BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science with Foundation Year

University Of East London

Program Overview

Whether it's investigating a type of cancer or understanding the cause of food poisoning, biomedical scientists play a crucial role in diagnosing disease and evaluating effective treatment.


Doctors make decisions based on the results of tests carried out by biomedical scientists in the pathology laboratory, while patients benefit from their experience and expertise. Without their skills, key hospital departments such as Accident and Emergency couldn't operate effectively.


Our course offers an in-depth understanding of the causes of disease and the practical ways in which they can be investigated in the laboratory. These are the fundamental areas of knowledge that you'll need as a biomedical scientist.


Course Leader Dr Claudio Scotti believes the popularity of the course is because it's "broad-based". It's ideal for students who want to make a career in bioscience but have not yet decided in exactly what area to specialise.


The course, which offers extensive laboratory training, shares a common first year with other bioscience degrees, so you'll have the option to switch to a similar degree course at the end of your first year if you wish.


The course is also available with a year-long work placement between years two and three. If you choose this option, you'll have the chance to spend your third year working in a laboratory, adding valuable practical experience to your growing academic knowledge.


If you don't meet the entry requirements for a BSc degree, you have the option of taking an extended, four-year version of this course. You'll take a bioscience foundation year which will prepare you for the BSc degree.


LondonUnited Kingdom

  Course Duration

48 Months

  Tuition Fee

£ 13,740



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Foundation Year


Essential Skills for Higher Education (Mental Wealth)


The module aims to enable you to develop the range of essential skills required to complete your academic studies successfully and to enhance your employment prospects. You will develop your skills in academic reading and writing, gathering and evaluating information, and critical thinking. You will perform various individual and group activities, including presentations on topics relevant to your degree studies, enhancing your social awareness and team work skills as well as core communication skills.


Essential Maths & ICT


This module will provide you with fundamental knowledge and practical skills in basic maths, data presentation, and the IT skills. The development of these essential skills will help you to successfully complete further academic studies and enhance your employment prospects. Topics of study will include working with numbers, practical applied maths, basic statistics, data presentation and applied IT skills training in Microsoft office.


Career & Professional Skills (Mental Wealth)


The module aims to develop your life and professional skills, enhance your employment prospects and progression, as well as the academic and subject specific skills which are required for further study. You will actively seek and engage with various digital platforms (e.g., LinkedIn), University services and external institutions that will offer you opportunities, to explore, evaluate, learn and participate in activities that enhance your professional skills and reflect on how to plan your career. Academic staff in the various degree programmes and career coaches at UEL will advise and support you on professional skills, career prospects and developments.


Human Biology

Within this module you will develop an understanding of the basic anatomical structures in the human body and physiological principles and processes underpinning their function. You will explore key areas such as the cardiovascular, respiratory, urinary, and musculoskeletal system and the coordination of these systems in the maintenance of bodily homeostasis and human health.


Introduction to the Study of Cells

The module aims to provide you with a basic introduction to how different biological and biochemical processes function within cells. You will study the structure and biochemistry of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, cell metabolism, cell division as well as the principles of genetic variation. After completing this module you will have gained a suitable foundation for further studies in the biological and chemical sciences.


Chemistry of Life

This module will provide you with a foundation in the theoretical and experimental aspects of chemistry that underpin many topics in chemistry and biosciences. You will study basic principles of chemistry such as the periodic table, molecular structure and chemical bonding, organic and biological chemistry, nomenclature of carbon molecules and the structures and functions of the building blocks of life, environmental chemistry, pollutants and toxins on our environment and health.


Year 1


Professional Practice in Science (Mental Wealth)


This module will introduce you to the different approaches to teaching, learning and assessment in a Higher Education setting focusing on core skills required for the bioscience and chemistry programs. This will support you in your 'transition' from school, college or the work place towards degree level study. The module will have at its core the key academic, employability and transferable skills of English for academic writing, ICT, numeracy in biological and chemical sciences, statistics, basic laboratory techniques, presentation, and personal development and study skills.


In parallel themes in personal development such as the understanding of key attributes and topics in emotional, social, cognitive and physical intelligence that are important for careers in biosciences and chemistry professions related to a student's programme of study.


Essential Chemistry

This module aims to enable you to consolidate and develop a knowledge and understanding of the basic principles underpinning the chemistry of biological molecules and the basic analytical techniques that are encountered in bioscience.


Cell Biology


Within this module you will develop a working knowledge, definitions concepts and practical skills that support the understanding of the structure and function of the dynamic cell. This includes topics in cell architecture, organelles, cell cycle, division, intra and extracellular signalling events, differentiation and specialisation of cells and the evolution of cell structures.


Introduction to Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

This module will give students a working knowledge of the definitions, terms and concepts used in biochemistry and molecular biology, and some of the main processes that occur in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Areas of study will include chemical principles relevant to biological systems, the structure and function of biological molecules (RNA, DNA, proteins etc.), the processes underpinning cellular metabolism and its control. Students will develop and demonstrate their competence in a variety of practical laboratory techniques, focusing on enzyme catalysed reactions as well as develop an understanding of how these theoretical concepts and practical techniques overlap with other related disciplines.


