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Biomedical Science is a vitally important field in modern medicine, focusing on health and disease within the human body. Biomedical scientists investigate a range of different medical conditions, with varied, practical and investigative work at the core of the subject. It is a fascinating area for postgraduate study which is always developing and changing, and can provide students with a path to rewarding careers within the medical profession. To find out more about biomedical science and how it is taught at a postgraduate level, we talked to Dr Michael Carroll, a lecturer in the School of Healthcare Science at Manchester Metropolitan University.
I lead a unit called Biological Aspects of Disease for the MSc in Biomedical science. This unit covers a wide area of biomedicine from a biological and evolutionary perspective. Subjects include neuropathology, genetics, infectious disease and my own specialism, reproductive medicine. This is a very interesting unit and gives the students a wider appreciation of biomedicine – bringing all the other disciplines together.
There are also opportunities for students to take specialist routes where they will focus on areas such as clinical biochemistry, cellular pathology, haematology and medical microbiology.
What skills will students leave with?
Graduates will gain an advanced knowledge of pathology, genetics, reproductive health and clinical biochemistry and will also develop extensive transferable skills in areas such as research and academic writing.
The program in biomedical science at MMU has a long history and is delivered by experts in their respective fields. Students will also have an opportunity to carry out a research project using state of the art facilities.
MMU is ideally situated in the famous ‘Corridor’. The Corridor is home to two of the UK’s leading universities The University of Manchester, and Manchester Metropolitan University– and The Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The Corridor boasts to be the largest academic campus in the UK, in addition to being but the largest clinical academic campus in Europe. This, together with the vibrant city of Manchester, makes coming to MMU to study even more attractive.
Graduates from this course have been employed in fields such as hospital science, biomedical and pharmaceuticals and research. Having an MSc in Biomedical science is also a good route to gain a PhD. You can find more information about careers from the Institute of Biomedical science, but remember you are not limited to careers in Biomedical Science. With an MSc you will be equipped to move in to any area of life sciences; teaching, sales, clinical or research.
Originally I wanted to be a vet, but in Ireland there is only one university offering this course and it was extremely difficult to get on it. I was interested in all aspects of biology. I started studying in Ireland and gained a Higher National Diploma in Toxicology (now BSc in Toxicology) from Athlone Institute of Technology. I continued my studies and completed a BSc in Biomedical science from The University of Bradford.
I then went on to do a PhD in reproductive cell biology at Newcastle University. I was fascinated with reproductive biology and how similar the cellular processes of fertilisation and early embryology are between different species. This led me to continue research in the US, France and the UK. After my time in research I wanted to put this to practice in clinical science, and this lead me to train as a clinical embryologist.
I now teach reproductive biology and continue my research in the area. It’s not exactly the route that I envisioned, but that’s how events evolve. So long as you follow a path that interests you, you will usually end up in an interesting and satisfying job.
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