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Can I get a Biomedical Science degree online?

Monday, June 27th, 2022

Can I get a biomedical science degree online? Diabetes researcher using a microscope at Ulster University’s Centre for Molecular Biosciences. (Photo: Nigel McDowell/Ulster University)

Biomedical Science is a hands-on subject, particularly so at postgraduate level. As a Masters student you’ll be spending a lot of time in the laboratory, conducting research and using equipment only available in academic or professional realms. 

While searching for the right course, you might be concerned about the viability of studying Biomedical Science online. First, there is the question of where you can get a biomedical science degree online; then, there are the more logistical questions of where you will conduct your research and how you will be supported throughout. 

Can I get a biomedical science degree online? The short answer is yes, you can! However, when choosing an online Biomedical Science programme, there are a number of crucial points to consider to ensure you get the best experience. 

Ensuring you have laboratory access 

While studying for your Biomedical Science Masters, you will be conducting real-world research into your chosen specialism. To do this, it is essential that you have access to a functioning laboratory (with a supervisor) plus the right equipment to produce reliable results.  

For online students, this requirement is often met differently than it is for campus-based courses. Instead of using your university’s own laboratory, you will do your research at a workplace laboratory, with prior agreement from your organisation.

Checking the university’s research impact 

When choosing an online Masters programme, you should look into the research impact of the university. Each online course will have specialist modules in line with their on-campus counterparts, benefitting from the university’s base of research-active academics both directly and indirectly. 

Whilst researching where to study, investigate the current research specialisms of course academics to see if your interests are in alignment. Specialist modules running at Ulster include Advances in Medical Microbiology, Haematology in Health and Disease among others. 

Ulster University is among the top 10% of UK universities for research impact (REF, 2021). You can read about the work of the Biomedical Sciences Research Institute (BMSRI) and its many distinct research centres, covering development in rare diseases, personalised medicine and genomic medicine. 

Finding a supportive online learning environment 

Innovative online learning technology allows academics to engage with learners as if they were in a classroom. To foster a cooperative atmosphere, online students at Ulster are encouraged to take part in online discussions and debates surrounding key themes with their peers. This is particularly helpful when handling complex cases in clinical practice. 

For this to work, students must learn to seek information for themselves, questioning and analysing the validity of different information sources to draw appropriate and logical conclusions. Active and motivated learners are best placed to succeed. 

Ulster’s Student Success Team is another aspect that sets our online Biomedical Science Masters apart from other programmes. The Student Success Team supports online students from day one to graduation. Their role is to ensure that you know what is expected of you before starting the project module, reminding you of the need for ethical approval and other administrative requirements.

Study biomedical science online with access to a laboratory and facilities

Focusing on employability  

The Biomedical Science MSc curriculum at Ulster is based on principles of employability, workplace readiness and flexible participation. 

As such, Ulster’s Biomedical Science MSc benefits from a distance learning approach, as all students will be completing their MSc research project in their place of work, tackling real-world challenges under the supervision of a workplace mentor.  

Following completion of the programme, some professionals may also be eligible for promotion. Management roles may also come available, such as for those undertaking the Quality Management module in Pathology laboratories. 

Meeting entry requirements  

Most postgraduate Biomedical Science courses require applicants to hold an undergraduate qualification (2:2 with honours minimum) or equivalent in Biomedical Science or Biological Science from an accredited institution. 

In addition, to fulfil the professional requirements of Ulster University’s online Biomedical Science MSc, students should already be employed as biomedical scientists (in a trainee capacity or equivalent) in a hospital, research laboratory, or with access to similar supervised laboratory facilities. This is to ensure that incoming students are both suitably qualified and have laboratory access to enable successful completion of their research project.  

Choosing a recognised institution 

The answer to ‘can I get a Biomedical Science Degree online?’ is a resounding yes, but not all online Biomedical Science courses are created equal. Luckily, there are a growing number of reputed programmes from top-tier universities in the UK, available to distance learning students from all over the world. 

At Ulster University we have our very own IBMS-accredited Biomedical Science MSc, combining our 20 years of distance learning expertise with the pioneering research capabilities of Ulster’s Biomedical Science Research Institute (BMSRI). 

The benefits of learning online at Ulster  

With a supportive online community and a focus on employability, Ulster is an easy choice for working professionals wishing to boost their careers and gain all the necessary work-based skills that employers desire.

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