Access to Biomedical Science Courses

A biomedical scientist at work in a laboratory

A biomedical science degree (BSc. Hons) enables graduates to pursue careers in NHS pathology centres, forensic science laboratories, research institutions and pharmaceutical industries. Biomedical scientists study how cells, organs and systems operate in the body. It is an exciting and dynamic area that is highly relevant to fighting human diseases. You'll need to be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) to work as a biomedical scientist in the UK.


What are the university entry requirements for Biomedical Science degrees?

To apply to universities for Biomedical Science, you should have, or be working towards achieving, a relevant Access to HE Diploma in Health Science or 3 A Levels with at least one in a pure science (Biology, Human Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Maths). Universities publish their particular entry requirements on the UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) website. With the A Level route, you are usually expected to have a minimum of 5 GCSEs. 

With the Access to Biomedical Science route, you are usually only required to have GCSEs in English and Maths at Grade C or above. Access to HE Diplomas are normally aimed at adults 18+ returning to education or wishing to change to a new career. There are no upper age limits. The Diploma qualification is viewed as being equivalent to 3 A Levels. Access to HE can be studied from home via online learning with Academy Online Learning.

There are many websites that track university performance in all subject areas. Students are encouraged to research carefully which university has a good track record in the particular degree course they are interested in. It is also worth looking into the department that you are applying to and see what facilities are available, what sort of placements are on offer and the student satisfaction rate for each degree course.


What do Biomedical Scientists do?

Biomedical scientists usually work in a laboratory, testing and analysing samples of blood, fluids and tissue. Most will specialise in one or two areas, such as infection sciences, blood sciences and cellular sciences. As well as working in laboratories, biomedical scientists can be employed by private and public sector hospitals, forensic and medical research institutes, local and central government health authorities, and academic institutions. They test and screen for diseases like hepatitis and leukaemia. Biomedical scientists also analyse blood to detect abnormalities like anaemia. They also support the blood transfusion and transplant service through blood grouping and matching.


What personal attributes are needed to become a Biomedical Scientist?

      • Attention to detail and be able to focus and concentrate for extended periods of time
      • An inquisitive approach to problem-solving
      • The ability to empathise and be understanding when dealing directly with care users 
      • The ability to monitor and supervise the work of junior lab staff
      • The ability work as part of a team



What are the pay and working conditions like?

      • Starting salaries for qualified Biomedical Scientists are from around £22,000 to £28,500
      • With experience, they can expect to earn between £26,250 and £35,250
      • Highly experienced employees in this field can earn up to £41,250
      • The Government has recently announced a 6.5% increase in salaries across health sector employees over the next 3 years.


Biomedical scientists typically work 37.5 hours a week, which may include evenings, nights and weekends. Cost of living payments are added for workers in some parts of the country.  On-call allowances and overtime payments are paid in addition to the basic salary.


Did you know?


      • With a degree in Biomedical Science, you could go on to specialise in areas as diverse as genetics, immunology or even patent law.
      • There are currently over 22,000 biomedical scientists working in the UK.
      • As one of the most important cogs in the healthcare system, biomedical scientists will always be in demand in both the NHS and the private sector. 



How is the degree funded?

Studying to become a Biomedical Scientist allows you to apply for the standard student support package in the form of a student loan. Scholarships, bursaries or grants may also be available for example, through the university or your place of work.

If you would like to complete an online Access to Biomedical Science course to obtain the qualifications for entry into a Biomedical Science degree at university, please choose your payment options below or contact us for more information. Studying and achieving this qualification provides a flexible way of achieving as it is fully online and recognised and accepted by UK universities.


What units will I study on the Online Access to Biomedical Science Course?

Ungraded Units

This gives you an opportunity to shine when you are invited for an interview at the university. You will research the university and look at the syllabus and the combination of academic and practical experience and delivery. You will address your own transferable skills and put them to use when writing your UCAS application. You can produce a practice UCAS form prior to submitting your application to UCAS. All the research relating to this unit needs to be contained in a portfolio. You can take this with you to demonstrate that you have carried out detailed research of the course that you have applied for.

There are many diseases and consequently many causes of diseases. Identifying the prevalence of diseases comes with the notion of patterns in society where disease is prevalent. You will be looking at the nature of diseases and the changing patterns across society over time. By identifying diseases and causes, steps can be taken to reduce a disease. Public Health Agencies play a clear role in this; you will be given the opportunity to discover how effective these agencies are in promoting health.

There are many different methods involved in research and you will be introduced to some of these, for example; Correlations, Experiments, Observations, Case Studies Questionnaires and Surveys. You will be given the opportunity to develop your own piece of research in a standard report format.

This can be awarded against a level 3 essay. In essay preparation, you will be expected to research a topical area and present an argument, analysis or evaluation, demonstrating that you can use the evidence you have researched to present ideas and empirical evidence to support the claims that you are making.. The set of writing conventions relating to an essay can vary depending on the subject area. You will be asked to read the question carefully so that you know what the question is asking. In identifying the key words you will be able to see what the main idea is behind the title. You will be able to demonstrate your ability to select relevant material.

