Biomedical Science BSc (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (3 years, 4 years with foundation year, 4 years with placement)


January, September

Please note that the placement version of this course is not suitable for international students who require a Tier 4 visa.


How does the human body work? Discover how biomedical scientists diagnose and treat diseases on this Cambridge-based three year degree course, accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science and Royal Society of Biology. Learn about the human body at molecular, organ and systems levels, in health and disease, at our exceptional labs and benefit from our links to local NHS hospitals and related industries. Our three-year course, accredited by both the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) and the Royal Society of Biology (RSB), gives you a thorough grounding in the theory and practice used by biomedical scientists to diagnose and treat diseases. Our four-year placement course, accredited by the RSB, gives you the opportunity to gain real-world experience in industry. An optional placement year will give you real-world experience of this fast-moving field of science that underpins modern medicine.

Full description
The next stage of my career involves me completing my ‘trainee BMS’ year at work in a diagnostic NHS Microbiology laboratory
BSc Biomedical Science


We work with employers to make sure you graduate with the knowledge, skills and abilities they need. They help us review what we teach and how we teach it – and they offer hands-on, practical opportunities to learn through work-based projects, internships or placements.

If you're taking the three-year degree, accredited by the IBMS, you'll be prepared for a trainee position in an NHS laboratory to become a Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registered biomedical scientist. We will provide a valuable introduction to the UK’s professional body for biomedical scientists, as well as a chance to link with professionals working in the industry.

When you graduate you will also be in demand for a wide range of biomedical roles, from scientific or laboratory-based jobs in pure research, both in university and industrial laboratories, to pharmaceutical manufacturing, and working for the Medical Research Council or other health-related public bodies and charities. 

Our BSc Biomedical Science degree is also a route into medicine. For students who complete their first year of BSc Biomedical Science to an exceptional high standard, there may be the opportunity to transfer to Year 1 of MBChB Medicine. It must be noted that this is a highly competitive route and there is limited availability. Alternatively, upon graduation you will need to pass the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) and have gained relevant work experience in the healthcare sector. You can then apply for a four- or five-year accelerated programme at a UK medical school. 

Cambridge has become a world-leading centre for biomedical research and commercial activities of the biotechnology industry. You will benefit from proximity to world-renowned institutions based in the city such as the Sanger Institute and the Wellcome Trust laboratories. Alternatively, you could use the transferable skills you have developed in business or further education. 

Graduation does not need to be the end of your time with us. If you would like to continue your studies, we offer a wide range of full-time and part-time postgraduate courses, including MSc Biomedical Science (distance learning) and MSc Applied Bioscience.

Modules & assessment

Level 3 (foundation year)

  • Foundation in Optometry, Medical and Life Sciences
    This module will provide students with the necessary skills to begin studying at level 4 in courses related to Optometry, Medical Science and Life Sciences. Students will be introduced to the core skills necessary to succeed in higher education, including thinking critically, researching and referencing appropriately, demonstrating appropriate numeracy and ICT skills, and communicating effectively verbally and in writing. In addition to these fundamental study skills, Students will be given an introduction to the various scientific disciplines underpinning the life sciences. Fundamental mathematical skills will be covered in order to support students’ other subjects and give them confidence in manipulating data. Students will be introduced to molecular and cellular biology, and how these fields are applied to real-world investigations. Students will also study the biology of micro and macro organisms, with reference to both human and animal structures. Students will be introduced to the core concepts of chemistry, with a particular focus on organic chemistry, and will also be given a grounding in the core principles of physics, applied to living organisms. The module is made up of the following eight constituent elements: Interactive Learning Skills and Communication (ILSC); Information Communication Technology (ICT); Critical Thinking; Maths for Scientists; Cellular Biology; Biology – Physiology; Chemistry; Physics for Life Sciences.

