Biomedical Science

Biomedical Science - BSc (Hons)

Our degrees are accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) and the Royal Society of Biology (RSB). The course is informed by our cutting-edge research and extensive network of clinical collaborations. Our Biomedical Science degree prepares you for a career focused on human disease, whether it is in research, diagnostics or treatment.

Our modules include guest lecturers who are practicing Biomedical Scientists and clinicians to help put your learning into context and provide networking opportunities. Upon graduation you will have acquired the practical experience, scientific knowledge and transferable skills to be highly competitive for a wide range of jobs including the health service, pharmaceutical industry, postgraduate study and medicine. You will benefit from our expert careers advice to give you the best possible start when deciding on your future career.

Overview

Our degree programme

During your studies you explore the biochemical processes that occur in the human body, learn how they respond to diseases and how this knowledge can be used to identify and treat diseases. In your future career, this scientific knowledge could be put to practical use within medical healthcare.

In your first and second years, you develop your skills as a bioscientist, covering areas including biological chemistry, genetics, molecular and cellular biology, human physiology and disease, and metabolism.

In your final year, your modules cover areas such as immunology, haematology and blood transfusion, and pathogens. Optional modules cover areas including the biology of ageing, neuroscience and cancer biology.

You also complete your own research project. Our research funding of around £4.5 million a year means that you are taught the most up-to-date science and this allows us to offer some exciting and relevant final-year projects.

We also offer between 20 and 30 paid Summer Studentships each year. You can apply to work in our research labs during the summer holiday and gain hands-on research experience before your final year of study.

By undertaking an accredited course, you will receive a wide-ranging, research informed scientific education and develop practical skills and experience that employers value.

Biomedical Science student Timo talks about his course at the University of Kent.

Our facilities

We recently spent £2 million on our laboratories to ensure that you develop your practical skills in a world-class environment, getting hands on time with equipment used in industry. We give you extensive practical training and you spend up to two days a week in the laboratory.

Sandwich year

You can choose to take a work placement as part of your degree - see Biomedical Science with a Sandwich Year. This is a great way to boost your employability prospects by putting your learning into practice and making contacts in industry.

Year abroad

You can choose to work or study abroad for a year. You are taught in English and previous destinations include universities in the US, Canada, Europe, Hong Kong and Malaysia. For more details, see Biomedical Science with a Year Abroad.

Extra activities

We have a huge range of student societies at Kent, including BioSoc, where you meet other people, indulge your passion and learn extra-curricular skills. Our societies run social events as well as industry and research talks. Find out more about the wider experience for Biomedical science students at Kent.

The world of work

Our school collaborates with research groups in industry and academia throughout the UK and Europe. It also has excellent links with local employers, such as:

  • NHS
  • GSK
  • MedImmune
  • Eli Lilly
  • Lonza
  • Aesica Pharmaceuticals
  • Sekisui Diagnostics
  • Cairn Research
  • Public Health England.

Flexible tariff

You are more than your grades

At Kent we look at your circumstances as a whole before deciding whether to make you an offer to study here. Find out more about how we offer flexibility and support before and during your degree.

Entry requirements

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications, typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact the Admissions Office for further advice. It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

  • medal-empty

    A level

    BBC including Biology or Human Biology grade B or Double Award Applied Science at grade BB including the practical endorsement of any science qualifications taken.

  • medal-empty GCSE

    Mathematics grade C

  • medal-empty Access to HE Diploma

    The University of Kent will not necessarily make conditional offers to all access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. If an offer is made candidates will be required to pass the Access to Higher Education Diploma with 36 level 3 credits at distinction and 9 at merit, and to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits in particular subjects at distinction or merit grade.

  • medal-empty BTEC Nationals

    Distinction, Distinction, Merit in Applied Science or Biomedical Science. Please contact us for advice if you are taking a different BTEC subject.

  • medal-empty International Baccalaureate

    34 points overall or 15 points at HL including Biology 5 at HL or 6 at SL and Mathematics 4 at HL or SL

  • medal-empty International Foundation Programme

    Pass all components of the University of Kent International Foundation Programme with a 60% overall average including 60% in Skills for Bioscientists, Fundamentals of Human Biology and Life Sciences (plus 50% in LZ013 Maths and Statistics if you do not hold GCSE Maths at 4/C or equivalent).

Please contact the School for more information at study-bio@kent.ac.uk.

International students should visit our International Student website for further specific information. International fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot study part-time due to visa restrictions.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

If you need to improve your English language standard as a condition of your offer, you can attend one of our pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes before starting your degree programme. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.

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Course structure

Duration: 3 years full-time

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  

On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘elective’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

Fees

The 2021/22 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

  • Home full-time £9250
  • EU full-time £15400
  • International full-time £20500

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* 

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Additional costs

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Funding

University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

Scholarships

General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. 

The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of A*AA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.

We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

Search scholarships

Teaching and assessment

You will be taught in a range of ways including lectures, workshops, problem-solving sessions and tutorials as well as learning and practising skills in our world-class labs, where you’ll have hands on time with equipment used in industry.

You have an Academic Adviser to support your studies and ensure that you reach your full potential, as well as access to our in-house and University wide student support teams and peer mentoring scheme.

For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours. 

Most modules are assessed by a combination of continuous assessment and end-of-year exams. Exams take place at the end of the academic year and count for 50% or more of the module mark. Stage 1 assessments do not contribute to the final degree classification, but all stage 2 and 3 assessments do, meaning that your final degree award is an average of many different components. On average, 26% of your time is spent in an activity led by an academic; the rest of your time is for independent study.

