Biomedical Science (Flexible Learning) MSc

Study part-time and through distance learning for an accredited Biomedical Science Masters qualification while continuing to work.

This flexible programme is designed to further your career in the healthcare profession, biomedical industry or in academia and has the potential to lead on to a professional doctorate. As the majority of study is undertaken online through eLearning materials there is no attendance required at Nottingham Trent University during this course. This allows you to fit your study in around your other commitments.

Undertaking a distance learning course requires a self-disciplined approach to engaging with the self-guided eLearning materials that have been specially designed to deliver the course content. You will be taught by our highly regarded academics who have achieved 100% world-leading or internationally excellent research impact. Find out more about REF 2014.

Study individual modules for Continuing Professional Development points

Reasons to choose this course:

  • This course is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS).
  • Our Biomedical Sciences team has over 30 years' experience of delivering high quality professionally accredited courses in this area of study. The team is always available to support you with your studies.
  • This course offers the perfect opportunity for professionals within the biomedical industry to develop their qualifications whilst working.
  • CPD points - it is possible to enrol for single modules in order to gain continuing professional development points.
  • You can study at your own pace - no attendance required.
  • You can start your course at different times during the year - choose the most convenient date for you.
  • Your exams can be taken in your workplace or a suitable venue as agreed by the university.

You may also be interested in MSc Biomedical Science.

Postgraduate open events

We hold postgraduate open events throughout the year. Find out more and book a place.

Talk to the Course Team

If you have questions regarding the course, please contact SST PG Enquiries.

What you'll study

The research project is conducted in your place of work with joint supervision provided by your laboratory training officer and a member of staff from the School of Science and Technology.

An MSc is 180 credit points. Students must choose 180 credit points of modules spread across the two years of the course initially. It is suggested there is an even split across the two years with Research Methods in the 1st Year and Research Project in the 2nd Year.

  • Modules

    You will continue to study part-time in the second year from the modules listed below.

    The MSc consists of a number of core modules including:

    • Research Methods and Bioethics (15 cp) - This module encourages you to think beyond your own subject, and interact accordingly. You'll gain a solid foundation in literature review, research design and planning, data analysis and a poster presentation by focusing your studies on a related ethical issue. Ethical issues in research will also be explored, as you discover when and how to obtain ethical clearance in accordance with ethical governance at NTU.


    • Research Project (60 cp) - consultation with a supervisor at NTU, you'll select a research topic comprising an original, defined research question (or series of such questions), and develop a written research proposal for the Project. You'll then present this proposal as part of the Research Methods and Bioethics module.
    • Working individually with the guidance of supervisors, you'll design your experiments and computer-based approaches to address the research questions. A diary-style record of protocols or methods will be used to generate entries for your skills portfolio.

      You'll communicate your findings through a written thesis, and a poster presentation. For the MRes course, an interim written report and oral presentation will be assessed after six to eight months of work, in order to review your progress.


    • Scientific Analysis, Review and Presentation (30 cp) - This module enables you to gain the relevant skills required for high quality academic reporting of scientific research. Through a series of seminar sessions, you'll learn how to research, analyse and report on scientific findings related to your specialist subject. During this module, you'll decide upon a suitable thesis topic with guidance from your supervisor, and you'll present your completed work as a written thesis and poster presentation.

    The core modules are studied consecutively throughout the programme and underpin the technology and theories of Biomedical Science.

    Optional modules are chosen from the following:

    You should choose the balance of modules to a total of 180 credit points, which also include the optional specialist modules and optional professional studies modules.

    Optional modules

    Students can choose one or more of these modules.

    • Cancer and Heart Disease (30 cp) - Carry out in-depth analysis of cancer and cardiovascular disease, the two major causes of premature death in the UK. These diseases are examined at the physiological, biochemical and the molecular levels - you'll explore the techniques available for the analysis, diagnosis and treatment of these conditions, many of which are applicable to other disease states.
    • Pharmacology (30 cp) - In this module, you'll see how genes can influence our physiology, and hence our pharmacological response to drugs used to treat pathological conditions. You'll develop the concept of tailoring therapeutic drugs as the future of drug design, enabling physicians to prescribe personalised medical treatments based on an individual's genome.
    • Molecular Biology and DNA Technology (15 cp) - This module provides valuable information for those who have not previously studied molecular biology, by developing your skills in one of the fundamental disciplines of modern theoretical and experimental biology. The aim of the module is to consolidate knowledge of the molecular biology of prokaryotes and eukaryotes, and to illustrate how genomes are mutated, analysed and manipulated in the detection, study and therapy of disease.
    • Cell Culture and Antibody Technology (15 cp) - You'll explore the scientific basis of cell culture and antibody technologies, and assess how they're used to solve problems in biotechnology, molecular biosciences, and biomedical sciences. You'll look at the relationship between cell and antibody technologies, as well as other technologies, particularly recombinant DNA technology and how these may develop in the future.
    • Special Topics in Molecular Biology (15 cp) - You'll explore the use of yeast and plant vectors and engineering for a variety of purposes, encompassing recombinant protein and metabolite production, research and crop improvement. Analysing how this knowledge can be applied to bioscience and biomedical sciences will enable you to make reasoned evaluations of the future scientific and commercial developments in both plant and yeast biotechnology.
    • In addition, you'll be provided with an overview of and links to details of the molecular biological experimental techniques being used in industry today.

