How to become a biomedical scientist with an existing degree

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kaytieeelouise
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#1
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#1
Hello all!

Just a bit of background info-
I am currently working in an NHS lab (since Nov 2021) as a lab assistant. I started this job as I really enjoyed the lab work I did whilst at uni. I have since realise since working here and watching and speaking to the biomedical scientists that I would love this job role!

I have been looking into how I could become a biomedical scientist however you need to be HCPC registered and the requirements are (as far as I know)-
1. Have an approved biomedical degree or do top ups on degrees which don’t cover all subjects
2. Do a portfolio

I do not have a biomedical degree but wondered if it would be worth my time applying to the IBMS to assess my degree. It does include some elements of biomedical approved degrees however I don’t think it’ll include the depth that is needed (for context my degree is a Bsc hons in equine sport science which is an animal degree). However, I do think my dissertation will be acceptable as it was lab based.

My main questions are-

1. Is it worth me sending my application to the IBMS to assess my degree?

2. Is there any other routes that could allow me to become a BMS?

3. If I apply for a Masters in biomedical science or an approved course will this subside the fact I don’t have a Bsc?

4. Would an MSc mean I have missed key topics as they tend to be more broad?

I am sorry for the massive paragraphs!

And thank you for anyone that replies!!!
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Dno1245
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#2
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#2
I used to work for the NHS and there was loads of HCAs who done a portfolio. Speak to your manager and they should be able to help you! It’s a lot of work but it means your still working and earning.
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Beecar98
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#3
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#3
A master will not be accepted as a substitute for a BSc, you will need the bachelors degree.

I can’t really say whether it’s worth getting your degree assessed as I didn’t need to do this. That’s up to you. I would imagine with the degree you have, at the very least you’ll need a number of top-up modules as it wasn’t a biomedical degree.

And while the previous poster is correct that some labs allow the MLAs to do their portfolio, you still need an accredited degree regardless.

Hope this helped in any way!
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HealthcareSci
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#4
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#4
1. Is it worth me sending my application to the IBMS to assess my degree?
I can't comment as I don't know the content but it might be worth emailing the IBMS for an informal chat first. I've never seen anyone have their degree approved without needing to do top up modules (from a UK university, overseas is different). I suspect you'd need to do the full third year but their judgement is final.

2. Is there any other routes that could allow me to become a BMS?
You cannot become an HCPC registered BMS without an IBMS accredited BSc in Biomedical Science. Or top-up modules that have been deemed equivalent.

3. If I apply for a Masters in biomedical science or an approved course will this subside the fact I don’t have a Bsc?
An MSc in Biomedical Science would be helpful for progression and learning later on but you cannot become an HCPC registered BMS without the BSc. MSc won't count I'm afraid.

4. Would an MSc mean I have missed key topics as they tend to be more broad?
My experience is the opposite - that an MSc tends to be narrower.

I don't agree with this system but you will need top up modules or a whole new degree to be a BMS. If you are keen to work in a lab I would look at the STP as that doesn't have the same restrictions on degree subject.
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RegisteredBMS
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#5
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#5
(Original post by HealthcareSci)
1. Is it worth me sending my application to the IBMS to assess my degree?
I can't comment as I don't know the content but it might be worth emailing the IBMS for an informal chat first. I've never seen anyone have their degree approved without needing to do top up modules (from a UK university, overseas is different). I suspect you'd need to do the full third year but their judgement is final.

2. Is there any other routes that could allow me to become a BMS?
You cannot become an HCPC registered BMS without an IBMS accredited BSc in Biomedical Science. Or top-up modules that have been deemed equivalent.

3. If I apply for a Masters in biomedical science or an approved course will this subside the fact I don’t have a Bsc?
An MSc in Biomedical Science would be helpful for progression and learning later on but you cannot become an HCPC registered BMS without the BSc. MSc won't count I'm afraid.

4. Would an MSc mean I have missed key topics as they tend to be more broad?
My experience is the opposite - that an MSc tends to be narrower.

I don't agree with this system but you will need top up modules or a whole new degree to be a BMS. If you are keen to work in a lab I would look at the STP as that doesn't have the same restrictions on degree subject.
The STP involves limited actual laboratory work, so I'd advise against advising the STP for those who want to work in a laboratory.
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HealthcareSci
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#6
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#6
(Original post by RegisteredBMS)
The STP involves limited actual laboratory work, so I'd advise against advising the STP for those who want to work in a laboratory.
Not necessarily- a lot of STPs spend large amounts of time in the lab. It depends on where you go, your specialism and if you have any input into your work. I've trained STPs for years and did the programme myself.
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RegisteredBMS
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#7
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(Original post by HealthcareSci)
Not necessarily- a lot of STPs spend large amounts of time in the lab. It depends on where you go, your specialism and if you have any input into your work. I've trained STPs for years and did the programme myself.
In training, yes, but all of the Clinical Scientists I've worked with have been office based.
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Rad7j
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#8
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HealthcareSci
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#9
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#9
(Original post by RegisteredBMS)
In training, yes, but all of the Clinical Scientists I've worked with have been office based.
I've worked with many that haven't been. I do all my ward based work with consultant clinical scientists and lab work with registered CS. It's not the same everywhere which is why I suggested investigating (especially as applications are currently open).

You could make the same argument about BMS staff - most band 7 and up are mostly office based, but when I was a band 7 I was expected to run a bench and spent at least 4 days a week in the lab.
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RegisteredBMS
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#10
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(Original post by HealthcareSci)
I've worked with many that haven't been. I do all my ward based work with consultant clinical scientists and lab work with registered CS. It's not the same everywhere which is why I suggested investigating (especially as applications are currently open).

You could make the same argument about BMS staff - most band 7 and up are mostly office based, but when I was a band 7 I was expected to run a bench and spent at least 4 days a week in the lab.
I would be curious as to the role of a Biomedical Scientist in a laboratory where Clinical Scientist's are also in a laboratory.

I've worked directly with Clinical Scientists in a laboratory that took part in the internal training route in Biochemistry. The trainees did some laboratory work, albeit pretty pointless as in the case I saw, she was a Band 6 BMS prior to applying, but none of the qualified CS's ever did any sort of laboratory work. I've spent time in genetics, which is a bit of a weird area. The CS's sat at their computer rearranging genomes. In histology, they're sat in their offices looking at slides. In cytology they're sat in their offices mainly looking at abnormal smear slides.

Of course, there can be exceptions. I'm not saying my experience is that of everywhere, but I do go back to my original point. I would be curious of the role of a BMS in a situation where a CS is laboratory-based.
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