Healthcare Science vs Biomedical Science, which is Better?

Healthcare Science vs Biomedical Science, which is Better?

Healthcare science and biomedical science are often paired together when talking about degrees you can do to become a biomedical scientist.

Biomedical science and healthcare science are separate courses that have a lot of overlap, however they are structured slightly differently.

Let’s explore the main differences between these two courses.

Healthcare science vs Biomedical science

What are the differences

Healthcare science is intended for individuals who want to ultimately become biomedical scientists after completing their studies.

Biomedical science on the other hand has a more broader teaching style and aims to give students more job options after graduation.

During a healthcare science degree, you are able to complete an IBMS portfolio required for statutory registration as a certified biomedical scientist.

This means that during your studies, you will spend the majority of time in laboratories and external facilities practically learning on the job.

Ofcourse this means that if you are 100% sure you want to become a biomedical scientist once you graduate, healthcare science is the superior degree since you are already ahead of your fellow life science peers.

Once you graduate alongside your biomedical science peers, you will be able to begin applying for jobs right away, whilst they must now start looking for labs to train at and complete their portfolio in.

This means as a healthcare science graduate, you are already miles ahead of biomedical science graduates in terms of finding lab jobs right away!

What to do if you’re unsure what job you want to do

On the other hand, not many people are confident about what they want to pursue after graduation.

For them it is more important to leave the door open than decide a career before completing their studies.

In the situation biomedical science is obviously the superior choice since it leaves doors open for Careers such as biomedical scientist, physician associate, doctor, researcher, lab assistant, and much more.

Healthcare scientist can also do all these jobs, however their primary route would be to become a biomedical scientist, and therefore all other routes are secondary to the primary objective.

It may also be harder for a healthcare scientist to begin training in these roles since the scope of medical knowledge, albeit similar, isn’t as wide as that of a biomedical science graduate.

How similar are the degrees

Some universities that have IBMS accreditation actually combine biomedical science students and healthcare science students until they reach year 2, where healthcare science students must begin placements in laboratories.

They however still join their biomedical science cohort for certain university lectures until third year where their pathways are almost completely separate.

This means there is quite a lot of overlap in the early stages, and student need not worry about the decision until they reach second year.

Is there competition?

Healthcare science degrees often have very limited spots available since every candidate must be allocated to an external training laboratory/facility for their placement period.

Students also have to decide what their specialty will be, whether haematology, biochemistry or pathology.

This further slims down the number of training spots available in each specialty.

As such, healthcare science spots are more limited than biomedical science so class sizes are much smaller.


Healthcare science gives the opportunity for biomedical science students to train to become biomedical scientists.

A strict biomedical science pathway gives students the tools to later pursue biomedical science after graduation, whereas a healthcare science pathway enables graduates to find work shortly after graduating.

Due to limited training spots, healthcare science is much more competitive to secure a place.

Depending on your goals, healthcare science might be a good degree pathway to consider!

Tell us what you think, and if you need any additional and personalised university advice, consider contacting us!

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