Biomedical Science - BSc (Hons)

2025/26 Part-time Undergraduate course

Award:

Bachelor of Science with Honours

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.

Start dates:

September 2025

January 2026

With this degree you could become:

  • specialist in blood transfusion
  • specialist in cellular pathology
  • specialist in bacteriology
  • specialist in clinical chemistry
  • pharmaceutical research
  • drug testing
  • infection control

Graduates from this course are now working for:

  • National Health Service
  • Health Service Executive
  • Pharmaceutical Industry
  • Biotechnology Industry
  • Biomedical Research Labs
  • Lab Suppliers

Overview

IBMS accredited BSc Honours articulation pathway for biomedical science sub-degree graduates.

Summary

At some point in our lives we all benefit from the services of a Biomedical Scientist. For example, through the screening of patients, the diagnosis of disease and evaluation of the effectiveness of a treatment or research to develop new healthcare technologies, diagnostic tests or treatments for disease or education or scientific writing. The overall purpose of the course is to provide an academically challenging and vocationally relevant science education for those Foundation Degree in Applied and Medical Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Biosciences or Healthcare Sciences graduates or equivalent sub-degree graduates working in a clinical healthcare setting in Life Sciences, the pharmaceutical industry or other areas of biomedical science, producing competent graduates to meet local regional and national needs. The course aims to provide opportunities for students to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of biomedical science, human health and disease;
  • Develop core skills necessary to evaluate and to undertake research in biomedical sciences; and
  • Apply intellectual, practical, enterprise and personal skills (including communication, teamwork, problem-solving, decision making, initiative and creativity) to enable effective life-long learning in biomedical sciences.

We’d love to hear from you!

We know that choosing to study at university is a big decision, and you may not always be able to find the information you need online.

Please contact Ulster University with any queries or questions you might have about:

  • Course specific information
  • Fees and Finance
  • Admissions

For any queries regarding getting help with your application, please select Admissions in the drop down below.

For queries related to course content, including modules and placements, please select Course specific information.

We look forward to hearing from you.

About this course

About

IBMS accredited BSc Honours articulation pathway for biomedical science sub degree graduates

Cost effective healthcare science continuing professional development for associate practitioners

Fully online, offering flexible learning and study pace

Employers benefits through your enhanced research, professional practice and key skills, and knowledge of biology of disease and subject specialisms

Biomedical Sciences at Ulster is in the premier league of universities with “100% of our research environment judged to be world-leading, 95% of our impact judged to be world leading or internationally excellent and 81% of our research papers judged to be world leading or internationally excellent in UK Research Excellence Framework 2014. We are ranked among the top five universities in the UK in terms of research power in biomedical science. In 2019 we are also ranked as one of the top-5 UK universities in which to to study biomedical science. Through exposure to an internationally recognised research environment with state-of-the-art facilities, including the £14.5 million Centre for Molecular Bioscience (CMB), students have the chance to gain unique insights into cutting-edge research and how this contributes to knowledge and understanding of health and disease.

Students can study the following modules;

Research skills

This module aims to provide students with the opportunity to develop research skills. The fully on-line module will be taught by lectures, tutorials, and computer based practicals. Students will be expected to select a research Project topic and then write a project brief and a literature review, and also use MS Excel and SPSS to analyse bioscience data sets.

Haematology and transfusion science

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

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

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).

Cellular Pathology

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.

Project: Applied Biosciences

This module comprises an investigation in the field of bioscience, carried out in consultation with, and supervised by, a member of academic staff and supported by an e-tutor. The Project provides experience in planning a work programme to suit a defined set of research objectives, data acquisition and analysis, and the interpretation of the results in the light of relevant literature. Students are assessed by coursework only. A Project report (scientific paper) is submitted for assessment.

Molecular Pathology

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

Professional Practice in Healthcare Science

This module develops core principles of professional practice in Healthcare Science.

