School of Biomedical Sciences

MSc Biomedical Science

Biomedical science focuses on the understanding of human health and disease, developing diagnostics and treatments that inevitably save and improve lives. Our research-informed MSc Biomedical Science programme aligns to our research strengths within our newly formed Plymouth Institute of Health and Care Research and offers the opportunity for students to focus their MSc Biomedical Science programme in of our three specialist areas: Cancer Biology, Clinical Neuroscience, Infection & Immunity.

Key features

  • Choose to specialise in either Cancer Biology, Clinical Neuroscience* or Infection and Immunity.
  • Dedicated core content covering genomics, proteomics and transcriptomics.
  • 50+ hours of practical-based learning on each pathway (laboratory and computational-based).
  • 15-week, independent wet- or dry-laboratory research projects available, supported by a dedicated supervisor.
  • Significant financial investment in laboratory infrastructure including our recently built Derriford Research Facility.
  • Programme professionally accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS).
  • An international reputation in translational research; ranked 1st in the UK for Research Output in Clinical Medicine for REF 2014.
  • 100% overall student satisfaction in the 2019-20 Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (University of Plymouth).
  • Ranked 41st best UK University in the Guardian best UK universities 2022 rankings.

*Clinical Neuroscience pathway has been approved by the University for a September 2021 start and is undergoing IBMS accreditation.

Course details

  • Year 1

  • This programme offers the opportunity to specialise in either Cancer Biology or Infection and Immunity, through our dedicated, research-led, biomedical pathways. Both pathways incorporate three core modules covering molecular genetics and proteomics, project design and development, and a research dissertation project. Your chosen pathway will also include two dedicated discipline-specific modules focusing on their specialist theme: Cancer Biology and Therapeutics or Infection and Immunity. You will also contribute to designing and executing a research project with the support of your project supervisor from one of our Biomedical Research groups. Core modules run across both semesters one and two, while one of the two dedicated pathway modules runs in each semester. All modules are assessed through coursework, utilising a variety of written, presentational and practical elements, including a written project dissertation. This enables you to gain broad, transferable skills and experience.

    Core modules

    • Molecular Biology: Genomics, Transcriptomics and Proteomics (BIOM5001)

      This module will provide a comprehensive overview of basic genomics and proteomics. An understanding of the latest experimental techniques currently applied to study these 'omics' will be delivered. The emphasis will be on microarray techniques, next-generation sequencing and high-throughput mass spectrometry for the analysis of molecules at the level of genome, transcriptome and proteome.

    Optional modules

    • Infection and Immunity (BHCS5008)

      This module will provide knowledge of, and explore current areas of molecular and cellular biology of microbial diseases, and the mechanisms of pathogenesis. It will also explore the cellular and molecular processes, which will promote a critical understanding of immune defence in the context of immunology with respect to normal immune responsiveness and immunopathology.

    • Cancer Biology and Therapeutics (BHCS5009)

      This module will provide an overview of current developments in cancer biology focusing on current research and understanding of the molecular, cellular and physiological basis of cancer, diagnostic and screening developments. Treatment and areas for future therapies will also be critically examined.

    • Contemporary Applications in Cancer Biology and Therapeutics (BHCS5010)

      This module provides knowledge of a wide range of techniques used in modern cell biology from basic to advanced cell culture, diagnostic histopathology, cytotoxic and genotoxic investigations, flow cytometry, bioinformatics. Contemporary applications of cell biology will be explored in an in-depth critical manner.

    • Basic and Clinical Neuroscience (BHCS5011)

      This module will provide an overview of current developments in Neuroscience focusing on current research and understanding of the molecular, cellular and physiological basis of neurological diseases, progression, diagnostic and screening developments. Treatment and areas for future therapies will also be critically discussed.

    • Contemporary Applications in Neurobiology (BHCS5012)

      This module provides knowledge of a wide range of techniques used in modern neurobiology from basic to advanced cell culture, diagnostic histopathology, expression studies, imaging, disease model development, behavioural analysis, biostatistics. Contemporary applications of neurobiology will be explored in an in-depth critical manner.

    • Contemporary Science of Infection and Immunity (BIOM5003)

      This module provides knowledge of the cellular and molecular basis of the microbial pathogenesis and immunity for a range of bacterial, viral and fungal infections. Current methods and techniques for investigative microbiology and immunology will also be explored in an in-depth critical manner.

  • Final year

  • In your final year, you'll focus on a research project in the discipline that interests you the most for your final award. 

    Core modules

    • Project Design and Development (BIOM5005)

      The module will provide students with the knowledge to understand and critically review the current scientific literature and skills associated with the project design, development and knowledge transfer process.

