The Student Room Group

IBMS accredited top-up degrees? In a bit of a fix

Hello all. I'm in a somewhat unusual situation; any advice appreciated.

I studied Medicine in 2011, but got ill in my third year and couldn't continue. I've ended up with a level 5 DipHE in Medical Science for completing the first two years.

I'm now interested in topping up to a full degree, potentially with a view to becoming a Biomedical Scientist, but I don't have the financial means to study fulltime, which means my options are limited. I could take an part time OU top-up degree in Biology, if I manage to transfer my credits, but it's not IBMS accredited and I imagine I'll end up needing top-up modules on top of that. All of this would be self-funded, which is currently out of reach for me. I'm also full-time employed and worried about being able to study the stated 16hrs/week that would be needed.

I was going to see if I could hop into an apprenticeship scheme and start from scratch, so that I could earn while studying, but recently a senior BMS mentioned that I might not be eligible for an apprenticeship since it's government-funded and I've already got a level 5 diploma.

If anyone could shed any light on possible routes forward, I'd be really grateful. Feeling a bit despondent and stuck.
The biomedical science degree apprenticeship is level 6, and you don't have an equivalent level 6 qualification so you should be able to apply with your current one. But in order to hit the IBMS requirements for HCPC registration you would probably need to do the degree in full, not just top up from your level 5. (There is a chance you could get accreditation of prior learning/apl from the university, but you'd need to speak to them directly).

The level 6 BMS is either 3 or 4 years depending on the particular university. But you would be paid while completing it and you wouldn't have to fund the top up modules or the university course as it comes out of the levy.

My advice (which is based on the assumption that you're currently working in an NHS laboratory as you've mentioned senior BMSs) is to speak to your training officer and Trust apprenticeship lead to see which university your Trust works with for the level 6 BMS apprenticeship and ask them directly if your qualifications match.
Reply 2
Original post by HealthcareSci
The biomedical science degree apprenticeship is level 6, and you don't have an equivalent level 6 qualification so you should be able to apply with your current one. But in order to hit the IBMS requirements for HCPC registration you would probably need to do the degree in full, not just top up from your level 5. (There is a chance you could get accreditation of prior learning/apl from the university, but you'd need to speak to them directly).
The level 6 BMS is either 3 or 4 years depending on the particular university. But you would be paid while completing it and you wouldn't have to fund the top up modules or the university course as it comes out of the levy.
My advice (which is based on the assumption that you're currently working in an NHS laboratory as you've mentioned senior BMSs) is to speak to your training officer and Trust apprenticeship lead to see which university your Trust works with for the level 6 BMS apprenticeship and ask them directly if your qualifications match.

Thank you, that's really helpful advice. It's good to know that I'll still likely be able to apply for an apprenticeship, I was worried about that.

I'm not currently working in an NHS lab; I did apply for a band 2 AHCS role and was interviewed, but I feel like they were put off by my lv5 and heavily advised getting it accredited by the IBMS, which of course I can't do because it's not a lv6. Frustrating, but I'll keep trying. It's a good idea to see if the university would be able to transfer some credits, I'll look into that.

Thank you again for your reply, it's definitely encouraging!
Original post by pebblefrog
Thank you, that's really helpful advice. It's good to know that I'll still likely be able to apply for an apprenticeship, I was worried about that.
I'm not currently working in an NHS lab; I did apply for a band 2 AHCS role and was interviewed, but I feel like they were put off by my lv5 and heavily advised getting it accredited by the IBMS, which of course I can't do because it's not a lv6. Frustrating, but I'll keep trying. It's a good idea to see if the university would be able to transfer some credits, I'll look into that.
Thank you again for your reply, it's definitely encouraging!

Lots of people apply for MLA posts with a degree, and it's also worth looking out for any direct entry level 6 apprenticeships that often advertise in June.

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