BSc (Hons)

Healthcare Science (Life Sciences)

2018 entry

Features and benefits of the course

  • On completion of this degree course you will gain the professional qualification required for registration as a biomedical scientist working in the NHS or private sector.
  • You will benefit from guidance from approachable and supportive academic staff and professional expertise from experienced clinical staff.
  • This degree has been developed according to the latest guidance from the Department of Health and all routes are accredited by Health Education England and the Institute of Biomedical Science and approved by the Health and Care Professions Council. 
  • You will benefit from state-of-the-art facilities including specialist equipment for research in genetics, cell biology, nutrition, orthopaedics, gerontology, exercise science and the advanced, practical study of physiology. We also have a new clinical skills laboratory and a ground-breaking point of care testing suite.
  • Our £3m building for Biomedicine houses one of the few magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners to be found outside a hospital setting.
  • Our research in allied health professions was placed 12th in the UK for power according to the Times Higher 2014.
  • £565,000 was awarded from the Medical Research Council to investigate muscle weakness in older age.

Accreditations, Awards and Endorsements

Placement options

The clinical placement consists of 10 weeks of observational work experience in selected disciplines in the first year, followed by discipline specific placements for 15 weeks in Year 2 and 25 weeks in Year 3.

About the course

Typical units of study may include:

Typical units of study may include

Year 1

In Year 1 you will develop core scientific knowledge relevant to healthcare science: Cell and Molecular Biology, Physiological Systems, Biomedical Science and Skills for Healthcare Science.  You will also begin to gain specialist knowledge of your chosen discipline. Clinical placements will introduce you to the workplace and begin your clinical skills training. In the first year, this takes the form of observational work experience.

All routes study the same units in year 1:

  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Physiological Systems
  • Biomedical Science
  • Skills for Healthcare Science

Core Units
Biomedical Science

This unit introduces biomedical science and its constituent specialisms and provides an introduction to disease, its nature and the analytical techniques used for investigation. This unit will describe the biology of disease, its nature and laboratory investigations and will introduce you to to the various specialisms within pathology.

Cell and Molecular Biology

The unit provides a knowledge and understanding of biochemistry including basic organic chemistry. Biological molecules and their importance in cell structure and function are also studied. Students are introduced to microorganisms, with focus on the importance of identification and classification of microbes, and the techniques and skills required for their isolation, enumeration and microscopic examination.

Physiological Systems

The Physiological Systems unit introduces students to principles of human physiology at the organ system level with appropriate links to anatomy, cell biology, biochemistry and metabolism, disease pathology, pharmacology and therapeutics.

Skills for Healthcare Science

This unit will lay the foundation for research skills and employability within the healthcare science sector. It will teach skills of experimental design, interpreting data, disseminating scientific findings through varied means and communication.

Year 2

In Year 2 your clinical training is specialised in your chosen discipline. You will extend your knowledge of the biomedical science specialisms. Students will also develop research skills in preparation for your final year project whilst continuing to build upon knowledge in your chosen specialism.

All routes study the same units in year 2.

Core Units
Blood Science

The Blood Science unit looks at the roles of haematology and clinical biochemistry laboratory tests in the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of disease processes. A range of haematological and biochemical disorders are studied ranging from disorders of renal function and the endocrine system, to red blood cell disorders and haemostatic disorders.

Cellular Science

This unit introduces the roles of cytology and histopathology in the diagnosis of disease. It focuses on cells, tissues and organ systems and the changes that occur in these systems during pathology, with a particular focus on cancer. Normal cell development, including cell proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis is studied, as well as the classification of normal tissues and the relationship of one tissue type to another. Disorders of the renal, respiratory, central nervous and female reproductive systems as well as disorders of the liver are studied in detail. 

Infection Science

This unit investigates the role of microbiology in the diagnosis and treatment of disease, and the pathogenic changes that occur as a result of interactions between host and parasite. Throughout the unit, aspects of epidemiology and pharmacology will be used to describe prevention, control and treatment of infectious disease.

Techniques and Applications in Biomedical Science

This unit builds on the knowledge of nucleic acids and cell biology gained in level 4 and introduces students to the key principles of molecular diagnostics. The methodologies are described in depth and put in the context of disease diagnosis and biomedical research. Topics include various types of PCR, cloning, sequencing, immunoassays, bioinformatics and the utility of in vivo and in vitro models of disease. The application of ‘omic’ technologies is also considered and discussed in the context of molecular epidemiology and biostatistics.

