science student looking down smiling, blue overlay

Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Foundation Degree

Study Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences at University Centre Leeds

Learn about how the human body works; how to design and synthesise new drug molecules; how vaccines protect us from disease and much, much more, all whilst working with cutting-edge laboratory equipment and developing skills that will help you find work in a range of industries from NHS or government laboratories to private pharmaceutical companies.

  • Starts:
  • Duration: 2 years
  • Venue: University Centre Leeds
  • Fee: £8,745 full-time (per academic year for UK students)
  • UCAS Course Code(s): CF13
  • UCAS Institution Code: L21
  • Study Mode: Full Time
  • Validated By: Luminate Education Group

Entry Requirements: 64 UCAS Tariff Points

TYPICAL OFFER

UCAS Tariff Points: 64 UCAS tariff points from two A-levels (or equivalent qualifications), 32 points of which must be from one A level or an equivalent in a relevant science subject e.g. Biology or Chemistry

GCSE English (Desirable): English Language Grade C or above (grade 4 for those sitting their GCSE from 2017 onwards). Key Skills Level 2, Functional Skills Level 2 and the Certificate in Adult Literacy are accepted in place of GCSEs.

GCSE Maths (Essential): Maths Grade C or above (grade 4 for those sitting their GCSE from 2017 onwards). Key Skills Level 2, Functional Skills Level 2 and the Certificate in Adult Numeracy are accepted in place of GCSEs.

GCSE Science: Science Grade C or above (grade 4 for those sitting their GCSE from 2017 onwards).

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.

*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).

science students with a pipette

Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences

About the course

This course is for anyone who is interested in the chemistry or biology of the human body. It is an ideal course for those who wish to find employment in areas such as medical laboratories, food safety or environmental testing or the pharmaceutical industry. 

By studying this degree you will gain an understanding and appreciation of the chemistry and biochemistry of drug molecules: their design, synthesis and behaviour in the body, 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. You will also have the opportunity to design and conduct your own research project in our laboratories, using cutting edge, industry-standard equipment. 

Upon completion of this Foundation Degree, you can progress to study for a third year and gain a full BSc (Hons) Biomedical & Pharmaceutical Sciences Top-Up Degree

 

This course is subject to revalidation by Luminate Education Group

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How to Apply

If you would like to apply for to study full time, please do so via UCAS.

The institution code for University Centre Leeds is L21.

The application fee for applying through UCAS is £27.50.

Apply via UCAS

Course Information

Throughout this course you will:

  1. Have the opportunity to design and conduct your own research project.
  2. Gain an understanding and appreciation of the chemistry and biochemistry of drug molecules: their design, synthesis and behaviour in the body
  3. Develop a multidisciplinary understanding of the science of human life, health and disease at the molecular, cellular, system, organismal and environmental level.
  4. Learn about microbial processes and applications, including the opportunities for humans to exploit and benefit from these.

Modules may include: 

Year 1 (Level 4)

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. 

OR

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. 

AND

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. 

OR

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) 

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. 

OR

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.  

OR

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.  

 OR

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. 

 

You will choose options for semester 1 at enrolment. Semester 2 options must be chosen by the Christmas break 

Options will only be offered if there is sufficient interest in them 

 

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.  

TYPICAL OFFER

UCAS Tariff Points: 64 UCAS tariff points from two A-levels (or equivalent qualifications), 32 points of which must be from one A level or an equivalent in a relevant science subject e.g. Biology or Chemistry

GCSE English (Desirable): English Language Grade C or above (grade 4 for those sitting their GCSE from 2017 onwards). Key Skills Level 2, Functional Skills Level 2 and the Certificate in Adult Literacy are accepted in place of GCSEs.

GCSE Maths (Essential): Maths Grade C or above (grade 4 for those sitting their GCSE from 2017 onwards). Key Skills Level 2, Functional Skills Level 2 and the Certificate in Adult Numeracy are accepted in place of GCSEs.

GCSE Science: Science Grade C or above (grade 4 for those sitting their GCSE from 2017 onwards).

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.

*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).

In our well-equipped laboratories at the University Centre

Recent additions to our suite of analytical instruments include:

  • A 60 MHZ dual-channel NMR spectrophotometer (1H and 13C)
  • An ATR FT-IR spectrophotometer with built in library of spectra allowing rapid identification of pure compounds and mixtures with up to 4 components
  • An HPLC-Mass Spectrometer for separation of complex mixtures and identification via mass spectra

 

Our Cell-culture lab is equipped with a class II safety cabinet and has recently been equipped with:

  • qPCR - a modern instrument used to detect, and quantify target genes. This instrument is currently used in industry to quickly and efficiently diagnose the presence of pathogens in the infected samples, e.g. the diagnosis of SARS-Cov-2 in patients’ samples.
  • Cell drop - it is used to count the number of cells and measure their viability. It can be used with fluorescent and non-fluorescent dyes and it gives accurate results very quickly. It is extremely useful especially when a small quantity of cells and reagents is available as the volume of sample used is in the microlitre range.
  • Nano-drop: used to identify and measure the presence of proteins in the UV-Vis range. It is extremely efficient due to the quick response time and the small volume of samples needed. It can also be used for fluorescent measurements when the excitation and emission wavelength are known.

Fluorescence microscope - used to visualise fluorescent tags and localisation of target molecules in cells. This is a confocal microscope used to analyse cells in culture. The cells can be visualized in visible light, as well as using various fluorophores. It is useful for studies regarding cellular viability, as well as the effect of various factors on cellular morphology.

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.

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