From cancer-screening to blood transfusions, from infections to genetic diseases; Biomedical Scientists research the causes and diagnosis of diseases and the effectiveness of the medicines that cure them. You apply the concepts of biochemistry and cell biology to the study of health and disease in the human body. Our multidisciplinary approach means you learn skills that are at the forefront of advances in medical research.
At Essex, our research focuses on genetic diseases, infection and immunity, and age-associated conditions such as cancer.
On our BSc Biomedical Science, you study areas including:
- The human immune system
- Pathogenic and non-pathogenic bacteria
- Haematology and blood transfusion
- Cell pathology
- Mechanisms of neurological diseases
You discover the molecular basis of cellular dysfunctions, and describe modern strategies to diagnose and treat them.
Visit our biomedical science subject page for more information and content.
You could spend your third year on a placement year with the NHS in an IBMS-approved lab. You complete a portfolio of assessed work, which results in HCPC registration after completion of the course. This provides you with hands-on experience using specialised equipment and techniques which are in demand from employers, and is a great route into work in an NHS hospital.
If you complete a placement year you’ll only pay 20% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year.
All BSc Biomedical Science students have the opportunity to learn about clinical biochemistry, cellular pathology, medical microbiology, and haematology and transfusion science. This time spent with NHS professionals improves your laboratory skills and helps you to develop an understanding of career paths in this sector. You will have the opportunity to do your final-year project while on placement supervised by highly experienced NHS professionals.
Our expert staff
As one of the largest departments at our University, we offer a lively, friendly and supportive environment with research-led study and high quality teaching. Two-thirds of our research is rated “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” (REF 2014), and you learn from and work alongside our expert staff.
Our research covers a wide spectrum of biology – from the cell right through to communities and ecosystems. Key academic staff for this course includes Dr Selwa Alsam, the ‚Champion of Biomedical Science in East Anglia‚, who is researching hospital-related infections and human microbial diseases including MRSA, wound infections and infection control.
The University of Essex has a Women’s Network to support female staff and students, and our School was awarded the Athena Swan Silver Award in October 2020, which reflects the work carried out by staff in our School to continue to improve equality, including a mentorship scheme, support for postdoctoral research staff, and financial help towards childcare costs for academics who wish to attend conferences.
Recent spending by our University has allowed for major refurbishment and expansion of our School of Life Sciences, including:
- Work in an open and friendly department, with shared staff-student social spaces
- Conduct your final-year research alongside academics and PhD students in shared labs
- State-of-the-art research facilities, from protein purification, to cell culture and imaging, to molecular modelling
- Receive training in your first year on using the Oxford Nanopore MinION, a portable handheld device that can sequence genomes in real time
- Teaching facilities including new undergraduate laboratories
You graduate ready to move into a wide variety of industrial and public sector environments, from the NHS to pharmaceuticals, research, health and safety, teaching.
Our students have gone on to work in a number of laboratory-based roles in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, and in hospitals, clinics and healthcare companies. Others have gone on to work in sales, publishing and management, while others still have chosen to enhance their career opportunities by studying for MSc or PhD degrees.
Our BSc Biomedical Science course also provides the ideal background for entry onto postgraduate medicine programmes. We have an established scheme for helping students prepare their applications and an excellent success rate with respect to students gaining places at medical schools throughout the country.
Other recent graduate destinations include:
- Studying medicine
- Studying MSc or PhD
- Working in NHS Hospitals at Cambridge, Chelmsford, Colchester, PHE in Colindale, Basildon, London, Bury St Edmunds, Kent, Ipswich, Norwich, Peterborough and Romford
We also work with our University’s Student Development Team to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.
Why we’re great
- We provide great support for our students through our collaboration with many hospitals such as Addenbrookes, Bedford, Broomfield, Ipswich, as well as Public Health England, Norwich, Kent and many others. A hospital placement gives you the opportunity to spend a year working in an NHS lab.
- Take advantage of our brand-new biomedical science facilities in our STEM Centre at our Colchester Campus.
- Our students are well prepared for placements and enthusiastic about the support they receive from academic staff and employers.
We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of core/compulsory modules, and optional modules chosen from lists.
Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The course content is therefore reviewed on an annual basis to ensure our courses remain up-to-date so modules listed are subject to change.
Teaching and learning disclaimer
Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.
The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently approved for 2022 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.
- Learn through a combination of lectures, laboratory sessions and coursework
- Gain experience collating and interpreting data, and reporting findings clearly and concisely
- Participate in an optional one-week summer school learning from NHS professionals
- Degrees are awarded on the results of your written examinations together with continual assessments of your practical work and coursework
- Contribute towards real-world research projects in your final year of study