Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences

The Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences is dedicated to understanding cell, molecular and systems biology and clinical diagnosis of disease and treatments, and advancing this knowledge through research and teaching.

We offer a wide range of programmes in the biosciences and all place an emphasis of hands-on practical skills and real-life problem solving. Internship, work-experience and placement opportunities also ensure that our graduates are highly sought after by employers. Graduates of our Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) accredited Biomedical Science programme go on to careers in the NHS and other health-related industries, while graduates in our Royal Society of Biology accreditedCell and Molecular BiologyMicrobiology and Pharmacology have found success in R&D, science communication, as industrial laboratory scientists and technical sales specialists, as well as in academic research.

Our Food Bioscience programme is accredited by the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) and the programme has a 100% employment rate for graduates working within the global food and drink industry, developing new and healthy products, and innovating more sustainable use of resources developing the circular economy.

​Our Clinical Physiology programme is the only undergraduate clinical training and educational pathway for new entrants into the professions of Audiology, Cardiac Physiology, Neurophysiology and Respiratory Physiology in Scotland.  All students on this programme are employed in full-time training posts within NHS Scotland and attend GCU on a part-time basis to complete their vocational degree.

The Department also offers a range of specialist taught post graduate Masters programmes and are launching a new MRes degree in 2021.

Follow us on Twitter: @BIO_GCU

Staff forms for genetic modification

Relevant Health and Safety forms for staff. Please direct any queries to Professor Linda Scobie.

Research Activities 

Our research activities span a number of areas, and aim to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying a number of key long term conditions, including chronic infections, obesity and diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis, and pulmonary hypertension. Our researchers are also interested in developing novel therapies for these and associated conditions and in the prevention and treatment of infection Molecular Mechanisms of diabetes. The department incorporates the translational science arm of the Scottish Pulmonary Vascular Unit (SPVU). The SPVU is the only NHS centre in Scotland able to treat and care for patients with pulmonary hypertension. The department also hosts contract research in the areas of microbial safety, food analysis and novel methods of disinfection.  GCU SHLS are members of SULSA supporting research via a strategic alliance between eleven Scottish Universities that aims to advance Scotland’s research and innovation in the life sciences.  Funding is supported by the EU, government agencies and commercial entities amongst many others.

PhD Opportunities in the Biosciences

PhD study within the Biosciences at GCU equips students with the latest research technologies in aspects of Cell and Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Pharmacology and Molecular Epidemiology.

The Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences prides itself in state of the art equipment and facilities for cell culture, bio-imaging and advanced molecular biology strategies. Our PhD students progress to successful careers in academic research (national and international), Higher Education and employment in the Bio-Pharmaceutical Sector (see our student testimonials). Further details on subject specific areas in which you can study for a PhD can be found on the Molecular Mechanisms of Diabetes and other Long Term Conditions Research Group pages within the Centre for Living.

For more details of PhD opportunities, please get in touch via email: HLS Research Student Admin hlsrsa@gcu.ac.uk.

Department Highlights

  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences are members of SULSA and collaborators on a number of interdisciplinary flagship programmes such as the IBioIC, the West of Scotland Health Sciences network and the Glasgow City of Science Innovation Strategic Programme Board.
  • BSc Food Bioscience is the only Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) approved programme in Scotland, and it was recently listed 5th in the UK in the Times Higher Education Guide. Other accreditations include the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC), the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) and the Royal Society of Biology.
  • Our students participate in a number of international exchange schemes, including to Hong Kong and Italy.
  • Two of our UG programmes BSc (Hons) Pharmacology and BSc (Hons) Food Bioscience achieved 100% satisfaction in NSS 2019.
  • BSc (Hons) Pharmacology graduates Eleanna Kritikaki and Mark Campbell were awarded the British Pharmacological Society Undergraduate Pharmacology Prize in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
  • The Glasgow Pharmacological Society, founded here at GCU and co-ordinated by Dr Yvonne Dempsie, was selected by the British Pharmacological Society to host the 2018 and 2019 Bill Bowman Prize Lectureship.

