BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences

UCAS code Typical offer Length
C900 AAA/AAB (See full entry requirements) 3 years full-time
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Biomedical sciences
Biomedical sciences
Biomedical sciences 3

The Biomedical Sciences programme at York, which commenced in 2014, is a degree that focuses on the science underpinning medicine. A distinctive feature of our programme is that it is delivered by four departments with outstanding biomedical research activity: the Department of Biology, the Hull York Medical School (HYMS), the Department of Health Sciences and the Department of Psychology. Students that study Biomedical Sciences will be equipped to pursue careers in many aspects of the fight against disease.

Course overview

The Biomedical Sciences course and its approaches to teaching and learning are based on the undergraduate degrees offered by the Department of Biology, which has an outstanding reputation and is consistently rated as one of the top UK Biological Sciences departments for research and teaching. It should be noted that our degree is distinct from accredited Biomedical Sciences programmes that provide training for NHS-based technical careers.

Biomedical Sciences is an interdisciplinary course with breadth and depth in diverse topics such as human biology, pathogens, epidemiology and psychology. You will be taught by enthusiastic non-clinical academic scientists from four disciplines, including Biology, Medicine, Health Sciences and Psychology with additional contributions from clinician-researchers.  There are therefore strong links throughout the course between your studies, scientific research and clinical applications.

Biomedical Sciences undergraduates are taught in a brand new teaching building that houses high-tech teaching laboratories and a 120 seat computer room.  Further highlights of the degree include a personal supervisor throughout, an excellent small group tutorial system, research seminars and a 20 week independent final year research project.  Our graduates will therefore be equipped for careers in biomedical research or other health-related industries and services.

Course content

What you'll study

Year 1

The first year is a foundation year, taken by all Biomedical Sciences students and comprises five core modules together with scientific skills and tutorials. The modules, including Introduction to Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacology are delivered through lectures, practicals and workshops. The scientific skills and tutorial sessions develop key transferable skills, including scientific and research methods, scientific writing, criticising scientific literature, oral presentation skills and problem solving.

Year 2

The second year comprises a proportion of compulsory core modules and a wide choice of other modules and tutorials that allow you to pursue your individual interests.  Skills modules in the second year include a group research project and sessions that address wider issues relating to the field of biomedical sciences, health care and related research. These sessions give insight into the views and approaches of healthcare providers and clinical researchers.

Optional Year Away

Students on the 4-year programme spend this year studying in Europe or working in industry.

Final Year

The 20 week research project is your opportunity to work with one of our many research groups and gain hands-on research experience. Based on the research and practical skills gained during years 1 and 2, you will choose a project, and carry this out with supervision by academic staff. Your research work is complemented by a choice of specialist modules and research skills tutorials. Project topics reflect the wide range of current research in the participating Departments.

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module. This covers some of the essential skills and knowledge which will help you to study independently and produce work of a high academic standard which is vital for success at York.

This module will:

  • define academic integrity and academic misconduct;
  • explain why and when you should reference source material and other people's work;
  • provide interactive exercises to help you to assess whether you've understood the concepts;
  • provide answers to FAQs and links to useful resources.


How you'll be taught

Delivery of the Biomedical Sciences programme follows the successful model of undergraduate teaching in the Department of Biology. Taught elements include lectures, practicals, workshops, tutorials and, in the final year, an independent research project. As you progress through the programme, an increasing emphasis is placed on independent learning.

Our reputation

The four participating departments are highly regarded for their teaching and state-of-the-art research facilities. We are committed to teaching undergraduates to the highest standards within an active, lively and inquiring research context. You will be taught by enthusiastic scientists who are at the forefront of research in their subject area, and you will learn about many of the most interesting and significant areas of modern biomedical science.

Teaching facilities

Our brand new teaching laboratories provide excellent facilities and equipment for all our undergraduate students. In your final year, you have access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities in our research laboratories, and to specialist equipment and expertise available in our innovative Technology Facility.

Our approach

We aim to provide a friendly and supportive environment in which to nurture enthusiastic and independent learners. Our tutorials involve small groups of 4-5 students taught by one member of staff, promoting high quality staff-student interactions. The diversity of topics and teaching styles experienced in tutorials and the high staff-student contact time is highly valued by students. We also provide an academic supervisor with whom you will meet at least twice per term. This continuity allows a valuable relationship to be formed in which academic and pastoral support and guidance can be given.

