Doctor of Biomedical Sciences

Entry year
Course code
School of Applied Sciences
Five years
Part-time, starting in January
Programme leader
Dr Trevor Whittall

This course is open for applications

Page last updated 20 February 2024


UWE Bristol is recognised as one of the world's leading centres for biomedical science research and education. This professional training programme is aimed at practicing healthcare or research professionals looking to further their skills and knowledge in this rapidly developing field.

This doctorate programme is an extension of our impressive Biomedical Science portfolio, which includes the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) - accredited BSc (Hons) and MSc programmes.

Deepen your knowledge in a globally recognised department

The Doctor of Biomedical Sciences comprises four compulsory modules with integrated doctoral level research, aimed at full-time practitioners wishing to expand and extend their skills and knowledge to support existing roles, or to meet the demands of new ones.

For example, this qualification is ideal for those taking on or seeking managerial or consultancy roles.

It is open to employees working in the NHS or equivalent healthcare industry, or practicing in laboratories in the UK and internationally.

Modules cover good clinical practice, research management, and highlight the concept and value of reflective practitioners.

We also introduce you to training on a personal, professional and academic level through workshops, coursework and personal portfolios.

You'll have access to the Graduate School's designated work areas and networked library access, and attend seminars from leading researchers in biomedicine and related disciplines.

Watch: The learning and teaching experience



You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Research Theory and Practice - Training in project management to help you achieve a work/life/research balance, plus research governance, Health and Safety, good clinical practice and intellectual property rights. Through coursework, you will also gain skills in presentation, statistics, IT, writing for publications and being a reflective practitioner/researcher.
  • Project Development towards a Doctorate - You'll begin this module with an idea of the area of research you'd like to explore, and we guide you in researching the literature, formulating hypotheses, and planning your research methodology, work packages and timescales.
  • Interim Report - Designed to encourage the 'thoughtful researcher', this module features structured sessions on scientific writing, thesis writing skills, systematic review, poster presentation and oral presentation skills.
  • Professional Development for Biomedical Science - Develop the skills and confidence you need to be a reflective practitioner. You'll do this through a range of workshops including intellectual property, leadership, presentation skills, systematic reviews, biomedical ethics and group dynamics.
  • Research Project - You'll conduct research at your workplace that will inform your 30,000 word thesis. You submit your proposal idea for research when you apply for the programme, and develop it with our supervision team and a suitable work colleague. The final thesis should be completed and submitted no later than 12 months after the end of the five-year programme.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

There are five one-day sessions per annum, covering the modular structure and supervised research and learning, giving you excellent opportunities to engage with experts throughout the course, both in person and online.

For more details see our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Study time

This course is a five year part-time route only, during which you attend campus on five one-day sessions each year. This ensures optimum integration of doctorate training with full-time employment.


Assessed work varies with each module, but will comprise a written research proposal, reflection on the research process, a systematic review of the research topic, visual and oral presentations, and a reflective portfolio of attendance at workshops and research seminars. There will be doctorate-level viva voce examinations midway through your research and after your research thesis submission.

There are 30 credits per module (120 in total) and you must complete them before submitting your final thesis. Interim qualifications, based on modular credits, are available at the end of Years 1 and 2 if you can't complete the full five-year programme.

For more details see our full glossary of assessment terms.


Study facilities

You'll have access to the Graduate School's designated work areas and networked library access.

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE Bristol has to offer.

Take a Virtual Tour of the Biosciences facilities and see what's on offer here for you.


Postgraduate support

Our support includes access to fantastic facilities, study tools and career consultants, plus practical help to access everything from funding to childcare.


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There is currently no published fee data for this course.

Supplementary fee information

More information can be found on the Graduate School fees and funding pages.


Entry requirements

Applicants normally have one of the following:

  • At least a 2:2 in your first degree or equivalent plus


  • MSc in Biomedical Science or related subject
  • IBMS Fellowship examination
  • Other relevant experience and demonstrated abilities deemed equivalent by the programme team to either of the above


  • The candidate must be actively engaged as a practitioner at a senior level in their chosen field.

Informal interviews will be held by the programme team for all applicants to discuss programme aims and practicalities related to successful completion.

How to apply

Initial enquiries should be directed to: Dr Trevor Whittall, School of Applied Sciences. Telephone: +44 (0)117 32 87796. E-mail:

Read more about international applications and key international deadline dates.

For further information