International College

Study biological and biomedical science

There are many different fields of biology and biological science. This means you could focus on a specific area such as molecular biology or zoology. 

Biology and biomedical science at the University of Sheffield

Sheffield is a top 20 UK university for biological sciences (Complete University Rankings 2018). It offers a wide choice of biology courses across four departments. This gives you the freedom to study a broad Biology degree or specialise in a specific area.

All departments are committed to research-led learning. You’ll be supported by world-leading scientists who are at the forefront of their specialist areas. Learning takes place in dedicated science facilities, state-of-the-art laboratories and off-site field trips.

Sheffield has an excellent reputation for postgraduate employment. For example, 97% of biomedical science graduates are employed or in further education within six months of graduating (DLHE 2017). You’ll develop key employability skills and you'll have the opportunity to take part in work placements and professional research projects.

Science rankings

1st in the UK
for Medical Research Excellence
Research Excellence Framework 2014


5th in the UK
for Biological Sciences
Research Excellence Framework 2014


Top 15 UK University
for Biological Sciences
Complete University Rankings 2021

Degree preparation at the International College

Your pathway to studying biological and biomedical science with the International Foundation Year in Science and Engineering or Pre-Masters in Science and Engineering.

Why study biological and biomedical science?

A biology or biomedical science degree is a popular option for undergraduates. Reasons to choose biological and biomedical science include:

Conducting your own research is an important part of any Biology degree. You’ll design your own questions and conduct research in a laboratory or field setting. You’ll work as part of a team, and you’ll develop skills in collecting, analysing and presenting data.

Biologists play important roles in solving global problems. Biomedical scientists find cures and treatments for life-threatening illnesses, marine biologists help to protect our oceans, and plant scientists solve food shortages by developing drought-resistant crops.

A degree in Biology or Biomedical Science gives you transferable skills that are valued by employers. You could study a wide range of topics or you could specialise in specific areas, such as medicine or marine life. When you graduate, you can apply for a range of scientific and non-scientific careers.

What can I do with a biological and biomedical sciences degree?

When you graduate, you’ll have a wide range of career and further study options that are directly and indirectly related to your degree.

Career options include:

  • forensic scientist
  • biomedical scientist
  • science journalist
  • healthcare scientist
  • biotechnologist
  • microbiologist
  • medical physicist
  • technician
  • toxicologist
  • wildlife filmmaker
  • museum curator.

Biological and biomedical science FAQs

Biology is the study of life and living organisms. It covers a huge range of topics, from bacteria and human reproduction, to ecosystems and animal behaviour.

Biomedical science concentrates on medical research and the development of treatments. Topics you might study include anatomy, neuroscience and genetics.

To study a degree in biology and biomedical science at university you will need to meet certain requirements, such as having high grades in subjects such as A Level Biology and another science subject. If you’re an international student, you could also meet the requirements by studying a pathway programme such as the International Foundation Year in Science and Engineering.

Studying a biology and biomedical science degree can lead to a range of careers all with varying salaries. If you want to become a microbiologist you can expect starting salaries of £30,000, advance to principal or consultant scientist and it can raise up to between £40,000 - £103,860. If you pursue a career as a biomedical scientist you will typically start on a salary between £24,214 to £30,112. As a senior biomedical scientist, you can expect a salary between £37,000 and £50,000.

Typically, an undergraduate degree in biology is three years, however, at some universities, it can be four years.

An undergraduate degree in biomedical science lasts three years and will include a mix of teaching methods from laboratory research to lectures.

To study a degree in biology and biomedical science, there a range of subjects that can help you meet the requirements. Biology, Human Biology, Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics and Geography can all help you. Typically you will be required to have good grades that include two science subjects and maths. Subject entry requirements differ per university, so do your research on where you want to study.

Core maths is typically required for both biology and biomedical science and is used throughout both. Although it is not used as much as the other major sciences, it is useful for statistics and specialist areas such as bioanalytics. It may not be required for a biology or biomedical science degree but it would be beneficial.

Skills required to study a biology degree include:

  • Analytical thinking
  • Determination
  • Problem-solving
  • Organisation
  • Numeracy
  • Technical ability
  • Communication
  • Attention to detail

Skills required to study a biomedical degree include:

  • Analytical approach
  • Teamwork
  • Research
  • Problem-solving
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication

Born in Malaysia. Made in Sheffield.

Sheffield student Siung stood in the Engineering labs

Upstairs in the Diamond, [the University] spent over a million pounds on equipment in the electronic labs which is the equipment that you’re going to get in the industry...There are some departments now promoting a take home kit so that you are not only limited to do your assignments on the University campus...It definitely helps open doors for us now.

Ghai Siung 

BEng Aerospace Engineering and PhD Space Physics

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