BSc Biomedical Sciences
UCAS code: C190
Duration: 4 years
School: Edinburgh Medical School: Biomedical Sciences
College: Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Introducing BSc Biomedical Sciences
Understanding the functioning of the human body at the molecular, cellular, organ and system levels, in health and disease, is the ultimate aim of biomedical sciences.
Biomedical scientists integrate knowledge gained by research across a range of related disciplines and apply this knowledge in the analysis of disease mechanisms. The basic research carried out by biomedical scientists is fundamental for new developments and innovation in disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention.
Biomedical scientists develop individual scientific, experimental and critical skills that have the potential to facilitate major contributions to improvements in human health and the treatment of illness.
The main theme you will study is the importance of biomedical sciences to medicine and health. You will learn how biomedical science discoveries and breakthroughs in understanding have led to medical and scientific advancement.
You will take three compulsory courses covering biomedical sciences, medical biology, and molecular and cellular biology, plus others from a range of biomedical and non-biomedical courses. You will also be expected to take at least one course in biological chemistry.
The theme of your second year is foundational understanding of biomedical sciences, which includes essential learning applicable to biomedical disciplines.
You will take three compulsory courses:
- Biomedical Sciences 2
- Microorganisms, Infection & Immunity 2
- Cells to Organisms 2
You will choose other courses from a range of biomedical and non-biomedical options.
You will study the compulsory course Biomedical Sciences 3, the cornerstone to the theme of developing knowledge from experiment.
You will develop key graduate attributes, including analytical and communication skills. You will study a combination of compulsory and optional courses to broaden your understanding of your chosen subject.
The final year theme is research in practice. You will study two compulsory courses: Biomedical Sciences and Critical Analysis Skills in Biomedical Sciences, together with two option courses covering cutting-edge topics in more depth.
With individual supervisor support, you will complete a major research project that can involve original laboratory-based research or library-based, literature analysis-based research.
Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.
To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.
Teaching takes place at both the University's Central Area and the King's Buildings campus. In the final year, some teaching takes place in the Chancellor’s Building at Little France, and the Western General Hospital. All sites offer state-of-the-art lecture theatres and laboratory facilities.
Study materials are available online. You will have full access to the University's libraries and computer laboratories.
There are opportunities to study abroad in Europe, North America and Asia in Year 3.
How will I learn?
You will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, practical work, problem-based learning and computer-assisted learning. In Years 3 and 4, there will be more emphasis on self-directed study and discussion sessions with internationally renowned research scientists.
How will I be assessed?
In-course assessment and exams are used in all years of the programmes. Your degree classification will be based on your performance in Years 3 and 4.
Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.
To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.
Our programmes will appeal to those planning a career in biomedical research or related areas as well as graduate-entry careers in industry, management and the public sector. The broad analytical, scientific and personal skills you gain will equip you for a variety of careers.
Previous graduates have been employed in science and in non-science sectors including teaching, marketing, accountancy and policy research. A large proportion of our graduates choose further study before entering successful academic or industry-based research careers.
Standard entry requirement
The standard entry requirement is:
- SQA Highers: AAAB - ABBB by end of S5 or AAAA - AABB/ABBBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
- A Levels: AAB - ABB in one set of exams.
- IB: 36 points with 665 at HL - 32 points with 655 at HL.
Minimum entry requirement
The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:
- SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
- A Levels: ABB.
- IB: 32 points with 655 at HL.
The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:
- SQA: Highers: Biology and Chemistry at B. Higher Mathematics or Physics and Advanced Higher Biology and Chemistry are recommended. National 5s: Mathematics at B and English at C.
- A Levels: Biology and Chemistry at B. Mathematics or Physics is recommended. GCSEs: Mathematics at B or 6 and English at C or 4.
- IB: HL: Biology and Chemistry, one at 5 and one at 6. Mathematics or Physics is recommended. SL: English at 5 and Mathematics at 5. From 2021, both the Mathematics Analysis & approaches and Applications & interpretation pathways will be accepted.
We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.
For direct entry to second year the standard requirements must be exceeded, including the following:
- SQA Advanced Highers: AB in Biology and Chemistry.
- A Levels: AAB in one set of exams to include Biology and Chemistry.
- IB: 36 points with 666 at HL to include Biology and Chemistry.
You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.
SQA, GCSE and IB
For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:
- SQA National 5 at C
- SQA Standard Grade at 3
- SQA Intermediate 1 at A
- SQA Intermediate 2 at C
- GCSE at C or 4
- Level 2 Certificate at C
- IB Standard Level at 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)
English language tests
We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified*:
- IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 6.0 in each component
- TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition) 92 or above with 23 in each section. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
- Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 169 in each component
- Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components
We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.
English language qualifications must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the degree you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.
*(Revised 27 April 2020 to include TOEFL-iBT Special Home Edition.)
Please apply for only one Biomedical Sciences degree. You will have the opportunity to switch between degrees in later years provided the required courses have been passed.
This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.
It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.
Please note that some programmes do not have Discover Uni data available.
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