Contact time

Most of the contact time you have in the first two years of the degree is in lectures and practical classes (you might expect to spend about 10 hours in lectures and 8 hours in practicals each week in the first two years), which provides students with the core concepts, knowledge and skills to be a graduate biomedical scientist. In the final year, the amount of formal contact time is lower. At this stage we expect you to be working more independently, including reading scientific papers in order to support your learning from lectures, and carrying out independent practical work on your research project. We believe that this approach produces graduates with an ability to think, plan independently and communicate effectively.

Overall workload

As a guide, students on this course typically spend their time as follows:

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Lectures and seminars348 hours
288 hours
396 hours
Independent study852 hours
912 hours
804 hours

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.


How you'll be assessed

All modules are assessed using a mix of closed examinations, practical reports, essays and oral presentations. We design our exams to assess conceptual understanding as well as important facts about the subject. The exams also contain problem-solving questions, which we think should be fundamental to any scientific discipline. Openly assessed work is typically based on practical classes, and may take the form of a practical write-up or problem questions.

In the first year, exams involve short questions and answers, but as the course progresses exams contain a higher proportion of essay-based questions. Your essay writing skills will improve as you progress through the programme, supported by essay writing in tutorials. The proportion of open assessment also increases in the final year, where a major assessed piece of work includes the research project dissertation.

You need to pass the first year in order to progress to Year 2, but this does not contribute to your overall degree mark. The second year counts for 40% of the degree mark, and the final year counts for 60% of the degree mark. If you do a placement in industry this contributes about 10% of the overall degree mark.


Timely and constructive feedback for all assessments is a hallmark of our academic practice that is invaluable for encouraging improvement throughout your degree. Following your assessments, we return marks and feedback to you promptly, and we return all scripts from first and second year work to you. We also provide past papers (with specimen answers) for you to test yourself and prepare for what to expect in examinations.

We also ask for your feedback on our teaching and assessment, so that we can adapt and change the way we run the programmes as appropriate to make sure we are offering a good experience to our students. There is student representation on the major teaching committees in the Department, as well as a Student Staff Liaison Group that meets regularly to discuss student issues.

Percentage of the course typically assessed by coursework and exams

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Written exams78%65%42%
Practical exams3%0%3%

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.


Careers and employability

 Studying Biomedical Sciences develops critical thinking and research skills, and thus prepares students to be competitive for entry into relevant postgraduate degree programmes. The degree also provides suitable training for direct employment in health-related industries and services (e.g. NHS, pharmaceutical companies). In addition, transferable skills acquired on the course open up other relevant careers including patent law, public health policy and education and scientific writing.  We also foresee that our graduates (like our current biology graduates) will not be confined to science-related careers, and a significant number will enter jobs within finance, public and private sector management, social and health service work, the media and law.

We provide support for careers and employability in a number of ways both through the University’s Careers Service and the Biology Careers pages. To get more of an idea of the career routes some of our graduates have taken, visit our Biology Alumni pages.



How to apply

Application to all of our courses is through UCAS. Although applications should reach UCAS by the January deadline, we do consider applications received after this date, particularly if there are special circumstances. Please note that this programme does not provide a direct route for entry into studying medicine at Hull York Medical School.

Our decision about whether to make an offer of a place is usually based on information on the UCAS form, including your personal statement, reference, and academic grades or predictions. We invite candidates for interview only where there are special circumstances or unusual qualifications.

Diverse applicants

We wish to encourage applications from students from a diverse range of backgrounds, and consider all applications equally, irrespective of race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, educational background or nationality.  More details for applicants with disabilities, mature and international applicants can be found via the menu on the left.

Entry requirements

A levels

Essential subjects
Biology at A2 and Chemistry to at least AS. Preference will be given to applicants with Chemistry A2 but if you only have Chemistry AS, a second science to A2 is required, preferably Maths or Physics.

Typical offers

AAA/AAB including Biology and Chemistry or AAA/AAB including Biology and either Maths or Physics, and B in AS Chemistry. We exclude General Studies from our offers.

International Baccalaureate

Typical offer

36/35 points including 6 in Higher Level Biology and 6 in Higher Level Chemistry. If you have Chemistry to standard level only, you will need 7 in SL Chemistry in addition to 6 in HL Biology and 6 in either HL Maths or HL Physics.

