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Biomedical Science and Human Biology

Biomedical Science and Human Biology

The Biomedical Science degree enables you to explore the sciences related to medicine and in particular, the specialist disciplines of diagnostic Biomedical Science as practised in Health Service Laboratories. Our degree is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science and is aimed at students wishing to pursue a career in diagnostic laboratory science as biomedical scientists within the NHS, research or management careers in the pharmaceutical industries or academic research.

Human Biology is the integrated study of human anatomy and physiology, including the study of the body in health and disease. It covers a wide range of topics, ranging from genetics, microbiology and immunology to the core disciplines of anatomy, microanatomy and physiology. The degree is designed to allow a greater degree of flexibility in the choice of modules, in comparison to the closely related degree in Biomedical Sciences.

Specialist subject areas which can be studied in detail include Pharmacology, Topographical Anatomy, Exercise and Applied Physiology, Developmental Studies, Embryology, Neuroscience and Science Communication. Within these subject areas we provide a wide and innovative range of learning experiences, such as the use of ultrasound imaging in cardiovascular physiology and exposure to cadaveric dissection.

Biomedical Science and Human Biology at Queen's

Join Dr Chris Johnson for his webinar on Biomedical Science and Human Biology at Queen's.

BSc Hons Biomedical Science - Student Experience

Emma talks about her experiences studying the BSc Hons degree in Biomedical Science at Queen's University Belfast.

Taster Lectures

  • My year in America

    Hear from Naomi Jess and Katie Quigley current 3rd year Biomedical Students, on their placement year in America. 

Subject Overview

Specialist subject areas which can be studied in detail include Pharmacology, Topographical Anatomy, Exercise and Applied Physiology, Developmental Studies, Embryology, Neuroscience and Science Communication. Within these subject areas we provide a wide and innovative range of learning experiences, such as the use of ultrasound imaging in cardiovascular physiology and exposure to cadaveric dissection.

18th
in the UK for Anatomy and Physiology
(Complete University Guide 2021)
2nd
in the UK for Career Prospects for Anatomy and Physiology
(Guardian University Guide 2021)
Biomedical Sciences Student – Tour of the MBC
Biomedical Sciences Student – Tour of the MBC

“I thoroughly enjoyed my Human Biology course. With the range of modules available, I was given the opportunity to tailor my degree, giving me the good foundation and knowledge to benefit me most for my chosen career. I found this kept me engaged, challenged and allowed me to learn about topics that interested me. As a mature student, I found the support network within Queen’s exemplary which allowed me to meet my full potential.”

Kathryn Owen (BSc (Hons) Human Biology)

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the A-level grades needed for Biomedical Sciences or Human Biology?

    Two sciences are needed, preferably Chemistry and Biology together, in which case the offer would be ABB.

    If Chemistry OR Biology is taken with another science, then the offer is slightly higher at AAB (you must get one of the As in Chemistry or Biology/Human biology), but you must have Biology and Chemistry at CGSE, or double award Science grades CC, and Maths grade C.

    For entry from our access course, the overall average needs to be 80%, with no less than 70% in any module, and include relevant modules in Biology and Chemistry.

    Please refer to the course information page (Human Biology; Biomedical Science) or QUB Admissions for up to date information.

  • What is counted as 'another science'?

    Usually:

    • Computer Science 
    • ICT  
    • Environmental Technology 
    • Geography 
    • Geology 
    • Home Economics 
    • Maths 
    • Nutrition and Food Science 
    • Physics 
    • Physical Education 
    • Psychology 
    • Technology and Design 

    Other subjects are considered on an individual basis 

    Please note, you must check this with QUB Admissions at the time of application. 

  • What are the differences between Biomedical Science and Human Biology?

    i. All students have the same modules in first year

    ii. Students can swap from Biomedical Science and vice versa at the beginning of 2nd year if they wish

    iii. The Biomedical Science degree is accredited, so graduates may apply for positions in NHS labs

    iv. As a result, Biomedical Science modules cannot be chosen, and favour more cellular biology, pathology/disease processes and laboratory techniques specifically to identify disease.

    Human Biology has choice of some modules in 2nd and 3rd years, reflecting more ‘systems-based’ human biology, such as regional anatomy, exercise physiology, neurosciences

  • The Biomedical Science pathway is ‘accredited’ – what does that mean?