Clinical Immunology

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

Attendance

Typically, two years (part-time). However, if more than two bridging modules are required then three years (part-time).

Start dates

  • September 2025
  • January 2026

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Students will participate in an induction on how to be an effective online learner and how to use the Blackboard Learn virtual learning environment. Subject specific tutors support students to engage in a range of teaching and learning methods. Students participate in Blackboard Learn posted online lectures, many of which are inclusive of problem based interactive tasks. Through the University’s online libraries, students gain access to their directed reading, in the form of e-books and journal articles. Students participate in tutor supported online activities and discussions, and in online self-assessment quizzes. Students studying the Biology and Biochemistry bridging modules will be taught by staff at Sligo Institute of Technology via the Moodle virtual learning environment. Students studying the Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cellular Pathology, Clinical Biochemistry, Medical Microbiology and Haematology & Transfusion Science modules are required to carry out a number of laboratory practical sessions. If a student works in, or has access to approved training laboratories in the NHS or equivalent, then all the practical sessions can be carried out at his or her place of work. Otherwise, a student must attend Coleraine for practical sessions on three occasions over 2 days on each occasion.

Students will be assessed by a combination of Coursework and Examinations. Students undertake traditional written examinations, either at Coleraine or in their locality through the “Guarantor system” for Ulster University delivered modules. If a student opts to take his or her Ulster University examinations via the “Guarantor system” then he or she must nominate a line manager or professional to administer his or her exams under Ulster University specified conditions. If a student is studying the Biology and Biochemistry bridging modules, then the traditional written examinations are taken at an IT Sligo exam centre (Sligo, Dublin or Cork) or by a "Proctoring system". If a student opts to take his or her IT Sligo examinations via the "Proctoring system", which enables online examination administration within the home environment, then there is a small fee per exam. Coursework includes essays, tests, critical reviews, plans, reflective statements, practical reports, journal based learning, case study reports, problem solving/data interpretation, and research papers.

Attendance and Independent Study

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:

  • 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, 20, or 40 credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate courses 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. Teaching and learning activities will be in-person and/or online depending on the nature of the course. 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 assessments. This feedback may be issued individually and/or issued to the group and you will be encouraged to act on this feedback for your own development.

    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, the assessment timetable and the assessment brief. 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. The module pass mark for undergraduate courses is 40%. The module pass mark for postgraduate courses is 50%.

  • 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 Masters degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

    Figures from the academic year 2022-2023.

Academic profile

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 60% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (19%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (22%) 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 and learning support staff (85%) are recognised as fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) by Advance HE - 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 from the academic year 2022-2023.

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

Research Skills in Biosciences

Year: 1

This module aims to provide students with the opportunity to develop key research and transferable skills. Students will be expected to select a research project topic and then write a project brief and a literature review, and also use MS Excel and SPSS to analyse bioscience data sets.

Haematology and transfusion science

Year: 1

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 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 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).

Cellular Pathology

Year: 1

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.

Year two

Project: Biosciences

Year: 2

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.

Molecular Pathology

Year: 2

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

Professional Practice in Healthcare Science

Year: 2

This module develops core principles of professional practice in Healthcare Science.

Clinical Immunology

Year: 2

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

Standard 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.

Scottish Advanced Highers

Grades CCC to include 2 science subjects – - Two from Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Biology or Nutrition and Food Science, of which Chemistry is preferred; or

- One from Chemisty, Physics, Maths, Biology or Nutrition and Food Science, of which Chemistry is preferred if applying with PE, Geography, ICT, Applied Science, Environmental Technology or Single Award Life & Health Science

English & Mathematics required at Standard Level 1, 2 or 3

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

Applicants must:

1. hold a Foundation Degree in Applied and Medical Sciences, Biomedical and Applied Science, Biomedical Studies, Healthcare Science (Biomedical Science), Human Biosciences, Medical Science or closely related subject