Year 3

Year 3 covers the remaining specialist material for your chosen discipline and continues your clinical training in that specialism. In addition you will complete your project.

Everyone studies the Professional and Evidence Based Practice and Project units. In addition, you study the following based upon your route:

Blood Sciences:

  • Immunology and Immunological Disorders
  • Haematology and Transfusion
  • Biomedical Cell Biology

Infection Sciences:

  • Immunology and Immunological Disorders
  • Haematology and Transfusion
  • Medical Microbiology

Cellular Sciences:

  • Biomedical Cell Biology
  • Genetic Science

Genetic Sciences:

  • Immunology and Immunological Disorders
  • Haematology and Transfusion
  • Genetic Science

Core Units
Professional and Evidence Based Practice

The overall aim of this unit is to ensure that the student has underpinning knowledge and gains the accompanying skills and attitudes to undertake the role of a Healthcare Science Practitioner within the NHS.


This unit allows all final year students to plan and undertake either a laboratory based research project or a library based dissertation in an area of their own interest.  Students have the opportunity to develop a research question, plan an appropriate investigation and undertake that investigation under the guidance of an allocated supervisor.

Likely Optional Units
Biomedical Cell Biology

The Biomedical Cell Biology unit explores the cellular processes, cell cycle control and cell signalling events that occur during cell/tissue repair and regeneration, ageing and senescence, and human disorders. The cellular dysfunction that results as a consequence of ageing and disease development will be discussed in relation to normal cell function. Appropriate examples of biomedical techniques and model systems utilised in cell biology research will be highlighted to illustrate key concepts of the unit. Implications for biomedical research and medicine will be investigated, together with ethical issues relating to the field.

Genetic Science

The unit will cover current issues related to human genetics, particularly in relation to disease & the implications on public health. It will consider topics such as genetic principles, gene structure, function & regulation, population genetics, techniques, genetic basis of health & disease and genetic approaches which may be used to treat these.

Haematology and Transfusion

This unit describes the pathogenesis of a variety of haematological disorders and the principles of transfusion medicine. This unit develops the student’s prior knowledge of haematological diseases and covers several haematological disorders, including the immune associated haemolytic anaemias, and haematological malignancies. It describes the use of “omic” technologies in patient diagnosis and treatment and the development of personalised medicine in haematology. The principles of transfusion medicine are taught, explaining the immunological basis of transfusion, the serious hazards of transfusion, pre-transfusion testing procedures and the role of transfusion for therapeutic purposes. 

Immunology and Immunological Disorders

This unit will develop knowledge in the field of Immunology with a particular emphasis of disorders of the Immune system including immunodeficiency, autoimmune disease, hypersensitivity, multiple myeloma and tumour immunity. The unit also covers the exciting field of cancer immunotherapy, and organ transplantation. This unit develops the students’ prior knowledge of the mechanisms of the immune system, previously covered in the level 5 Infection Science unit, as it demonstrates how their deregulation result in disease.   

Medical Microbiology

Building on a background knowledge of genetics gained in years 1 and 2, this unit will consider topics such as genetic principles, gene structure, function & regulation, population genetics, techniques, genetic basis of health & disease and genetic approaches which may be used to treat these. The major topics covered in the unit are: Gene structure and genome organisation; molecular mechanisms involved in gene regulation; current and advanced techniques; bioinformatics; population genetics; evolutionary genetics; genetic basis of disease; genetic testing; genetic approaches to treating disease.

Programme Review

Each programme of study that we offer undergoes an annual review to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. In addition, we undertake a major review of the programme, normally at 6-yearly intervals, but this can take place at a more frequent interval where required. Applicants should note that the programme currently provided may be subject to change as a result of the review process. We only make changes where we consider it necessary to do so or where we feel that certain changes are in the best interests of students and to enhance the quality of provision. Occasionally, we have to make changes for reasons outside our control. Where there are changes which may materially affect the current programme content and/or structure, offer holders will be informed.

Methods of Assessment

Assessment is by coursework including reports, essays, case studies, posters, presentations and problem-based activities; and by examinations including multiple choice questions, short answers and essays.

