BSc Medical Sciences

UCAS code B100
Duration 3 Years
Typical offer AAB-ABB; IB: 34-32; BTEC DDD-DDM
Discipline
  • Medicine
Location Taught in Exeter
  • Streatham (Exeter)
  • St Luke's (Exeter)

Overview

BSc (Hons) Medical Sciences video

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  • A broad and flexible programme, looking at the science behind medicine
  • Innovative approaches to individual and group learning
  • A vibrant and supportive environment for personal, academic and professional skills development
  • State-of-the-art research, teaching and learning resources

At present many scientific discoveries never leave the laboratories in which they are made. At the same time the needs of frontline clinicians – and their patients – often go unheard by those doing research. This career-focused degree prepares you to be able to fill these gaps, and thereby enhance the lives of patients.

Our Medical Sciences degree offers an innovative approach to learning that includes lectures from world-leading experts; supportive small-group learning; internationally renowned e-learning resources; hands-on sessions in research laboratories and clinical settings; inspirational clinician-scientist-patient sessions; and worldwide professional training placements. The curriculum combines contemporary medical science with the training required to undertake cutting-edge research.

The programme has been developed in consultation with industry employers, the NHS and academia and provides a firm foundation in the core biomedical and biomolecular sciences, alongside an insight into medical practice and the biotechnologies used to prevent, test and diagnose disorders and treat patients.

You’ll develop an integrated, scientific knowledge that you can put into practice in a clinical setting and robust research skills, plus creative and inquisitive communication, leadership, critical appraisal and problem-solving skills. These key skills will prepare you for a career helping to progress scientific discovery into clinical and medical practice, ultimately to improve human health.

Programme variations

Open Days

Join us at one of our Open Days .

“I chose this degree because I really loved the idea of being able to learn about a wide variety of topics, whilst still being able to specialise in an area that really interested me at the end of the degree. So far I’ve enjoyed my small group sessions, in first year they were valuable in helping me get to know people on the course whilst also building on valuable team work and independent learning skills. This year I’ve been really excited by my immunopathology module, one which I was able to choose myself. Over the term we’ve had guest lecturers who are leading in their field and have also had the opportunity to conduct our very own experiments in the Medical Sciences lab.“

Laura, studying BSc Medical Sciences.

Programme structure

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

Our Medical Sciences degree prioritises the science that underpins medicine and clinical practice, preparing you to translate scientific discoveries and technological advances into improved healthcare. To achieve this, the first part of the programme gives you a wide-ranging insight into how the human body normally works. We study this through small-group sessions, lectures and hands-on laboratory practicals.

We then build upon this foundation to see how things can go wrong in the body due to disease and trauma and how normal function might be restored. We are keen that you develop a holistic understanding of human health. For example, whilst pharmaceutical intervention may be appropriate in some conditions, other conditions might be helped more by using technology or engineering. You will be able to see this for yourself, thanks to the wide range of placements that run throughout the programme.

Your final year will be spent specialising in the area that interests you most, tailoring your degree to match your specific career ambitions. You’ll also undertake a two-term long independent research project under the supervision of an academic.

Year 1

In your first year you will explore the science that underpins the advancement of modern medical practice. The emphasis is on understanding the normal functioning of the human body, from enzymes through to whole biological systems. Without this core knowledge of how the body works, it would be impossible for us, as scientists, to devise the new diagnostic tests, drugs or treatments that will best benefit patients.

Alongside traditional lectures, tutorials and laboratory practicals, you will engage in small group work where you are given the freedom to explore a scientific topic under the expert guidance of one of our tutors (in the Integrated Human Physiology and Fundamental Skills for Medical Scientists modules). Further tutor-guided learning occurs within our Life Science Resource Centre, supported by state-of-the-art technology-enhanced learning resources (the Integrated Human Physiology module). Your core laboratory skills will be developed through laboratory-based practicals that run alongside and support your other sessions. Some sessions also involve a doctor, scientist and patient to explore key clinical cases from three different perspectives.

You will begin to compile your Personal Development and Professionalism Portfolio, in which you chart your progress from a new student to a professional individual ready for the world of employment. You will do this by analysing your academic performance and the frequent feedback offered by the school to identify opportunities for personal and professional development to help you achieve your career goals. Support for your academic progress and career planning is provided by your Personal Tutor and through various workshops and training sessions.