    The pathway is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Sciences (IBMS), the professional body that oversees working practices in NHS laboratories. A course must be IBMS-accredited to apply for these jobs in the NHS.

  • Once I am on Human Biology or Biomedical Sciences courses, can I transfer into a Medicine degree?

    There is no entry into Medicine at QUB as a transfer from any course, including Human Biology or Biomedical Sciences. However, if you have a degree, the relevant A-levels and all other requirements, an applicant at this stage may be given an offer that does not require quite as high A-level grades. This must be checked at the time of application with QUB Admissions.

  • Does the Biomedical Science course offer work experience/placements?

    Although there is no scheduled work experience as part of the course, there are several opportunities to gain work experience, including:

    i) Summer studentships (paid) in our Research Centre labs, that are 4-8 weeks long and entry is through a competitive application process

    ii) A Placement year in a USA university, typically 3-5 students per year working in research labs in UCLA Reno Nevada or University of Vermont, entry is through a competitive application process.

    iii) Students may organise their own work experience by individually approaching industry contacts (eg., Randox, Almac). This may be over the summer or for a whole year. Students are allowed to temporarily withdraw from the course to facilitate this and resume their studies when they return.

  • What is the Final Year Project?

    For both Human Biology Biomedical Sciences courses, students in their 3rd and final year spend one third of their time completing a project. The majority of these are laboratory-based, working in our world-leading research centres in QUB, and being involved in ongoing research questions and projects, using up to the minute research techniques and equipment. We also offer a number of other project types to suit different preferences, such as and scientific literature-based projects, and projects through our teaching centre, for example in Anatomical Sciences, or developing teaching resources and scientific communication/outreach resources. These projects are excellent ‘tasters’ and experience of work in the scientific community, but also provide a wealth of transferable skills in the likes of analytical skills, time management, computer software, scientific writing and communication, etc.

  • What jobs do graduates of Biomedical Science and Human Biology go on to do?

    Other than the Biomedical Science graduates who go on to work as Biomedical Scientists within the NHS hospital labs, there are no major differences in the employment destinations for Biomedical Science and Human Biology Graduates.

    Based on information collected over the last few years, more than 95% of our graduates are in employment within a year of their graduation and destinations include (percentages are approximate):

    •40% Research in a university at MSc or PhD level, or teacher training

    •20% Further study on a Medicine degree

    •12% Research or production related positions in life science companies (eg., Randox, Almac, Norbrook)

    •5% Biomedical Scientists in the NHS

    •Other frequent destinations for our graduates include medical/pharmaceutical sales, banking/finance, private pathology labs, forensic science, food industry, amongst others.

  • How are the modules assessed?

    There are a variety of assessment methods used, and is gradually moving away from end of module exams (although still used) to include more course work such as lab practical write-ups, individual or group presentations, either with PowerPoint or producing a poster, essays/literature reviews, short answer/few word tests, amongst others. Some modules are assessed exclusively on coursework, but the average split would be around 30 % coursework, 70 % exams, and there is a wide variation between modules.

  • How much time is spent in class and how will this be delivered?

    This depends on what year you are in. In first year you can expect to have around 25-30 hours per week on your timetable, in lectures, tutorial, practical laboratory classes, etc. However, we recommend that students think of their working week as with any other work place i.e. at least 40 hours. In the remaining time, students are expected to engage in private study, say in the library or at home, working to read up on information not covered in face to face teaching, preparing coursework, internet based literature searches, reading over lecture information and related handouts, making own notes, etc.

    Through second and third year the number of timetabled contact hours gradually reduces as students become more independent and self–directed, although lecturer expertise is always accessible. This depends on the course and the modules chosen (for Human Biology). Students are expected to be engaged more in self-directed and independent study and in time spent accomplishing their final year project, which may include a significant amount of time in a lab, meetings with their project supervisor, etc.

    Where the laboratory activity poses no additional risk with regard to COVID 19 and the space and timetable permit reduced class sizes and replication of those classes, face-to-face practicals are likely to go ahead. Personal protective equipment will be supplied for students and staff in order to make this as safe as possible and social distancing will be adhered to. Where face-to-face is not possible due to the risk of spreading COVID 19, learning will be facilitated via live streamed classes, pre-recorded videos and engagement with all the same materials as in the face-to-face class just without the physical measurements in person.

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