Year one, core modules

  • Human Anatomy and Physiology
    Anatomy and physiology are the fundamental sciences of the structure and function of organisms. You will be given a thorough grounding in the functional anatomy and physiology of man to enable you to understand how the body works in both health and disease. You will develop a thorough understanding of human anatomy at the macroscopic and microscopic levels, with an introduction to histology. This module will provide you with a strong physiology knowledge base that underpins all of your studies in biomedical science, and pertains to specific modules such as The Physiology of Organ Systems and Principles of Pathology (level 5) and Human Pathology (level 6) modules. You will also be introduced to concepts that have a medical basis, with discussions on how physiological mechanisms maintain health. You will study a range of organ systems (including the cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, endocrine, respiratory, immune, urinary, reproductive and digestive systems). Throughout the module, we will be considering the concepts of homeostasis, set points and feedback mechanisms, as well as examining some examples of how changes in physiology underlie disease. You will develop a range of key physiological skills throughout this module. In the laboratory, you will study the different organ systems to reinforce the concepts discussed in lectures through anatomy- and physiology-based hands-on practicals. You will develop your practical skills, working in groups to dissect a range of organs, and utilise associated instrumentation. You will also develop your scientific writing skills through an ability to research and critically review literature on a relevant physiology subject matter, and communicate your findings as a written report.
  • Introduction to Cell Biology and Biochemistry
    The cell is the building block of organisms, and is in turn made out of complex molecules. You will gain an overview of the cellular and molecular basis of life, focusing on the nature and roles of different cell types, including animal, plant and microbial cells, which will be essential for the rest of your course. You will be introduced to the different types of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, their identifying characteristics, properties and key structural differences. We will also explore the basics of cell structure and function, cell membranes and organelles, the cell growth and division cycle, including mitosis and meiosis. Understanding cell structure and function also requires that you have a basic knowledge of the nature, roles and chemical structures of key biomolecules, including carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids and proteins. Key aspects of biochemistry and molecular biology are also explored, as are applications of modern DNA technology. Finally we will consider the genetic and molecular bases of disease through the study of specific hereditary conditions. You will learn through a variety of hands-on practical sessions, which back up the theory you learn in lectures, and that provide you with training in general laboratory and biochemical techniques, along with data-handling and problem-solving exercises. As well as providing you with subject-specific knowledge, you will develop a number of key transferable skills including practical techniques and skills relevant to your future employment, including familiarity with laboratory instrumentation, data collection, literacy, numeracy and data analysis.
  • Core Biology
    The subjects you will cover in your degree will enable you to develop your knowledge of how the body functions and the consequences that occur if normal functions break down. In the Core Biology module you will be introduced to the central principles of biology, chemistry and physics that underpin all other modules on the course. We will cover topics such as the history and philosophy of science and the scientific method, chemical principles, introduction to genetics, introduction to zoology, botany and ecology, biophysics, the biology of disease and an introduction to pharmacology. You will gain a range of core skills that are necessary for you to develop as a competent scientist, and that you will need to apply in your learning in the rest of the course. Laboratory skills are essential for a biomedical scientist and in core biology you will learn to use the basic equipment, including microscopes and spectrophotometers, which are employed in more complex practicals in other modules. Numerical skills will also be put into practice in the laboratory sessions, such as determining concentrations and volumes. As a scientist, the ability to find relevant information and apply it to specific circumstances, including writing scientifically, are key skills that you will need in any future employment. These will be developed through the lectures, practicals and assessments in Core Biology in association with personal development tutorials. You will also produce a portfolio that will evidence the skills developed in the laboratory sessions, consider career options through a range of tasks, and write a reflection on their learning experience.
  • Mathematics for the Biosciences
    Mathematics is an essential skill for any scientist. Mathematics for the Biosciences will provide you with the core mathematical skills required to perform tasks in experimental design, data collection and data interpretation. You will be taught via interactive lectures, tutorials and team-based learning activities to develop your skills, applying these to biomedical science case studies. The subjects we will cover include arithmetic and algebra, scientific notation, moles, molarity and dilutions, handling data and data presentation, and basic statistical analyses. In addition, you will apply your skills to the scientific principles of reaction rates, equilibria and growth curves. You will develop numeracy and IT skills while completing activities using statistical packages for data analysis. You will also gain team-working and problem-solving skills through team based learning with interactive activities. The skills you develop from this module will assist you in careers such as biomedical science, medical fields, laboratory-based scientific research, data science and analytical roles.
  • Personal and Professional Development - Level 4
    At Anglia Ruskin University we strive to ensure that you receive an outstanding academic education and student experience - and understand that, whilst embedding employability skills within the credit-bearing curriculum is important, it is only part of the set of achievements needed to obtain employment. This zero-credit module will be used to track and verify the progress you've made with respect to key employability skills and endeavours. You'll work closely with your personal tutor, Students' Union Volunteering Service, Study Skills Plus, and Faculty Employability Advisor to engage with co-curricular and extracurricular opportunities and activities to enhance your personal attributes.
  • General Microbiology
    Microbiology is the study of microorganisms - organisms that are too small to be seen without magnification. The taxonomic diversity of microorganisms is reflected in the huge diversity of their lifestyles. In this module you will explore the major groups of microorganism: bacteria, archaea, algae, fungi, protists and viruses. In so doing, you will learn the basic concepts of microbiology and apply them to a scientific understanding of the subject area. You will consider the diversity of microorganisms from many different perspectives including their cell structure (if present), function, taxonomy and ecology. Microorganisms have a long history of association - mostly negative - with humans, and the importance of microorganisms as human pathogens is explored, as are their actual and potential uses. Throughout this module you will be introduced to the latest advances in microbiology, whilst also learning a sound basic understanding. Furthermore, through a series of laboratory-based classes, you will be given training in handling microorganisms and the use of the aseptic technique as the basis for preparing cultures. You will also acquire the fundamental practical skills required by microbiologists and biomedical scientists, including performing a Gram stain, viable counts, subculturing techniques and maintaining safe and efficient working practices. The laboratory sessions are held within a well-equipped microbiology suite. The range of laboratory techniques experienced in this module coupled with the broad theoretical basis will be useful for a range of laboratory-based careers, particularly in the biomedical sciences.

Year two, core modules

  • Principles of Pathology
    Disease and injury cause detrimental changes in molecular and cellular processes, resulting in loss of cell and organ function. By understanding these processes and the roles that they play in disease, we are able to develop more effective diagnostic techniques and treatments. From this module, you will gain knowledge of the molecular mechanisms that underpin pathological processes. We will study how a range of pathogenic microorganisms and parasites exploit a host for nutrition and reproduction, and how the immune system and inflammatory processes protect against these pathogenic invaders. This is accompanied by a study of the processes of wound repair and cell injury/death. You will be introduced to the field of epidemiology which determines the incidence, distribution and attempted control of diseases, and we will also look at how the newly emerging field of bioinformatics (the study of “big data”) can analyse genomic mechanisms of disease. Finally, we will study the range of diagnostic techniques currently used in pathology laboratories. You will learn through lectures, a laboratory practical and by working through case studies. In addition, you will work in a group to create and present a poster, acquiring important employability skills in presentation, literacy, group working and data analysis.
  • Physiology of Organ Systems
    Centred around the concepts of homeostasis and the biology of disease, you will start with an introduction to the role of drugs and drug action, and their role in treating pathophysiology. You will then examine the cardiovascular system in detail, looking at normal functioning and control of the heart and circulatory system and differential supply of blood to the tissues. You will also study respiration and its control, in relation to gas exchange in lungs and tissues. The response of the body to physiological perturbations including altitude, diving, exercise and pregnancy will also be discussed. In addition you will look in detail at the brain and neurotransmitters, liver metabolism, and relationships between diet and risk of disease. We will also conduct a detailed examination of blood as a tissue, closely surveying both the cellular and plasma fractions, and the physiological responses to haemorrhage. Throughout this module, you will receive an overview of normal integrated physiological processes which will then be contrasted with changes resulting from disease conditions. You will explore these effects using case studies and related discussions. You will develop a range of key skills in physiology by participating in practical sessions where you will collect a range of physiological data using yourselves as subjects. You will also develop your scientific writing skills through researching and critically reviewing literature on a relevant physiology subject matter, and communicating your findings. You will thus be well equipped to explore physiology and pathophysiology in a range of contexts, from pharmacology, pathology, medical fields, and biomedical science.
  • Laboratory Techniques for the DNA Manipulation
    Practical laboratory skills are essential for a wide variety of careers available to BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science graduates. You will develop your competency and experience in a wide variety of laboratory skills essential to anyone working in a laboratory. You will gain the knowledge and understanding of basic practical laboratory techniques (such as laboratory-based maths skills, pipetting, weighing chemicals, and making solutions). You will gain experience and insight into the manipulation and analysis of DNA in silico using contemporary bioinformatics techniques, and will apply this knowledge in the laboratory, where you will clone genes and express proteins. You will conduct experiments and analyse and quantify your results, and will be monitored on your practical competency and the ability to document your work. A key part of this module is to educate you in Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) and instruction in health and safety practices that are required of biomedical scientists in research and clinical laboratories. You will also develop key employability skills through taking part in activities such as presenting data, computing skills, organising your work, managing time, and working in both a team environment and as an individual. On completing this module you will be equipped with a variety of skills that will assist you in different laboratory-based areas, including bioinformatics, clinical biomedical science, research laboratory work, or in biotechnology companies.
  • Preparation for Research
    The scientific method and experimental design underpins every aspect of being a scientist. As individuals on a science-based degree course you are expected to develop your research and employability skills. This module is a critical first step in your journey through to your final honours degree qualification, providing an opportunity to develop the research skills that you will employ in your final year independent research project. As part of this module you will also have the opportunity to enhance your real-life work chances through the development of your employability skills. Through lectures and active learning sessions you will develop skills in research design and critical thinking. We will utilise team-based learning to develop collaborative approaches to the development of your employability skills including teamwork, data analysis and presentation skills. With reference to recent research studies, you will develop your own creative flair along with your friends and peers. You will also have the opportunity to learn and practice standard tools used in data analysis, including statistics and data presentation packages that can be employed across your whole degree, and most importantly in your final year project.
  • Personal and Professional Development - Level 5
    At Anglia Ruskin University we strive to ensure that you receive an outstanding academic education and student experience - and understand that, whilst embedding employability skills within the credit-bearing curriculum is important, it is only part of the set of achievements needed to obtain employment. This zero-credit module will be used to track and verify the progress you've made with respect to key employability skills and endeavours. You'll work closely with your personal tutor, Students' Union Volunteering Service, Study Skills Plus, and Faculty Employability Advisor to engage with co-curricular and extracurricular opportunities and activities to enhance your personal attributes.
  • Ruskin Module