If English is not your first language then we would also require either 4 in Higher Level English B or 5 in Standard Level English B.

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

Typical offer

AA/AB in Biology and Chemistry in Advanced Highers, plus AAAAA/AAAAB in Highers.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Typical offer

H2,H2,H2,H2,H2,H3/H2,H2,H2,H2,H3,H3, including Biology and Chemistry at higher level.


We consider BTEC qualifications but there are specific units that are required, please get in touch with the department for further details.

European Baccalaureate

Typical offer

Overall score of 85%/80%, including individual scores of 85% and 80% in Biology and Chemistry plus 65% in English.

Other qualifications

If our typical offer for your qualification has not been listed below please email

EU qualifications

Bulgaria Diploma Za Sredno Obrazovanie: GPA of 5.8/5.5 including individual scores of 6 and 5 in Biology and Chemistry plus an acceptable English language qualification.

Cyprus Apolytirion: 19 points overall plus grades A and B in A level Biology and Chemistry plus an acceptable English language qualification.

France: FB: 15/14 points overall including individual scores of 14 and 12 in Biology and Chemistry plus 11 in English. OIB: 14/13 points overall including individual scores of 14 and 12 in Biology and Chemistry plus 11 in English.

Greece Apolytirion: 19 points overall plus grades A and B in A level Biology and Chemistry plus an acceptable English language qualification.

Hungary Erettsegi Matura: Grades 5, 5, 5, 5, 5 / 5, 5, 5, 5, 4 in five subjects including Biology and Chemistry plus an acceptable English language qualification.

Italy Diploma di Esame di Stato: 90%/87% overall including individual scores of 9 and 8.5 in Biology and Chemistry plus an acceptable English language qualification.

Lithuania Brandos Atestatas: 9 overall plus 85% in three state examinations including Biology and Chemistry plus an acceptable English language qualification.

Romania Diploma de Bacalaureat: 9/8.8 overall including individual scores of 9 and 8.5 in Chemistry and Maths plus an acceptable English language qualification.

Non-Eu qualifications

Hong Kong: AAA/AAB in Advanced Level or pass the HKDSE with 5, 5, 4 in Elective subjects including Biology and Chemistry.

India: An overall score of 85% in Standard XII, including individual scores of 85% and 80% in Biology and Chemistry plus 80% in English.

USA: GPA of 3.0 in HSGD plus three AP subjects with scores of 5, 5, 4 / 5, 4, 4 including Biology and Chemistry, OR three SAT subjects at 700, 700, 700 / 700, 700, 650, including Biology and Chemistry, OR a combination of both qualifications, OR at least the first year of an Associate Degree in science.

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English should be able to show evidence of their English language ability. For some European countries, the English language requirement may be fulfilled by achieving a satisfactory English grade in the relevant country's state or school examinations. Please contact us for information about the specific requirements for your own country.

We accept the following qualifications:

  • IELTS: 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component
  • Pearson: 61, with a minimum of 55 in each component
  • CAE and CPE (taken from January 2015): 176, with a minimum of 169 each component
  • TOEFL: 87 overall, with a minimum of 21 in Listening, 21 in Reading, 21 in Speaking, 21 in Writing
  • Trinity ISE III: Merit in all components


Mature students

To secure a place as a mature student on a degree programme in Biomedical Sciences at York, we are seeking recent qualifications in Biology and Chemistry at a sufficiently advanced level to cope with the course, together with evidence of some of the key skills needed for studying at degree level. If you do not already have these qualifications, a good way forward would be for you to take A levels, possibly on a part-time basis, at your local college.

Access to Higher Education Diploma in Science

Alternatively, you could take an Access to Higher Education Diploma in Science at your local college. Access courses are designed to prepare adults for entry to degree courses, and provide the opportunity to study the necessary subjects at a level equivalent to A level, as well as ensuring that you have the key skills needed for higher level study, such as English, numeracy and ICT.

The Diploma must include Biology and Chemistry modules at level 3.

Typical offer

Obtain Access to HE Diploma in Science with 30 credits achieved from units awarded Distinction and 15/9 awarded Merit or higher.

Any questions?

Contact our friendly Admissions Office if you've got any questions:

Monica Bandeira
Admissions Officer

01904 328548

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