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MBiomedSci (Hons) Biomedical Sciences

This course will equip you with skills to tackle one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century: improving human health.

2018/19 entry

UCAS code


Institution code



4 years full-time (plus optional placement year)

Typical offer

AAA (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2018 (term dates)

UK/EU fees

£9,250 per year (2018/19)

International fees

£20,910 per year (2018/19)

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One of the great societal and scientific challenges for the 21st century is improving human health.

Combating disease requires a fundamental understanding of the processes that underlie good health and wellbeing, and subsequently what goes wrong during the onset of disease. Biomedical Science is critical for developing novel drugs, intervention strategies and shaping public health policy. With the advent of more sophisticated strategies for treating disease, such as the development of personalised medicine, never before has basic science had a greater impact in the clinic.

Students who study Biomedical Sciences will be equipped to bridge the gap from bench to bedside and pursue careers in all aspects in the fight against disease.

The Department of Biology will provide you with the opportunity to learn in new, spacious and modern teaching laboratories which provide excellent facilities for practicals and small group project work, alongside our state-of-the-art computing facilities.

This modular degree offers flexibility and choice in what you study. You also have the option to spend a year of your degree in Industry or in Europe and your final year research project will give you the chance to experience cutting-edge research first hand.


In recognition of our academic excellence and commitment to developing graduate employability skills, we have received Accreditation or Advanced Accreditation by the Royal Society of Biology (RSB) for all of the degree programmes we offer (Biology and specialist degrees, Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences). 

Students graduating from one of these degree programmes will be able to state that they have a degree accredited by the Royal Society of Biology, and they will be eligible to attain qualification as a chartered biologist (CBiol) with one year’s further practice (as opposed to three years practice for non-accredited programmes UK-wide).


Course content

​This is a flexible and modular course which offers you choices in what you decide to study. You will take 120 credits each year that you are based within the University. There is also the option to spend a year in industry or a year studying in Europe as part of this course. If you do decide to take up a year away, you won't study for a set amount of credits during that time, and the year will be marked as pass/fail. If you don't go away for a year, you will continue to progress through your studies within the University.

An understanding of health and disease is best approached from different angles, and a distinctive feature of our programme is that it will be delivered by four University 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. We therefore offer an interdisciplinary course with breadth and depth in diverse topics such as human biology, pathogens, epidemiology and psychology.

Study abroad

We offer the option for you to extend your course to five years with the chance to study abroad. Once you arrive at York, you can apply for a year-long built-in study placement at one of our European partner universities, or a work placement at a host organisation relevant to your degree. With this option, you will continue to develop your scientific knowledge and expertise, live in another country for a year experiencing a different culture, improve your language abilities and gain self-confidence, which are all advantageous when you apply for jobs.

We provide lots of support and assistance to you to help you find a placement, and we will guide you through the process should you choose to take up this option when you are here. Not everyone who applies will be placed, but we make every effort we can to assist you.

If you do decide to study abroad, this will take place during your third year and you will then return to York for your fourth and fifth years.

Spend time in industry

You can also apply for a year in industry. This is an additional year following on from your second year of study, spent gaining research experience in industry or a research institute relevant to your degree. Our Student Employability Officers will guide you through the application process and help prepare you for placement interviews, although you will be responsible for sorting out the placement yourself. If you are lucky enough to be successful with one of your applications, the year in industry has many benefits; developing your expertise in technology, and providing hands-on experience of working in a research environment or a bioscience industry. This is all very valuable experience for future work as a biomedical scientist in industry or research.

You don’t have to make a decision about taking up the year abroad or year in industry options now - either of these options can be taken once you arrive in York.

Year 1

Stage one (the first year) is comprised of compulsory modules which are designed to give you an excellent basis on which to build your future studies and develop your interests.​ In a typical week you will have around 25 hours of contact time, typically six or seven lectures, two or three practicals, a skills workshop and a tutorial. You will also spend time on independent study, consolidating information from lectures and practicals and preparing work for tutorials.

Modules you will take could include:

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.

Year 2

​Stage two (Year two of your degree) has a mixture of compulsory and optional modules to allow you to begin to develop your own unique programme.

