Biomedical Sciences education to equip students to work as a Biomedical Scientist in a health service laboratory, 4 years full time.


BSc Hons Biomedical Science with Diploma in Professional Practice (DPP) (Pathology) 4 years full time. In order to attain their DPP (Pathology) and meet the needs for professional registration as a Biomedical Scientist, students undertake a clinical placement in a health service laboratory.

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Coleraine campus

Our coastal and riverside campus with a primary academic focus on science and health

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About this course

In this section


Biomedical science is concerned with understanding how diseases develop and how they may affect the normal functioning of the body. The aim of the discipline is the investigation of the disease process and, ultimately, the development of methods for monitoring, diagnosing, treating and preventing disease.

Competencies in both personal and interpersonal skills have been given priority in the design of the course content, together with a firm knowledge and understanding of science. The excellent reputation of the course has meant that graduates have been extremely successful in finding high-level career employment and are readily accepted for higher degree programmes at the world’s greatest universities.

Unlike the other biomedical sciences courses at Ulster, this course specifically trains graduates to work as a clinical biomedical/healthcare scientists in the hospital sector.

Associate awards

Diploma in Professional Practice Pathology DPP

Find out more about placement awards


Full-time, 4 years

Start dates

  • September 2018
How to apply


Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

In this section

Year one


Year: 1

This module is designed to introduce students to the fundamental biochemical pathways, an understanding of which are necessary for the further study of life and health sciences. The structure, function and metabolism of biological macromolecules and the regulation of the pathways involved in their metabolism are discussed in detail

Human Physiology & Anatomy

Year: 1

This module provides an introduction to the study of human physiology and anatomy to underpin further study of the pathophysiology in health and disease.

Medical Cell Biology

Year: 1

This module will enable students to develop an understanding of the cellular basis of life and the relevance of studies of cell structure and function at the molecular level to human disease. In addition, it will provide a foundation for further studies in genetics, microbiology, histology and biochemistry.

Chemistry in Practice

Year: 1

This module introduces general descriptive, physical, organic and inorganic chemistry and the principles underlying chemical properties and reactions of simple organic and inorganic compounds with applications to pharmacology.

Practical and Laboratory Skills

Year: 1

This module aims to provide students with the basic skills and techniques required to work safely in a laboratory setting, which underpins further study and practice in the life and health sciences.

Scientific Communication and Statistics

Year: 1

This module will introduce students to biomedical science as a science discipline and as a profession, as well as educating students about key transferable scientific skills, including communication, IT, research, critical analysis and statistical analysis.


Year: 1

An introduction to the basic statistical methods essential to scientific analysis and the use of

selective software packages for the analysis and presentation of data. Teaching includes lectures and computer laboratory classes.

Year two

Cellular Pathology

Year: 2

This module provides a foundation in Cellular Pathology encompassing core aspects of professional practice from gross specimen to slide, and microscopic examination of normal and abnormal tissues (histopathology) and cells (cytopathology) for structural changes and indicators of disease.

Haematology and transfusion science

Year: 2

This module provides a comprehensive overview of key concepts in haematology and transfusion science, with emphasis on their relevance in health and disease, as well as an appreciation of the application of these concepts in clinical practice. It provides the student with the appropriate knowledge and intellectual skills necessary to work in a routine or research laboratory setting and underpin further study in the biomedical sciences.

Clinical biochemistry

Year: 2

This module is designed to provide an understanding in clinical biochemistry sufficient to underpin further study in the biomedical sciences.

Biomedical professional practice

Year: 2

This module introduces core principles of professional practice in Biomedical Science sufficient to underpin further study.

Applied Genetics

Year: 2

This module considers genetic defects that contribute to human disease with study of recombinant DNA techniques, human inheritance, chromosomal aberrancies and inborn errors of metabolism, carcinogenesis and ageing. Practical experience of contemporary molecular biological techniques is also provided. Advances in molecular genetics and the human genome project are also discussed and provide an appreciation of the potential for improved diagnostics and therapeutics


Year: 2

This module provides insight into the major historical events, discoveries, disciplines, activities and relevance of microorganisms to the different areas of human activity. A major goal is to provide a foundation for understanding and learning microbiology as a biological science and its relation to our public health and the environment.


