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Need info about Bio Medical Sciences

Hey there,
I wish to study biomedical sciences after my A - Levels. But Iam not fully aware about the course. It would be a great help from you all if anybody already doing or have completed the course can put some light on it…
What do you want to know?
I have the BSc, working towards the MSc now and am also working (nearly completed) my IBMS portfolio. So I hope to be able to help. 🙂

EDIT:
Well, my degree is in Biomedical Science, not Biomedical Sciences, BIG DIFFERENCE before you apply!
(edited 2 months ago)
Reply 2
Thank you for your response.
I want to know about the career prospects and the job opportunities in this field. Basically I wish to know if I will be able to work after my BSc or I definitely need a masters degree… thanks again
Do you NEED a Masters? Definitely not.
Would it be helpful? Yes.

Need to ask when you ask about prospects, do you want to go into diagnosis or research?
Reply 4
Original post by SamSafz
Hey there,
I wish to study biomedical sciences after my A - Levels. But Iam not fully aware about the course. It would be a great help from you all if anybody already doing or have completed the course can put some light on it…

It's A Level Biology without plants and more in-depth. Its quite interesting and the degree is quite broad so you have a lot of options after graduation.
Long story short, the question is to diagnose the patient and present differential diagnosis (why it can’t be another diagnosis) as well as the Pathophysiology behind it (how he got the disease).

Long story short, this guy has Multiple Myeloma (IgG Kappa Myeloma specifically) with end stage renal failure.
Deleted my first message as I uploaded the wrong pic. 🤦*♂️

Effectively I wouldn’t call it A Level Biology as the above poster said and I would call it fairly Interesting but quite intense as there is a lot of differential diagnosis (why it can’t be one disease over another) and how the disease becomes the disease. Please find attached an example of a coursework question we’ve been given.

(This is the MSc coursework for clinical biochemistry, not BSc but it’s the only one I have immediately on hand as an example).

original-E0C3769A-9757-4ECD-AD48-24E091DBCFD8.jpeg
(edited 2 months ago)
I just feel like I need to state this just incase.

This example is from an IBMS accredited Biomedical Science (NOT Biomedical Sciences) course.
If your degree is not IBMS accredited, you CAN NOT go into diagnosis without doing further top up modules after graduating from your degree (number depends on what the IBMS deems as necessary (there is absolutely no room for compromise!) as this is an national organisation which monitors the quality of Biomedical Science education for diagnosis in the country and can potentially take years).
(edited 2 months ago)
Original post by Scienceisgood
What do you want to know?
I have the BSc, working towards the MSc now and am also working (nearly completed) my IBMS portfolio. So I hope to be able to help. 🙂

EDIT:
Well, my degree is in Biomedical Science, not Biomedical Sciences, BIG DIFFERENCE before you apply!

Thank you for your really helpful posts. I don't understand the difference between Biomedical Science and Biomedical Sciences.

I think I am interested in Life Sciences but not sure where my career lies after graduation. I have just posted my question on another chat. Currently in Y12 studying Biology Chemistry and Geog. I do love the sciences but not sure where a "life science" course will take me in terms of careers. Like the original poster, I suppose I'm looking for some guidance too. Thank you.
Original post by Thereyouare
Thank you for your really helpful posts. I don't understand the difference between Biomedical Science and Biomedical Sciences.

I think I am interested in Life Sciences but not sure where my career lies after graduation. I have just posted my question on another chat. Currently in Y12 studying Biology Chemistry and Geog. I do love the sciences but not sure where a "life science" course will take me in terms of careers. Like the original poster, I suppose I'm looking for some guidance too. Thank you.

Long story short:

Biomedical Sciences = Research based (doing research into drug testing with some diagnosis but not enough to warrant the IBMS to accredit it to allow you to work in a hospital in diagnostics).

Biomedical Science = Diagnostics (if you want to go into diagnostics, LOOK FOR IBMS ACCREDITED COURSES). If you don't as I said before, you will have to go back to university after graduating to top up your degree, potentially costing you thousands.

Also, if you want to go into diagnostics, for the love of God, stay away from Russel Group unis. I have no idea why they are praised so highly but from what I've seen, virtually all of them are not IBMS accredited as they focus on research.
You could literally do a Biomedical Sciences degree at Oxford and not be allowed into diagnostics as it is not IBMS accredited but where I attend (University of West England, Bristol), you can go into diagnostics (UWE offers Biomedical Science (IBMS Accredited). (Once you finish your IBMS portfolio after graduating).
(edited 2 months ago)
Original post by Scienceisgood
Long story short:

Biomedical Sciences = Research based (doing research into drug testing with some diagnosis but not enough to warrant the IBMS to accredit it to allow you to work in a hospital in diagnostics).

Biomedical Science = Diagnostics (if you want to go into diagnostics, LOOK FOR IBMS ACCREDITED COURSES. If you don't as I said before, you will have to go back to university after graduating to top up your degree, potentially costing you thousands.

