Biomedical Science

Address the critical challenges facing human health in this research-intensive, laboratory-focused course.

Key information

Award

BSc

Duration

3 years

full-time

Minimum entry

Three A-level offer: A A A

See full entry requirements

Applications : admissions ratio

6 : 1

Based on 2019 entry data

  • UCAS course code: B101
  • ECTS: 180
  • Start date: October 2021
Introduction to Medical Biosciences
Download course brochure [PDF, 529 KB]

Overview

This interdisciplinary course allows you to explore the science underpinning human health and its related fields. You'll also explore the principles and practice of biomedical science, and how they are applied in research, policy and industry.

This exciting new course will open up the potential for you to become one of tomorrow’s leading scientists, by allowing you to develop pure scientific rigour and skills, as well as the analytical ability, professional outlook and interpersonal intelligence required to succeed in a changing world.

You will learn to think like a scientist with a research-intensive, laboratory-focused curriculum, whilst workshops on critical health issues and modules in science communication and ethics will broaden your outlook and employability skills.

It is taught in our Faculty of Medicine, one of the world’s most respected – Imperial ranked 3rd in Europe, 4th in the world for pre-clinical and health in The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020.

Our teaching taps into the cutting-edge research programme being conducted by internationally recognised experts within the Faculty. This gives you access to the very latest developments in the subject field.

The syllabus will be taught online and face-to-face using the principles of active learning and will not involve traditional lectures.

We also offer this degree with Management, which includes a fourth year in Imperial College Business School that's designed to complement your scientific and clinical skills with business acumen.

If you are an international student, transferring to a different course could have an impact on your Tier 4 visa. Please visit our International Student Support webpage for further information.

Study programme

Biomedical Sciences student

The first two years cover topics in fundamental human biology and the molecular basis of human disease. The syllabus will be taught online and face-to-face using the principles of active learning and will not involve traditional lectures.

During the unique and exciting Lab Pod modules, you will work on real life research questions in a learning environment that mirrors an authentic research laboratory.

In your third year, you can choose from a range of specialist modules, each of which examines a global health problem, and you will also complete a final-year project. This can be an intensive research project, a placement, or a dissertation on a biomedical science-related topic.

Placement possibilities may include industry, hospitals, publishing houses, museums, charities and government agencies.

If you're interested in a career which doesn't involve laboratory research, you have the choice to pursue a shorter final year project, either in the form of a dissertation or placement in any topic related to biomedical sciences. If you love human biology but do not share the same enthusiasm for practical research you can find their niche in this course. 

Transfer between courses

You are able to transfer between our two Medical Biosciences courses up to the Easter of your third year. There is no benefit in applying to more than one Medical Biosciences course so you should only apply for one course.

If you are an international student, transferring to a different course could have an impact on your Tier 4 visa. Please visit our International Student Support webpage for further information.

Transfer from our Medical Biosciences courses to our MBBS/BSc Medicine course is not possible.

Structure

Find out more about the limited circumstances in which we may need to make changes to or in relation to our courses, the type of changes we may make and how we will tell you about them.

Year 1

Core modules

  • Chemistry of Biological Interactions
  • Integrative Body Systems
  • Lab Pod I
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • Statistics

Year 2

Core modules

  • Genetics and Genomics
  • Lab Pod II
  • I-Explore module

Optional modules

You choose four from the list below.

  • Cancer Biology
  • Cardiovascular and Thoracic Biology
  • Immunology and Inflammation
  • Microbiome in Health and Disease
  • Neuroscience
  • Pharmacology and Toxicology
  • Stem Cells and Reproductive Biology

Year 3

Core modules

Project modules

You choose one module from below.

  • Laboratory Based Research Project
  • Literature Based Research Project
  • Work Placement Based Project
Compulsory modules

If you choose the Literature Based Research Project or Work Placement Based Project, you study both of the modules below.

  • Creative Reflection
  • Science Communication and Public Engagement

Optional modules

In addition to your project modules and compulsory modulkes, you choose three optional modules from below.

  • Biology of Ageing
  • Designing Drugs for the 21st Century
  • Global Health
  • Nanotechnology and Bioengineering
  • Obesity and Diabetes
  • Regenerative Medicine
  • Science Communication and Public Engagement*
  • Precision Medicine
  • Targeting Antimicrobial Resistance

* If you choose the laboratory based research project this module becomes available as an optional module.


Download the programme specification‌ [PDF] – this is the most up-to-date version available for this course. It may change for your year of entry. If/when changes to this course are approved by the College, we will update this document and the information on this course page.


I-Explore

Through I-Explore, you'll have the chance to deepen your knowledge in a brand new subject area, chosen from a huge range of for-credit modules.

All of our undergraduate courses include one module from I-Explore's wide selection. The module you choose will be fully integrated into your course's curriculum and count as credit towards your degree.

Find out more about I-Explore

Teaching and assessment

Teaching

We teach using blended learning approad, sometimes referred to as flipped learning. We provide you with factual information, typically through an online lecture which you consolidate through active learning with academics and your classmates. This means you will not have traditional lectures. To help you engage with online learning, you will be provided with a tablet.

Theoretical knowledge and practical transferable skills will increase in complexity over the three years. Throughout, you will develop your critical thinking, analytical skills and ability.

Transferable skills are weaved throughout the programme, most notably in the Lab Pods, and a number of events such as the “Conference Week”, which promotes interaction between Year 1 and 2 students.

The Lab Pods take place across Year 1 and Year 2. They are part of an innovative laboratory-based programme that places you one day a week in a research-like environment, working on a research project from the start. We are proud of our teaching laboratories which are equipped to an outstanding standard.

You can also choose to undertake a 20-week long final-year laboratory-based research project embedded in real work environments such as research teams based within Imperial or other academic or pharmaceutical organisations.

Alternatively, you can spend 14 weeks in a work placement inside or outside a research environment, or writing a literature review on a biomedical science-related topic and further engage in two very exciting modules in the areas of creative reflection, science communication and public engagement.

Assessment

You can expect a variety of different types of assessment methods.

Written assessment

  • Reports
  • Written exams
  • Computer-based exams
  • Online tests
  • Essays
  • Creative writing
  • Business case
  • Scientific paper
  • Grant applications
  • Research preparation plan
  • Multiple choice questionnaires
  • Peer assessment of group reports

Oral assessment

  • Oral presentations
  • Digital storytelling
  • Poster presentations
  • Laboratory practicals
  • Peer assessment of group reports
  • Group reports

Practical assessment

  • Lab books
  • Experiment write-up
  • Dissertation, plus dissertation preparation
  • Lab work
  • Placement report
  • Data handling
  • Presentations

Students are required to achieve an overall aggregate mark of at least 40% with a mark of at least 40% in each module to pass the year.

Staff expertise

At Imperial, you will be taught by a range of teachers of all levels from Professors to PhD students, including some who undertake groundbreaking research and are regarded as experts in their field.

You may also experience peer teaching and be taught by specialists external to the College.

Associateship

As well as your main Imperial degree, you will also receive the award of the Associateship of the Imperial College School of Medicine (AICSM).

Find out more about Associateships.

Compare this course

See how this course compares with similar courses at different institutions using the Unistats Key Information Set (KIS).

You can use the KIS to find out how this course compares in areas such as the proportion of time spent in timetabled teaching and independent study, how the course is assessed, student satisfaction and what our graduates are doing six months after completing this course.

Please note this course is new and therefore the employment and student satisfaction data provided below is an illustration of provision in the subject area rather than specific data for this course.

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis – see selection process below.

For advice on the requirements for the qualifications listed here please contact the Department (see Contact us).

We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. If the requirements for your qualifications are not listed here, please see our academic requirements by country page for guidance on which qualifications we accept.

A-levels

Minimum entry standards

Our minimum entry standard for 2021 entry is AAA overall, to include:

  • A in Biology or Human Biology
  • A in Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics or Further Mathematics
  • A in another subject (if your second A grade is in Mathematics or Further Mathematics, your third choice must be a non-Mathematics subject)

General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted.


Typical offer range

As a guide, here are the typical offers made to at least 80% of A-level applicants for 2019 entry:

  • Three A-level offer: AAA

Practical endorsement (practical science assessment)

If you are made an offer you will be required to achieve a pass in the practical endorsement in all science subjects that form part of the offer.

The practical endorsement is part of the reformed English linear A-levels.


Additional Mathematics support

Our new A-level Mathematics online course covers a range of key topic areas to help you gain a deeper understanding of the skills and techniques required to succeed in your A-level Mathematics exams.

This optional course has been built around the A-level syllabus with the aim of developing your thinking skills, fluency and confidence.

Please note: this course is not compulsory and does not form part of the entry requirements for this course. It is available free of charge via the EdX website. It is self-paced so you can start it at any time.

International Baccalaureate

Minimum entry standards

Our minimum entry standard for 2021 entry is 38 points overall, to include:

  • 6 in Biology at higher level
  • 6 in Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics at higher level

Typical offer range

As a guide, the typical offer made to at least 80% of IB applicants for 2019 entry was 38 points.


Mathematics Higher Level for award in 2021

For entry in 2021, the Mathematics Analysis and Approaches or the Applications and Interpretation syllabi will be accepted at higher level with no preference.


Additional Mathematics support

We have recently launched an A-level Mathematics online course, which is available free of charge via the EdX website.

Although this optional course has been built around the A-level syllabus, it is relevant to your curriculum too.

Please note: this course is not compulsory and does not form part of the entry requirements for this course. It is self-paced so you can start it at any time.

Advanced Placements

The grades detailed below are the minimum requirements for students offering only Advanced Placements as their exams for entry to Imperial.

If you are studying a High School Diploma that is accepted by Imperial alongside Advanced Placements, requirements may apply to both your Diploma and Advanced Placements.

Please consult our country index to check whether we accept your High School Diploma programme for admission.

Our minimum requirement for this course is grades 5, 5, 5 to include:

  • 5 in Biology
  • 5 in Chemistry
  • 5 in a Mathematics or Science subject

Additional Mathematics support

We have recently launched an A-level Mathematics online course, which is available free of charge via the EdX website.

Although this optional course has been built around the A-level syllabus, it is relevant to your curriculum too.

Please note: this course is not compulsory and does not form part of the entry requirements for this course. It is self-paced so you can start it at any time.

Selection process

Assessing your application

Admissions Tutors consider all the evidence available during our rigorous selection process and the College flags key information providing assessors with a more complete picture of the educational and social circumstances relevant to the applicant. Some applicants may be set lower offers and some more challenging ones.


Pilot admissions schemes (Home students)

From 2020 entry, we will be using information about our applicants in a number of new pilot admissions schemes, to consider the wider context of Home students from groups underrepresented at the College.

More about pilot admissions schemes

Foundation programmes

Currently, Medical Biosciences courses do not accept UCL UPCSE nor Warwick IFP Science and Engineering applications.

English language requirement (all applicants)

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve the higher College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for undergraduate applicants.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students who apply for this course.

For more information about the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS), please see the International Student Support website.

View our terms and conditions on visas.

Tuition fees and funding

We charge tuition fees for every year that your course lasts. The fee you will be charged is based on your fee status, which is determined by government regulations.

Tuition fees (Home and EU students)

2021 entry
The fee for Home students is controlled by the UK government and has not been confirmed for the 2021-22 academic year.

As a guide, the Home rate of tuition for the 2020-21 academic year was £9,250.

Please note that the fee you pay may increase annually by an amount linked to inflation and approved by Parliament under the Student Fees (Inflation Index) Regulations 2006 – currently the measure of inflation used is the RPIX.

Government funding

If you're a Home student, you can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the UK government to cover the entire cost of tuition for every year of your course.

You can also apply for a means-tested Maintenance Loan to help towards your living costs.

EU/EEA students

The government has not confirmed whether the finance arrangements for EU students starting university in 2021 will remain the same following the UK’s decision to leave the EU. This includes whether they will continue to pay the Home rate of tuition and have access to the Tuition Fee Loan.

We will update these pages when the government has confirmed finance arrangements.

Find updates on the implications of ‘Brexit’ and Imperial and the European Union.

Tuition fees (Overseas and Islands students)

2021 entry

The fee for Overseas and Islands students is controlled by the College and has not been confirmed for the 2021–22 academic year.

As a guide, the Overseas and Islands rate of tuition for the 2020–21 academic year was £31,000.

You should expect and budget for your tuition fee increasing each year by an amount in line with inflation. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPIX) value, taken from April in the calendar year in which the academic session starts. For example, the RPIX value in April 2021 will apply to fees for the academic year 2021–2022.

Additional course costs

This section outlines additional costs relevant to this course. These are not included in your tuition fees. It's possible that all, or only some, of these will be relevant to you.

Figures are approximated, usually based on costs in the most recent academic year. They are likely to change each year but it's useful for you to be aware of the things you may have to pay for. This can help you budget for life at Imperial.

Mandatory costs are those that you will need to pay to fully participate in and complete your studies. Optional costs are not essential to your studies so you can opt-out of these.


Summary
DescriptionMandatory/optionalGuide to cost
Personal Protective Equipment Mandatory Provided
Placement (travel) Optional Varies
Tablet computer Mandatory Provided
Please review the information below for more information on the costs listed in the table.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Wearing personal protective equipment is compulsory for some activities on this course. Where this applies, we will provide you with the necessary PPE free of charge. This includes a lab coat.

Tablet computer

All students on this course will be provided with a tablet computer for the duration of their studies. This will be provided free of charge.

Travel to placement

There are three project options in your third year (see Structure – Year 3).

The placement project option will involve travel to and from your placement, which you should expect to budget for.

The other placement options will not require you to budget for travel expenses, and can be completed at Imperial College.

Accommodation and living costs

Living costs, including accommodation, are not included in your tuition fees.

Most Imperial undergraduates choose to live in our halls of residence in their first year. You can compare costs across different accommodation options.

Read our rough guide to university spending in London.

Careers

Our courses are designed to educate future leaders in research and industry, policy makers and science communicators.

Medical Biosciences graduates may, for example, pursue careers as academic researchers, in technical and managerial industry roles, or as journalists and museum curators. The programme also provides an excellent foundation for postgraduate study, enabling you to progress to Master's and PhD courses.

Our courses' emphasis on developing highly sought transferable analytical and research skills will also equip graduates to enter careers in the professional and charitable sectors and in small and medium enterprises.

How to apply

UCAS key information

  • UCAS course code: B101
  • UCAS institution code: I50

UCAS Apply system

To apply to study at Imperial you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can view this course on the UCAS website.

Application deadlines

All applications, other than those which include choices for medicine at Imperial, must be submitted to UCAS by 18.00 (UK time) on 15 January 2021 for entry in October 2021.

The deadline for medicine courses at Imperial starting in 2021 is 18.00 (UK time) on 15 October 2020.

Tracking your application

Once you’ve completed and submitted your application through UCAS’s online Apply service, you can use UCAS’ Track system to follow its progress and manage your choices.

See our How to apply section for further guidance.

You may also be interested in the following related departments and the courses they offer:

Contact us

Biomedical student

Got a question?

T: +44 (0)20 7594 7259
E: medicine.ug.admissions@imperial.ac.uk

School of Medicine

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