Compulsory modules

Optional modules

  • Genes, Genomes, Evolution and Populations (20 credits)
  • Molecular Biology, Biotech and Bioinformatics (20 credits)
  • Neuroscience (20 credits)

A scientific and transferable skills module runs throughout this year. This includes laboratory based group projects and other sessions aimed at developing experimental design, research skills as well as graduate level skills in project management and communication. There is a focus on modern techniques appropriate to your interest, applying experimental approaches to biological problems, and learning quantitative and computational approaches to analyse data. You will also continue to take small group tutorials.​


Year 3

​If you choose to spend a year abroad or in industry, this will take place in this year. If you opt to go straight into stage three of the course, you will undertake the following:

Compulsory modules

  • Research Group Project (20 credits)

You will be able to select two or more modules from the following:

  • Advanced Topics in Cell Biology (20 credits)
  • Advanced Topics in Translational Medicine (20 credits)
  • Advanced Topics in Neuroscience (20 credits)
  • Cancer Cell and Molecular Biology (20 credits)
  • Immunology and Infectious Disease (20 credits)

Optional modules

You will then select your remaining modules from this list.

  • Advanced Topics in Biotechnology (20 credits)
  • Advanced Topics in Molecular Biology (20 credits)
  • Advanced Topics in Microbiology (20 credits)
  • Genes and Development (20 credits)
  • Human/Medical Genetics (20 credits)
  • Molecular Recognition (20 credits)

Year 4

​If you went abroad or into industry for your third year, when you return you will undertake stage three of the degree course. These modules are described in the Year 3 section.

If you went straight into stage 3 and did not opt to go into industry or Europe, then you will study the following modules:

Approximately 80% of your time in Year 4 will be taken up with independent study, completing your own research project. The guideline figures in the table below are based on previous years and are subject to change.

Year 5

​Year Five will only apply to you if you went abroad or into industry for your third year and then returned to the University for your fourth year. If you undertake Year Five, you will study the modules which are described in the Year Four section.

If you did not go away in your third year, and instead progressed to Year Four immediately, then this year will not apply to you.

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

Learning by design

Every course at York has been designed to provide clear and ambitious learning outcomes. These learning outcomes give you an understanding of what you will be able to do at the end of the course. We develop each course by designing modules that grow your abilities towards the learning outcomes and help you to explain what you can offer to employers. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Provide systematic explanations that demonstrate a deep understanding of the principles, concepts and theories in health and disease, epidemiology, structure, function, development and therapeutic approaches through critical evaluations of the scientific literature at the forefront of Biomedical research.
  • Formulate hypotheses, design and execute experiments for the collection, analysis and modelling of biomedical data ranging from molecular to population level, that tests the current understanding of biomedical systems, to produce figures, graphs and tables explained in comprehensive research reports.
  • Identify and critically evaluate state-of-the-art experimental, analytical, epidemiological and quantitative techniques and methodologies, and opportunities for first-hand practical experience and training in laboratories or the field, demonstrating a deep understanding of the application of cutting-edge research tackling the major global challenges in Biomedical Science of the 21st century.
  • Critically evaluate the effectiveness of your work as an individual, a team member or leader in collaborative groups, by applying logical and critical thinking to solve complex problems in biomedical research to understand the challenges involved in translational research for therapeutic approaches for human diseases, and the interdisciplinary approaches that benefit human health and wellbeing.
  • Communicate and interpret complex information with confidence, clarity and precision through critical reviews in written, oral and other explanations, thoroughly evaluating the impact of Biomedical research in real-world and global issues to expert, professional, business, industrial and lay audiences.
  • Demonstrate self-direction, originality and a critical understanding of cutting-edge practice and technology in Biomedical research, and apply numerical, quantitative, and computer-based transferable skills to a range of working environments including laboratories, education, industry, business, health services, policy, government, and media.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees

UK/EU International
£9,250 £20,910

Additional costs

We currently ask you to provide your own lab coat which costs around £20. Text books and course books are all available in the library or online. We do recommend books you might find useful, but it is not compulsory for you to buy them. Your first year textbook will be provided to you by the Department at no additional cost.

Costs for students going abroad or into industry will vary depending on what sort of placement it is and what sort of financial assistance is available.

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK, EU or international student.

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK/EU: further increases within the government fee cap will apply in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International: fees for international students are subject to annual increases. Increases are currently capped at 2% per annum.

More information

For more information about tuition fees, any reduced fees for study abroad and work placement years, scholarships, tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and living costs see undergraduate fees and funding.


We offer a number of scholarships to help cover tuition fees and living costs.

Home/EU students

International students

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers accommodation costs and estimated social costs.

The Department of Biology is ranked in the top ten in the UK by the THE 2018

£22 million invested in our teaching facilities

Department of Biology ranked first in the UK for research impact in the REF 2014

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

Teaching is delivered by academic scientists with additional contributions from clinical researchers. Throughout your course there will be strong links between your studies, scientific research and clinical applications. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. You may be taught by the following methods:


Cutting-edge Biomedical research informs all our teaching activities, and our friendly, approachable, and accessible staff are experts in their respective fields. Small-group teaching and tutorials for five students are an important part of our programmes. There is a very wide range of tutorials to choose from and they help develop your essay writing, problem solving and communication skills. Tutorials are one of the opportunities we offer to have informal scientific discussions with a member of staff about topical issues in Biomedical Sciences.


