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Chester Medical School has a range of undergraduate courses available for students to apply for, but Biomedical Science and Medical Science are some of our most popular, for a whole range of reasons. What we get asked frequently is: “What’s the difference?”.  

Get up to speed on these two degrees by checking out our handy guide of things you definitely need to know.

BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science

1. Accreditation

Our Biomedical Science degree is accredited by the Institute for Biomedical Science. This means our course covers the academic components of the standards of proficiency at the required level to meet the Health and Care Profession Council (HCPC) standards of proficiency for biomedical scientists and that students receive a wide-ranging, research informed scientific education and develop practical skills and experience that employers value.

2. Placements

During your degree, you will enhance your skills through work-based learning placements. We have strong links with our local hospitals and NHS pathology labs to further develop your understanding of the profession and allow you to use the skills you have gained during your degree in a work setting.

3. Experienced Biomedical Scientists on Staff

We currently have a number of staff who have moved from practice into teaching. This gives our students the most up-to-date knowledge in the world of biomedical science and unique experience which informs teaching and can help our students progress into the world of work.

4. Hands-on Experience

Hands-on experience in the labs is an integral part of our BSc Biomedical Science degree and you get introduced very early on in your first year. Our modern, spacious teaching facilities have access to research-quality instrumentation and specialist facilities, including a tissue culture suite, and microbiology, molecular and protein analysis laboratories enabling you develop the laboratory skills needed to become a biomedical scientist or researcher.

5. Pathways to Careers

This degree is perfectly suited to students looking to work in an NHS clinical lab in any of the specialist biomedical science fields. Being accredited means your degree stands above others and shows you have the required skills to take on the post. However, you may also use your skills to pursue a research career and we have a strong pathway from undergraduate to postgraduate degrees within Chester Medical School.

BMedSci (Hons) Medical Science

1. Clinical Skills

This is the cornerstone of the BMedSci Medical Science degree – our students go through a unique experience learning the medical science behind health and disease alongside the clinical skills to diagnose and treat patients. Dedicating a large proportion of your degree to developing a wide range of clinical skills and your personal skills, such as communication, team building and understanding how to take a medical history, to undertaking clinical examinations in our simulation suites, students graduate from the BMedSci Medical Science degree with all the skills required to take on healthcare roles.

2. Medical Programme Adjacent

We base our BMedSci Medical Science degree closely on the current Medicine programmes from around the country to give those looking at future degrees a real advantage. You will be given a range of clinical experiences through small group teaching approaches such as problem-based learning, hands-on learning in clinical examination with our clinically trained staff, or understanding complex anatomy through hands-on dissection and with cutting-edge organ samples. Students additionally have a chance to understand and practise the leading medical school entry exams and have experienced staff to assist with applications to future degrees.

3. Optional Modules

Currently this is our only course within the Medical School to offer our students optional modules in their final year. Allowing students to choose between a range of topics gives you the freedom to mould the degree to fit your personal interests whilst remaining true to the medical science core. At the time of writing (June 2023) students choose two modules from the following – Haematology, Clinical Genetics, Medial Microbiology and Clinical Immunology.

4. Simulation Suites

It’s not all lectures for students on the Medical Science course, we utilise the University’s state-of-the-art clinical skills and high-fidelity simulation suites where you will begin to learn the practise of medicine and build up key clinical skills which you can use for future applications to healthcare roles. Within these sessions, students are taught by staff with clinical experience from across the healthcare spectrum as well as medical role players to help you develop your own clinical personality in a relaxed and friendly environment.

5. Pathways to Careers

Our graduating students have entered into a range of healthcare roles from graduate entry medicine courses, dental nurses to the Physician Associate Studies course. We have a close working relationship with the Physician Associate Studies course at Chester and many of our students are now working in local healthcare providers as Physician Associate staff in their own right. As our students still develop lab skills throughout the degree, many of our students have additionally gone on to our research based postgraduate degrees.

What you get, regardless!

1. World Leading, Public Centred Staff

Our teaching staff are renowned scientists and medical experts in their fields, from stem cell biology to maternal and fetal health. They have a whole collection of peer reviewed articles in some of the biggest journals in the world. Not only that, our staff have appeared across multiple media platforms sharing “good science” and debunking medical myths. Some examples include featuring on Sky News during the COVID-19 pandemic and talking about King Charles’ fingers!

2. Research-informed Teaching

The staff profile that we have means we bring the most up-to-date science to your studies. Particularly in your final year, we bring you the most cutting-edge research, more often than not from the member of staff teaching you! This also means in your final year dissertation you are helping inform medical knowledge yourself.

3. Individual Personal Academic Tutors

All undergraduate students will be allocated a Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) when they start at the University. Your PAT is a member of staff in your academic department who is your first port of call for most issues that you may have, be this academic advice and guidance to personal help and support. If your PAT can’t help directly, they’ll signpost you to other teams at the University who can, for instance Student Services or Proctor’s Office. 

4. An Award-winning University

After achieving the joint highest number of nominations of any institution in this year’s Whatuni Student Choice Awards (WUSCAs), the University was voted top five in categories including, University of the Year, Lecturers and Teaching Quality and University Halls. It is also the only university in the North West in the top 20 for the University of the Year accolade and overall, has gained a top ten place in nine categories and top 20 place in all the categories the University was eligible to enter.

5. A Sense of Belonging

We know that leaving for university is a big change for you and your family. Chester Medical School acts like your family away from home with our supportive staff, beautiful campus and more importantly, excellent opportunities to stay with us even after you graduate. We strive to make every student that enters Chester Medical School feel like this is home and they are appreciated from day one to graduation, and beyond.

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