    Optional specialist modules

    Students can choose one or more of these modules which run each year. These modules cover major disciplines of clinical pathology. You will learn the diagnostic applications in disease and develop a critical approach to the subject. The modules are assessed by coursework and online tests.

    • Cellular Pathology eLearning (30 cp) - Through distance learning, you'll explore the key topics in cellular pathology, with particular relevance to current medical and diagnostic practice. You'll apply your specialist knowledge to critically analyse data and information. This will include an appreciation of the laboratory role in the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses, alongside the fundamental issues associated with modern laboratory.
    • Clinical Chemistry eLearning (30 cp) - By distance learning and on-campus workshops, you'll study a variety of disorders. You'll cover clinical symptoms and biochemical/molecular defects, as well as diagnosis and treatment. Understanding the fundamental role of biochemical analysis in the achievement both of clinical diagnosis and disease management is central to this module.
    • Haematology and Transfusion eLearning (30 cp) - This eLearning module aims to provide you with an in-depth understanding of the key topics in haematology and transfusion science. You'll develop an appreciation of the importance of diagnosis, prevention and treatment of disease, and a high-level of understanding of the subject with particular relevance to current medical and diagnostic practice.
    • Medical Microbiology eLearning (30 cp) - Interactive and interesting eLearning material will be the basis for the module. You'll develop an appreciation of the importance of medical microbiology in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of disease, and gain a high-level of understanding of the subject.
    • Cytology (30 cp) - On this module, you'll explore the key topics in cytology, with a particular focus on current medical and diagnostic practices. This will include an appreciation of the laboratory role in the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses, alongside the fundamental issues associated with the modern laboratory. The two main areas of cytology - cervical cytopathology, and non-cervical cytopathology - will be covered.

    Optional professional studies modules

    These modules are for students who are studying or have completed the IBMS Specialist Diploma. The academic content is the same as the modules above with the same name but in addition there is advice on the types of evidence you can collect to complete your Specialist Diploma.

    You cannot study one of these modules with the same name above e.g. you cannot study Cellular Pathology (30 credit points) and Cellular Pathaology with Professional Studies (45 credit points). Students would normally only study one of the professional studies modules.

    You can choose only one Professional Studies module from:

    • Cellular Pathology with Professional Studies (45 cp)
    • Clinical Chemistry with Professional Studies (45 cp)
    • Haematology and Transfusion with Professional Studies (45 cp)
    • Medical Microbiology with Professional Studies (45 cp).

    The modular nature of the course allows you to enrol for a single module in order to gain CPD (continuing professional development) points, if you do not wish to register for the full MSc.

    Module content
    Download our module descriptions document to find out more about each of these modules

  • Learn a new language

    Alongside your study you also have the opportunity to learn a new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students and gives you the option of learning a totally new language or improving the skills you already have.

    Learning a new language can:

    • enhance your communication skills
    • enrich your experience when travelling abroad
    • boost your career prospects.

    Find out more about the University Language Programme.

  • Learning Beyond Registration

    We are one of twelve institutes who are education providers for Learning Beyond Registration (LBR). If you are a post registration healthcare professional, our LBR funded modules can help you gain progression in your career.

    To find out more about our LBR provision, contact SST PG Enquiries.

  • Key stats

    • 95% of our postgraduates are in work or further study within just six months of finishing their degrees (latest Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2014-15)
    • 83% of NTU postgraduate taught students said that overall they were satisfied with the quality of their course (Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2016)
    • Leading university in the UK for the number of postgraduate students taking professional qualifications (latest Higher Education Statistics 2014/15)

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

How you're taught

This course is taught completely online without the need for attendance at University.  The course material will be studied online with support via email or online meetings with your course tutor.  You will develop your knowledge and skills developed in your workplace.

You will undertake self-guided and formal assessments, enabling us to monitor your progress. You will need to inform the Course Leader when you plan to submit the specialist portfolio for assessment by the IBMS, which is required for the award of Institute of Biomedical Science Specialist Diploma.

Each module has an academic team which is responsible for developing the curriculum, producing the eLearning materials, providing online and telephone support, and assigning coursework and grades. You can contact your tutor and discuss ideas with other students via email, discussion boards, and over the telephone.

Talk to the Course Team

If you have questions regarding the course, please contact SST PG Enquiries.

Careers and employability

Graduates of this postgraduate degree develop a number of specific skills relevant to Biomedical Science.  Knowledge and skills acquired will depend on the modules you choose, reflecting your interests, and be directly relevant to your career and professional development.

The course also aids your understanding of the advantages, limitations and applications of a range of fundamental and specialised biomedical techniques. It will teach you how to identify and resolve scientific and technical problems associated with the application of Biomedical Science, and enable you to design, execute and prepare critical written reports.

Graduates will be equipped to:

  • deal with complex scientific issues with confidence, independence and originality
  • continue advancing their knowledge and understanding
  • develop new skills in the application of Biomedical Science
  • adapt to future developments in this field of study
  • communicate effectively with a range of personnel in management, research and academic contexts.

Although this course does not offer any formal placements, this course is vocationally focused and benefits from strong links with the IBMS and industry.

MSc Award
January, April, September Start
Part-time Study Mode

Entry Requirements For This Course

What are we looking for?
  • a UK honours degree in a Biological subject such as biology, biomedical science, pharmacology or microbiology (minimum 2.2) or equivalent
  • a professional qualification of equivalent status
  • You will already be working in pathology or industrial biomedical laboratories or have a strong interests in Biomedical Science.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200

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