Many students choose to use the experience gained in the first and second years of the course to work in an NHS, industrial or research laboratory, although this is not a requirement of the Biomedical Science course.
This optional year of paid employment outside the University gives you the opportunity to explore a potential career and gain valuable laboratory experience.
You do not pay fees for this period (often referred to as an intercalated year) as it does not form part of the course. Neither is it assessed, although many employers like you to submit a written report at the end of your time with them. As this is an extramural year, not a sandwich course, you will not be formally visited by a member of the Bradford School of Medical Sciences, but we are always at the end of the telephone, and you are welcome to contact us if you have any problems.
You may find that taking this optional year out gives a maturity which helps you tackle your final year with a greater motivation, giving you more confidence in your studies. This may improve your chances of obtaining a good degree. Furthermore, employers look for the qualities which a year of laboratory experience provides and you may find that choosing this option makes it easier for you to enter your preferred career.
In the past, students have found a wide range of placements in Hospitals, Universities and companies including Astra Zeneca, Covance, Fisons, Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, Mast Laboratories, Nestlé and the Sanger Centre in Cambridge.
We strongly recommend you take advantage of this opportunity. Your tutor will advise and help you organise your placement. We fully expect you will find the whole experience of great benefit to you, both as an individual and in your career.
Comments from our placement students
We asked some of our students who are undertaking or have completed placements to tell us about their experiences.
Charlotte Morgan (Year 3, BSc Applied Biomedical Science)
The university organised my placement at the Histopathology department at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. It allowed practical application of the knowledge I had learnt in university and allowed me to gain an understanding of the work environment and professionalism that is required. By going out on placement I was able to decide that I preferred working in an environment with patient contact, and one in which I could see that full patient pathway from initial admission to discharge.
My placement was particularly good as I was able to work in various environments, getting the opportunity to work with staff of all grades in several departments. My employers appeared pleased with the quality of my work, and liked the fact that I could work independently.
Shameemah Chopdat (Year 4, BSc Applied Biomedical Science)
I worked at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, at Dewsbury District Hospital, which was organised through the university. I learnt how a proper workplace operates and learnt so many things that university lectures could never teach. It confirmed to me that I really do want to work in a diagnostic laboratory, rather than a research laboratory. My employers were very supportive throughout the year, and I am already back in touch with them.
It was the best aspect of the course, and I am so glad that I applied for the placement and got a place.
Oliver Jowett (Year 2, BSc Healthcare Science - Genetics)
I spent a few weeks at the Sheffield Diagnostic Genetics Service, at the Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust. The placement is part of my academic course however we did discuss available options with the courses placement tutor. The university does most of the leg work for you.
The depth of what you're expected to know in a work scenario is something that I could not have picked up whilst studying at university. It advanced my practical skills beyond that of my peers and it allowed me to see other pathways that are not so eagerly publicised . My employers were supportive and constructive, they provided training and experience that is hard to come by.
I will be returning for a longer period next summer as part of my course.