The MSc in Biomedicine at Lancaster offers an intensive 12-month programme in a world-class environment with teaching and supervision by research-active staff. We aim to develop your intellectual, practical and transferable skills as you obtain a highly sought-after postgraduate qualification.
We are passionate advocates of academic curiosity and lifelong learning. The programme combines taught modules with a substantial dissertation research project, each making up half of the required points for assessment. This dual approach consolidates crucial skills whilst offering the flexibility to pursue a semi-independent research agenda.
The MSc lectures and workshops are aligned with the Division of Biomedical and Life Sciences core research themes and showcase the wide diversity of biomedical research; we use them to explore its application to human health and disease.
The course focuses on several hot topics in biomedicine, including global health, cancer biology, diseases of the brain, infectious disease, drug discovery and biomedical ethics. These provide a springboard for your independent research project. Your dissertation provides you with the opportunity to produce a robust scientific argument, to formulate and test hypotheses and to assess contrasting scientific theories.
As well as obtaining practical experience of cutting-edge techniques during your research project, you will improve your autonomous problem-solving and decision-making skills. Throughout the Master's, you will apply the principles of biomedical ethics and learning techniques to scientific problem-solving exercises. Our academic staff will encourage, support and guide you to ensure that you graduate with increased competence and confidence.
Our graduates are highly regarded for their communication skills, analytical ability, confidence in critical evaluation, and their competence in interpreting data in a biomedical context. This opens doors to careers in the NHS, industry, government and charities. Our MSc programme also provides an excellent grounding for those who wish to pursue further academic research at PhD level.
2:1 Hons degree (UK or equivalent) in an appropriate Biosciences subject such as Biology, Biomedical Sciences or Biochemistry. Eligible related subjects are also considered. If you have any queries regarding the suitability of your undergraduate degree please contact the admissions team.
We may also consider non-standard applicants. Please contact us for information.
If you have studied outside of the UK, we would advise you to check our list of international qualifications before submitting your application.
English Language Requirements
We may ask you to provide a recognised English language qualification, dependent upon your nationality and where you have studied previously.
We normally require an IELTS (Academic) Test with an overall score of at least 6.5, and a minimum of 5.5 in each element of the test. We also consider other English language qualifications.
If your score is below our requirements, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language programmes.
Contact: Admissions Team +44 (0) 1524 592032 or email email@example.com
You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.
The research project, which accounts for 50% of the overall MSc credits, provides students with experience in planning and executing a successful research project. Project titles and supervisors are assigned in Michaelmas Term, allowing students to commence background reading at the start of their MSc course; however laboratory work takes place after Easter with a deadline for submission of a 12,000 word dissertation in August. Research projects are also examined by viva voce examination. The research project allows students to apply, and enhance, scientific skills learnt during research skills modules, and also provides experience in the presentation of scientific data in written, oral and poster formats. Projects are typically offered in the areas of infection (including tropical diseases), the molecular and cellular basis of cancer, neurobiology, and healthy ageing.
- Dr Derek Gatherer
- Week 17–18
Aims and scope
- This module aims to encourage students to access and evaluate information from a variety of sources and to communicate the principles in a way that is well-organised, topical and recognises the limits of current hypotheses. It also aims to equip students with practical techniques including data collection, analysis and interpretation.
On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:
- Work effectively to produce a knowledgeable report
- Interpret data and design bioinformatics “experiments” (meaning planned sequences of computer analyses designed to shed light on a scientific problem)
- Perform a standard repertoire of bioinformatics skills
- Be able to describe the uses and limitations of the various ’omic technologies
- Be able to critically evaluate papers in the fields of bioinformatics
- Be able to understand and discuss topics in bioinformatics
- Compulsory Exam 50%
- Compulsory Coursework 50%
- Michael Agostino. Practical Bioinformatics. Garland Science. ISBN 978-0-8153-4456-8 Arthur M Lesk.
- Introduction to Bioinformatics 4th ed. Oxford Univ Press ISBN 978-0-19-965156-6
- Carl Zimmer & Douglas Emlen. Evolution. Making Sense of Life Roberts and Co. ISBN 978-1-93-622117-2
- AD Baxevanis & BFF Ouellette Bioinformatics 3rd ed. Wiley ISBN 0-471-47878-4
- Paul H Dear (ed) Bioinformatics. Scion ISBN 978-1-90-484216-330
- Masatoshi Nei & Sudhir Kumar Molecular evolution and phylogenetics (Also available on http://lib.myilibrary.com/Open.aspx?id=83437)
- Drummond AJ & and Bouckaert RR. Bayesian Evolutionary Analysis with BEAST. Cambridge University Press ISBN 978-1107019652
Diseases of the Brain
This module introduces the concept of protein misfolding disorders, and expands this through consideration of two major neurodegenerative diseases; Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. The role of oxidative stress and proteases in neurodegenerative diseases is covered in detail, before examining the role of lipids in various brain disorders. The module also considers how animal models can be used to study both normal brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases.