Compulsory modules

CodeModuleCredits
CSC1005

Integrated Human Physiology

30
CSC1004 Fundamental Skills for Medical Scientists 30
BIO1341 Biochemistry and Genetics 30
BIO1342 Microbiology and Cells 1 30
CSC1905 Academic and Professional Support 0

Year 2

The second year focuses on the scientific basis of important diseases, beginning with some fundamental insights into the ways in which human biology goes awry in disease. This knowledge is then used to explore how cutting-edge scientific technologies can be exploited to advance disease diagnosis and treatment.

Within a variety of learning environments, including lectures, tutorials, workshops, laboratory practicals and small group learning, you will have opportunities to investigate and debate how disease develops and how healthcare can be improved. Key aspects of applied research are explored, including clinical research methods and its design and setting within healthcare environments. Your understanding of these areas develops through a variety of hands-on learning opportunities which enhance your practical research skills and knowledge of contemporary medical research issues.

Compulsory modules

CodeModuleCredits
CSC2012 Disease, Diagnostics and Therapeutics 30
CSC2014 Principles of Medical Research  30
CSC2905 Academic and Professional Support  0

Students on the pathways also study one additional compulsory module (Human Genomics study CSC2004, Neuroscience pathway CSC2006, Pharmacology and Therapeutics pathway CSC2005):

CodeModuleCredits
CSC2004 Medical Genetics 15
CSC2006 Foundations in Neuroscience 15
CSC2005 Introduction to Pharmacology 15

Optional modules

Students on the Neuroscience, Human Genomics and Pharmacology, and Therapeutic pathways must take 45 credits of optional modules, at least 15 credits of which must be from the Biosciences options.

Students on the core Medical Sciences programme must take 60 credits of optional modules, at least 30 credits of which must be from the Biosciences options.

Medical Sciences optional modules
CodeModuleCredits
CSC2013 Medical Research Evaluation 15
CSC2009 Anatomical Sciences 15
CSC2008 Immunopathology 15
CSC2004 Medical Genetics (core module for Genomics pathway) 15
CSC2006 Foundations in Neuroscience (core module for Neuroscience pathway) 15
CSC2005 Introduction to Pharmacology (core module for Pharmacology and Therapeutics pathway) 15
CSC2017 Ethical Issues in Health Research (core module for Health Research Pathway)  15
CSC2007 Introduction to Health Research (core module for Health Research Pathway) 15
CSC2016 Measurement & Evaluation in Health Research 15

 

Biosciences optional modules
CodeModuleCredits
BIO2078 Medical and General Microbiology 15
BIO2094 Molecular Microbiology 15
BIO2092 Genomics and Introductory Bioinformatics 15
BIO2089 Molecular Biology of the Gene 15
BIO2088 Advanced Cell Biology 15
BIO2090 Analytical Techniques in Biochemistry 15

Year 3

In your final year you have opportunities to study and undertake research to help improve current medical knowledge and practice. In addition to the core modules, you can select from a range of optional specialist advanced modules, enabling you to tailor your degree to match your own specific interests and career ambitions.

You will look at authentic and complex clinical case scenarios and, working as a team, apply evidence-based scientific theory and explore emerging new health technologies to help improve patient health. During this year, you will undertake a clinical/medical research project, closely supervised by an expert research professional.

You will complete your Personal Development and Professionalism Portfolio. Support will be provided to help you consider your career options and help consolidate your CV and interview technique.

Compulsory modules

CodeModuleCredits
CSC4019 Translational Medical Science 30
CSC4020 Research Project 45
CSC3905 Academic and Professional Support 0

Optional modules

Students may select 45 credits (three options) of optional modules.

Medical Sciences modules
CodeModuleCredits
CSC4004 Managing Clinical Trials: Putting Science into Practice 15
CSC4022 Medical Imaging - Principles and Applications 15
CSC4003 Psychology Applied to Health 15
CSC4018 Health Economics 15
CSC4008 Frontiers in Neuroscience (core module for Neuroscience pathway) 30
CSC4005 Pharmacogenomics 15
CSC4007 Medical Genomics (core module for Genomics pathway) 15
CSC4006 Rational Drug Design (core module for Pharmacology and Therapeutics pathway) 15
CSC4009 Neuropharmacology  15

Subject to confirmation, Biosciences hope to offer the following options:

Biosciences modules
CodeModuleCredits
BIO3078 Cellular Basis of Immunity 15
BIO3079 Molecular Basis of Infection 15
BIO3085 Horizons in Biochemical Research 15
BIO3086 Cell Biology of Disease 15
BIO3041 Pharmacology and Medicinal Chemistry 15
BIO3077 Frontiers in Molecular Cell Biology 15
BIO3092 Bioinformatics 15
BIO3093 Energy Metabololism 15

Entry requirements 2019

Typical offer

AAB-ABB; IB: 34-32; BTEC DDD-DDM

Required subjects

At least one grade A and one grade B in GCE AL science subjects, one of which must be Biology. At least one HL6 and one HL5 in IB science subject, one of which must be Biology.

