Biomedical Science / Applied Biomedical Science BSc (Hons)

 

Course Code

UCAS Code: B940
International Code: HLSU230

Location

Coventry University (Coventry)

 

Study mode

Full-time
Sandwich

Duration

3 years full-time
4 years sandwich

Start date

September 2022
January 2023


Course overview

Study level: Undergraduate

Key contributors to modern healthcare, biomedical scientists play a vital role in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of disease, monitoring treatments and developing advanced diagnostic tools or novel therapeutic strategies.

  • Both courses are accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) and Applied Biomedical Science is also approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
  • Well-equipped suite of analytical and biological laboratories where you can gain hands-on experience using industry-standard techniques.
  • No.1 in the Midlands for career prospects in Biological Sciences in the Times Good University Guide 2021.
  • Support applying for placements in laboratory and industrial settings to gain crucial real-world experience.
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Global Ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities

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Teaching excellence

Taught by lecturers who are experts in their field

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Employability

Career ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Why you should study this course

Accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS), the Biomedical Science and Applied Biomedical Science degrees integrate a broad range of biological disciplines to promote understanding of how the human body works and the biology of disease. Throughout the course you will gain practical experience in the laboratories based in our state-of-the-art Alison Gingell Building. Here you will learn and develop the key skills and techniques required for working in a laboratory.

To practice as a biomedical scientist, you must hold an IBMS accredited degree and also be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Students are enrolled on Biomedical Science BSc (Hons) - those who undertake a 12-month placement between years two and three in an approved laboratory, and complete a training portfolio, are then transferred on to Applied Biomedical Science BSc (Hons) for the final year of study. The academic content of both courses is the same, however those on Applied Biomedical Science are eligible to apply for HCPC registration and biomedical scientist roles upon graduation (additional costs may apply).

Both the Biomedical Science and the Applied Biomedical Science courses explore the human body in health and disease, from the functioning of whole body systems down to cell and molecular processes. Course content provides a broad knowledge in the mechanisms, diagnosis and therapeutics of human disease with particular emphasis place on the specialist areas of biomedical science: clinical biochemistry, medical microbiology, cellular pathology, haematology, immunology and genetics.

Laboratory sessions are a fundamental component of the course and aim to help with the development of not only laboratory techniques, but also data interpretation and analysis. Within the lab you will have the opportunity to gain experience of techniques such as PCR, cell culture, flow cytometry, tissue staining, protein detection and microbial culture.

You’ll be taught by experienced academic staff who have a range of hospital and research laboratory experience, bringing their expertise into their teaching (please note staff are subject to change).

We benefit from extensive links with employers, such as the NHS, university research labs, public health laboratories and biotechnology companies where some of our previous graduates have found employment. We also focus on student-centred teaching in which you devise and carry out your own laboratory experiments so that you can demonstrate your ability to work independently and solve problems to future employers.

 

No. 1

in the Midlands for career prospects in Biological Sciences 

The Times Good University Guide 2021 

Accreditation and Professional Recognition

The course is accredited and recognised by the following bodies:

Health and Care Professions Council

Health and Care Professions Council

Applied Biomedical Science is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council.


Institute of Biomedical Science - Accredited Programme

Institute of Biomedical Science - Accredited Programme

Both the Biomedical Science and Applied Biomedical Science courses are accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS)v for the 2022/23 intake.


If the accreditation or recognition of these courses change, we will notify applicants and students as soon as possible.


Real-world experience

Our students were commissioned by the BBC to test surfaces around Coventry for microbial contamination (recorded pre-lockdown). This is just one of the projects set for our students so they can experience real-world situations and get prepared for employment.

The human body is one of the most amazing things in the world and laboratory work allows you to delve deeper into finding out how and why things work in the way they do.

Nayaab Sultan Biomedical Science BSc (Hons), quoted in 2019
female student in white coat in practical laboratory setting

What you'll study

In the first year, we introduce you to basic scientific principles using examples of disease processes to illustrate the core material. This continues in the second year with greater emphasis on the biology of disease and the introduction of more specialised modules.

