University of Chester

Programme Specification
Biomedical Science BSc (Hons) (Level 6 only)
2015 - 2016

Bachelor of Science (Level 6 only)

Biomedical Science

Biomedical Science (Level 6 only)

University of Chester

University of Chester

Chester Campus

On-line at Level 6 for distance learning students

Undergraduate Modular Programme


Work-Based inc.(practice / placement)

2 years

3 Years

Annual - September



17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Medicine, Dentistry and Life Sciences Chester Medical School

Biomedical Science

Professionally accredited for registration purposes by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS); Approved by the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) 

Department of Biological Sciences

Wednesday 3rd December 2014

The overall aims of the Biomedical Science programme are to:

  • Facilitate a widening of access to higher education within the local community and beyond through flexibility in admissions procedures and learning and teaching styles;
  • Offer undergraduate awards promoting academic, vocational and personal development;
  • Provide a coherent and challenging learning experience for students who have an interest in Biomedical Science;
  • Offer attractive and flexible learning opportunities to full-time and part-time students;
  • Encourage a critically and theoretically informed and reflective approach to academic study and professional practice;
  • Foster a critical appreciation of the role and value of research and of a scientific approach to study;
  • Optimise the use of learning resources by providing opportunities for shared learning for students undertaking related programmes;
  • Increase self awareness and insight into both professional and ethical issues relevant to the practice of Biomedical Science.
  • Advances professional practice to benefit healthcare services and professions related to biomedical science.
  • Develops specific knowledge and competence that underpins biomedical science.

Knowledge and Understanding (KU)
1. Demonstrate extensive knowledge and a critical understanding of relevant theoretical concepts;2. Demonstrate a critical understanding of a broad range of practical issues as applied to the field of biomedical sciences;3. Synthesize and integrate knowledge and understanding from different areas of biomedical sciences;4. Apply a critically and theoretically informed perspective to relevant issues and current developments in biomedical sciences;

Thinking or Cognitive Skills (TCS)

1. Adopt a scientific and rigorous approach to academic study;2. Apply and evaluate a scientific approach to academic study;3. Analyse/evaluate/interpret data;4. Formulate and test hypotheses;5. Plan, conduct and report on a specific research project

Practical Skills (PS)

1. Observe, record accurately and account for features in the laboratory; 2. Prepare descriptive and interpretive laboratory reports; 3. Demonstrate the skills involved in the preparation of practical reports;4. Use IT and understand both descriptive and inferential statistics;

Key Skills (KS)

  • Communication
  • Application of Number
  • Information Literacy and Technology
  • Improving own learning and performance
  • Working with others
  • Problem solving

Employability skills encompass the attributes that help graduates to secure employment , enable them to respond to the changing demands of the workplace and contribute positively to their employer’s success and their own progress are essential as outcomes in programmes of study. Employability skills include; self-management, team working, business and customer awareness, problem-solving, communication and literacy, application of numeracy, application of information technology. All programme modules delivered by the Dept of Biological Sciences have identifiable employability learning outcomes. These have been developed to help student’s identify and develop skills that will equip them for their working lives.

Transferable Professional Skills (TPS)

1. Learn in familiar and unfamiliar situations;2. Communicate effectively (in writing, verbally and through presentation); 3. Apply basic numerical skills in the scientific context; 4. Use information technology competently and appropriately (e.g. use of standard word processing packages; internet; databases; spread sheets and specialist software as appropriate);5. Work as part of a team.
The skills detailed above are addressed throughout the degree programme as highlighted in the following grid.


 Module Code  Module Title KU  TCS  PS  KS  TPS 
BI6165  Clinical Medicine and Immunology   x  x      x
BI6166  Blood Sciences  x  x    x  x
BI6167  Cellular and Molecular Pathology  x  x      
BI6162  Introduction to Dissertation (non-credit)  x        
BI6110  Dissertation  x  x  x  x  x
BI6163  Medical Microbiology and Infection Control  x  x    x  

  • Be able to analyse, synthesise, evaluate, apply and reflect upon information gathered from the academic literature, professional organisations, and experiences in the work place, in order to propose solutions to problems relevant to Biomedical Sciences.
  • Critically apply information from an extensive understanding of theory and knowledge of case-studies to relevant issues and current developments in Biomedical Sciences

  • The ability to design and perform research in Biomedical Sciences. This includes selection of appropriate research questions, experimental design, practical mkethodologies and equipment as well as the use and interpretation of appropriate statistical tests, the effective use of graphical displays of data and the ability to come to well supported conclusions through reflection and discussion of results.
  • Be able to deploy academic and practical techniques for the integration of academic knowledge and understanding into effective professional practice in Biomedical Sciences with appropriate consideration of ethical issues and risk.

