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Biomedical Science (Cellular Pathology) MSc/PGCert

Learn about the course below
Code
PGB90A (MSc)
PGB90G (PGCert)
Start
September 2022
September 2022 (EU/INT induction)
Duration
1 year full-time
2 years part-time
Attendance
Full-time
Part-time
Fees
£9,600 (UK) *
£14,800 (EU/INT) *
Course leader
Song Wen

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.

Why study MSc/PGCert Biomedical Science (Cellular Pathology) at Middlesex University?

This 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. You will be able to study and learn within the University's specialist laboratories which include a modern, well-equipped cell culture facility and fully-equipped proteomics facilities. You'll also learn to use cutting-edge techniques and equipment for cellular and molecular analysis, such as MALDI-TOF mass spectrometers and flow cytometers, DNA sequencing, real-time PCR, electrophoresis and HPLC.

The Biomedical Science courses at Middlesex have a burgeoning international reputation and the University's strong links with London hospitals and NHS Laboratories ensures that you will be studying the latest developments, practices and research. 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.

Course highlights

  • All our teaching staff are involved in research and many are pioneers in their own field
  • The course is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science
  • Our location gives you easy access to the British Library, the Science Museum, the Royal Institution and more
  • 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
  • As a student of this course you'll receive a free electronic textbook for every module.

* Please note this course is under review, and may be subject to change.


Find out more

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What will you study on the MSc/PGCert Biomedical Science (Cellular Pathology)?

You will study the structure and function of the body’s major organs, how different diseases affect the body and how they can be treated and prevented. You will investigate 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 the processing and diagnostic techniques and technologies. You’ll look specifically at cancer, cervical screening and the HPV vaccination along with oncogenes, organ transplants, genetic disorders and Human Tissue Authority regulations.

What will you gain?

As well as in-depth knowledge of your subject, you will also gain a sound understanding of how to design and carry out experiments, statistical analyses as well as techniques for analysing samples and molecules. You will also be proficient and capable in all aspects of managing a laboratory, including people management, business plans and budgets, safety regulations, and quality management. You will become familiar with the ethical and legal issues which can surround specific types of research such as assisted reproduction and genetics, genetic testing, and human or animal research.

Modules

  • Modules

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • Cancer (15 Credits) - Compulsory

      The module aims to provide student with the knowledge and understanding of the principles of carcinogenesis, malignancy and metastasis. They will learn cellular pathology to the diagnosis and management of a range of common cancers. They will apply cellular pathology techniques in cancer and gain experience of interpreting results from patient investigations.

    • 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.

    • Genetics Disorders (15 Credits) - Compulsory

      This module will provide the student with knowledge and understanding of the role and application of genetics testing in the diagnosis and management of patients with genetic disorders and the implications to other family members.

    • 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.

    • Major Organ Histopathology (15 Credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims is to provide the student with the knowledge and understanding of the cellular structure and function of the major organs and the cellular pathological findings in a range of clinical disorders other than cancer. An additional aim is to provide knowledge on the techniques that can be apply to investigation a range of clinical disorders and gain experience of interpreting results from patient investigations.

    • Pathological Basis of Disease (15 Credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims is to provide the student with the knowledge and understanding of the pathological basis of disease and the use of histopathology and cytopathology to detect and diagnose disease.

    • Research Project (60 Credits) - Compulsory

      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.

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information:

Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

We are regularly reviewing and updating our programmes to ensure you have the best learning experience. We are taking what we've learnt in recent years by enhancing our teaching methods with new and innovative ways of learning.

How will the MSc/PGCert Biomedical Science (Cellular Pathology) be taught?

You will acquire key knowledge and practical skills by attending computer sessions, interactive lectures, seminars and workshops or labs when possible. Our teaching will be delivered through a mix of online and face to face teaching.

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.

