What can i do after BSc biomedical science

Last Updated on July 29, 2023

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What can i do after BSc biomedical science

Biomedical sciences

On this page

  1. Job options
  2. Work experience
  3. Typical employers
  4. Skills for your CV
  5. Further study
  6. What do biomedical sciences graduates do?

From discovering vital medical developments to improving the lives of others, your skills from a biomedical sciences degree can be applied to a range of medical, scientific and research careers

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

  • Biomedical scientist
  • Biotechnologist
  • Clinical research associate
  • Clinical scientist, biochemistry
  • Clinical scientist, haematology
  • Clinical scientist, immunology
  • Forensic scientist
  • Microbiologist
  • Physician associate
  • Research scientist (life sciences)
  • Research scientist (medical)
  • Scientific laboratory technician
  • Toxicologist

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

  • Crime scene investigator
  • Genetic counsellor
  • Medical sales representative
  • Medical science liaison
  • Occupational hygienist
  • Neuroscientist
  • Science writer
  • Teaching laboratory technician

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don’t restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.

Work experience

This is a competitive employment sector and a period of relevant work experience can be extremely useful in increasing your chances of getting onto further training courses or of finding employment.

Some degrees include a placement year which can provide experience in laboratory work or scientific research. You can also try sending out speculative applications for work experience opportunities as they’re often not advertised. Think about the area in which you’d like to work and focus on those employers. Some are willing to take on volunteers and may allow individuals to work-shadow or even just speak to members of staff working within the profession.

Getting working practice of laboratory techniques and being able to evidence your specific medical/scientific interest is useful.

Typical employers

Common employers of biomedical sciences graduates include:

  • Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
  • Medical Research Council (MRC)
  • NHS, including NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT)
  • UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA)

You can also work in pathology and research laboratories in private sector hospitals.

You may also look for opportunities with academic departments at universities, forensic, charity or government-funded laboratories, veterinary services, the armed forces or private pathology laboratories.

The food and drink, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries employ graduates in areas such as research and development, quality assurance and sales. Publishing companies and the specialist press may also employ biomedical sciences graduates as writers or editors.

Skills for your CV

You will gain experience in laboratory work during your degree and this will equip you with the skills you need to plan, conduct and evaluate experiments. It will also enable you to comply with health and safety regulations, and to research and interpret scientific literature.

Transferable skills gained on your course include:

  • analytical and problem-solving skills
  • computing and the use of statistics
  • data analysis, evaluation and interpretation
  • project management
  • numeracy
  • organisation and time management
  • oral and written communication
  • teamworking – from laboratory work or activities such as sport, societies or voluntary work.

Study MSc Biomedical Sciences

Further study

Undertaking further study is increasingly common and a number of careers in the science sector require you to have a specific postgraduate qualification. By studying at postgraduate level, you will further develop your specialist knowledge, research skills and communication skills.

If you have a good degree in biomedical science it’s also possible for you to enter other courses to train for a different career. For example, you may be able to obtain a place on a four-year, fast-track, graduate entry course to study medicine.

What do biomedical sciences graduates do?

The top three medical professional jobs include biochemists and medical scientists (9%), laboratory technicians (8%) and nurse practitioners (6%).

Further study19.7
Working and studying13.1

Graduate destinations for biomedical sciences

Type of workPercentage
Childcare, health and education12.1
Clerical, secretarial and administrative7.7

what does a biomedical scientist do


Study Biomedicine or Biomedical Sciences: All you need to know

Photo by École polytechnique – J.Barande, CC BY-SA 2.0, modified

Study Biomedicine or Biomedical Sciences: All you need to know

Biomedicine, sometimes Biomedical Science (or “BioMed”), is an academic field dedicated to the advancement of human medicine. It is a very diverse discipline – offering students an opportunity to explore the biological sciences and to work towards a career that can make a real difference in the world.

What is Biomedical Science?

Biomedical Science (Biomedicine) is the field of study that focuses on the areas of biology and chemistry that are relevant to healthcare. The discipline is very wide-ranging, and there are three general areas of specialty – life sciences, physiological sciences, and bioengineering. Careers in Biomedical Science are mostly research- and lab-based, with the aim to improve and advance medical knowledge.

The broadness of this discipline gives graduates many opportunities to specialise already during their studies, and thus offers many career options. It is a very ‘real-world’ discipline. Biomedical scientists regularly make headlines with advances in their fields, with results that you can see first-hand. As a biomedical scientist, you might be growing embryos for IVF, 3D-printing a heart, or finding a new medicine to fight cancer. Biomedicine is the field where biology, chemistry, and changing the world meet.

Where can I study Biomedical Science?

Biomedical Science is a very popular degree, and it is widely available across Europe. Note that some universities call it “Biomedicine”, which is the same discipline.

Universities that offer Bachelors in Biomedicine:

  • Jacobs University Bremen (Germany)
  • NUI Galway (Ireland)
  • University of Kent (UK)

Universities that offer Masters in Biomedicine:

  • Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) (Lithuania)
  • University of Ghent – Faculty of Bioscience Engineering (Belgium)
  • University of Helsinki (Finland)
  • University of Würzburg (Germany)

Is there a difference between Biomedicine and Biomedical Sciences?

