Undergraduate School

Medical Sciences

B100 BSc Medical Sciences
B109 MBiol, BSc Medical Sciences (Integrated Masters)

Leeds offers a flexible course, allowing you to tailor your studies it to your own interests. We have excellent facilities, including an environmental suite, allowing the study of human physiology under extreme environmental stresses, a dissection room for anatomy teaching, multi-disciplinary laboratories equipped with up-to-date computer-based equipment and blended e-learning.

Studying Medical Sciences at Leeds offers:

  • the chance to study in a faculty ranked 4th in the UK for research in biological sciences by the leading scientific journal 'Nature' based on members of staff producing research that was "world leading or internationally excellent"
  • teaching quality rated "excellent" in last two QAA reviews

What is Medical Sciences?

This degree programme is designed for people with a broad interest in the science ofMedical Sciences human beings, from the level of molecules andcells, to individuals. It provides a solid foundation in core biomedical subjects such as anatomy, physiology, pharmacology and neuroscience, plus elements of microbiology and endocrinology.

At higher levels, you will study selected areas in greater depth within a research-led environment. This will culminate in a lab- or literature-based research project, in which you will be working with researchers in the faculty to improve our understanding of a problem of your choice.

Throughout the programme students receive training and experience in a range of transferable skills such as critical thinking, data interpretation, problem solving, oral and written presentations, and IT, including web authoring.

Did you know?... That The University of Leeds is a world-leading centre in biomedical research? Important areas of research in the faculty include:

Cardiovascular research

Work here ranges from seeking to understand how the contractile machinery of heart muscle cells is altered by drugs and in disease through to what changes occur in the whole organ and the rest of the body as heart failure develops. There is also a strong computational biology group modelling how heartbeats spread through the tissue, and how damage can lead to fatal arrhythmias.


Alzheimer's disease is one of the growing threats to society, and understanding what happens in the brain and why is crucial to the development of possible treatments. Work here is looking at how the changes that occur, such as the formation of tangles of amyloid protein, alter the function of nerve cells and cause their death.

Epithelial transport

Both nutrition and the maintenance of body salt and water balance depend crucially on how substances are moved across epithelia, for example in the gut and the kidney. Research into the transporters involved in these processes is helping us to understand why diseases occur, and how we can develop new treatments to overcome them.

Antimicrobial research

We've all heard of MRSA and other superbugs: this group is trying to find new solutions to the problem. Work includes studying the spread of particular strains, and also discovering the causes of drug resistance, as well as working towards new therapies that can overcome it.

Why study Medical Sciences?rendered image of lungs

BSc Medical Sciences is attractive to those who envisage careers related to healthcare, medical research, hospital laboratories, hospital administration, management in world or national health organisations, diagnostics services and pharmaceuticals. This degree also provides the opportunity to apply for entry to a postgraduate medical course. It is also a suitable qualification for a wide range of more general careers.

Entry Requirements

2014 entry requirements

BSc Medical Sciences - UCAS code B100

A Level or Advanced Higher: AAA-AAB from 3 A2/Advanced Higher, including Biology, Human Biology or Chemistry plus another science or science related subject. Critical Thinking and General Studies excluded.

We consider applications on an individual basis and an offer will depend on the information given on your UCAS form. Applications are assessed from a combination of the following; the balance, nature and quality of A2, AS and GCSE subjects (or equivalents); the referee's comments and your personal statement.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF): DDD in Applied Science, including Distinctions in 10 of the following units: Fundamentals of Science, Scientific Investigations, Scientific Practical Techniques, Perceptions of Science, Mathematics Calculations for Science, Using Statistics in Science, Physiology of Human Body Systems, Physiology of Human Regulation and Reproduction, Genetics and Genetic Engineering, Biomedical Science Techniques, Physiological Investigations, Diseases and Infections.

International Baccalaureate: 35-34 (with 18-16 at higher level) including 6 in higher level Biology or Chemistry and another science or science-related subject at higher level.

