 Credits)
  • Haematology and Blood Transfusion (20 Credits)
  • Immunology (20 Credits)
  • Medical Microbiology (20 Credits)

Infection Science route:


  • Molecular Pathology (20 Credits)
  • Immunology (20 Credits)
  • Medical Microbiology (20 Credits)

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods include lectures, practical work, seminars and other forms of group work. Assessment is by continuous assessment of coursework and by examinations, in a ratio of approximately 40% coursework to 60% examinations.

To find out more about modules, credits and how you will be assessed, please see the page how courses are taught. Information about our policies relating to student experience and quality assurance processes can be found on the Academic Services website.

Key Information Sets

All UK Universities and colleges display Key Information Sets (KIS) on their undergraduate courses. The KIS gives you a quick overview of some standard information about a course, and has a link to more detailed information on Unistats.

Facilities & location

This course is based in the Sciences Complex at our City Campus, which boasts excellent laboratories and cutting-edge equipment thanks to multi-million pound investments.

Point of Care Centre – University of Sunderland

We have recently opened a new point of care centre at the University. The centre comprises a multi-functional clinical facility which has been equipped with a large number of ‘state of the art’ point of care technologies such as ECG equipment, a cardiac scanner, portable desktop machines for spirometry and peak flow, portable patient monitoring (blood gases and biochemical analysis as well as audiological diagnostic systems. This facility is used in our teaching and also to educate health professionals as part of continuing professional development (CPD).

Simulation technology

You’ll have the opportunity to apply your training in a realistic setting with our two advanced simulation technology ‘SimMan’ models.

Each of our £57,000 SimMan mannequins has blood pressure, a pulse and other realistic physiological behaviour. The models can be pre-programmed with various medical scenarios, so you can demonstrate your pharmacological expertise in a realistic yet safe setting. Our academic team is also actively working with the SimMan manufacturers to develop new pharmacy simulations.

Watch 'SimMan' - a state-of-the-art piece of technology that provides Pharmacy and health programme students with the closest experience possible to a real-life scenario where they can practise outside of the real-world:

Facilities for Medicinal Chemistry

Our state-of-the-art spectroscopic facility allows us to investigate the structures of new molecules and potential medicinal substances. We are equipped with Liquid Chromatography-Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and Mass Spectroscopy (LCNMR/MS) platforms; this is an exceptional facility for a university. We also have low and high resolution mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance and elemental analysis equipment.

Our facilities allow you to gain hands-on experience of a wide range of analytical techniques such as atomic absorption spectroscopy and infra-red spectroscopy, which are of great importance in determining both ionic/metal content of pharmaceuticals and simple chemical structures. You will also gain experience of revolutionary protein and DNA separation techniques, as well as Ultra High Performance Liquid Chromatography and Gas Chromatography for separating unknown chemical mixtures.

Facilities for Pharmaceutics and Pharmacology

Our highly technical apparatus will help you gain a better understanding of the effects of drugs on specific receptors located throughout the human body and related physiological effects. 

We also have advanced simulation technology: ‘SimMan’ has blood pressure, has a pulse and is pre-programmed to react realistically to pharmacological stimuli. Our academic team is actively involved in the innovative programming that allows you to explore consequences of different medical scenarios within a safe, simulated environment. 

In addition to equipment for standard pharmacopoeial tests, such as dissolution testing, friability and disintegration, we also have highly sophisticated test methods. These include rheometry, thermal analysis (differential scanning calorimetry and hot stage microscopy), tests for powder flow, laser diffraction, photon correlation spectroscopy, image analysis and laser confocal microscopy.

We also have equipment for wet granulation, spray drying, capsule filling, tablet making, mixing inhalation, film coating and freeze drying.

University Library Services

We’ve got thousands of books and e-books on pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. We also subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to-date academic and industry articles.

