Centre for Biological Sciences

B940 BSc Biomedical Sciences (3 yrs)

Investigating potential treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, finding the causes of cystic fibrosis, improving our understanding of cancer – just a few of the vital areas where biomedical science is making a difference today.

Biomedical scientists study the mechanisms of life and the underlying causes of disease, and seek to develop and improve treatments for populations of patients.

Programme Overview

Our BSc Biomedical Sciences degree is one of our most flexible programmes, allowing you to combine interests in biochemistry, physiology, neuroscience, cell biology, genetics and pharmacology. The emphasis is on the science that underpins and advances clinical practice, rather than the technical basis of routine laboratory tests. Human disease is studied at all levels, from genetic mutations through organ degeneration, such as the brain in Alzheimer’s disease, up to whole-body metabolic disorders like diabetes. The programme offers an ideal preparation for a graduate career in medicine, clinically related professions or a career in clinical or medical research.

Our staff are involved in research in the molecular basis of disease, oncology, developmental biology, neurophysiology, epilepsy, brain damage and recovery relating to stroke, and we have exceptionally good research facilities which you will be able to access during your third year project.

View the programme specification document for this course

To Apply

All undergraduate applications should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Click on the How to Apply tab of the navigation menu for detailed information on how to apply and further details about UCAS' website, phone and contact details. Specific application deadlines are available on the UCAS website.

Key facts

    • Flexible, interdisciplinary programme, with opportunity to choose options from other disciplines alongside core modules
    • 100 per cent of our research has been rated world leading or internationally excellent for its impact on society (REF2014)
    • Solid foundation for graduate entry to medicine.

    The National Student Survey 2015 (NSS)


    • 91% of our BSc Biomedical Sciences students were satisfied or very satisfied with the teaching on their course
    • 99% of our BSc Biomedical Sciences students were satisfied or very satisfied that staff were good at explaining things on their course
    • 91% of our BSc Biomedical Sciences students were satisfied or very satisfied that the course was intellectually stimulating
    • BSc Biomedical Sciences scored an overall satisfaction of 91% 

“My third year project was in microbiology, researching the bacteria which are predominantly responsible for causing lung infections in cystic fibrosis patients. Now I’m really passionate about learning more about parasitic infections, which affect whole populations in third world countries.”

Michelle Joyner, BSc Biomedical Sciences, mature student

Entry requirements

Typical entry requirements


Grades A*-C in English, mathematics and science. If you lack these formal qualifications, your aptitude for the course will be assessed at interview. International students whose first language is not English must have already attained the necessary standard in English, such as 6.5 in IELTS

A Levels:

AAB. For biomedical sciences degrees, either Biology or Chemistry must be offered at A level (minimum grade B) with at least one other A level science subject. Additional A level science subjects considered include biology, chemistry, human biology, physics, mathematics, psychology, environmental studies, geography and geology

Applicants only offering A level Biology or Chemistry will be considered on a case by case basis.


34 points, 17 at higher level, which includes two science subjects one of which must be higher level biology or chemistry

Other applicants:

Applicants with alternative UK or EU qualifications and international applicants should first refer to the general entry requirements.

English Language

For details of our English Language entry requirements please see here

Selection process:

Intake: 120
Average applicants per place: 8

Selection for this biomedical sciences degree is normally based on actual or predicted grades plus the reference and personal statement on your UCAS application. Exceptionally we may ask you to come for an interview before making an offer.

Visit our International Office website or the NARIC website for further information on qualifications.


Typical course content

On this biomedical sciences degree you will be able to take certain optional modules in Years 2 or 3, you may need to have passed specified modules previously.

Innovation modules outside of your subject area

Our Curriculum Innovation Programme offers you the chance to take optional modules outside of your chosen subject area. This allows you to personalise your education, to develop new skills and knowledge for your future. Modules range from "Living and working on the web" to "Business skills for employability".   

View the Curriculum Innovation modules for this course

Learn a language

Some of our courses also give you the option of taking a language module, which can count towards your degree. These modules cover ten languages and range from absolute beginner to near-native speaker level.

View the language modules on offer for this course

Year 2

In addition to the compulsory modules, you will take two optional modules in each semester normally taken from the choices below including a free elective from any other discipline.

Semester One

FREE XY15 Free elective - Optional
LANG XX15 Language module - Optional


Semester Two

FREE XY15 Free elective - Optional
LANG XX15 Language module - Optional


Year 3

In addition to the modules listed below, in Year 3 you will also take one of the following compulsory combinations:


A combination of two 7.5 ECTS modules, taken from Literature research project (BIOL3031/32), Short research project (BIOL3050), Bioscience Communication (BIOL3060)


You can take up to two optional modules in each semester normally taken from the choices below including a free elective from any other discipline.

Semester One

FREE XZ15 Free elective - Optional
LANG XX15 Language module - Optional


You must take One CfBS (BIOL) modules from the following list: BIOL3021 Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience OR BIOL3014 Molecular Cell Biology


Semester Two

FREE XZ15 Free elective - Optional
LANG XX15 Language module - Optional


You must take One CfBS (BIOL) modules from the following list: BIOL3017 Molecular and Structural Basis of Disease OR BIOL3022 Cell Signalling in Health and Disease


Learning and assessment

The academic year

Eight modular units are taken each academic year, four in semester one and four in semester two. A unit normally consists of two lectures a week plus a three-hour practical on alternate weeks. Practicals and other components of in-course assessment make up 25% of your final mark for the year. We also provide workshops and pastoral tutorials in which you can get specific help on the content of your lectures. Each week students therefore attend eight 45-minute lectures, an average of two 2 to 3 hour practical classes and may also attend a small group tutorial, which should take up to two hours to prepare.
Examinations are held in the two weeks after each semester, in January and June. The marks for the first year do not count towards the final degree classification, but you do have to gain an overall pass in your first year. Currently the second year counts 35% towards the degree and the third year 65%.

The tutorial system

Every student is assigned a personal tutor when they start their university degree. Your course tutor changes every semester, but your personal tutor will stay the same throughout your time here. Your personal tutor will meet you when you enrol, and you will see him/her three or four times a term in the first year, for academic as well as pastoral support. He or she is accessible throughout your time in Southampton.


Our research is relevant to your undergraduate course because you will be taught by people who are experts in their area of research. This is especially important for science subjects, where knowledge is advancing rapidly. This is particularly true for your final year.

In your third year, you have the opportunity to do an individual research project in one of our research laboratories. You will use equipment bought for current research, and do a project designed to further your understanding of your topic.


We have our own team of administrators who act as a point of contact for day-to-day advice and information for undergraduate students. They are also responsible for collecting assignments and issuing the documents and forms which are required during your period of study..

Career Opportunities