Irish Leaving Certificate: AAAAAB-AAAABB including an A in higher level Biology or Chemistry and another science at higher level.

Scottish Higher: Sottish Highers not accepted on their own.

Cambridge Pre-U: D3/D3/D3-D3/D3/M2 including Pre-U Biology or Chemistry plus one other science or science-related subject.

Science subjects: Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Physics.
Science- related subjects: Computing, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, ICT, P.E, Psychology, Science in Society, Statistics and Sports Science.

BSc (Hons) Medical Sciences with Industrial Placement

If you are interested in this programme, apply via UCAS for the standard BSc programme above. We will provide you with further details of the placement and study abroad schemes in year one, and you can transfer at the end of year two (subject to academic performance).

Read more about Industrial Placements

BSc (Hons) Medical Sciences with Study Year Abroad

If you are interested in this programme, apply via UCAS for the standard BSc programme above. We will provide you with further details of the placement and study abroad schemes in year one, and you can transfer at the end of year two (subject to academic performance).

Read more about Study Year Abroad

MBiol, BSc Medical Sciences (Integrated Masters) - UCAS code B109

A Level or Advanced Higher: AAA from 3 A2/Advanced Higher including Biology or Human Biology or Chemistry plus another science or science-related subject. Critical Thinking and General Studies excluded.

International Baccalaureate:
35 (18 at higher level) including 6 in higher level Biology or Chemistry, and another science or science-related subject at higher level.

Irish Leaving Certificate:
AAAAAB including an A in higher level Biology or Chemistry, and another science at higher level.

Scottish Higher: Scottish Highers not accepted on their own.

Cambridge Pre-U:
D3/D3/D3 including Pre-U Biology or Chemistry, plus one other science or science-related subject.

Applications are assessed from a combination of the following; the balance, nature and quality of A2, AS and GCSE subjects (or equivalents); the referee's comments and your personal statement.

Science subjects: Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Physics.
Science- related subjects: Computing, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, ICT, P.E, Psychology, Science in Society, Statistics and Sports Science.

Duration of the course 3 Years Full Time (B100)
4 Years Full Time (B109)
An Industrial Placement or Study Year Abroad will add a year to the duration of the course
English language requirements If English is not your first language, please check our minimum English language requirements. UG brochure 2014

Admissions policy

Download our Admissions Policy for 2014 entry. (PDF format). This includes information on the application process, our admissions intake and the selection process.

Admissions enquiries

Maureen Cummings
Tel: 0113 343 4226
Email: fbsadmissions@leeds.ac.uk

Admissions tutor

Dr. Charlotte Haigh
Tel: 0113 343 4226
Email: biomed.admissions@leeds.ac.uk


Faculty of Biological Sciences Undergraduate School

Programme Leaders

Dr Christopher Bowmer

Dr David Marples

Dr Sheila Nunn

Course brochure

Download a course brochure

Course Structure

The structure of your course will vary dependent upon which of the following pathways you choose:

Qualification Course Title Duration
BSc Medical Sciences 3 years
BSc Medical Sciences with industrial placement year 4 years
BSc Medical Sciences with a study year abroad 4 years
MBiol, BSc Medical Sciences 4 years
MBiol, BSc Medical Sciences with industrial placement year 5 years
MBiol, BSc Medical Sciences with a study year abroad 5 years

BSc Course Structure students at work

In the first and second years, lectures, practicals and tutorials are the most important forms of teaching. You will have lectures, tutorials and regular laboratory sessions. In the final year, you will be able to choose your favourite topics to study under the guidance of leading experts; your research project will take up about one third of your time with the rest devoted to lectures and tutorials. Formal examinations are held twice a year, in January and May/June, to spread the assessment load.


All degree programmes are modular and offer wide choice.

Modules may be core (you have to take them), optional (you can choose from a list of alternatives) or elective (you have a free choice); the balance depends upon your year and programme of study. We offer a wide range of modules. Examples include:

Medical Sciences Year 1

Foundations of Biomedical Sciences

This module covers the basic anatomy, biochemistry and physiology of the human body, which you will study alongside the ways pathology and pharmacology can alter them.