Contact hours

For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours.  The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • instil a sense of enthusiasm for biomedical science, confront the scientific, moral plus ethical questions and engage in critical assessment of the subject material covered
  • offer an understanding of scientific investigation of human health and disease
  • provide a stimulating, research-active environment in which students are supported and motivated to achieve their academic and personal potential
  • educate students in the theoretical and practical aspects of biomedical science
  • facilitate the learning experience through a variety of teaching and assessment methods
  • give students the experience of undertaking an independent research project
  • prepare students for further study, or training, and employment in science and non-science based careers, by developing transferable and cognitive skills
  • develop the qualities needed for employment in situations requiring the exercise of professionalism, independent thought, personal responsibility and decision making in complex and unpredictable circumstances
  • provide access to as wide a range of students as practicable.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the structure, function and control of the human body
  • the main metabolic pathways used in biological systems in catabolism and anabolism, understanding biological reactions in chemical terms
  • the variety of mechanisms by which metabolic pathways can be controlled and the way that they can be co-ordinated with changes in the physiological environment
  • the genetic organisation of various types of organism and the way in which genes can be expressed and their expression controlled
  • molecular genetic techniques and the causes and consequences of alterations of genetic material
  • the structure and function of the main classes of macromolecules such as DNA, RNA, proteins, lipids and polysaccharides
  • the immune response in health and disease
  • the structure, physiology, biochemistry, classification and control of microorganisms
  • the main principles of cell and molecular biology, biochemistry and microbiology
  • the microscopic examination of cells (cytology) and tissues (histology) for indicators of disease
  • the qualitative and quantitative evaluation of analytes to aid the diagnosis, screening and monitoring of health and disease (clinical biochemistry)
  • immunological disease/disorders
  • the different elements that constitute blood in normal and diseased states (haematology)
  • the identification of blood group antigens and antibodies (immunohaematology and transfusion science)
  • pathogenic microorganisms
  • the main methods for communicating information on biomedical sciences.

Intellectual skills

You gain the following intellectual abilities:

  • to understand the scope of teaching methods and study skills relevant to the biomedical science degree programme
  • the ability to understand the concepts and principles in outcomes, recognising and applying biomedical specific theories, paradigms, concepts or principles. For example, the relationship between biochemical activity and disease
  • the skills for analysis, synthesis, summary and presentation of biomedical information
  • to demonstrate competence in solving extended biomedical problems involving advanced data manipulation and comprehension
  • integrate scientific evidence, to formulate and test hypotheses
  • structure, develop and defend complex scientific arguments by understanding and applying your knowledge base
  • the ability to plan, execute and interpret the data from a short research project
  • recognise the moral and ethical issues of biomedical investigations and appreciate the need for ethical standards and professional codes of conduct.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in the following:

  • to handle, biological material and chemicals in a safe way, thus being able to assess any potential hazards associated with biomedical experimentation
  • perform risk assessments prior to the execution of an experimental protocol
  • to use basic and advanced experimental equipment in executing the core practical techniques used by biomedical scientists
  • to find information on biomedical topics from a wide range of information resources and maintain an effective information retrieval strategy
  • to plan, execute and assess the results from experiments
  • to identify the best method for presenting and reporting on biomedical investigations using written, data manipulation/presentation and computer skills
  • awareness of the employment opportunities for biomedical graduates.

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in the following:

  • the ability to receive and respond to a variety of sources of information
  • communicate effectively to a variety of audiences using a range of formats and approaches
  • problem solve by a variety of methods, especially numerical, including the use of computers
  • the ability to use the internet and other electronic sources critically as a means of communication and as a source of information
  • interpersonal and teamwork skills that allow you to identify individual and collective goals, and recognise and respect the views and opinions of others
  • self-management and organisational skills
  • awareness of information sources for assessing and planning future career development
  • the ability to function effectively in a working environment.

Independent rankings

Biological Sciences at Kent was ranked 24th out of 103 institutions in The Complete University Guide 2021. It was also ranked 5th for graduate prospects.

Careers

We are committed to helping you to make the best possible start in your career. As well as learning in industry standard labs, what you’re taught is shaped by our cutting-edge research, meaning our degrees are modern, up-to-date and show you the real-world impact of biomedical science.

Career-enhancing skills:

You graduate with an excellent grounding in scientific knowledge and extensive laboratory experience. In addition, you also develop the key transferable skills sought by employers, such as:

  • excellent communication skills
  • teamwork
  • the ability to analyse problems
  • time management.

You can also gain new skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.

Specialist support:

We have a dedicated employability and placements team who as well as helping you to secure a placement, are on-hand with specialist careers advice and guidance. We also arrange talks with industry and have a vibrant alumni community who give talks about the world of work and can help with support and guidance.

The University also has a friendly Careers and Employability Service, which can give you advice on how to:

  • apply for jobs
  • write a good CV 
  • perform well in interviews.

Graduate destinations

Our recent graduates have gone on to careers including: 

  • healthcare in the NHS
  • medical research based in academic, government, industrial and medical labs
  • biotechnology
  • teaching
  • industry and commerce
  • scientific publishing
  • marketing
  • information technology. 

Hear from one of our recent graduates,Bal Sandher, who is now managing director of Hectic Lifestyles Limited, a nutritional and sports supplements manufacturer.

Professional recognition

Our Biomedical Science degree programme is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) and the Royal Society of Biology (RSB). For future employers, this accreditation helps to demonstrate a wide-ranging scientific education with practical skills and experience.

Applications

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2021/22 academic year. Please visit the 2022 entry course pages.

Contact us

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International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254
E: internationalstudent@kent.ac.uk

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School website

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