What is Biomedical Science?
Biomedical Science is the term for the investigations carried out by Medical Scientists on samples of tissue and body fluids to diagnose disease and monitor the treatment of patients.
About the Course
This Honours Degree course is offered jointly by Cork Institute of Technology and University College Cork. Medical Scientists work in partnership with doctors and other health- care professionals to perform many different roles in medical laboratories. Biomedical Science is a continually changing dynamic profession and involves study of the diverse areas of medical science including Biochemistry, Microbiology, Cellular Pathology, Haematology and Transfusion Science. It provides training in state-of-the-art technologies to facilitate investigation of disease and medical research.
Work placement is not an integral part of this four year degree programme. Upon completion of the BSc programme the graduates may progress to the Diploma in Clinical Practice. This Diploma is optional and takes one academic year to complete. It is important to note that both the BSc (Honours) in Biomedical Science and the Diploma in Clinical Practice are together required to practice as a Medical Scientist in Ireland.
The BSc (Honours) in Biomedical Science together with the Diploma in Clinical Practice are fully accredited by the Academy of Clinical Science and Laboratory Medicine.
Suitably qualified graduates are eligible to apply for a postgraduate degree at CIT:
Are there any specific requirements for students of this programme?
Students on this BSc programme must obtain a course of occupational vaccinations for their safety. These will be coordinated and administered through the CIT Medical Centre but will be at a financial cost to the student. The current vaccination requirements are Hepatitis B (year 1) and both Hepatitis A and REVAXIS in year 2. The approximate combined cost for these vaccinations in the academic year 2019-2020 was €150. The vaccine requirements and costs are reviewed each year and may be subject to change.
Is it an advantage to have Chemistry and Physics coming into the course?
It is always an advantage to have Chemistry and Physics coming into a course such as Biomedical Science. However, it is feasible to take up one or both of these subjects on entry to the course, and the first year programme is tailored to support students who enter the programme without prior knowledge of these subjects.
What kind of person should you be?
Applicants to the programme should have a keen interest in science, laboratory medicine, and health. This profession requires scientists that are mindful of their responsibility when dealing with human health. Confidentiality is of paramount importance as information concerning patients cannot be divulged for ethical reasons other than in the course of their work.
What is the time divide between CIT and UCC?
The programme for the BSc (Honours) in Biomedical Science is taught equally by CIT and UCC, so this means that the students will expect to spend some days in one institution or the other. The timetable is arranged to minimise travel between the two colleges.
Shirley graduated in 2012 and completed her clinical placement in the Cork University Hospital (CUH) and Bantry General Hospital. She then went on to do a research Masters in Microbiology in collaboration with researchers in CIT.
Shirley now works as a Medical Scientist in the Blood Transfusion department, CUH. Her work focuses on the safe provision of blood and blood products to patients, which ranges from routine operations to serious emergency situations. Blood grouping, antibody screening and molecular testing are part of her routine day and she also helps train medical scientists. The work can be demanding and fast paced at times but rewarding on so many levels.
Dr Annmarie Burns
Having completed the BSc (Honours) in Biomedical Science, Annmarie began work as a Medical Scientist in the Microbiology Department of St James’s Hospital in Dublin until she embarked on a postgraduate research scholarship at CIT in 2008.
During the intervening period, until her graduation in October 2011 with a PhD in Molecular Biology, Annmarie also undertook short part-time locum positions as a Medical Scientist in the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) in Cork, and in the Microbiology Department of the Bon Secours Hospital in Cork. She is currently employed as a lecturer in the CIT Department of Biological Sciences.