Year: 2

This module is designed to provide understanding of key concepts in pathology sufficient to underpin further study in the biomedical sciences


Year: 2

This module is designed to provide students with an understanding of the key concepts in immunology sufficient to underpin further study in the biomedical sciences

Year three

Placement: Diploma in Professional Practice (Pathology)

Year: 3

A 48 week Clinical placement in year 3 of the programme in an approved NHS Pathology or Agency laboratory, providing the learner with training and support to facilitate successful completion of the registration portfolio. Learners will be eligible to apply for HCPC registration as a Biomedical Scientist and licentiate membership of the IBMS, following successful completion of the IBMS Certificate of Competence portfolio and the degree programme.

Year four

Investigative project

Year: 4

This Investigative Project is an independent piece of work completed by the student, designed to develop key research and transferable skills in a discipline relevant to biomedical sciences/biosciences.

Clinical & Molecular Genetics

Year: 4

The module considers in depth, key areas of genetics and introduces specialised topics based on recent advances and current considerations in the human and molecular genetics field. The application of available genomic/SNP data towards stratified and personalised medicine will be discussed.

Biology of disease 1 - Infection and immunity

Year: 4

This module provides a detailed insight into the interaction between a microbial pathogen and its human host. The interaction between micro-organisms and the immune defence mechanism is highlighted. Consideration is also given to the use of vaccines and chemotherapy to avoid and eliminate infection. The module is taught by a combination of lectures and seminars with online supplementary materials where appropriate

Molecular pathology

Year: 4

This module presents an in-depth consideration of the pathology, cellular and molecular biology of the major non-infectious diseases of humans. The module enables students to integrate practical and theoretical information gained in earlier modules. Current and emerging strategies in disease diagnosis, treatment and monitoring are also discussed, which will underpin further study in Biomedical Sciences.

Pharmacology and Evidence-Based Practice

Year: 4

This module provides an understanding of applied and systems pharmacology of direct relevance to diverse clinical, industrial, and research careers, with an emphasis on development and application of advanced knowledge and skills, including utilization of evidence-based practice approach.

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

A level

Grades BBB (including 2 science subjects – 2 from Group A OR 1 from Group A and 1 from Group B.

Group A – Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Biology or Home Economics, of which Chemistry is preferred

Group B – PE, Geography, ICT, Applied Science, Environmental Technology, Life & Health Science

Applied Science Double Award is also acceptable as 2 science subjects

Provided the above subject requirements are met you can substitute a combination of alternative qualifications recognised by the University for one of the A level grades.


Pass overall BTEC Extended Diploma with DDM to include at least 9 distinctions (BTEC should be science-based).

Irish Leaving Certificate

Grades H3, H3, H3, H3, H3 to include 2 science subjects (2 from Group A OR 1 from Group A and 1 from Group B).

Group A – Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Biology or Home Economics, of which Chemistry is preferred

Group B – PE, Geography, IT

Applicants are also required to have Irish Leaving Certificate Higher Level English and Maths grade H6 or above OR Irish Leaving Certificate Ordinary Level English and Maths at grade O4 or above.

Scottish Highers

The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is grades BBBCC to include BB in 2 science subjects – 2 from Group A OR 1 from Group A and 1 from Group B

Group A – Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Biology or Home Economics, of which Chemistry is preferred

Group B – Physical Education, Geography, Information Technology, Applied Science

Scottish Advanced Highers

The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is grades CCC to include 2 science subjects – 2 from Group A OR 1 from Group A and 1 from Group B

Group A – Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Biology, Home Economics, of which Chemistry is preferred

Group B – Physical Education, Geography, Information Technology, Applied Science

International Baccalaureate

Overall International Baccalaureate profile minimum 26 points to include 13 points at higher level to include two science subjects as follows;

2 from Group A OR 1 from Group A and 1 from Group B

Group A – Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Biology or Home Economics, of which Chemistry is preferred

Group B – PE, Geography, ICT, Applied Science

At least 6 points must be achieved in each of the two science subjects.

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Pass science-based Access Course with a minimum overall mark of 70% and a minimum of 70% in each level 3 module.


