Clinical biochemistry is the study of the chemistry of the human body and how it is affected by disease. It’s a fascinating subject which combines expert theoretical knowledge with practical skills to help with the diagnosis and treatment of everything from endocrine disorders to antenatal complications. Whether you’re working in a hospital laboratory or researching new treatments, you’ll be doing vital, rewarding work which will improve and very often save lives.
Why study MSc Clinical Biochemistry at Middlesex?
Our Biomedical Science courses have a burgeoning international reputation, due to our world-class research in areas including biomarkers, public health and biomodelling. Our Centre for Investigative and Diagnostic Oncology has pioneered techniques for cancer diagnosis and treatment, including our breakthrough in the development of a bladder cancer vaccine.
Our course has a strong practical element, with an emphasis on developing laboratory skills and gaining hands-on experience of diagnostic techniques. Our teaching and research facilities surpass those at some UK medical schools, with £3 million specialist labs equipped with the most up-to-date technology- the perfect place to work on your own research project. You’ll learn to use cutting-edge equipment such as MALDI-TOF mass spectrometers and flow cytometers; we have a molecular biology laboratory for techniques such as DNA sequencing, real-time PCR, electrophoresis and HPLC, fully-equipped proteomics facilities, a microbiology lab and an incredibly modern cell culture facility.
- All our teaching staff are involved in research and many are pioneers in their own field. Course leaderDr Frank Hills, a former clinical scientist at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, has published many high-profile research articles on obstetric pathology, while Dr Ajit Shah is a former principal scientist at GlaxoSmithKline.
- The course is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science, so on graduation you’ll have fulfilled the academic requirement for Licentiate membership of the institute; you can apply for student membership while you study.
- We work with London hospitals and NHS laboratories to ensure you’re fully versed in both the latest practice and the latest research. You’ll visit diagnostic laboratories and of course, our location gives you easy access to the British Library, the Science Museum, the Royal Institution and more.
- Our staff are supportive and hands-on – ever-ready with advice on your studies, they’re also known for their strong pastoral care and for going the extra mile for their students.
- Our flexible timetable means you’ll only spend two days a week at university if you’re studying full-time, or one if you’re part-time.
- Year 1
- Advanced Bioanalytical Techniques (15 Credits) - Compulsory
- The module aims to examine advanced bioanalytical techniques that are used in biomedical research, for the analysis of products, for improving diseases understanding and for the analysis of disease biomarkers. It also provides a detailed understanding of the principles, theory and practice of bioanalytical techniques, including safety, instrumentation, sample preparation techniques together with analysis and interpretation of analytical data.
- Bioanalysis and Toxicology (15 Credits) - Compulsory
- The module aims to examine the bioanalytical techniques used in biomedical research, and in the diagnosis of disease. It also provides a detailed understanding of the theory, practice and application of emerging bioanalytical techniques. The translation from research to clinical laboratory setting is also examined.
- Biomedical Ethics and Law (15 Credits) - Compulsory
- The module aims to provide insight into a range of ethical and legal issues that relate to professional practice, to research with human and animal subjects and to human reproduction, particularly various forms of reproductive technology. It will also aim to give students a broad overview of the relevant current UK ethical and legal regulations for research using human tissues. The module will further explore the ethical issues present in the rapidly developing area of genetic technology, including genetic testing and selection, genetic engineering, and the concept of genetic disease. After an introduction to basic ethical theory and legal principles, the focus of the module will be on exploring ways in which, by applying theoretical considerations to practice, ethical and legal issues can be critically analysed and addressed.
- Clinical Disorders (15 Credits) - Compulsory
- This module aims to provide students with detailed knowledge and understanding of the clinical disorders of major organ function, along with the laboratory methods used in diagnosis and management. They will understand the aetiology and biochemical investigation of a range of malignancies and gain experience of performing and assuring a range of methods used in the investigation of major organ function and cancer. They will gain experience of the interpretation of patient results in a variety of clinical settings.
- Developmental Biochemistry (15 Credits) - Compulsory
- This module examines the physiology of normal pregnancy and the impact on biochemical parameters. Students will gain a deep understanding of maternal and neonatal screening programmes and the investigation of neonates and children who may have inborn errors of metabolism. They will perform assays to assess maternal, neonatal and paediatric status using a range of methods and gain experience of the interpretation of results in a range of conditions.
- Endocrinology and Metabolism (15 Credits) - Compulsory
- This module provides students with the knowledge and understanding of the normal physiology and pathophysiology of the major endocrine organs in the body, emphasising the importance of clinical and biochemical parameters in the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring patients. In addition students will gain an understanding of clinical disorders associated with malnutrition, malabsorption and obesity and the use of biochemical testing for diagnosis and management. They will perform endocrine and nutritional status assays and gain experience of the interpretation of hormone results in common endocrine and nutritional conditions.
- Experimental Design and Statistics (15 Credits) - Compulsory
- The module aims to provide students with the tools required to design effective and efficient experiments and to test scientific hypotheses. The module will also equip students with the tools necessary for statistical analysis in a hypothesis testing context.
- Laboratory Leadership and Management (15 Credits) - Compulsory
- The module aims to provide students with current theories and approaches to leadership and management in order they can bring about effect positive change in the team or organisation that they lead or manage.
- Research Project (60 Credits) - Compulsory
- Module aims to develop student s skills in planning and execution of an analytical study and critical evaluation of real research results drawing on their acquired knowledge from other modules. In addition, the module aims to develop student s communication skills to enable them to communicate their findings in written and oral form.
What will you study?
Our MSc Clinical Biochemistry course is a broad one, incorporating elements of microbiology and haematology too. You’ll leave with a sound understanding of common diseases and disorders and how they work, established and emerging bioanalytical technologies and techniques and how they are used to make diagnoses, and research methods.