Also, if you want to go into diagnostics, for the love of God, stay away from Russel Group unis. I have no idea why they are praised so highly but from what I've seen, virtually all of them are not IBMS accredited as they focus on research.
You could literally do a Biomedical Sciences degree at Oxford and not be allowed into diagnostics as it is not IBMS accredited but where I attend (University of West England, Bristol), you can go into diagnostics (UWE offers Biomedical Science (IBMS Accredited). (Once you finish your IBMS portfolio after graduating).

Wow! Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I also noticed about RG Unis not offering IBMS accredited courses.

I'm in such a dilemma. I have a range of interests but because I'm not entirely sure where my career lies, I don't know what to study. I know what I don't want to do i.e. maths, English, medical (as in doctor, dentist etc).

I'll continue reading here for some inspiration. Thanks again.
Original post by Thereyouare
Wow! Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I also noticed about RG Unis not offering IBMS accredited courses.

I'm in such a dilemma. I have a range of interests but because I'm not entirely sure where my career lies, I don't know what to study. I know what I don't want to do i.e. maths, English, medical (as in doctor, dentist etc).

I'll continue reading here for some inspiration. Thanks again.

Hiya @Thereyouare

I would advise getting in touch with an NHS hospital near you that has a pathology department. See if they are open to giving tours and explain that you are interested in a BMS degree and you would like to see what a biomedical scientist does. This will give you an idea of what the job actually entails on a daily basis. There are four main disciplines at my lab which are histology/cellular pathology, blood transfusion/blood sciences, biochemistry, and microbiology/molecular biology. Other labs may deal with immunology, virology, genetics, neuropathology, etc

I study BSc Applied Biomedical Science at the University of Essex in Colchester. I chose this specific degree because this comes with an NHS placement year.

As others have said, if you wish to work in the NHS as a biomedical scientist (which I do) then you need three things that this degree at Essex can provide without the need for top-up modules at the end:

A degree accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) and approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

A placement year in an IBMS approved NHS training laboratory where you complete your portfolio.

The IBMS Certificate of Competence: awarded upon completion and verification of the Registration Training Portfolio.


When you successfully complete your portfolio during your placement year, then you return to uni for your final year (so this is a 4 year course). When you graduate after your final year this results in HCPC registration after completion of the course. At that point you are a fully qualified biomedical scientist.

We are the top university in the country for providing NHS placements as part of our applied biomedical science course and 100% of our surveyed BSc Applied Biomedical Science students are in highly skilled employment or further postgraduate study (Graduate Outcomes 2023).

We have 29 Essex students currently on their NHS placement year, which is the highest in the country. I am one of them! I'm working in an NHS histopathology lab and I absolutely love it. The work experience is invaluable and I couldn't recommend it higher.

If you have any questions about what it's like to study at Essex or my placement year, then let me know 🙂

Best wishes
Essex Student Rep - Hayley
Oh I also feel like I need to say this as some people think they are just dealing with blood, spinal fluid etc… sorry but yes you have to deal with the *hit samples as well and when you first join the NHS, you will likely become a Medical Lab Assistant.

I’m not trying to put you off here but yes, you will have to handle people’s faeces when making calprotectin samples.

I’ve seen a lot and I mean A LOT of people thinking they can get away with it, sorry, no such luck!
Original post by EssexStudentRep
Hiya @Thereyouare

I would advise getting in touch with an NHS hospital near you that has a pathology department. See if they are open to giving tours and explain that you are interested in a BMS degree and you would like to see what a biomedical scientist does. This will give you an idea of what the job actually entails on a daily basis. There are four main disciplines at my lab which are histology/cellular pathology, blood transfusion/blood sciences, biochemistry, and microbiology/molecular biology. Other labs may deal with immunology, virology, genetics, neuropathology, etc

I study BSc Applied Biomedical Science at the University of Essex in Colchester. I chose this specific degree because this comes with an NHS placement year.

As others have said, if you wish to work in the NHS as a biomedical scientist (which I do) then you need three things that this degree at Essex can provide without the need for top-up modules at the end:

A degree accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) and approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

A placement year in an IBMS approved NHS training laboratory where you complete your portfolio.

The IBMS Certificate of Competence: awarded upon completion and verification of the Registration Training Portfolio.


When you successfully complete your portfolio during your placement year, then you return to uni for your final year (so this is a 4 year course). When you graduate after your final year this results in HCPC registration after completion of the course. At that point you are a fully qualified biomedical scientist.

We are the top university in the country for providing NHS placements as part of our applied biomedical science course and 100% of our surveyed BSc Applied Biomedical Science students are in highly skilled employment or further postgraduate study (Graduate Outcomes 2023).

We have 29 Essex students currently on their NHS placement year, which is the highest in the country. I am one of them! I'm working in an NHS histopathology lab and I absolutely love it. The work experience is invaluable and I couldn't recommend it higher.

If you have any questions about what it's like to study at Essex or my placement year, then let me know 🙂

Best wishes
Essex Student Rep - Hayley

Thank you so much for this information. So much good practical advice here. I didn't even think about asking my local NHS hospital. I really appreciate the time you have taken to respond in such detail.
Original post by Scienceisgood
Oh I also feel like I need to say this as some people think they are just dealing with blood, spinal fluid etc… sorry but yes you have to deal with the *hit samples as well and when you first join the NHS, you will likely become a Medical Lab Assistant.

