The School of Life Science has developed an extremely active and successful undergraduate, Biomedical Science programme. We have embraced specialists working in local NHS Trusts to develop outstanding, collaborative relationships covering key diagnostic and clinical specialties. Not only do students benefit from the inclusion of such specialist practitioners onto our teaching programmes, but could also be offered highly competitive research opportunities working within the hospital itself.
This MSc programme builds on this wealth of experience and best practice to enable well-qualified students to develop their scientific training and employability skills within a Biomedical context. The need for innovation and a multidisciplinary approach to Biomedical Science has never been more important. The teaching strategies embedded within this programme embrace these principles in its pursuit of Clinical Biochemistry, Medical Immunology and Haematology.
This programme is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) as the professional body of Biomedical Scientists within the United Kingdom. The IBMS aims to promote and develop the role of Biomedical Science within healthcare to deliver he best possible service for patient care and safety.
Accreditation is a process of peer review and recognition by the profession of the achievement of quality standards for delivering Masters level programmes.
Individuals awarded a Masters degree accredited by the Institute are eligible for the title of Chartered Scientist and the designation CSci if they meet the other eligibility criteria of corporate membership and active engagement in Continued Professional Development. A Masters level qualification is also one of the entry criteria for the Institute’s Higher Specialist Examination and award of the Higher Specialist Diploma, a pre-requisite for the membership grade of Fellowship and designation FIBMS.
The aim of IBMS accreditation is to ensure that, through a spirit of partnership between the Institute and the University, a good quality degree is achieved that prepares the student for employment in circumstances requiring sound judgement, critical thinking, personal responsibility and initiative in complex and unpredictable professional environments.
The Institute lists 10 advantages of IBMS accreditation: 1. Advances professional practice to benefit healthcare services and professions related to biomedical science.
2. Develops specific knowledge and competence that underpins biomedical science.
3. Provides expertise to support development of appropriate education and training.
4. Ensures curriculum content is both current and anticipatory of future change.
5. Facilitates peer recognition of education and best practice and the dissemination of information through education and employer networks.
6. Ensures qualification is fit for purpose.
7. Recognises the achievement of a benchmark standard of education.
8. The degree award provides access to professional body membership as a Chartered Scientist and for entry to the Higher Specialist Diploma examination.
9. Strengthens links between the professional body, education providers employers and students.
10. Provides eligibility for the Higher Education Institution (HEI) to become a member of HUCBMS (Heads of University Centres of Biomedical Science)
The main aim of the programme is to provide multidisciplinary, Masters Level postgraduate training in Biomedical Blood Science. This will involve building on existing, undergraduate knowledge in basic science and applying it to clinical, diagnostic and research applications relevant to Clinical Biochemistry, Medical Immunology and Haematology.
Intended learning outcomes of the programme reflect what successful students should know, understand or to be able to do by the end of the programme. Programme specific learning outcomes are provided in the Programme Specification available by request, but to summarise the overarching course, aims are as follows:
- To develop students’ knowledge and understanding of different theoretical perspectives, methodological approaches, research interests and practical applications within Blood Science
- To explore and explicitly critique the clinical, diagnostic and research implications within the fields of Clinical Biochemistry,
- Medical Immunology and Haematology, and to place this in the context of a clinical laboratory, fully considering the potential implications for patients, health workers and research alike
- To develop a critical awareness of Biomedical ethics and to fully integrate these issues into project management including grant application and business planning
- To support student autonomy and innovation by providing opportunities for students to demonstrate originality in developing or applying their own ideas
- To direct students to integrate a complex knowledge base in the scrutiny and accomplishment of professional problem-solving scenarios and project development
- To enable student acquirement of advanced laboratory practical competencies and high level analytical skills
- To promote and sustain communities of practice that allow students to share best practice, encourage a multidisciplinary approach to problem-solving and to develop extensive communication skills, particularly their ability to convey complex, underpinning knowledge alongside their personal conclusions and rationale to specialist and nonspecialist listeners
- To provide students with a wide range of learning activities and a diverse assessment strategy in order to fully develop their employability and academic skills, ensuring both professional and academic attainment
This one year programme is structured so that all taught sessions are delivered in just two days of the working week. Full-time students are expected to engage in independent study for the remaining 3 days per week. Consolidating taught sessions in this way allows greater flexibility for part-time students who will be expected to attend one day a week for two academic years, reducing potential impact in terms of workforce planning for employers and direct contact for students with needs outside of their academic responsibilities.
Semester 1 will focus on two main areas, the first being Biomedical ethics, grant application and laboratory competencies. The second area focuses on the clinical and diagnostic implications of Blood Science for patients and health workers, with the major emphasis being on Clinical Biochemistry.
Semester 2 will also focus on two main themes; firstly, business planning methodological approaches, analytical reasoning and research. Secondly, the clinical and diagnostic implications of Blood Science for patients and health workers, with the major emphasis being on Haematology and Immunology.
Compulsory Modules (each 15 credits) consist of: - Biomedical Ethics & Grant Proposal - Project Management & Business Planning - Advanced Laboratory Techniques* - Research Methodologies * - Case Studies in Blood Science I - Case Studies in Blood Science II - Clinical Pathology I - Clinical Pathology II
*Students who have attained the IBMS Specialist Diploma and are successfully enrolling with accredited prior certified learning are exempt from these two modules.
Dissertation – Biomedical Blood Science Research Project (60 credits)
This research project and final dissertation of 20,000 words is an excellent opportunity for students to undertake laboratory based research in their chosen topic and should provide an opportunity for them to demonstrate their understanding of the field via applications in Biomedical Science. Biomedical Science practitioners are expected to complete the laboratory and data collection aspects of this module in conjunction with their employers.
Requirements for an Award: In order to obtain the Masters degree, students are required to satisfactorily accrue 180 M Level credits. Students who exit having accrued 60 or 120 M Level credits excluding the ‘Dissertation – Biomedical Blood Science Research Project’ are eligible to be awarded the Postgraduate Certificate (PgC) and Postgraduate Diploma (PgD) respectively
Teaching and Learning Methods
This programme places just as much emphasis on developing the way in which students approach, integrate and apply new knowledge and problem-solving as it is with the acquisition of higher level information. As such, particular emphasis is placed on developing critical thinking, innovation, reflective writing, autonomous learning and communication skills to prepare candidates for a lifetime of continued professional development.
The teaching and learning methods employed throughout this programme reflect these principles. For example, there is greater emphasis on looking at the subject from a patient-orientated, case study driven perspective through problem-based learning (PBL) that encourages students to think laterally, joining up different pieces of information and developing a more holistic level of understanding.
The rich and varied assessment strategy adopted by this programme ensure student development of employability and academic skills, providing an opportunity to demonstrate both professional and academic attainment. Assessment design is largely driven by a number of key principles which include: promotion of independent learning, student autonomy, responsibility for personal learning and development of innovation and originality within one’s chosen area of interest. Note that not all modules culminate in a final examination.
Apart from additional costs for text books, inter-library loans and potential overdue library fines we do not anticipate any additional costs for this post graduate programme.