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Biomedical Science

Biomedical Science is at the heart of modern medicine. This degree will give you a deep understanding of the science behind human health, while its professional accreditation will enhance your employability.

Next Start Date: September

Degree type: BSc (Hons)

UCAS Code: B901 BSc/BS4

Duration: 4 years (full-time)


Why choose this course?  

  • It is taught by a combination of academic experts and clinical professionals.
  • It is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS), and the Applied degree route is also 'Approved' by the Health & Care Professional Council (HCPC).
  • The Applied route additionally provides an 18-week clinical laboratory placement in Year 3 of the programme, and allows you to apply for Registration with the Health Professions Council (HCPC) as soon as you gain your BMS degree*.
  • The standard route provides you with a broad education and training in bioscience relevant to medicine. 
  • Standard route graduates who gain employment in the NHS as Trainee Biomedical Scientists may apply for HCPC Registration following 12-24 months of training.

*Around 10-15 placements are normally expected to be available per year. Note that, where applicants for the Applied route exceed available places, entry will be competitive, based upon a selection process during year 2 that will normally comprise an interview and consideration of academic performance in year 2.

Biomedical Science (BMS) is a highly exciting, fast-paced discipline that will give you a deep understanding of the science behind human health and disease.  A key feature of our degree is the extensive training in laboratory-based skills provided in all four years of your studies.  After following a common pathway for two years, you will take either the 'Standard' or the 'Applied' programme route.  The Applied route includes a placement, and is particularly relevant for those aspiring to the role of Biomedical Scientist in the NHS.  Both routes are professionally accredited.

It is important to not that the degree award title for the Standard route is BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science; for the Applied route, the degree award title is BSc (Hons) Applied Biomedical Science. 


The course is currently accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS); the Applied degree route is also 'Approved' by the Health & Care Professional Council (HCPC).


What you study

What you study
You will study the human body at several levels, in the context of both normal functioning and disease.  Diagnostic and treatment aspects are emphasised, particularly in the more advanced stages of the course.  All relevant aspects of human biology are covered.

There are practical training runs throughout all four years.  Our focused curriculum has a strong research emphasis and will equip you with valuable skills to offer prospective employers.

For those taking the Applied route, the clinical placement provides a unique training and educational experience in the setting of a modern hospital laboratory. 

For more information on the course content, download the Programme information - BSc with Honours in Biomedical Science

How you learn and are assessed
Learning is facilitated by a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and practicals.  Enquiry-based learning (EBL) and problem-based learning (PBL) approaches are used at appropriate points in the curriculum.

Assessment is by a combination of coursework assignments, class tests, presentations and examinations.  Averaged across the 4 years of the programme, 22% of the assessment is by examination. 

Entry routes

Minimum Entrance Requirements

English and Maths: 
All applicants must have passes in English and Maths in one of the following: National 5 grade C or GCSE grade C/4

 BBBB  Essential subjects:  Biology or Human Biology at Higher and Chemistry at National 5 Level or better
A Level CCC  Essential subjects:  Biology or Human Biology at A Level and either Chemistry, Combined Science, Additional Science or Further Science at GCSE Level C or better
Irish Highers H3H3H3H3  Essential subjects:  Biology and Irish Ordinary Chemistry at C or better
BTEC Extended Diploma MMM Applied Science or Applied Science (Forensic Science) or Applied Science (Medical Science)
International Baccalaureate 28 Points to include Biology at S5 or H4 and Chemistry in Middle Year programme at 4 or better
AHEAD - successful completion of the relevant stream of our AHEAD programme
SWAP - our Coming from College pages list approved SWAP courses 

Advanced Higher: BBB (to include Biology and Chemistry)
A Level: BBB (to include Biology and Chemistry)
BTEC Extended Diploma: DDD Applied Science (Medical Science)
HNC/HND - our Coming from College pages list approved HNC/HND courses

YEAR 3 (standard route only):
 - our Coming from College pages list approved HND courses

Not sure if you are eligible for entry?

If you have the potential and motivation to study at university, regardless of your background or personal circumstances, we welcome your application.

We know that some people have faced extra challenges before applying to university and that is why we consider the background in which your academic grades have been achieved when making an offer. 

If you expect to receive passes in 3 Scottish Highers (grades A-C) and have:

  • been in care, or
  • participated in a targeted aspiration-raising programme such as LIFT OFF, LEAPS, FOCUS West, or Aspire North
  • no family background of going to university, or
  • live in an area, or attend a school, where not many people go to university.

We encourage you to submit an application.

Non-Academic Requirements

HCPC Registration
Once you graduate, your HCPC registration will require a disclosure check and 'fitness to practice'. You will therefore be required to undergo a disclosure check before being registered for this programme.

International Applicants
You must provide certified proof of your English language level (minimum requirements are listed here).  Our British Council accredited International English Foundation Course can help you reach that level or if you would like further develop your academic English, Intensive English for Academic Purposes can help you achieve your full potential.

EU applicants:  Entry requirements can be found on our Europe pages.  Overseas (non-EU) applicants:  We're currently developing your country pages, so please email us details of your entry requirements.

Alternative Entrance Requirements
Please email us if you have other qualifications/experience not listed here.

Fees and scholarships

Fee Category Tuition Fees
Scholarships & Bursaries
Scottish and other EU students

Current fees

Other forms of support
English, Welsh and Northern Irish

Current fees

Bursaries & Scholarships
Overseas (non EU) students

Current fees

Overseas Scholarships

Fees shown are payable annually, and may be subject to increase each year.

Additional costs
Students must purchase a laboratory coat (cost around £15) and a laboratory notebook.

Further info

Career prospects
Professional accreditation allows graduates to apply for HCPC registration and means our graduates are able to apply for employment as Biomedical Scientists/Trainee Biomedical Scientists within the NHS.  Such posts are only open to those with an accredited Honours degree in Biomedical Science.  Approximately 60% of our past graduates have taken the Biomedical Scientist career path where, after gaining the Specialist Skills Diploma, would be eligible for promotion to Specialist Biomedical Scientist, and, with further progression, you could ultimately attain a Specialised Consultant post.

The NHS needs to appoint more Biomedical Scientists due to an ageing workforce, coupled with increasing demand for diagnostic tests.  Nevertheless, competition for available posts is likely to be intense, particularly in light of the current financial situation affecting the NHS.  However, the Abertay degree is designed to equip its graduates with the knowledge and skills to enter various alternative bioscience-based careers, including scientific work in university and commercial laboratories.  Several past graduates have opted for other biology careers such as school teaching, or gone on to further study.

Industry links
The programme has very strong links with local industry; in particular with hospital laboratories in Dundee, Perth and Fife. 

Want to know more?
Student Recruitment Office
T:  +44 (0) 1382 308080
F:  +44 (0) 1382 308081


Download our Biomedical Science Infographic

"The course gave me the opportunity to go on NHS laboratory placements, complete my registration portfolio and graduate as a registered Biomedical Scientist, giving me an edge in the job market."

Mohajeet Bhukory

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