If you enjoy science and its practical application, particularly in health care or related research, a degree in Biomedical Sciences could be just what you want. You will study life processes to gain an understanding of human biology, health and the methods for diagnosing, analysing and treating disease. Subjects covered are broadly similar to the pre-clinical components of a medical degree, with the addition of molecular biology, the screening and evaluation of new drugs, and the relationship between the environment and health.
Biomedical Sciences (UCAS code B940) is the application of biology-based science to medicine. This includes health monitoring, diagnosis and the development of new drugs and treatments. As 21st Century medicine and healthcare becomes increasingly sophisticated, the demand grows for highly skilled biomedical scientists capable of performing and analysing a battery of technical procedures to screen, maintain and improve human health and to undertake ground-breaking research in biotechnology and biopharmacology. Biomedical Science graduates work in a variety of professional settings: hospital laboratories where they may be called on to analyse metabolic disorders, perform HIV testing, blood typing or genetic tests, diagnose tumours or identify an infectious micro-organism; biotechnology and biopharmaceutical companies where they may be involved in researching new drugs or diagnostic procedures; or in universities lecturing and undertaking research. In doing so, the biomedical scientist requires an understanding of medical biochemistry, microbiology, clinical and medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, genetics, immunology, cell and molecular biology, anatomy, physiology, pathology and/or cytology. They must also be able to communicate their findings to wide ranging audiences.
The Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) is the professional body for Biomedical Scientists in the UK and is closely involved in the development and accreditation of Biomedical Science degree programmes. If you wish to practice as a Biomedical Scientist within the UK National Health Service on completion of your degree, you will need to have studied on an IBMS accredited programme. A full list of IBMS accredited undergraduate degrees may be found here. If you already have a non-IBMS accredited degree and wish to become a Biomedical Scientist, you may be able to meet the IBMS requirements by taking additional modules from accredited courses run by HUCBMS member institutions. You should contact the IBMS for advice in this instance.