“Biomedicine” and “Biomedical Sciences” usually refer to the same thing. Degree programmes might be named one or the other, but this is mostly driven by how a university wants to present their curriculum to students like you. To be sure about the course content, check a programme’s list of mandatory and elective modules.

What can I expect to study in a Biomedicine Bachelor’s programme?

An undergraduate course in Biomedicine covers an extremely diverse range of topics, making it an excellent choice for those who are yet unsure of where they would like to specialise.

As you advance through your degree, you will be offered many elective courses to choose from. It is a good idea to not specialise too early in your degree, as this will limit your options later on. You can expect to study subjects such as (but not limited to):

  • Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology
  • Microbiology, Cell Biology
  • Toxicology, Pharmacology
  • Epidemiology, Virology, Bacteriology, Immunology
  • Biochemistry, Molecular Biology
  • Phlebotomy
  • Genetics, Embryology
  • Bioinformatics
  • Bioengineering

A standard degree in Biomedical Sciences is three years long and will result in a Bachelors of Science (BSc). Some universities alternatively offer four-year programmes that result in an “honours” degree, BSc (Hons). This will make it easier to pursue a Masters or PhD later on.

Entry requirements for Bachelor programmes in Biomedicine will differ depending on the university, but you can expect to need good grades in Mathematics, Biology, and Chemistry.

What can I expect to study in a Biomedicine Master’s (MSc) programme?

It is at the Master’s level that most Biomedicine students choose a speciality, although a broad qualification is also an option. Your choices for postgraduate study will usually align with what courses you chose at undergraduate level. For example, a Master’s programme that is based heavily on genetics will be a good choice if you have covered genetics in detail during your Bachelor’s, but would be difficult if your focus previously lay elsewhere.

The Masters that you choose will have a significant impact on your career path, so this is a good time to really think about where you want your career to go. Likewise, if you want to do a PhD, you need to ensure that your MSc aligns with the career or research field that you want to go into. Therefore, pay attention to the course content laid out in the curriculum when you decide which Masters to apply to.

Postgraduate courses are usually one or two years long and, as in undergrad, will be a mix of classroom-based and lab-based learning. You will usually need to have achieved a good final mark in your BSc degree to qualify for an MSc. In the UK, that often means an upper second-class Bachelor’s (or “2.1”); in other countries, criteria can differ.

What should I know about doing a PhD in Biomedicine?

If you want to become an expert in your area of Biomedical Sciences, then pursuing a PhD is for you. Like other STEM subjects, a Biomedicine PhD usually takes a minimum of three years. Anything less than this is considered too short a time to have achieved anything significant enough to deserve a doctorate. Most PhD programmes are three or four years long, but they can last several years, depending on your project and the available funding.

It is possible to go straight from a BSc into a PhD programme, but you will need to have achieved very good marks. The application process for an PhD will usually include an interview and you will need to provide references from your lecturers and/or advisors.

PhD students will work closely with an advisor, who will guide and support them through their project. PhD projects involve a lot of research, experimental work, and data processing. At the end of the PhD programme, if you are successful in contributing something new to your field of science, you will earn the title of Doctor.

The best universities for Biomedical Science

Teaching and research standards in Europe are high and you can expect to get high-quality education. If you are looking to get your Biomedicine degree from a top university, rankings can serve as one indication.

A good place to look for leading universities in Biomedicine is the annual Shanghai Global Ranking of Academic Subjects for Biomedical Engineering. Here are the top universities in 2021 in a selection of European countries:

  • Best in the United Kingdom: Imperial College London (15th worldwide)
  • Best in Switzerland: ETH Zurich (27th worldwide)
  • Best in the Netherlands: Utrecht University (19th worldwide)
  • Best in Sweden: Karolinska Institute (101-150th worldwide)
  • Best in Germany: TU Dresden (43rd worldwide)
  • Best in Finland: University of Helsinki (101-150th worldwide)

How to pick the right university for Biomedical Science?

Biomedicine is a very popular course, and most universities that offer it are well-practiced at delivering a valuable curriculum. Some universities (especially in the UK) offer degree programmes with industrial placements. If you think you want to work in the private industry, then a course that includes a work placement will be a great choice. If no placement is embedded in the curriculum, you can always use semester breaks for internships.

Also, look for a university in a city where there are nearby pharmaceutical companies or large hospitals. They will always be interested in hiring graduates as they finish university, or hiring students as interns.

If you think you are going to be more interested in staying in academia, check out what research facilities the university has. Explore their website, try to find out what their lecturers specialise in, and try to learn more about the research projects that current PhD students are doing. It will give you an idea of the research areas that the university invests in.

Can studying Biomedical Science get me into Medicine?

Some universities accept Biomedical Science as an alternative entry into studying Medicine, i.e. to become a medical doctor. However, do not consider Biomedicine merely a feeder course! Most universities offer a very limited number of transfer places – many offer less than ten each year – and competition for those places is very high. So, while it is possible to use Biomedicine as a path into Medicine, it is not a recommended tactic.

