Biomedical laboratory Science also known as Medical Laboratory Science (Laboratory Medicine) is the branch of medical science specifically concerned with the laboratory diagnosis and monitoring of disease. Only graduates from biomedical science programmes which are accredited and/or approved by the RAHPC are eligible to register as biomedical laboratory practitioners without undertaking further education.
The Council’s subject Benchmark guidelines describe the nature of study and the academic standards expected of graduates in specific module/subject areas, and in respect of particular qualifications. They provide a general picture of what graduates in a particular area might reasonably be expected to know, do and understand at the end of their programme of study
The programme in the biomedical laboratory sciences is designed to provide graduates with a broad understanding of the scientific basis of human health and disease. Graduates from these programmes have the qualities needed for employment in situations which require the exercise of professionalism, independent thought, personal responsibility and decision making in complex and unpredictable circumstances.
Biomedical laboratory science is concerned with the integration of a wide range of subjects/module, i.e. biology, chemistry and, to a lesser extent, physics and mathematics, to understand the pathophysiology of human disease. Pathobiology, in this sense, means predominantly human anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, genetics, immunology, microbiology, and cell &molecular biology.
More specific knowledge of disease processes comes from the study of clinical laboratory specialities, such as cellular pathology, clinical biochemistry, clinical immunology, haematology, transfusion science, clinical genetics and medical microbiology. This enables a biomedical laboratory practitioner to understand the science of the causes, consequences, diagnosis and treatment of disease.
Biomedical laboratory science plays a pivotal and essential role in healthcare. Most of the component subjects are at the forefront of modern science and therefore attract leading edge research activity. This means that biomedical laboratory science is a rapidly evolving domain and highly relevant to investigating and understanding current controversies, concerns and dilemmas of modern life such as food safety, the use of stem cells, assisted reproductive technologies, pre-implantation embryo diagnosis and genetic manipulation (cloning and gene therapy). It is also critical to the understanding of major biological processes such as ageing, health problems of international importance such as infectious diseases, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer and dementia.
Professionals in the biomedical laboratory sciences enter a rapidly changing employment environment in which lifelong learning plays an essential role. Many graduates of degree programmes in the biomedical laboratory sciences attain additional qualifications including master's degrees (MSc), doctoral degrees, postgraduate medical qualifications and teaching qualifications.
The following higher learning institutions are accredited to offer training in biomedical laboratory sciences: