Biomedical Science (Haematology/Medical Microbiology) MSc

Why choose this course?

This course, accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science, provides an in-depth understanding of disease processes and diagnostic techniques. It links academic knowledge to the practical applications of biomedical science, particularly in relation to modern diagnostic methods. You can choose to study one of two pathways – haematology or medical microbiology. Taught by researchers and expert practitioners, the course content is kept up to date through extensive links with leading healthcare and research laboratories such as GlaxoSmithKline, the Institute of Cancer Research and local hospitals. In addition, key features of the course include the following.

  • Skills to enhance employability are embedded within the curriculum to maximise job opportunities in a wide variety of biomedical science careers, including hospital and commercial laboratories, research, teaching and sales.
  • Teaching on the course is research-led and research-informed to ensure that all students are aware of the latest developments in biomedical science.
  • Research projects can be carried out within one of our research groups or as part of an industrial placement.
Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Full time 1 year 2 days a week September 2020
Full time 2 years including professional placement 2 days a week plus placement year September 2020
Part time 2 years 1 day a week September 2020
Location Penrhyn Road

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • This course is relevant to both professional biomedical and research careers. It offers an in-depth understanding of disease processes and diagnostic techniques. 
  • The University has extensive links with leading healthcare and research laboratories such as GlaxoSmithKline, the Institute of Cancer Research and local hospitals. 
  • Flexible timetables and part-time options can help you fit your studies around other commitments.

Accreditation

This course is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS). Graduates can apply to the IBMS for consideration for admission as Fellows of the Institute. 

What you will study

Practising expert biomedical scientists are an integral part of the teaching team and ensure that the programme content reflects current practice, whilst academic staff at the university provide the opportunity for involvement in internationally recognised research.

The programme comprises four taught modules (two core, two specialist), plus an extended research project where students are given the opportunity to apply their knowledge and to develop competences in advanced laboratory techniques.  Core modules will familiarise you with the theoretical and practical aspects of molecular medicine used in research and hospital laboratories, the molecular basis of immunological mechanisms, cellular mechanisms of disease, physiological manifestations and implications to public health. You will learn about the principles and practice of laboratory management in biomedical science, and you will acquire the skills required for researching and communicating in biomedical science. You will also study modules in your elected specialist route (Haematology or Medical Microbiology). In addition to subject-specific knowledge, the course aims to develop your communication and other skills.

In addition to the standard 12-month programme, we also offer the course as a two year postgraduate programme with an optional integrated work placement component. This option is available for both international and full-time home/EU students of this course. 

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Core modules

Haematology modules

Medical Microbiology modules

Optional placement year

Core modules

Research Techniques and Scientific Communication

30 credits

The module allows students to develop and extend skills required to research and communicate in biosciences, and the principles and practice of laboratory techniques, research planning, management, data handling and presentation. The material is contextualised by lectures, practicals, workshops and directed reading around the planning and execution of experiments and interpretation of the data in a clinical setting or in clinically based studies.

Immunology and the Biology of Disease

30 credits

It provides students with an introduction to the concepts of immunity and pathobiology.  Students will become familiar with the different cells and organs of the immune system and how these function and interact to protect the body from infection. In addition, the module introduces students to the cellular mechanisms and genetic causes of disease considering both the physiological manifestations and the public health implications. The module also introduces some of the molecular processes and signalling events that are important in communication between cells of the immune system.  It goes on to consider the role of cellular pathology in the context of other pathology disciplines such as clinical chemistry. Practical classes are used to allow students the opportunity to apply their basic knowledge of immunology to interpret the significance of laboratory data and the role of the immune system in disease.

Research Project

60 credits

This module culminates from knowledge gained throughout the course, in particular, the Research Techniques and Scientific Communication module in order to present work in formats appropriate to wider professional audiences, practising new and/or improved laboratory skills, as well as demonstrate the ability to independently solve complex problems. The research proposal assessment will usually be based on the research area that has been allocated for the research project or alternatively an external laboratory placement. The project results should be statistically analysed and scientifically presented and discussed within a 9,000-word thesis and scientific poster.

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Plan, organise and carry out a sustained piece of independent research.
  • Practise new and/or improved laboratory skills and/or critical data analytical skills.
  • Present and critically evaluate their own research in a clear and concise fashion in both written and poster formats.

Core modules

Anaemia, Haemostasis and Blood Transfusion

30 credits

This is an option module for students taking the Haematology route of Biomedical Science MSc and Biomedical Science with Management MSc programmes.

