Biomedical Sciences (BSc)
- Subject area: Biomedical sciences
- UCAS code: BC97
- Next intake: September 2024
- Duration: 3 years
- Mode: Full time
Why study this course
Biomedical science is the science that underpins medicine and medical research. Our Biomedical Sciences degree gives you the opportunity to study a wide range of subjects including human physiology; human anatomy; disease processes and their treatment; biochemistry; genetics and microbiology.
The curriculum is informed by the extensive range of biomedical research undertaken within the School of Biosciences and at the University Hospital of Wales, enabling you to receive training in contemporary topics such as cancer biology, stem cells, tissue engineering, gene therapy and neurodegenerative diseases.
This programme offers a high degree of flexibility, offering you the freedom to shape your academic experience. Your degree title remains flexible up until your final year, allowing you to either continue with BSc Biomedical Sciences or switch to another of our bioscience courses. You can also choose to graduate with a more specialist degree title, including BSc Biomedical Sciences (Anatomy) and BSc Biomedical Sciences (Physiology).
Your final degree title will depend on module selection, and your Personal Tutor will guide you through the options available to you. You may also have the option of switching to our four-year MBiomed integrated master's degree, which forms an excellent basis for a future career in scientific research.
Our Biomedical Sciences degree offers strong training for research scientists. Our graduates have gone on to a range of exciting and fulfilling careers in both scientific and non-scientific related fields, including scientific publishing, medical research, healthcare, toxicology, pathological science, journalism, medicine, teaching and veterinary science. Many also choose to further their studies by pursuing a master’s degree or PhD.
As one of the recognised feeder degrees for Cardiff University’s Medicine: Graduate Entry (MBBCh) programme, our BSc Biomedical Sciences also offers a potential pathway into medicine.
There are a limited number of places available on the BSc Biomedical Sciences route to the MBBCh programme and eligibility is dependent on academic performance during the first year of your BSc degree. Specific modules must then be taken during the rest of the course.
You will need to graduate with a first or upper second class BSc Biomedical Sciences degree, achieving certain academic standards in all modules, and sit the UCAT admissions exam in order to apply for the Medicine: Graduate Entry (MBBCh) programme via UCAS.
Please check the MBBCh entry requirements for further information, including A level results and equivalent international qualifications.
- Enjoy a flexible course structure that enables you to tailor your degree to match your interests and aspirations, including the option to spend a sandwich year on professional placement.
- Experience the excitement of learning in active research environment, with teaching staff who are leading researchers in their field.
- Make use of the latest equipment, techniques and facilities in your project work.
- We are one of the few universities in the UK, to combine cutting-edge digital methods with traditional human dissection. Specialist Anatomy modules involve human dissection under the direction of skilled experts within the Welsh Centre for Anatomical Education.
- The School of Biosciences plays a lead role in the University's Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute and European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute, offering access to a wide range of exciting training opportunities.
You may also be interested in the following courses:
- Bsc Biomedical Sciences with Professional Training Year
- MBiomed Biomedical Sciences (integrated master’s degree)
- BSc Biochemistry
- BSc Neuroscience
- BSc Biological Sciences (including option for Genetics)
We accept a combination of A-levels and other qualifications, as well as equivalent international qualifications subject to entry requirements. Typical offers are as follows:
AAB-ABB. Must include Biology (or Human Biology) or Chemistry. You will need to pass the science practical element of the A-level if this is part of your programme of study.
Extended/International Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ/IPQ will typically receive an offer one grade lower than the standard offer. Please note that any subject specific requirements must still be met.
Our grade range covers our standard offer and contextual offer. We carefully consider the circumstances in which you've been studying (your contextual data) upon application.
- Eligible students will be given an offer at the lower end of the advertised grade range.
- Where there is no grade range advertised and/or where there are selection processes in place (like an interview) you may receive additional points in the selection process or be guaranteed interview/consideration.
Learn about eligible courses and how contextual data is applied.
34-32 overall or 666-665 in 3 HL subjects. Must include grade 6 in HL Biology or Chemistry.
From September 2023, there will be a new qualification called the Advanced Skills Baccalaureate Wales (level 3). This qualification will replace the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate (Welsh Baccalaureate). The qualification will continue to be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.
Other essential requirements
You must have or be working towards:
- English language or Welsh language at GCSE grade C/4 or an equivalent (such as A-levels). If you require a Student visa, you must ensure your language qualification complies with UKVI requirements.