Assessment Weightings and Contact Hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises 360 credits (120 credits per year). The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:

  • Year 1 20% lectures, seminars or similar; 80% independent study
  • Year 2 15% lectures, seminars or similar; 85% independent study
  • Year 3 15% lectures, seminars or similar; 85% independent study
  • Year 1 45% coursework; 25% practical; 30% examination
  • Year 2 60% coursework; 5% practical; 35% examination
  • Year 3 65% coursework; 5% practical; 30% examination

Additional Information About this Course

All routes of the programme with the exception of genetic sciences are accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science and Health Education England and approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). The genetic sciences route is approved by HCPC only. Successful students can only follow their first choice of route if the university is able to secure a placement in that particular discipline. Upon successful completion of the programme you will be eligible to apply to the HCPC to register to practise. To successfully complete, there are some units where every individual element of assessment must be passed and the placement activities must meet satisfactory standards. Due to the 50 weeks of placement required, the programme operates on an extended academic year. In order to fulfil the requirements of the programme, you will need to undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service check. The cost of this is covered by your programme. Any outcome from this this will require investigation by the University and may result in you being unable to fulfil the placement aspect of the programme and therefore the programme of study. If you have any criminal convictions or cautions, you should discuss this with the programme leader before enrolling on this programme. You will be required to undergo health screening. The cost of this is covered by your programme, however, if you persistently fail to attend the health screening you will be required to pay the cancellation fee. Persistent failure to attend the health screening may result in your removal from placement. You may wish to join the Institute of Biomedical Science, Royal Society of Biology or Physiological Society, particularly in your final year.

Teaching Staff

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject. Details of departmental staff can be found at:

Typical entry requirements

These typical entry requirements apply to the 2017 academic year of entry and may be subject to change for the 2018 academic year. Please check back for further details.

We will interview you as part of your application.

UCAS Tariff points/Grades required


120 UCAS Tariff Points at A2 (Grades BBB) including a minimum grade C at A2 in Biology (must include a Pass in the Biology practical assessment), Human Biology or Grade C at A2 in Applied Science. Other Sciences may be considered. General Studies is not accepted.   

BTEC Extended Diploma at Level 3 (Grades DDM) in relevant subject to include 60 credits at Merit from relevant Science units.

Specific GCSE requirements

GCSE grade C or grade 4 in English Language, Science and Mathematics.  Level 2 Functional Skills English also accepted.

Non Tariffed Qualifications

Pass Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject (Science/ Medicine/ Dentistry/ Pharmacy) with a minimum 122 UCAS tariff points.

International Baccalaureate points

26 Diploma points with HL Biology at grade 5.

IELTS score required for international students

7.0 overall with not less that 5.5 in any element

There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.

Further information

All applicants are required to pass a medical examination and receive vaccinations required for working in medical fields.

A satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate is required for all students. This will be completed through the university early in the course.

This degree programme is not available to overseas applicants.

As part of the selection process, shortlisted candidates must attend an interview in person.

Your career prospects after the course

Biomedical and healthcare science graduates may go on to a range of subject specific careers in the biological, pharmaceutical, clinical, medical, public health and other associated sectors.

Recent graduates have gone on to secure employment in laboratory/research work, the pharmaceutical industries, education and medical communications.

Graduates from this programme may also go on to specific careers in biomedical science or clinical physiology.

For those who wish to continue their studies, we offer a range of postgraduate programmes across the breadth of biological and healthcare sciences.


In 2014, over 94% of our graduates went directly into work or further study within 6 months of graduation

DHLE survey 2014, for all respondents available for employment or further study and whose destinations are known

How do I apply for this course?

Applications through UCAS

Remember to use the correct institution code for Manchester Metropolitan University on your application: our institution code is M40

Unistats Information

Find out more about Unistats and the Key Information Set.

Find out more about Unistats and the Key Information Set.

Confirmation of Regulator

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.

Important Notice

This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate and up to date. Please note that our programmes are subject to review and development on an ongoing basis. Changes may sometimes be necessary. For example, to comply with the requirements of professional or accrediting bodies or as a result of student feedback or external examiners’ reports. We also need to ensure that our courses are dynamic and current and that the content and structure maintain academic standards and enhance the quality of the student experience.

Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us.

The provision of education by the University is subject to terms and conditions of enrollment and contract. The current Terms and Conditions Applicable to the provision of the University’s Educational Services are available online. When a student enrolls with us, their study and registration at the University will be governed by various regulations, policies and procedures. It is important that applicants/students familiarize themselves with our Terms and Conditions and the Key Contract Documents referred to within. Applicants will be provided with access to an up to date version at offer stage. This can be found within the Information for Offer Holders document.

Undergraduate Study