Biomedical Science is the term for the investigations, carried out by Biomedical Scientists on samples of tissue and body fluids, to diagnose disease and monitor the treatment of patients. Scientists work in partnership with doctors and other healthcare professionals to perform many different roles in medical laboratories. Biomedical Science is a continually changing dynamic profession and involves study of the diverse areas of medical science including: Biochemistry, Microbiology, Genetics, Haematology and Transfusion Science. It provides training in ‘state of the art’ technologies, to facilitate investigation of disease and medical research.
This direct-entry degree course is offered jointly by University College Cork and Munster Technological University. The degree programme was developed jointly by the two institutes to improve course structure, curriculum, student experience and career opportunities. The programme is managed, administered and taught through both institutions.
There are thirty places available on the programme via CAO code MT871.
This degree programme is accredited and recognised by the Academy of Medical Laboratory Sciences in Ireland. Clinical placement of students in hospital laboratories is required for accreditation.
Content on this page
Our graduates say
Dr Caroline Vaughan
I graduated from UCC with a BSc Honours in Biomedical Science. Subsequently, I completed a nine month in-service training year in Waterford Regional Hospital (WRH). Having had the opportunity to work in all the disciplines, I decided that Haematology was the area I wished to specialise in. I have continued to work as a Medical Scientist in this area, in the Haematology Department in WRH and love it. Although, I am not directly involved with patients, most of their treatment is based on information I supply to the nurses and doctors. The quicker we can diagnose a patient the quicker they get treated, which is something I find very satisfying. I also find it fascinating to look down the microscope at diseases such as; leukaemia, malaria and anaemia. Also, as many laboratories share on-call work, I have been given the opportunity to train in Blood Transfusion and gain significant experience, which may be beneficial for future job opportunities.
One of the things that appealed to me when choosing my degree options was the ability to travel with my chosen career. Medical Scientists are in high demand in industry and health services, both in Ireland and abroad, and for those wishing to volunteer for organisations such as Médecins Sans Frontières. I have been able to build on my knowledge by pursuing further professional education courses, run by the Academy of Medical Science. I am currently entering the second year of a two-year part-time Masters in Biomedical Science in UCC/MTU, specialising in advanced Haematology/Transfusion Science subjects. These optional qualifications will help me to develop advanced specialist skills or adopt senior roles and responsibilities. Also within my workplace all scientists are required to play their part in health and safety training of new medical scientists, quality control and quality assurance schemes as part of our quality management system. These experiences have equipped me with transferable skills, which can be applied to many other professions. As well as being a rewarding profession, it is also a flexible one. A BSc in Biomedical science can offer a great gateway to other interests in management and research, which may evolve as you get older and your career progresses.
The biomedical sciences programme at CIT-UCC provides an exceptional foundation in science with a strong clinical focus. Studying a diverse range of subjects and engaging with excellent tutors fostered nascent academic interests. The course is highly regarded and graduates are well positioned for work in clinical laboratories, industry or to undertake further studies. During the summer breaks I was lucky to gain experience in different types of laboratories and worked in industry, research and healthcare sectors. Additionally, the clinical aspect of the course gave me an appreciation for medicine and the impetus to pursue a medical career via graduate entry medicine. The experience and knowledge acquired from the degree has been of tremendous value in my current studies. I even still have the opportunity to get back to the laboratory where I conduct clinical research. Biomedical science is an outstanding course and definitely worth considering if one has an interest in science and wants a widely recognised and respected qualification.
I graduated from UCC with a BSc Honours in Biomedical Science. After graduating, I completed nine months clinical placement in a hospital, in order to gain accreditation from the Academy of Medical Laboratory Science in Ireland. This involved shadowing and working with Medical Scientists within the Biochemistry, Histology, Microbiology, Haematology and Blood Bank laboratories of the hospital. Classes were also given on aspects such as quality control, laboratory safety and record maintenance. During this placement, I carried out both research and literature review based projects. As part of this training period, I spent two weeks rotating amongst the different departments of the Munster Regional Transfusion Centre. Following continuous assessment and an oral examination, I obtained accreditation from the Academy of Medical Laboratory Science, and was therefore, qualified to work in a hospital pathology laboratory.
I subsequently applied for a place on the PhD Scholars Programme in Cancer Biology at UCC. In the first year of this structured PhD programme, I was involved in carrying out three twelve-week projects in different areas of cancer research. In the second year as a PhD student, I investigated the process of cell motility and cancer metastasis. The BSc in Biomedical Science provided me with the necessary skills to pursue a career as a medical or a research scientist.
I chose to study Biomedical Science for two reasons – my love of science and my intrigue at how it could be applied in the world of medicine. I was not disappointed; the course is an excellent one. It is offered as a joint program between University College Cork and Cork Institute of Technology which is great because you get to experience the best of both worlds with two colleges.
The course is excellently designed, with an emphasis on intellectual and analytical skills and the practical laboratory sessions were second to none. During the four years, you study subjects specific to the role of a Biomedical Scientist – such as Clinical Microbiology, Medical Microbiology, Haematology and Transfusion Science but the course also offers a broad range of subjects in all areas of life sciences. I particularly enjoyed the focus on the patient and diagnosis of disease. You also get a feel for research when you undertake a project in fourth year, which really wet my appetite for research.
After graduating, I worked for nine months as a student Medical Scientist in the Bon Secours Hospital where I undertook my Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Placement which is offered to all students upon completion of the degree. I absolutely loved my time here where I got to experience what it was like to work as a Biomedical Scientist and put into practice what I had learned over the four years. I then worked as a Medical Scientist in the Biochemistry department for five months.
The opportunities once you graduate are endless. The majority of people go on to work as a Biomedical Scientist in a hospital lab, while others go into pharmaceutical companies or undertake research Masters or PhD’s. I am currently pursuing a PhD in CIT looking at the molecular epidemiology, pathogenesis and control strategies of Group B Streptococci.
I absolutely loved my time studying Biomedical Science. I cannot recommend the course strongly enough to anyone who has an interest in the areas of medical science. The skills I learned over the five years have proven invaluable to me and I have no doubt that they will continue to do so.