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Biomedical Sciences

B990 Bachelor of Science with Honours 3 years


Biomedical Science is concerned with understanding the causes, diagnosis and treatment of disease. Our programme has been accredited by the prestigious Institute of Biomedical Sciences and is delivered with substantial contributions from Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry.

You will initially study subjects including human anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, immunology, genetics and pharmacology. In your final year you will study specialist modules in topics including endocrinology, genomics, neuroscience, cell pathology and cancer biology.


The School of Biological & Chemical Sciences has an excellent record for preparing our graduates for admission to medicine and dentistry programmes and the programme has been designed with this in mind. An average of 20 students a year successfully gain places at Queen Mary's Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, and a similar number gain places at other medical schools in London and the rest of the UK.

This career progression route has been strengthened by an agreement that the top 15 students (based on performance in the first two years) from the combined biomedical science programmes are guaranteed an offer of a place on the five-year MBBS degree at Barts and the London (subject to interview and completing the BSc with an upper second class degree).

Choosing your degree award

Our biomedical sciences programmes is rather unique in that students can choose which degree award they would like to work towards.

Once students have started with us they can choose to continue on the BSc Biomedical Sciences programme or choose to follow a specialised area of study in their final year. The five possible degree awards are:

  1. BSc Biomedical Sciences programme -  accredited by the prestigious Institute of Biomedical Sciences.
  2. Biomedical Sciences Cancer*
  3. Biomedical Sciences Immunology*
  4. Biomedical Sciences Pharmacology*
  5. Biomedical Sciences Molecular Medicine*

* These programmes are not accredit by the Institute of Biomedical Sciences.


All students are initially admitted to the B990 programme and years 1 and 2 are common to all of the biomedical programme streams.  The currently-approved programme diet is as follows:

Year 1

Compulsory modules:

  • Chromosomes and Gene Functions
  • Biomolecules of Life
  • The Microbial World and Humans
  • Biomedical Physiology I
  • Human Anatomy
  • Tissue Biology
  • The Human Cell
  • Essential Skills for Biomedical Scientists

Year 2

Compulsory modules:

  • Biomedical Pharmacology
  • Essential Biochemistry for Human Life
  • Human Molecular Biology
  • Biomedical Physiology II
  • Techniques in Biomedical Sciences
  • Basic Immunology
  • Clinical Microbiology
  • Fundamentals of Neurobiology

During the second-year you will be asked to indicate your preferences for the final year of the programme.  Students may elect to continue and complete their studies on the IBMS-accredited B990 degree programme in biomedical sciences, or may apply for transfer to one of the parallel degree programmes, which offer greater specialization in areas such as cancer, immunology, cardiovascular, molecular medicine, global health and primary care.

Transfer from the B990 programme to other B99x (x=1-5) programmes at the end of the second year is subject to successful application, which includes consideration of your academic record from the first-year. The availability of these other B99x programmes is not guaranteed and is subject to both minimum and maximum limitations on student registration in any given academic year.  Graduates who transfer from B990 to these programme variants will not be eligible for IBMS accreditation.

Year 3  (B990 programme)

Compulsory modules:

  • Biomedical Science Research Project
  • Biomedical Sciences Case Approach to Problem Solving
  • Cancer Biology
  • Cellular Pathology and Blood Science
  • Endocrine Physiology and Biochemistry
  • Human Genetics and Genomics
  • Molecular Clinical Microbiology

Year 3  (B991 programme)

Compulsory modules:

  • Biomedical sciences (cancer) research project
  • Problem-based learning and clinical case histories
  • Advanced immunology
  • Cancer biology
  • Cellular pathology and blood science
  • Molecular basis of personalised medicine
  • Clinical and forensic toxicology

Year 3  (B992 programme)

Compulsory modules:

  • Biomedical sciences (immunology) research project
  • Problem-based learning and clinical case histories
  • Advanced immunology
  • Biology of bacterial pathogens
  • Cancer biology
  • Cellular pathology and blood science
  • Molecular clinical microbiology

Note – the above programme data is appropriate for students who will be enrolling onto the programme in September 2013.

Entry requirements

  • Typically ABB or above at A2 level from three subjects including Biology
  • International Baccalaureate: 34 points overall including grade 5 in Biology (HL)
  • BTEC: We do not accept BTEC qualifications.
  • Access: We do not accept Access qualifications.
  • For more information on entry requirements contact our admissions team on

Learning and teaching

All our programmes involve a mixture of classroom activities and laboratory work. A variety of teaching styles are employed, which vary slightly among modules and programmes. Most material is delivered via lectures, and you would typically have around two hour-long lectures per day.

Lectures are backed up with small-group tutorials and workshops, where you have the opportunity to ask, in a relatively relaxed setting, about material in lectures that you did not understand, and to go through problems and practice questions from past exam papers. Lectures, tutorials and workshops are generally timetable to take place in the mornings and laboratory classes in the afternoons.

Independent study:

For every hour formally scheduled as part of your university programme you will be expected to complete additional hours of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on, formal study sessions; undertaking background reading; assessing and analysing data from experiments; completing laboratory reports; and revising for examinations.

The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study and laboratory sessions you attend, along with your reading and assignments. However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability.

Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area. This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.


For all programmes you must take 120 credits (normally eight modules) in each academic year. Each module is assessed through theory examinations (typically accounting for 75-80 per cent of the final mark) and coursework (for example, practical reports, field course reports, essays, problem sheets, online exercises and tests). Examinations normally last two and a half hours for first and second years and three hours for final-year papers.