GCE AL/AS science includes: Biology/Human Biology*; Chemistry; Computing; Design and Technology; Electronics; Environmental Studies; Geography; Geology; Maths/Pure Maths/Further Maths*; Physical Education; Physics; Psychology; Science (applied); Statistics.

 *If more than one of these is taken they would only count as one ‘science’ but could count as two A levels towards our general requirements.

Applicants studying a BTEC Extended Diploma will also require one grade A and one grade B in GCE AL science subjects, one of which must be Biology.

Students joining the three-year programme will have the option to transfer to the four-year programme, and vice versa.

International students

International students should check details of our English language requirements and may be interested in our Foundation programmes.

Further information

Please read the important information about our Typical offer.

For full and up-to-date information on applying to Exeter and entry requirements, including requirements for other types of qualification, please see the Applying section.

Learning and teaching

Throughout the programme, you benefit from a careful blend of innovative and traditional teaching methods employed by both the Medical School and the Biosciences department. A variety of stimulating, cutting-edge resources are also available to support your learning.

Structured small group learning sessions

In tutor-led groups of 8-12 students you will investigate key scientific concepts and systems presented in the form of triggers. The style of trigger varies week by week but will include patient-based clinical case studies, current media-worthy medical science breakthroughs and extracts from research papers.

Within your group, you will discuss the trigger and report back your individual research findings, coming to a shared understanding of the medically relevant scientific knowledge important to fully understand the trigger. Throughout your degree you will have the opportunity to apply your increasing knowledge to new triggers and build on the depth of your understanding.

These small group sessions will also develop your critical thinking, problem design and solving, teamwork, presentation and lifelong learning skills which are essential for your career development.

Life Sciences Resource Centre activities

You’ll be supported in your exploration of the human biomedical science that is presented in your small group sessions by the rich variety of state-of-the-art resources available in the Life Sciences Resource Centre. These resources include anatomical models, multimedia and IT resources, and a well-stocked library. Tutor-led activities will drive your engagement with selected resources in order to increase your understanding of the small group triggers.

Lectures and seminars

Large group lectures and cutting-edge research seminars delivered by academics as well as external speakers will complement your studies. Lectures may contain students from a variety of different programmes for which the lecture content is relevant.

Practical laboratory sessions

You will develop your laboratory skills in the biosciences teaching laboratory on the Streatham Campus and the new teaching lab at the St Luke’s campus, which are equipped with instruments for observational, experimental and numerical aspects of biosciences including a range of biochemical, molecular, physiological and electronic apparatus.

Computer-based practical sessions are held in the IT suite on the St Luke’s Campus. Helpful and friendly technicians and demonstrators are always available during practical sessions to ensure that you get the most out of your training sessions.

Online learning

Your learning will be supported by the University’s virtual learning environment. You will have individual access to electronic journals, content-rich study guides, and interactive online learning materials covering various science disciplines, formative online assessments and group discussion forums.

Assessment

Regular assessment is used to help provide you with frequent feedback, enabling you to identify your strengths, as well as areas for improvement. Feedback is provided in a number of different ways including online written feedback and self, peer, tutor or small group feedback.

Assessment in the early stages of the degree tends to be more knowledge-based to ensure a strong and broad grounding in the subject area, with some opportunities for essay writing and critical analysis.

Assessment in the later degree stages tends to assess your critical appraisal skills, depth of understanding and your ability to think independently. Some assessments take place in groups, focusing on the team product or how well you lead your team to complete a task.

A variety of assessment methods are employed across the programme, each aligned to the intended learning outcomes of the modules. Assessment formats include multiple-choice tests, essays, structured practical exams, reflective essays, oral and poster presentations, scientific report writing, short-answer question tests and independent project work.

Careers

This programme is designed to prepare you for employment in a wide variety of professional careers and helps to develop the key transferable skills valued by employers.

These skills range from identifying and solving problems, to efficient communication, leadership and management. Key vocational skills, such as advanced laboratory training within molecular biology, also enhance your employability.

Science graduates compete well in the wider graduate employment market, as they offer strong analytical and problem-solving skills valued highly across all sectors.

