The basics
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Study medical sciences


What can you study?

There is a wide choice of medical science courses such as biomedical science, clinical sciences, neuroscience, anatomical sciences, healthcare science, physiology, medical biochemistry, genetics, immunology and medical engineering.


What do you graduate with?

Students who take any of these courses normally graduate with a BSc, an MSci in Scotland or sometimes a BEng or MEng if it’s an engineering-based degree. Courses are biology-based, with general medical science and biomedical science degrees giving you a taster of microbiology, biochemistry and physiology. More specialised degrees focus on one particular area like genetics and immunology.


What do you learn?

Whether you’re interested in cancer research, infection control or biomedical science, modern health care is always in need of qualified science graduates. Without medical scientists, diagnosis of diseases, effective treatments and the search for new cures would be impossible.


Where can you work?

In the UK, medical scientists are employed in NHS pathology laboratories and in other areas such as the pharmaceutical industry and in government departments. A medical science degree is an ideal springboard to a health-related career.


How can you make a difference?

Doctors may get all the credit, but they wouldn’t be anywhere close without the hard work of those scientists behind the scenes. While you won’t be coming face-to-face with patients, medical science offers a lab-based route where you could be working on anything from testing and improving existing treatments to discovering the latest breakthrough cure.


How long will you study?

Degrees last for three years, meaning you’re nowhere near the five years compared to medicine. In Scotland, you can do a four-year master’s. Several universities offer sandwich years, allowing you to work in a clinical laboratory so that you can apply newly gained skills in a professional context.


Where’s the best place to do it?

Hotcourses has a comprehensive list of all the universities offering medical science in the UK. Cardiff University is one of the best places to study anatomy, neuroscience and physiology. Aston University and University College London are also well-known for their biomedical science degrees.


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