    • Research Project (BIOM5006)

      This module is comprised of independent self-directed study under the guidance of a project advisor. It includes the development of a research question and associated design and execution of a research study.

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

MSc Biomedical Science Programme Specification 5768

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

You should have either:

  • Applicants require a minimum of an upper second-class UK honours degree in biomedical sciences, life sciences or related subject with a genetics component, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Intercalating or graduate medical/dental/veterinarian applicants or those with substantial relevant work-based experience are encouraged to apply and will be considered on an individual basis. University of Plymouth alumni who do not meet this requirement can contact the programme lead in the first instance. Please list the pathway you are applying for in your application. A short interview may be undertaken as part of the applications process.
  • If you have overseas qualifications you can check how they compare with the UK equivalent through UK ECCTIS, who provide an advisory service.


  • Other qualifications and experience that the programme manager deems equivalent in subject content and level of attainment to any of the above.

If your first language is not English, you will be required to provide evidence of competence in English language:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 6.5 or above with no less than 6.0 in each category (speaking, listening, reading, & writing) will be required.
  • Please visit our entry requirements for international students page for more information.

We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

Student 2023-2024 2024-2025
Home N/A N/A
International N/A N/A
Part time (Home) £5,250 £5,500
Full and part time fees shown are per annum. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. More information about fees and funding.

How to apply

When to apply
Most of our taught programmes begin in September. Applications can usually be made throughout the year, and are considered until programmes are full.
Before you apply
Familiarise yourself with the information required to complete your application form. You will usually be required to supply:
  • evidence of qualifications (degree certificates or transcripts), with translations if not in English, to show that you meet, or expect to meet the entry requirements
  • evidence of English language proficiency, if English is not your first language
  • a personal statement of approximately 250-400 words about the reasons for your interest in the course and outlining the nature of previous and current related experience. You can write this into the online application form, or include it as a separate document
  • your curriculum vitae or résumé, including details of relevant professional/voluntary experience, professional registration/s and visa status for overseas workers
  • proof of sponsorship, if applicable.
If you require further information take a look at our application guidance. 
Disability Inclusion Services
If you have an impairment, health condition or disability, learn about the additional support the University provides.
International students
Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office. Take a look at our how to apply information or email
Submitting an application
Once you are happy that you have all of the information required you can apply using our online postgraduate application form (the blue 'Apply now' icon on this page). 
What happens after I apply?
You will normally receive a decision on your application within four weeksof us receiving your application. You may be asked to provide additional information; two academic/professional references, confirming your suitability for the course; or to take part in an interview (which in the case of overseas students may be by telephone or video conference) and you will be sent a decision by letter or email.
We aim to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Our Admissions and Course Enquiries team is on hand to offer help and can put you in touch with the appropriate faculty if you wish to discuss any programme in detail. 
If you would like any further information please contact the Admissions and Course Enquiries team:
Telephone: +44 (0)1752 585858
Admissions policy
More information and advice for applicants can be referenced in our admissions policy which can be found on the student regulations, policies and procedures page. Prospective students are advised to read the policy before making an application to the University.

Student insight

The programme has given me a vast amount of knowledge in many medical and scientific approaches. It has made me into a more critical-thinking person in regards to what is written and in the presented arguments.
Fatemah Alqallaf is a current student of the MSc Biomedical Science programme
Current masters Biomedical Healthcare student, Fatemah Alqallaf.
James Butler

James Butler – MSc Biomedical Science graduate

There is an active research community in the School of Biomedical Sciences which I knew would provide me with the mentoring, guidance and resources I needed to develop my research skills and run my own project.

Biomedical Research at the University of Plymouth

Our research is aimed at understanding the molecular and cellular processes underlying human health and disease with a key aim to translate this research into diagnostic and therapeutic applications.
Investment in state-of-the-art genomic, proteomic and imaging technologies have allowed a systems-led approach to explore the interacting networks of genes, molecules and cells underpinning disease processes.
Our research in Diagnostics utilises interdisciplinary approaches to identify novel molecular disease markers and therapies.
Scientist In laboratory
Biomedical science 

Meet our staff

Specialising in a range of research areas, from stem cell transplantation to skeletal pathology, our team reflects the multi-disciplinary nature of biomedical science. You’ll benefit from their knowledge, expertise and insights during your course.
Focused research is the foundation of biomedical science.
Biomedical science research

MSc Biomedical Science staff


Students from around the world study biomedical science at the University of Plymouth. We offer the latest facilities, research, support and teaching expertise. So you’ll leave ready for your career, or to further your academic study.
Career possibilities for our graduates include healthcare science, research support, government science and areas relating to scientific media.
Systems biology facility