Modules

  • In this module you will consider the key features of eukaryotic cells, their organisation into tissues and organs, and the structure and function of major physiological systems in the human body. You will have the opportunity to integrate knowledge from multiple disciplines including anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, cell and developmental biology, to develop an understanding of human cell and body function and an appreciation of disease states.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Test, coursework

  • Our genetic information, its structure, function and inheritance (genotype), and how this determines the characteristics of an individual (phenotype) is what you will study on this module. You will be introduced to the principles of heredity, the complexity of human genetics, human individual variation, evolutionary principles and population genetics. The central dogma of DNA to RNA to protein (transcription and translation) will be also be discussed. On successful completion of the module you will gain knowledge and skills relating to DNA manipulation in the laboratory, and the retrieval and analysis of sequence information using bioinformatics tools. You will also examine the ethical issues resulting from increased access to genomic information.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Test, presentation

  • You will be introduced the principles and practice of key laboratory techniques used in the analysis of biological molecules. You will be supported to understand and develop a sound appreciation of good laboratory practice, including maintenance of laboratory records, quality assurance, competence in fundamental laboratory procedures and routine calculations such as concentration and dilution. You should also gain an understanding of the use of contemporary digital technologies to analyse and present data effectively, and the format of standard laboratory reports.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Test, coursework

  • In this module you will have a series of regular small group or individual tutorials with your Academic Personal Tutor (APT). The aim of these sessions is to encourage self-awareness and self-reflection, to enable you to develop strategies to enhance your own development, to maximise your academic success and career prospects. These tutorials will allow you to get to know your APT and to develop your skills and competencies. You will start to establish an evidence-based portfolio that you will extend throughout your university studies to provide a valuable resource for future employability.

    Compulsory

  • The role of enzymes as biological catalysts to facilitate chemical reactions within the body will be your focus in this module. You will also examine the role of energy in determining the rate and direction of chemical reactions, and the mechanisms by which enzymes act to lower energy requirements. Enzyme assays and the kinetics of enzyme reactions including reagent and enzyme concentrations, reaction conditions, cofactors and inhibitors are investigated in theory and in practice.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Test

  • This module introduces you to the different types of microorganisms with a detailed focus on bacteria and viruses. You will consider the structure, growth characteristics and laboratory cultivation/propagation and enumeration of bacteria and viruses, and the role of microorganisms in both human health and disease is explored, together with an introduction to the body’s protective response to infection, the immune system. You will investigate control strategies for microorganisms, including sterilisation, disinfection, antimicrobial compounds and vaccines, together with current and emerging concerns such as antimicrobial resistance. Laboratory classes will develop key skills in aseptic technique and culture of bacteria and viruses.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Test, coursework

  • This module will introduce you to the fundamental principles of cell communication operating in both healthy and disease states, and the mechanisms of action of selected drugs that act via cellular receptors (pharmacodynamics). You will also examine the absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of drugs (pharmacokinetics). The search for novel or improved drugs involves many stages, from target identification, compound synthesis, in vitro and in vivo testing, including human clinical trials. You will be introduced to this process, including consideration of ethical, safety and regulatory issues.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Test, coursework

  • In this module, you will demonstrate your developing laboratory and professional skills and competencies and preparedness for future employment. Workshop and tutorial sessions, involving the University’s Talent Team will raise awareness of opportunities available from this course, placements, short work experience and other enhancement activities and encourage you to create an appropriate online networking profile.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Objective structured practical, portfolio

  • The focus on preparing students for successful futures helps to set Coventry apart as a university. The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students’ knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.

    Compulsory

The second year brings a more in-depth approach to your studies and you will take a more independent approach to your work. You will be introduced to the specialist pathology modules including cell biology and genetics. This will also prepare you for a year on either a placement or study abroad year or for the final year of your course.

Modules

  • In this module you will consider the consequences of mutations and chromosomal abnormalities in human inherited disease states, and the methods used for their detection and diagnosis. You will examine a number of well-characterised examples of single gene disorders and chromosomal aneuploidies, integrating understanding of genetic changes with altered molecular and cellular function leading to pathophysiological symptoms. You will also consider prenatal and neonatal screening and technologies that permit reproductive choices and gene technologies that offer potential therapeutic strategies. The ethical and societal implications of these technological advances will be debated.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Test, coursework

  • In this module you will explore the links between pathogenesis and the causative agents of communicable disease. Notable and current communicable diseases will be studied with a focus on how infection presents in human hosts and the virulence factors that enable pathogens to establish infection. You will also investigate the different types of antimicrobial agents available, their mechanisms of action and use in treatment. You will consider the body’s immune defence to pathogen attack, both though the innate and adaptive immune response, extending the depth and breadth of this topic from your previous studies. You will study the development of lymphocytes and the ability of the immune system to distinguish self and non-self cells and molecules, including the immune response to tissue transplants. The use of biotechnology to create recombinant antibody-based therapies will also be considered.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Test, coursework

