Enhance your undergraduate degree with a year's placement in an industrial, commercial or research environment.
We are ranked 1st in the UK for Anatomy and Physiology in The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023.
At a Glance
On Campus Learning
In the first two years of your degree you will gain a broad knowledge of subjects related to medical science and in scientific research methods. In addition, you will enhance your critical analysis abilities while developing your interpersonal skills through team-working and oral/written communications.
Advanced knowledge of developmental biology will be acquired in the third and fifth years of the programme. Research in Developmental Biology is central to the search for cures for many human genetic diseases, including cancer, and is at the forefront of recent advances in modern medicine, which includes stem cell maintenance regeneration and tissue repair.
In your fourth year you will undertake a year's industrial placement and graduate after five years with an MSci (an undergraduate Masters degree) instead of a BSc. Placements vary considerably but, in general terms, you will have the opportunity to do a placement in an industrial, commercial or research environment where you will be able to develop a breadth of practical experience to complement your degree programme and enhance your employability.
What You'll Study
A degree in Biomedical Science (Developmental Biology) is taught via a selection of compulsory and optional courses to enhance your learning and prepare you for a future career or further study. In each year, you will take courses adding up to 120 credits. Depending on the number of compulsory and optional courses offered by your degree, you can also choose other eligible courses which fit your timetable.
This course, which is prescribed for level 1 undergraduate students (and articulating students who are in their first year at the University), is studied entirely online, takes approximately 5-6 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks.
Topics include orientation overview, equality and diversity, health, safety and cyber security and how to make the most of your time at university in relation to careers and employability.
Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’.
This course covers the foundations of chemistry that underpin the life sciences at a molecular level and is suitable for students with different backgrounds including little or no previous study of chemistry. The basic concepts of quantitative chemistry will be covered, along with the different types of organic molecules, acids and bases, and the principles of kinetics and thermodynamics. The relevance of the course materials to life science is emphasised throughout.
Laboratory classes introduce important practical techniques, with experiments that reinforce and complement the taught material.
The course will allow students to continue with other chemistry courses as part of their enhanced study by providing discipline breadth.
Chemistry plays a vital role in the life sciences, explaining the properties of biomolecules and how biological processes work at a molecular level. Organic reaction mechanisms give insight into how different types of molecules can be synthesised and methods of chemical analysis introduce other important topics linking the chemical and life sciences. The relationship between energy, entropy and equilibrium in driving reactions will be covered and the course concludes with a survey of the molecules of life – proteins, enzymes and sugars.
Laboratory classes complement lectures by consolidating learning and developing problem-solving and hands-on practical skills.
• Cells are the fundamental unit of life – without them life could not exist, and as such understanding how they function is crucial to our understanding of biology and medical science.• This course provides theoretical knowledge in a diverse range of topics covering the fascinating world of cells, from molecules like DNA, to how different cell types function within our bodies.• All practical classes are research based and will provide theoretical knowledge and skills training in many areas of molecular and cell biology.• Employability skills will also be explored through a highly interactive enterprise session and our online mini course.
this course will provide a comprehensive understanding of how genetic information is stored, how it is accessed by the cell to form functional proteins and how the release of this information is controlled to produce a healthy human child;
understanding this process is essential to understanding the basis of human disease and the course will examine how genetic differences affect disease susceptibility;
this popular, comprehensive and cutting edge course will equip students with the essential knowledge, skills and confidence in molecular biology required to progress on all courses undertaken in the School of Medical Sciences
• this course will teach you what we know about the anatomy of different parts of human body and how it relates to development, various injuries and disorders; • you will get a chance to work with prosected human cadaveric specimens and medical images such as MRI scans;
understanding the fundamental workings of cells is important to a wide range of scientific disciplines;
this course integrates the key metabolic and biochemical processes that underpin human, animal and plant life in relation to health and disease;
this core knowledge prepares you for more advanced study in all areas of life sciences and has wide ranging applications;
you will also participate in an award winning practical series focussed on drug discovery which will build essential employability skills in experimental design, data analysis and practical laboratory skills
this will teach you about the anatomy of different systems of the human body and how it relates to growth, development, various injuries and disorders;
you will get a chance to work with the prosected human cadaveric specimens, medical images such as CT and MRI scans;
will increase your practical skills, improve your problem-solving and image interpretation skills, help you understand why fundamental anatomy and imaging are so important to understanding human health and disease;
this will focus on the anatomy of pelvis, perineum, head, neck and brain;
facilitated by videos and 3D anatomy resources on MyAberdeen
course cultivates literature research skills, building confidence in
team-working and communication through scientific writing and seminar
encourages student-led learning and organisation in researching a topic on
human health or disease of your own choice, with tutors providing guidance;
will learn to use online and library resources to search for information
from primary research articles and relay that information in the form of a
written report and a Powerpoint presentation to peers and academic tutors;
are all fundamental skills for scientific researchers, but are also
transferrable talents for many other career pathways
A pre-requisite for all students intending to apply for a year’s industrial placement.
This course covers the skills necessary to complete placement applications by exploring CV preparation, writing covering letters, completing application forms, identification of your skill sets and good interview technique.
The course will prepare you for the workplace by making you aware of general employability skills and by helping you identify your own transferable skills.
course covers many of the core
concepts and processes which are essential for advanced study in Biomedical and
you will gain cutting edge, in depth and
focussed knowledge of embryological techniques, tools and their practical
applications, and the fundamental principles of reproductive biology delivered in a research-driven environment;
this course will prepare you for advanced
study of developmental biology and human embryology;
practicals are designed to provide a 3D understanding
of embryology as well as an in-depth study of a model organism, providing
transferrable skills as problem solving and web page/blog design,further
developing graduate attributes and employability
This course takes us back to the very beginning of embryonic development and explores the fascinating process of how the fertilised egg develops into the complex multicellular embryo and also studies the business end of embryogenesis – turning a bundle of cells into a functioning baby;
This includes looking at germ layer formation, the cellular processes driving morphogenesis as well as the tools and methods are used to study early embryos;
The course also addresses development of the major organ systems – where do the lungs, the pancreas, the liver, the blood, the heart etc. come from? How does the nervous system develop?;
We show that the processes are not ‘magic’. There are accessible principles, systems and molecules that enable us to begin to understand how tissue development happens;
The course will investigate the roles of stem cells in embryology, adult life and cancer.
this is a comprehensive course, providing an essential foundation for all advanced studies in Genetics, Chromosome Biology and Molecular Biology;
the principles of molecular genetics and population genetics will be covered, with an emphasis on their application to the understanding of human biology. The teaching material will integrate information arising from the recent explosion of genome sequence data, equipping students with the necessary skills to engage with this rapidly developing field;
a wide range of transferable skills are embedded within the course, including problem-solving, critical analysis of research materials, essay writing and subject-specific laboratory and computational skills;
• This course covers many of the core technologies that are essential for advanced research in molecular medical sciences and will demonstrate how they have allowed us to push the boundaries of medicine beyond anything we could possibly have imagined just a few years ago• You will gain in-depth and focussed knowledge of core experimental approaches and technologies and their practical applications• Most especially, you will see how these cutting edge technologies are allowing us to develop treatments and deliver hope to those suffering from previously-incurable genetic disorders • (Hopefully), you will see the incredible future and opportunities this subject offers for the development of treatments for any number of unmet medical needs, and the potential benefits to humanity waiting to be tapped into (in your future careers!) • You will acquire core practical laboratory skills• This course will prepare you for advanced study of molecular medical sciences• Wider transferrable skills such as creativity, independent research, analytical thinking, problem-solving and advanced laboratory techniques are interwoven strands aimed at developing graduate attributes and employability
an industrial placement allows students to experience workplace culture and makes them more effective employees following graduation;
placements vary considerably but in general terms, students are placed in an industrial, commercial or research environment where they obtain a breadth of practical experience to complement their degree programme;
students are employed by their host company and can expect to work a normal 40 hour week, possibly on a number of projects, over a full calendar year;
tutorial assistance from a member of the University academic staff is available via email and / or telephone throughout the year
The Honours year aims to explore in depth, specific aspects of developmental biology. An important feature is the ten-week research project, carried out in research laboratories at the University or in local research institutes.
Honours candidates are required to take both a two hour general examination (SM 4901) and a three hour problem solving examination (SM 4902) at the end of the Final Honours Year.
stem cells and regenerative biology are the future of medicine. This course provides the core knowledge needed by research-level biomedical scientists, especially in fields of developmental biology, anatomy, and stem cell biology;
the University’s leading stem cell researchers provide a comprehensive overview of the current horizons of stem cell technology, from embryonic stem cells, through induced pluripotency (iPS cells) to the use and manipulation of adult stem cells;
gene therapy and human reproductive biology (including IVF) are taught to research level;
research scientists present in-depth material on core research techniques – transgenic animals, genome editing, biological imaging and ‘omic’ technologies
This is an advanced course that explores developmental processes from an evolutionary perspective; the theory and practice of evolutionary biology as applied to developmental systems will be covered, focussing on a range of developmentally important events, including evolution of the brain, eye, bone, limb, and human-specific traits; the course provides experience of problem-solving, critical analysis of research material, written presentation skills and subject-specific computational skills
this course merges cutting edge developmental biology, neuroscience, and cellular physiology to describe how the nervous system arises and gets wired up;
the bewildering arrays of cells in the nervous system interconnect in highly specific ways. Here you will learn what dictates neuronal cell fate, how neurons find appropriate partners and how cells communicate to generate behaviour;
in addition to lectures from dynamic researchers this course will hone core skills for basic scientists and medics through group presentation work, independent library research and scientific writing
You will be taught using a variety of methods and styles and we continually seek to make the teaching engaging, exciting and responsive to the latest research in your subject area. The research we carry out in the School directly informs and guides our teaching, particularly in the final Honours year. Our commitment to teaching is recognised by the range of University of Aberdeen Student-led Teaching Awards given to staff from our School.
