School of Biomedical and Healthcare Sciences

BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science

This course provides you with a research-informed education looking at the scientific basis of human health, disease and therapeutics. You will benefit from a rich and varied learning environment that highlights recent developments and examines how these inform clinical and diagnostic practice. Receive the input of internationally-recognised researchers and NHS staff and open up a range of employment opportunities in both industrial and public research laboratories.

Understand the medicine behind human health and research the strategies used in disease treatment and prevention. By studying this course you could progress from first year into undergraduate medicine or dentistry. You’ll study subjects which include human anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology and core microbiology, biochemistry and immunology of disease.

UCAS tariff
UCAS course code
Institution code
3 years
(+ optional placement)
Start date
September 2014
Course type

Key features

  • Accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS)
  • Delivered by Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry (PUPSMD) and enhanced by links with healthcare professionals
  • You will develop practical skills, critical thinking and professional competence
  • Taught components of the course are enriched by the varied research activities of staff within the school
  • Optional placement year
  • Ten research apprenticeships are available each year for AAB students, or those who demonstrate excellent performance during their first year on the course. These apprenticeships will allow students to gain valuable research experience within the Centre for Research in Translational Biomedicine throughout their three years of study.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • Year 1 will provide you with a foundation for future learning. You'll develop key skills in communication, data acquisition and analysis.
    Core modules
    • BIOM1002 Biomolecular Sciences

      This module provides a foundation of knowledge in human biochemistry, introducing students to the structural and functional molecular components of human metabolism and giving an insight into biochemical interactions at the level of cells and tissues.

    • BIOM1009 Cellular and Molecular Biomedicine

      This module will examine the structural and functional roles of biological macromolecules in cell biology. In particular, it will investigate the significance of these molecules in disease pathology and diagnosis.

    • BIOL109 Foundations in Biomedical Sciences

      This module provides an introductory framework for Biomedical Sciences practice. It takes an integrated approach to the study of human disease as well as being the major vehicle for the understanding, acquisition and development of personal and transferable skills necessary for undergraduates.

    • BIOM1003 Genetics and Development

      This module provides the student with an introduction to human genetics and development. It will include the structure, function and organisation of genetic material, the basic principles of heredity and genetic influences on human health and disease and impact to human health / lifestyle. It will also explore the key developmental stages in the human life cycle.

    • BIOM1010 Healthcare Life Science Contexts

      This module will introduce the fundamental principles underlying diagnostic pathology and its practical application in the clinical laboratory. It will explore basic knowledge, principles and practice within the Blood, Infection, Cellular and Genetic Sciences.

    • BIOM1004 Human Physiology and Pathophysiology

      This module will introduce the learner to the disciplines of human anatomy and physiology and the importance of structure function and control relationships in the maintenance of body homeostasis and health. It will also explore the key principles of human pathology and disease manifestation.

    • BIOM1006 Infection and Immunity

      This module introduces the student to infection & immunity and the study of microorganisms. It explores concepts of infectious disease and the body's ability to resist and repel such disease via a range of immune responses.

    • BIOM1008 Pharmacology and Therapeutics

      Drug therapies can be seen as consisting of four important processes: pharmaceutical; pharmacokinetic; pharmacodynamic and pharmacotherapeutic. This module investigates the key concepts of these processes.

  • Year 2
  • The focus in Year 2 will be to develop a deeper understanding of core biomedical disciplines,„ with an emphasis on the scientific understanding of pathological processes and diagnostic practice.„ The modules will examine key laboratory techniques and research skills.
    Core modules
    • BIOM2018 Biology of Disease

      This module explores evidence based laboratory medicine and through selected case studies emphasise the integrated nature of the investigation and study of disease.

    • BIOM2021 Cellular Pathology

      This module will examine the fundamental principles of cell pathology, including the theory and practice of cellular laboratory science. It will introduce the scope and practice of microscopy in clinical investigation.

