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* This course is undergoing academic validation. Please note that the information displayed here is subject to change as part of this process.

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Full BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences, part-time distance-learning in collaboration with Sligo Institute of Technology.


Study Biomedical and Healthcare Sciences at Ulster University in the United Kingdom.

At some point in our lives we all benefit from the services of Biomedical Scientists. 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 development and processing of drugs utilising cell culture technologies or education or scientific writing. The overall purpose of this widening access course is to provide an academically challenging and vocationally relevant science education for those secondary education qualified scientists and technologists working in a clinical healthcare setting in Life Sciences or the medical biotechnology and biopharmaceutical industries or other areas of biomedical sciences, producing competent graduates to meet national needs in Ireland and UK. The course aims to provide opportunities for students to: ◦ Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of biomedical sciences, human health and disease; ◦ Develop core skills necessary to evaluate and to undertake research in biomedical and healthcare 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 and healthcare sciences.

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About this course

In this section


Joint programme from leading HE distance learning providers in Ireland and UK: Designed to meet the requirements of the Institute of Biomedical Science (currently seeking accreditation). Fully online, offering flexible learning and study pace. Essential practical skills developed through a short, intensive, annual lab work session at Sligo and Coleraine (for those students without work-based access to appropriate laboratory faciltiies. Employers benefit through your enhanced research, professional practice and key skills, and knowledge of biomedical sciences.


Normally 4 years, over 9 semesters. This programme is fully online. However, students without access to appropriate laboratory facilities will need to attend short, annual, intensive practical sessions at either Coleraine or Sligo.

Start dates

  • September 2016
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

Biology (BIOL06013)

Year: 1

This module introduces core principles of cellular biology and major biological processes regulating cell and organ function sufficient to underpin further study in the biomedical sciences.

Information Systems (COMP06018)

Year: 1

This module provides an introduction to computer applications and relevant up-to-date information technology software and skills necessary to underpin further study and practice in the biomedical sciences.

Applied Mathematics (MATH06013)

Year: 1

This module introduces students to core mathematical and numeric skills using relevant biomedical applications, sufficient to underpin further study in the biomedical sciences.

Good Manufacturing Practice 1 (GMP06001)

Year: 1

This module introduces core principles of good manufacturing practice sufficient to underpin further study in the biomedical sciences.

Fundamentals of Chemistry (CHEM06043)

Year: 1

This module introduces students to fundamental aspects of chemistry sufficient to underpin further study in the biomedical sciences.

Science Laboratory Skills 1 (UNK000)

Year: 1

This module aims to provide students with the skills and techniques required to work in a regulated biomedical laboratory underpinning further study and practice in biomedical sciences.

Year two

Exploitation of Biology

Year: 2

This module considers a wide number of aspects and issues in biotechnology, sufficient to underpin and reinforce other topics in life sciences. Topics include production, commercialisation and ethics of biotechnology products and the impact of biotechnology on modern society.

Physiology and Anatomy of the Human Body

Year: 2

This module provides an introduction to the study of human physiology and anatomy to

underpin further study of the pathophysiology in health and disease.

Biochemistry (BIOC06007)

Year: 2

This module introduces core aspects of biochemistry in clinical and industrial contexts to underpin further study in the biomedical sciences.

Laboratory Skills and Safety for Biomedical Sciences

Year: 2

This module develops an understanding in fundamental aspects of bioanalysis for the life and health sciences. The module introduces modern analytical technologies applied to the analysis of biomolecules including; chromatography, electrophoresis, spectroscopy, mass spectrometry and immunochemical analysis.

Science Laboratory Skills 2 (UNK000)

Year: 2

This module aims to provide students with the skills and techniques required to work in a regulated biomedical laboratory, building on past knowledge/skills developed in earlier modules, and underpinning further study and practice in biomedical sciences.

Scientific Communication (COMM07024)

Year: 2

This module aims to develop student skills in written and spoken communication of scientific information underpinning further study and professional development in biomedical sciences.

Year three

Molecular Biology and Genetics

Year: 3

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. Advances in molecular genetics and the human genome project are also discussed and provide an appreciation of the potential for improved diagnostics and therapeutics.

Enterprise in Biomedical Sciences

Year: 3

This module provides opportunities for enterprise and employability skills to be assessed, nurtured and developed within the context of biomedical sciences. Ethical and intellectual property issues in the exploitation of bioscience will also be considered. This module is taught by virtual lectures and tutorials, and assessed by a group business planning project and individual contributions to creativity, personal development planning, reflection and group meeting exercises.

Science Laboratory Skills 3 (UNK000)

Year: 3

This module aims to provide students with the skills and techniques required to work in a regulated biomedical laboratory, building on past knowledge/skills developed in earlier modules, and underpinning further study and practice in biomedical sciences.

Pharmaceutical Quality Systems (QUAL07001)

Year: 3

This module aims to provide students with an understanding of the systems approach to quality, manufacturing, and regulation in the biopharmaceutical sector underpinning further study and practice in biomedical sciences.

Bioanalytics (BIO07014)

Year: 3

This module provides students with a detailed knowledge and understanding of a range of analytical assays and instrumentation employed in the analysis of biopharmaceuticals.

Research Skills in Biomedical Sciences

Year: 3

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.

Professional Practice in Healthcare Science

Year: 3

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

Year four

Biology of Disease 4: Pathobiology

Year: 4

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

Haematology and transfusion science

Year: 4

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: 4

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

Medical Microbiology

Year: 4

This module provides an introduction to the biology of microorganisms that cause human infection. A major goal is to provide an appreciation of the experimental and diagnostic techniques that underpin the discipline. The module presents a range of diseases and explores the diversity of pathogenic mechanisms in operation. An important focus on recent advances in our understanding of host-microbe interactions is also considered with a discussion of the role of microorganisms in the health of the host.

