MSc Biomedical Sciences Research

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Awards available MSc
Programme length One year full-time
Location of programme Clifton campus
Part-time study available No, full-time only
Open to international students Yes
Start date September 2017

Programme overview

This programme brings together expertise from across the many subject areas in the biomedical sciences to provide you with training in several key areas of current research interest. The programme focuses on experimental science and it is research-informed. It will provide you with practical laboratory-based experience with access to specialist techniques, in state-of-the-art facilities.

It is a flexible programme: you will select three units of your choice during your studies, giving you the opportunity to investigate a range of different topics within the biomedical sciences. For your final research project, you again have the flexibility to choose your research area from a wide range of suggested projects or you can design your own research project, working with academic staff. You can also choose a project offered at an off-campus site, such as Southmead Hospital, Bristol Dental School or the Bristol Heart Institute. 

You will learn in small teaching and tutorial groups. The taught and research elements of this MSc are carefully balanced: your research project, for example, runs over a 12-week period free of lectures, allowing you to focus solely on your project.

The skills you can develop during this programme include presentation, report-writing and work-planning. Several students have contributed to published papers and many go on to study at PhD level.  

View a video outlining the programme, including interviews with former students.

Fees for 2017/18

Full-time fees


Additional fees

Bench fee

Fees quoted are per annum and subject to annual increase.

Alumni scholarship

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni scholarship.

Funding for 2017/18

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Programme structure

Core skills

A series of practical classes, lecture-based teaching sessions and tutorials that prepare you for the practical project, provide a foundation for further studies and develop a range of transferable skills.

Literary project

An extended essay on a subject chosen from an extensive list supplied by the unit organiser. You work independently under the guidance of a member of staff.

Project proposal and research project

Each school provides a number of research project topics within the themes described below. You work independently under the guidance of a member of staff to produce a written project proposal. This is followed by a 12-week research project investigating your chosen topic. The research project forms the basis for a dissertation.

Lecture-based units

You will study three lecture-based units from:

  • Cancer Biology
    Explorations of the cellular and molecular basis of human carcinogenesis, illustrating current research areas and including descriptions of techniques.
  • Cardiovascular Research
    Modern research in four areas of cardiovascular physiology: physiology of the heart, physiology of blood vessels, cardiovascular homeostasis; molecular methods in cardiovascular medicine. Emphasis is placed on the use of molecular systems approaches.
  • The Dynamic Cell
    Covers a variety of topics within the general area of intracellular dynamics and cell motility. Explorations of the movement of proteins and organelles within cells and the movement of cells themselves.
  • Infection, Immunology and Immunity
    Lectures on the nature of the immune response, its role in controlling infectious disease (especially at mucosal surfaces) and the mechanisms underlying autoimmune diseases.
  • Pharmacology
    Emphasis on a number of key areas of modern pharmacology, including the electrophysiology of neurones, with particular reference to the biophysical and molecular basis of membrane function, ion transport, channels and receptors.
  • Neuroscience
    Brain structure and function in the main areas of neuroscience research including sleep, pain, memory and psychiatric disorders.

Each taught unit is assessed independently by written examinations, or - in the case of Core Skills - by written examinations and coursework. The literary project, project proposal and practical projects are presented as written dissertations.

Entry requirements

Preferably a first or upper second-class honours degree but applications from students with a lower second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) and evidence of practical ability will also be considered.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Application method Online application form
English language requirements Profile B
Further information about English language requirements
Admissions statement Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.


Approximately one third of our students have gone on to PhD-level studies at the Universities of Bristol, Bath, Manchester, Glasgow, Dublin and Plymouth, among others. The next largest group of students are those that have gone on to study medicine. Others have gone on to research assistantships, teacher training, biomedical scientist training or non-scientific careers, such as accountancy.

How to apply
Application deadline:

We welcome applications at any time of year. Early application is advised as places may fill quickly.

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, and the support we offer to international students.

I chose Bristol because of its outstanding academic reputation. It's reassuring to be taught by people who truly love their subject - their passion becomes contagious.


REF 2014 results

  • 33% of research is world-leading (4 star)
  • 51% of research is internationally excellent (3 star)
  • 15% of research is recognised internationally (2 star)

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.

Get in touch

Phone: +44 (0) 117 33 11474 Email:

Graduate School Office
Biomedical Sciences Building
University of Bristol
University Walk
Bristol BS8 1TD


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