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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.

Introducing your degree

This is the course page for BSc Biomedical Sciences at the University of Southampton. Find out everything about Biomedical Sciences and what studying here involves.

In this course page we explain a range of key information about the course. This includes typical entry requirements, modules you can take and how assessment works. We also suggest career opportunities open to you as a University of Southampton graduate of BSc Biomedical Sciences.

If you still have questions, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to answer any enquiries. See our contact us page for our telephone, email and address information.

Programme Overview

What is this?(More Information)This information is based on historical data and may have been aggregated. Find out more.

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% 

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

GCSEGrades 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:
GCE A-levelAAB. 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.
International Baccalaureate34 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:
Average applications per place:

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.

Contextual Offers

The University of Southampton is committed to widening participation and ensuring that all students with the potential to succeed, regardless of their background, are encouraged to apply to study with us. The additional information gained through contextual data supports our admissions teams to recognise a student’s potential to succeed in the context of their background and experience. Students flagged in this way will be given additional consideration and not be rejected solely on the basis of their predicted (or actual) grades.

Please see our contextual admissions pages for more information.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


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 1

Semester One
Macromolecules of Life
Systems Physiology
Core Skills in the Life Sciences

CHEM1039 Biological Sciences

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

Flow of Genetic Information
Cell Biology
Exploring Proteins: Structure and Function
Pharmacology A
Semester Two

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

Immunology, infection and inflammation
Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry
Animal reproduction and development
Bioinformatics & DNA Technology
Pharmacology B
Adaptive Physiology
Microbiology - From the natural environment to disease

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

Molecular cell biology
Cellular and molecular neuroscience
Cell membranes
Neuropharmacology of CNS disorders
Pathophysiology of the lung
Selective toxicity
Cellular and molecular pathology
Nutrition in Health & Disease: Part 1
Bioinformatics and Systems Biology
Cancer Chromosome 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

Cell Signalling in Health and Disease
The Molecular and Structural Basis of Disease
Molecular recognition
Molecular pharmacology
Systems neuroscience
Maternal, fetal and neonatal physiology
Biomedical Technology
Nutrition in Health & Disease: Part 2
Biofilms and Microbial Communities
Biomedical Parasitology

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Career Opportunities

With a BSc Biomedical Sciences degree you could be expected to find work in the following areas:

  • Laboratory scientist in forensic, pathology, veterinary, toxicology or haematology laboratory
  • Research in academic, pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors
  • Business, legal or management roles in health care and health and safety
  • Clinical research organisations running clinical trials and surveys
  • Graduate entry to medical school
  • Graduate assistant role to physicians or other health professionals
  • Laboratory science in NGOs and voluntary services overseas
  • Science writer or journalist in biological and biomedical topics
  • Teaching science nationally and internationally

Learning & 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 one third towards the degree and the third year two thirds.

The tutorial system

Every student on this biomedical sciences degree 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 the subjects that they teach. This is especially important for science subjects, where knowledge is advancing rapidly. This is particularly relevant for your final year.

In your third year, you have the opportunity to do an individual research project in one of our laboratories, in which you will make new discoveries alongside other researchers. You will use up-to-date equipment and gain important experimental skills.


We have our own team of administrators on the BSc Biomedical Sciences degree 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.

Programme leader: Dr John Chad


Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this programme typically also have to pay for:

Printing and copyingCoursework such as essays, projects and dissertations may be submitted on line. In the majority of cases, though, students will be asked to provide a printed copy. The University printing costs are currently: A4 - 5p per side (black and white) or 25p per side (colour) A3 - 10p per side (black and white) or 50p per side (colour) Please note: Paper sizes not recognised by the printing devices will prompt you to select the size and then charge a minimum of 50p per black and white copy and a maximum of £1 per colour copy. You can pay for your printing by using the money loaders or by using print copy payment service by going to Please remember that we are unable to refund any credit that has not been used by the end of your course, so please consider this when topping up your printing/copy account. Students entering year 1 2015/16 will be given a printing allowance of £3 per 7.5 ECTS BIOL towards the costs of printing lecture handouts. Practical handouts and module guides will be provided by the University. The University Print Centre also offers a printing and copying service as well as a dissertation/binding service. Current printing and copying costs can be found here: They also provide a large format printing service, e.g. Academic posters. Details of current costs can be found here:£0.05-1.00

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

EquipmentApproved calculators: Candidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
EquipmentLaboratory equipment and materials: All materials required for laboratory work are provided. Where necessary, suitable specialist safety equipment will be provided.
EquipmentIT: Computer discs or USB drives Students are expected to provide their own portable data storage device.
EquipmentIT: Software licenses All software is provided.
EquipmentIT: Hardware It is advisable that students provide their own laptop or personal computer, although shared facilities are available across the University campus.
ClothingLab coats and safety spectacles: One laboratory coat and a pair of safety spectacles are provided at the start of the programme to each student. If these are lost the student must replace them at their own expense. The Students Union Shop stock these items.
PlacementsStudents who choose to go on an industrial placement at the end of Part 2 can expect to cover costs for health and travel insurance, accommodation and living expenses, travel costs and visa costs. This will vary depending on which country you are travelling to.
OtherParking costs: There may be a requirement to undertake work at Southampton General Hospital (SGH), for example during a final year research project. Students may need to cover costs for transport to travel to SGH or for car parking.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Study Locations

Biological Sciences Building, Highfield Campus

The Life Sciences building is a £50 million state-of-the-art laborator...Find out more

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