Clinical Immunology

Year: 4

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: 4

This module provides the student with the appropriate knowledge and intellectual skills necessary to work in a routine and research laboratory setting. 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: Biomedical Sciences

Year: 4

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 research paper is submitted for assessment. Research findings are defended via a Poster Presentation.

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.

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A level

A minimum of 260 UCAS Tariff Points to include grades BC (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 – Physical Education, Geography, Information Technology. Applied Science Double Award is acceptable.


Pass overall BTEC Extended Diploma with DMM (appropriate science disciplines only acceptable).

Irish Leaving Certificate

BBCCC (to include 2 science subjects as above). Applicants are also required to have ILC Higher level English and Maths grade D or above OR ILC Ordinary level at grade C or above.

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Certificate in Foundation Studies / Access Course (appropriate science disciplines only acceptable) with an overall average of 60%.


Passes at grade C or above in Mathematics, English Language and Chemistry OR Double Award Science.

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

Applicants must satisfy the University’s general entry requirements and satisfy specific academic subject requirements for admission as detailed above or:

provide evidence of their ability to undertake the programme through the accreditation of prior experiential learning AND normally be working in or have previously worked, with at least 2 years relevant prior experience, in a Biomedical or Quality regulated environment. Because 5 of the modules in Years 1 to 3, and 3 additional modules in Year 4 of BSc Hons Biomedical and Healthcare Sciences involve practicals, this programme is intended for Irish and UK residents but continental European residents will also be considered. Respective part-time, distance learning provision in BSc Hons Biomedical Science and BSc Hons BioPharmaceutical Science at Ulster and IT Sligo already offer articulation pathways for applicants with sub degree qualifications. Thus accreditation for prior certificated learning from a sub degree such as BSc BioPharmaceutical Science from IT Sligo or Foundation Degree in Applied Medical Sciences from Ulster or BSc Honours/Higher Degree in a related science field for entry to this course is not considered.

Teaching and learning assessment

Students will participate in an induction on how to be an effective online learner and how to use the Moodle and Blackboard Learn virtual learning environment. This will include an optional induction day at IT Sligo, prior to commencement of the course, and continue with online support over the first two weeks of teaching. Subject specific tutors support students to engage in a range of teaching and learning methods. Student participate in Moodle and Blackboard Learn posted online lectures, many of which are inclusive of problem based interactive tasks. Through the Institute’s and 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 Physiology and Anatomy of the Human Body, Science Skills Lab 1 to 3, Molecular Biology and Genetics, and Clinical Biochemistry modules are required to carry out a number of laboratory practical sessions. This could mean attendance by students at either the state-of-art-facilities at IT Sligo or Ulster University, Coleraine, for a 2 to 3 day block, in any semester where such practicals are undertaken and hands-on laboratory experience is gained. In the case of the Molecular Biology and Genetics and Clinical Biochemistry modules, if such students work in, or have access to approved training laboratories in the NHS/HSE or equivalent, their practical sessions can be carried out at their place of work.

Students will be assessed by a combination of Coursework and Examinations. Students undertake traditional written examinations, either at the campuses of IT Sligo or Coleraine or in their locality through the “Guarantor system”. If a student opts to take his or her 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. Coursework includes essays, tests, critical reviews, plans, reflective statements, practical reports, journal based learning, case study reports, problem solving/data interpretation, and research papers.

Exemptions and transferability

In 2016-17 applications are only accepted from those seeking Year 1 entry, and thus no exemptions apply. In 2017-18, exemption from one or more Year 1 modules can be considered based on prior certificated learning. In 2018-19, exemption from one or more Year 1 and 2 modules 6 can be considered based on prior certificated learning. In 2019-20, exemption from one or more Year 1, 2 and modules (excluding Research Skills and Professional Practice in Healthcare Science) can based on prior certificated learning based on prior certificated learning. No exemptions from completion of the level 6 modules can be given.

Careers & opportunities

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Career options

Biomedical and Healthcare Sciences graduates take up a wide range of employment opportunities. For example, in the NHS and health agency laboratories as Biomedical Scientists, pharamaceutical research and development, as well as more broadly in the area of analytical science, 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 successful part-time, distance learning MSc Programmes, and postgraduate research within this university and elsewhere.

Work placement / study abroad

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

Academic profile

Biomedical Sciences 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. We were also ranked in the top 5 UK universities to study biomedical science in 2014. Through exposure to an internationally recognized research environment with state-of-the-art facilities, including the £14.5 million Centre for Molecular Bioscience (CMB) and Saad Centre for Pharmacy and Diabetes, students have the chance to gain unique insights into cutting-edge research and how this contributes to knowledge and understanding of health and disease. IT Sligo is the leading higher-education institute in Ireland in the development and delivery of online educational programmes. With over 10 year’s experience in the online education field this leadership position was recognised in 2012 when IT Sligo was granted a ‘Taoiseach’s Public Service Excellence Award’ for its achievements in promoting online learning for both fulltime and part-time students. The School of Science is foremost in IT Sligo’s distance learning achievements, with more than 500 online science students from countries as far away as Australia, the US, Canada and Oman, as well as 1,100 full-time science students.


Applications to our part-time undergraduate courses are made through the University’s online application system.

How to apply

Start dates

  • September 2016

Fees and funding

In this section

Additional mandatory costs

Additional travel and subsistence costs may be associated with laboratory practical sessions at Coleraine and Sligo.


Faculty Office

T: +44 (0) 28 7012 4159


Course Director: Mr Peter Mitchell

T: + 44 (0) 28 7012 3072