Fundamentals in Human Anatomy and Physiology

This module will enable you to consolidate your competence in specified areas of human anatomy and physiology including the structure, function, neurological and hormonal control of the human body, its component parts and major systems (musculoskeletal, circulatory, respiratory, digestive, renal, urogenital, nervous, endocrine) and their relationship to each other. You will also be introduced to basic laboratory techniques and methods of functional assessment for physiological processes in humans.


Fundamentals in Microbiology

Within this module you will learn about the structure, physiology, biochemistry, identification, classification and control of microorganisms, including the roles of normal flora found associated with humans. You will also develop basic practical skills required for the safe handling, identification and quantification of different microbes.



Level 4 Short Work Placement


This module is designed to give you an opportunity to develop professional skills and experience within the workplace. It will also help you to establish a range of professional contacts that have the potential to be useful both for project work and assisting in finding employment after graduation.


Year 2


Human Disease and Clinical Practice


Within this module you will explore different clinical laboratory specialities in an integrated approach where the study of disease, its diagnosis and treatment are linked, in order to help you develop a deeper understanding of and competencies in carrying out activities as a scientist working in a clinical setting. The module will also focus on the practical side of clinical and diagnostic procedures used to identify and understand disease. These include compliance with health and safety policies, good laboratory practice, risk and COSHH assessments, the Human Tissue Act and the importance of quality control and quality assurance. Case studies from different clinical disciplines ranging from pharmacology, toxicology, genetics, biochemistry, microbiology and immunology will be used to illustrate and help you link theory to practice.


Molecular Biology & Genetics

Within this module you will be introduced to elements of genetics, genomics, human variation and organismal development. In particular you will examine the structure and function of genes, control of gene expression, the principles of inheritance, genetic disorders with particular biomedical significance, introduction to recombinant DNA technology, evolution and population biology. You will also examine topics such as organismal development, the human life cycles, ageing, stem cells, regenerative medicine and the contribution of genetics and the application of recombinant DNA technology to these areas.


Infection & Immunity

This module will provide you with a basic understanding of selected topics in medical microbiology, immunology, epidemiology and disease prevention. In the first part of the module the microbes and the consequences of microbial infection on their hosts will be explored. In the second part the development, structure and mechanisms of action of the components of the immune system; innate, acquired immunity, immune effector functions and vaccines will be explored. Theoretical concepts are reinforced through laboratory practical sessions which will introduce you to diagnostic microbiological and basic immunological techniques and data analysis.


Cellular Biochemistry

Within this module you will build on your knowledge and understanding of the fundamental biochemical, metabolic pathways and processes in found within cells and organisms. This will include the investigation of protein structure and function and enzyme activity and control. You will learn and practice purification techniques for macromolecules. You will also examine theoretical and practical aspects of enzymes function and enzymology. Important exemplars in metabolic pathways such as the TCA and ETC will be discussed in detail and their roles in cellular energy production and human health and disease explored.


Haematology and Transfusion Science

The module aims to develop your knowledge and understanding of the physiological and pathological states of the cellular components of blood, and the science dictating usage of blood and plasma derivatives for therapeutic purposes. You will also learn basic laboratory techniques in haematology and blood sciences that underpin clinical practice within this area.


Research & Career Development - Mental Wealth

This module is structured to offer you reflective, integrated components in which different scientific disciplines and specialities belonging to their and other programmes of study (such pathobiology, clinical laboratory practice, disease treatment, synthetic chemistry, drug design and manufacture, etc.) are discussed in a system-led approach to develop professional competencies required in carrying out independent laboratory work in a professional setting.


This includes developing your understanding of different investigative techniques both within and outside of your programme of study, reading and interpreting scientific literature, generic research skills and understanding professional and regulatory benchmarks (ie ethics, governance) within the sector. You will also develop practical skills such as recording, evaluating and presenting results to different types of audiences. While development of sector specific scientific skills is the focus of this module, you will also in parallel develop key transferable skills which will help you thrive in a variety of other sectors.



Level 5 Short Work Placement


This module is designed to give you an opportunity to develop professional skills and experience within the workplace. It will also help you to establish a range of professional contacts that have the potential to be useful both for project work and assisting in finding employment after graduation.



Year Long Placement (Sandwich Year)

This module is designed to give you an opportunity to develop professional skills and experience within the workplace. It also enables you to apply knowledge and skills in the competent performance of tasks required by a scientist. Furthermore, it helps you to establish a range of professional contacts that have the potential to be useful both for project work and assisting in finding employment after graduation.