- GCSE Maths grade C/4 or equivalent qualification (subject and grade). If you are taking A-level Maths (or equivalent), GCSE Maths is not required. Core Maths may also be accepted in place of GCSE Maths.
We do not accept Critical Thinking, General Studies, Citizenship Studies, or other similar equivalent subjects.
We will accept a combination of BTEC subjects, A-levels, and other qualifications, subject to the course specific grade and subject requirements.
English language requirements
Grade C or grade 4 in GCSE English Language.
At least 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each subskill.
At least 90 overall with minimum scores of 17 for writing, 17 for listening, 18 for reading and 20 for speaking.
At least 62 overall with a minimum of 59 in all communicative skills.
Trinity ISE II/III
II: at least two Distinctions and two Merits.
III: at least a Pass in all components.
Other accepted qualifications
Please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our other accepted language qualifications.
You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course.
If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:
- access to lab facilities including chemicals
- access to computers or devices that can store images
- use of internet and communication tools/devices
- freedom of movement
- contact with people related to Cardiff University.
Other qualifications from inside the UK
DDD-DDM in a BTEC Extended Diploma in Applied Science, Forensic Science, or Animal Management with Distinction in all of the Core/Mandatory Units.
Acceptance of T Levels for this programme will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Academic School. Consideration will be given to the T Level grade/subject and grades/subjects achieved at GCSE/Level 2.
Please see our admissions policies for more information about the application process.
Tuition fees for 2024 entry
Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.
Learn how we decide your fee status
Fees for home status
We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2024/25 academic year. Fees for the previous year were £9,000.
Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland
We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2024/25 academic year.
Fees for island status
Learn more about the undergraduate fees for students from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.
Fees for overseas status
We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2024/25 academic year.
Our field courses which take place abroad will incur an additional cost – primarily to cover student travel and accommodation. We strive to keep these to a minimum, for example we maintain our own field station and staff in Borneo, whose costs are not recovered from charges to students. However, we also offer some excellent Wales-based field courses which do not incur additional costs.
No additional charges are made for other aspects of tuition, although some services (such as student printing on demand) may incur a charge.
Course specific equipment
No specific equipment is required. The University will provide IT facilities (in a communal space), laboratories equipped with specialist equipment, and all specialist software required for the course.
Students are advised to have a personal laptop computer or equivalent.
We have a range of residences to suit your needs and budget. Find out more on our accommodation pages.
We're based in one of the UK's most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.
This BSc course is full-time over three academic years (four including the Professional Training Year option), with 120 credits attained in each year. Year one is made up of six 20-credit modules, with three 40-credit modules taught in year two. In the final year, the research project carries 30 credits and is accompanied by three 30-credit modules. While we aim to offer as much flexibility as possible in our courses, module choice may be restricted on the basis of Entry Degree to provide capacity on core modules which are required for some degree schemes.
Year one modules involve lectures and supporting tutorials providing background theoretical knowledge as well as practical classes. All of our degree schemes share a common year one, which covers all aspects of the biosciences and has the big advantage of giving you flexibility of degree choice. Classes provide students with IT skills for biologists along with an understanding of statistical analysis of data, and coursework is used to develop written and oral communication skills.
In year two, we offer modules across a wide range of subjects. There is one required module in ‘Concepts of Disease’, but beyond this you have an almost free choice (subject to some constraints due to timetabling and numbers) to tailor the course to suit your interests. In all cases, extensive laboratory practicals help to develop practical skills and the ability to critically evaluate experimental data. Set assignments and reading are used to promote self-directed learning and the analysis of primary research literature.
The final year requires much more independent study, and all students must produce a substantial research-based (laboratory, literature, pedagogic or scientific engagement) report. Again we strive to offer as wide a choice as possible to allow you to tailor the degree to your study goals.
The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2024/2025 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2024.
The first year is a common year, covering all aspects of the biosciences. This reflects the increasingly multi-disciplinary nature of bioscience research, and has the added advantage of offering you flexibility of degree choice.
The modern, modular syllabus is delivered through lectures, tutorials, presentations, and practical classes carried out in spacious, well-equipped laboratories. It provides a firm foundation in all the biological disciplines, including biological chemistry, cell biology, microbiology, genetics, evolution, anatomy and physiology, animal and plant biology, and ecology, as well as focusing on developing practical and academic scientific skills. Modules may begin by overlapping with A-level studies, but will soon progress to greater depth and scope.