    Ruskin Modules are designed to prepare our students for a complex, challenging and changing future. These interdisciplinary modules provide the opportunity to further broaden your perspectives, develop your intellectual flexibility and creativity. You will work with others from different disciplines to enable you to reflect critically on the limitations of a single discipline to solve wider societal concerns. You will be supported to create meaningful connections across disciplines to apply new knowledge to tackle complex problems and key challenges. Ruskin Modules are designed to grow your confidence, seek and maximise opportunities to realise your potential to give you a distinctive edge and enhance your success in the workplace.
  • Diagnostic Techniques in Pathology
    A biomedical scientist is trained to use and develop diagnostic tools and treatments for diseases. You will be introduced to the biomedical science diagnostic disciplines of medical microbiology, clinical chemistry, cellular pathology, haematology and transfusion science, clinical immunology and clinical genetics. You will develop an understanding and appreciation of the day-today workings of an NHS pathology department as well as the scientific background of the diagnostic procedures you would perform as a Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)-registered Biomedical Scientist. You will be able to describe and discuss basic sample handling, storage and disease screening within the various pathology laboratories. You will also gain a firm grounding in the legal requirements for safe working practice, ethical issues and quality assurance procedures; you will study legislation governing these aspects, which will enable you to identify potential risks and hazards within pathology laboratories. You will also learn the fundamental principles used in obtaining results and how results are communicated to service users. Your teaching is delivered by qualified academic and HCPC-registered Biomedical Scientists. A case study approach is used to allow you to learn real-life and up-to-date diagnostic practices. You will develop the communication skills required to work as part of a multi-disciplinary healthcare team, while discipline-specific laboratory practicals will allow you to demonstrate your team-working and project management skills. You will also develop business and commercial awareness through knowledge of pathology department management and planning. This module prepares you to undertake the IBMS registration portfolio towards employment as a HCPC-registered Biomedical Scientist. However, you will also be equipped with knowledge and skills required to work in areas such as medicine, clinical and medical science, healthcare policy, and management, among others.
  • Metabolism and its Control
    Metabolism is the sum of all of the complex reactions occurring in the cell. Building on knowledge gained in your first year, you will further examine a range of metabolic pathways with a view to gaining a detailed understanding of the overall strategy of metabolism and the internal logic of key metabolic pathways. The effects of drugs and inhibitors and the role of allosteric enzymes in the feedback control of metabolism will also be discussed. We look in detail at the organisation of the genome and how genetic material is transcribed and translated. This then leads to an understanding of the significance of inborn errors of metabolism and the effects of therapeutic drugs on individual reactions of metabolism. Finally, we look in detail at cellular specialisation and the structure and biological functions of the major cellular organelles, including intracellular trafficking and signalling. You will also develop a number of transferable skills including practical (laboratory) techniques and graduate skills. You will study enzyme kinetics and the effects of inhibitors, measure blood glucose levels and investigate regulation of gene expression in bacteria in laboratory session. The skills obtained in these practicals are crucial for those considering careers as biomedical scientists, laboratory researchers or workers in the pharmaceutical industry. You will also obtain valuable experience in data collection, handling and interpretation.
  • Principles of Genetics
    We live in the age of genetics and genomics, with breakthroughs in our understanding of genetic diseases and potential cures regularly featured in the news. The pace of discovery in this field makes this an exciting time to be learning genetics. You will gain knowledge and understanding of the fundamental principles of genetics and how we can answer questions such as: How are genetic diseases inherited? How do scientists find out about complex diseases which are affected by both genes and environmental factors? How can you find out how common a genetic disease is in a population? You will discover how the study of genes offers a biologically-based explanation for morphological, physiological, and behavioural traits of an organism. You will gain insights into how genetics provides a mechanism for the generation and maintenance of variation; the raw material for evolution. We firstly consider the classical patterns of inheritance, building on concepts you will have covered in level 4. You will develop an understanding of the relationship between genotype and phenotype through an integration of concepts at the organismal, cellular and molecular levels. You will investigate gross structural chromosome mutations and the phenotypic consequences of these mutation, and will learn how classical and modern techniques are used for establishing the physical locations of genes. You will gain insights into gene function and the genetic basis of many diseases, and go on to look at how traits may be determined by many genes and how genes interact with environmental factors. You will learn to use mathematical methods to analyse genetic variation found in populations. You will learn how gene expression is regulated in the development genetics, and look the genetics of cancer. Modern tools of genetic research and analysis are incorporated throughout the module. Your understanding of genetic processes will be developed through a variety of problems, case studies, simple breeding experiments and other practicals. As well as gaining specific subject knowledge, this module helps you to develop a number of transferable skills including practical laboratory techniques and skills relevant to general employment including data collection, handling and presentation and report writing. You will have an opportunity to hear guest speakers talking about their careers in the field of genetics. The content of the module is an essential part of your training towards a career in biomedical science.