OR

2. hold a BTEC HND or National Diploma/BSc (Ord) qualification in the life sciences from an institution of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, the Council of National Academic Awards, the National Council for Educational Awards, the Higher Education Training and Awards Council, or from an institution of a country recognised as being of an equivalent standard in an approved qualification

AND (c) typically be employed as a medical laboratory assistant, trainee biomedical scientist or equivalent in a hospital or research laboratory or have access to similar medical facilities

AND (d) be able to fulfil requirements for laboratory practical sessions. If applicants work in, or have access to approved training laboratories in the NHS or equivalent their practical sessions can be carried out at their place of work. Otherwise, the required practical sessions must be carried out over 2-3 days on up to two occasions at the University laboratories in Coleraine.

Applicants who do not have Cell Biology, Biochemistry and Human Physiology and Anatomy within their sub-degree studies must take the bridging Biology, Biochemistry and Physiology and Anatomy of the Human Body (Level 4) modules. Applicants who do not have Molecular Biology and Genetics within their sub-degree studies or have a Foundation Degree which only includes 100 credits at Level 5 must take the bridging Molecular Biology and Genetics (Level 5) module, which requires either attendance at practical sessions over 2 consecutive days at the University laboratories in Coleraine or completion of the specified practical sessions in their work place.

Exemptions and transferability

No exemptions from completion of the level 6 modules can be given, as 120 credit points studied at the highest level at the University of Ulster is the absolute minimum required by the Qualification Framework for the University of Ulster to be able to award a BSc Honours degree.

Careers & opportunities

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course are now working for:

  • National Health Service
  • Health Service Executive
  • Pharmaceutical Industry
  • Biotechnology Industry
  • Biomedical Research Labs
  • Lab Suppliers

Job roles

With this degree you could become:

  • specialist in blood transfusion
  • specialist in cellular pathology
  • specialist in bacteriology
  • specialist in clinical chemistry
  • pharmaceutical research
  • drug testing
  • infection control

Career options

Biomedical Science graduates take up a wide range of employment opportunities. For example, in the NHS and health agency laboratories as Biomedical Scientists, pharmaceutical research and development, the scientific civil service, medical research, medical sales and marketing, veterinary and forensic medicine, teaching and university lecturing. Graduates can also pursue further studies in post graduate medicine, MSc programmes in biomedical science, including the university’s own very successful part-time, distance learning MSc Programme, and postgraduate research within this university and elsewhere.

Work placement / study abroad

Students are typically in employment and will typically carry out an investigative project within their work place.

Professional recognition

Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS)

Accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS).

Apply

Start dates

  • September 2025
  • January 2026

Fees and funding

2025/26 Fees

Undergraduate fees are subject to annual review, 2025/26 fees will be announced in due course.

See our tuition fees page for the current fees for 2024/25 entry.

Additional mandatory costs

If required to study the Molecular Biology and Genetics module, and cannot do the laboratory practicals at your place of work, you will have to bear the cost of travel and subsistence for a two-day laboratory practical session at Coleraine. In addition, if you cannot do the laboratory practicals in Medical Microbiology and/or Haematology and Transfusion Science and/or Clinical Biochemistry and/or Cellular Pathology at your place of work, you will have to bear the cost of travel and subsistence to do the required practical sessions at Coleraine.

It is important to remember that costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges) and normal living will need to be covered in addition to tuition fees.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses (in addition to tuition fees) we make every effort to highlight them above. 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 Wi-Fi are also available on each of the campuses.

There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

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

See the tuition fees on our student guide for most up to date costs.

Contact

We’d love to hear from you!

We know that choosing to study at university is a big decision, and you may not always be able to find the information you need online.

Please contact Ulster University with any queries or questions you might have about:

  • Course specific information
  • Fees and Finance
  • Admissions

For any queries regarding getting help with your application, please select Admissions in the drop down below.

For queries related to course content, including modules and placements, please select Course specific information.

We look forward to hearing from you.


For more information visit

Disclaimer

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.