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|Skills for Science||BI1001||20 credits|
|Structure and Function of Living Organisms||BI1002||20 credits|
|Organisms and Environment||BI1003||20 credits|
|The Dynamic Cell||BI1004||20 credits|
|Biological Chemistry||BI1014||20 credits|
|Genetics and Evolution||BI1051||20 credits|
The second year allows for more specialisation, and will build on the knowledge and practical skills gained in the first year. There will be a focus on data analysis and scientific communication, as well as advanced laboratory and field techniques. Understanding of experimental design, literature review, statistical analysis and critical analysis skills will act as a foundation for further study in year three.
Alongside a required module in ‘Concepts of Disease’, you will select two additional 40-credit modules from a choice of ten, leaving you free to pursue particular areas of interest. Available module topics include the brain and behaviour; stem cells; anatomy; developmental biology; neuroscience; and physiology.
Throughout the year you will continue to develop a broad but deepening knowledge of the biomedical sciences from which you can specialise further in the final year.
During year two, you can also opt to switch to the four year degree with a Professional Training Year, which is taken after the second year, subject to an appropriate training place being identified.
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|Animal Diversity and Adaptation||BI2131||40 credits|
|Genetics and its Applications||BI2132||40 credits|
|Ecology Part A||BI2135||30 credits|
|Ecology Part B||BI2136||10 credits|
|Cell Biology||BI2231||40 credits|
|Developmental and Stem Cell Biology||BI2233||40 credits|
|Molecular Biology of the Gene||BI2234||40 credits|
|Concepts of Disease||BI2332||40 credits|
|Practical Anatomy||BI2333||40 credits|
|Brain and Behaviour||BI2431||40 credits|
|Fundamental Neuroscience||BI2432||40 credits|
Our final year curriculum enables you to specialise in more detail within one of the major research themes of the School. This approach immerses you in the research culture of the biosciences by means of research-driven teaching and a final year project that allows you to investigate a topic in much greater depth.
Application of core knowledge to the solving of problems and critical evaluation of models, ideas and current debate is a primary focus of the final year. This stage of the course will involve an extensive degree of self-directed study in order to develop skills in independent work and lifelong learning, which will help to prepare you for the professional environment.
As well as a 30-credit research project, you will complete three 30-credit modules (including a compulsory module in ‘Contemporary Topics in Disease’). Modules cover a range of topics including cancer mechanisms, diagnostics and therapeutics; infection biology; and advanced musculoskeletal biology and tissue engineering.
At the start of the final year, you have the option of applying to transfer to the four-year MBiomed course with integrated Master’s, depending on satisfactory academic progress and space availability.
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|Plants for the Future: Frontiers in Plant Science||BI3151||30 credits|
|Evolution and Adaptation||BI3153||30 credits|
|Biodiversity and Conservation Biology||BI3154||30 credits|
|Infection Biology and Epidemiology||BI3155||30 credits|
|Systems Biology||BI3157||30 credits|
|The 'omics Revolution (Bioinformatics and Functional Genomics)||BI3252||30 credits|
|Advanced Cell Biology and Imaging||BI3253||30 credits|
|Genes to Genomes||BI3254||30 credits|
|Synthetic Biology and Protein Engineering||BI3255||30 credits|
|Current Topics in Development, Stem Cells and Repair||BI3256||30 credits|
|Contemporary Topics in Disease||BI3351||30 credits|
|Cancer: Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms and Therapeutics||BI3352||30 credits|
|Advanced Anatomy||BI3354||30 credits|
|Advances in Physiology and Pathophysiology||BI3355||30 credits|
|Musculoskeletal System: Disease, Repair and Regenerative Medicine||BI3356||30 credits|
|Neurobiology of Brain Disorders||BI3451||30 credits|
|Systems Neuroscience||BI3452||30 credits|
The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.
Learning and assessment
We provide a student-centred educational experience based on academic excellence and informed by world-leading research. We seek to support every learner in an inclusive learning culture.
Core knowledge and understanding is acquired via lectures, practical classes, research seminars, workshops and tutorials whilst advanced knowledge and understanding is acquired through independent study, group work and project work.
You will be expected to undertake independent study and increasing independence of learning is expected as the course progresses.
Selected elements of the course may be available through the medium of Welsh and you can also request a Welsh-speaking Personal Tutor for pastoral and academic support.
