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

8 : 1

Based on 2021 entry data

  • UCAS course code: B101
  • ECTS: 180
  • Start date: October 2023
Apply on UCAS
Introduction to Medical Biosciences

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, unique 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 through a research-intensive, laboratory-focused curriculum, whilst teaching on critical health issues and modules in science communication and ethics will broaden your outlook and employability skills.

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 that does not involve laboratory research, there are options 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 your niche in this course. 

Transfer between courses

You can 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 student 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

Investigate the role that chemicals and macromolecules play at the cellular, molecular, and system levels, using examples to illustrate their real-world implications.

Integrative Body System

Learn how the nervous system controls and regulates the functioning of the body, and the fundamentals of the musculoskeletal system. 

Lab Pod 1

Explore real scientific questions in a supportive, yet challenging environment, modelled after an active research lab, and experience the excitement of performing scientific research.

Molecular and Cellular Biology

Gain a thorough understanding of molecular biology and cellular biology in order to comprehend the impact of these disciplines on human health.

Statistics

Learn how to explore data sets and undertake rigorous statistical analysis.

Year 2

 

Core modules

Genetics and Genomics

Find out how DNA differs between and within individuals, and how genetic linkage mapping and DNA sequencing detect these differences.

Lab Pod 2

Test your own hypotheses in teams based on an individual research problem.

I-Explore module

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 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

 

Optional modules

You choose four optional modules from below.

Cancer Biology

Learn about basic carcinogenesis, tumour biology, and personalised medicine.

Cardiovascular and Thoracic Biology

Analyse the basic physiology of the heart and lungs and begin to understand how genetics and the environment contribute to heart and lung disease.

Immunology and Inflammation

Get a deeper understanding of the physiology of the immune system, including how it functions, develops, and interacts with pathogens.

Microbiome in Health and Disease

Explore how microbiota influence human health and disease and become familiar with the key platforms and methods that characterise the microbiome.

Neuroscience

Examine nervous system function and dysfunction, from molecules to disease, using case studies to create a real-life context for the knowledge acquired. 

Pharmacology and Toxicology

Discover the pharmacological effects of drugs in use today by studying the chemical and biological factors affecting their administration, distribution, metabolism, excretion, and toxicological action.

Stem Cells and Reproductive Biology

Obtain an understanding of stem cell biology from embryonic and adult stem cells, including aspects of mammalian development and reproduction, and how these cells can be used in basic research, disease modelling, and in regenerative medicine.

Year 3

Core project modules

You will undertake a project from three possible options.

Laboratory Based Research Project

Conduct five months of research in a 'wet' or 'dry' lab, in areas such as epidemiology, data science, or computational research.

Literature Based Research Project

Research a topic of your interest within or related to biomedical sciences in depth or analyse a relevant major health issue, focusing on associated theories and developments.

Work Placement Based Project

Gain real-world experience and apply theoretical skills by working in a relevant organisation in the public, private or third sector. 


Compulsory modules

If you are allocated a Literature Based Research Project or Work Placement Based Project, you will also study the modules below.

Creative Reflection on Professional Practice

Build skills related to critical reflection on work or research experiences, including ethical conduct, resilience, community engagement, and lifelong learning. 

Science Communication and Public Engagement

Cultivate skills that will make you a persuasive communicator, including how to explain the importance of scientific work.


Optional modules

You will choose three optional modules from below.

Biology of Ageing

Develop analytical and data evaluation skills, and learn how ageing and genetics impact neurodegenerative disorders.

Biomedicine Data Science

Choose which machine learning algorithms are appropriate for different research questions, analyse the outputs of big data algorithms, and visualise the results.

Designing Drugs for the 21st Century

Learn how drugs are developed from chemists and industry professionals, who will give you insight into their own career paths and patient involvement.

Ethics and Medical Regulation

Learn to set up ethical guidelines for high-quality, representative medical research.

Global Health

Look at global disease trends from a public health, political, ethical, and epidemiological perspective.

Innovation and Translation in Medicine

Understand the steps needed to establish research-led thinking to the development of transformational medical technologies and devices.

Nanobiology and Biomaterials

Learn how biomaterials and nanomaterials are used in biomedical research, clinical trials, and treatments.

Obesity and Diabetes

Deepen your understanding of obesity prevalence, diabetes medications, appetite control, bariatric surgery, and genetics.

Regenerative Medicine

Examine the biology of stem cells, how they differ from one another, and how they impact the lives of many with devastating diseases.

Precision Medicine

Evaluate the major resources and analyses available for large-scale biological data; compare “big data” and “precision medicine” approaches.

Targeting Antimicrobial Resistance

Analyse how antimicrobial drugs work, how bacteria develop resistance to them, and what consequences this has for patients.


