Biomedical Science (Medical Microbiology) - MSc (IBMS Accredited), PgCert, PgDip
- Mode of study
- Full time, Part time
- Entry months
- Duration of Study
- 1 year full time* 2 years part time *Please note that international students studying at Keele can only take courses in full-time mode.
- Subject Area
- Health and Rehabilitation, Life Sciences, Natural Sciences, Science
- FEES (2022/23 academic year)
- UK - FT £9,500/PT £5,200
- International - £17,900
The main aim of the programme is to provide multidisciplinary, Master's Level postgraduate training in Biomedical Science in combination with generic higher level scientific training in areas such as writing grant proposals and business plans. The programme builds on existing, undergraduate knowledge in basic science and applying it to clinical, diagnostic and research applications relevant to Medical Microbiology and infectious diseases.
About the course
Biomedical Science is a key subject area comprising of all aspects of health and disease, within the subject are clinical laboratory disciplines that specifically address the knowledge and understanding of disease processes in the context of the study and investigation of those processes. The MSc Biomedical Science (Medical Microbiology) incorporates Microbiology and Virology.
The School of Life Science has developed extremely active and successful undergraduate and postgraduate Biomedical Science programmes. We have embraced specialists working in NHS Trusts and associated industries to develop outstanding, collaborative relationships covering key diagnostic and clinical specialties. Not only do students benefit from the inclusion of such specialist practitioners onto our teaching programmes, input from employers helps to shape the curriculum and can lead to highly competitive project opportunities working within related industries.
This MSc programme supports students to develop their subject-specific knowledge and understanding, ability to critically analyse and evaluate an evidence-base, work independently, and adapt to various contexts.
This programme is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) as 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. This ensures that, through a spirit of partnership between the Institute and the University, a good quality degree is achieved that prepares the student for employment in circumstances requiring sound judgement, critical thinking, personal responsibility and initiative in complex and unpredictable professional environments.
IBMS accreditation assures students and employers that the learning outcomes of an IBMS accredited postgraduate degree courses meet or exceed the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) qualification descriptors for a higher education qualification at Masters level (level 7).
An IBMS accredited postgraduate degree does not count towards the academic requirements for HCPC registration but does meet the requirements for registration with the Science Council as a Chartered Scientist (CSci) if other eligibility criteria of corporate membership and active engagement in Continued Professional Development are met. A Master’s level qualification is also one of the entry criteria for the Institute’s Higher Specialist Examination and award of the Higher Specialist Diploma, a route towards the membership grade of Fellowship and designation FIBMS.
About the course
The main aim of the programme is to provide multidisciplinary, Master's Level postgraduate training in Biomedical Science. This will involve building on existing, undergraduate knowledge in basic science and applying it to clinical, diagnostic and research applications relevant to Medical Microbiology and Virology.
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 develop students’ knowledge and understanding of different theoretical perspectives, methodological approaches, research interests and practical applications within Medical Microbiology and Virology
- To explore and explicitly critique the clinical, diagnostic and research implications within the fields of Medical Microbiology and Virology, and to place this in the context of a clinical laboratory, fully considering the potential implications for patients, health workers and research alike
- To develop a critical awareness of Biomedical ethics and to fully integrate these issues into project management including grant application and business planning
- To support student autonomy and innovation by providing opportunities for students to demonstrate originality in developing or applying their own ideas
- To direct students to integrate a complex knowledge base in the scrutiny and accomplishment of professional problem-solving scenarios and project development
- To enable student acquirement of advanced laboratory practical competencies and high level analytical skills
- To promote and sustain communities of practice that allow students to share best practice, encourage a multidisciplinary approach to problem-solving and to develop extensive communication skills, particularly their ability to convey complex, underpinning knowledge alongside their personal conclusions and rationale to specialist and non-specialist listeners
- 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
Also available: MSc Biomedical Science (Blood Science)
How the course is taught
This one year programme is structured so that all taught sessions are delivered in just two days of the working week. Full-time students are expected to engage in independent study for the remaining 3 days per week. Consolidating taught sessions in this way allows greater flexibility for part-time students who will be expected to attend one day a week for two academic years, reducing potential impact in terms of workforce planning for employers and direct contact for students with needs outside of their academic responsibilities.
Semester 1 will focus on two main areas, the first being Biomedical ethics, grant application, methodological approaches, analytical reasoning and research. The second area focuses on the role of Medical Microbiology in the assessment, investigation and evaluation of the relationship between microorganisms and the host and clinical manifestations by body system.
Semester 2 will also focus on two main themes; firstly, business planning, leadership and laboratory skills. Secondly, the role of epidemiology in the investigation of disease and health outcomes, the laboratory's role in the establishment of relationships between organisms and outbreaks, antimicrobial therapy and alternatives and the local and global response to communicable disease.
Teaching and Learning Methods
This programme places just as much emphasis on developing the way in which students approach, integrate and apply new knowledge and problem-solving as it is with the acquisition of higher level information. As such, particular emphasis is placed on developing critical thinking, innovation, reflective writing, autonomous learning and communication skills to prepare candidates for a lifetime of continued professional development.
The teaching and learning methods employed throughout this programme reflect these principles. For example, there is greater emphasis on looking at the subject from a patient-orientated, case study driven perspective through problem-based learning (PBL) that encourages students to think laterally, joining up different pieces of information and developing a more holistic level of understanding.