Year 3


Clinical Biochemistry


This module will help you develop a critical understanding of the principles and methods used to investigate the function and dysfunction of systems, organs and tissues through the measurement of biochemical markers. Topics such as sample collection and manipulation, screening, diagnosis, treatment, disease monitoring, therapeutic drug monitoring and investigation of substance abuse will be discussed. Benchmarks associated with running clinical assays will also be evaluated. Examples and case studies will be drawn from assays currently used in clinical biochemistry laboratories, however, a number of emerging technologies such as high throughput biomarker analysis will also be discussed. You will gain hands on experience in quality control statistical testing and interpretation and laboratory action/test planning, data handling, good laboratory practice and other core competencies which will place them in a good position to successfully compete for jobs within this sector.


Medical Microbiology


This module will help you gain an in-depth understanding of the key topics underlaying the discipline of medical microbiology and the challenges faced by clinicians in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases. Topics will include routes of exposure and colonization by pathogens, host-pathogen interactions, pathobiology, host response and control of infection. Treatments such as antimicrobials and antivirals and their modes of action will be discussed along with the mechanisms by which pathogens become resistant to chemotherapy. Infection control, prophylaxis, basic epidemiology and the role of programmes or agencies to promote and deliver public health microbiology, locally or globally will be evaluated. Case studies will be used to illustrate and integrate different topics and concepts. You will gain hands on experience in the laboratory techniques used to diagnose a range of infectious agents including isolation, differential identification strategies and detection of resistance to antimicrobial agents.


Cellular Pathology


Cellular pathology is the microscopic examination of normal and abnormal cells or tissues (histopathology) for indicators of disease. Within this module you will develop a deep understanding of key topics in the clinical and diagnostic application of this discipline. The module curricula will encompass both theoretical and practical aspects such as the gross structure and ultrastructure of normal cells and tissues, structural changes which may occur during disease, reproductive science (including infertility) and embryology. You will get hands on experience preparing cells and tissues for examination as well as develop core competencies in the principles and application of visualisation and imaging techniques, to aid in the diagnosis of disease and selection of treatments.


Clinical Immunology

Within this module you will develop an in-depth understanding of concepts, language and laboratory techniques used in the clinical application of immunology encompassing normal, immunopathological conditions and abnormal immune function. You will critically evaluate current developments in immunology and their application in modern clinical practice in the function and measurement of effectors of the immune response, the causes and consequences of disease associated with abnormal immune function, inflammation, neoplastic disease and transplantation reactions together with their diagnosis, treatment and monitoring, and immunotherapy. You will also gain hands on experience in the use of these techniques in diagnostic and research applications.


Clinical Genetics


This module introduces principles and method used in the investigation of genetic mutations and polymorphisms and their influence on disease processes. You will be introduced to genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic methods used to analyse and study human chromosomes and DNA; the application of molecular biology and bioinformatics in medicine; pharmacogenetics, pharmacogenomics and personalised medicine; genetic testing and associated ethical issues.


In addition, you will participate in workshops where you will use bioinformatic and systems biology methods to explore large volumes of biological data (gene expression data, genetic interaction data etc), the properties of individual components as well as networks of interacting components. Finally, you will develop an understanding of the algorithms utilised to decipher biologically relevant relationships which are now being applied to clinically to diagnose disease.


Research Project and Career Enhancement Portfolio (Mental Wealth)


During this capstone module you will integrate and apply the knowledge and practical skills you have learned through your degree programme in two activities. The first is the honours level independent research project (honours dissertation) focused on generation and interpretation data in a topic area centred within your programme of study.


The second is the development of a career enhancement portfolio where you will be able to assess and hone your key transferable skill sets in preparation for successfully achieving your desired postgraduate destinations.



Level 6 Short Work Placement

This module is designed to give you an opportunity to develop professional skills and experience within the workplace. It will also help you to establish a range of professional contacts that have the potential to be useful both for project work and assisting in finding employment after graduation.

English language requirements

Overall Academic IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 6.0 in Writing and Speaking; minimum 5.5 in Reading and Listening (or recognised equivalent).


If you do not meet the academic English language requirements for your course, you may be eligible to enrol onto a pre-sessional English programme. The length of the course will depend on your current level of English and the requirements for your degree programme. 

International Fees Full time 3/4/5 years
£13,740 Per year

Biomedical science is a constantly evolving field, and there are plenty of rewarding career opportunities for graduates. 


The knowledge you'll gain through your studies, combined with the practical experience of working in a pathology laboratory, will set you on an exciting path. Once you've got your Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) registration, you could find yourself working in the National Health Service, making a crucial contribution to modern healthcare. 


Alternatively, you could end up working at the Health Protection Agency, the National Blood Authority or in private, university or forensic laboratories.


You might choose to work in veterinary science, a pharmaceutical company, the Health and Safety Executive or another government department.


Many of our graduates use their degree as a springboard for further study. They go on to complete an MSc or PhD in biomedical science or in a related subject such as physiotherapy, dentistry, medicine or pharmacy.


As this is a broad-based course that gives you an excellent overall knowledge of the subject, you could use it as a foundation to move into teaching.


One of the biggest advantages of studying biomedical science at UEL is the sheer breadth of topics covered, opening doors to a wide range of career options.

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