Basic Laboratory and Scientific Skills

This module will initially cover the basic laboratory and numerical skills that are essential to proper understanding of experimental work in biomedical science and development of some basic laboratory skills. It will then extend further to develop many more transferable skills such as data handling, scientific report writing, oral communication, poster presentation and team work skills.

Biology of the Mind

This module will introduce students to the workings of the nervous system and will cover all major aspects of neuroscience from a basic level. The module will take students on a journey starting with the development and evolution of the nervous system through the anatomy and physiology of neurons, exploring sensory/motor systems and culminating in discussion of higher cognitive functions. During the module, relevant neuroscience techniques will be explained. There will also be an introduction to the major disorders of the nervous system.

Introduction to Pharmacology

The module will include an introduction to the principles of how drugs produce beneficial effects in disease and how drug action is quantified. The lectures will provide explanations of how drugs such as curare produce muscle paralysis, an effect that is useful in general anaesthesia; how adrenaline stimulates the heart; why Botox is a biological warfare agent and a cosmetic treatment and why beta blockers are widely used in the treatment of cardiovascular disease

Human Endocrinology

This module covers the anatomy and pathophysiology of the main endocrine systems, including the endocrine pancreas; the thyroid; the parathyroids; the adrenal gland and its disorders; the hypothalamus and pituitary as well as reproductive endocrinology and fertility.

Introduction to Microbiology

In this module you will be introduced to the wonderful world of microbes: viruses, bacteria, fungi and protozoa. You will study their structure and function, and look at how they can cause disease, how the body can resist their advances, and how they can be exploited for the benefit of humans.

Medical Sciences Year 2

Cardiorespiratory Physiology & Pharmacology

The module covers the activity of the heart and lungs and their functions, and considers central and peripheral, neural and hormonal control mechanisms involved in the maintenance of respiration, blood pressure and blood flow through tissues.


This module covers the structure and function of the human central nervous system and its control of a range of physiological processes including neurotransmission; pathways responsible for the sensation of pain, touch, audition, smell and vision. As well as the pathways responsible for voluntary movement, and the mechanisms for maintaining balance and upright posture.

Physiology of Absorption and Excretion

This module examines the structure and function of the gut and kidneys. This includes pathophysiological mechanisms of gastrointestinal and renal absorption, secretion, motility and body fluid composition and volume are described, as well as the basis of a number of associated diseases of these systems.

Topics in Medical Science

In this module students encounter a variety of important discoveries and concepts in the medical sciences, which will enrich their understanding of the whole area. Students discuss key topics in physiology with the guidance of experienced researchers, and communicate their findings in tutorial sessions. The tutorial sessions allow students to examine areas of specific interest more closely, providing a solid foundation for understanding of current research topics in their final year. Medical science students also have the option of choosing equivalent modules specific to physiology, pharmacology, and neuroscience.

Experimental Skills in Medical Science

This module features investigative laboratory based teaching, in which students further develop their knowledge of the principles of experimental design. Practical exercises focus on the use of laboratory techniques and their application to the study of the medical sciences. Practicals are also included to familiarize students with some of the methods used in modern research. The emphasis is on practicals running over several weeks, which introduce the types of approaches that will be needed in final year projects. Medical science students also have the option of choosing equivalent modules specific to physiology, pharmacology, and neuroscience.

Medical Sciences Year 3

Advanced Scientific Skills

A tutorial based module dealing with advanced scientific data analysis and interpretation. Many of the topics in this module are related to the research strengths and interests of the Faculty.

Advanced topics in Medical Sciences 1

Students are able to choose a minimum of five topics from a shortlist of subjects which reflect current research in biomedical sciences.

Advanced topics in Medical Sciences 2

You will develop your ability to collate, critically analyse, and describe scientific information.

