The Student Room Group

How to pick a safety uni to apply to (biomedical sciences)

I'm in Y12 so am definitely getting serious about brushing up my list of unis. I'd be an early applicant (due to Oxford application) so I don't have super long to get my 5 choices nailed down. I'm finding it quite difficult to decide though, particularly in choosing a safety option, so I'd appreciate any advice on how to go about choosing one. I'm not from the UK, so my parents didn't have insights for me. If anyone has any uni suggestions, I'd love those too!

Here's a little about me:
I want to apply to Biomedical Sciences programs, and I like ones with focus on research (this is why I really like the sound of Oxford BMS)

My list is currently:
Oxford
Imperial
UCL
KCL (maybe)
Edinburgh (maybe)
Durham (maybe)
Leicester (maybe)
Lancaster (maybe)

The maybes are unis recommended by friends. I haven't looked too deeply into them, so it would be great to hear any opinions you have on them.

I'm looking for an academically rigorous course.

I'm predicted A* A* A* A* (should my safeties be 1 grade down or is that too formulaic?)
I have not done an EPQ but I have done an independent research project.
I've done relevant work ex and shadowed neuroscience researchers.
I've done lots of volunteering with Alzheimer's patients
I read relevant books & papers, so the PS is pretty well stocked.

Thank you!
Reply 1
Original post by deep_sea_thing
I'd be an early applicant (due to Oxford application) so I don't have super long to get my 5 choices nailed down.


Remember that you can just apply for Oxford by the October deadline - and add your other 4 choices later.

This gives you time to go to Open Days and research your other choices properly.
You just need to add them to UCAS before 31 January.

For Biomed, pick a course 'with placement' wherever you can - Warwick, Bath, Newcastle, Lancaster etc
This adds so much to the context of your degree - and your graduate job chances.

Its also worth look at 'similar' subject courses, like the range of degrees at Bristol - https://www.bristol.ac.uk/cellmolmed/study/undergraduate/
or at Natural Sciences (a multi-strand science degree with different specialisms at each Uni) - look at Bath, Nottingham, Lancaster, UEA etc

General advice here about How to Avoid 5 Rejections - the section about having a range of grade requirements / not all mega-competitive choices is particularly important - https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/university/apply/how-to-avoid-getting-five-university-rejections
Original post by deep_sea_thing
I'm in Y12 so am definitely getting serious about brushing up my list of unis. I'd be an early applicant (due to Oxford application) so I don't have super long to get my 5 choices nailed down. I'm finding it quite difficult to decide though, particularly in choosing a safety option, so I'd appreciate any advice on how to go about choosing one. I'm not from the UK, so my parents didn't have insights for me. If anyone has any uni suggestions, I'd love those too!

Here's a little about me:
I want to apply to Biomedical Sciences programs, and I like ones with focus on research (this is why I really like the sound of Oxford BMS)

My list is currently:
Oxford
Imperial
UCL
KCL (maybe)
Edinburgh (maybe)
Durham (maybe)
Leicester (maybe)
Lancaster (maybe)

The maybes are unis recommended by friends. I haven't looked too deeply into them, so it would be great to hear any opinions you have on them.

I'm looking for an academically rigorous course.

I'm predicted A* A* A* A* (should my safeties be 1 grade down or is that too formulaic?)
I have not done an EPQ but I have done an independent research project.
I've done relevant work ex and shadowed neuroscience researchers.
I've done lots of volunteering with Alzheimer's patients
I read relevant books & papers, so the PS is pretty well stocked.

Thank you!


Hi @deep_sea_thing

I currently study biochemistry at Lancaster. When I applied for university all of my options wanted AAB apart from one which wanted BBC (I added this as I was a COVID year and wasn't sure how grades would go but still wanted an option I'd feel happy going to if I didn't get the grades I was aiming for). As you mentioned you don't know much about Lancaster I'll drop some information about studying here below!

The great thing about Biomedical Science at Lancaster is that the degree is IBMS (Institute of Biomedical Science) accredited, which (alongside a year of training) opens up the career pathway of working as a biomedical scientist in the NHS, as it's specially designed to cover all the clinical lab skills needed. Lancaster also offers students the opportunity to apply for placements in NHS labs, allowing them to complete the portfolio needed to apply to the HCPC for registration as a Biomedical Scientist.

I'll link the Lancaster Biomedical Science webpage and a webpage from the NHS describing the Biomedical Scientist role here for some more context. It's a very interesting career so I'd recommend looking at it - especially if you are interested in biomedical science.
https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/courses/biomedical-science-bsc-hons-b990/2023/
https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/explore-roles/healthcare-science/roles-healthcare-science/life-sciences/biomedical-science

The degree is very well rounded, however, as it has been tailored to meet the IBMS standards there is very little flexibility in optional modules - which some people actually really like as it takes away some of the stress of choosing! Also, please don't think that just because this degree is IBMS accredited that students only go on to become biomedical scientists, many students continue on with Masters or PhDs as well, or end up working in finance/recruitment/teaching etc. as with so many degrees.

If you'd prefer more flexibility with optional modules I'd recommend looking at the Biomedicine degree at Lancaster (which shares a common first year with Biomedical Sciences, so there is the option to switch between them during first year). The Biomedicine degree also comes with the option to take a placement year (although not the placement with the NHS), which I've linked below.
https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/courses/biomedicine-placement-year-bsc-hons-c708/2024/

A placement year is an amazing opportunity to get lab experience and figure out what your future career might be. I'm actually doing a placement year at a biotechnology company starting in September researching drugs against genetic diseases! The placement team at Lancaster is great and really supported me through the process. I've found that the department also offers lots of internships over summer as well if you're interested in getting experience in a university research lab.

Lancaster is a collegiate campus university, and I've found that gives it a community feel - everyone knows everyone! It's close to the Lake District and the coast so there's plenty of opportunity to go out and explore with your flatmates! The bioscience department is really good, all the lecturers are really involved in current research, some updating their slides with new information before it's even in textbooks, and the courses have a good amount of practical elements.

If you have any other questions about Lancaster, or studying a bioscience at university, please let me know.
Rebecca (Lancaster Student Ambassador)
(edited 8 months ago)

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