biomedical science student collecting data in lab
Mode of Study
Full-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2019


As a biomedical scientist, you’ll be on the frontline of research into the causes and consequences of diseases of the human body and you'll contribute to diagnosis and management of these conditions.

This BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science degree course gives you the knowledge, skills and experience you need for a career in this essential scientific profession and the accreditation to pursue a career in NHS laboratory medicine.

Accredited by:

This degree is jointly accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science and the Royal Society of Biology.

The Royal Society of Biology accreditation allows you to apply for Associate membership and raise the profile of your qualification. To work in NHS laboratory medicine, you need an Institute of Biomedical Science accredited qualification.

92.9% Overall student satisfaction (NSS, 2018)

What you'll experience

On this degree course, you'll:

  • Find out about the systems of the human body and the diseases that affect them
  • Learn about the latest professional practice in pathological disciplines such as haematology and microbiology on one of our optional sandwich placements
  • Receive award-winning teaching from active researchers and experts who are at the top of their game
  • Get out of the classroom and put your knowledge to the test in our labs, which are kitted out with industry-leading microscopes, spectroscopy and chromatography equipment

You can also:

  • Join one of our internationally recognised research groups
  • Apply to the Erasmus+ exchange scheme, involving a summer research placement at a European university
In the final stage of your course, you’ll carry out a laboratory-based research project. You can complete this project at a partner university in Europe through the Erasmus+ exchange scheme.

Careers and opportunities

You'll graduate from this course as a scientist in training with transferable skills that give you many career options.

You can apply to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) to join the biomedical science register. This lets you practice as a qualified biomedical scientist when you graduate. You must have completed a period of work-based learning within one of our Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) approved clinical training laboratories to register.

You can also apply for Associate Membership of the Royal Society of Biology. This gives you access to professional networks and conferences.

Areas you could go onto after the course include:

  • scientific research
  • further study on an MSc or PhD programme
  • teaching
  • scientific writing and the media
  • pharmaceutics
  • instrumentation
  • further study at medical or dental school

Our Careers and Employability service gives you support and advice for up to 5 years after you graduate, to help you put your best foot forward after your studies.

The lecturers support you and encourage you to get involved with the endless opportunities available, so you can make the most of your student experience, while also gaining key transferable skills.

Laura Porcza, BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science

What you'll study on this BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science degree course

Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study units worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 units worth 20 credits and 1 unit worth 40 credits.

Units currently being studied

Core units in this year include:

  • Neuroscience and Pharmacology
  • Cells to Systems
  • Pathological Sciences 1
  • Case Discussions in Biomedical Science
  • Personal Development Planning 1
  • Laboratory Skills

There are no optional units in this year.

Core units in this year include:

  • Research Methods
  • Applied Human Physiology
  • Biomedical Toolbox
  • Scientific Basis of Disease
  • Pathological Sciences 2

Optional units in this year currently include:

  • Development: How Form and Function Changes
  • Language
  • Health Effects of Nutrition and Exercise
  • Protein Science
  • Business for Biosciences

On this course, you can do an optional work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in industry.

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Core units in this year include:

  • Integrated Pathology
  • Genetic Basis of Disease
  • Pathological Sciences 3
  • Research Project

Optional units in this year currently include:

  • Clinical Research in Integrated Medicine
  • Genes and Development
  • Work-Based Learning
  • Case Studies in Biomedical Research

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

Placement year

After your second year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in the industry.

If you do your placement in an approved NHS pathology laboratory, you can complete the Institute of Biomedical Science registration portfolio.

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.

We can help you identify placements, internships and voluntary roles that will complement your studies.

Learning support

As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a mental or physical disability, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) can give you help, support and advice so you can reach your potential.


Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • practical lab work
  • guided reading
  • collaborative and peer-assisted learning
  • simulation

Our academic staff have expertise in clinical practice and research, and we provide a student-centred approach to teaching, with all units fully supported by online lecture and study materials.

How you'll spend your time

Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:

  • September to December – teaching block 1
  • January – assessment period 1
  • January to mid-May – teaching block 2 (includes Easter break)
  • Mid-May to early June – assessment period 2

Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

There’s usually no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • essays
  • laboratory reports
  • workshops
  • presentations
  • group work
  • measures of practical competence

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year 1 students: 38% by written exams, 8% by practical exams and 54% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 63% by written exams, 7% by practical exams and 30% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 36% by written exams, 18% by practical exams and 46% by coursework

    Entry requirements​

    Entry Requirements

    • ABB-BCC from A levels, or equivalent, to include Biology plus a second Science subject or Mathematics.
    • For A levels which include a separate science practical component, a pass is desirable and may strengthen an application.

      See the other qualifications we accept

    ​Course costs

    Tuition fees (2019 start)

    • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
    • International students – £15,900 per year (subject to annual increase)

    Additional course costs

    These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

    Additional costs

    Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

    You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.

    You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

    We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

    If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

    You’ll get free safety equipment at the start of the course. However, you may have to pay a small amount to replace lost or damaged equipment.

    If you take optional work-based learning units, you’ll need to pay for travel to and from placements, which normally costs around £50.


    How to apply

    You need to apply for this course through UCAS. You’ll need:

    • the UCAS course code – B940
    • our institution code – P80

    You can start your application now and submit it later if you want.

    Not quite ready to apply?

    Come to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

    If you’re new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

    How to apply from outside the UK

    If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

    To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

    Admissions terms and conditions

    When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.