What is Biomedical Science?
Biomedical Science is the term for the investigations carried out by Biomedical 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. Biomedical 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.
This work placement (clinical placement) is offered postgraduately and is optional. However, in order for graduates to be eligible to work as Medical Scientists in hospitals in Ireland, they must have completed a clinical placement training which takes a full academic year.
This Honours Degree course with clinical placement is fully accredited by the Academy of Clinical Science and Laboratory Medicine.
The CIT/UCC joint BSc (Honours) Degree in Biomedical Science is one of only three Honours Degrees in the Republic of Ireland which are recognised by the Academy of Clinical Science and Laboratory Medicine (professional body) as enabling graduates to practise in hospitals in the State.
However, this BSc (Honours) must be accompanied by clinical placement training. Graduates of the BSc (Honours) will be offered the opportunity to complete this placement in a designated hospital laboratory.
Suitably qualified graduates are eligible to apply for a postgraduate degree at CIT:
What do you need to work as a Biomedical Scientist in Ireland?
Graduates with a BSc (Honours) in Biomedical Science from CIT/UCC, GMIT, or DIT, who have completed clinical placement are eligible for membership of the Academy of Clinical Science and Laboratory Medicine, which qualifies the graduate to practise as a Biomedical Scientist.
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?
This profession requires scientists who are mindful of their responsibility when dealing with human health. It also means that they are often privy to information concerning patients that they cannot divulge 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.