Drug Development (from concept to clinic)
This module introduces principles involved in the discovery and development of a new drug from initial concept to the identification of a candidate compound to first use in man. This knowledge is extended by learning how the pharmaceutical industry and small biotech companies use contemporary scientific advances to identify drug targets and develop new drugs. How new drug entities are tested, developed and ultimately reach the market is examined using ‘real life’ examples in the form of case studies.
Emerging Therapeutics in Immunology
The aim of this module is to provide a broad understanding of the human immune system, more detailed knowledge of human immunological disorders and the application of cutting edge immunological research to biomedical science and clinical practice. Technical skills associated with this course include experience and data analysis of advanced flow cytometry techniques and insight into how research findings are reported and presented to the scientific community and media.
Life Cycle of Clinical Research
The module will engage students with the research process from initial idea to communicating results. Students will develop a systematic understanding of research management applicable to their organisational context and clinical practice. Students will cover an overview of topics including selecting a research question, considering a method, the practicalities of research (ethics, governance, funding, project management, data management), data collection and analysis, and reporting and presenting research.
Microbes and Disease
This module aims to provide students with a broad understanding of a range of pathogens and their impact on human health, and to understand how the human body responds to these challenges. Students are also introduced to the new challenges faced by healthcare systems including emerging/re-emerging infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance and so develop an awareness of the challenges and realities of controlling infectious diseases. Students also develop an appreciation of the role of epidemiological and mathematical modelling in predicting and controlling pathogenic organisms.
Models of Disease
The aim of this module is to provide students with a broad understanding of the different types of model systems used in research on human diseases, an appreciation of the advantages and disadvantages of each model, and an awareness of some major discoveries that have been made using these disease models.
Molecular Basis of Cancer
This module provides insight into the underlying molecular events in the development of cancer, how cancers spread through the body and explain how an understanding of the molecular basis of cancer has led to the development of novel cancer treatments. Workshops allow students to study the aetiology and progression of one particular type of cancer in depth, and also to understand how cancer is studied in practice.
Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research. Not all optional modules are available every year.
Fees and Funding
We set our fees on an annual basis and the 2024/25 entry fees have not yet been set.
There may be extra costs related to your course for items such as books, stationery, printing, photocopying, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits. Following graduation, you may need to pay a subscription to a professional body for some chosen careers.
Specific additional costs for studying at Lancaster are listed below.
Lancaster is proud to be one of only a handful of UK universities to have a collegiate system. Every student belongs to a college, and all students pay a small College Membership Fee which supports the running of college events and activities.
For students starting in 2023, the fee is £40 for undergraduates and research students and £15 for students on one-year courses. Fees for students starting in 2024 have not yet been set.
Computer equipment and internet access
To support your studies, you will also require access to a computer, along with reliable internet access. You will be able to access a range of software and services from a Windows, Mac, Chromebook or Linux device. For certain degree programmes, you may need a specific device, or we may provide you with a laptop and appropriate software - details of which will be available on relevant programme pages. A dedicated IT support helpdesk is available in the event of any problems.
The University provides limited financial support to assist students who do not have the required IT equipment or broadband support in place.
Application fees and tuition fee deposits
For most taught postgraduate applications there is a non-refundable application fee of £40. We cannot consider applications until this fee has been paid, as advised on our online secure payment system. There is no application fee for postgraduate research applications.
For some of our courses you will need to pay a deposit to accept your offer and secure your place. We will let you know in your offer letter if a deposit is required and you will be given a deadline date when this is due to be paid.
Fees in subsequent years
If you are studying on a programme of more than one year’s duration, the tuition fees for subsequent years of your programme are likely to increase each year. Read more about fees in subsequent years.
Scholarships and Bursaries
Details of our scholarships and bursaries for 2024-entry study are not yet available, but you can use our opportunities for 2023-entry applicants as guidance.
Check our current list of scholarships and bursaries.
The information on this site relates primarily to 2023/2024 entry to the University and every effort has been taken to ensure the information is correct at the time of publication.
The University will use all reasonable effort to deliver the courses as described, but the University reserves the right to make changes to advertised courses. In exceptional circumstances that are beyond the University’s reasonable control (Force Majeure Events), we may need to amend the programmes and provision advertised. In this event, the University will take reasonable steps to minimise the disruption to your studies. If a course is withdrawn or if there are any fundamental changes to your course, we will give you reasonable notice and you will be entitled to request that you are considered for an alternative course or withdraw your application. You are advised to revisit our website for up-to-date course information before you submit your application.
More information on limits to the University’s liability can be found in our legal information.
Our Students’ Charter
We believe in the importance of a strong and productive partnership between our students and staff. In order to ensure your time at Lancaster is a positive experience we have worked with the Students’ Union to articulate this relationship and the standards to which the University and its students aspire. View our Charter and other policies.