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Biomedical Science (Grad Cert)
GradCert

2020/21 Part-time Undergraduate course

Award:

Graduate Certificate

Faculty:

Faculty of Life and Health Sciences

School:

School of Biomedical Sciences

eLearning:

This course is taught online so you can study where you want, when you want.

With this degree you could become:


  • Biomedical Scientist
  • Medical Laboratory Scientist
  • Research Technician
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Laboratory Technician

Graduates from this course are now working for:


  • Belfast Health & Social Care Trust
  • Guys and St Thomas Hospital
  • Lothian Health Service
  • North Bristol National Health Trust
  • NHS
  • Sandwell & West Birmingham NHS Trust
  • Southern Health & Social Care Trust

Overview

Education and professional training in the biomedical sciences.

Summary

The programme provides graduates who possess a relevant degree (or equivalent) with appropriate education and professional training in the biomedical sciences. The course enables students to top-up their current degree to a standard equivalent to a BSc (Honours) in Biomedical Sciences at a level acceptable to the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS). Holders of the Graduate Certificate in Biomedical Sciences can apply to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) for registration as a Biomedical Scientist. Students who wish to study this course to gain IBMS registration should always check their top-up requirements with the relevant body that it will meet their needs.

The University regularly ‘refreshes’ courses to make sure they are as up-to-date as possible. The University calls this process 'academic revalidation’. This course is currently being ‘refreshed’, with changes being put in place for students entering from September 2019 onwards. Module selection may vary.


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About this course

About

The course primarily caters for students wishing to become HCPC registered Biomedical Scientists. However, it also provides a wide range of scientific modules in the biomedical science area and is, therefore, suitable for anyone interested in supplementing their existing knowledge in this varied and interesting field.

For the award of Graduate Certificate you must complete modules worth at least 60 credits. A suite of 6 modules is currently available: Biology of Disease - Pathology (15 credits); Clinical Immunology (15 credits); Medical Microbiology (15 credits); Cellular Pathology (15 credits); Clinical Biochemistry (15 credits); Haematology & Transfusion Science (15 credits). Students can choose any combination of credits for the award of Graduate Certificate in Biomedical Sciences. Students are advised that IBMS registration may require successful completion of modules totalling greater than 60 credits and are advised to seek specific clarification from the IBMS.

Course Director is Dr Colm Lowery, a lecturer in Medical Microbiology.

Attendance

Part Time - typically 1 year.

This is a distance learning programme and can be started in September or February of each academic year. This course has a practical laboratory component which may be carried out within the student's workplace or by attending campus.

Start dates

  • September 2020
  • February 2021
  • Read more

    Content

    The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.

    Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:

    • the relevant generic national Qualification Descriptor
    • the applicable Subject Benchmark Statement
    • the requirements of any professional, regulatory, statutory and accrediting bodies.

    Attendance and Independent Study

    As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.

    Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.

    The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.

    Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.

    Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.

    Assessment

    Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

    Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

    Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.

    Calculation of the Final Award

    The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).

    Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.

    All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

Academic profile

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).

We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.

  • Read more

    The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.

    Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.

    Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.

Modules

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

Molecular Pathology

Year: 1

This module is optional

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 underpin further study in Biomedical Sciences.

Haematology and transfusion science

Year: 1

This module is optional

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: 1

This module is optional

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

Medical Microbiology

Year: 1

This module is optional

This module provides an introduction to the biology of microorganisms that cause human infection. The module explores the diversity of pathogenic mechanisms in operation across a range of diseases and there is an important focus on recent advances in our understanding of host-microbe interactions. A major goal of the module is to provide examples of how this knowledge can be translated into practical ways to diagnose and control microbial pathogens. This is accomplished by an in-depth consideration of; the principles of disinfection and sterilisation, the theoretical background to current diagnostic techniques and an appreciation of how epidemiological monitoring can be used to control Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI).

Clinical Immunology

Year: 1

This module is optional

This module provides knowledge of key concepts in fundamental and clinical immunology and understanding of the value of applying such knowledge in clinical environments.

Cellular Pathology

Year: 1

This module is optional

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. The module is designed to meet the changing needs of the cellular pathology laboratory and as such will provide up-to-date theoretical knowledge combined with practical laboratory based work experience.

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.

A level

School leavers cannot apply for this course.

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

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

Additional Entry Requirements

You must:

(1) have gained an Honours or non-Honours degree from a University of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, from the Council for National Academic Awards, the National Council for Educational Awards, the Higher Education Training and Awards Council, or from an institution of another country which is recognized as being of an equivalent standard or an equivalent standard in an approved alternative qualification. The degree must be in a relevant subject such as Biological Sciences, Biomedical Science, General Science or an equivalent discipline.

(2) provide evidence of competence in written and spoken English (GCSE grade C or equivalent)

(3) normally be employed as a biomedical scientist, trainee biomedical scientist or equivalent in a hospital or research laboratory, or have access to similar biomedical facilities.

Careers & opportunities

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course are now working for:

  • Belfast Health & Social Care Trust
  • Guys and St Thomas Hospital
  • Lothian Health Service
  • North Bristol National Health Trust
  • NHS
  • Sandwell & West Birmingham NHS Trust
  • Southern Health & Social Care Trust

Job roles

With this degree you could become:

  • Biomedical Scientist
  • Medical Laboratory Scientist
  • Research Technician
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Laboratory Technician

Career options

The course primarily caters for students wishing to become HCPC registered Biomedical Scientists.

Professional recognition

Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS)

Accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS).

Apply

Start dates

  • September 2020
  • February 2021

Contact

Admissions Office: Jacqui Neill

T: +44 (0)28 7012 3271

E: admissionsce@ulster.ac.uk

Course Director: Dr Colm Lowery

T: +44 (0)28 7012 23528

For more information visit

Faculty of Life and Health Sciences

School of Biomedical Sciences

Disclaimer

  1. The University endeavours to deliver courses and programmes of study in accordance with the description set out in this prospectus. The University’s prospectus is produced at the earliest possible date in order to provide maximum assistance to individuals considering applying for a course of study offered by the University. The University makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in the prospectus is accurate but it is possible that some changes will occur between the date of printing and the start of the academic year to which it relates. Please note that the University’s website is the most up-to-date source of information regarding courses and facilities and we strongly recommend that you always visit the website before making any commitments.
  2. Although reasonable steps are taken to provide the programmes and services described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility and the University may make variations to the contents or methods of delivery of courses, discontinue, merge or combine courses and introduce new courses if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key staff, changes in legislation or government policy including changes, if any, resulting from the UK departing the European Union, withdrawal or reduction of funding or other circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control.
  3. If the University discontinues any courses, it will use its best endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course. In addition, courses may change during the course of study and in such circumstances the University will normally undertake a consultation process prior to any such changes being introduced and seek to ensure that no student is unreasonably prejudiced as a consequence of any such change.
  4. The University does not accept responsibility (other than through the negligence of the University, its staff or agents), for the consequences of any modification or cancellation of any course, or part of a course, offered by the University but will take into consideration the effects on individual students and seek to minimise the impact of such effects where reasonably practicable.
  5. The University cannot accept any liability for disruption to its provision of educational or other services caused by circumstances beyond its control, but the University will take all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to such services.
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