Course content

An accredited Biomedical Science Honours degree course will include relevant basic scientific core subjects, together with a study of the biomedical science specialist subjects, integrated through a study of the biology of disease. An Honours project at final year level is an essential component.

Core subject areas

The subject headings are not intended to imply module titles and the subject matter is not intended to constrain module content.


Primarily anatomy and physiology i.e. the study of the structure, function and control of the human body, its component parts and major systems. It includes cell biology, genetics, molecular biology and immunology.


Essentially the study of chemical processes which support life. It includes the structure, function and metabolism, including its control, of carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids and proteins.

Numeracy, Statistics and Computing

Including IT skills to promote independent learning.

Instrumentation/Analytical Technique

There should be a broad treatment of the principles of instrumentation, separation techniques, identification and quantitation procedures of a wide range of analytes.


Key subject areas

The programme should adequately cover the main traditional pathology specialisms: cellular pathology/cytology, clinical chemistry, haematology, immunohaematology and transfusion science, medical microbiology/virology and immunology.

Key subjects are not necessarily taught to the same level and programme specifications will indicate this.

Cellular Pathology

The microscopic examination of cells (cytology) and tissues (histology) and knowledge of the role of cellular pathology in the diagnosis and treatment of disease.

Clinical Biochemistry

The qualitative and quantitative evaluation of analytes to aid the diagnosis, screening and monitoring of health and disease, including hereditary malignant disease and therapeutic drug monitoring.

Clinical Immunology

The study of immunological disease or disorders, and including organ transplantation, prophylaxis and immunotherapy.


The study and investigation of the different elements that constitute blood in normal and diseased states, including nature and diagnosis of anaemias, haemoglobinopathies and thalassaemias, haematological malignancy, haemostasis and thrombosis.

Immunohaematology and Transfusion Science

The identification of blood group antigens and antibodies (immunohaematology) and the safe supply of blood and blood components (blood transfusion).

Medical Microbiology

The study of pathogenic micro-organisms and including the role of ‘normal flora’, epidemiology and laboratory investigation of infectious diseases, environmental microbiology, vaccination and immunisation.


Biology of Disease

A fundamental requirement of biomedical science degrees is an integration of the core science and specialist subject areas through a study of a pathophysiology or biology of disease component, which should consider the following human disorders and disease processes together with their investigation: cancer, haematological disorders, infection, autoimmunity, neurological disease, and endocrine disorders.