2022/23 Full-time Undergraduate course
Bachelor of Science with Honours
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
School of Biomedical Sciences
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 with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a Biomedical Scientist, students undertake a clinical placement in a health service laboratory and complete the IBMS Registration Training Portfolio.
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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.
To work for the NHS as a biomedical scientist you will need to become registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). This course, unlike the other biomedical sciences courses at Ulster, is specifically designed to provide the educational and clinical experience for our graduates to work as a biomedical scientists in the hospital sector. Once graduated our graduates may apply to becoem registered with the HCPC.
Diploma in Professional Practice Pathology DPP
Find out more about placement awards
Full-time, 4 years
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.
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:
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 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.
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.
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.
The feeling of community at our Coleraine campus makes for a warm and welcoming student experience.
A laid-back campus at the heart of a global tourist attraction.
Our Campus in Coleraine boasts a variety of indoor and outdoor facilities that are open all year round to students and members of the public.
At Student Support we provide many services to help students through their time at Ulster University.
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.
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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
This module provides an introduction to the study of human physiology and anatomy to underpin further study of the pathophysiology in health and disease.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This module is designed to provide an understanding in clinical biochemistry sufficient to underpin further study in the biomedical sciences.
This module introduces core principles of professional practice in Biomedical Science sufficient to underpin further study.
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
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.
This module is designed to provide understanding of key concepts in pathology sufficient to underpin further study in the biomedical sciences
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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Grades BBB (including 2 science subjects – 2 from Group A OR 1 from Group A and 1 from Group B.
Group A – Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Biology or Nutrition and Food Science, of which Chemistry is preferred.
Group B – PE, Geography, ICT, Applied Science, Environmental Technology, Single Award Life & Health Science
Applied Science Double Award and Life & Health Sciences Double Award are 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.
See BTEC for combination of A Level/BTEC requirements
*** To note that only qualifications defined as “Applied General” will be accepted for entry onto any undergraduate course at Ulster University.***
QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (Science Related Subject)/ OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma (Science Related Subject) (2012 Suite)
Award profile of DDD
RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (Science Related Subject) / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma (Science Related Subject) (2016 Suite)
Award profile of DDM - all units acceptable
QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma (Science Related Subject) / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Diploma (Science Related Subject) (2012 Suite)
Award profile of DD plus A Level Grade B
RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (Science Related Subject) / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Diploma (Science Related Subject) (2016 Suite)
Award profile of DM (acceptable optional units 8 - 14, 17 - 23) plus A Level Grade B
QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma (Science Related Subject) / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Introductory Diploma (Science Related Subject) (2012 Suite)
Award profile of D plus A Level Grades BB to include two science subjects (see A Level requirements)
RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate (Science Related Subject) / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Certificate (Science Related Subject) (2016 Suite)
Award profile of D (accetable optional units 8 - 14)plus A Level Grades BB to include one science subject (see A Level requirements - Group A)
120 UCAS tariff points to include grades H3. H3 in two science subjects at Higher Level and 1 at Ordinary Level, including English and Maths at O4/H6 or above (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, Agricultural Science
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.
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
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
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.
Pass science-based Access Course with a minimum overall mark of 65% and a minimum of 65% 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 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.
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).
Access NI is also needed
As part of your course you may have a placement/project that involves contact with patients and/or potential exposure to human blood/tissue. Should this scenario arise you will be asked to complete a Health Declaration Form which will include information about your vaccination history. Following screening of your form, it may be necessary for you to meet with a nurse or for a medical to be arranged with the University Occupational Health Physician. Depending on the exact nature of your placement/project you may require immunity from Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Chicken pox and Tuberculosis and/or have completed a course of Hepatitis B vaccinations with subsequent positive serology results. You will be advised further should the need for health screening and vaccination arise.
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Graduates from this course are now working for:
With this degree you could become:
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, together with completion of the IBMS Registration Training Portfilio, 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.
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.
Accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS).
Applications to full-time undergraduate degrees at Ulster are made through UCAS.
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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.
The health screening and vaccination programme costs approximately £35 - 155 depending on the vaccinations required.
The criminal record check through AccessNI costs £33 currently.
You may need to purchase some text books.
Placement expenses, travel to and from placement site - additional accommodation may be required for year 3 placement year.
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.
Wendy Kearney, Admissions Office, Coleraine
International Admissions Office
I chose to study Biomedical Science with DPP Pathology at Ulster University because it is an IBMS accredited course and it offered a placement year allowing me to put theory into practice. I’m completing my placement year in Craigavon Area Hospital which is part of the Southern Health and Social Care and is the main hospital within the Trust conducting most lab tests. I’m working within Clinical Biochemistry. I loved the protein lab, which is automated, but also consists of manual tests. I got to see the Diabetic Clinic where I got to interact with Doctors, Nurses and patients. Placement has helped me to build my confidence and gave me the opportunity to take responsibility for myself. I had the opportunity to work with other health care professionals. I’ve gained loads of valuable and transferable skills such as communication, the importance of confidentiality and team work. My time in Clinical Biochemistry is likely to be something I will never forget!
Innes Granada, BSc Hons Applied Biomedical Science DPP Pathology Year 3 Placement
I am studying Biomedical Science with DPP (Pathology) I chose to study Biomedical Science at Ulster University because; I completed some lab work experience over the summer in Causeway Hospital and really enjoyed it. I liked the aspect of being able to help other individuals from behind the scenes, as you feel like you’re making a difference to their health and well-being without seeing them face to face.
I began my placement at Antrim labs within the Biochemistry department in September and have enjoyed every moment so far, the staff are really friendly, helpful and supportive. My training officer ensures that I am meeting all the competencies that are required for a Biomedical scientist, as well as showing me the main aspects of the job and how to complete my registration portfolio. I have also learned many practical skills and have enhanced my knowledge about the range of biochemistry tests. With this extra knowledge I have gained I hope to graduate from Ulster University and get hired as a Biomedical Scientist within Biochemistry.
The Biomedical Science course at Ulster University provides a balanced workload of lectures and practical experiments, these lab based lessons really helped me to put the knowledge I had learned into practice. The course also provides career advice, which will prepare you for placement, as well as any future employment opportunities.
Overall my placement experience has been great and I would highly recommend studying Biomedical Science at Ulster University, as they offer both the academic knowledge and the practical placement skills that are invaluable for future recruitment. Emma McKeeman