The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

B991 MBioSci Master of Biomedical Sciences (4 years)

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 course

This is the course page for MBioSci Master of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Southampton. Find out everything about Master of 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 MBioSci Master of 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.

MBioSci Master of Biomedical Sciences


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Our four year integrated masters in Biomedical Sciences 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.

Programme Structure

Biomedical Sciences is the study of the biological basis of human disease. Our integrated Masters degree in biomedical sciences allows you to focus on selected aspects of physiology and/or biochemistry to a research level.  Graduates in biomedical science are in considerable demand in a variety of areas of employment.  In Southampton you will undertake a balanced programme where you will gain the relevant skills and knowledge required for a career in this subject area.

The aims of this modular programme of study are to provide you with:

1. a stimulating, informed environment through a wide range of interesting and contemporary courses with flexibility and choice, but allowing you to focus increasingly as you progress from level to level;
2. a sound scientific knowledge base in Biochemistry and Physiology to masters level to enable you to show critical awareness of current problems and new insights in biomedical science research;
3. an appreciation of the limits of knowledge of biomedical processes and how these limits may be extended by further relevant research;
4. training in biochemical and physiological laboratory skills;
5. an opportunity to develop a range of transferable skills (information and communication technology, team working, written and oral communication, time management, planning, data collection and presentation);
6. opportunities for you to develop skills of critical thinking and analysis and to show that you can pursue independent study;
7. an opportunity to undertake a number of  projects on biomedical topics, including two in an academic research laboratory;
8. an education and training suitable for a wide variety of careers and that will prepare you for higher degrees and careers in biochemical research - or graduate entry to medicine;
9. the capability of life-long learning, study and enquiry.

Key Facts

  • Excellent reputation for teaching and internationally acclaimed research
  • The four-year programme is intended to develop research skills in a more inter-disciplinary context than is possible in a three-year degree structure.
  • You will also be exposed to cutting edge research, participating in seminar presentations in wide-ranging and specialist topics.
Thumbnail photo of Kethan Suvarna

“Studying at Southampton was definitely one of the best decisions I've made. I've had countless experiences and made many lifelong friends along the way. ”

Kethan Suvarna - MBioSci Master of Biomedical Sciences

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

English Language

For details of our English Language entry requirements please see here

Selection process:


Grades A*- C in English, mathematics and science. If you lack these formal qualifications, your aptitude for this degree in biomedical sciences 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, biology and/or chemistry must be offered at A level (minimum grade B) with at least one other A level science subject. A level science subjects considered include biology, human biology, physics, mathematics, psychology, environmental studies, geography and geology

Exceptional candidates with only one science A level may be considered


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

Other applicants:

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

Intake: 120
Average applicants per place: 8

Selection 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. In year 1 and 2 of your degree you can take a language from any Stage, in year 3 you must take a language in at Stage 4 or above.

View the language modules on offer for this course

Year 1

Semester One


Macromolecules of Life
Systems Physiology
Core Skills in the Life Sciences

Students must choose CHEM1012 if they have not passed Chemistry at A Level.

Introduction to Chemistry

Students must choose CHEM1039 if they have passed Chemistry at A Level.

Biological Chemistry
Semester Two

Students can choose either BIIOL1021 or BIOL1023 if they have passed Chemistry at A Level.

Students must choose BIOL1023 if they have not passed Chemistry at A Level

Cell Biology & Genetics
Metabolism & Metabolic Disorders
Integrative Mammalian Physiology


If you have not passed Chemistry at A Level or equivalent you must select BIOL 1023. If you have passed Chemistry at A Level or equivalent you may choose either.



Behaviour of Biomolecules

Students must choose if they have not passed Chemistry at A Level

Cell and Tissue Histology

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
Flow of Genetic Information

Please note if you choose to take BIOL2039 it is preferred that you have previously studied ALevel Biology or Zoology.

Human Origins
Cell Biology
Quantitative methods in biological and environmental science
Exploring Proteins: Structure and Function
Pharmacology A
Animal behaviour
Biotechnology and the Living Cell
Developmental Psychology
Global Challenges
Sustainability in the Local and Global Environment
Body and Society
Security, Emergencies and Technologies of Control
Semester Two

Please note if you choose to take BIOL2040 it is preferred that you have previously studied BIOL2039, BIOL2008 and BIOL2014.

Animal reproduction and development
Bioinformatics & DNA Technology
Pharmacology B
Adaptive Physiology
Neural Basis of Behaviour
Medical Microbiology
Behavioural Neuroscience
The living Earth
Business Skills for Employability
Ethics in a Complex World
Ethics in Science, Engineering and Technology: Jekyll and Hyde
Health Policy and Economics
Engineering Replacement Body Parts

Year 3

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

In addition at least FOUR optional CfBS (BIOL) modules (30ECTS) must be taken- selected from the full list below ), including from BIOL3021, BIOL3014, BIOL3017, and BIOL3022 if not already selected to satisfy the compulsory requirements (i.e. can do all four of the above)

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).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Course fees for 2017/18 full-time UK and EU undergraduate students are typically £9,250 per year. Tuition fees for international students differ between each course. Most part-time courses cost 50% of the full-time fee.

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

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

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

On this Biomedical Sciences degree you will be helped to acquire skills through aspects of the formal teaching programme.  In the early years this will mainly be through tutorial and coursework, whilst in years three and four your project work will give you ample opportunity to further develop and practise many of the individual skills.

We take very seriously the quality assurance of our learning and teaching structures. These issues are addressed in a variety of ways by the University, and by direct engagement of student comments at every level.

You will have the opportunity to have your say on the quality of the programme in the following ways:

  •  Anonymous student evaluation questionnaires for each module of the programme.
  • The National Student Survey.

Through student representation on the Staff-Student Liaison Committee, Faculty Programmes Committee, Centre for Biological Sciences Board of Studies.

The ways in which the quality of your programme is checked, both inside and outside the University, are:

  •  External examiners, who review examination papers, moderates marking and overall results, provide viva-voce examinations if necessary, meet collectively with all students during the Exam Board period and provide an annual report to the University via the Faculty
  • Periodical Programme review.
  • Periodical review of modules.
  • Annual appraisal of teaching staff, including setting staff development priorities.
  • Peer observation of teaching and learning.

The Learning and Teaching Enhancement Review and Action Plan (LTERAP)

Each Academic Unit on this degree in biomedical sciences has a Board of Studies that monitors and evaluates all aspects of learning and teaching at the undergraduate level.  It considers the results of student feedback and takes appropriate action to remedy any shortcomings. It also considers the results of peer observation of teaching and the reports of External Examiners from comparator universities who review our assessment procedures, subject content and overall standards of assessment. The Board of Studies reports to the Faculty Programmes Committee.
As a leading biomedical sciences university we have a Programmes Committee that scrutinises degree programmes and their constituent modules and monitors the performance of its academic units. The University has a Quality, Standards & Accreditation Team that supports the quality of learning and teaching of all faculties. External checks are conducted periodically by the Quality Assurance Agency.


Study Locations

The Life Sciences Building

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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