  • The ability to communicate effectively and appropriately at a graduate level with a range of audiences using oral, visual and written media.

Level 6 is available as a distance learning programme for FD graduates (or equivalent). The distance learning programme consists of the following modules:

BI6165 DL Clinical Medicine and Immunology
BI6166 DL Blood Sciences
BI6167 DL Cellular & Molecular Pathology
BI6162 DL Introduction to Dissertation - non-credit bearing
BI6163 DL Medical Microbiology and Infection Control

The Level 6 top up programme will utilise the same mode of delivery as the FdSc in Health Care Sciences, (namely blended learning comprising distance learning supplemented by face-to-face delivery at residential schools).



Knowledge & Understanding

Emphasis on analysis, synthesis and reflection.Ability to handle cognitive complexity; to evaluate; to apply knowledge and skills in new situations. Development of creative solutions/approaches

Transferable & Generic Skills

Full range of study skills consolidated and applied to independent enquiry. Able to articulate personal standpoint in the context of respect for the views of others.

Learning Style

Assumption of a greater responsibility for own learning, both independently and collaboratively. Autonomy.

Throughout level 6, students are encouraged to develop fully as independent and autonomous learners. The students' knowledge base will be significantly broadened through a range of modules covering the more specialised areas of biomedical sciences. In addition, students are required to undertake a research dissertation in Level 6, where strong emphasis is placed on the development of independent research skills and practical abilities, along with the ability of the student to present scientific data and arguments in the context of the overall body of knowledge within the discipline.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
BI6110 6 Dissertation 40 Comp
BI6162 6 Introduction to Dissertation (DL) 0 Comp
BI6163 6 Medical Microbiology & Infection Control (DL) 20 Comp
BI6165 6 Clinical Medicine & Immunology (DL) 20 Comp
BI6166 6 Blood Sciences (DL) 20 Comp
BI6167 6 Cellular & Molecular Pathology (DL) 20 Comp

In accordance with the recommendations of theFHEQ, a Level 6 (HE6) Graduate (Bachelor Degree with Honours) will have a minimum of 360 credits, normally with 120 or more at HE6, where 120 equates broadly to the total learning expected from a year of full-time study.

The Biomedical Science programme is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Sciences

All modules are compulsory and the modular content and organisation of this programme are informed by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS). The IBMS stipulates that the degree “must 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” (IBMS Criteria and Requirements for the Accreditation and Re-Accreditation of BSc (Hons) degrees in Biomedical Science, November 2004).


Candidates will have successfully completed the FdSc in Healthcare Sciences (or equivalent). Candidates from other institutions who have successfully completed a FdSc or two years of a BSc in a relevant discipline are also welcome to apply.

Kite-marked Access to Science courses, Open College Units and Open University Credits are also accepted.

The Department welcomes applicants from ‘non-conventional' pathways into Higher Education, and we see these students as having a positive effect on the whole student cohort.

Applications are made directly to the University of Chester. Accreditation of prior learning will be considered in line with University policy.

Applicants may be interviewed. The interview will focus on personal qualities and mortuary science-related skills and experience in addition to formal academic requirements.

The minimum starting age is 18 years.

The subject benchmark statements in Biomedical Science have been used as an important reference point in the construction of this programme’s learning outcomes, knowledge, skills and content together with the methods of learning, teaching and assessment.

All the benchmarks detailed in the Biomedical Science Subject Benchmark Statement (The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education 2007) are listed and the relevant module(s) indicated where each benchmark is addressed. All biomedical science undergraduates take the modules indicated in Section 24b (above), and consequently each student has the opportunity to “acquire knowledge in the subject areas indicated below” (The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education 2007).

 Benchmarking and Biomedical Sciences 

Specific Knowledge Module(s) addressing Subject Benchmark
Cellular pathology is the microscopic examination of cells (cytology) and tissues (histology) for indicators of disease. A BMS graduate will have a knowledge of the role of cellular pathology in the diagnosis and treatment of disease and of:

·        the preparation of tissue and cells for microscopic examination;

·        microscopy and its application;

·        the histology and ultra structure of normal and abnormal tissues and cells;

·        immunocytochemistry and histochemistry.

BI6167DL - Cellular & Molecular Pathology

Clinical biochemistry is the qualitative and quantitative evaluation of analytes to aid the diagnosis, screening and monitoring of health and disease. A BMS graduate will have knowledge of:

·        the principles of methods used in clinical biochemistry;

·        the investigation, management and consequences of function and dysfunction of organs and systems;

·        the principles of biochemical investigations used in the diagnosis, treatment and management of hereditary malignant disease;

·        therapeutic drug monitoring and investigation of substance abuse.


BI6166DL – Blood Sciences


Clinical immunology is the study of immunological diseases or disorders. A BMS graduate will have a knowledge of:

·        the principles of the measurement of effectors of the immune response;

·        the principles of organ transplantation;

·        prophylaxis and immunotherapy;

·        detection and monitoring of treatment of neoplasia


BI6166DL – Clinical Medicine & Immunology

Haematology is the study and investigation of the different elements that constitute blood in normal and diseased states. A BMS graduate will have a knowledge of:

·        the structure and function of bone marrow;

·        the role, structure and function of red and white cells;

·        the nature and diagnosis of anaemias;

·        haemoglobinopathies and thalassaemias;

·        haematological malignancy;

·        haemostasis and thrombosis.



BI6166DL – Blood Sciences

Immunohaematology and transfusion science. Immunohaematology is the identification of blood group antigens and antibodies. Transfusion science ensures a safe supply of blood and blood components. A BMS graduate will have knowledge of:

·        the genetics, inheritance, structure and role of red cell antigens;

·        the preparation, storage and use of blood components;

·        the selection of appropriate blood components for transfusion and possible adverse effects;

·        immune mediated destruction of blood cells;

·        the role of histocompatibility antigens in transplantation.


BI6165DL – Clinical Medicine and Immunology

BI6166DL – Blood Sciences

Medical microbiology is the study of pathogenic micro-organisms. A BMS graduate will have knowledge of:

·        classification, structure and function of bacteria, fungi, helminths, parasites and viruses;

·        the role of ‘normal flora’;

·        the epidemiology of infectious diseases;

·        food, water and environmental microbiology;

·        anti-microbial and anti-viral therapy;

·        vaccination and immunisation;

·        the laboratory investigation of infectious disease.



BI6163DL – Medical Microbiology and Infection Control

Integrated Studies  Module(s) addressing Subject Benchmark

Biology of Disease is the integrated study of a range of human disorders and disease processes together with their investigation. The effects of treatment must also be considered.

BI6165DL – Clinical Medicine and Immunology

BI6166DL - Blood Sciences

Subject and Other Skills Module(s) addressing Subject Benchmark

There is a range of skills which a BMS graduate will have acquired during the programme of study:

·        key/transferable skills (communication, IT, numeracy, data analysis);

·        research skills;

·        skills associated with biomedical laboratory practice.

A BMS graduate will be aware of the need for compliance with health and safety policies, good laboratory practice, risk and COSHH assessments and the importance of quality control and quality assurance.


BI6110 – Dissertation  

BI6166DL - Blood Sciences

BI6165DL - Clinical Medicine and Immunology

BI6167DL - Cellular and Molecular Pathology

BI6163DL - Medical Microbiology and Infection Control

The programme will be delivered by blended learning in the form of learning packages, e-mail, discussion boards, telephone contact, residential schools and workplace mentoring. The Module Texts (supplemented by set texts) will provide the main learning materials and the University intranet (Portal) will be used to provide the learning framework, information on work patterns, additional support materials and the platform for communication throughout the programme.

Members of the Department of Biological Sciences have many years of experience in offering distinctive programmes of study at foundation, diploma, undergraduate, postgraduate and post-experience levels. The Department has considerable experience of supporting the learning needs of mature students and of students generally with ‘non-standard entry’ qualifications. Considerable experience has been achieved with students with limited entry qualifications both in terms of academic performance and personal development.

Residential Schools 

At the start of each module, students will attend a Residential School at which the module content (including support provision, learning materials and assessment details) will be described. Considerable guidance will be given on learning to learn, accessing and using resources and preparing assignments as well as an introduction to the modular content.