This programme has a strong, practical element with an emphasis on developing the skills needed in a laboratory setting and in gaining hands-on experience of diagnostic techniques. Facilities include a fully equipped microbiology laboratory and access to cutting-edge equipment such as MALDI-TOF mass spectrometers and flow cytometers.

Assessment

As well as 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.

For your dissertation, you'll design, conduct, evaluate and present the results of your own independent and original research project in a clinical or laboratory setting (where achievable due to COVID-19 restrictions). You can base your project at your workplace if you’re in relevant employment. You will present your finding through a 12,000 to 15,000 word report and a presentation to your tutors and fellow students.

Teaching and learning from 2022

We have developed new approaches to teaching and learning for the 2021/22 academic year.

We are currently reviewing our approach to teaching and learning for 2022 entry and beyond. We've learned a lot about how to give you a quality education - we aim to combine the best of our in-person teaching and learning with access to online learning and digital resources which put you more in charge of when and how you study. We will keep you updated on this throughout the application process.

Your timetable will be built around on campus sessions using our professional facilities, with online sessions for some activities where we know being virtual will add value. We’ll use technology to enhance all of your learning and give you access to online resources to use in your own time.

The table below gives you an idea of what learning looks like across a typical week. Some weeks are different due to how we schedule classes and arrange on campus sessions.

This information is likely to change slightly for 2022 entry as our plans evolve. You'll receive full information on your teaching before you start your course.

Learning structure: typical hourly breakdown in 2021/22

Live in-person on campus learning

Contact hours per week, per level:

9 hours

Live online learning

Average hours per week, per level:

9 hours

Tutor set learning activities

Average hours per week, per level:

4 hours

Outside of these hours, you’ll be expected to do independent study where you read, listen and reflect on other learning activities. This can include preparation for future classes. In a year, you’ll typically be expected to commit 1200 hours to your course across all styles of learning. If you are taking a placement, you might have some additional hours.

Definitions of terms

  • Live in-person on campus learning – This will focus on active and experiential sessions that are both:
    • Led by your tutors including seminars, lab sessions and demonstrations We’ll schedule all of this for you
    • Student-led by you and other students, like small group work and presentations.
  • Live online learning – This will include lectures, tutorials and supervision sessions led by your tutor and timetabled by us. It also includes student-led group work that takes place online

  • Tutor set learning activities – This covers activities which will be set for you by your tutor, but which you will undertake in your own time. Examples of this include watching online materials, participating in an online discussion forum, completing a virtual laboratory or reading specific texts. You may be doing this by yourself of with your course mates depending on your course and assignments. Outside of these hours, you’ll also be expected to do further independent study where you’ll be expected to learn, prepare, revise and reflect in your own time.

Support

You have a strong support network available to you to make sure you develop all the necessary academic skills you need to do well on your course.

Our support services will be delivered online and on campus and you have access to a range of different resources so you can get the help you need, whether you’re studying at home or have the opportunity to come to campus.

You have access to one to one and group sessions for personal learning and academic support from our library and IT teams, and our network of learning experts. Our teams will also be here to offer financial advice, and personal wellbeing, mental health and disability support.

  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. EU/International
  3. Additional costs
  4. Scholarships and bursaries

How can the MSc/PGCert Biomedical Science (Cellular Pathology) support your career?

Biomedical Science represents the second largest profession registered by the Health Professions Council and there is a high demand for well-qualified graduates. This course will equip you with the skills and expertise you need to work in a wide range of roles such as management, consultancy, lab supervision, or in international roles within hospitals, schools and universities. Many graduates go on to become cellular pathologists, working 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. There are also opportunities in diagnostic laboratories within both the public and private sectors.

If you're currently working in cellular pathology, this Masters programme will help you progress to a more senior position. You might also wish to explore your options in research or academia, or even complete further study at doctoral level.

There are many opportunities available in a variety of sectors including academia, education, biotechnology, and even areas like patent law, forensic science and science journalism. Biomedical scientists also work with Public Health England, the Medical Research Council and the Health and Safety Executive.


We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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