    • BIOM2023 Clinical Haematology and Biochemistry

      Clinical laboratory tests for a wide variety of biochemical and haematological parameters play an important role in disease diagnosis. This module will investigate both the scientific theory underlying commonly used tests and their application in biochemistry, haematology and transfusion science laboratories.

    • BIOM2019 Evidence-Based Practice in Biomedical Science

      This module continues the processes of understanding, acquisition and development of the skills and personal attributes necessary for a biomedical sciences practitioner. It also provides a greater understanding of research theory and methodology.

    • BIOL2302 Genetic Continuity and Diversity

      Genetic Continuity and Diversity considers both those processes which maintain genetic stability and those which promote genetic diversity at different levels of biological organisation. An appreciation of the practical significance of current advances in gentics is then developed by discussing selected topics from human genetics, development, environmental monitoring, microbial biotechnology, plant and animal breeding, and conservation.

    • BIOM2020 Infection, Immunity and Disease

      This module is to develop an in-depth understanding of the immune system and pathogenic infection. It highlights the integrated cellular responses that prevent infection and the underlying principles that govern these actions.

    • APIE200 Preparation for Work Placement

      This module is designed to assist students in their search and preparation for a work placement. It is aimed at students who would like to undertake a placement year to enhance both programme specific and personal, employment-related skills during Stage 3 of their degree programme.

    Optional modules
    • BIOL2009 Work Based Learning in Biology

      This module provides an opportunity for work based learning which is credit rated. Students spend a minimum of 20 days with a host organisation working mainly on a project relevant to their particular programme of study within the biology Undergraduate Scheme. This may take place as an extended period during a vacation or as individual days during the semsester, subject to the individual student timetable and agreement with the module leader and relevant subject leader.

  • Year 3
  • You have the option to take up a work placement as part of your degree course. This is usually done as a 6- or 12-month placement at the end of your second year. Upon successful completion you will gain the Certificate of Industrial or Professional Experience. Alternatively, you may choose to take a work-based learning module, working in a local host organisation, alongside your other studies. These opportunities will enrich your course and career prospects.
    Core modules
    • APIE310 Biomedical Sciences: Placement

      This module provides an opportunity for professional training of at least 26 weeks duration with an approved company or host organisation. While on placement, students will gain work experience related to their degree programme, be able to apply their biomedical knowledge and expertise, and learn further skills and relevant techniques.

  • Final year
  • Your final year will support your critical thinking and enhance your practical competency. A personal research project allows you to study an area of biomedicine in detail. You will have a choice of research-led topics that discuss current developments and the implications for human health and clinical practice.
    Core modules
    • BIOM3008 Current Developments in Biomedical Sciences

      The module will promote an up to date understanding of research developments in aspects of blood, infection or cellular sciences. Students will have a choice of topics to focus on.

    • BIOM3006 Personal Research and Professional Practice

      This module is largely comprised of independent self-directed study under the guidance of a project advisor. It includes the development of a research question and associated design and execution of a research study. It also extends understanding and acquisition of personal and professional skills.

    Optional modules
    • BIOM3023 Cellular Basis of Immunity

      This module provides theoretical skills that will enable students to explore immune processes focussing on the role of immune cells and their molecules in host immune defences to pathogens and chronic diseases. Contemporary immunology research issues and their translation to clinical practice will be explored in a critical manner.

    • BIOM3019 Clinical Microbiology

      The module will develop an in-depth understanding of current areas of research in infection and immunity. The module aims to highlight how research improves our understanding of body mechanisms and enables the development of new therapeutic strategies.

    • BIOM3024 Current Issues in Neurobiology

      This module provides an in-depth understanding of the molecular, cellular and systems mechanisms that underlies nervous system function and dysfunction related to key contemporary issues in neuroscience.

    • BIOL3418 Medical Genetics

      Medical genetics explores how genetics affects human health. Techniques and procedures of human genetic analyses are considered and chromsosomal, single gene and multifactorial disorders reviewed. The impacts of new technologies (gene therapy, genomics, genetic testing) and their implications for individuals and society are examined.