Students will be encouraged to form self-help groups (communicating through e-mail, discussion boards, chat rooms or telephone) and these will be explained and organised at the Residential School. 

On completion of the allocated time for the module, there will be a second Residential School. This will include any formal assessment – as described in the module descriptor – and module evaluation and staff/student liaison meetings.

Learning Packages

(a) The main learning materials will be in the form of Module Texts supported by a Programme Handbook. The Module Texts will contain a range of text materials, articles, data handling exercises and so on and will be augmented by on-line learning. Wherever possible, a set text will be part of the learning package. Students will be encouraged to carry out self-assessment which will be progressively developed using a variety of in-text questions (ITQs) and self-assessment questions (SAQs) at the end of each section of work. Answers to these questions – together with explanatory notes where appropriate – will give valuable on-going feedback to the students as they progress through the learning materials.

(b) On-line learning

The on-line materials (using the University intranet Portal) will be used to provide the following: 

The programme

  • A structured weekly guide to the module content
  • Self-assessment questions
  • Assessment details and guidance on presenting the assignment(s)
  • Access to distant, appropriate websites
  • Access to the Library on-line support (including e-books, open access journals, the Encyclopaedia of Life Sciences)
  • Access to the module Discussion Board and Chat Room
  • e-mail links to the module tutor(s)
  • Text references.
  • Access to the support infrastructure.

E-mail seminars 

Time will be given each week to student/staff interaction via e-mail. Students will be allocated a time slot during which the module tutor will answer e-mails concerning the module content and/or assessment.

Practical work 

At level 6, the amount of practical work is limited, but all students will undertake the dissertation module (BI6110) and will carry out a practical project involving a relevant empirical study. These provide the opportunity for students to develop their data handling and analytical skills as well as their practical skills.  

Employability Skills

Employability skills encompass the attributes that help graduates to secure employment , enable them to respond to the changing demands of the workplace and contribute positively to their employer’s success and their own progress are essential as outcomes in programmes of study.  Employability skills include; self-management, team working, business and customer awareness, problem-solving, communication and literacy, application of numeracy, application of information technology. All programme modules delivered by the Department of Biological Sciences have identifiable employability learning outcomes.

Visiting Lecturers

Visiting Lecturers will be used to support the delivery of the programme. This will provide expertise in pathology and will include contributions from a range of personnel involved in aspects of Biomedical Science  and related industries.

The University's over-arching Level-related criteria are a key reference when designing modular assessments. Therefore, assessments that require significant levels of study autonomy and critical analysis underpin the overall assessment strategy of this programme. 

In addition, all students who pass any part of an honours degree are expected to possess such basic skills as the ability to make use of numerical and statistical information; the ability to locate internet sites from given web addresses; the ability to send and receive e-mail messages; the ability to use basic software packages such as Word; the ability to perform basic searches on standard electronic retrieval systems, and the ability to write legibly. Students who succeed at Level 6 should be able to construct an essay using correct grammar, spelling and referencing according to the American Psychological Association (APA) system of referencing.

Each module is assessed on a 4,000 word-equivalent basis, with a one-hour examination equating to 1,000 words. The module descriptors include information on assessment methods; nearly all modules involve more than one method of assessment.  At the modular level, assessment is tied to learning outcomes so that assessment modes indicate those outcomes that are being assessed

Generally, there is a balance in the core modules between course work and examination - this has been departmental policy for some time. The staff believe that in preparing and submiting course work (which can include essays, case studies, laboratory reports and data handling exercises), students are given time and scope to present their work in a variety of modes which would be inappropriate for an examination. However, we are aware that examinations have an important role in summative assessment as well as giving academic credibility, both internally and externally, to the work of the Department. 

A summary of the assessment components involved in each module and percentage weighting is presented below:


Code Title Essay    Lab or field report Poster Presentation Other (e.g. critical review, project report, biological diagrams) Exam or class test
BI6110 Dissertation          
BI6163 Medical Microbiology and Infection Control        
BI6165 Clinical Medicine and Immunology (DL)        
BI6166 Blood Sciences (DL)        
BI6167 Cellular and Molecular Pathology        

If a student fails a module overall, he/she will be reassessed in the failed component(s). Reassessment will normally use the same mode as the original assessment, reassessing those learning outcomes that were not achieved in the failed component(s). The module descriptors indicate how each module is reassessed.

