Do you have a fascination for research and laboratory work?
Perhaps a deep desire to be a part of the medical industry so that you may contribute to the world that improves the livelihoods of people around the world?
If you said yes to these, then perhaps you can consider pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Science.
Read on to know more about biomedical science, how you can pursue it, and what to expect in a biomedical science career.
What is Biomedical Science?
Much like medicine, the field of biomedical science has everything to do with maintaining and improving the health of people.
Biomedical science is much more focused on research and experiments to support the diagnosis and treatment of diseases.
Medicine has more to do with diagnosing and treating the ailments of patients.
Biomedical science looks into studying the human body, the chemical process involved in living organisms, and the relationship they have with drugs.
The field itself covers a number of specialisations, such as pharmacology, physiology, biochemistry, and neuroscience.
Why Should You Study Biomedical Science?
The study of biomedical science is at the intersection of healthcare and scientific research.
As the future of healthcare continues to change and evolve, the demand for biomedical experts has been increasing.
If you are considering to study Biomedical Science after your SPM or O-Level, here are some reasons on why you should:
You want to make a meaningful contribution
Biomedical science is the building block of medical practice.
This field largely contributes to the progression of cancer treatments, advancements in disease diagnosis, and creating breakthroughs in treatments of infections and immunopathology.
When you choose to study and pursue a future career in biomedical science, you can be a part of this industry that is dedicated to creating a meaningful contribution to society.
You want wide career options
The specialisation opportunities you would have as a biomedical student are numerous.
From pharmacology to physiology and psychology, the career placements you have as a graduate of biomedical science are there for you to choose from.
You want to know more about Biology and Chemistry
As you study biomedical science, you will be covering a variation of subtopics under biology, chemistry, and medicine.
Moreover, you will get hands-on experience of working in a laboratory, conducting research assignments, and data interpretation.
This will not only reflect positively on your resume as you enter the working field, but also increase your own depth of knowledge, understanding, and intellectual capacity.
What are the Study Fields of Biomedical Science?
As you continue to pursue your studies in biomedical science, you will be given the choice to pick electives to specialise in.
Some of the electives you can expect are briefly listed below:
This is a branch of biology that is concerned with the structure of organisms.
Anatomy falls under the category of natural science which is focused on the structural organisation of living things.
This means you will get the opportunity to study the structure, familiarise yourself with the internal workings, and dissect the separate parts of an animal.
Dealing with microorganisms, microbiology is the study of beings that are unicellular, multicellular, and acellular.
This includes bacteria, viruses, fungi, algae, and many more.
The study of microbiology is largely focused on the roles these microorganisms play in nutrient cycling, biodegradation, cause of disease, and biotechnology.
Toxicology is a field of biomedical science that investigates the harmful effects chemicals and substances have on people, animals, and the environment.
It overlaps with pharmacology, medicine, biology, and chemistry.
Under the field of surgery, there are several specialisations to cover.
However, the overall field is focused on using operative tools to investigate and treat medical conditions caused by diseases.
Surgeries are particularly helpful when it comes to improving bodily functions, repairing damaged areas, or even enhancing physical appearances.
This study falls under the branch of biology that focuses on DNA, genes, genetic variation, and heredity in organisms.
In genetics, you will learn about inherited traits and diseases.
In genetic technology, scientists are constantly discovering new routes to curate personalised medicine and further the advancement of accurate diagnosis.
Moreover, the field of genetics also increases the precision of predictions based on genetic determinants.
What are the Popular Biomedical Science Pathways?
Once you have received your SPM or O-Level results, you can choose either to pursue a Diploma in Biomedical Science, or a pre-university course like Foundation in Science, A-Level, SACE, and more.
Depending on which route you choose to take, your programme may last up to 2 years (3 years for Diploma).
After completing any one of the three programmes listed above, you may now enter your Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Science at your preferred university.
When you have graduated from your Bachelor’s Degree programme, you may begin working in the company of your choice!
However, should you want to work in Research and Development, you are required to further your studies by enrolling in a postgraduate programme.
So what does your pathway look like?
Diploma in Biomedical Science
To qualify for a diploma course, you only need to have 5 credits in SPM/O-Level, including Bahasa Melayu, English, Mathematics and at least one Science subject.