    • BIOM3021 Molecular and Cellular Pathology

      This module provides knowledge of the cellular and molecular basis of a range of common altered health states. Current methods and techniques for investigative pathology will also be explored in a critical manner.

    • BIOM3018 Specialist Biochemistry and Screening

      The module will promote an understanding of the molecular, cellular and systems mechanisms that regulate cell function in relevant body systems The module also examines how disruption of these processes lead to a range of altered health states and potential therapeutic strategies to treat these disorders.

    • BIOM3012 Transfusion and Transplantation Science

      This module provides theoretical and practical skills that will enable students to operate effectively in a modern blood sciences laboratory. Current practice in transfusion and transplantation science including haematology and transplantation immunology will be explored in a comprehensive and critical manner.

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff
320 points 

30 points including five at Higher Level Biology plus five at Higher Level second science.

A level
320 points from three A levels, biology grade A and chemistry at grade B. Excludes general studies. 
If only one science at A2: 340 points, minimum three A Levels to include grade A in biology or human biology or chemistry or physics or maths plus AS grade A in a second science.   

18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma: DDM with at least six specialist units in biology and/or science.

Access courses
Pass a science Access to HE diploma with 60 credits overall, to include 45 credits at Level 3, of which 30 credits must be at distinction and 15 credits at merit or higher.  Must include a minimum 15 credits in biology units, plus 15 credits in chemistry, maths or physics.

Mathematics and English Language grade C.

Equivalent qualifications may be considered.


Fees & funding

Home/EU £9,000 International £11,500
For more information about our fees and funding please visit

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

Apply for this course on the UCAS website.

For more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.


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Open days

A number of open day events are held each year, welcoming you to the campus to find out more about the University, accommodation, facilities and study opportunities.

Find out more from our open days section or register to come and see us using a short open day registration form.

Welcome to our school

Professor Neil Avent, Head of School for Biomedical and Healthcare Sciences discusses, alongside current staff and students, the benefits of studying with us.

Watch our welcome video.

Visit our school blog

Studying here at Plymouth

Jennifer Harris, a successful past student now studying for her PhD at the University of Cambridge, talks about our teaching and learning.

Watch Jennifer talk about studying Biomedical Sciences at Plymouth University.

Biomedical Sciences

  • Human anatomy and physiology

    Biomedical Sciences

    Human anatomy and physiology
  • Undergraduate students operating a transmission electron microscope in the election microscopy suite

    Election microscopy suite

    Undergraduate students operating a transmission electron microscope in the election microscopy suite
  • Haematoxylin and eosin stain showing normal histological features of a tibial growth plate

    Growth plate investigation

    Haematoxylin and eosin stain showing normal histological features of a tibial growth plate
  • Student preparing paraffin tissue sections for light microscopy

    Laboratory work

    Student preparing paraffin tissue sections for light microscopy
  • Biomedical Sciences undergraduates on a summer bursary placement performing cell culture in the Centre for Research in Translation Biomedicine


    Biomedical Sciences undergraduates on a summer bursary placement performing cell culture in the Centre for Research in Translation Biomedicine
  • Student performing aseptic technique to culture prostate cancer cells

    Laboratory work

    Student performing aseptic technique to culture prostate cancer cells
  • Gross anatomical features of the pancreas and kidney

    Biomedical Sciences

    Gross anatomical features of the pancreas and kidney

Student insight

The modules of the course were varied and very attractive. I already had an inkling that I wanted to work in a laboratory and I decided that this course would give me the wide range of skills necessary to follow that path.

Holly Hardy

Our facilities

The School of Biomedical and Healthcare Sciences is based in a new, purpose-built building linked to the Peninsula Medical School in Plymouth city centre.

You will find some of the best undergraduate laboratories in the country.

Find out more about our facilities


Learn about our varied research topics within the Centre for Biomedical Research, which include:

Non-invasive pre-natal testing, new targets for cancer treatment, understanding macrophages, combating sepsis and self-disseminating vaccines.

Discover more about the Centre for Biomedical Research