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Career options from Biomedical Science courses?

My daughter has decided that Vet Med isn't for her and is looking at Biomed Sci possibly at Bristol or York. She aspires to be a biological / medical research scientist - but its not a world we know much about . . .

On Indeed Jobs I see plenty of Biomed lab technician roles in NHS or similar - but I don't really know what the route in to "proper" research would be, who the main employers are (other than University's), what's the work really like? Also which accreditation, if any would be important here?

Based on my own experience, I needed a Masters to break in to research, maybe that would be a PhD here - but I don't think that would change the choice of first degree Uni
Reply 1
I am also slightly confused about the difference between Biomedical Science and Biomedical Sciences - not the 's' - apparently it makes a difference
Reply 2
Hi. So I’m not entirely sure the difference the ‘s’ makes either, maybe something to do with the modules…. However in terms of job prospects, if your daughter wants to be a Biomedical Scientist, I would recommend going towards an IBMS accredited degree as when she comes to apply for jobs for the NHS or private, they tend to require IBMS accreditation. Not all university Biomedical science courses have this, but it should be on the course page. There are other routes as well, the STP programme is another alternative but this is usually after undergraduate, it allows you to become a clinical scientist. Essentially it’s a 3 year training programme and by the end of it you gain a masters degree as well. However this is incredibly competitive, so be warned. Or you can do what I am trying to do which is you do a masters and I’m starting a PhD in September, again the PhD is competitive. As your daughter thinks she wants to go towards med assistant or biological science, I would say go towards the biomedical accreditation first and then just see from there which pathway she wants to go. You don’t apply for a standard masters until lateish (march-June) in your final year anyway.

I hope this helps. If you have any more questions ask away 🙂. I finished Biomed last year. P.s both unis are great, I didn’t personally go to Bristol or york, but I know people that went and they enjoyed it. York is real expensive in terms of accommodation though, but with that city, you can see why.
Reply 3
Thank you for the reply, super helpful

I notice with IBMS accredited courses they tend not to be at the "more elite" Unis (for lack of a better term) but more at the "middle of the pack" Unis - from this I assume they (IBMS accredited courses) are the career path for lab technicians and the alternate career path for career researchers who possibly didn't make the cut for studying medicine.

By 'lab technician' I mean someone who runs standard lab tests in a Biomed lab, possibly for the NHS, and needs IBMS for the role.

By ' researcher' I mean someone who leads / works in Biomed research field, possibly in academia / charity / corporate and likely needs MSc/PhD for the role.

I assume this difference in role because that is how it looked when I worked in research (many years ago). My team of technicians did the day to day work for me, I was the post grad who led the work, did the complex / tricky testing / experimental design and wrote the reports.
(edited 1 month ago)
Reply 4
Ahh I see what you mean now. I mean I suppose you don’t need the accreditation if you want to be a researcher in academia, as this is what I do want to do too. But with the accreditation it just opens a little more doors, as without it, if your daughter changes her mind down the line of her degree, and decides to work for a bit in a lab (trying to figure out what she wants to do) it becomes very difficult to get a job for the NHS or the private sector. Plus it’s nice to pop on a CV. But no you’re right, If she wants to do the academia, management side, MSc then PhD, then probably postdoc (if she wants to do academia).

Also in terms of ‘elite’ university’s and ‘standard’ university’s, I have been to both. Personally, I have not seen a difference, maybe if you went to somewhere like Oxford or Cambridge but between Russel group unis and normal unis, it’s the same. The teaching is what makes a difference, not the ranking 🙂 .

Hope this helps 🙂.
Reply 5
So this is the IBMS list, nearly all mid to lower ranking Unis listing the course as Biomedical Science - https://www.ibms.org/accredited-degrees/accredited-degree-courses/undergraduate-uk-courses/

Most of the Russell Group etc Unis, like Bristol, York, Liverpool, Manchester, Warwick, Leeds etc offer Biomedical Sciences - note the extra 's' and lack IMBS accreditation - so I assume the career path for those graduates is different
Reply 6
Thats fine then, if the university she wants to go to doesn’t offer the accreditation, then there is no worries about going towards an accredited degree. If she decides to do it in the future, there are master courses that offer it as well. Even in the Russel group universities. 🙂

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