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MSc Biomedical Science part-time by distance learning.


Study Biomedical Science at Ulster University in the United Kingdom.

The course is primarily designed for career advancement for those working as Biomedical Scientists in the hospital sector or working in the wider discipline of biomedical science, including bio-pharmaceutical and bio-industries.

This course currently allows specialisation in either: cellular pathology, clinical chemistry, haematology, or medical microbiology, and provides the opportunity for critical reflection and evaluation of current practice and policy, enabling lifelong learning and professional development in biomedical science.

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About this course

In this section


For those who follow the approved pathway this course allows specialisation in in one the key disciplines of Biomedical Sciences including: cellular pathology, clinical chemistry, haematology, or medical microbiology, and provides the opportunity for critical reflection and evaluation of current practice and policy, enabling lifelong learning and professional development in biomedical science.

In both the spring and summer semesters of second year, students work on their project, where the research project is normally carried out within the laboratories in their place of work under the supervision of suitably qualified staff. The research project may be carried out within the research laboratories of Ulster University or elsewhere under the supervision of suitably qualified staff.

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students; these are undergoing changes (subject to approval) and will differ for your year of entry. In addition to the aforementioned specialisations, the team intends to add optional modules in stem cell biology and diabetes. For further information, please use contact details provided.

For those entering the MSc to complete the research project only

Applicants who have a PgD in Biomedical Science and who wish to apply directly for entry onto the MSc programme, (including Ulster students who have previously graduated with the Postgraduate Diploma) are required to take the bridging module, Research Proposal (BMS832). This 10-credit point module supports students in developing an acceptable research project and ensures that the appropriate research governance approvals are in place, prior to commencement of laboratory work. Students are required to successfully pass BMS832 with an approved project before proceeding to the Project Module.


This part-time, distance-learning MSc programme is usually over 2 academic years and students can enter the programme at two time points, either September or February. The research project is normally carried out in the student’s place of work under the supervision of suitably qualified staff.

Start dates

  • September 2016
  • January 2017
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

Medical and Healthcare Biotechnology

Year: 1

This module will introduce students to biotechnology as applied to the delivery of healthcare. The influence of public sector policies and regulation will be explored. The UK's current health services will be the primary focus however global contexts will also be considered. Students will be encouraged to explore possible future scenarios which are driven by technological change or where technology is developed to meet healthcare service needs.


Year: 1

This module seeks to develop students? knowledge of important and emerging areas within stratified medicine. It explores the role of pharmacogenetics developing an understanding of the molecular aspects of stratified medicine and creates a foundation for future learning in modules to follow. The module reviews the methods of biomarker discovery and translation and considers the issues surrounding stratified medicine research and its application into society.

Evidence-Based Practice in Healthcare Sciences

Year: 1

A work-based module where students review, after consultation with their line manager, an aspect of their professional practice identifying evidence to support their recommendations, initiate the keeping of a professional reflective diary and submit a portfolio of evidence to support their action research plan. Students currently not in employment will be given advice on suitable topics from the module co-ordinator.

Stem Cell Biology

Year: 1

This module is optional

This module provides a comprehensive overview of stem cell biology. It covers all the major areas of stem cell science including stem cell derivation, differentiation, medical applications and bioethics. It is designed to equip student with skills to critically evaluate current scientific literature describing stem cell advances.

Diabetes: Science and Therapeutics

Year: 1

This module is optional

This module provides a comprehensive overview of the scientific background to diabetes and diabesity. It covers all the major areas of current scientific knowledge including mechanisms of insulin secretion, diabetes pathophysiology, clinical diagnosis and therapeutic strategies. It is designed to equip student with skills to critically evaluate current scientific literature describing diabetes and diabesity physiology, pathobiology and therapeutic advances and care.