The module explores the normal production of red cells and platelets and function of clotting factors. It then considers how acquired and hereditary abnormalities can lead to anaemia and coagulopathies, and examines how patients present clinically and are then diagnosed and treated. This includes exploring the roles played by the National Blood Transfusion and Transplant service in treatment of these disorders and considers the key clinical considerations of blood transfusion. To support understanding of the key-note lectures, additional material is provided via StudySpace, with students encouraged to actively participate in directed further study. The lectures are designed to provide the students with some real insights into genuine laboratory practice and the ways in which theory informs the day to day analysis of blood in hospital diagnostic laboratories. This is reinforced by an opportunity for the students to perform clotting analyses in the practical class.

Haematological Malignancy

30 credits

The module initially explores how the haemotopoietic system develops through the different stages of human development and growth, and then focuses on tumours of haematopoietic and lymphoid tissues, including acute and chronic leukaemias, myeloproliferative neoplasms, multiple myeloma, and lymphomas. The module examines the molecular basis of these diseases, as well as their pathophysiology, diagnosis and available treatment Students are encouraged to develop a critical approach to the subject through the use of case studies and data interpretation. Techniques used for the diagnosis of haematological malignancies are also explored in laboratory practical sessions.

Core modules

Taxonomy of Microorganisms and Diagnosis of Infectious Disease

30 credits

This is an option module for students taking the Medical Microbiology route of the Biomedical Science MSc and Biomedical Science with Management MSc programmes. Within the module the structural properties of microorganisms are introduced and discussed in the context of their use in taxonomic grouping and in aiding identification of microbial agents. In addition the module also explores the general principles of both traditional and molecular methods of laboratory investigation of infectious disease. Students' knowledge is developed by the in-depth consideration of a number of specific infectious diseases of contemporary importance, with key material being delivered by external specialist practitioners. The material delivered in the module is directly related to the requirements of the biomedical science workplace. The taxonomic aspects covered relate directly to current practices in the grouping of organisms, and cover both traditional and modern molecular techniques. Similarly, in the diagnostics component of the module both traditional and developing diagnostic techniques are covered, often by outside speakers from industry. This not only provides a context for the current application of these techniques, but also scope to demonstrate the requirement for continuous improvements in diagnostics. The module also re-enforces how an understanding of these techniques and developments enhance employability.

Microbial Pathogenesis and Control of Infectious Disease

30 credits

This module will address the key features of commensal and pathogenic micro-organisms and their interaction with host cells. It will introduce the theory and practice of modern diagnostic methods used in clinical microbiology as well as the current strategies used to combat infectious diseases. The normal microbial flora of healthy individuals and its contribution to health and disease are considered together with the study of pathogenic micro-organisms. The module introduces students to the factors that determine microbial pathogenicity and will link these factors to a disease. The module will also demonstrate how research in this area can help in the design of strategies to combat microbial infections. The module also critically evaluates the use of disinfection and sterilisation methods, as well as vaccines and antimicrobials in public health. Complex issues such as resistance to antimicrobial agents are also examined together with microbiological standards for food, potable water and sewage.

Optional modules

Professional Placement

120 credits

The Professional Placement module is a core module for those students following a masters programme that incorporates an extended professional placement. It provides students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in an appropriate working environment, and develops and enhances key employability and subject specific skills in their chosen discipline. Students may wish to use the placement experience as a platform for the major project or future career.

It is the responsibility of individual students to find and secure a suitable placement opportunity; this should not normally involve more than two placements which must be completed over a minimum period of 10 months and within a maximum of 12 months. The placement must be approved by the Course Leader, prior to commencement to ensure its suitability. Students seeking placements will have access to the standard placement preparation activities offered by Student Engagement and Enhancement (SEE) group.

Read more about the postgraduate work placement scheme.

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Work placement scheme

Many postgraduate courses at Kingston University allow students to take the option of a 12-month work placement as part of their course. The responsibility for finding the work placement is with the student; we cannot guarantee the placement, just the opportunity to undertake it. As the work placement is an assessed part of the course, it is covered by a student's Tier 4 visa.

Find out more about the postgraduate work placement scheme.

Entry requirements

Typical offer

  • Good honours degree or equivalent in; biomedical science; medical microbiology; medical genetics; molecular biology; haematology; or immunology. Other biology and medical science degrees will be considered on an individual basis. All applicants must demonstrate sufficient understanding of mammalian biology and immunology. Prior study of microbiology and haematology is preferred.
  • Applicants with professional experience may be eligible. Please contact the admissions team for details.

