Here we are with another degree subject review to add to our reviews category. This time we will look at another very popular subject, nowadays even more due to obvious reasons. In this post we will try to answer the question: “Is a Biomedical Sciences Degree worth it in the UK?”.
If you are not new to this blog, you know already that I am out of my comfort zone. In fact, so far we only covered subjects that are more familiar to me, basically business degrees. (you can find all degree reviews here). This is why for this post I needed the help of Shauna and her blog.
Shauna and her blog Biolingual
My name is Shauna, and I am a Biomedical Sciences student going into her fourth year of an integrated masters course. I am also the creator of a small biosciences blog Biolingual, where I discuss current biosciences research in a way that is accessible to the everyday reader. In doing this, I hope to reduce the spread of misinformation when it comes to scientific research.
When people hear about Biomedical Sciences as a degree, many people automatically assume that the end goal is to go on to do postgraduate medicine. For some this may be true but for me this isn’t something that appeals. The truth is, a degree in Biomedical Sciences can lead to a range of careers. In this post I will discuss the question: is a Biomedical Sciences degree worth it?
What is Biomedical Sciences?
Biomedical Sciences refers to the study of human cells, organs and systems in order to understand the human body better. This is key to enhance progress in healthcare. It will involve the study of diseases and how they affect our bodies; and the mechanisms used by drugs to treat them.
Whenever I describe Biomedical Sciences to somebody, I usually describe it as ‘The study of human biology’, which is an easy way to sum it up. However, the truth is that Biomedical Sciences incorporates several other areas of science, including chemistry, physics, computing and mathematics.
A Biomedical Sciences degree
One of the things to note about a Biomedical Sciences degree is that they tend to be fairly flexible. In my experience, I have been able to choose from a long list of optional modules. Moreover, I have also been able to shape my degree based on my interests.
No matter which university you study at, a Biomedical Sciences course will involve some form of practical lab work. Whilst this may sound daunting, your lecturers and supervisors will understand that you probably haven’t done any sort of lab work before. Don’t worry, you won’t be thrown into the deep end without any preparation.
Many people also choose to take a year out of their studies between the second and third year to work in an industrial placement. This can be a great opportunity to boost your CV and to gain some meaningful work experience.
Working with a Biomedical Sciences degree
As I mentioned previously, many people go on to study postgraduate medicine after Biomedical Sciences. This degree does provide a great foundation for postgraduate medicine. It covers the fundamentals of human biology and discusses the mechanisms behind many diseases and drugs. But there are many other careers that can follow a Biomedical Sciences degree.
One option is to work as a Biomedical Scientist for the NHS. This is a key role in healthcare which will involve carrying out analysis of biological samples and giving the results to medical professionals (source: Prospects). However, if this is something you wish to pursue, you need to make ensure that your Biomedical Sciences degree is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Sciences (IMBS).
Another way to work for the NHS with this degree (without the need for it to be accredited) is to join the NHS Scientist Training Programme. Basically, you complete a part-time masters degree to become a specialist clinical scientist. Although, this programme is highly competitive, and so you should consider carefully whether this is for you before joining.
Other career routes include, academic research, pharmaceutical research, science communication and business. Ultimately, the flexibility of this degree can allow you to move into many job sectors upon degree completion.
Why is a Biomedical Sciences degree worth it?
As I have already said, Biomedical Sciences is a flexible degree, but ne thing worth noting is that it is easy to move to a related degree in your first year. I personally know of some people who have moved from Biomedical Sciences to Biochemistry, and vice versa.
I changed to and from the BSc to the four-year masters course about three or four times before I made my mind up. Knowing that you can shape your degree as you go along can be a very appealing quality of a degree.
As well as studying diseases, drugs and tissue in great detail, you will gain skills such as:
- Scientific writing, writing reports and your final year dissertation
- Presentation and communication, giving presentations and explaining your work to others
- Teamwork, carrying out group projects
- Critical analysis, when evaluating different sources for scientific information, including current news
- Time management, dealing with deadlines from multiple modules
With a large range of career prospects, and a multitude of skills to learn, a Biomedical Sciences degree is definitely one to consider if you are thinking of working in the biological sciences sector.
No matter who you are and what age you may be, a degree could allow you to explore thousands of job opportunities. Even if you have found a job in a sector you like, a degree could allow you to progress up the career ladder. Thank you all for reading.
Whether or not you are interested in Biomedical Sciences, I would highly recommend to read Shauna’s blog Biolingual! It’s a great way of keeping up with scientific news and getting to know more about something that really impacts our lives.
I really hope you found this post useful. If you are looking for more, you can find all my blog posts here.