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Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences with Foundation Year

Foundation Degree

Apply now for September 2024

Study Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences at University Centre Leeds

This course is for anyone who is interested in chemistry or biology and seeking a career in science, but does not have the qualifications for direct entry on to a science-based degree. 

You can still learn about how the human body works; how vaccines protect us from disease; how to design and synthesise new drug molecules and more, while working with cutting-edge laboratory equipment.  

You’ll also develop skills that will help you find work in a range of industries from NHS or government laboratories to private pharmaceutical companies. 

  • Starts:
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Venue: University Centre
  • Fee: £6,600 for the Foundation Year. Foundation Degree fees £8,745 (per academic year)
    International Fee: £14,000 full-time (per academic year)
  • UCAS Course Code(s): CF12
  • UCAS Institution Code: L21
  • Study Mode: Full Time
  • Validated By: Luminate Education Group

Entry Requirements: 32 UCAS Tariff Points


UCAS Tariff Points: 32 UCAS tariff points.

IELTS: IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any component.

International qualifications: International qualifications will be assessed against these criteria.

Mature applicants: University Centre Leeds welcomes applications from mature* applicants who may not have met the academic criteria, but who can demonstrate a wealth of experience in their chosen field. Candidates in this category and otherwise are likely to be interviewed to assess their suitability for the course and may be asked to provide a portfolio of evidence to support their application.

*21 years and over at the start of the course.

RPL claims: The course structure actively supports claims for Recognition of Prior Certified Learning (RPCL) or Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL).

Foundation Degree with Foundation Year Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences

This course combines knowledge across pharmacology, microbiology, immunology, genetics, biomaterials, and medicinal and organic chemistry. 

As you progress through your foundation year, you’ll enhance your confidence with scientific practice and knowledge by studying biology and chemistry modules in addition to mathematics and academic skills.  

Once you complete your Foundation Year, you’ll be eligible to progress on to the Biomedical & Pharmaceutical Sciences Foundation Degree, when you will study specialist modules.  

You’ll work with microbes, synthesise and analyse chemicals, and perhaps discover something new as you gain an understanding and appreciation of the chemistry and biochemistry of drug molecules: their design, synthesis and behaviour in the body. 

You’ll develop an understanding of the science of human life, health and disease at the molecular, cellular, system, organismal and environmental level and learn about microbial processes and applications, including the opportunities for humans to exploit and benefit from these.  

This course is subject to revalidation by Luminate Education Group

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How to Apply

If you have already applied somewhere through UCAS, you will need to call us to enquire about applying for 2024.

Call us on 0113 235 4450

Our friendly admissions team are there to answer all of your questions and guide you through the application process.

Not applied through UCAS but decided you want to study a degree? You can apply directly to University Centre Leeds without going through UCAS, saving the £27.50 application fee. If the following criteria apply, you can use our applicant portal to submit your application:

Apply Now

  • You have not already applied through UCAS for 24/25 entry
  • You wish to study a full-time undergraduate course exclusively at University Centre Leeds

How to Apply:

  1. Register for an Account: Click the link below and use the "Create a New User" facility to register for an application account. An email will be sent to the address you provide, with a verification link.
  2. Verify Your Email: Click the verification link in the email to confirm your account.
  3. Complete Your Application: Once your account is created, you can start your application. You can save your progress and return to it later if needed. Your username will be the email address you used to register.

To access your account again and complete your application, use the second link provided in your verification email.

Need Help? For further information, please email 

Please note, if you apply directly, we are required to submit a Record of Prior Acceptance (RPA) application to UCAS on your behalf if your application is successful and you enrol.

Course Information

Modules may include: 

Year 0 (Level 3) 

Fundamentals of Biology (20 credits) 

Introduces fundamental topics in Biology providing a foundation for further study in a number of areas of Bioscience and Life sciences. It will also provide an opportunity for you to experience important laboratory procedures. 

Further Biology (20 credits) 

Builds on the concepts and skills from Fundamentals of Biology, providing an opportunity for students to expand their experience of laboratory activities. 

Fundamentals of Chemistry (20 credits) 

Covers fundamental concepts in chemistry as well as providing an opportunity to experience chemical phenomena and practice using key pieces of equipment in the laboratory. 

Further Chemistry (20 credits) 

Covers important topics that have relevance in both chemical and biological contexts. It will provide an opportunity for further experience of important laboratory techniques, especially in the synthesis, purification and analysis of compounds. 

Foundation Mathematics (20 credits) 

Covers all of the basic mathematical and statistical skills necessary to succeed in Biology and Chemistry. 

Academic Skills (20 credits) 

This module will help you to develop the key academic skills required for success in the Foundation Year and beyond. You will be introduced to important academic and scientific conventions, enabling you to produce work of a professional standard. 

Year 1 (Level 4) 

Students can choose any combination of optional modules. Choices are made for semester 1 at enrolment and for semester 2 after Christmas. Optional module will only be delivered if there is sufficient demand. 

STEM Toolkit (20 credits) 

The purpose of this module is to enable you to acquire and develop a range of skills including transferable, personal, interpersonal, numerical, academic and subject-specific skills that will enable you to succeed in science. 

Biomolecules and cells (20 credits) 

This contains the knowledge and understanding of the major biomolecules and structures which occur inside all cells. You will explore cells and cellular organelles, examining in detail how these work as entities as well as how they work together for whole cell function. 

Integrated Practical Skills (20 credits) 

This module covers a broad range of fundamental techniques in chemistry and biology. You will learn practical skills that are fundamental to working in any commercial or academic laboratory. 

Data Analysis (20 credits) 

The aim of the Data Analysis module is to develop knowledge of statistical techniques and procedures to support academic learning in scientific subjects. 

Optional Modules

Anatomy and Physiology  (option) (20 credits) 

This module explores the structure and function of the human body and its systems. Through studying this module, you will explore how your body is changed by disease processes. This would appeal to those who are seeking employment in the biomedical sector. 


Physical and Inorganic Chemistry (option) (20 credits) 

This module covers a range of fundamental concepts in chemistry and provides an introduction to topics that will be important if you intend to progress on to careers in which a significant knowledge of chemistry is required. The module will introduce key ideas and theories as well as give you the opportunity to further develop important practical skills. 


Biochemistry (option) (20 credits) 

This module aims to deliver knowledge and understanding of the major biochemical processes which occur inside all cells. You will explore complex biochemical pathways and explore how they work and contribute to cellular function. 


Organic Chemistry (option) (20 credits) 

This module will explore the chemistry of, and methods of identifying, common organic compounds as well as give you the opportunity to experience some synthetic and analytical practical activities. 

Year 2 (Level 5) 

Students can choose any combination of optional modules. In order to study Medicinal Chemistry or Analytical Chemistry, students must have studied at least one chemistry module at level 4. Choices are made for semester 1 at enrolment and for semester 2 after Christmas. Optional modules will only be delivered if there is sufficient demand. 

Core Modules

Pharmacology and Therapeutics (20 credits) 

This module covers the pharmacology of the major body systems in addition to offering a perspective on the therapeutic interventions in modern medicine. The module also offers the chance to develop a detailed understanding of the regulation of the modern pharmaceutical industry and to follow the pathway of drug discovery through clinical trials to the marketplace. The module will ensure you have the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding to enter careers in medical science, pharma or related industries.  

Work-Related Learning (20 credits) 

This module covers a broad range of concepts relating to the modern workplace. You will explore the traits required in a good employee and develop their understanding of the sector and marketplace for careers in modern industries. The module will introduce key ideas as well as practical experience crucial to those wishing (broadly) to enter the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Achievement of the module requires a minimum of 20h documented work experience. In addition to the taught elements, students will complete a series of laboratory-based technical competencies such as the use of the autoclave and sterile technique amongst others. These skills are mapped across the level 5 modules. 

Scientific Investigation (20 credits) 

This module develops the understanding of the processes fundamental to all science using current knowledge to advance your learning of how the science industry operates. You will have the opportunity to plan and practically investigate a topic of your choice, using the practical skills gained during the first year of the degree and also acquiring new laboratory skills. At the end of this module, you will be able to confidently use industry-standard laboratory equipment such as UV-Vis spectrophotometers, rotary evaporators, autoclaves, micropipettes, electrophoresis rigs, centrifuges and chromatography columns. 

Optional Modules

Analytical Chemistry (option) (20 credits) 

In this module you will learn about standard techniques for investigating the identity and quantity of chemicals present in mixtures. You will get to use a range of equipment such as spectrometers, photometers and chromatograms to perform procedures that are common in analytical labs such as food testing, environmental monitoring or forensics services, as well as quality control departments in industries such as pharmaceutical companies. 


Microbiology and Biotechnology (option) (20 credits) 

This module develops the core knowledge about microorganisms and their increasingly important role in industrial processes across a range of applications including the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors. 

Understanding and hands-on experience in managing microbial growth and manipulation in these critical sectors presents a valuable skill for employment in today's industries where an ever-rising number of products and processes are dependent on biotechnology. 

