Cellular pathology is the study of structural and functional changes in cells, tissues and organs that underlie disease. It is a dynamic, fast-evolving specialism which saves many lives by providing rational clinical care and therapy in the fight against many serious diseases, particularly cancer.
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 vaccine for bladder cancer.
Our course has a strong practical element, with an emphasis on developing the skills needed in a laboratory and gaining hands-on experience of diagnostic techniques, and our teaching and research facilities surpass those at some UK medical schools. Our £3 million specialist labs are equipped with the most up-to-date technology; here you'll learn to use cutting-edge techniques and equipment for cellular and molecular analysis, such as MALDI-TOF mass spectrometers, flow cytometers, DNA sequencing, real-time PCR, electrophoresis and high-performance liquid chromatography, histology and confocal microscopy. We also have fully-equipped proteomics facilities, a histopathology lab and an incredibly modern cell culture facility.
You’ll gain a sound understanding of the structure and function of the body’s major organs; how different diseases affect the body and how they can be treated and prevented; bioanalytical technologies and techniques, 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 cellular pathology modules: major organ histopathology, pathological basis of disease, genetics disorders and cancer.
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 the cellular structure and function of different organs and types of tissue; the workings and effects of diseases; the use of histopathology and cytology to make diagnoses; and processing and diagnostic techniques and technologies. You’ll look specifically at cancer, cervical screening and the HPV vaccination, oncogenes, organ transplants, genetic disorders and the social and ethical issues surrounding genetic testing, and Human Tissue Authority regulations.
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, numeracy, research, communication, presentation, management, teamwork, problem-solving, analytical and observational 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.
Module aims to develop students' skills in planning and execution of an analytical, laboratory-based study and critical evaluation of real research results drawing on their acquired knowledge from other modules. In addition, the module aims to develop students' communication skills to enable them to communicate their findings in written and oral form.
You will do practical work in our laboratories and attend computer sessions, interactive lectures, seminars and workshops. Lectures will introduce you to key information and knowledge, which seminars and workshops will reinforce through discussions and problem-solving exercises. You’ll submit written work and give presentations, learn to carry out literature searches and analyse research literature, and undertake your own independent study in your spare time. This will include using resources on the university intranet, including quizzes and interactive videos.
As well as practical and theoretical exams and your research project and dissertation, you will be assessed through presentations and written assignments. These will include essays, laboratory reports and logbooks, data analysis exercises, case study assignments, and papers made up of a literature review, hypothesis and research question. You will receive regular feedback on your work and will also be asked to evaluate your own work.
UK/EU and international students are eligible to apply for this course.
If you have relevant qualifications or work experience, academic credit may be awarded towards your Middlesex University programme of study. For further information please visit our Accreditation of Prior Learning page.
We accept the equivalent of the above qualifications from a recognised overseas qualification. To find out more about the qualifications we accept from your country please visit the relevant Support in your country page.
If you are unsure about the suitability of your qualifications or would like help with your application, please contact your nearest Regional office for support.
You will not need a visa to study in the UK if you are a citizen of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. If you are a national of any other country you may need a visa to study in the UK. Please see our Visas and immigration page for further information.
You must have competence in English language to study with us. The most commonly accepted evidence of English language ability is IELTS 6.5 (with minimum 6.0 in all components). We also normally require Grade C GCSE or an equivalent qualification. Visit our English language requirements page for a full list of accepted tests and qualifications.
If you don't meet our minimum English language requirements, we offer an intensive Pre-sessional English course.
Entry onto this course does not require an interview, portfolio or audition.
Applications for postgraduate study should be made directly to the university. Please visit our Postgraduate application page for further information and to apply.
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. They represent the second largest profession registered by the Health Professions Council and there is a high demand for well-qualified graduates in the field. Cervical screening alone saves more than 1,000 lives each year in the UK.
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). Cellular pathologists in hospital laboratories work alongside doctors, analysing patients’ samples to produce often urgent results, and advising on treatment. Alternatively, you could work in a medical or pharmaceutical research lab, developing new techniques for diagnosing and treating diseases. As well as an excellent eye for detail, you’ll need good people skills and the ability to meet deadlines, sometimes under great pressure. Cellular biologists also need to be methodical to ensure samples are dealt with correctly and not mixed up.
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 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 cellular pathology, 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.
Find out about our postgraduate scholarships worth up to 50% of the tuition fee.
MSc Biomedical Science
This course is offered full time or part time. The fees below refer to the 2016/17 academic year unless otherwise stated.
MSc Full-time students: £8,500
Part-time per taught credit: £57
Part-time per dissertation credit: £28
MSc Full-time students: £12,500
Part-time per taught credit: £84
Part-time per dissertation credit: £42
*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.