As a student, your learning is supported by MyAberdeen, our virtual learning environment from which you can access the lecture Powerpoint slides, online practice tests, links to related reading, and tutorial support material.
We make innovative use of 'educational voting' handsets in class- remote control 'clickers' that allow each and every student to electronically respond in class, by anonymous vote, to questions posed by the lecturer.
Your academic development is supported from year 1 through to year 5 by an assigned personal tutor, who acts as adviser and mentor throughout your University career.
Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:
coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course;
practical assessments of the skills and competencies learnt on the course; and
written examinations at the end of each course.
The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, year of study and individual courses.
Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.
Why Study Biomedical Sciences (Developmental Biology)?
You will spend the fourth year of your degree in paid employment and graduate after five years with an MSci (an undergraduate Masters degree) instead of a BSc.
The programme provides you with the scientific content of pre-clinical medicine plus the opportunity to study cellular processes from the whole-body perspective.
You will gain a thorough grounding in the core medical sciences, as well as your chosen specialism of developmental biology.
Teaching is delivered by world-leading researchers who are at the forefront of current research in developmental biology and stem cell technology.
You will acquire core skills and knowledge vital to the modern workplace, which will also provide you with the ideal training for progress to graduate programmes in medical research, medicine, dentistry and other healthcare professions.
SQA Highers- AAAB* A Levels- ABB* IB- 34 points, 6 at HL* ILC- 5H with 4 at H2 and 1 at H3, with H2 and H3 from Chemistry and another Science or Mathematics subject, OR AAABB including AB from Chemistry and another Science or Mathematics subject. The grading within band B must be B2 or above.*
Applicants who achieve AAAB or better over S4 and S5 are likely to be made an offer of admission. This may be unconditional or it may be conditional, dependent upon academic profile. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers may be required.
Highers at AB from Chemistry and Biology required.
A minimum of 3 A Levels at ABB.
A levels at AB from Chemistry and Biology required.
A minimum of 34 points. 6 points at HL from Chemistry and Biology.
Irish Leaving Certificate:
Five subjects at Higher, with 4 at H2 and 1 at H3. H2 from Chemistry and Biology.
The information displayed in this section shows a shortened summary of our entry requirements. For more information, or for full entry requirements for Sciences degrees, see our detailed entry requirements section.
English Language Requirements
To study for an Undergraduate degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:
You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year
EU / International students
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year
Scholarships and Funding
Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, who pay tuition fees may be eligible for specific scholarships allowing them to receive additional funding. These are designed to provide assistance to help students support themselves during their time at Aberdeen.
The Biomedical Sciences degree primarily prepares you to follow a broad range of careers in science, relating to medicine. In this respect, the quality of your training will permit you to take advantage of international career opportunities in research and development. The degree can also form the basis for an application to enter Medicine or Dentistry.
Our degree programmes are built to enhance your employability and three flagship options give our degrees a distinctively different flavour from many others. All our degrees offer:
A 10-week full-time research project in the final year, which will provide you with valuable experience of working in a medical science research environment
Highly relevant and sought after experience in bio-business, aimed at giving you an understanding of the commercialisation of scientific ideas and an opportunity to learn about the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries
The BSc Biomedical Sciences degree is not accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Sciences (IBMS) and thus our graduates do not achieve their HPC registration at graduation, but instead, if they choose this career path, will gain it following an additional conversion course within hospital laboratories.
Useful Fact about this Degree
Biomedical scientists in Aberdeen have made major medical advances, including the discovery of Insulin (Nobel Prize) and the discovery of Endorphins with improved quality of life for people globally
Top 20 UK University
The University of Aberdeen is ranked 12th in the UK in the Guardian University Guide 2024 and 19th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023
You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.
The Institute of Medical Sciences
Focused on developing future effective therapies, the Institute of Medical Sciences houses nearly 400 researchers and support staff working on cutting-edge biomedical subjects aimed at understanding the human body's response to infection and disease.
A dedicated Medical Library on the Foresterhill Health Campus and the fantastic facilities in the Sir Duncan Rice Library at King’s College, are complemented by online access to the key medical and health sciences journals and textbooks.
Science Teaching Hub
Our state-of-the-art Science Teaching Hub provides students with a digitally focussed environment including advanced analytical tools, research-grade equipment and flexible laboratory spaces.
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Get in Touch
Student Recruitment & Admissions University of Aberdeen University Office Regent Walk Aberdeen AB24 3FX