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Biomedical Science

BSc (Hons) - single

Department of Biological and Medical Sciences

Accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science

Accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science, the Biomedical Science degree from Oxford Brookes will put you at the forefront of health-related research and development. This course is delivered with the support of leading laboratories within the Oxford University NHS Trust, and the course team includes internationally recognised scientists researching into areas such as molecular drug delivery systems, neuroscience, and DNA structure as well as parasite biology. The degree has a strong focus on modern clinical research and its integration into both knowledge and practice.

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 112 - preferred subjects include Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Human Biology and Physics

Available start dates

September 2019 / September 2020

Teaching location

Headington Campus / Headington Campus, Marston Road site

Course length

  • Full time: 3 years (plus 1 year optional placement)
  • Part time: part-time study is possible

UCAS code


For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • You will be supported by some of the best learning resources in the country, including access to the UK's largest science collection, the Radcliffe Science Library.
  • Our Biomedical Science degree has been accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS), the professional body for biomedical scientists. Accreditation means professional recognition, which could enhance your career prospects on graduation. 
  • You will get the opportunity to apply for exciting work placements or projects to enhance your career opportunities through our strong links with local hospitals and bioscience organisations.
  • You gain the practical skills employers require through extensive practical experience using a range of essential equipment. You will get to know the other students and lecturers on your course as we keep our practical classes small.
  • The degree requires students to undertake a research project and our academics are keen to involve you in their research groups for your final year. In your project you will use advanced research methods and state-of-the-art equipment, such as electron and confocal microscopes.

The Biomedical Science degree is structured to prepare you for a career in a hospital or research laboratory environment, but can also be a valuable passport to many other careers in biological, clinical, pharmaceutical or medical areas. The course is taught at the University by our own staff, with some aspects taught by health professionals from the local hospitals.

A feature of Year 1 is a series of tutorials with your academic adviser (a member of the teaching staff who is responsible for overseeing your academic progress while you are at university). The tutorials are designed to help you adjust to academic life at university and establish good study habits.

This lays the foundation for the advanced modules in Year 2 and your final year where these themes are further developed. The emphasis is on the interdisciplinary nature of causes and treatment of disease, so that you become aware of the many ways in which our understanding is applied to medicine and other health-related disciplines.

Year 3 can be an optional professional placement in a laboratory concerned with research or clinical work.

Study modules

As courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you choose from may differ from those shown here.

Year 1

Year 2 and final year

Compulsory modules:

  • Biochemistry of Cell Function (double)
  • Biomedical Laboratory Placement (only for 4 year sandwich mode)
  • Cellular Pathology
  • Clinical Biochemistry and Pharmacology (double)
  • Haematology and Immunology
  • Infection, Immunity and Immunology
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology and Genetics (double)
  • Molecular Biology of Cancer
  • Project (double)
  • Research Methods for Life Scientists

Plus two of the following:

  • Evidence-based Medicine and Diagnostics
  • Genomic Medicine
  • Molecular Medicine

Work placements

During the second year of your course you will have the opportunity to register your interest in extending your course to four years by taking the following year as a work placement. This may allow you to complete the IBMS portfolio of competences in readiness for registering with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) on graduation. Although Oxford Brookes will support you academically during your year out, you will need to organise the placement and fund any associated expenses.

Study abroad

Great opportunities to study or work abroad

You may be able to go on a European or international study exchange while you are at Brookes. Most exchanges take place in the second year. Although we will help as much as we can with your plans, ultimately you are responsible for organising and funding this study abroad.

Studying abroad provides an amazing opportunity to add value to your studies by:

  • increasing your employability within an international market
  • boosting your language skills
  • building your confidence in adapting to new situations
  • improving your knowledge of different cultures.

While on exchange you may be able to gain credits which count towards your degree, but only if the exchange course is also IBMS-accredited.

The university has more than 100 partner universities around the world. Funding is available through the Erasmus scheme, and also via some international programmes such as the Santander Student Awards.

There is also a European work placement programme which gives you the chance to work abroad as part of your studies.

For more information, visit our pages on studying abroad and exchanges.

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:

  • studying at a Brookes partner college
  • studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

Additional costs

You will need to buy some basic personal protection equipment for laboratory practicals (lab coat, safety glasses), at a cost of around £25.

Programme changes

On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.

Teaching and learning

Teaching and learning methods include lectures, practicals, tutorials, seminars and surgeries. Biomedical science is a practical subject and we have a very good range of equipment, including high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), confocal and electron microscopes, and specialised laboratories for tissue culture, microbiology, physiology, biochemistry and cell/molecular biology. You will also have the opportunity to attend seminars given by visiting speakers from around the world.

Time spent in different learning activities

Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 27%73%0%
2 27%73%0%
3 18%82%0%

Approach to assessment

The course includes a variety of teaching, learning and assessment methods that are informed by contemporary practice in science teaching in higher education. Assessment methods include essays, reviews, examinations, laboratory or field notebooks, scientific reports, posters and oral presentations. Reflective learning is encouraged through use of self, peer or staff formative feedback on assignments, group work and project work, and reflective diaries.

Breakdown of assessment methods used on this course

Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 45%0%55%
2 45%0%55%
3 41%0%59%

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2018/19: £9,250. 2019/20: £9,250.

Home/EU - part time fee: 2018/19: £750 per single module. 2019/20: £750 per single module.

Home/EU - sandwich placement fee: 2018/19: £1,380. 2019/20: £1,380.

International - full time: 2018/19: £14,000 2019/20: £14,280

International - sandwich placement fee: 2018/19: £3,920 2019/20: £4,000

*Please note tuition fees for Home/EU students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students.

Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning home and EU students at the maximum permitted level.