Biomedical Nanotechnology

This provides an introduction to bio-nanotechnology science and how this technology can be used for the diagnosis and treatment of disease.

Cancer biology

This module provides an introduction to the molecular mechanisms that lead from a normal cell to a cancer cell and the role of cancer genes in this process. The module also covers some aspects of cancer therapy for example gene and immunology therapy.

Cellular Cardiology

Students on this module study the regulation of cardiac rhythm and contractility under physiological and pathological conditions. Basic physiology is augmented with detailed discussion of current research in areas of particular controversy such as: regional variations in the electrical behaviour of the heart, and changes in cellular physiology which occur during ischaemia, hypertrophy and heart failure.

Drug discovery preclinical to practice

Have you ever wondered where drugs come from? How they are tested to ensure they work and are safe to use? This module addresses these questions through lectures and role play in a fictitious pharmaceutical company.

History of the body

This module examines the history of western medicine by looking at primary sources. The module will cover the transformation of western medicine from the Renaissance to the birth of modern medicine.

Inherited Disorders

The syllabus will comprise of a general introduction to the study of inherited disorders and the general principles involved in the study of a diverse range of inherited disorders. Web-based resources will be used for these studies, and each student gains excellent transferable skills in oral presentation or written report writing.

Molecular cell biology and structural molecular biology

This module looks at the molecular mechanisms that regulate the life and death of cells. The syllabus also encompasses cellular basis of immunity, the inter-cellular trafficking of proteins and their import and export from cells.

Molecular Genetics and Biotechnologies

This module deals with the mechanism involved in the control of gene expression and phenotype in animal development. Other topics in this module include analysis of genetic diseases and approaches for their molecular diagnosis and gene therapy.

Systems Neurophysiology

The module System Neurophysiology is aiming for a broad understanding of neural circuits of the brain. The main focus of twelve lectures is on the emotional motor system. This includes the integration of sensory information from the body in brainstem circuits controlling homeostatic functions. Later the links and interactions between the brainstem functions to the limbic system which controls the emotions is further explored in detail to reveal the current knowledge of the fundamental organization of the body and mind interface.

Module Details

This link takes you to detailed information (on another part of the University of Leeds website) about this degree for the 2012/13 academic year. Please bear in mind that programme details may change and that entry requirements refer to previous years.

Research Projects

Final year students choose an individual project from a wide range of topics to suit their interests and career aspirations. The project is an original study which may be laboratory-based or a critical review of the literature. Alternatively, students may develop an educational package for use in teaching or a “Science and Society” activity for communicating our science to the general public. All projects are supervised by an academic member of staff. These projects are an important way for students to learn about independent scientific research and develop important skills for future employment.

MBiol Course Structure

To find out more about how the MBiol differs from the BSc programme, download our PDF guide to MBiol degrees.

Visit the Studying with us pages to find out more about studying in the Faculty of Biological Sciences Undergraduate School.

Please be aware that course details do change from time to time. ...

... If in doubt, please contact us to verify course content and availability. Whilst the University endeavours to ensure that the information on this website is accurate at the date of publication it does not accept liability for any inaccuracies. The University reserves the right to change or cancel its courses or services at any time without liability even after students have registered at the University. The University's contract with its students does not confer third party benefits for the purposes of Contracts (Right of Third Parties) Act 1999.


Teaching and Assessment

Medical Science students in the labOur approach to teaching and learning is based around developing your knowledge and skills, and training you to be independent and to think critically. This means that you will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and tutorials with additional time allocated to private study, project work and laboratory practicals, the balance of which will vary through your course and as you become more confident and experienced. At Leeds you will learn in many different ways:

Typical timetable (3 year BSc)

  • A typical week in year one includes twelve hours of lectures, a three hour practical session in the lab, additional tutorial, workshop and seminar sessions, plus private study.
  • Year two consists of around eight to ten lectures per week, four hours in the lab either on a single practical or ongoing project, additional tutorial, workshop and seminar sessions, plus private study time.
  • In year three you will have around eight lectures per week and tutorial and seminar sessions (Semester One). Your research project will take around three days per week (Semester Two), you will also attend three to six lectures per week, plus private study time.


We use a variety of assessment methods including:

  • reports
  • multiple-choice testing
  • practical work
  • data handling and problem-solving exercises
  • group work
  • discussion groups (physical and online),
  • computer-based simulation
  • essays
  • posters
  • oral presentations.

Current assessment details for each individual module can be accessed via the programme catalogue.


Medical Sciences graduates enjoy excellent career prospects as their training opens up opportunities in scientific and non-scientific careers alike. Our Medical Sciences programmes foster the development of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers throughout the world.

“The great thing about medical sciences is that it covers such a broad spectrum. It allowed me to find areas of study that I liked and I was able to focus more on what I found interesting as my degree progressed. It’s much easier to apply yourself to something you enjoy and it has given me a good basis for making decisions regarding careers after university.”

Dan Cummings, BSc Medical Sciences graduate 2007 - studying a postgraduate entry course in medicine.

medical scientist

Medical Sciences Careers

View scientific careers

Many of our graduates use their first degree as a stepping stone to medicine and healthcare professions. There are other opportunities for careers in research in the pharmaceutical and related industries. Some of our students enter careers in clinical trials, sales and marketing, particularly within the pharmaceutical industry.

View non-scientific professions

Our graduates acquire skills of numeracy, analytical thinking, data-handling and creativity in problem solving, all of which equip them for jobs in non-scientific careers such as sales and marketing, accountancy, finance, patent work and journalism.

View further study

The most popular single destination for our graduates is further study, including: PhD, MSc, medicine and physiotherapy.

Careers Support

Faculty careers events

We organise regular careers workshops especially for biological sciences students. We also organise an annual Bioscience Careers Networking Event, offering a chance to meet bioscience employers, speak to alumni, attend workshops and get masses of information.Browse the careers fair photo gallery.

University Careers Service

Our on-campus Careers Centre is one of the largest in the country, with experienced advisers and strong relationships with graduate recruiters. The Careers Centre will help you to find out how to develop your employability right from the start and provide support after you graduate. Find out what the Careers Centre has to offer. .

Gaining work experience

Work experience is increasingly important in a competitive job market and Leeds offers many opportunities to develop skills valuable to employers, including our industrial placement and year abroad schemes, laboratory placement schemes, and volunteering via Leeds for Life..

Industrial Advisory Board

Our Industrial Advisory Board gives employers the chance to input directly into programme and module content. This ensures that our programmes include appropriate training and skills so that our students and graduates are desirable to a broad range of graduate employers.

Join a global network of Leeds graduates

A remarkable variety of opportunities result from our relationships with our graduates, including access to the Leeds Graduate Careers Network.

Recent graduate jobs include:
Recent graduate employers include:
  • Accountant
  • Biology Teacher
  • Clinical Support Worker
  • Dietician
  • IT Specialist
  • Medical Laboratory Assistant
  • Medical Representative
  • Publisher
  • Senior Healthcare Technical Officer
  • Student Radiographer
  • British Medical Journal
  • Ernst & Young
  • IBM
  • Innovex
  • Leeds Training Hospitals
  • National Blood Service
  • NHS

drug developmentRead about more BSc Medical Sciences graduates...

Careers resources

For more information on our approach to graduate employability, please see: www.leeds.ac.uk/employability


Students' Experiences

Matt Vreugde

Matt VreugdeMatt received an Achievement Scholarship, and completed a Summer Studentship in the lab of Professor Arun Holden.

"Biomedical sciences at Leeds offers a very hands-on, research-led teaching programme that has researching professors sharing their expertise with the students."

Adam Hyman

Adam HymanAdam is a Biological Sciences Achievement Scholarship winner.

"I chose the University of Leeds primarily because of the range of modules suiting my interests."

See more student profiles.

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