Key Facts

Course Title: Pre-Master's in Biomedical Science (Graduate Diploma)
Course type: Pre-MSc, Graduate Diploma
Mode of Study:Full Time
Contact Details:Dr Mirna Mourtada-Maarabouni
Contact email:m.m.maarabouni@keele.ac.uk
Website: Go to School homepage
Faculty: Faculty of Natural Sciences
Subject Area: Science

Overview

The Pre-Masters in Biomedical Science (Graduate Diploma in Biomedical Science) provides a discipline-specific pathway (a pre-masters year) into the taught Biomedical Blood Science masters level programme.  It is a one-year full-time programme designed for both home and international students, with a background in life sciences, who wish to study at postgraduate level for the MSc in Biomedical Blood Science. The programme is open to science graduates who do not meet the academic criteria for a direct entry into the MSc. The MSc in Biomedical Blood Science is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS). The IBMS is the professional body of Biomedical Scientists within the United Kingdom.  The IBMS aims to promote and develop the role of Biomedical Science within healthcare to deliver the best possible service for patient care and safety

Aims of the Course

The overall aim is to provide the students with the academic background necessary for the masters programme and to enable them to develop and practise the subject specific academic skills required for the intensive pace of study at masters level. The course also aims to allow international students to benefit from English language support that will help them to develop their academic English language skills.

Intended learning outcomes of the programme reflect what successful students should know, understand or to be able to do by the end of the programme. Programme specific learning outcomes are provided in the Programme Specification available by request; but, to summarise, the overarching course aims are as follows:

  • To provide students with core knowledge, understanding and skills relevant to Biomedical Science
  • To produce skilled and motivated graduates who are suitably prepared for the MSc in Biomedical Science and for further study.
  • To cultivate interest in the biosciences, particularly at the cellular and molecular level, within a caring and intellectually stimulating environment.
  • To get an accurate insight into the role of Biomedical Scientists in the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of disease.
  • To develop an understanding of the analytical, clinical and diagnostic aspects of Cellular Pathology, Clinical Biochemistry, Medical Microbiology, Blood Transfusion, Clinical Immunology and Haematology pathology laboratories.
  • To promote the development of a range of key skills, for use in all areas where numeracy and an objective, scientific approach to problem-solving are valued.
  • To provide students with a wide range of learning activities and a diverse assessment strategy in order to fully develop their employability and academic skills, ensuring both professional and academic attainment.
  • To promote the development of critical thinking, autonomous learning, independent research and communication skills to help prepare the students for the MSc in Biomedical Blood Science and for a lifetime of continued professional development.

Entry Requirements

Applicants are expected to have successfully completed a Life Sciences Bachelor degree programme. Applicants who do not meet this criteria may still be eligible for admission if they can demonstrate appropriate qualifications and/or experience.   Applicants who do not have English as their first language must evidence an IELTS score of at least 6.0 or equivalent. 

All non-native English speaking students are required to undertake a diagnostic English language test on arrival, to determine whether English language support may help them succeed with their studies. Students identified as requiring further systematic enhancement of their academic English skills will be enrolled on an English for Academic Purposes (EAP 1,2 or 3) module in addition to their 90 study credits.  The results for the EAP module will not form part of the overall award but successful completion is required for progression to the Masters programme.

Course Content

All the modules in this one year programme are compulsory. The programme consists of a total of 90 credits made up of one 30 credit module and four 15 credit modules. An additional English module (English for Academic Purposes) will be offered for non-native English speakers if required. This module will not form part of the overall award, but successful completion is required for progression to the Masters programme.

Modules:

Biomedical Science and Pathology (30 credits)
The module provides the student with the knowledge and understanding of the pathobiology of human disease associated with Cellular Pathology, Clinical Immunology, Haematology, Clinical Biochemistry, Medical Microbiology and Clinical Virology. It also examines the analytical and clinical functions of three more of the major departments of a modern hospital pathology laboratory, including Haematology, Clinical Pathology, Clinical Immunology, Blood Transfusion, Clinical Biochemistry and Medical Microbiology. In addition, the module will give an accurate insight into the role of Biomedical Scientists and how they assist clinicians in the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of disease.

Biochemistry Research Project (non-experimental) (15 credits)
This module aims to introduce students to some of the key non-experimental research skills that are routinely used by biochemists and biomedical scientists, such as in depth literature searching, analysis of experimental data and the use of a computer as tool for both research (bioinformatics) and dissemination of information (web page construction). The student will research the literature on a specific topic, using library and web based resources and will produce a written review. In addition, the student will either process and interpret some raw experimental data provided to them.

Advances in Medicine (15 credits)
This module will describe and promote the understanding of advances in medicine that have impacted on diagnosis, treatment, prevention of a range of diseases. It will highlight fast emerging areas of research which are striving to improve diagnosis including nanotechnology and new biochemical tests in the fields of heart disease, cancer and fertility investigations which will potentially improve patient care.

Clinical Pathology (15 credits)
The majority of staff that contribute to the module are employees of the University Hospital of North Staffordshire (UHNS). Students will benefit from lectures and expertise in Clinical Diagnostic Pathology, Pharmacology, Biochemistry, Genetics and Inflammatory Diseases. Students will gain an insight into how patients are managed, from their very first presentation at the UHNS, from the perspective of diagnosis and treatment. The course will cover both standardised testing options and the development of new diagnostic procedures with a particular emphasis on genetic and epigenetic aspects of disease. Students will also gain an appreciation of the cost benefit of particular routes for diagnosis and treatment and the importance of identifying false positive and false negative results. Finally, the students will have the opportunity to perform their own extensive literature review of a disease-related topic that is not covered by the lectures on the course.

Case Studies in Biomedical Science (15 credits)
This module aims to give you an understanding of the UK health trends and the factors that affect these trends. Through clinical case studies and small group tutorials, you will explore why the UK has some of the highest incidences of certain diseases and conditions in Europe and consider what factors contribute to making them some of the most common and/or rising health problems faced by this country. This will include understanding the relevant socioeconomic factors as well as understanding the bioscience of the disease process and its diagnosis and management. You will also focus on what is being done by Government and the NHS to tackle these major health problems.

English for Academic Purposes (EAP )
For non-native English speakers if required

Teaching and Assessment

In addition to the lecture courses and tutorials, problem based learning (PBL) using clinical scenarios is used for at least one module.  Students will also be given the opportunity to undertake an independent non-experimental research project, supervised and supported by a member of staff. Web-based learning using the University’s virtual learning environment (KLE) is also used to give students easy access to a wide range of resources and research tools, and as a platform for online discussions and quizzes. Students will be given many opportunities to become familiar with word processing, spreadsheets and graphics software as well as computer-based routes to access scientific literature.

All modules are assessed within the semester in which they are taught. Most contain elements of both ‘in-course’ assessment (in the form of laboratory reports, essays, posters) and formal examination, although some are examined by ‘in-course’ assessment alone.

Additional Costs

Apart from additional costs for text books, inter-library loans and potential overdue library fines we do not anticipate any additional costs for this post graduate programme.