Final-year students on these programmes undertake a research project worth 30 credits; this is typically assessed with a detailed written report and oral presentation. The main examination period is in May/June, with deferred exams and resit examinations in August for first- and second-year students. The format of undergraduate examinations varies among programmes and may include multiple choice questions (MCQ), extended matching questions (EMQ), short answer questions, problem solving or case-based exercises, and essays.

Fees and finance

Tuition fees for Home and EU students

2014 entry
Full-time £9,000

Tuition fees for International students

2014 entry
Full-time £15,950

You can either take out a Tuition Fee Loan (see Funding section below) to pay your fees or, if you are paying them yourself, you can pay in instalments.

Tuition fees for a year abroad or placement year on a full time undergraduate course will be a proportion of the full fee for the year in which you commence your time abroad or placement.

For information on field trip and other course related costs which are not included in your tuition fee, please contact the relevant Department/School.

See more general information about fees.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 7676


Queen Mary has a substantial package of scholarships and bursaries which will benefit around 50 per cent of our undergraduate student body.

Scholarships and Bursaries available at Queen Mary for Home/EU Students

There are a number of scholarships and bursaries available each year for home students. Visit our Bursaries and Scholarships page for more information.

Visit our Advice and Counselling website for more information about financial support.

Scholarships available at Queen Mary for International Students

There are a number of Scholarships available each year for International Students including bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas.

Find out more about international scholarships.

Some International students may also be eligible for a fee reduction.

Loans and Grants available to help with tuition fees and living costs

Student Finance England administers all grant and loans for your studies if you normally live in England.

If you live in WalesScotland or Northern Ireland you have an equivalent Student Finance department for your region.

Through Student Finance England, you can apply for (figures relate to programmes starting from September 2014):

  • A Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,000 to pay all or part of your fees
  • A Maintenance Loan of up to £7,751 to help pay your living costs like rent, food and travel
  • A Maintenance Grant of up to £3,387 to help towards your living costs
  • Extra grants if you have a disability or you have children or an adult dependant
  • Extra amounts of loan or grant if you study for longer than the standard academic year or if you have travel costs because you are studying away from your main campus

Visit Student Finance Information to find out more about:

  • How to apply for student finance
  • What eligibility rules apply, including if you already have a degree or previous higher education study
  • What the income thresholds are and how much you might personally get for each element of Student Finance
  • What to do if you have problems getting your Student Finance

Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary

We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.

Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:

  • Additional sources of funding
  • Planning your budget and cutting costs
  • Part-time and vacation work
  • Money for lone parents

For more information visit the Advice and Counselling service website, or call +44 (0)20 7882 8717.

Graduate Employment

Graduates from Queen Mary’s School of Biological and Chemical Sciences (SBCS) go on to work in a wide variety of careers. Some apply their degree knowledge directly, entering careers such as lab technician or assistant scientist, whilst others transfer skills gained during study into sectors such as the media, technology or finance.

The national 2012 destination survey confirmed that 84% of BSc Biomedical Sciences graduates were in employment and/or study six months after graduation with 63% already working/studying at graduate level. Queen Mary undergraduates have an average earning power of £23,000 six months after graduation.

The broad range of skills gained through these courses, coupled with multiple opportunities for extra-curricular activities and work experience, have enabled students to move into a variety of roles, such as:

  • Medical Lab Assistant - Charing Cross Hospital
  • Finance Analyst - Deutsche Bank
  • Clinical Assistant - Great Ormond Street
  • Medical degree - University College London
  • Health Care Scientist - Support Team Health Protection Agency
  • Anatomy Assistant - Primal Pictures
  • Radiographer’s Assistant - Southend Hospital
  • Journalism/Editorial Assistant - Biochemical Society
  • Orthodontic Nurse - Weybridge Orthodontics
  • Biochemist - National Blood Service
  • Opticians - Assistant Boots Opticians

Throughout the course, students have access to an annual QM Careers and Enterprise Centre programme, to prepare them for internships and graduate level work. This includes over 90 employer led workshops on job applications and interviews, as well as employer events to facilitate networks and help students to explore their options. Recent careers events in SBCS include the Industrial Liaison Forum, workshops on gaining work experience, career options and applying for graduate entry to medicine.

Opportunities for work experience are substantial given Queen Mary’s location between Canary Wharf, the City and the Olympic Village. Students are encouraged to build their work experience throughout their period of study, through, for example, our QProjects work experience scheme, our QRecruit internships and temporary work hub, the part time work Experience Works event and QMSU Provide volunteering services. Over 1400 vacancies are available to browse on the QM JobOnline vacancy site.

Queen Mary’s extensive campus also provides over 1200 on-campus job and volunteer opportunities ranging from E-learning Assistant to Science Ambassador and from Society President to Student Mentor.

Read more about our careers programmes and range of work experience opportunities on the QM Careers and Enterprise Centre pages.


Name: Hitesh Mistry

Studying: BSc Biomedical Sciences

"I chose Queen Mary because it is the only London-based university which has all the main facilities, accommodation and departments on one campus. Additionally, the fact that the lecturers are conducting research which is being published means that we are being taught by people who have direct first-hand experience in their areas of expertise.

"The best thing about the course is the variety of modules. I am able to study a range of different aspects of biology, yet still see how they integrate with each other. I also think that the course is well structured, the University well organised and the newly updated buildings have all the facilities we require.

"The most interesting thing that I have done on my course was the practical sessions of my Human Anatomy modules. We were given access to pro-sections and skeletons in order for us to learn and visualise the location, shape and attachment of various muscles, ligaments, blood vessels and much more. This practical experience was enjoyable and really helpful."


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