Students with disabilities will be fully supported in co-ordination with the University’s Disability and Dyslexia Support Service.
How will I be supported?
All of our academic staff are experienced researchers in their respective fields and are passionate about sharing their knowledge and expertise with students.
The primary interaction with academic staff will be during lectures, laboratory practical sessions, workshops or small-group teaching sessions (tutorials). You will also be allocated a Personal Tutor who will provide pastoral support and academic advice throughout the course.
Lecturing staff are contactable in association with teaching sessions or by email, and operate either an ‘open door’ policy for students who have specific queries about course material, or a system of booking meeting times. Each degree scheme also has a degree scheme co-ordinator who can advise on academic issues and each year of study has a year co-ordinator who can advise on administrative issues related to the course of study. There is also a convenient Education Office with a friendly and experienced team who can answer most administrative queries.
Feedback on your study, work, and progress will take many forms, from formal written comments on your submitted work to more informal conversations and advice during classes and practicals. Throughout the course, we will provide detailed feedback on all assessed coursework. This is normally provided through a dedicated online system, which enables you to conveniently access your feedback via a computer or tablet device. You will also have the opportunity to discuss your academic and personal development progress with your Personal Tutor, and to discuss examination essay papers in order to improve your performance. During practical work and the research project, you will receive regular feedback from the supervising academic.
How will I be assessed?
First and second year modules are normally assessed through a combination of coursework and examinations. All modules include coursework assessments, which may take the form of written practical reports, structured reports, class tests, structured answer tests, group work, poster and oral presentations and computing/statistical problem-solving exercises. Assessments may be summative and count towards the final module mark, or formative, helping you to learn and practice key skills and knowledge through feedback. End of module exams comprise a machine-marked structured answer section (assessing breadth of knowledge) and a written answer section (assessing depth of knowledge in specific topics).
In the final year, taught modules are assessed by examination and extended analytical coursework. Your final year research project is assessed by a supervisor’s evaluation and a written report.
What skills will I practise and develop?
Throughout the course, you will develop scientific competencies as well as key transferable skills that will be invaluable whatever your future career choice. These include:
- independent learning and self-directed study;
- collating, organising and analysing information to create logical and persuasive arguments;
- analytical thinking and problem solving;
- communicating complex ideas in a clear, effective way (using all media);
- working effectively in a team and as an individual;
- IT competency, including presentation, graphics and statistics packages;
- performing and interpreting statistical analyses of data;
- effective time management and organisational skills.
As a result of engaging fully with this course, you should be able to:
- critically analyse, synthesise and summarise information from a variety of sources;
- discuss the relationships between structure/formation and function/regulation of molecules, organelles, cells, tissues, organisms and populations;
- effectively communicate scientific, and other, information to a variety of audiences, including the general public, using a range of formats and approaches;
- discuss current issues of research, investigation and/or debate;
- synthesise an argument or point of view, based on solid data and evidence;
- determine the validity and rigour of statistical outcomes;
- build on knowledge and understanding of the role and impact of intellectual property (IP) within a research environment;
- work effectively within a group-based environment, both as a leader and a member of a team;
- demonstrate the skills necessary for independent lifelong learning (for example working independently, time management, organisational, enterprise and knowledge transfer skills);
- identify, and work towards, targets for personal, academic, professional and career development;
- demonstrate leadership and planning skills for setting, and meeting, achievable goals within the workplace.
Careers and placements
Our integrated master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences forms an excellent basis for a future career in scientific research. It also gives you the opportunity to develop science-specific and more general transferable skills which will be attractive to a wide range of both scientific and non-scientific employers.
Our Biomedical Sciences graduates have gone on to a range of exciting and fulfilling careers in a variety of different fields, including medical and scientific research, biological industries, healthcare, toxicology, medical or scientific publishing, pathological science, journalism, public service and management. A Biomedical Sciences qualification can also act as a stepping stone to further training in professional areas including teaching, medicine, dentistry, nursing, veterinary science and accounting.
This three-year course does not include any formal work placements. However, we strongly encourage students to undertake informal work placements during the summer vacations in order to enhance employability.
Field work is possible as part of some modules, and we run several specialised, project-based biological field courses in a variety of locations throughout the world. These courses include an independent research project, often involving the behaviour or ecology of animals.
Depending on module choices, availability and timetabling constraints, Biomedical students may have the option of taking one of our field courses.
HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2021. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019/20, published by HESA in June 2022.