  • This module aims to introduce you to the key principles of haematology from the formation and function of blood cells through to understanding of common blood disorders. Nutritional anaemia is covered including blood morphology, along with sickle cell anaemia, bone marrow turnover and the reticulocyte. You will also have the opportunity to study an introduction to the coagulation cascade and laboratory diagnosis for bleeding/clotting disorders The module also introduces you to key concepts and processes in transfusion science, including blood grouping systems, compatibility testing of blood products and practices for safe and effective transfusion. You will then be able to apply this understanding to patient case studies and laboratory practice.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Test

  • In this module you integrate knowledge and skills from the Genetic Basis of Disease and Infectious Disease and Immune Defence modules. You will be supported to investigate, with other students, an inherited condition that affects the immune system. The genetic basis of the disorder, the consequences for the immune response and resulting susceptibility to infection will be considered and you will have the opportunity to report your findings as group presentation. 

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Presentation

  • In this module you will explore the life cycle of eukaryotic cells, cell signalling pathways, interactions between cells and their extracellular environment, and protein folding, trafficking and modification pathways. You will extend your understanding of normal cellular processes considered in Year 1 and take a more detailed focus on control mechanisms. You will also consider the consequences of aberrations in these cellular events and the resulting disease manifestations, based on contemporary research literature. Laboratory sessions will include histopathological examination and introduce you to contemporary techniques to assess gene expression changes.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Test, coursework

  • During this module you will consider the mechanisms that operate within the human body to enable maintenance of key biochemical parameters within defined limits (homeostasis), and the consequences of disease processes. You will undertake a detailed examination of human nutrition, appetite control, digestion, absorption and metabolism of key nutrients, integrating these aspects to then explore dysfunction and associated disease states. You will also consider aspects of the endocrine system that control growth and metabolism (pituitary and thyroid hormone functions) and reproductive function, together with associated disorders. You are introduced to key diagnostic procedures within the clinical biochemistry laboratory linked to these topics.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Test, coursework

  • This module will enable you to further develop your professional competencies. This includes enhancement of skills in experiment design, literature research, statistical analysis of data, laboratory confidence and competence, and transferable skills including team work and communication. You will be expected to collaborate with other professionals within the healthcare arena, and with service users, and to exhibit professional standards of conduct and behaviour. You will be supported to prepare for application, interview and selection processes for future employment or further study opportunities.The placement process and opportunities available will be introduced, as well as support for those wishing to undertake a placement.*

    Compulsory

    Assessment: OSP (objective structured practical), coursework, portfolio

After successful completion of your second year, you have the option of taking a sandwich year to either study abroad or complete a workplace based placement.*

Students who successfully undertake a 12-month placement between years two and three in an approved laboratory, and complete a training portfolio, are then transferred on to Applied Biomedical Science for the final year of study. A Coventry University-approved IBMS verifier must also complete their registration portfolio verification. The student is then eligible to apply for HCPC registration and biomedical scientist roles upon graduation.*

If the student has sourced their own placement and applied for their own IBMS verification, they will not be put onto the Applied route and will remain on the normal Biomedical Science BSc (Hons).

In addition to placements in NHS and PHE laboratories, past students have also previously completed placements at GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, Binding Site, Cancer Research UK, Biocote, Nemaura and Roche undertaking a variety of lab and non-lab based roles. Students who have chosen to undertake a study year abroad have, in the past, visited Spain, Malta and the Netherlands.

Modules

  • Optional

  • Optional

  • Optional

In the final year, you will have the chance to continue to study content aligned to the key disciplines in more depth and detail where you will be required to apply your knowledge and understanding. Additionally, you should complete your final year project which can focus on a wide variety of different subject areas and can be laboratory or non-laboratory based.