Some of the most important sources for your studies include:

  • Embase, which is a complex database covering drug research, pharmacology, pharmaceutics, toxicology, clinical and experimental human medicine, health policy and management, public health, occupational health, environmental health, drug dependence and abuse, psychiatry, forensic medicine and biomedical engineering/instrumentation
  • PsycINF, which includes information about the psychological aspects of medicine, psychiatry, nursing, sociology, pharmacology and physiology
  • PubMed, which contains life science journals, online books and abstracts that cover fields such as medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine and health care
  • Science Direct, which offers more than 18,000 full-text journals published by Elsevier
  • Web of Science, which covers a broad range of science areas


Fleming Building

Sciences Complex, City Campus, Chester Road, Sunderland, SR1 3SD

Entry requirements

Our typical offer will be in the region of 112 points from a minimum of two A Levels or equivalent (for example 1 x AVCE double award) including biology or chemistry. Please note we do not accept General Studies AS or A Level.UCAS Tariff point system for 2017

We accept a maximum of 6 points from Level 3 Key Skills qualifications.

We also require three passes at GCSE grade C or above, which must include Mathematics and English Language, or a minimum of Level 2 Key Skills in Communication, Application of Number and Information Technology.

In order to undertake the work-based training you will need a satisfactory disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and a medical check and be subject to interview by the hospital work placement provider. This selection process will be undertaken during the first year of the course.

If English is your second language we require a minimum of IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent), however if you wish to take the Healthcare Science route you will need a score of 7.0.

Other acceptable qualifications

BTEC National: 112 points from a BTEC Certificate or Diploma.

Access Courses: We would require successful completion of an Access to Higher Education course that is accredited by the Quality Assurance Agency. We would also require a minimum of grade C in GCSE in Mathematics and English Language or the equivalent as part of your course.

Scottish Highers: Our typical offer is for 112points.

Irish Leaving Certificate: Our typical offer is for 112 points.

International qualifications: Please call the Student Helpline for advice on other acceptable qualifications. The number from outside the UK is +44 191 515 3000.

Any other qualifications: If you have any other qualifications not listed here, you may still be eligible. Please contact the Student Helpline for advice: 0191 515 3000.

Returners to Learning: If you are a mature student, you may benefit from our dedicated Returners to Learning Progression Scheme. For further information email or call the Student Helpline: 0191 515 3000.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

If you feel you already know some of the topics covered in this course, either due to previous learning or from experience of work, then you may not need to study all of the course.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) is the name given to the process of gaining credit towards a qualification because of something you have learnt in the past. If you are eligible for APL you won't have to learn the same topic again, and so you can be exempt from a module, set of modules or year of a course. 

Read more about APL in the Quality Handbook (.pdf). If you think you may be eligible for APL, please contact the course leader.

Fees & finance

The annual fee is:

  • £9,250 if you are from the UK
  • £10,750 if you are from outside the UK

Scholarships and bursaries may be available – please see Fees and Finance.

Employment & careers

Your career options will vary according to the title of your final degree.

BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences

Potential employers include the NHS, medical research institutions, clinical laboratories, drug companies and molecular biology companies. The optional 48-week paid placement after your second year is a great way to make contacts that can be valuable for future job offers.

BSc (Hons) Applied Biomedical Science

You will have completed a compulsory 48-week paid placement in NHS pathology departments, which are obvious sources of potential employment. Your experience and skills will also give you an edge in applying for any jobs where a strong science background is an advantage.

BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science (Blood Science / Cellular Science / Infection Science / Genetic Science)

If you switch to this degree you will be well-prepared to apply for roles as a healthcare scientist within the NHS. Our course provides significant amounts of work-based learning, with compulsory unpaid placements amounting to 10 weeks in Year 1, 15 weeks in Year 2 and 25 weeks in Year 3.

NHS salaries for staff working in healthcare science range from around £21,000 to around £80,000 per year. At entry level, the work involves obtaining diagnostic data from patients and working as part of a multidisciplinary team that also includes doctors, nurses and radiographers.

Student jobs, volunteering and paid projects (earn while you learn) 

Our Careers & Employability Service advertises a variety of opportunities to earn money while you study. 

Volunteering positions in local organisations, charities and community groups can help you to help other people while learning about your strengths and what you can offer. Past opportunities have included working with children and the elderly, conservation work and sporting activities. 

CES also advertises details of paid part-time and vacation work in areas from call centre and retail work through to telesales and marketing and promotion and more.

Opportunities to work with companies on flexible, paid, part-time projects in areas such as IT, design, law, media, HR and event management, to name a few, are available too. These projects are a great chance to gain valuable work experience.


