Biomedical science

Biomedical science applies the concepts of biochemistry and cell biology to the study of health and disease in the human body. This is a rapidly expanding science that has become significant in public opinion since the Covid-19 pandemic. There has never been a more exciting time to study biomedical science.

Biomedical science

Biomedical Sciences Undergraduate degrees

Biomedical science is a broad area of life sciences which underpins much of what is regarded as modern medicine.

Many biomedical scientists work in healthcare laboratories to research the causes and diagnosis of diseases as well as the effectiveness of the medicines that cure them. Urine, blood, and tissues samples are all analysed by biomedical scientists, so the vast majority of people in the UK will at some point benefit from a biomedical scientist in their life.

At Essex, you will learn about the onset, progression, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, and are taught by research-active experts and practicing biomedical scientists from NHS hospitals. Our primary research focuses on genetic diseases, infection and immunity, and age-associated conditions such as cancer.

You’ll be equipped with skills that allow you to follow a professional career in industry or to continue for further academic qualifications, such as a Masters or PhD. Some students who study biomedical science also use it as a launchpad to study Medicine or Dentistry.

Why study here?
  • We are the top university in the country for providing NHS placements as part of our applied biomedical science course.
  • We are ranked 2nd for anatomy, physiology and pathology for overall positivity score (National Student Survey 2023, English Broad Discipline Institutions).
  • You can gain fast-track career progression within the NHS.

Career prospects

Graduates with life sciences degrees are in high demand across the world, which has significantly increased in recent years because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Once you have graduated from Essex with a biomedical science degree, you’ll be able to move into a wide variety of related careers, including working in the NHS, pharmaceuticals, research, health and safety, and teaching.

Many of our students have gone onto work for major pharmaceutical companies such as Astra Zeneca and Pfizer.

Others have secured highly respectable jobs as biomedical scientists in an NHS laboratory at Grade 5. Their work may range from focusing on water quality, environmental research, or rare pathogens. After several years in the lab and completion of a Masters degree, our graduates often move up to senior levels, with greater responsibility.

Find out more about career prospects within the School of Life Sciences

Life Sciences graduate Akira Williamson, standing outside wearing a pink t-shirt and dark blue baseball cap. He is smiling at the camera, with some cliffs and a road visible in the background.
“The NHS placement year that I opted for helped prepare me for my current role. It showed me what to expect while working within an NHS laboratory. It not only gave me technical skills and theoretical knowledge, but also ideas for leadership and team management.”
Akira O. Williamson BSc Biomedical Science
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Masters degrees

Our teaching and research is constantly evolving to reflect the latest findings and their applications in biomedical sciences and biotechnology, from cancer to synthetic biology.

Our lecturers are active researchers as well as world-leading experts, so the latest research is embedded in our teaching.

You will also learn in a friendly and supportive atmosphere in our School of Life Sciences alongside students studying cancer biology, biotechnology, molecular medicine, health genomics, and more.

We have scholarships and bursaries available for talented postgraduates, ranging from research council studentships and University of Essex scholarships, to awards funded by charities and other external organisations.

Why study here?
  • Undertake practical work in our new cutting-edge research labs.
  • Our teaching is underpinned by research – new ideas and theories are tested in the classroom.
  • We insist on small-group tutorial teaching to complement your formal lectures.
"I studied both my undergraduate and Masters degrees at Essex. Studying MSc Biotechnology, I was fortunate to conduct research at the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control, where I learnt a lot both in terms of the science and working with people. I really appreciate the steep learning curve and independence I had with the research project. It was probably the most enjoyable time of my Masters course."
Matthew Lee MSc Biotechnology, 2015
Join us at our next Open Day

We have Open Days in June, September and October. Book your place to see where you could be calling home, and we'll make sure you have all the information you need to make the most out of your day.

Book your place

Continue your research journey

Our School of Life Sciences will provide you with a stimulating environment for your research training. The research our students and staff are conducting covers the whole spectrum of biology from genes, proteins, and cells through to whole organisms, communities, and entire ecosystems. We employ a range of state-of-the-art techniques covering all the biological sciences, including biochemistry, biomedical science, environmental microbiology, marine biology, ecology, statistics, and computational approaches for biologists.

Start your application with us

Explore our Biomedical Science research by theme or your area of interest and find a supervisor that can support your through your studies. More information can be found about research degrees on our school pages. Our courses below will help guide you through the various research degree programmes we offer.

Explore funding opportunities Ready to apply? Start your application today
Join us at our next Open Day

We have Open Days in June, September and October. Book your place to see where you could be calling home, and we'll make sure you have all the information you need to make the most out of your day.

Book your place
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We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision for you. We'll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities as described on our website. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to significant disruption, or in response to COVID-19, we'll let our applicants and students know as soon as possible.