I’m not trying to put you off here but yes, you will have to handle people’s faeces when making calprotectin samples.

I’ve seen a lot and I mean A LOT of people thinking they can get away with it, sorry, no such luck!

Oh my goodness! I had no idea. I honestly feel the more I read about this course, the less I want to study it. I really appreciate your advice. It is really opening my eyes. Thanks again.
Original post by Thereyouare
Oh my goodness! I had no idea. I honestly feel the more I read about this course, the less I want to study it. I really appreciate your advice. It is really opening my eyes. Thanks again.

No problem but I'm simply pointing out the realities of the job you'll be expected to do. If you go into the medical field, you'll be expected to deal with every sample that comes out of the human body (minus reproductive sample types) and that includes from the deceased, it's been a while (because I'm doing my MSc right now) but the last time I received a sample from a deceased "patient" was I believe a 3 week old baby (a urine sample).

At the time I was working as an MLA (I was employed as an Associate Practitioner but was transferred to another hospital to help deal with a backlog) but was asked to hold onto it until sendaway turned up to do whatever they were going to do with it.

Sorry to say but despite working in the medical field, you have to deal with a lot of messy stuff and some people just don't think of these things before applying for the course and then realising they've taken on more than they can handle. In our first year of our Biomedical Science degree, we had a few people drop out when they brought out "donated parts" in our Anatomy and Physiology module (some people didn't take too well to seeing the parts people had donated to education upon their death).
(edited 2 months ago)
Original post by Thereyouare
Oh my goodness! I had no idea. I honestly feel the more I read about this course, the less I want to study it. I really appreciate your advice. It is really opening my eyes. Thanks again.

Hi Thereyouare, note that all the messy stuff is for the Biomedical Science BSc. The Biomedical Sciences one is completely different, it is not diagnostic and also not about drug development etc (or in minimal part, and only if you want to). It is a very broad degree, with a very wide range of choices, that partly depend on the University you apply to. First year will normally include subjects ranging from Chemistry, Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Pharmacology, Anatomy to Genetics. In the second year you usually start focusing on a narrower range, depending on your interests (from Neuroscience to Pharmacology, from Immunology to Anatomy etc), and in the third year you complete a project (experimental, science communication, scientific enterprise etc), alongside a few more taught modules. Careers can vary enormously (some people end up on graduate training programmes in the Financial sector...). Only a very small proportion of graduates, I think around 10%, go into research, academic or otherwise. You really should have a look at the prospectus of a few Universities.
Original post by Toomanychoices
Hi Thereyouare, note that all the messy stuff is for the Biomedical Science BSc. The Biomedical Sciences one is completely different, it is not diagnostic and also not about drug development etc (or in minimal part, and only if you want to). It is a very broad degree, with a very wide range of choices, that partly depend on the University you apply to. First year will normally include subjects ranging from Chemistry, Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Pharmacology, Anatomy to Genetics. In the second year you usually start focusing on a narrower range, depending on your interests (from Neuroscience to Pharmacology, from Immunology to Anatomy etc), and in the third year you complete a project (experimental, science communication, scientific enterprise etc), alongside a few more taught modules. Careers can vary enormously (some people end up on graduate training programmes in the Financial sector...). Only a very small proportion of graduates, I think around 10%, go into research, academic or otherwise. You really should have a look at the prospectus of a few Universities.

Thank you Toomanychoices. This is valuable advice. I really was worried that I would be restricted in my career choice. Very much appreciate the time you have taken to reply.
Original post by Scienceisgood
No problem but I'm simply pointing out the realities of the job you'll be expected to do. If you go into the medical field, you'll be expected to deal with every sample that comes out of the human body (minus reproductive sample types) and that includes from the deceased, it's been a while (because I'm doing my MSc right now) but the last time I received a sample from a deceased "patient" was I believe a 3 week old baby (a urine sample).

At the time I was working as an MLA (I was employed as an Associate Practitioner but was transferred to another hospital to help deal with a backlog) but was asked to hold onto it until sendaway turned up to do whatever they were going to do with it.

Sorry to say but despite working in the medical field, you have to deal with a lot of messy stuff and some people just don't think of these things before applying for the course and then realising they've taken on more than they can handle. In our first year of our Biomedical Science degree, we had a few people drop out when they brought out "donated parts" in our Anatomy and Physiology module (some people didn't take too well to seeing the parts people had donated to education upon their death).

Thank you Scienceisgood. It looks like I need to do some more research about the job itself. I suppose I was going by the modules that interested me but the career side is not as interesting to me.

I'm going to look at other possible degrees.

Really appreciate your advice.
Original post by SamSafz
Hey there,
I wish to study biomedical sciences after my A - Levels. But Iam not fully aware about the course. It would be a great help from you all if anybody already doing or have completed the course can put some light on it…
what are your future career goals?

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