The University of Sunderland is committed to ensuring that every student has an impressive range of opportunities to enhance their CV and gain valuable experience:

  • Work placements
  • Graduate internships
  • Studying abroad
  • Student Ambassador Scheme
  • Mentoring
  • Starting your own business
  • Student jobs and volunteering
  • Careers advice

For more information visit:

Annabelle Francois, Graduate in BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science, talks about her experience on the course and the positive sides of living in Sunderland:


Support for your learning

You can expect stimulating contact time that includes lectures, workshops, seminars and case studies. There is also a significant amount of time where you will be researching and studying on your own in preparation for assignments and seminars. If you have individual queries or difficulties within subject areas, you can book an appointment with your tutor to gain more in-depth support and guidance.

From the start of the course you will be allocated a Personal Tutor. You’ll meet your Tutor at agreed times throughout each year of the course. Personal Tutors encourage your personal development and are a useful point of contact for any queries about your course, extracurricular activities and issues where they can point you towards specialist services at the University. These include student counselling, financial advice and chaplaincy support.

Support for your development

To help ensure the course is meeting aspirations for personal development, we invite students to fill in questionnaires at the end of modules. This provides a structured way for you to keep us up-to-date with your views.

During your course, and particularly towards the end of it, we encourage you to make full use of the resources at our Careers & Employability Service. The Service helps you explore your options, clarify your ideas, develop a career focus and make effective applications.

Extracurricular activities

The University supports student-led initiatives that enhance the extracurricular activities available to you. Some of these are related to particular subjects while others allow you to pursue interests and social activities. It’s all part of the vibrant and life-changing atmosphere at the University of Sunderland.

For more information about all the support services you will have access to as a Sunderland student, please see Student support and guidance.

"I have had fantastic support from tutors at the University who are always happy to share knowledge."

Tolu Oyebanji

Tolu Oyebanji


"The decision to complete a year-long work placement in the third year of my degree at Sunderland is definitely one of the best I have made so far in my life.

"My work placement is at the microbiology department of Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead.

"My experience has provided an excellent insight into the workings of biomedical sciences and the role of pathology, especially microbiology, in the diagnosis of diseases and also their impact on patient care and treatment.

"I have had fantastic support both from tutors at the University and staff at the hospital where I work, who are always ready and happy to share their knowledge and skills with me and never tired of my inquisitiveness.

"A major plus is the fantastic opportunity that I was given to complete my final year biomedical project in the hospital – this meant working with real samples and dealing with live biomedical issues which has a direct relevance to a diagnostic method in my training department."

"This is a fantastic university, the modules are very relevant to working in a pathology lab."

Kate Mulholland

Kate Mulholland

Graduate, Working at Torbay Hospital

"This is a fantastic university, the modules included are very relevant to working in a pathology laboratory.

"I think that every student should go on a placement year, or have placements integrated in the course as it gives a real life aspect of what the job entails and whether it's a career that the student really wants to pursue.

"My placement year was very useful as it showed how much responsibility is involved with the work Biomedical Scientists do and how that responsibility changes the higher up the scale they go.

"It also gave me an edge when I was applying for jobs as I have had work experience, something that sets you apart from other graduates.

"Proof of this is that I have already got a job before I've even taken my exams, never mind graduated!"

Apply for this course

Interested in this course? Apply straight away through UCAS, or read our 7-step guide to applying to university.

Want to know more about this course or the University of Sunderland? Order a prospectus or come to our next Open Day to see the facilities and talk to academic staff:

    Next Open Day

  • Date: Saturday 12th November 2016
  • Time: 9:30am-4:00pm
  • Type: University Open Day
  • Location: Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's

Contact Sunderland

Contact the Student Helpline for further information about studying at the University of Sunderland:

Telephone: 0191 515 3000 

The details

Course Name Biomedical Science
Classification BSc (Hons)
Course Mode Full-time
Course Level Undergraduate
Duration 3 or 4 years
Study Location On-campus (Sunderland)
Starting 18 September 2017
UK/EU Fee £9,250
Intl Fee £10,750

Entry requirements

112 points

Related courses

If Biomedical Science BSc (Hons) isn't right for you, try these courses instead:

Search for something different?