Year three, core modules

  • Blood Sciences
    Blood sciences is one of the key clinical disciplines of biomedical science, and includes haematology, blood transfusion, immunology (also covered in Clinical Immunology) and clinical chemistry. You will learn the key features, diagnosis and treatment of a variety of haematological disorders including anaemia, leukaemia and haemophilia, and infectious diseases such as malaria. Transfusion science involves the identification of blood groups for blood donation, which ensures that the correct grouped blood is matched to patients requiring blood in conditions such as road traffic accidents, and undergoing operations and cancer treatments. We shall also review the potential offered by the use of stem cells. Using a case study-based approach you will explore the pathophysiological processes that lead to these conditions, applying your knowledge and learning from this and other modules from your course. You will also carry out laboratory practicals, relevant to haematology and blood transfusion, providing you with the skills to carry out key diagnostic tests. We will also discuss the ethics of testing for diseases An outcome from studying this module will be an enhanced exposure to some of the key employability skills, including independent and team working, and developing yourself through self-management of learning activities and tasks, problem solving, time management, data analysis and presentation skills.
  • Clinical Immunology
    The cells of the immune system protect the body by eliminating infectious agents such as bacteria and viruses, but can also become reactive towards the body, causing autoimmune diseases, a significant burden of pathology on the population. Building on your knowledge of pathology from previous modules, you will develop a comprehensive and detailed knowledge of the normal and pathological operation of the immune system. This will help you to understand the role and significance of immunity to infection, and the positive and negative roles of the inflammatory response in health and in disease. The skills that you will acquire include independent learning, problem solving and critical thinking. These are essential skills for anyone interested in pursuing a career in the biomedical sciences, either in the hospital or research sectors. Each week, you will be introduced to clinical immunology through themed lectures on the normal working of the immune system and immunological disease. You will then discuss a clinically relevant patient case study, in which you will review current clinical techniques used in disease diagnosis in order to evaluate and diagnose patients’ medical conditions and to consider the best approach to their treatments.
  • Current Advances in Biomedical Science
    As the culmination of your degree, we will be looking at the cutting edge of research in the biomedical and biomolecular fields, and will also foster your future employability with the development of enhanced graduate skills, including the use of social media platforms for research and networking purposes. You will be taught via interactive lectures, and workshops, and participate in a number of conference days. Sessions will focus on the latest areas of research, with discussion of the implications for medical therapies and their impact on society, as well as highlighting different postgraduate research opportunities. You will develop a detailed knowledge and critical understanding of topics at the forefront of biomedical and biomolecular science. Experts in their field will also come to speak about their own careers and specialist interests. You will also hear talks from representatives of industries and careers as diverse as medical sales, laboratory research, marketing, drug development, teaching, entrepreneurship, physician associate programmes and many more. You will be invited to participate in discussions of the ethical, economic and societal impacts of the research you learn about. Coursework for the module focuses on student-centred learning, helping you to expand upon and improve your capacity for scientific thought and independent work. In the coursework assignments, you will be given the freedom to pursue those subjects in the biomedical science field which excite you the most. Your understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the latest research techniques will be further developed by critically evaluating cutting edge research presented by eminent guest researchers.
  • Undergraduate Research Project
