MSc Biomedical Science

Postgraduate, Full-time

Biomedical Science MSc



Our internationally recognised course will prepare you for a fulfilling career as a biomedical scientist

Overview

This course is designed to enable you pursue a career as a biomedical scientist in a variety of research, development and leadership roles.

You'll be supported by an internationally-recognised and highly active biomedicine science group with varied research interests and links with healthcare industries, research institutes and the NHS.

Student at work in a laboratory

Mode of Study:

Full-time (available as Part-time)

Duration:

1 year

Start date:

SepJan


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Course details

During your study, you will develop a detailed knowledge of key concepts in immunology, toxicology, pharmacology and disease biology and learn how these disciplines are applied in biomedical science.

You’ll gain critical understanding of specialist research areas and unique insights into the challenges currently facing biomedical science. 

You’ll also acquire an in-depth appreciation of research and development practices in the healthcare industries through guest lectures and site visits to specialised laboratories. These experiences will allow you to explore and critique issues of relevance to professional working practice, enhancing your skills in evidence-based decision making.

There is an emphasis on developing your practical laboratory skills with various opportunities for hands-on experience in a range of current techniques and practices. 

In your final trimester you’ll undertake an independent project within a vibrant biomedical research team, allowing you to apply and further develop your technical, research and professional skills. There may be the opportunity to conduct your research project externally in a relevant organisation or industry.

You’ll also develop key skills including communication, problem solving, team work, project management, and leadership.

  • calendar How you’ll be taught

    This is a full-time course  and is split up into three trimesters. You can choose to start in either January or September.

    Duration:

    • September starts: 12 months
    • January starts: 18 months with a three-month break over the summer (after the first taught trimester)

    You’ll learn through interactive lectures, workshops, tutorials and laboratory sessions, and by engaging with guided independent study. Site visits and/or guest lectures may also be arranged. A variety of assessment tools are used to enhance and evaluate your learning.

  • note and pen Assessments

    Your assessments are mapped out across your programme and include formative work to help practice your skills, as well as summative work which will build on this preparatory work. 

    These are carefully spaced out across each trimester to avoid clashes and include many different types of assessment such as essays, lab reports, posters, oral presentations, short discussions, class tests and exams. Some of these assessments involve group-work, whilst others are individual.

    For example: In the Advanced Immunology module, you will undertake a group poster assessment, and a class test. In the Biology of Disease and Therapeutics module, you will undertake a data handling exercise, a case study analysis and an oral presentation.

  • library Facilities

    The MSc Biomedical Science programme is delivered at our landmark Sighthill Campus where students learn in state of the art laboratories equipped with, for example, cell tissue culture hoods; confocal microscopy; molecular biology; flow cytometry and histology equipment, to ensure we meet the needs of students entering employment and research roles in the biomedical science sector.

Modules

Modules that you will study* as part of this course

Advanced Immunology ( BMS11100 )

In this module you will gain a comprehensive and detailed understanding of the cells, molecules and functions of the human immune system. You will learn about the role of the immune system in diseases such as autoimmune disorders and allergy. You will also learn about immunotechnology aspects including blood typing, transplantation, monoclonal antibodies and vaccines, illustrating the value of immunology in diagnosis and therapeutics.

The innate and adaptive immune responses; the cellular and molecular components of the immune system; inflammation and vaccine adjuvants; role of dendritic cells and pattern recognition receptors (PRRs); antigen processing and presentation; role of B and T cells in immune responses; immunological techniques e.g. flow cytometry and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA); immune tolerance and autoimmune disease; transplantation; tumour immunology; hypersensitivity; Monoclonal antibodies and therapeutics.

Further information

Biology of Disease and Therapeutics ( BMS11101 )

Concepts of health and illness. Disease classification. Tissue responses to damage, acute and chronic inflammation. The principles and current developments in the pathogenesis, investigation and treatment of diseases, exemplified from the molecular level through to system level. Case studies of conditions such as cancer, endocrine disorders, cardiovascular disease, haematological disease; their causes, pathologies, the role of the diagnostic laboratory in diagnosis and the basis of treatments currently available. The advantages and disadvantages of current investigative procedures and treatments are discussed, and the role of lifestyle as a contributing factor in disease development is evaluated.

Further information

Drug Design and Chemotherapy ( BMS11105 )

Emphasis on: molecular targets in cancer: characterisation and structure of biological targets (genes; enzymes; receptors; nucleic acids). Design, synthesis and mechanism of action of inhibitors of telomerase, the G-quadruplex, DNA-topoisomerases, matrix metalloproteinases. Targeted therapies, drug delivery mechanisms, design of prodrugs; macromolecular prodrugs and nanoconjugates. Synthetic oligonucleotides, PNAs, DNA-and RNA-binding ligands: design and applications. Synthesis and development of non-nucleoside antiviral agents: HIV integrase inhibitors, protease inhibitors. Peptoids and peptide mimics. Mechanisms of intrinsic and acquired drug resistance and MDR. Contemporary drug design to combat resistant bacterial and protozoal infections.
Laboratory work in selected drug synthesis, methods of purification and characterisation; solution and solid- phase combinatorial peptide methodology and biological (including enzyme) assays; molecular graphics.

Further information

Molecular Pathogenesis of Microbial Infection ( MIC11100 )

The host response to microbial infection: innate and acquired immune response to infection; Invasion & colonisation of the host: molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis; Virulence factors involved in adhesion, invasion and colonisation; molecular structure and genetic regulation. Overcoming antimicrobial resistance: antibiotics/antivirals/antifungals and resistance; bacterial physiology and novel therapeutics.

Further information

Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology ( BMS11110 )

The module will provide you with an introduction to the major aspects of the scientific study of drugs in man, not just with respect to the design of optimum drug therapy, but also looking at the differences between pharmacology and toxicology. You will learn about how drugs work, their limitations, and the variability of response. You will study how cells transduce messages from the plasma membrane into the cell and nucleus. You will learn about how the body’s endogenous signalling system works and how this informs drug development. This includes the basic principles of receptor theory, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and their relevance to establishing the theoretical and practical basis for the rational clinical application of drugs. You will also examine the cellular and molecular mechanisms of toxicology.

This includes the basic principles of toxicokinetics (absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion), and the factors affecting each. You will examine the cellular and molecular mechanisms of xenobiotic toxicity, together with toxicity testing in the pharmaceutical industry. You will gain an insight into how intracellular signalling mechanisms can be manipulated, resulting in new research methodology. You will also engage with the literature surrounding molecular pharmacology and toxicology in order to understand recent developments in research in this area.

You will cover the concept of ion channels and G protein-coupled receptors, intracellular kinase cascades, calcium signalling and linked control of transcription factors. Manipulation of signalling cascades in therapeutics and research. Basic principles of receptor theory, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and rational drug design. Introduction to toxicology. Toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics. Detailed descriptions of specific toxicant and pharmacological examples. In vitro and in vivo models of toxicity. Mechanisms of xenobiotic toxicity and toxicity testing.

Further information

Research Project ( BMS11102 )

On-line literature searches. Literature review. Project formulation. Hypothesis generation. Experimental design. Development of practical skills/research technique. Data generation/collection and analysis. Use of appropriate statistical analysis. Evaluation of findings, critical analysis and conclusions, with reference to supporting literature. Communication of original research results in a report written in the style of a scientific paper.


Further information

Research Skills ( MIC11107 )

DNA purification, restriction and quantification; Cloning – vectors, ligation, screening and analysis of clones; Gene expression and protein purification; Protein analysis – quantification, detection and mass spectrometry; Principles of nucleic acid hybridisation and DNA synthesis to applications in PCR, sequencing microarrays and gene silencing techniques (RNA interference); In silico analysis and manipulation of RNA, DNA and protein sequence information (bioinformatics); “-omics” – comparative and functional genomics, proteomics.

Further information

* These are indicative only and reflect the course structure in the current academic year. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for this course is a Bachelor (Honours) Degree at a 2:2 or above, or equivalent. 

We look for applicants to have a background in bio-molecular sciences, such as: biology, biomedical science, molecular biology, immunology, genetics, virology or pharmacy in order to be eligible for the programme.

We may also consider lesser qualifications if you have sufficient relevant work experience gained in the pharmaceutical or healthcare industries, or as a medical laboratory scientific officer.

English language requirements 

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test and our minimum English language requirements will apply.

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English, or your undergraduate degree was taught and examined in English (within two years of starting your postgraduate course). Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.

International students

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
Entry requirements by country

Please note that non-EU international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:
  • BN Nursing/MN Nursing (Adult, Child, Mental Health or Learning Disability)
  • BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery

Admissions policies

We’re committed to admitting students who have the potential to succeed and benefit from our programmes of study. 

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures, and how we use the information you provide us in your application to inform the decisions we make.

Undergraduate admissions policies
Postgraduate admissions policies

Fees & funding

The course fees you'll pay and the funding available to you will depend on a number of factors including your nationality, location, personal circumstances and the course you are studying. We also have a number of bursaries and scholarships available to our students.

Tuition fees
Students from 2018/19 2019/20
Home/EU Stage 1 £2,660 tba
Home/EU Stage 2 £3,190 tba
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Home EU - Total Fee £5,850 tba
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Stage 1 £6,800 tba
Stage 2 £8,350 tba
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Overseas - Total Fee £15,150 tba
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Frequently Asked Questions about Fees
Information of Bursaries and Scholarships

Careers

  • Employment in hospitals, NHS, local government or health and safety divisions in various roles including research, Research & Development (R&D), management and consultancy.
  • Employment in industrial settings from smaller medical biotechnology enterprises to global pharmaceutical companies.
  • Progression to PhD to follow an academic career.
  • If you currently work in the biomedical sector, this programme will enhance your prospects for career progression.
Lab flasks with coloured liquid

I was thoroughly impressed by the emphasis that is placed on training students for entering the working environment.…a good progression in my studies.

Masters graduate

MSc Biomedical Science