Please note: each application is assessed on an individual basis and may be subject to additional requirements, such as undertaking short course(s), work experience and/or English language qualification(s). Meeting particular minimum entry requirements does not automatically guarantee a place.

International

In order to complete your programme successfully, it is important to have a good command of English and be able to apply this in an academic environment. Therefore, if you are a non-UK applicant* you will usually be required to provide certificated proof of English language competence before commencing your studies.

For this course the minimum requirement is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall with 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in Reading, Listening and Speaking.

Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements may be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.

Please make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we'll consider.

* Applicants from one of the recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.

Teaching and assessment

A wide range of assessments are provided in the programmes. Assessments can be either formative or summative, the formative assessments being designed to provide students with the opportunity to practice assignments and receive feedback as a form of ‘feed-forward' for the summative assessments.

Assessments are designed to assess advanced skills and evaluation of information. In addition to formal examinations, coursework assessment formats are varied in nature and include written reports and essays, poster and oral presentations, a research proposal and in-class tests. They are often authentic in nature, designed around problem-solving exercises and case studies to develop students' research abilities and critical thinking. The research project, which comprises one third of the programme, is designed as a ‘capstone' project and aims to give students the opportunity to use and synthesise the knowledge and skills they have acquired during their degree.

Considerable effort is made to ensure that assessment loading for students is manageable, and assessment points are appropriately spread throughout the year. Each module has no more than three summative assessments, including any formal examination.

 

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Support for postgraduate students

As a student at Kingston University, we will make sure you have access to appropriate advice regarding your academic development. You will also be able to use the University's support services

Your workload

Type of teaching and learning

Year 1

Year 1
  • Scheduled teaching: 432 hours
  • Guided independent study: 768 hours

36% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity.

How you will be assessed

Type of assessment

Year 1

Year 1
  • Coursework: 45%
  • Exams: 19%
  • Practical: 11%

Assessment typically comprises exams (eg test or exam), practical (eg presentations, performance) and coursework (eg essays, reports, self-assessment, portfolios, dissertation).

 

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Class sizes

­You will be part of an intimate cohort of students which provides dedicated academic guidance and advice as well as the opportunity to build a life-long network of colleagues. Some modules are common across other postgraduate programmes therefore you may be taught alongside MPharm students..

Who teaches this course?

This course is delivered by the School of Life Science in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing.

The Faculty's wide selection of undergraduate and postgraduate courses covers a diverse range of subject areas, from aerospace to geography; from maths and computing to biotechnology; and many more. Our collaborative set-up provides new opportunities for our students, and we design our courses with industry professionals to ensure you stay up to date with the latest developments.

School of Life Sciences

The School of Life Sciences is a dynamic and forward-looking School within the University, which has grown steadily since it was founded in 1989. Our diverse range of courses is taught by well-qualified academics, and aims to provide students with the skills they need to be successful in the modern world.

The School has invested heavily in developing its labs for both teaching and research. As well as specialist instrumentation laboratories, there are subject labs for biochemistry; microbiology; histology; anatomy; immunology; cell biology; nutrition; radiotracer studies; and physiology and sports science (including biomechanics and an environmental testing chamber).

Postgraduate students may run or assist in lab sessions and may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader.

Fees for this course

Home and European Union 2020/21

  • MSc full time £9,200
  • MSc part time £5,060

Overseas (not EU) 2020/21

  • MSc full time £14,500
  • MSc part time £7,975

Fees for the optional placement year

If you choose to take a placement as part of this course, you will be invoiced for the placement fee in Year 2. Find out more about the postgraduate work placement scheme and the costs for the placement year.


Funding and bursaries

Kingston University offers a range of postgraduate scholarships, including:

If you are an international student, find out more about scholarships and bursaries.

We also offer the following discounts for Kingston University alumni:

What this course offers you

  • The Biomedical Science course is designed for graduates who want to acquire an in-depth understanding of disease processes.
  • It is ideal for both professional biomedical and research careers.
  • You can tailor the course to your own interests by choosing from two different pathways, one focusing on haematology and the other on medical microbiology.
  • The research project gives you the chance to further specialise. You study an area of interest, either in industry or research, in greater depth and gain valuable research skills. Our students often find this an excellent selling point when looking for a job or promotion.
  • The taught modules aim to prepare you for future careers. Alongside your academic studies, you gain experience in a range of skills, including problem solving, communication, time management, and co-operation and teamwork.
  • Lectures from practising biomedical scientists and visits to specialist labs further enhance your understanding of the working environment.
  • We offer flexible timetables and part-time options to help you fit your studies around other commitments.
  • The course is also offered as a two-year programme with an integrated work placement that takes place between the taught component of the course and the research project.