    You are required to undertake a final year research project, as a key component of your degree, focused on a topic relevant to your degree field. Your project may be based on current Anglia Ruskin University research interests, something of interest to you or, if suitable work-place supervision is available, related to the research of your previous, or current, employer. Your project must show evidence of appropriate academic challenge, technical expertise, and progress. You will be required to identify and formulate problems and issues, conduct a literature review, evaluate information, investigate and adopt suitable research methods, and use appropriate methods for data collection, analysis and processing. You will demonstrate that you have fulfilled these criteria via regular meetings with your project supervisor where you will show evidence of project development via discussion and the presentation of spoken, written and other appropriate evidence. A substantial dissertation will form the bulk of the assessment for this module, supported by a presentation and/or other supporting evidence and including an assessed PDP component. In the course of your studies with us you may generate intellectual property, which is defined as an idea, invention, or creation which can be protected by law from being copied by someone else. By registering with us on your course you automatically assign any such intellectual property to us unless we agree with the organisation covering the cost of your course that this is retained by them. In consideration of you making this assignment you will be entitled to benefit from a share in any income generated in accordance with our Revenue Sharing Policy in operation at that time. Details of our Intellectual Property Policy and Guidelines can be found on My.Anglia under Research, Development and Commercial Services or by contacting this Office for a hard copy.
  • Human Pathology
    Whereas the study of anatomy and physiology tells us how the body operates when it is healthy, the study of pathology explains how the body operates when disease, exposure to toxins, or ageing causes it to fail in its function. By building on your previous knowledge of pathology, with reference to specific major organ systems of the body, you will learn how, by understanding human pathology, we can develop diagnosis and treatments to treat patients’ medical conditions. The skills that you will acquire include independent learning, problem solving and critical thinking. These are essential skills for anyone interested in pursuing a career in the biomedical sciences, either in the hospital or research sectors. Each week, you will introduced through lectures to the pathology of a major organ system and you will discuss in a case study setting clinically relevant patient scenarios, in which you will review current clinical techniques used in disease diagnosis in order to evaluate and diagnose patients’ medical conditions and to consider the best approach to their treatments.
  • Specialist Topics in Biomedical Science
    As individuals, we are all affected differently by disease and injury, depending on a range of factors including our genetic profile, stage of life and environmental circumstances. Biomedical scientists need to understand how these factors impact disease in order to interpret pathology correctly. In this module you will learn about the diseases influenced by these factors, their underpinning pathological mechanisms, and some of the technologies used in their treatment. Specialist topics to be discussed include: areas of systemic pathology such as reproduction, neuroscience and aging; topics in medical genetics such as complex diseases, development and personalised medicine; and finally forensic pathology and the determination of the cause of death and associated legal issues. Through lectures and practical workshops we will collaboratively evaluate a number of laboratory techniques related to specialist pathologies. These are fundamental graduate skills relevant to a wide range of biomedical science roles, and you will be supported by regularly engaging with your peers, online discussion boards, and through self-directed learning.
  • Work Placement Life Science
    Your Work Placement module cover a period of 38 weeks. It's a pass/fail module which does not affect your progression from level 5 to level 6 of your course. If you started your course in September, you'll commence your placement at any point from 1 July to 30 September. If you started your course in January, you'll commence your placement at any point from 1 February to 31 March. The module is designed to give you an opportunity to analyse and evaluate industrial organisational structures, industrial roles and functions and industrial self-awareness. It covers human relationships, team relationships, problem evaluations, solutions and analysis and an evaluation of an industry/business sector. The aim of the module is to allow you to use the academic skills developed during your first two years of university study to support learning during your work placement. The module aims to give you experience of work in an industry and/or business environment including familiarisation with a professional work environment. The module will be underpinned by employability skills training, reflective assessment and support from academic tutors. You'll be expected to reflect on your experience orally and in writing, and demonstrate how you have applied theory and learning to date in a work-based environment. The assessment aims to support and develop your ability to demonstrate your professionalism, leadership and managerial skills to a prospective employer while also learning key communication and personal skills.

