Undergraduate prospectus

  • Start date: September 2016

Biomedical Sciences BSc

This BSc is designed to introduce students to a variety of scientific disciplines across the biosciences. The interdisciplinary nature of the programme means that the areas covered include anatomy, cell biology, developmental biology, genetics, immunology and infection, neuroscience, pharmacology, physiology and psychology.

Key Information

Degree Programme
Biomedical Sciences BSc
UCAS code
3 years
Application deadline
15 January 2016
Subject area
Biomedical Sciences
Total intake (by subject area)
133 (2016 entry)
Applications per place (by subject area)
9 (2014 entry)
Research Excellence Framework
Interdisciplinary programme: see contributing departments

Entry requirements

A Levels

Biology and Chemistry required, plus Mathematics or Physics preferred.
AS Levels
For UK-based students a pass in a further subject at AS level or equivalent is required.
English Language and Mathematics at grade B. For UK-based students, a grade C or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs

IB Diploma

A total of 18 points in three higher level subjects to include Biology and Chemistry, plus Mathematics or Physics preferred, with no score below 5. Mathematics must be offered at standard level with minimum of grade 5, if not offered at higher level.

UK applicants qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Equivalent qualification

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

D3,D3,D3 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects. Chemistry and Biology required, plus Mathematics or Physics preferred.

A,A,A at Advanced Highers (or A,A at Advanced Higher and A,A,A at Higher). Chemistry and Biology required at Advanced Higher, plus Mathematics or Physics preferred. Mathematics to at least Higher level if not taken to Advanced Higher.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Diploma with grade A, plus 2 GCE A-level grades at AA. Biology and Chemistry required, plus Mathematics or Physics preferred.

International applications

In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

UCL offers intensive one-year foundation courses to prepare international students for a variety of degree programmes at UCL.

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.

For more information see our website: UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Degree benefits

  • UCL is a long-standing centre of excellence in biomedical science subjects and is internationally recognised for its strength within the field of biomedical research.
  • You will have the opportunity to transfer to one of nine specific degree programmes from the second year, or to continue with the general Biomedical Sciences programme.
  • You will be taught by experts in the different subjects, but will also be encouraged to discover how the subjects overlap and interact, allowing your studies to have both breadth and depth.
  • Excellent facilities include laboratories, library collections and computer cluster rooms. Get involved with the activities of the student-run Biosciences Society, which organises seminars, careers evenings and other social events.

Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual courses, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Courses are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional courses varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

In the first year all courses are mandatory and are designed to give you a firm foundation on which to make an informed choice for later years. They cover topics in, for example, anatomy, cellular and molecular biology, chemistry, genetics, pharmacology and physiology.

After completing your first year, if you find that your interest becomes focused on one specific subject area, then you can transfer into a specialist degree programme.

If you wish to remain with the general Biomedical Sciences programme, the second year offers five streams of study.

In your third year, you will undertake a research project under the supervision of a staff member, in conjunction with a research group in one of the faculty's departments or within UCL's biomedical institutes, and select from an extensive range of options in your chosen stream of study.

Specialist degree programmes:

You can transfer to any of the following degree programmes after year one:

Anatomy and Developmental Biology*
Human Genetics*
Immunology and Infection*
Molecular Biology*
Physiology and Pharmacology*

*programmes available for entry only in the second year

Year One

Compulsory courses

Cell Physiology and Developmental Biology
Cellular and Molecular Biology
Chemistry for Biology Students
Introduction to Genetics
Introduction to Human Anatomy
An Introduction to the Mechanisms of Drug Action
Mammalian Physiology

Optional courses

All first year courses are compulsory.

Year Two

Pathway options

You will have the opportunity in the second year to transfer into a specialist degree programme in Anatomy and Developmental Biology; Genetics; Human Genetics; Immunology and Infection; Molecular Biology; Neuroscience; Pharmacology; Physiology; or Physiology and Pharmacology, or to remain with the Biomedical Sciences programme.

Biomedical Sciences Programme

The second year offers five streams of study:

Stream 1: Focus on Organs and Systems
Stream 2: Focus on Control Systems
Stream 3: Focus on Developmental Biology
Stream 4: Focus on Drugs
Stream 5: Focus on Cells and Molecules

Final Year

Compulsory courses

Either a Laboratory-based Research Project (1.5 credits) or a Literature-based Research Project (1.0 credits).

Optional courses

You will select from a wide range of optional courses in your chosen stream of study and from other approved disciplines within UCL, to the value of either 2.5 or 3.0 credits depending on your chosen project.

Your learning

Teaching methods across the Faculty of Life Sciences involve a mixture of lectures, practical classes, seminars, tutorials and computer-based exercises. The small-group settings for practical and tutorial work provide opportunities for informal discussion. The first year is predominantly taught through lectures and laboratory classes.


Courses will be assessed through a combination of coursework, practical reports, web-based exercises, tests and oral presentations. Written examinations will take place at the end of each academic year. Your success in your first-year examination results will be used to assess your eligibility for entry into the specialist degree programmes.

Further Information

Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Biomedical Sciences BSc.


You will develop the critical and analytical skills necessary to confront complex problems, equipping you for further study, research, or for a wide variety of careers such as those associated with medical research. The training in skills such as logical thinking and decision-making are valuable in many fields.

A degree in Biomedical Sciences opens the door to many career possibilities. Graduates may enter the broad biomedical science field - such as within healthcare or the pharmaceutical industry, or use their skills in careers such as scientific journalism or management. The degree also provides excellent preparation for postgraduate research.


First career destinations of recent graduates (2010-2013) of this programme include:

  • Scientific Copy Editor, Spandidos Publications (2013)
  • Full-time student, MRes + MPhil/PhD in Modelling Biological Complexity at UCL (2013)
  • Pharmacy Regulator, Teva UK (2013)
  • Full-time student, MBBS in Medicine at UCL (2013)
  • Full-time student, MRes in Brain Sciences at UCL (2013)

*Data taken from the 'Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education' survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2010-2013 graduating cohorts six months after graduation and, where necessary, department records.

UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers, UCL Advances and other entrepreneur societies here: Careers and skills.

Fees and funding


UK & EU fee
£9,000 (2016/17)
Overseas fee
£21,320 (2016/17)


Details about financial support are available at: www.ucl.ac.uk/study/ug-finance


The Scholarships and Funding website has a comprehensive list of scholarships and funding schemes available for UCL students. These can be available for specific nationalities, regions, departments or open to all students.

Application and next steps

Your application

In addition to checking whether you meet/are expected to meet our academic entry requirements, we will be seeking evidence in your application of your interest in science, for example, through extracurricular activities or reading scientific books and journals. We will also seek to find out what it is about the study of biomedical subjects that excites and motivates you.

How to apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.

Application deadline: 15 January 2016


If you are resident in the UK and we make you an offer, you will be invited to an open day or interview. This event will include presentations about the degree programme, our resources and facilities, and about student life at UCL.

For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students