Modules

  • In this module you have the opportunity to investigate the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of clinically relevant microorganisms. The epidemiology of current and relevant infectious diseases will be studied, as well as the role of interventions such as vaccination programmes and public health and infection control policies in the control of the spread of infection. You will also study implications of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) both globally and locally, particularly the identification and treatment of resistant infections, consideration will also be given to current strategies to tackle AMR.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework, presentation

  • This module aims to enable you to understand the scientific underpinning for laboratory investigations in clinical chemistry and immunology. It builds on the knowledge and skills you developed in the Metabolic and Endocrine Disorders module previously studied to consider laboratory investigation of patients for disorders of water and electrolytes, acid/base balance, further aspects of endocrine disorders and toxicology investigation. Quality control and quality assurance within the clinical chemistry laboratory, and the development of Point of Care Testing (POCT) devices are considered in greater depth and detail. The immunology section of the module extends your understanding of the immune system as a defence against infectious disease to focus on topics such as the links between chronic inflammation and disease, immunodeficiency (both innate and adaptive), autoimmunity and hypersensitivity.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework

  • This module aims to support and prepare you through the process of defining your research question, planning your experiments and considering the most appropriate data analysis methods for your final year research project. The module is designed to enhance your skills in literature searching, experimental design, scientific writing, data processing and statistical analysis. You will be required to submit your proposal for ethical and health and safety approval, and to address key aspects of project management and logistics. You will also consider how novel ideas and findings can be harnessed to deliver commercial value. You will have the chance to discuss the multidisciplinary nature of enterprise and innovation, opportunities for commercial development of ideas and an awareness of intellectual property.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework

  • The aim of this module is for you to conduct a piece of investigative research, which may be laboratory or non-laboratory based, in a specialised area of Biomedical Science. This module follows from the Research Design in Biomedical Science module and you implement your research proposals in this module. The variety and scope of projects allows you to pursue your own interests, potentially linked to future career aspirations, and to integrate prior skills and knowledge. You are supported and guided by your supervisor, but are encouraged to develop independence of thought, and the ability and confidence to adapt and evolve your research ideas, based on reflective practice.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Thesis

  • This module extends your learning from Year 2 to explore, in detail, the molecular, genetic and cellular mechanisms of cancer. You will discuss inherited cancer syndromes, inherited predisposition to cancer and somatic mutations and cancer. You will focus on the key hallmarks of cancer which define and explain the properties of malignant cells. These concepts are linked to applications in biomedical science including improved diagnostic approaches, personalised therapies and preventative strategies. During the module you will consider -omics-based approaches, and their current and future potential.   

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework

  • This module extends your previous learning on haematology to a more advanced consideration of haematological disorders and safe transfusion practices. Coverage of anaemias is focussed on the thalassemias and more complex clotting disorders and anticoagulation therapies are discussed. You will also consider haematological malignancies. Transfusion science aspects of the module will focus on the role of the laboratory in ensuring safe transfusion, potential hazards and adverse transfusion reactions, and haemolytic disease of the newborn.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework, presentation

  • This module integrates learning from the Cancer Biology and Clinical Haematology and Transfusion Science modules. You will investigate a haematological malignancy and address this topic from multiple angles. You will consider the cancer development and hallmarks, cellular pathology, genomic/genetic analysis, physiological consequences, diagnostic methods in the biomedical laboratory, and therapeutic options. You will have the chance to present your findings as an informative resource for a chosen target audience using an appropriate medium of your own choosing.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework

  • The focus on preparing students for successful futures helps to set Coventry apart as a university. The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students’ knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.

    Compulsory

We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.


How you'll learn

Your course will be a combination of online and campus-based sessions, which will include laboratory-based practical classes, workshops and lectures which will be delivered both on campus and online.

Our experienced teaching team includes staff with a variety of both research and industrial backgrounds including staff who are HCPC registered with interests and expertise in a wide range of disciplines which align to the course content (please note staff may be subject to change).

In a typical week, you will have around 18 contact hours of teaching which may include:

  • Personal tutorial/small group teaching: You can also arrange to see staff in their ‘drop in’ sessions for any additional help you may need.
  • Medium group teaching: practical classes or skills workshops
  • Large group teaching: lectures
  • Live online teaching

The contact hours will be made up of a combination of these different styles. You will also be expected to spend time each week on guided study which may include online activities and directed reading/preparation.


Assessment

A number of different assessments methods used throughout the course, these include time-restricted assessments such as tests, lab reports, presentations and posters.

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards the achieving the intended learning outcomes. Assessments may include exams, individual assignments or group work elements.


Job ready

These professionally accredited degrees (please see the Accreditations and Professional Recognition section) aim to equip you with the appropriate knowledge and advanced laboratory skills to pursue laboratory careers in biological industries. Those who complete the Applied Biomedical Science BSc (Hons) can also become a Health Care Professional Council (HCPC) registered practitioner.

You will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience using industry-standard techniques, which aim to help you stand out in the graduate job market.


