Also referred to as 'The Biomaterials Course', the programme is multidisciplinary and taught in several departments, including Dentistry, Medicine, and Metallurgy and Materials. It is administered by the Biomaterials Unit within the School of Dentistry which links clinical work with both clinical and scientific research. Most of the state of the art laboratories used have been recently refurbished.
You will study the structure and properties of materials – including polymers, ceramics and metals – anatomy, physiology, introduction to cell and molecular biology and bacteriology, alongside biomechanics and a general introduction to the development and clinical use of biomaterials. The first year also includes a study skills course providing you with a basic working knowledge of the use of search engines, IT and statistics. Wherever possible, lecture material is reinforced with practical classes. After the examination period in the summer you will visit local hospitals where you will observe, for example, a hip or knee replacement operation being performed.
In this year you focus on the reactions of the body to biomaterials, how these materials are designed and made into components to be used in medical treatments, and the factors that affect performance of materials in service. Modules include cell and molecular biology, orthopaedic and dental biomaterials, microscopy, infection and immunology and materials design. Practical sessions will give you further experience of handling and testing biomaterials.
Your final year gives you the opportunity to undertake an original piece of laboratory research as part of your two-semester project, learn more about tissue engineering and biomaterial design, develop your clinical background and deepen your scientific knowledge. You will ultimately present your research project as a dissertation accompanied by a poster, both of which draw on your scientific writing and presentation skills acquired in the first and second year. Your work may ultimately be published in a scientific journal.
Why study this course
Hospital location: You will be based in the new Birmingham Dental Hospital and School of Dentistry meaning the direct input by clinicians into the course content ensures the clinical relevance of our learning outcomes.
Equal emphasis on materials and biological sciences: Taught across several departments including dentistry, medicine and metallurgy and materials, this multidisciplinary course is one of the few remaining courses in the UK that covers both materials and biological science equally, meaning you will develop a broad knowledge base in both areas. This will allow you to choose from a wider variety of career options in the field of biomaterials once you graduate.
Orthopaedic Biomaterials teaching: As an area of medicine relevant to an increasingly aging population, orthopaedic biomaterials is an important focus of your study at Birmingham. From hip replacements to pacemakers, you will learn about how artificial materials are enabling us to live healthier lives for longer through a growing number of biomaterial applications.
Small year groups: You will enjoy the close-knit community atmosphere created by our small year group who, as a result, quickly settle into University life, easily make friends with their course mates and build strong working relationships with teaching and support staff.
Final year research project opportunities: In the third year of the course you will undertake a research project of your choice. This will take place in our active research laboratories working alongside postgraduate PhD students and staff.
Introduction to Biomaterials
Biological Sciences I
Biological Sciences II
Principles of Biomechanics
Properties and Application of Biomaterials
Anatomy for Biomaterials
Fundamentals of Materials
Polymers, Composites and Ceramics
Dental Biomaterials I
Dental Biomaterials II
Orthopaedic Biomaterials I
Orthopaedic Biomaterials II
Materials Engineering Design
Microscopy and Analysis of Biomaterials
Immunology and Infection
Design for Manufacture
Laboratory Assessment of Biomaterials
Interactions of Biomaterials with the Body
This is the module list for 2012, but the programme continues to evolve and you should check the website regularly for any changes for next year.
Fees and funding
Number of A levels required: 3
Typical offer: ABB
Required subjects and grades: two sciences at A level (including Biology and/or Chemistry); GCSE Mathematics at grade C or equivalent
General Studies: not accepted, but a good performance may be taken into account if you fail to meet the conditions of the offer
Students will be required to complete a successful Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check before admission to the programme
Other qualifications are considered – Please contact Admissions Tutors or Admissions for further information.
International Baccalaureate Diploma: 34 points to include Chemistry and Biology at HL.
Standard English language requirements apply
Learn more about international entry requirements.
Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in the Birmingham Foundation Academy, a specially structured programme for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on the foundation academy web pages.
How to apply
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