Future career pathways include:

  • Postgraduate study, either at a university or with the NHS
  • Employment in knowledge industries, such as pharmaceuticals or medical technology. Roles might include research and development, clinical trials, or sales and marketing
  • Training and employment to become a Scientific Officer in the Civil Service
  • NHS management
  • Postgraduate training for the NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP)
  • Graduate entry to professional degrees such as radiotherapy
  • Graduate entry to medicine*, dentistry or other accredited healthcare programmes

“I feel my placement has enhanced my employability because I learned lab techniques which I can now put on my CV. I attended an Alzheimer’s Society conference where I had the chance to present my data and speak to professionals in this field.”

Magdalena, studying BSc Medical Sciences

Contact us

WebEnquire online
Phone: +44 (0)1392 725500

Website: Visit the Medical Sciences website

Specialism pathways

All students complete the same first year regardless of whether you choose Medical Sciences or if you choose to undertake one of our four Medical Sciences specialisms. Our programme is designed to be flexible so that you can change between specialisms, or onto a specialism at the end of year one.

In year two, specialism modules are introduced and in the final year you can study advanced specialism-specific modules and complete a research project within your chosen area. You also have the option of taking a Professional Training Year (PTY) in your third year.

Our specialisms are:

  • Health Research
  • Human Genomics
  • Neuroscience
  • Pharmacology and Therapeutics

BSc Medical Sciences (Health Research)

Research is essential for improving human health and informs every aspect of clinical practice, social care, and public policy. This pathway will introduce you to the fundamentals of health research and explores concepts and scientific procedures such as: quantitative and qualitative research methods, evidence-based clinical practice, evidence synthesis and cost-effectiveness, key ethical issues in health research (e.g. consent, confidentiality, deception, coercion and publication bias), basic statistical analyses, the publication and dissemination of research findings, patient and public involvement, and the interconnection between research funding, public policy, and clinical practice.

Year 2

You must take 45 credits of Health research modules in year 2, and 15 credits of a Biosciences optional module.

Compulsory modules

CodeModulesCredits
CSC2007 Introduction to Health Research 15
CSC2016 Measurement & Evaluation in Health Research 15
CSC2017  Ethical Issues in Health Research 15

Final year

120 credits at Stage 4, made up of 75 credits compulsory modules and 45 credits of optional modules (recommended optional modules listed below)

Compulsory modules

CodeModulesCredits
CSC4019 Translational Medical Science 30
CSC4020 Research Project 45
CSC3905 Academic and Professional Support 0


Optional modules

CodeModulesCredits
CSC4003 Psychology Applied to Health 15
CSC4004 Managing Clinical Trials: Putting Science into Practice 15
  Health Economics 15
  Medical Imaging: Principles and Applications 15
  Health Technology Assessment 15

*For credits from your Research Project to count towards the specialism, your focus of study in this module must be in the field of health research.

BSc Medical Sciences (Human Genomics)

Location: Exeter (St Luke’s and Streatham Campuses)

Genomics is the study of the structure and function of our genome. Genes are regulated to produce the RNAs and proteins needed for life, and these factors may be influenced by internal factors (such as genetic variation or disease states) or external factors (such as our environment).

Powerful technologies in genomics allow us to sequence a person’s entire genetic code, giving insight into the mechanisms of normal and pathological states, as well as the identification, diagnosis and treatment of genetic disorders.

Topics include:
• Medical Genetics
• Medical Genomics
• Pharmacogenomics
• Genomics and Introductory Bioinformatics
• Microbiology of the Gene
• Final Year Project in Human Genomics

Year 2

CodeModulesCredits
CSC2004 Medical Genetics 15


You must take 45 credits of optional modules, at least 15 credits of which must be from the Biosciences options.

Year 3 (MSci)/ Final year (BSc)

120 credits at Stage 4, made up of 90 credits of compulsory modules and 30 credits of optional modules (at least 15 credits must be taken from the recommended optional modules listed below)

Compulsory modules

CodeModulesCredits
CSC3905 Academic and Professional Support 0
CSC4007 Medical Genomics 15
CSC4019 Translational Medical Science 30
CSC4020 Research Project  45


*For credits from your Research Project to count towards the specialism, your focus of study in this module must be in the field of human genomics.

Optional modules

CodeModulesCredits
CSC4005 Pharmacogenomics 15
BIO3092 Bioinformatics  15


Final year (MSci)

The MSci is a four-year programme (without PTY) that mirrors the BSc (Hons) Medical Sciences (Human Genomics) and includes an additional fourth year. The final year provides the opportunity to work at Masters level, accruing 120 credits. You may be permitted to work in the same area of research at Masters level in year 4, as you do in the 3rd year.

You must complete 4 taught modules.