You must satisfy the General Entrance Requirements for admission to a first degree course and hold a GCSE pass in English Language at grade C or grade 4 or above (or equivalent). You must also hold a GCSE pass in Mathematics and Chemistry or Double Award Science at grade C or grade 4 or above (or equivalent).

Please note that for purposes of entry to this course the Level 2 Essential / Key Skill in Application of Number is NOT regarded as an acceptable alternative to GCSE Maths.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Additional Entry Requirements

Acceptable alternative qualifications include:

Pass HND with overall Merit to include 60 distinctions in level 5 credits/units may be specified

Pass HNC with overall Distinction to include 90 distinctions in level 4 credits/units may be specified

You may also meet the course entry requirements with combinations of different qualifications to the same standard as recognised by the University (provided subject requirements as noted above are met). Examples of acceptable combinations include:

2 A Levels and BTEC Subsidiary Diploma

OCR National Diploma and BTEC Subsidiary Diploma

2 A Levels and Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma

A Level and BTEC National Diploma

For further information regarding combination offer requirements, please contact Faculty Office staff on T: +44 (0) 28 7012 4159 or E: science@ulster.ac.uk

You are required to demonstrate good health prior to commencing the course by completing a ‘Declaration of Health’ form which will be screened by our Occupational Health department who will confirm your medical fitness to undertake the course.

You are also required to undertake a vaccination programme and more information regarding this is available prior to registration.

As you will be engaged in ‘regulated activity’ involving children or vulnerable adults as part of the course, there is a compulsory, legal requirement for the University to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure from AccessNI. There is a cost for this service. More information on Enhanced Disclosures may be accessed at http://www.accessni.gov.uk/ (for NI) or http://www.crb.homeoffice.gov.uk/ (for GB).

Teaching and learning assessment

Learning and teaching in biomedical sciences is normally through a combination of face-to-face lectures, hands-on practical classes, tutorials, seminars, problem-based learning and computer–assisted learning.

Assessment in modules is through a combination of coursework completed during the semester and/or sessional written examinations.

Coursework can take the form of practical reports, written assignments, class tests, presentations, case studies and dissertations.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Career options

A Biomedical Scientist can specialise in several areas; as a healthcare scientist, their role is the diagnosis of disease, an evaluation of the effectiveness of treatment and screening via the analysis of fluids and tissue samples from patients; as a research scientist, working at the cutting edge of research to develop new technologies, tests and treatments for the detection, monitoring or treatment of disease; as a teacher, in science at post primary or as a lecturer in third level education; as a scientific writer; numerous opportunities exist for the qualified Biomedical Scientist.

Successful completion of the DPP(Path) programme and attainment of the IBMS ‘Certificate of Competency’ enables the student to apply for registration as a Biomedical Scientist with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). It is then possible for graduates to work as a clinical biomedical/healthcare scientist in the hospital sector.

Work placement / study abroad

A 48 week placement is spent in an approved UK hospital or agency pathology laboratory. Students currently undertake training in core areas of Biomedical Science including Clinical Biochemistry, Cytology, Haematology, Histology/Histopathology, Medical Microbiology and Transfusion Science.

Professional recognition

Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS)

Accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS).


How to apply Request a prospectus

Applications to full-time undergraduate degrees at Ulster are made through UCAS.

Start dates

  • September 2018

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (per year)

Important notice - fees information Fees illustrated are based on 18/19 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees

Northern Ireland & EU:
England, Scotland & Wales:
£9,250.00  Discounts available
£13,680.00  Scholarships available

Scholarships, awards and prizes

The following prizes are awarded to high performing final year students on this specific degree course: IBMS President's Prize and Northern Ireland IBMS Placement Prize.

In addition, the following prizes are awarded to best performing students across the three biomedical science programmes: Gerry Magee Award, Geraldine Savage Haematology Prize and Ulster Immunology group prize.

Additional mandatory costs

The health screening and vaccination programme costs approximately £35 - 155 depending on the vaccinations required.

The criminal record check through AccessNI costs £33 currently.

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.


Faculty Office

T: +44 (0)28 7012 4159

E: science@ulster.ac.uk

Course Director: Professor PR Flatt

T: +44 (0)28 7012 4419

E: pr.flatt@ulster.ac.uk

For more information visit

Faculty of Life and Health Sciences

School of Biomedical Sciences