Year three, optional modules

  • Molecular Cell Biology
    Molecular cell biology is at the cutting edge of modern biological and biomedical science. We will be building on your knowledge and understanding of cell structure and function at the molecular level, questioning evidence from experiments that have contributed to our modern understanding of concepts and models of cell function. You will explore techniques such as fluorescence microscopy, viral transfection and recombinant DNA technology, bioinformatics, and the range of methods for isolating proteins and DNA. You will investigate the molecular structure and biological function of cell organelles, looking in detail at processes such as regulation of gene expression, signal transduction, protein trafficking, endocytosis, and cytoskeletal changes. We will look throughout at examples of diseases where cell biology is altered, concluding in a focus on cancer. Throughout this module we will encourage you to question how we know what we know. A focus on problem-solving will help you to develop essential scientific employability skills including the ability to question experimental evidence, apply experimental logic, and devise, sustain and present scientific arguments. You will also develop practical and bioinformatics skills, key to being a successful modern molecular cell biologist.
  • Microbial Pathogenicity
    Enhance your microbiology skills and knowledge by gaining a deeper understanding of microbial pathogenicity, which is essentially how microbes cause disease. Through a series of hands-on lab sessions, lectures and seminars you will explore 'host-pathogen' interactions during infection, particularly exploring how microbes have evolved to cause damage to the host. A major focus will be on bacterial diseases of humans and animals but you will also consider fungal, parasitic and viral diseases. You will study the virulence mechanisms of a number of important pathogenic bacteria using exemplars, providing you with an in-depth knowledge of specific pathogens including zoonoses. You will cover virulence gene regulation, the delivery of virulence factors, and their underpinning genetics. We will also discuss how some 'friendly bacteria', otherwise known as commensals, are able to cause disease and become opportunistic pathogens under certain conditions. In addition we will be studying how bacteria become resistant to antibiotics and ask the question what does this mean for the future fight against bacteria. We will briefly cover vaccination and how research scientists are developing vaccines. If you are interested in careers such as microbiology in the pharmaceutical industry, as a researcher or a lab technician, this module will help support your future goals.
  • Biomedical Case Studies
    An independent biomedical scientist needs to be able to integrate knowledge from a wide variety of disciplines in order to diagnose disease and this module is designed to help you develop the skills to do this. You will be taught using a case-based active learning approach designed to give an authentic experience of disease diagnosis, medical testing, treatment options and potential patient outcomes. In addition, you will look at the biological basis that underlies the case histories, which biological processes are defective, how the defect(s) leads to the symptoms observed and the molecular basis of any treatment options. You will be expected to undertake a significant degree of self-directed learning with respect to the case histories and will work individually and collaboratively in small groups to develop your understanding of the subject material. You will gain extensive experience of problem-based learning, of particular relevance to medically aligned careers such as medicine and dentistry, as well as to biomedical science.
  • Pharmacology and Translational Medicine
    Pharmacology is the study of drugs and drug action, where a drug is defined as any molecule which exerts a biochemical or physiological effect on cells, tissue, organs, or organisms. Translational medicine is a rapidly growing discipline in biomedical research that utilises pharmacology to improve the discovery of new diagnostic tools and treatments, using a multi-disciplinary and collaborative "bench-to-bedside" approach. You will be studying the basic mechanisms of drug action, looking in depth at drug-receptor interactions, drug action, and the principles needed to develop successful new drugs. We will be looking at a variety of topics in cell, molecular and systems pharmacology, reflecting current trends in drug development. We will also focus on how basic research findings from the laboratory can be translated to develop new therapeutics and diagnostic tools for the benefit of patients. We will review the basic principles of drug discovery and development, discussing current aspects of modern pharmaceutical industry approaches such as ethics, genomics, big data management, personalised medicine, pipelines, and clinical trials. You will thus be equipped with a range of employable skills for your future career, whether it be in research, medicine, drug discovery, or pharmacology.