Diploma courses usually take between 2 to 2.5 years to complete.
It is encouraged that you continue your studies with a degree course, though you can enter the workforce as well.
Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Science
For degree courses, you will need to have 5 credits in SPM/O-Level qualification, including Bahasa Melayu, English, Mathematics and at least one Science Subject, and the following pre-university course:
- Foundation: min. CGPA 2.50
- Diploma: min. CGPA 2.75
- STPM: min. 2Cs, including Biology, Chemistry, and Physics, or Mathematics
- UEC: min. 5 credits, including Biology, Chemistry, and Physics and Mathematics and Add Mathematics
- A-Levels: min. 2Ds, including 2 subjects from Biology/Chemistry/Physics/Mathematics
- AUSMAT: 75 ATAR, including 2 subjects from Biology/Chemistry/Physics/Mathematics
A pre-university course can take up to 2 years to complete and cost from RM 18,000.
Once you’ve completed your pre-university course, you can then move on to the degree course.
Degree courses take up to 4 years to complete and cost from RM 82,000.
Diploma students who want to continue their studies can do so with a degree course and they begin in Year 2.
What are the Skills Required to Study Biomedical Science?
To study for a Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Science, there are a few sets of skills you need to possess in order to succeed in this programme.
Technical skills: In biomedical science, you will need to work with complex equipment to conduct experiments for your research studies.
Research skills: Majority of the workload is to conduct research, whether it’s experiments or collecting data from different sources.
High levels of patience: In biomedical science, repeated experiments and research are common therefore having the patience to see it through will be critical to the outcome of your work.
Top Biomedical Universities in Malaysia
Taylor’s University is the top private university in Asia.
Taylor’s has its own e-Learning Academy on campus with In-house developed E-Learning platform and and learning tools such as the REWIND system for unlimited playback of lecture class in Live for student’s learning support.
Biomedical Science courses offered:
- Foundation In Science (Medicine/Pharmacy)
- Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Honours)
IMU is the only local private university as one of the top eight ranking universities rated as 6 Stars in SETARA system.
Its Academic Health Centre integrates education, research and healthcare to groom better-equipped graduates.
Biomedical Science courses offered:
- Foundation in Science
- Bachelor of Science (Hons) Biomedical Science (IMU) (2+2), University of Strathclyde, UK
- Bachelor of Science (Hons) Biomedical Science (IMU) (1.5+1.5), University of Newcastle Australia
- Bachelor of Science (Hons) Biomedical Science (IMU)
MAHSA has a diverse student population with more than 50 countries represented.
It maintains a strong industry collaboration to promote industry-driven medical research and development and to provide a better career prospect for students (e.g, American Heart Association, Cosmetic Institute of Australia, National Heart Institute of Malaysia, UM Medical Centre, Tung Shin Hospital, Iconix Consulting and many more).
Biomedical Science courses offered:
- Foundation in Science
- Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences (Hons) – Weekend
- Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences (Hons) – ODL
- Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences (Hons)
Things You Need to Know About a Biomedical Science Career
The career prospects of biomedical science graduates are vast – though if you are interested in pursuing a career in research and development, it is required of you to complete a postgraduate study to improve your qualifications.
The biomedical science field is highly competitive, therefore gaining as much training and work experience is important for you to become a desired candidate for employment.
As a graduate of this programme, you may consider entering careers in healthcare and natural science.
The work you will undergo as a biomedical scientist is challenging.
You will be tasked to test samples, utilise medical and laboratory equipment, analyse patient data, and communicate with other medical practitioners about what the diagnosis is and the treatment required.
It is often that all of these have to be completed within a very tight deadline.
However, you may also consider joining other science-related industries, or education in the event that you may want to pursue a career outside of healthcare.
You are not only limited to working in a laboratory or the medical healthcare field at all if it is not within your range of interest. The knowledge you obtain from your degree and the transferable skills you have harnessed will prove beneficial for your future employment as well.
Popular Biomedical Science Jobs
According to JobStreet, here are some of the career opportunities available for biomedical science graduates:
- Graduate Trainees
- Medical Sales Executive
- Junior Product Specialist (Biomedical)
The yearly salary of a junior biomedical scientist begins off humbly.
According to Payscale, the average yearly base salary of a biomedical scientist in Malaysia starts from RM34,142.
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