Undergraduate study - 2019 entry

Subject area: Biomedical Sciences

Why choose Biomedical Sciences at the University of Edinburgh?

  • You will join an interdisciplinary programme that provides the knowledge, skills, and personal and professional development appropriate for globally competitive graduates of our key disciplines.

  • You will be supported by academic staff who provide an outstanding research-led, student learning experience that fosters individual intellectual development.

  • You will have the opportunity to undertake projects with our leading biomedical researchers addressing major global biomedical challenges.

Study abroad

I love studying among likeminded individuals; we are all young adults with a passion for biology and medicine. I find it very inspiring when I walk in to a lecture theatre and see 200 aspiring scientists around me.

Lorenzo Capitani 3rd year BSc (Hons) Infectious Diseases
Lorenzo Capitani 3rd year BSc (Hons) Infectious Diseases

Studying biomedical sciences involves the study of the processes behind human health and disease. Developments in the field drive and guide improvements in medical practice.

Our biomedical programmes have a common structure in Years 1 and 2 that provides a firm grounding in the knowledge, understanding and skills required for our specialist disciplines of infectious diseases, neuroscience, pharmacology, physiology and reproductive biology.

In Years 3 and 4, you will focus on exploring your chosen discipline in depth. There are opportunities to transfer between disciplines at the end of Years 2 and 3.

You will be taught within an internationally respected research environment and will have the opportunity to work with our research groups.


Please apply for only one of the programmes in this group. Compulsory courses in Years 1 and 2 keep programmes in all our biomedical sciences disciplines open. You will have the opportunity to switch between programmes at the end of Year 2 and at the end of Year 3 provided the required courses have been passed.

Year 1

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: Biomedical Sciences 1; Molecules, Genes & Cells 1; and Medical Biology 1 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.

Year 2

The theme of your second year is foundational understanding of biomedical sciences and it includes essential learning applicable to biomedical disciplines.

You will take three compulsory courses: Biomedical Sciences 2; Microorganisms, Infection & Immunity 2; and Cells to Organisms 2. You will choose other courses from a range of biomedical and non-biomedical options.

Year 3

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 option courses to broaden your understanding of your chosen subject.

Year 4

The final-year theme is research in practice. You will study compulsory and option courses covering cutting-edge topics that will allow you to study your chosen subject 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.

Are there additional costs?


Our facilities

Teaching takes place at both the University’s Central Area and the King’s Buildings campus. You will have access to the University's libraries and computer laboratories. Study materials are available online.

Study abroad

There are opportunities to study abroad in Europe, North America and Asia.

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.

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.