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 can spend your third year on a placement year with another external organisation. This is usually focused around your course, and enables you to learn about a particular sector, company or job role, apply your academic knowledge in a practical working environment, and receive inspiration for future career pathways. Organisations our students have recently been placed with include GlaxoSmithKline, Proctor & Gamble, Aquaterra, Astrazeneca, Genzyme, Reckitt Benckiser, Thermofisher, and Isogenica.
If you complete a placement year you’ll only pay 20% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year.
Our first-year students will have the opportunity to participate in the Science Week at Public Health England (PHE) in Colindale. We have fantastic collaboration with several hospitals in the Eastern Region and beyond, and part of this collaboration is to send all of our second-year students to visit hospitals to have a clear picture about the biomedical science profession.Our final-year students have the opportunity to participate in our Employability Day at Essex, and also contribute to the IBMS Congress.
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, Harlow, Hastings, Ipswich, Norwich, Peterborough Kent, Bedford 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
- Gain fast-track career progression within the NHS.
- You have the opportunity to spend a year working in an NHS lab.
- Take advantage of our brand new biomedical science facilities in our STEM Centre on campus.
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.
Please note, vaccinations are required if students undertake an NHS placement.
- 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