Psychology Units (Graded)

This covers the central nervous system, Grey and White matter. You will be considering key concepts involved in nerve impulse transmission such as the all - or - none rule, sodium ion and calcium ion across membranes. You will be looking at a number of neurotransmitters and their role in behaviour and also the impact of drugs and the environment on behaviour and neurotransmitter levels.

Biology Units (Graded)

The topical area for this unit considers the nature of a range of non – infectious diseases including auto immune, inherited and congenital disorders. The relationship between disease and life style (epidemiological factors) is an important combination where it is considered that diseases can have a multi – factorial cause. Epidemiological research has played a role in health promotional campaigns which have been introduced as part of health and well being initiatives to attempt to reduce the incidences of diseases.

The main theme in this unit is to develop an understanding of the hormone system and the endocrine glands. You will be looking at the principles behind homeostasis and feedback mechanisms involved in as blood sugar control. You will also look at the actions of hormones and the understandings of molecular processes in steroid and peptide action. You will be illustrating and giving accounts of the endocrine system and identifying the specific organs associated with the system. There will be an opportunity to discuss the medical use of synthetic hormones such as HRT.

Here you will be given the opportunity to explore the components and function of a balanced diet. You will be directed towards looking at what happens when there are deficiencies of a particular nutrient and you will be given the opportunity to identify common forms of malnutrition. Whilst collecting your evidence you will be explore the Alimentary Canal, identifying and locating the structure and function of the Digestive System and the processes involved in the digestive process.

The skeletal system is the primary focus of attention in this unit where you will be given the opportunity to understand the function and structure of the skeletal system, the different joints and movement possibilities relating to joints. You will locate the regions of the spine and identify a number of bones in the human body. You will explore the muscle fibre action in detail and the mechanism involved in sliding filament theory.

This introduces the basic structure and function of the nervous system including the peripheral nervous system the autonomic nervous system and it’s subdivisions. You will also be given the opportunity expand upon your research and look at the nature of nerve impulses and the importance of action potential and the myelin sheath. You will also look at the principles of synaptic transmission, the direction of transmission and the effects of synaptic inhibition.

This looks into the organisation and structure of the body considering tissue types and DNA. You will study the various blood components, the roles and relate this to the circulatory system as a whole. You will cover the blood flow within them, the dynamics of the heart in relation to the needs of the body as well as the differences between plasma and tissue fluid.

This unit looks at homeostasis and the kidney as a homeostatic organ. You will be researching the kidney’s role in the balance of water, salt and pH and the effects of the environment on a cellular level. There will be an opportunity to give a detailed account of the kidney and illustrate its function in relation to the body. Kidney replacement is also a topical area. Malfunction diagnosis is a key consideration and point of investigation.

Chemistry Units (Graded)

Doctors, whether in primary care or as specialists prescribe drugs and medicines every day. Other Health Professionals e.g. Nurse Practitioners, Paramedics, Radiographers can also undergo specialist training to be supplementary prescribers.

This unit will introduce you to the chemistry behind drugs and medicines and enable you to understand the effects of medicines and drugs on the functioning of the body. How drugs function is an important part, not only in the design of new drugs, but in the diagnostic testing of bodily fluids for the presence of drugs. To combat resistance to e.g. bacterial invasion or find new treatments for diseases, new drugs are constantly being developed, tested, trialled and released and sometimes things go wrong. Isomerism in drug action is covered here and linked to the Thalidomide tragedy. Computers are widely used in the design process of new drugs. The concept of computer aided drug design and a compound library are covered in this unit.

No matter which precise field of the Health Professions you intend to enter you will need to have an awareness of the role chemistry plays in health, and how that role is related to the field of the biologist. This unit starts ‘small’ with a basic knowledge of atomic structure, and builds steadily covering organic compounds and how inorganic reactions would occur in a laboratory. You will learn how the rate of chemical reactions can be modified and the principles behind risk assessment - a vital part of the study of chemistry. Finally you will learn how chemical and biological concepts are inextricably linked in theory by performing a written analysis of a chemical/biological resource.
This unit looks at how Chemistry has developed over time and how Societies have become reliant on substances in every day life. You will also gain an understanding into the occurrence and use of a particular element.

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Access to Higher Education Diploma

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The total course price is £1212 (if you pay monthly from £101 per month) or £1162 if paid in full at the start!

Prices are per month for the number of months specified, except for courses paid in full.

Choose this for any Access to Higher Education Diploma, such as Access to Nursing, Access to Midwifery, etc. You will choose your pathway when you complete the enrolment form. If you are unsure of which pathway to follow for your chosen university course, we will help you at the start of your Access Diploma course.

If you choose monthly instalments, your course will need to be fully paid by your target moderation date. These events are held in June and November each year. You should aim to complete one month prior to these dates. For example, if you start your diploma studies in October and aim to complete by the following June, you would need to select the 8 month option. If you are starting in October and plan to complete the course by the following November, you can select the 12 month option. 



Access to Higher Education Diploma (Paid in Full)
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If you don't want to start quite yet, but would like to reserve a place to start an Access to Higher Education Diploma later in the year, you can pay a £20 deposit. When you complete the enrolment form during checkout you can choose a start date for your course. As you may be preventing others from taking the place, this deposit is not refundable if you do not take up your place on the course.

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