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Is IBMS Accreditation Important for a Biomedical Science Masters?

Monday, October 11th, 2021

Biomedical Science Masters student using laboratory equipment for testing blood - IBMS accreditation blog post

Ulster is extremely proud that our online Masters degree in Biomedical Science has an IBMS Accreditation.

But what does that actually mean for the programme and for you as a prospective student?

Should you only apply for IBMS accredited courses?

What if a Masters programme is not accredited?

Here’s a straightforward explanation about the Institute of Biomedical Science, and whether accreditation is important for you.

IBMS accredited Masters courses

What is the IBMS?

The Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) is a professional industry body. They support, progress and promote biomedical science, and represent those in the field and their work.

If you’re thinking of applying for the online Biomedical Science MSc at Ulster University, it’s likely you’re already working in the profession. You’ve probably heard of them and may even had interactions with them.

They disseminate industry information, give awards, encourage education and accredit courses, amongst many other activities. In this way they play a relatively similar role to the BPS for psychologists or the BMA for doctors.

What is an IBMS accredited degree course?

As well as supporting working biomedical scientists, the Institute gives an accreditation to several universities and courses in the UK. It has been assessing and accrediting biomedical science programmes since the 1970s.

According to their website:

“IBMS accredited degree programmes are assessed by professional and academic experts to ensure high standards of teaching, facilities and course content.”

An IBMS accredited Biomedical Science Masters degree is certified to be relevant to the industry, up to date, and taught to standards that are expected by the profession.

But apart from studying on a programme that meets an agreed benchmark, how is IBMS accreditation helpful for students who are looking for a course?

Benefits of an IBMS accredited masters

Not all Biomedical Science degree courses are accredited by the IBMS. It can be a lengthy and administratively heavy process to merit their seal of approval. And of course there’s every chance a university will offer a fantastic programme without being accredited.

But while it’s not the only factor you’ll be looking at when choosing the institution at which to do your masters, an IBMS accredited degree does offer some real benefits to students.


Besides looking for roles on the IBMS jobs service, there are some obvious advantages to qualifying with an industry-recognised masters. The likelihood is employers will be familiar with the IBMS qualification. Personnel from a recruiting organisation or department might even have studied on an IBMS-accredited programme themselves.

So, when sending out your CV for jobs, it can only help to include an accredited qualification guaranteeing the quality of your studies. Biomedical science careers can be competitive, and if you have the choice, an industry-approved MSc is likely to appeal more to recruiters.

Joining a wider network

At Ulster University, we have a lot of experience when it comes to teaching distance learning programmes, such as our Biomedical Science MSc. It’s especially important when teaching online that we make students feel part of the University and able to connect with their peers and community.

Building relationships with others in the same discipline is vital when students are graduating and seeking employment. That’s one way that an IBMS-accredited biomedical science degree can help graduates.

As well as getting to know your peer group from your postgraduate institution and biomed course, an IBMS accreditation opens up opportunities for networking further.

The IBMS has discussion groups, councils and committees, CPD resources and regional branches, all of which can benefit graduates when looking for work. The more people you have a link to in the industry, the closer you are to job opportunities – and a richer working life.

Relevant, research-informed resources

Science constantly adapts to new facts and changes at great speed. Biomedical science courses have to keep up with the latest research and developments in the field. If they don’t, the material they teach to new students is quickly going to be out of date.

The IBMS is rigorous about ensuring accredited universities and courses comply with the latest developments. They share biomedical science resources and encourage partnerships to anticipate future changes in their teaching.

All this means that an IBMS accredited biomedical science MSc has relevance built in as part of the structure of the course. Faculties that take the trouble to become accredited are also more likely to care about the quality and pertinence of their teaching.

This means you’re in safer hands when it comes to graduating into a fast-moving industry. You’ll know the most up-to-date developments in your specialism and be ready to hit the ground running.

Ulster’s Biomedical Science course – worthy of IBMS accreditation

Besides being highly ranked as one of the best places to study Biomedical Science in the UK, Ulster’s online MSc enjoys accredited status.

We feel it gives our students peace of mind and an advantage for their career prospects once they graduate. Our committed faculty of research-active scientists is naturally invested in delivering the best masters programme possible.

Many of the teaching staff are involved in the Biomedical Sciences Research Institute (BMSRI) at Ulster.

Some are even connected to the IBMS itself, such as senior lecturer Dr Patrick Naughton who is a fellow of the Institute of Biomedical Science.

Flexible, part-time Biomed Masters programme

If you’re looking for an online MSc to study alongside your existing biomedical science career, Ulster’s distance learning programme could be a great fit for you.

It’s taught completely online, and all the benefits of IBMS accreditation are fully extended to our distance learning students.

Read more about our MSc Biomedical Science and put your course accreditation concerns to rest.

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