You’ll study four core modules, common to all four postgraduate biomedical science courses: advanced bioanalytical techniques, biomedical ethics and law, laboratory leadership and management, and experimental design and statistics. Alongside these you’ll study four specialist clinical biochemistry modules: clinical disorders, developmental biochemistry, endocrinology and metabolism, and bioanalysis and clinical toxicology.
The core modules will cover how to design and carry out experiments and statistical analyses; literature searching, referencing and citation; techniques for analysing samples and molecules, including electrophoresis, gas and liquid chromatography and immunochemical techniques; aspects of managing a laboratory, from people management to business plans and budgets; safety, regulations and quality management; and ethical and legal issues, such as those surrounding research on animals and humans, assisted reproduction and genetics.
The specialist modules will cover clinical disorders of the major organs and the bones, including malignancies; the effects of pregnancy on physiology, biochemical and metabolic problems that can affect newborn babies, and maternal, antenatal and neonatal screening; diseases of the endocrine organs; clinical disorders associated with malnutrition, digestion, malabsorption and obesity; and more bioanalytical techniques, including biosensors and mass spectrometry.
You’ll then work on a dissertation, which will involve planning and carrying out an independent and original research project in a laboratory or clinical setting. You’ll work under the guidance of a supervisor, who you’ll meet with for at least an hour a week, and can base your project at your workplace if you’re in relevant employment. You’ll carry out a literature review and draw up a research proposal, design and conduct your experiments, collect and analyse your data, and present your findings in a 12,000 to 15,000-word report and a presentation to your tutors and fellow students.
The course will also improve your IT, communication, presentation, management, teamwork and problem-solving skills. If you don’t want to or aren’t able to complete the full MSc, you can also obtain a PG Cert or PG Dip, studying four modules for a PG Cert and eight for a PG Dip, omitting the dissertation.
Teaching and learning
As well as doing practical work in our laboratories and visiting working diagnostic labs, you’ll be introduced to core knowledge and concepts at interactive lectures, which you’ll explore further through discussions and problem-solving exercises in seminars and workshops. As well as submitting written work and giving presentations, you’ll complete online quizzes, carry out literature searches and undertake your own independent study in your spare time.
As well as practical and theoretical exams and your research project and dissertation, you’ll be assessed through presentations and written assignments, including essays, laboratory reports and logbooks, data analysis and problem-solving exercises, and papers composed of a literature review, hypothesis and research question.
You will receive regular feedback on your work, including your assessed work, from your tutors and sometimes from fellow students. You will also be asked to evaluate your own work.
We welcome applications from graduates with a good honours degree, or equivalent qualification, in an appropriate subject. We also consider candidates with other relevant qualifications and individuals with a minimum of three years work experience. Those without formal qualifications need to demonstrate relevant work experience and the ability to study at postgraduate level.
International entry requirements
We accept the equivalent of the above from a recognised overseas qualification. To find out more about the requirements from your country, see further information under support in your country. For details of other equivalent requirements that Middlesex accepts see entry requirements.
English language requirements
You must have competence in English language and we normally require Grade C GCSE or an equivalent qualification. The most common English Language requirements for international students are IELTS 6.5 (with minimum 6.0 in all four components) or TOEFL internet based 87 (with at least 21 in listening & writing, 22 in speaking and 23 in reading).
Middlesex also offers an Intensive Academic English course (Pre-Sessional) that ranges from 5-17 weeks, depending on your level of English. Successful completion of this course would meet English language entry requirements.
How to Apply
Applications for postgraduate study should be made directly to the University using our online postgraduate application form.
Non-EU international students can apply using the online form, or use our network of regional offices across the world to assist you with your application. To find out more, see further information under support in your country.
How can our MSc in Biomedical Science – Clinical Biochemistry support your career?
70 per cent of patient diagnoses in the UK are based on laboratory results – everyone, at some point in their lives, will benefit from the services of biomedical scientists. Their work has led to new treatments for a wide range of degenerative and genetic disorders, and developments such as cloning and genetic screening. Biomedical science is the second largest profession registered by the Health Professions Council and is a fast-moving field in which there is a high demand for well-qualified graduates.
Our course will equip you with all the skills you need to work in a diagnostic laboratory in an NHS or private hospital or in research (an MSc is increasingly becoming a requirement for the latter). Biomedical scientists also work in primary care, in doctor’s surgeries and clinics, or there are opportunities with Public Health England, the Medical Research Council and the Health and Safety Executive.
Other sectors you could work in include the pharmaceutical industry, academia, education, biotechnology, and even areas like patent law, forensic science and science journalism. There are opportunities to work in management, running a lab, or as a consultant, and international roles in hospitals, schools and universities. A lot of our students go on to do a PhD. If you’re already working in clinical biochemistry, our MSc will help you progress to a more senior position.
As well as in-depth knowledge of your subject, our course will provide you with many transferable skills. It will improve your research, data collection and interpretation, IT, numeracy, communication, presentation, teamwork and problem-solving skills, as well as your confidence and your ability to work under your own initiative and manage your own time.
Dr Frank Hills is the programme leader for this course. Click here to read his full staff profile.
MSc Biomedical Science
This course is offered full time or part time.
|Full time course fees 2014||UK/EU Students||International Students|
|Part time course fees 2014*||UK/EU Students||International Students|
|Masters (120 taught credits
+ 60 credits for dissertation)
|£50 per taught credit + £25 per dissertation credit (£7,500 in total)||£74 per taught credit + £37 per dissertation credit (£11,000 in total)|
*Course fees are subject to annual inflation so the total costs for part time study are shown here as a guide
Find out about our flexible payment plans for UK/EU students, and how they can help you spread the cost of your course.