After you graduate

Examples of recent graduate destinations include:

  • biomedical scientist at Kingston Hospital, Kingston;
  • biomedical scientist at St George's Hospital, London;
  • trainee biomedical scientist at Barnet and Chase Farm Hospital, London; and
  • trainee biomedical scientist at St George's Hospital, London.

Careers and recruitment advice

The Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing has a specialist employability team. It provides friendly and high-quality careers and recruitment guidance, including advice and sessions on job-seeking skills such as CV preparation, application forms and interview techniques. Specific advice is also available for international students about the UK job market and employers' expectations and requirements.

The team runs employer events throughout the year, including job fairs, key speakers from industry and interviews on campus. These events give you the opportunity to hear from, and network with, employers in an informal setting.  

What our graduates say

I became a State Registered Biomedical Scientist in a local NHS microbiology laboratory in 1983. In 2002, having raised a family, I turned my attention back to my career. After applying for a senior post at a neighbouring trust it became apparent that if I wanted to progress I would need to undertake an MSc accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Sciences (IBMS).

Any reservations I had about resuming my education were rapidly dispelled. As a group, the lecturers at Kingston challenged us and encouraged us to challenge them in return. This and the diversity within the class created a proactive, dynamic atmosphere where information and ideas flowed freely and productively. We were inspired and motivated by lecturers that made studying a pleasure.

My graduation in 2004 gained me a promotion at work and Fellowship of the IBMS. The MSc has opened career opportunities and choices that were previously closed to me. After completing a leadership course run by my employers last year, I have now been offered the post of deputy laboratory manager in microbiology.

As a result of the findings of my MSc project I have recently made the decision, with the backing and support of Kingston University and my colleagues at work, to continue with the work for my PhD. I am now looking forward to the new challenges at work and the continuation of my academic development within the community at Kingston University.

Jackie Kenny

How we work with industry partners

Our links with industry provide a practical base for our courses. They also help us to ensure your studies are kept up to date and relevant to the workplace.

This course includes:

  • up-to-the-minute information from practising biomedical scientists; and
  • visits to specialist laboratories to enhance your knowledge of the working environment.

Current research in this subject

Many of our staff in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing are research active. This ensures they are in touch with the latest thinking and bring best practice to your studies.

Science research is organised into several research areas. The Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Group is an interdisciplinary group shared by Kingston University and St George's, University of London.

Research focuses on the interaction of chemistry and life sciences with medicine. It is divided into three main sub-areas;

  • Therapy  including immunology, stem cell research and allergenic effects of foods;
  • Parasitology  including parasite transmission, drug responses and host cellular immune responses; and
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences  including the use and understanding of free-radical reactions and the use of anti-cancer drugs/new bioactive natural products.

Get professional experience alongside your studies

We work with a variety of employers such as hospitals, community health care, NHS foundation trusts, academic publishers, and pharmaceutical companies, many of which also offer professional experience opportunities for our Biomedical Science with Management Studies MSc students.

Benefits of professional experience

  • Get work experience in a scientific environment – making you more employable
  • Work on a project of benefit to the employer
  • Develop transferable skills and enhance your CV
  • Make professional contacts
  • Receive a work reference at the end of a successful placement

What's on offer

  • Part-time, unpaid and either office or laboratory-based
  • Flexible to fit in with your studies and the employer's needs
  • An academic supervisor allocated to all placement students
  • Should encompass 200 hours of work during the period October to April alongside studies

Professional experience could include

  • Conducting discrete pieces of research, investigation, and fact finding
  • Supporting laboratory work such as ensuring that Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) are available for all lab materials
  • Assessing, archiving, sorting, transcribing, and filing scientific documents and files
  • Taking minutes in meetings involving scientific content

How to get professional experience

Competition to gain professional experience is fierce and places are not guaranteed. During Induction Week, you will be introduced to the scheme and the Kingston University Careers and Employability Centre resources where you will find a CV and covering letter template.

All applications must use these CV and covering letter templates, which are accessed via your KU account. Therefore, to apply for the Professional Experience opportunities, you must first be a student enrolled on an eligible MSc progamme.

The KU Careers and Employability Centre will help you to complete your CV and covering letter, so that you can make your best application for the scheme. CVs and covering letters are reviewed by employers and students chosen for interview are supported to prepare by the Careers and Employability Centre.

Please email Lori Snyder for any general information you need about the professional experience scheme.