Biomedical Scientist

Biomedical scientists carry out a range of laboratory and scientific tests to support the diagnosis and treatment of disease.

Working life

Biomedical scientists investigate a range of medical conditions, including:

  • cancer
  • diabetes
  • blood disorders (eg anaemia)
  • meningitis
  • hepatitis
  • AIDS

You would also perform a key role in screening for diseases, identifying those caused by bacteria and viruses and monitoring the effects of medication and other treatments.

You would learn to work with computers, sophisticated automated equipment, microscopes and other hi-tech laboratory equipment and you would use a wide range of complex modern techniques in your day-to-day work.

The work is highly varied, practical and analytical. You would usually specialise in one of three specific areas:

  • infection sciences
  • blood sciences
  • cellular sciences

Entry requirements

There are currently three main entry points into training as a biomedical scientist:

  • with appropriate A-levels (including at least one science) through the NHS Practitioner Training Programme (PTP) by taking an accredited integrated BSc degree in Healthcare Science (life sciences). It is essential to contact universities directly to clarify what they will accept for entry onto their programmes, and also whether any particular experience is required or preferred. To find universities running these courses, please use our course finder.
  • with an honours degree in biomedical science from one of the UK education centres accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) and approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), by gaining employment with the NHS as a trainee biomedical scientist. Graduates with a non IBMS-accredited degree, should contact the IBMS to have their degree assessed.
  • with A-levels in life sciences and/or equivalent as a trainee biomedical scientist, however this is only possible if the employer is willing to offer financial support and the time off to study for the degree on a part-time basis.