About the course
From cancer-screening to blood transfusions, from infections to genetic diseases; biomedical scientists research the causes and diagnosis of diseases and the effectiveness of the medicines that cure them. You apply the concepts of biochemistry and cell biology to the study of health and disease in the human body. Our multidisciplinary approach means you learn skills that are at the forefront of advances in medical research.
At Essex, our research focuses on genetic diseases, infection and immunity, and age-associated conditions such as dementia, cancer and heart disease.
On our BSc Biomedical Science, you study areas including:
- The structure of viruses, and how they interact with cells in infected organisms
- The anatomy and structure of the human immune system
- Pathogenic and non-pathogenic bacteria
- Drug design
You discover the molecular basis of cellular dysfunctions, and describe modern strategies to diagnose and treat them.
“My favourite part of my degree was probably the placement year at Ipswich Hospital in their histology department. I decided that I really wanted to pursue this as a career and I was fortunate to be offered a job there."
Sarah O’Mahoney, BSc Biomedical Science, 2012
Our course is fully accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Sciences (IBMS), resulting in fast-track career progression within the NHS.
Students who undertake a placement year with the NHS also qualify for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), which allows you to work as a biomedical scientist in healthcare in the UK.
Your education extends beyond the university campus. We support you extending your education through providing the option of an additional year at no extra cost. The four-year version of our degree allows you to spend the third year studying abroad in an English-speaking country or employed on a placement, while otherwise remaining identical to the three-year course.
Studying abroad allows you to experience other cultures, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised. Recent destinations include:
- Curtin University of Technology
- University of Saskatchewan
- University of Arkansas
- University of Otago
- Monash University
- Koç University
Alternatively, you can spend your third year on a placement year with the NHS in an IBMS-approved lab. You complete a portfolio of assessed work, which results in HCPC registration after completion of the course. This provides you with hands-on experience using specialised equipment and techniques which are in demand from employers, and is a great route into work in an NHS hospital.
All Biomedical Science students also have the opportunity to participate in a one-week summer school, where you learn about clinical biochemistry, cellular pathology, medical microbiology, and haematology and transfusion science. This time spent with NHS professionals improves you laboratory skills and helps you to develop an understanding of career paths in this sector.
Our expert staff
As one of the largest schools at our University, we offer a lively, friendly and supportive environment with research-led study and high quality teaching. Two-thirds of our research is rated “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” (REF 2014), and you learn from and work alongside our expert staff.
Our research covers a wide spectrum of biology – from the cell right through to communities and ecosystems. Key academic staff for this course include Professor Elena Klenova, who specialises in molecular oncology, Professor Nelson Fernández, who works on viral and bacterial infections and autoimmunity, and Dr Selwa Alsam, who is researching hospital-related infections and human microbial diseases including MRSA, wound infections, and infection control.
The University of Essex has a Women's Network to support female staff and students and was awarded the Athena SWAN Institutional Bronze Award in November 2013 in recognition of its continuing work to support women in STEM.
Recent spending by our University has allowed for major refurbishment and expansion of our School of Biological Sciences, including:
- Work in an open and friendly department, with shared staff-student social spaces
- Conduct your final-year research alongside academics and PhD students in shared labs
- State-of-the-art research facilities, from protein purification, to cell culture and imaging, to molecular modelling.
- Teaching facilities including new undergraduate laboratories
You graduate ready to move into a wide variety of industrial and public sector environments, from the NHS to pharmaceuticals, research, health and safety, teaching.
Our students have gone on to work in a number of laboratory-based roles in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, and in hospitals, clinics and healthcare companies. Others have gone on to work in sales, publishing and management, while others still have chosen to enhance their career opportunities by studying for MSc or PhD degrees.
Biochemistry and biomedical science courses also provide the ideal background for entry onto postgraduate medicine programmes, and eight of our 2011 graduates obtained places at medical schools across the UK.
Other recent graduates have gone on to work for the following high profile organisations:
- NHS Hospitals at Moseley Hall, Basildon, Barts and Colchester
- Nuffield Health
- John Lewis
We also work with the university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.
For more information on careers in Biochemistry and Biomedicine, visit the websites of the Biochemical Society and the Institute of Biomedical Science.
UK entry requirements
A-levels: BCC, including Chemistry or Biology and a second science or Mathematics. Where applicable a pass is required in science practical element of A-level Biology, Chemistry or Physics.
GCSE: Mathematics C
IB: 28 points, including Higher Level Chemistry or Biology and a second science or Mathematics grade 5, plus Standard Level Mathematics or Maths Studies grade 4, if not taken at Higher Level. We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programmes at both Higher and Standard Level. Please note that Maths in the IB is not required if you have already achieved GCSE Maths at grade C or above.
Exact offer levels will vary depending on the range of subjects being taken at higher and standard level, and the course applied for. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.
International and EU entry requirements
We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries.
for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the
high school qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.
English language requirements
English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall. Different requirements apply for second year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.
Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications
If you are an international student requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.
If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.
Applications for our full-time undergraduate courses should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Applications are online at: www.ucas.com. Full details on this process can be obtained from the UCAS website in the how to apply section.
Our UK students, and some of our EU and international students, who are still at school or college, can apply through their school. Your school will be able to check and then submit your completed application to UCAS. Our other international applicants (EU or worldwide) or independent applicants in the UK can also apply online through UCAS Apply.
The UCAS code for our University of Essex is ESSEX E70. The individual campus codes for our Loughton and Southend Campuses are ‘L’ and ‘S’ respectively.
Applicant Days and interviews
Resident in the UK? If your application is successful, we will invite you to attend one of our applicant days. These run from January to April and give you the chance to explore the campus, meet our students and really get a feel for life as an Essex student.
Some of our courses also hold interviews and if you’re invited to one, this will take place during your applicant day. Don’t panic, they’re nothing to worry about and it’s a great way for us to find out more about you and for you to find out more about the course. Some of our interviews are one-to-one with an academic, others are group activities, but we’ll send you all the information you need beforehand.
If you’re outside the UK and are planning a trip, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org so we can help you plan a visit to the University.
Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex. In 2017 we have three undergraduate Open Days (in June, September and October). These events enable you to discover what our Colchester Campus has to offer. You have the chance to:
- tour our campus and accommodation
- find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
- meet our students and staff
Check out our Visit Us pages to find out more information about booking onto one of our events. And if the dates aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing email@example.com and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.
If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.
Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.