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.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching

We teach using a blended learning approach, sometimes referred to as flipped learning. We provide you with factual information, typically through digital materials 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. 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.

Assessment

You can expect a variety of different types of assessment methods. Depending on the modules you follow, your assessments may include:

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.

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 2023 entry is AAA overall, to include:

  • A in Biology or Human Biology
  • A in Chemistry, Mathematics, Further Mathematics or Physics
  • 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.

Students taking English exam board science A-levels will be required to pass the practical endorsement.


Typical offer range

As a guide, here are the typical offers made to at least 80% of A-level applicants for 2021 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 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 2023 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 2021 entry was 38 points.


Mathematics Higher Level

The Mathematics Analysis and Approaches or the Applications and Interpretation syllabi will be accepted at higher level with no preference.


Additional Mathematics support

Our A-level Mathematics online course 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

Our A-level Mathematics online course 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.

Foundation programmes

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

Contextual admissions

We want to make sure that the Imperial learning community is as diverse as the society we serve. So to make our admissions process as fair as possible, we have introduced admissions schemes for Home students that allow us to consider your application in the full context of any additional barriers you may face.

Find out if you meet the eligibility criteria for our contextual admissions schemes. 

This department will make you a guaranteed offer if you have predicted grades that meet the minimum College entry standard of AAA at A-level or an equivalent level qualification and you demonstrate motivation to study the specific subject area.

Read more about the contextual admissions scheme in this department and others.

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.

Home rate of tuition

2023 entry

£9,250 per year.

Please note, this fee is set by the UK government and is subject to change until it has passed into legislation. We will update this page when this happens.

For each subsequent year, you should expect and budget for your tuition fee to increase 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 2023 will apply to fees for the academic year 2023–2024.

Fee status

Whether you pay the Home fee or not depends on your fee status.

Your fee status is assessed based on UK Government legislation and includes things like where you live and your nationality or residency status.

Find out more about how we assess your fee status.

Home fee eligibility

You can find the conditions you need to meet to pay the Home rate of tuition fees from the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA). These apply to higher education courses in England and reflect the regulations as they currently stand, noting that these are subject to amendment.

Because of the UK’s exit from the European Union, some frameworks of eligibility have been amended. Individuals affected by the amended frameworks should refer to the UKCISA publication, Who pays ‘home’ fees for higher education in England [PDF].

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.

Overseas rate of tuition

2023 entry

The fee for Overseas students has not been confirmed for the 2023-24 academic year. The fee is controlled by the College and we will update this page when it is announced.

As a guide, the Overseas fee for 2022-23 was £32,950.

For each subsequent year, you should expect and budget for your tuition fee to increase 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 2023 will apply to fees for the academic year 2023–2024.

Fee status

Whether you pay the Overseas fee or not depends on your fee status.

Your fee status is assessed based on UK Government legislation and includes things like where you live and your nationality or residency status.

Find out more about how we assess your fee status.

Home fee eligibility

You can find the conditions you need to meet to pay the Home rate of tuition fees from the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA). These apply to higher education courses in England and reflect the regulations as they currently stand, noting that these are subject to amendment.

Because of the UK’s exit from the European Union, some frameworks of eligibility have been amended. Individuals affected by the amended frameworks should refer to the UKCISA publication, Who pays ‘home’ fees for higher education in England [PDF].

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

Currently, 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 graduates leave Imperial with highly sought-after transferable, analytical and research skills that open the door to a variety of professional careers. The blended learning teaching methods and the unique Lab Pods combined with the third year project make our graduates especially attractive to employers in today’s flexible working environment.

Common next steps include postgraduate study, research roles within a range of industries including pharmaceutical organisations and the NHS, science communications roles and analyst or consultancy roles within and outside of science.

To help you explore and develop your career during your study, you’ll meet the Careers team at regular points throughout the degree. You’ll get a chance to engage with alumni, learn how to network and develop commercial awareness, access support to find internships/jobs and research opportunities and will be invited to attend a range of careers fairs and employer events every year to help you choose the right career for you.

Recent graduates of the Department have become:

  • Research Executive, University of Hong Kong
  • Laboratory Technician, A*STAR
  • Project Assistant, Non-profit organisation
  • Analyst, Deutsche Bank
  • Research assistant, BBC

How to apply

UCAS key information

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

Apply on UCAS

You can start and track your application on UCAS Hub. There you can add this course as one of your choices.

Application deadlines

25 January 2023 at 18.00 (UK time).

If your application includes a medicine course, the deadline is 15 October 2022 at 18.00 (UK time).

Any questions?

Explore our step by step guide on how to apply. You can also find answers to your questions about admissions.

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

Connect with us

Biomedical student

Got a question?

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

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