Advances in Cellular Pathology

Year: 1

This module is optional

The module provides an in depth understanding of the theory and practice of diagnostic pathology and it introduces important recent developments in the area. The module is designed to provide the student with both the theory and detailed methodology of recent advances in diagnostic technology. This information will allow the student to critically evaluate the potential of the new technology in the clinical diagnostic laboratory setting. In addition, it provides the technical and practical tools necessary for a career in a research setting

Recent Advances in Clinical Chemistry

Year: 1

This module is optional

This module provides an in-depth understanding of key concepts and biochemical investigations in clinical chemistry and a critical appreciation of recent advances employed within clinical chemistry.

Haematology in Health and Disease

Year: 1

This module is optional

This module provides an in-depth understanding 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.

Advances in Medical Microbiology

Year: 1

This module is optional

This module provides an in-depth understanding of key concepts in Advances in Medical Microbiology, with emphasis on advances in diagnostic technology and its application in the clinical environment.

Year two

Applied Research Methods

Year: 2

This module provides the foundation for research in the biosciences. The design of experimental investigations and the use of biostatistical methods are discussed. The module requires the completion of computer sessions, a critical evaluation of published literature, problem-based assessments; issues relating to international research governance are included.

Research Project

Year: 2

This module, which is normally practical based, provides the opportunity, through research or advanced scholarship, to integrate knowledge of the biomedical sciences by the advanced study, research and elucidation of a chosen topic in the biomedical sciences. It is conducted under supervision.

Biomedical Informatics

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module develops essential skills, knowledge and understanding of biomedical informatics in relation to basic research and applied research and practice. Providing an overview of biomedical and health informatics.

Quality Management

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module provides an in-depth understanding of key concepts of Quality management as it applies to organisations.

Entry conditions

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

In this section

Entry Requirements

Applicants must: (a) have gained: (i) a second class honours degree or better in a science subject which contains a significant element of biological sciences from a university of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, or from a recognised national awarding body, or from an institution of another country which has been recognised as being of an equivalent standard; or (ii) an equivalent standard (normally 50%) in a Graduate Diploma, Graduate Certificate, Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma or an approved alternative qualification;

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

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

Specialist taught modules require that students have studied that specialism at Level 5 or can demonstrate their ability to undertake the module through the accreditation of prior experiential learning.

In exceptional circumstances, where an individual has substantial and significant experiential learning, a portfolio of written evidence demonstrating the meeting of graduate qualities (including subject-specific outcomes, as determined by the Course Committee) may be considered as an alternative entrance route. Evidence used to demonstrate graduate qualities may not be used for exemption against modules within the programme.

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.

Teaching and learning assessment

The taught modules in this course are assessed by a combination of coursework and or examination.

Exemptions and transferability

Studies pursued and examinations passed in respect of other qualifications awarded by the University or by another university or other educational institution, or evidence from the accreditation of prior experiential learning, may be accepted as exempting candidates from part of the programme provided that (a) they shall register as students of the University for modules amounting to at least the final third of the credit value of the award at the highest level. (b) no exemption shall be permitted from the dissertation.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Career options

This course provides an academically challenging and vocationally relevant science education for those following a career in the Biomedical Sciences in the Health Service, pharmaceutical or bio-industries. Graduates may also choose to proceed to higher postgraduate degree programmes (MPhil/PhD) within the biomedical sciences. A number of modules in the MSc programme can alternatively be taken individually as continued professional development (CPD) activity.

Professional recognition

Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS)

Accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS).


You can apply online here

The deadline for receipt of applications is 26 August 2016 for September entry and 22 December 2016 for January entry.

How to apply

Start dates

  • September 2016
  • January 2017

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (total cost)

Important notice - fees information Tuition fees shown are for last years entry. Fees are correct at the time of publishing and may be subject to an annual increase. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study. Read our Tuition Fees Payment Policy

Northern Ireland & EU:

Additional mandatory costs

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel and normal living are a part of university life. 

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them in the online prospectus. 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.


Course Director:

Dr Patrick Naughton

T: +44 (0) 28 7012 4689


Faculty Office

T: +44 (0) 28 7012 4159