The rich and varied assessment strategy adopted by this programme ensure student development of employability and academic skills, providing an opportunity to demonstrate both professional and academic attainment. Assessment design is largely driven by a number of key principles which include: promotion of independent learning, student autonomy, responsibility for personal learning and development of innovation and originalit within one’s chosen area of interest. Note that not all modules culminate in a final examination.
The modules taken are:
Biomedical Ethics and Grant proposala: introduces some of the cornerstones to be considered when taking a systematic approach to ethical challenges. Students work together to discuss real case studies in order to fully appreciate the potential impact ethics can have on patients, health workers and researchers alike. Students will learn how to independently conduct literature reviews in defined areas, are guided to choose new, innovative areas of research within this field and investigate how such research is funded and grants are awarded.
Research Methodologiesb: aims to give students a comprehensive knowledge of some of the modern techniques being used to advance knowledge in the field of biomedical science. By critically evaluating research publications, students will explore some of the research questions currently being addressed using these techniques and gain an appreciation of the importance of good experimental design and interpretation of data.
Medical Microbiology: aims to detail the role of the Medical Microbiology laboratory in the diagnosis and monitoring of infectious disease. Students will develop key analytical skills used to assess, investigate and evaluate pathobiology and patient pathways as well as develop evidence-based arguments to support clinical decision making. Lectures will be supported by a number of patient cases delivered in small group tutorials using a case-based learning approach.
Project Management and Business Planninga: aims to further develop and encourage student’s ability to undertake independent learning within the arena of Biomedical Science. To help students appreciate, evaluate and acquire the skills needed to instigate and coordinate new projects within professional practice with major emphasis on project management and business planning.
Advanced Laboratory Techniquesb: aims to give the students a working knowledge of the modern established technologies that are applicable to research in Biomedical Science and how these techniques can be used to generate and interpret information/knowledge. Students will also gain the skills to analyse, present, interpret and critically evaluate biomedical data.
Infectious Diseases: aims to focus on the role of epidemiology in the investigation of disease and health outcomes. Students will study; the role of the laboratory in the establishment of relationships between organisms and outbreaks, antimicrobial therapy and alternatives, and the local and global response to communicable disease. Lectures are supported by a number of individual and / or population case studies delivered in small group tutorials using a case-based learning approach.
Biomedical Science Research Projecta: the aim of this module is to conduct an extensive research project including a thorough review of the literature to help inform a well-developed scientific argument and to take responsibility for overall project design under 1:1 supervision of appropriate experts and professionals. By successfully completing this module students will have demonstrated a complete understanding of the philosophy and principles of research and shown competence in the design, execution, analysis and reporting of a professional research project. Biomedical Science practitioners are expected to complete the laboratory and data collection aspects of this module in conjunction with their employers. a Module shared with students following the MSc Biomedical Science (Blood Science) b Students who have attained the IBMS Specialist Diploma and are successfully enrolling with accredited prior certified learning are exempt from these two modules. Requirements for an Award In order to obtain the Master’s degree, students are required to satisfactorily accrue 180 M Level credits. Students who exit having accrued 60 or 120 M Level credits excluding the ‘Dissertation – Biomedical Blood Science Research Project’ are eligible to be awarded the Postgraduate Certificate (PgC) and Postgraduate Diploma (PgD) respectively.
a Module shared with students following the MSc Biomedical Science (Blood Science)
b Students who have attained the IBMS Specialist Diploma and are successfully enrolling with accredited prior certified learning are exempt from these two modules.
Requirements for an Award
In order to obtain the Master’s degree, students are required to satisfactorily accrue 180 M Level credits. Students who exit having accrued 60 or 120 M Level credits excluding the ‘Dissertation – Biomedical Blood Science Research Project’ are eligible to be awarded the Postgraduate Certificate (PgC) and Postgraduate Diploma (PgD) respectively.
Academic entry requirements
Applicants are expected to hold either a 1st or 2nd class honours degree in Biomedical Science, or equivalent Life Science bachelor programme. Applications from candidates who do not meet this criteria, but can demonstrate appropriate professional qualifications and/or experience will also be considered. Note that applicants who have attained the IBMS Specialist Diploma may be eligible to enrol with accredited prior certified learning with reduced tuition fees and limited module exemption.
Students who do not meet the entry requirements for this course, we offer the opportunity to take a Pre-MSc programme. For more information follow the link to the Graduate Diploma in Biomedical Science course.
English Language Entry Requirement for International Students
IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component. The University also accepts a range of internationally recognised English tests.
If you do not meet the English language requirements, the University offers a range of English language preparation programmes.
Some travel costs may be incurred if an external project or placement is undertaken; any such costs will be discussed with the student before the project is confirmed. It will be possible for the student to select an internal project and that would not incur any additional travel costs. There may be additional costs for textbooks and inter-library loans.
Keele University is located on a beautiful campus and has all the facilities of a small town. Student accommodation, shops, restaurants and cafes are all within walking distance of the teaching buildings. This is a very cost effective way to live and to reduce your living costs.
Scholarships and Funding
We are committed to rewarding excellence and potential. Please visit our scholarships and bursaries webpage for more information.
It's important to plan carefully for your funding before you start your course. Please be aware that not all postgraduate courses are eligible for the UK government postgraduate loans and, in this case, you would be expected to source alternative funding yourself. If you need support researching your funding options, please contact our Financial Support Team.
- Dr Helen Price - Senior Lecturer
- Naomi Forrester-Soto - Reader
- Dr Daniel Tonge - Lecturer
- Dr Mark Skidmore - Senior Lecturer
- Dr Mirna Mourtada-Maarabouni - Lecturer
- Rebecca Harrison - Programme Director and Teaching Fellow