International experience opportunities

Our sandwich degree option allows a work placement or study year, which can be taken abroad*. Some past students have undertaken fieldtrips to Malawi where they have educational engagement with groups of children participating in diverse community projects at local primary and nursery schools, assisted in monitoring the state of boreholes in rural villages, made sun dried bricks for building projects and climbing the challenging mount Mulanje.


Entry requirements

Typical offer for 2022 entry.

Requirement What we're looking for
A Level BBB to include Biology. Excludes General Studies.
BTEC DDM in the BTEC Level 3 Extended National Diploma in a Biology or Science related subject.
IB Diploma 30-32 points to include a minimum of grade 5 in Biology at Higher Level.
GCSE requirement Minimum 5 GCSEs graded 9-4 / A*-C including English Language, Mathematics and two Sciences.

We recognise a breadth of qualifications, speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.
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Typical offer for 2022 entry.

Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:

You can view our full list of country specific entry requirements on our Entry requirements page.

If you do not have the typical entry requirements, you may want to consider studying this course with an international foundation year. Upon successful completion our International Foundation Year - Biosciences will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to progress onto this undergraduate degree.

Alternatively, visit our International hub for further advice and guidance on finding in-country agents and representatives, joining our in-country events and how to apply.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.0 overall (with at least 5.5 in each component area)

If you don't meet the English language requirements, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course. 

For more information on our approved English language tests visit our English language requirements page.

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Fees and funding

2022/23 Tuition fees

Student Full time Part time
UK £9,250 per year Not available
International £16,650 per year Not available

For advice and guidance on tuition fees and student loans visit our Undergraduate Finance page and see The University’s Tuition Fee and Refund Terms and Conditions.

We offer a range of International scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them. Find out what's included in your tuition costs.


Facilities

superlab facilities

SuperLab

Our state-of-the-art SuperLab has facilities including equipment for microscopy, DNA analysis and forensic testing.
 

Students in Analytical Chemistry female student using a petri dish

Analytical Chemistry suite

This is where you can apply your practical and theoretical knowledge to real-life working scenarios. We use a new generation chromatography technique to analyse products ranging from pharmaceutical agents, to cosmetics, drinks and toxins.


Careers and opportunities

These courses aim to prepare you for professional practice within the NHS or private sector as registered Biomedical Scientists and a range of other careers including research.

You will have the opportunity to receive guidance during your studies on the professional routes available to you and the expectations of health professionals. We have excellent links with local employers and are actively involved in liaison with laboratory managers, training officers and other universities via the West Midlands Biomedical Science Training and Workforce Planning Group and the West Midlands regional training committee (South).

On successful completion of the Biomedical Science BSc (Hons) degree, without a training placement, you can apply for Trainee Biomedical Science posts to enter into NHS Health Care Scientist registration training programmes, for which you will typically undergo one to two years of further training to obtain an IBMS certificate of competence so that you can apply for HCPC registration, a legal requirement for anyone who wishes to practice using a title protected by the HCPC.

The scientific knowledge and skills you acquire during the course can be a useful basis for a career in teaching; technical and scientific writing; clinical trials; drug registration, patenting or monitoring; medical publishing or other information services; regulatory affairs or sales and marketing. The course is also an excellent foundation for further postgraduate studies leading to a MSc or PhD.


How to apply


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  • Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. A copy of the 2021/22 Contract can be found here. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.

    Tuition fees

    The tuition fee for the course that is stated on the course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study will apply. We will review our tuition fees each year. For UK and EU students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, we may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation. Following the UK’s exit from the European Union, EU students should be aware that there may be a change to UK laws following the UK’s exit, this may change their student status, their eligibility to study part time, and/or their eligibility for student finance. We will act in accordance with the UK’s laws in force in relation to student tuition fees and finance from time to time.

    For International students the tuition fee that is stated on the course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study will apply. We will review our tuition fees each year. For international students, we may increase fees for each subsequent year of study but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation.

    Accreditations

    The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery. 

    Facilities

    Facilities mentioned on this page may not be relevant for every course. Due to the ongoing restrictions relating to COVID-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) and some non-academic offerings (particularly in relation to international experiences), may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.

    Placements and study abroad opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any placement or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (e.g. travel, visas and accommodation etc.), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the requirements in this regard, please contact the International Office for further details if you are an EU or International student.

    Additional costs

    This course may incur additional costs associated with any field trips, placements or work experience, study abroad opportunities or any other opportunity (whether required or optional), which could include (but is not limited to), equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas).