Undergraduate prospectus

  • Start date: September 2018

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

Programme starts

September 2018
UCAS code
Full-time: 3 years
Application deadline
15 January 2018
London, Bloomsbury
Applications per place
8 (2016 entry)*
Total intake
137 (2018 entry)*
* Figures relate to Biomedical Sciences subject area

Entry requirements

A levels

Biology and Chemistry required, plus Mathematics or Physics preferred.
English Language and Mathematics at grade B or 6. For UK-based students, a grade C or 5 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 Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades AAA. 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

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

Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.

For more information see: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc.

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 for biomedical science subjects. It 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 alternatively to continue with the general Biomedical Sciences programme.

  • You will be taught by experts in the different subjects offered, but will also be encouraged to discover how the subjects overlap and interact. This will give your studies both breadth and depth.

  • Our excellent facilities include laboratories, library collections and computer cluster rooms. You can become involved with the activities of the student-run Life Sciences Society, which organises seminars, careers evenings and other social events.

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Division of Biosciences.

  • Interdisciplinary programme: see contributing departments

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules 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 modules are mandatory and are designed to give you a firm foundation on the basis of which you can make an informed choice for later years. The modules cover topics in, e.g., anatomy, cellular and molecular biology, chemistry, genetics, pharmacology and physiology.

If you find that your interest becomes focused on one specific subject area after your first year, then you can transfer to 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. You will also select from an extensive range of options in your chosen stream of study.

Specialist degree programmes

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

Cell Biology
Human Genetics
Immunology and Infection
Molecular Biology
Physiology and Pharmacology


An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.

Core or compulsory module(s)

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 modules

All first year modules are compulsory.

Biomedical Sciences programme

The second year offers five streams of study:

Stream 1: Organs and Systems
Stream 2: Control Systems
Stream 3: Developmental Biology
Stream 4: Drug Mechanisms
Stream 5: Cells and Molecules

Pathways options

You can remain on the Biomedical Sciences BSc degree or transfer to a specialist degree programme:

Cell Biology

Human Genetics
Immunology and Infection
Molecular Biology
Physiology and Pharmacology

Core or compulsory module(s)

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

Optional modules

You will select from a wide range of optional modules 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 across the UCL Faculty of Life Sciences involves 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.


Modules 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 will be valuable in many fields.

A degree in biomedical sciences opens doors 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 like scientific journalism or management. The degree also provides an excellent preparation for postgraduate research.


First career destinations of recent graduates (2014-2015) of this programme include:

  • MBBS Medicine (Graduate Entry Programme), University of Oxford
  • Educational Campaigns Officer, University College London (UCL)
  • Regulatory Affairs Assistant, Worldwide Clinical Trials
  • MRes in Biomedicine, UCL
  • PhD Division of Biosciences, UCL

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 2013-2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2018/19 academic year. The UK/EU fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2018/19 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

UK/EU students
£9,250 (2018/19)
Overseas students
£24,040 (2018/19)

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website.


Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.

Departmental scholarships

The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.

Application and next steps

Your application

In addition to checking whether you meet or 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 be interested 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 2018


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 student life at UCL.

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

Page last modified on 8 January 2018 at 16:42 by UCL Student Recruitment Marketing.