Taught by subject experts who carry out fundamental scientific and medical research, this 4-year course will explore the science of the human body and the causes and treatments of diseases that affect us. Similar to our 3-year BSc Biomedical Science course, this broad course is taught in Birmingham Medical School and covers all the major body systems right down to cellular and molecular level.
You will learn how research translates into advances in clinical practice through our 'bench-to-bedside' approach by spending time working in our state-of-the-art laboratories and explore emerging fields such as stem cell therapies. In addition to this, you'll learn more about common major disorders like cancer and arthritis.
First and Second Years
The first two years of this MSci Biomedical Science course are identical to the 3-year BSc Biomedical Science course and will build a detailed understanding of how the human body functions and what can go wrong in disease. The content extends from the single cell to the whole body. You will begin to learn about major pathologies such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative disease, arthritis and diabetes, and the genetic basis of inherited disorders.
All students take a common set of key subjects which will provide you with the core knowledge to understand the importance of each of the major disciplines of medical science. This forms a strong foundation for transitioning onto the MSci. Throughout the course you will develop core research skills, such as key technical skills, problem solving ability, data analysis and interpretation. You will also develop an understanding of the key ethical and social issues surrounding medical science.
During the second year there will be an opportunity to specialise in a scientific area of your choice, linked to the College's major research themes. This student selected component will allow an in-depth exploration of the area under the guidance of one of our subject experts. Themes include cancer, neuroscience, infection and immunity, pharmacology and cardiovascular science. This provides a platform for further specialisation in your third year. Within this module you can also select a business and enterprise project which develops entrepreneurial and communication skills with external business partners.
At the end of your second year there is the possibility of taking a year out to gain work experience, by securing a placement in, for example, the pharmaceutical industry. You may also opt to undertake a summer research project, which takes place during the summer in between your second and third years, either within the College, for which funding is available, or abroad. After summer research projects have taken place you will present your findings at a student symposium through conference-style posters. This event is a great way for students to showcase their hard work and findings, gaining valuable research experience along the way.
You will also have the opportunity at the end of your second year, or third year if you prefer, to undertake a year in industry. This will allow you to gain valuable work experience by securing a placement in, for example, the pharmaceutical industry.
During your third year you will specialise further by selecting a single taught option from over 10 specialist modules in a wide range of subject areas, including different aspects of neuroscience, cancer, virology, cardiovascular science, pharmacology, endocrinology, stem cell biology, ageing and immunology. You will learn about the latest findings and be exposed to advanced research techniques, guided by internationally recognised experts in these fields. You will then undertake a compulsory module in Experimental Data Interpretation that re-enforces your statistical knowledge to handle the analysis of large data sets.
These taught options lead on to a translational research module which is underpinned by understanding the legislative process required when moving treatments from the bench to the bedside. This module has a substantial practical element, requiring you to demonstrate advanced competencies within the laboratory and to demonstrate and acquire a Good Clinical Laboratory Certificate. The final module in year 3 is the Global Challenge, allowing team work to develop your creativity and innovative thinking to resolve a biomedical issue using modern technology.
In the final year of the MSci Biomedical Science course you will choose from a selection of optional modules around emerging technologies within the biomedical field (e.g. omics, bioinformatics). The final module is the extended individual research project, which in most cases is laboratory based within one of our leading research active laboratories. You will work independently, under supervision, for 15 weeks full-time on an original piece of research, acquiring and analysing your own data. The project develops and enhances not just your practical and analytical abilities, but also a range of other skills that will be a key to success in whatever career path you choose.
Students who enrol on to the 4-year MSci course are able to switch to the 3-year BSc course at the end of year 2 should they wish to.