Immunology (option) (20 credits) 

This module aims to develop your knowledge of how the immune system works in addition to demonstrating the importance of immunoassays and specific reagents in science and medicine. You will develop knowledge of non-specific and specific works immunity, how function changes in disease states and how this knowledge is used and applied practically. This will provide a background for anyone progressing into any field within the modern Biotechnology, Bioscience and Biomedical Science industries.  


Medicinal Chemistry (option) (20 credits) 

This module explores the ways in which drug molecules cause their effects in the human body. It will allow you to study how medicinal chemists design new drugs or alter existing ones to improve their properties. This will include the use of computer software to make predictions about molecular properties based on their structures. You will also get the chance to learn to synthesise some medicinal compounds in our laboratories.

Genetics (option) (20 credits) 

This module develops the knowledge and understanding needed to analyse and evaluate the inheritance of physical properties passed between generations as well as gives insight into genes that affect biological processes in human and bacterial cells.


Biomaterials (option) (20 credits) 

In this module you will learn about the materials that are used in medical implants such as replacement knee or hip joints, pins to help bone fractures heal or rods that are used to correct spinal problems. You will explore a range of different materials and practice using data about them (found by querying standard material property databases) to make decisions about which materials are most suitable for which medical applications. 

Throughout this course you will:

  • Learn new skills that will help you gain employment in a wide range of jobs 
  • Have access to labs and a large range of specialist equipment including IR, NMR and UV spectrometers, a chromatograph-mass spectrometer and a specialist tissue culture lab.  
  • Learn to work independently and safely in a busy laboratory environment and develop skills that are relevant to many scientific industries. 
  • Develop analytical and practical skills involving the use of a wide range of laboratory equipment and techniques as well as methods of scientific data collection, storage and processing.   
  • Become technically competent in common laboratory procedures, learn to manage your own time and work in teams with professionalism 
  • Design and manage your own research project – using our laboratories to conduct experiments to investigate a topic that you are interested in.  

There will be regular short practice assessment activities (in the form of quizzes and tests) with feedback provided to guide your progress and development. Pair and small group activities will be used in all modules, allowing you to improve communication and teamwork skills. You will give  short oral and poster presentations to increase your confidence in speaking and presenting. 

Modules will be formally assessed and graded through a range of methods, including traditional examinations, laboratory activities, problem-based group projects, oral and poster presentations, case-studies, research projects and essays. 

This range of activities provides the opportunity for everyone to demonstrate the knowledge and skills that they have acquired throughout the course of their studies. The mix of practical and written assessments will provide evidence to employers of the level of laboratory skills and other abilities (such as teamwork, communication skills, ethical integrity, etc.), whilst also enabling you to demonstrate the theoretical knowledge and academic skills that you have developed.  

In our well-equipped laboratories at the University Centre.

Students will have access to a range of industry standard instruments (for example: autoclaves, spectrophotometers and spectrometers, microscopes, rotary evaporators, flame photometers, and more)

Upon completion of this Foundation Degree, you can progress to study for a ‘top-up’ year and gain a full BSc (Hons) Biomedical & Pharmaceutical Sciences Degree or graduate with a Foundation Degree and move into employment.  

Examples of areas where our graduates have found employment include: NHS careers, teaching, food safety, technical support roles in academic, government or private laboratories, specialist scientific sales and marketing.  

Recent BSc graduates have progressed to careers such as Assistant Research Practitioner at the Manchester Eye Hospital, laboratory work for a global company specialising in clinical trials, a neurology technician in the NHS as well as roles in the teaching and legal professions. Many of our graduates go on to further study such as Physician Associate Studies, Medical Microbiology, Paramedic Science, Cognitive Neuroscience, Medical Biochemistry, Clinical Embryology and Assisted Reproduction Technology, Cardiology and Biopharmacy. Graduates have also gone on to study PhDs in scientific research. 

For the latest version of the programme specifications for this course please click here.

For the latest version of the course handbook for this course please click here.

For last years version of the course handbook for this course please click here.

For the latest version of the Leeds City College regulations please click here.

All of the necessary chemicals and equipment (including personal safety items such as labcoats and safety glasses) will be provided at no additional cost.

Information for International Students

Applications for 2025 will open soon, please check back for how to apply.

Course fees for Undergraduates are £14,000 (GBP)

Scholarship available £3,000 (GBP) all courses.

For more information about fees and scholarships, please click here.

Please see our entry requirements page for additional requirements as an international student

International students will study 5 additional hours on top of the regular timetable.

  • 1 hour cultural studies
  • 2 hours academic study skills
  • 2 hours English studies

For more information about visa and immigration, please click here.



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