Different universities have different criteria for transferring. Some universities will allow high-performing Biomedicine students to transfer into medicine after year one or two of their BioMed degree. Others will ask you to complete your degree in BioMed first.

Criteria for a transfer usually include that

  • you have performed excellently in your university exams and course work,
  • you have studied certain subjects previously, such as chemistry, and
  • you pass an interview, and have demonstrated excellent conduct and professionalism during your time in university.

Transfers between courses are usually internal, meaning you cannot transfer to a different university. However, if you have finished your undergraduate degree, you can then apply to Medicine somewhere else.

If you are considering trying to use Biomedicine as a way to transfer into medicine, contact the university directly and discuss your options with them first.

How is studying Biomedical Science different from Biotechnology?

Biomedical Science and Biotechnology (“BioTech”) or Bioengineering overlap in many places, but they differ in their ultimate goal. In Biomedicine, everything is aimed at medical applications, ranging from diagnostics to research. In Biotechnology or Bioengineering, the end goal may be more open, and your methods may be different. As a Biotechnologist, your work can be aimed at agriculture, green energy, technology, food science, or the environmental industry.

Top reasons for studying Biomedical Science

Choosing your course is a big decision and there is a lot of information to take in. Here, put simply, are the three main reasons that make studying Biomedicine a great choice:

  1. It’s very broad: BioMed is an incredibly diverse field. You will have the chance to explore lots of different areas of life science before choosing which path you want to take. Don’t specialise too early in your education, though, so as not to restrict your career and postgraduate options.
  2. It’s a desirable qualification: Many industries require biomedical scientists and the skills learned are highly transferable.
  3. You can make a real difference in the world: Advances in medicine, cures for diseases, environmental investigations – Biomedical scientists are at the forefront of it all!

Career options for Biomedicine graduates

The careers available to you as a Biomedicine graduate are as wide ranging as the subjects you can study during your degree programme. Biomedical career paths are usually focused on researchanalysis, or development. You can choose to stay in academia and pursue a PhD, researching and developing new diagnostic or medical treatments. Or you can go out into the world and start an exciting career in the private sector. The sky’s the limit!

Examples of careers you can have with a qualification in Biomedical Sciences include:

  • Research scientist: Make new discoveries and develop cures, treatments, and diagnostic techniques. Research scientists can work in nearly every industry, not just healthcare.
  • Biotechnologist: Have a deep understanding of the building blocks of life. Use this knowledge to discover and develop novel uses and treatments for cells, tissues, and organs.
  • Forensic scientist: Use science to identify and analyse evidence from accidents and crime scenes.
  • Bioengineer: Build artificial organs, design machines and devices for healthcare.
  • Lab Technician or Lab Manager: Run a laboratory and support researchers in their work.
  • Toxicologist: Investigate toxins and their effects. Work in healthcare or help protect the environment.
  • Virologist: Study, identify and fight viruses.
  • Clinical scientist: Be able to test for and identify a wide range of samples, research and develop new techniques for diagnosing illnesses.
  • Medical chemist: Be an expert in how medicines work, discover and develop new medicines.
  • Microbiologist: Study and work with microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, algae, yeast, etc.
  • Epidemiologist: Study and analyse how diseases spread and advise on how to contain and treat them.
  • Phlebotomist: Know how to test blood for diagnostics, conduct transfusions, and take donations.

Remember that this is just a small sample of the careers you can pursue with a qualification in Biomedical Science.

What advice do you have for a Biomedicine student?

Learn good lab skills! Learning to be confident and competent at basic laboratory tasks such as micro-pipetting, titrations, preparing microscope slides, balancing a centrifuge, etc. will make a huge difference to your biomedical career.

When applying for jobs – especially at the beginning of your career – laboratories will prefer candidates with strong lab skills. It means they can trust you to perform tasks, and that saves them time and money. Experience and skills in laboratory work are highly desired and transferable across all areas of science.

What are similar subjects I could study?

Biomedicine is a cross-disciplinary subject that not only combines Biology, Chemistry, and Medicine, but also incorporates aspects of many other subjects. Some of these may suit you better, depending on your personal preferences:

  • Medicine: If you want to interact with patients directly and help them get well, consider studying Medicine. Studying Medicine will make you an MD (Medical Doctor).
  • Biology: Biology is an incredibly diverse science with many more areas to specialise in.
  • Biotechnology / Bioengineering: Use Biology to explore and solve real-world issues in a range of industries.
  • Biochemistry: For those who love Chemistry as much as they love Biology. Biochemistry is the study of chemical processes within the body.
  • Life Sciences: Many universities offer degrees in what they call “Life Sciences”, and this is often a broad term for a variety of Biology-related subjects. Check the curricula to find something that excites you.
  • Bioinformatics: Research in Biology often heavily relies on data. Bioinformatics is the science of handling and analysing large amounts of scientific data. Some universities also call this “Life Science Informatics”.
  • Pharmacology / Pharmacy: If you are specifically interested in pharmaceutical applications and researching potential new medicines, this is your area.

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