Biomedical science degree

(19 Posts)
snozzlemaid Wed 12-Jul-17 20:27:29

Dd is just finishing yr10. She's always had an interest in forensics but is now considering doing a degree in Biomedical science when the time comes.
Her science teacher has told her she should be aiming for a RG university so we've been looking into this to make sure her A level choices next year give her the best chance.
I've read old threads on here where everyone advises that you must do an accredited degree. However, the biomedical science degree at Oxford (her dream choice of uni) isn't accredited.
So what we need to know is, what stands for more an accredited degree from another RG uni or a degree from Oxford?

OP’s posts: |
titchy Wed 12-Jul-17 22:06:08

An unaccredited course at Oxford I strongly suspect would trump an IBMS from an RG.

But your thinking is sensible.

booksandchoc Wed 12-Jul-17 22:10:01

If she's does the unaccredited degree she will have to do top up modules to get her hcpc registration. She may have to do these before she gets a trainee position or she may have to do them in conjunction with her training portfolio.

WishIwasanastronaut Wed 12-Jul-17 22:10:13

Bit what does she want to do at the end if it? My sister did this and ended up as a medical sales rep (horribly unethical but well paid)...

booksandchoc Wed 12-Jul-17 22:10:59

Sorry can't help with oxford/RG. I'm in Scotland and have just completed the degree course (accredited).

CortisolandCaffeine Wed 12-Jul-17 22:16:20

With an accredited BMS degree she could get a job as a Biomedical Scientist in any NHS hospital laboratory. We are CRYING out for people qualified like this. There is a real shortage st the moment.

booksandchoc Wed 12-Jul-17 22:18:20

Where about cortisland? I'm in Scotland and there is very little positions in the NHS. In the whole of Scotland there are no trainee positions and only a handful of band 5. In desperate to get a job in haematology or transfusion but I just don't see it happening 😢


thebigbluedustbin Wed 12-Jul-17 22:28:22

It depends on what she wants to do with the degree. If she wants a career that requires an accredited degree, she needs the accredited degree.

MrsBadger Wed 12-Jul-17 22:30:51

Unless she is dead set on going straight into an NHS lab then tichy is probably right and Ox will beat an RG, if she's the Ox type.

DriveItLikeYouStoleIt Wed 12-Jul-17 22:33:37

It depends very much what your daughter wants to do afterwards. If she wants to be a biomedical scientist in the NHS then she will need an accredited degree. If she wants to be an academic scientist then the biomedical science degree from Oxford will be the one to do. I have a non accredited degree in biomedical science with physiology from a Scottish university, it gives you the option of pursuing a degree in academic science (PhD route) or clinical science within the NHS (paid post graduate training), she could also go into other lab jobs, the more commercial side - research and development with drug companies etc. She could do a post grad in teaching for secondary biology. I'm a bit biased but the non accredited degree gives more options. The accredited degree will, however, give her a very definite career path. It just depends what she's looking for.

snozzlemaid Thu 13-Jul-17 03:54:43

Thank you all so much for your input.
The thing is she's only 15 so I don't think she has a definite idea of exactly what job she would like this to lead to. We did discuss how she would need an accreditation to work in NHS but she's aware there could be opportunities outside the NHS.
Science and maths are her strongest subjects and she's got a very quizzical, investigative mind. She loves the idea of using this in labs in some way in the future.
She's due to do a week of work experience at our local hospital next week, but if there's anything else anyone can suggest she should look to do to improve her uni chances we would love to hear it.

OP’s posts: |
Spam88 Thu 13-Jul-17 04:41:39

Things could all change by then of course, but presumably you don't need an accredited degree to do the NHS scientist training programme? (Genuine question!) so if not that would leave that route open to her, and presumably that's the level she'd want to be going in at anyway (I have no idea what the alternative routes are into biomedical sciences in the NHS though).

MrsBadger Thu 13-Jul-17 07:30:18

I've been mulling this, @snozzlemaid. I've worked in the NHS biomedical and research labs, in commercial research and in academia in my science area.
If she's genuinely Oxbridge material she will be wasted in an NHS BMS lab where 90% of the work is IME routine. Satisfying and interesting, but routine. Same thing day in day out. Interesting for 3 years while you learn it all but after that there's nowhere to develop apart from management.
Going in as a clinical scientist (no accreditation required) usually means you get your hands on more research and would likely suit her better - several of my colleagues went back to 'graduate entry' level to retrain as clinical scientists after getting stuck as BMSs.

I did much prefer the public-sector culture in the NHS / HCPA than either industry or academia but jobs are geographically clustered and I had to make the switch.

See if you can arrange work experience/ shadowing in some university labs near you.

Also: has she thought about medicine? It's a lot more sciencey than I ever realised as a teen - being a specialist registrar in something like microbiology or biochemistry is a far cry from being a GP looking at people's throats all day.

snozzlemaid Thu 13-Jul-17 07:53:47

Great, thanks @MrsBadger.
Will look at clinical science degrees. Not really sure if she is Oxbridge material but her science teacher has said she should look at and aim for a RG uni.
She has always excelled in all subjects and has just achieved all A grades in her year 10 mocks so she had potential to do really well next year at GCSE. Her science teacher says she is on track to get a 9 in both chemistry and biology. But with new grading I don't know how achievable this is.
I have a colleague whose daughter is doing a year at a uni lab next year and she has already offered to have a word and see if she could do something there.
I think when she's 16 more of this will be available to her. Not much going for under 16s.
Again, thank you. Lots for her to think about.

OP’s posts: |
MrsBadger Thu 13-Jul-17 08:01:48

Good to hear, snozzle (for NHS clinical science you don't usually need a specific degree, just one in the area of interest (microbiology, biochemistry etc) and may do a relevant MSc part time while they train you)

leghoul Thu 13-Jul-17 08:02:07


leghoul Thu 13-Jul-17 08:03:48

Medicine can indeed be very sciencey if you can survive the clinical, people facing parts for long enough! Loads of science/lab focused roles in medicine too and first couple of years of degree usually same ish as biochemistry or biomedical science.

Summer1986 Thu 13-Jul-17 08:11:47

If she chooses to go down the accredited course route I'd strongly recommend the option of a "sandwich" placement year (not sure what other unis call this) to get the degree in applied biomedical science. Hubs did this and it opened huge doors to employment in the lab where he did his placement. A couple of years down the line and they funded his MSc at Westminster uni and he is now sitting in a senior post.

GnomeDePlume Fri 14-Jul-17 14:20:19

DD is just about to start the third year of a biochemistry degree. When doing the open day tours we did see significant difference between the different biomed courses and institutions.

I think there is huge change coming. Routine tests will be more automated and devolved to GP clinic and home. This will mean fewer and different path lab jobs.

Research on the other hand may be very interesting. DD has spent her placement year working for a company at the cutting edge of testing equipment. She has found the work fascinating and challenging.

Best wishes to your DAD whatever she chooses.

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