In the School of Biosciences, we have a community spirit and students learn with and from each other. We are also renowned for our innovative teaching methods.
New ways of using IT in lectures allow you to revisit the teaching at a later date.Our academics have developed animations to help explain tricky concepts. Special communication projects teach you how to share scientific knowledge with the public.
Our degree is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) and the Royal Society of Biology (RSB).
Our degree programme
During your studies you explore the biochemical processes that occur in the human body, learn how they respond to diseases and how this knowledge can be used to identify and treat diseases. In your future career, this scientific knowledge could be put to practical use within medical healthcare.
In your first and second years, you develop your skills as a bioscientist, covering areas including biological chemistry, genetics, molecular and cellular biology, human physiology and disease, and metabolism.
In your final year, your modules cover areas such as immunology, haematology and blood transfusion, and pathogens. Optional modules cover areas including the biology of ageing, neuroscience and cancer biology.
You also complete your own research project. Our research funding of around £4.5 million a year means that you are taught the most up-to-date science and this allows us to offer some exciting and relevant final-year projects.
We also offer between 20 and 30 paid Summer Studentships each year. You can apply to work in our research labs during the summer holiday and gain hands-on research experience before your final year of study.
Biomedical Science offers the possibility of doing a one-year placement away from the University between Stages 2 and 3. Sandwich placements provide an excellent opportunity to gain relevant work experience, usually in the pharmaceutical industry or a research institute. These placements can be in the UK or abroad. You are paid by your employer and produce an independent research project.
You can also study or work abroad as part of your degree with our Biomedical Science with a Year Abroad programme or you have the option to take this programme as a three-year degree, without the year in industry. For details, see Biomedical Science.
We recently spent £2 million on our laboratories to ensure that you develop your practical skills in a world-class environment. We give you extensive practical training and you spend up to two days a week in the laboratory.
Kent & Medway Medical School
is moving forward with the Kent & Medway Medical School (KMMS), due to take
the first cohort of students in September 2020.
Medical School will be a significant addition to the University, with exciting opportunities
for education and research in the School of Biosciences.
You can join BioSoc, a student-run society. Previous activities have included research talks and social events.
We also encourage our students to attend outside conferences and events. In 2015, Kent students competed with 280 teams and won the gold medal at the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Giant Jamboree in the USA.
Our school collaborates with research groups in industry and academia throughout the UK and Europe. It also has excellent links with local employers, such as:
NHSGSKMedImmuneEli LillyLonzaAesica PharmaceuticalsSekisui DiagnosticsCairn ResearchPublic Health England.
Teaching includes lectures, laboratory classes, workshops, problem-solving sessions and tutorials. You have an Academic Adviser who you meet with at regular intervals to discuss your progress, and most importantly, to identify ways in which you can improve your work further so that you reach your full potential.
Most modules are assessed by a combination of continuous assessment and end-of-year exams. Exams take place at the end of the academic year and count for 50% or more of the module mark. Stage 1 assessments do not contribute to the final degree classification, but all stage 2 and 3 assessments do, meaning that your final degree award is an average of many different components. On average, 26% of your time is spent in an activity led by an academic; the rest of your time is for independent study.
The Sandwich Year is assessed by a presentation and a written report and contributes 10% to the overall mark.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- the structure, function and control of the human body
- the main metabolic pathways used in biological systems in catabolism and anabolism, understanding biological reactions in chemical terms
- the variety of mechanisms by which metabolic pathways can be controlled and the way that they can be co-ordinated with changes in the physiological environment
- the genetic organisation of various types of organism and the way in which genes can be expressed and their expression controlled
- molecular genetic techniques and the causes and consequences of alterations of genetic material
- the structure and function of the main classes of macromolecules such as DNA, RNA, proteins, lipids and polysaccharides
- the immune response in health and disease
- the structure, physiology, biochemistry, classification and control of microorganisms
- the main principles of cell and molecular biology, biochemistry and microbiology
- the microscopic examination of cells (cytology) and tissues (histology) for indicators of disease
- the qualitative and quantitative evaluation of analytes to aid the diagnosis, screening and monitoring of health and disease (clinical biochemistry).
- immunological disease/disorders
- the different elements that constitute blood in normal and diseased states (haematology)
- the identification of blood group antigens and antibodies (immunohaematology and transfusion science)
- pathogenic microorganisms
- the main methods for communicating information on biomedical sciences
- the way that a professional biomedical scientist can contribute to the organisation in which they work.
You gain the following intellectual abilities:
- understand the scope of teaching methods and study skills relevant to the biomedical sciences degree programme
- understand the concepts and principles in outcomes recognising and applying biomedical specific theories, paradigms, concepts or principles. For example, the relationship between biochemical activity and disease
- acquire the skills for analysis, synthesis, summary and presentation of biomedical information.
- demonstrate competence in solving extended biomedical problems involving advanced data manipulation and comprehension using biomedical specific and transferable skills
- integrate scientific evidence, to formulate and test hypotheses
- structure, develop and defend complex scientific arguments
- plan, execute and interpret data from a short research project
- recognise the moral and ethical issues of biomedical investigations and appreciate the need for ethical standards and professional codes of conduct.
You gain subject-specific skills in the following:
- to handle, biological material and chemicals in a safe way, thus being able to assess any potential hazards associated with biomedical experimentation
- perform risk assessments prior to the execution of an experimental protocol
- to use basic and advanced experimental equipment in executing the core practical techniques used by biomedical scientists
- to find information on biomedical topics from a wide range of information resources and maintain an effective information retrieval strategy
- plan, execute and assess the results from experiments using acquired subject-specific knowledge
- identify the best method for presenting and reporting on biomedical investigations using written, data manipulation/presentation and computer skills.
You gain transferable skills in the following:
- the ability to receive and respond to a variety of sources of information
- communicate effectively to a variety of audiences using a range of formats and approaches
- problem-solve by a variety of methods, especially numerical, including the use of computers
- use the internet and other electronic sources critically as a means of communication and as a source of information
- interpersonal and teamwork skills that allow you to identify individual and collective goals, and recognise and respect the views and opinions of others
- self-management and organisational skills and the capacity to support life-long learning
- awareness of information sources for assessing and planning future career development
- function effectively in a working environment.
The programme aims to:
- instil a sense of enthusiasm for biomedical science, confront the scientific, moral plus ethical questions and engage in critical assessment of the subject material
- provide an understanding of scientific investigation of human health and disease
- provide a stimulating, research-active environment in which students are supported and motivated to achieve their academic and personal potential
- educate students in the theoretical and practical aspects of biomedical science
- facilitate the learning experience through various teaching and assessment methods
- give students the experience of undertaking an independent research project
- prepare students for further study, or training, and employment in science and non-science based careers, by developing transferable and cognitive skills
- develop the qualities needed for employment in situations requiring the exercise of professionalism, independent thought, personal responsibility and decision making in complex and unpredictable circumstances
- provide access to as wide a range of students as practicable
- provide an opportunity to gain experience as a biomedical scientist working in a professional environment such as hospital, government and industrial research laboratories
- to develop employment skills, including an understanding of how you relate to the structure and function of an organisation, via the sandwich year.