Compulsory modules

CodeModulesCredit
HPDM036 "Omics" Techniques and their Application to Genomic Medicine 15
HPDM037 Genomics of Common and Rare Inherited Diseases  15
HPDM041 Bioinformatics, Interpretation, Statistics and Data Quality Assurance* 15


 
*If you have taken BIO3092 Bioinformatics in year 3 you do not need to complete HPDM041 Bioinformatics, Interpretation, Statistics and Data Quality Assurance.


Optional modules

If you have taken BIO3092 Bioinformatics in year 3 you must choose 2 optional modules. Those that complete HPDM041 Bioinformatics, Interpretation, Statistics and Data Quality Assurance must choose 1 optional module.

 

CodeModulesCredit
HPDM038 Molecular Pathology of Cancer and Application in Cancer Diagnosis, Screening, and Treatment  15
HPDM039 Pharmacogenomics and Stratified Healthcare  15
HPDM044 Ethical, Legal and Social Issues 15
HPDM045 Counselling Skills for Genomics 15
HPDM046 Advanced Bioinformatics 15
HPDM049 Epigenetics 15
BIOM567 Application of Genomics in Infectious Disease 15

BSc Medical Sciences (Neuroscience)

Location: Exeter (St Luke’s and Streatham Campuses)

Explore the Central (brain, the spinal cord) and the Peripheral Nervous Systems, and how they interact with the internal and external environments in normal and disease states. Study neurological and behavioural disorders and gain an insight into the latest fundamental and applied research and methodologies in these areas.

Topics include:
• Foundations in Neuroscience;
• Frontiers in Neuroscience;
• Neuropharmacology;
• Final Year Project in Neuroscience

Year 2

CodeModulesCredits
CSC2006 Foundations in Neuroscience  15


You must take 45 credits of optional modules, at least 15 credits of which must be from the Biosciences options.

Final year


120 credits at Stage 4, made up of 105 credits of compulsory modules and 15 credits of optional modules (recommended optional module listed below)

Compulsory modules

CodeModulesCredits
CSC3905 Academic and Professional Support 0
CSC4008 Frontiers in Neuroscience 30
CSC4019 Translational Medical Science  30
CSC4020 Research Project  45



Optional modules

CodeModulesCredits
CSC4009 Neuropharmacology  15



*For credits from your Research Project to count towards the specialism, your focus of study in this module must be in the field of neuroscience.

BSc Medical Sciences (Pharmacology and Therapeutics)

Location: Exeter (St Luke’s and Streatham Campuses)

Study how drugs are designed and how they work in the body. Become familiar with research and development in the new generation of ‘smart’ drugs and how they are being targeted for specific sub-set of disorders.

Topics/modules will include:
• Induction to Pharmacology
• Rational Drug Design
• Pharmacogenomics
• Neuropharmacology
• Pharmacology and Medicinal Chemistry
• Final Year Project in Pharmacology and/or Therapeutics.

Year 2

CodeModulesCredits
CSC2005 Introduction to Pharmacology  15



You must take 45 credits of optional modules, at least 15 credits of which must be from the Biosciences options.


Final year


120 credits at Stage 4, made up of 90 credits of compulsory modules and 30 credits of optional modules (at least 15 credits must be taken from the recommended optional module listed below).


Compulsory modules

CodeModulesCredits
CSC3905 Academic and Professional Support  0
CSC4006 Rational Drug Design  15
CSC4019 Translational Medical Science  30
CSC4020 Research Project  45



Optional modules

CodeModulesCredit
CSC4005 Pharmacogenomics  15
CSC4009  Neuropharmacology 15
BIO3041  Pharmacology and Medicinal Chemistry 15


 
 
*For credits from your Research Project to count towards the specialism, your focus of study in this module must be in the field of pharmacology and/or non-drug therapeutics (e.g. gene editing, siRNA, stem cells).

Support

Academic support

All students are assigned a personal tutor by the Medical School for the duration of your programme. Your personal tutor is there to help and support you in any areas related to your academic progress including providing advice on careers, employability and training events.

In addition to your personal tutor in the Medical School, you’ll be assigned a programme adviser from Biosciences who will provide you with extra academic support for your Biosciences modules.

Pastoral Support and Wellbeing

We offer a friendly and supportive environment from your first day with us. Our Pastoral Tutor team can provide assistance with non-academic issues and there is a designated Student Welfare Officer (SWO) for the Medical School. Prospective students can contact the SWO on uemsdisability@exeter.ac.uk for student support enquiries.

The University also provides extensive wellbeing support through a range of services including counselling services, advice units, chaplaincy, childcare facilities and student health centres. Find out further information about our Wellbeing services.