You will attend lectures where we will deliver stimulating and thought-provoking perspectives on the major global challenges in Biomedical Science of the 21st century.


Practicals are designed to help you to develop laboratory skills and to become familiar with a wide range of practical techniques, training you to use methods precisely and encouraging you to objectively assess the reliability of your results.


Workshops are also an important feature of our programme and they provide an additional dimension to most modules. You will often collaborate in small groups in problem solving and other learning activities in our flexible learning workshops. You will design your own experiments and work together on the findings from the latest research papers, or investigate the application of new technologies to the global challenges in Biomedicine.

Skills and group work

Each term during the first two years, students take modules designed to develop more generic scientific and transferable skills. Some modules focus on specific scientific techniques, while others develop skills in problem solving, experimental design and data analysis.

We encourage you to develop important communication skills, including working in groups to plan and carry out experiments that investigate a scientific problem, and you will present your work as an oral presentation or poster.

Overall workload

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

Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4
Lectures and seminars348 hours
300 hours
288 hours
600 hours
Independent study852 hours
900 hours
912 hours
600 hours

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

Independent study may include preparation for lectures and seminars, follow-up work, wider reading, practice completion of assessment tasks, or revision. Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours will vary from person to person. In UK higher education the expectation is that full-time students will spend 1200 hours a year learning.


Teaching and learning in the Department of Biology is based in a £22m state-of-the-art facility, which is equipped with laboratories, a flexible workshop and creative learning lounge, computer rooms, specialist tissue culture and fluorescence microscopy suites.

You can take a virtual tour of our facilities.

Teaching location

This course is based in the Department of Biology which is on the Heslington West Campus. The majority of teaching takes place within Biology, with some additional teaching taking place at other locations on Campus West.

Course location

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

​You will be assessed via a mixture of closed exams and continuous assessment, which will help you judge how well you are progressing. Although you must perform to a satisfactory level, Stage 1 (which is your first year) does not count towards the final degree, which is determined by work in Stage 2 (25%), Stage 3 (37.5%) and Stage 4 (37.5%). This provides you with the opportunity to find the most appropriate way for you to study at University. If you undertake a year abroad or in industry this is marked by pass/fail.

Throughout your course we will provide you with feedback on your work and assignments, which will give you an indication of the progress you making in your studies.

Percentage of the course typically assessed by coursework and exams

Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4
Written exams78%60%58%17%
Practical exams3%0%2%7%

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

Careers and skills

Studying Biomedical Sciences will develop your critical thinking and research skills, and prepare you 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 (eg NHS, pharmaceutical companies).

Transferable skills acquired on the course open up other relevant careers including patent law, public health policy and education and scientific writing.

Career opportunities

  • Clinical Outsourcing Manager
  • Evidence Generation
  • Clinical Research
  • Research Assistant
  • Trainee Clinical Scientist
  • Senior Therapy Radiographer
  • Clinical Trial Coordinator
  • Account Executive
  • PhD Study​
  • Postgraduate study
  • Teacher training

Transferable skills

  • ​Research skills
  • Problem solving
  • Communication skills
  • Teamworking skills
  • Critical and analytical thinking
  • Data interpretation and presentation
  • Independent study skills
  • Logical and critical thinking
  • Creativity and innovation
  • IT literacy

Entry requirements

Qualification Grade
A levels

A typical offer would be 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.

​You will need 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.

Access to Higher Education Diploma The Diploma must include Biology and Chemistry modules at level 3 with 30 credits achieved from units awarded Distinction and 15/9 awarded Merit or higher.
BTEC DDD We only consider the 180 credit BTEC National Extended Diploma in Applied Science and if all of the following optional units in biology and chemistry are being studied: 11, 12, 13, 16, 18, 19, 22, 27, 28, and 43.​
European Baccalaureate Overall score of 85%/80%, including individual scores of 85% and 80% in Biology and Chemistry plus 65% in English.​
International Baccalaureate 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.​
Irish leaving Certificate AAAAAB/AAAABB, including Biology and Chemistry at higher level.​
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers AA/AB in Biology and Chemistry in Advanced Highers, plus AAAAA/AAAAB in Highers.​
Other qualifications

Mature students

To secure a place as a mature student on this course you will need 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. 

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. Please see our Postgraduate English Language requirements.


To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

Next steps

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