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Funding and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see:

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 112 - preferred subjects include Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Human Biology and Physics

A-Level: BBC preferred subjects include Biology, Chemistry and Human Biology

Wherever possible we make our conditional offers using the UCAS Tariff. This combination of A-level grades would be just one way of achieving the UCAS Tariff points for this course.

IB Diploma: 30 points


Students studying more than one science subject may receive a lower offer.

We seek to admit students who have the potential to make good scientists and accept that qualifications are not the only indicator of future potential. Other typical offers include:
  • A-level grades BB plus 2 AS-levels at grade C (equivalent to 112 UCAS Tariff points)
  • 1 12-unit vocational A-level grade BB plus 1 A-level or 2 AS-levels at grade C
  • other recognised qualifications, eg BTEC Nationals or Scottish qualifications (equivalent to 112 UCAS Tariff points).
If your combination of qualifications doesn't match our typical offer, please contact our admissions tutor.

Specific entry requirements

GCSE: 4 GCSEs at Grade 4 (C), or above, including Mathematics, English Language and 2 Sciences

You must have studied science post-16, either at A-level or equivalent. If you do not have a background in science we encourage you to consider our Life Sciences foundation year taught at Abingdon and Witney College.

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

Please see the University's standard English language requirements

Pathways courses for international and EU students

If you do not meet the entry requirements for this degree, or if you would like more preparation before you start, you can take an  international foundation course. Once you enrol, you will have a guaranteed pathway to this degree if you pass your foundation course with the required grades.

If you only need to meet the language requirements, you can take our  pre-sessional English course. You will develop key language and study skills for academic success and you will not need to take an external language test to progress to your degree.

English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

How to apply

International applicants

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Credit transfer

Oxford Brookes operates the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). All undergraduate single modules are equivalent to 7.5 ECTS credits and double modules to 15 ECTS credits. More about ECTS credits.

Why Oxford is a great place to study this course

Oxford is home to leading health care providers such as the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust. Oxford Brookes has long-standing relationships with several of the hospitals within the trust. As well as staff involvement in course development and delivery, the hospitals provide excellent work experience and career opportunities for our students.

Recognised as one of Europe's leading centres of enterprise, innovation and scientific knowledge, Oxfordshire is also a bioscience hotspot, with the Oxford, Milton, Begbroke and Harwell science parks in the county. The Oxford Brookes Student Bioinnovation Hub is a focus for partnerships with industry providing work experience through placements and projects.

Oxford is one of the world's great academic cities, it is a key centre of debate, with conferences, seminars and forums taking place across education, science, the arts and many other subjects.

In addition to our own excellent libraries and resource centres, our students have access to the world-renowned Bodleian Library and the Radcliffe Science Library.

Support for students studying Biomedical Science

Our Personal and Academic Support System (PASS) is gaining national and international recognition for its proactive approach to personal tutoring. It recognises that students need to make various adjustments as they move into higher education, whether from school or employment.

The system encompasses three elements:
  • a structured group tutorial programme
  • an academic adviser who will help you to plan your degree programme and future career
  • interaction with other students on your course.
The first stage includes regular seminars covering a wide range of subjects including research skills, understanding assessment criteria and making the most of coursework feedback. Our programme also helps students adjust to university life by developing their transferable skills.

Secondly our academic staff monitor your progress regularly to check that you are maximising your potential. If you experience academic difficulties we can arrange for you to receive academic mentoring support.

Thirdly if you are faced with challenges that affect your ability to study, such as illness, bereavement, depression, financial difficulties or accommodation issues, we will work with you in finding a way forward. Please talk to your academic adviser or our student support team. Oxford Brookes also offers a range of excellent services to support you.

Specialist facilities

Biomedical science is a practical subject and we have a very good range of equipment, including high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), confocal and electron microscopes, and specialised laboratories for tissue culture, microbiology, physiology, biochemistry and cell biology.

General support services

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Personal support services

We want your time at Brookes to be as enjoyable and successful as possible. That's why we provide all the facilities you need to be relaxed, happy and healthy throughout your studies.

Professional accreditation

The Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) is the professional body for biomedical scientists in the United Kingdom. Biomedical scientists are employed mainly by NHS pathology laboratories but others are found in private laboratories and other laboratory roles around the country. The IBMS assesses qualifications for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council and accredits university degrees.

The Biomedical Science degree here at Oxford Brookes offers you the opportunity to apply to work in an NHS hospital or other agreed research institute. During time spent in the workplace, you may have the option to complete the IBMS portfolio of competences. This will entitle you to the Certificate of Competence in Biomedical Science, awarded by the institute and required for registration by the Health Professions Council. As a student on an IBMS-accredited degree, you are eligible, in the final year, for free student membership of the institute.

Please note that IBMS accreditation is subject to review and can be withdrawn at any time.

Career prospects

A degree in Biomedical Science from Oxford Brookes University is the first step to a career as a biomedical scientist in the NHS. Many leading universities around the world now have graduate medical schools, and this degree is also an excellent preparation for entry.

Our students pursue a wide diversity of career options. Opportunities include biomedical research and professional paramedical fields such as clinical biochemistry, clinical microbiology or pathology, where you would be involved in cutting-edge health care delivery in a hospital.

As many as fifty per cent of our graduates each year are appointed to research posts in universities, research institutes or biotechnology companies, while others pursue careers allied to medicine and health care.

Our courses are designed to equip you with the skills you need for employment. We put a strong emphasis on developing the multidisciplinary graduate attributes needed to keep ahead in a rapidly changing workplace.

Further study

Graduates often go on to further study including master's degrees, such as the MSc Medical Genetics & Genomics at Oxford Brookes, PhDs and graduate medicine or dentistry.

Related courses

  • Biological Sciences
  • Medical Science