Formative assessment and feedback

All sudents receive writen comments on course work and additional feedback on the work is given more informally by individual tutors. Additionally, students are invited to discuss their assessment results with the appropriate tutor. This opportunity allows students to discuss their performance and ways to enhance it for the future. 

Formative feedback is an important and essential component of all taught modules. The nature of the assessment and feedback varies from module to module.

The Biomedical Science programme is designed to equip graduates with the practical (transferable) skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to embark on a career as a Biomedical Scientist or Health Care Scientist, either in industry or within the health sector. It is appreciated, however, that some graduates may ultimately decide not to embark on such a career pathway. The transferable skills embedded throughout the programme equip graduates to enter other areas of employment or to continue their studies for a postgraduate qualification.

Graduates of the BSc Biomedical Science should have:

  • knowledge and understanding of the application of science and research methods to the practice of biomedical science.
  • ability to apply academic knowledge and techniques to practical solutions in biomedical science.
  • skills of academic enquiry to generate potential solutions to problems relevant to biomedical science, and cognitive skills to critically evaluate these to arrive at solutions fitted to context.
  • an understanding of the limits of their knowledge, and how this influences analysis and interpretations.
  • skills to effectively communicate information, arguments, and analysis, in written and oral form, to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  • confidence and transferable skills to undertake further training, develop existing skills, and acquire new competencies that will enable them to assume responsibility within biomedical science organisations.

Graduates from the programme should be able to:

(i) adopt a systematic and rigorous approach to academic study

(ii) demonstrate extensive knowledge and a critical understanding of relevant theories and concepts

(iii) integrate and synthesise knowledge and understanding in the biosciences

(iv) be able to use a range of practical (e.g. observation, recording of findings, data interpretation, etc.,) and work-related skills

(v) apply a critically and theoretically informed perspective to relevant issues and current developments (as appropriate) in biosciences

(vi) apply and evaluate a scientific approach to academic study;

(vii) demonstrate the competence and skills necessary to progress from tutor-led to student-led learning

(viii) adopt appropriate problem-solving, communication and presentation skills and ICT and numeracy

(ix) plan and implement an appropriate project and critically reflect on their practice.

The programmes of study in the Dept of Biological Sciences fully embrace the University’s commitment to the active promotion of equality of opportunity. The  University seeks to ensure that no student is disadvantaged or discriminated against on the grounds of: gender; age; marital or parental status; sexual orientation; racial group (race, colour, nationality, ethnicity or national origins); creed (religious, political or personal beliefs or principles); membership or non-membership of a trade union; and socio-economic background. It also aims to ensure that disabled people and those with special needs do not suffer unfair discrimination, and that they are enabled to achieve their full potential as students.  The ultimate objective of the programmes delivered are to ensure all aspects of delivery are open to all sections of society and in whose activities all students can participate to the best of their ability. This programme is designed to ensure inclusivity and to ensure that the diverse needs of our students are provided for.  At a departmental level all programmes are developed and delivered with the following aspects in mind:

  • Admission requirements are clearly set out in promotional materials and due consideration is given to a policy of widening access, participation, diversity and equality. 
  • Each module and programme is developed in line with University policy to both promote equality and diversity and encourage all students in the development of their learning.
  • There is flexibility in materials and delivery of teaching to support students with disability or from culturally diverse backgrounds and the Department works closely with Learning Support in delivering this support through Learning Support Plans.
  • The induction week activities are designed to integrate all students both academically and socially and to make academic staff aware of any issues.  Students are made aware of avenues of support if they a have any issues regarding diversity and equality.
  • Supportive formative exercises are presented in modules in the first year to give all students an equal chance of succeeding.
  • Assessments are designed to afford equal opportunity to all students to display their knowledge and skills. The introduction of anonymous marking and the blue sticker scheme also enhance equal opportunity to all students.
  • In order to ensure that the needs of all students are met any barriers to access (physical, environmental and curriculum) are identified and removed or reasonable adjustments will be made based on requirements.
  • All learning materials and teaching and learning sessions are designed to be free from racist, sexist and other discriminatory assumptions and practices.
  • All lecturers are aware of diversity issues and discharge their PAT roles with knowledge and sympathy and all students are made aware of the Department structures to discuss issues should a concern arise. 

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