We use a number of ways to track your learning, and to make sure you are developing the knowledge and skills you need. These include essays, exams and practical analysis.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Science & Engineering is one of the largest of the four faculties at Anglia Ruskin University. Whether you choose to study with us full-time or part-time, on campus or at a distance, there’s an option whatever your level – from a foundation degree, BSc, MSc, PhD or professional doctorate.

Whichever course you pick, you’ll gain the theory and practical skills needed to progress with confidence. Join us and you could find yourself learning in the very latest laboratories or on field trips or work placements with well-known and respected companies. You may even have the opportunity to study abroad.

Everything we do in the faculty has a singular purpose: to provide a world-class environment to create, share and advance knowledge in science, technology and engineering fields. This is key to all of our futures.

Where can I study?

Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students starting 2020/21 (per year)


International students starting 2020/21 (per year)


UK students starting 2021/22 (per year)


International students starting 2021/22 (per year)


Placement year


Additional costs

Poster printing - £20
Cost of printing dissertation/individual project

How do I pay my fees?

Tuition fee loan

UK students (and EU students starting a course before 1 August 2021) can take out a tuition fee loan, which you won’t need to start repaying until after your graduate. Or there's the option to pay your fees upfront.

Loans and fee payments

International students

You can pay your tuition fees upfront, in full or in two instalments. We will also ask you for a deposit of £4,000 or a sponsorship letter. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees


We offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Some of these cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Explore ARU scholarships

Funding for UK & EU students

Most new undergraduate students can apply for government funding to support their studies and university life. This includes EU students starting a course before 1 August 2021.

Government funding includes Tuition Fee Loans and Maintenance Loans. There are additional grants available for specific groups of students, such as those with disabilities or dependants.

We also offer a range of ARU scholarships, which can provide extra financial support while you’re at university.

Funding for international students

We offer a number of scholarships, as well as an early payment discount. Explore your options:

Entry requirements

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Important additional notes

Whether you're studying entirely online or through a blend of on-campus and online learning from September 2020, you'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. A small number of our courses require additional technical specifications or specialist materials. Before starting the course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning. Our website also has general information for new students about starting university in 2020-21.

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

All tariff points must come from A levels. Points from AS levels cannot be counted towards the total tariff points required for entry to this course.

International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

Whether you're studying entirely online or through a blend of face-to-face and online learning from September 2020, you'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. A small number of our courses require additional technical specifications or specialist materials. Before starting the course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning. Our website also has general information for new students about starting university in 2020-21.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for undergraduate courses.

Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry onto a degree course.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

Apply now

UK and EU students

Apply for 2021

UCAScode: B940, B941

Apply through UCAS

International students

Applicants from outside the UK and EU, apply to ARU

Apply direct

Get more information

UK & EU applicants

01245 68 68 68

Enquire online

International applicants

+44 1245 68 68 68

Enquire online