Degree courses

Courses 1 - 12 of 12 card list
  • Applied Biomedical Science/Biomedical Science

    • 2021/22
    • BSc (Hons)

    Accredited by:

    • HCPC
    • IBMS
    • RSB
    Award:
    • BSc (Hons)
    Start date:
    • Sep 2021
    Subject:
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
    Accreditations:
    • HCPC
    • IBMS
    • RSB
    Become a biomedical scientist helping health professionals diagnose and manage diseases. If you enjoy being practical and have strong analytical skills, study the scientific and laboratory testing of biological samples at degree level.
  • Biological Sciences

    • 2021/22
    • BSc (Hons)
    Award:
    • BSc (Hons)
    Start date:
    • Sep 2021
    Subject:
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
    If you enjoy practical, hands-on investigative work, you can become a biological scientist. Study the interactions of molecules and cells and learn how therapies that may correct or prevent diseases are developed.
  • Biological Sciences

    • 2021/22
    • MRes
    Award:
    • MRes
    Start date:
    • Sep 2021
    Subject:
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
    Take existing skills in biomolecular and biomedical science and apply them to the postgraduate-level study of data acquisition and analysis. Progress to a career in biomedical research and development within pharma industry or academia.
  • Biomedical Science

    • 2020/21
    • 2021/22
    • MSc
    Award:
    • MSc
    Start dates:
    • Jan 2021
    • Jan 2022
    • Sep 2021
    Subject:
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
    Designed for working scientists, the MSc Biomedical Science is the only one of its kind in the city of Glasgow
  • Award:
    • BSc (Hons)
    Start date:
    • Sep 2021
    Subject:
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
    If you enjoy practical, hands-on investigative work, you can become a molecular or cellular biologist. Study the molecular workings of human cells in health and disease at degree level.
  • Diabetes Care and Management

    • 2020/21
    • 2021/22
    • MSc
    Award:
    • MSc
    Start dates:
    • Jan 2021
    • Sep 2021
    • Jan 2022
    Subject:
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
    Apply existing skills in healthcare to the care and management of diabetes and professional reflection. Progress your career as a healthcare professional with the NHS or private sector.
  • Food Bioscience Pathway

    • 2021/22
    • BSc (Hons)
    Awards:
    • BSc (Hons)
    Start date:
    • Aug 2021
    Subject:
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
    Study an HND at college for two years and progress to year 3. Study food composition, food sustainability and food safety as well as genetics, biochemistry, microbiology and nutrition at degree level.
  • Food Science

    • 2021/22
    • BSc (Hons)
    Award:
    • BSc (Hons)
    Start date:
    • Sep 2021
    Subject:
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
    Study food analysis, biotechnology, nutrition and public health as well as microbiology and food toxicology at degree level. With academic learning, practical skills and industrial work you can progress your career and work as a food scientist.
  • Medical Bioscience

    • 2021/22
    • MSc
    Award:
    • MSc
    Start date:
    • Sep 2021
    Subject:
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
    A course designed to develop your theoretical and practical knowledge and apply this to understanding the causes and treatments of disease processes.
  • Microbiology (direct entry)

    • 2021/22
    • BSc (Hons)
    Award:
    • BSc (Hons)
    Start date:
    • Sep 2021
    Subject:
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
    You can work in a range of health and environment-related industries as a microbiologist. Enjoy laboratory work and study the molecular mechanisms and clinical implications of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi at degree level.
  • Pharmacology

    • 2021/22
    • BSc (Hons)
    Award:
    • BSc (Hons)
    Start date:
    • Sep 2021
    Subject:
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
    Enjoy hands-on practical laboratory work using the latest techniques. Study the human body at degree level with a specific focus on the drugs used to manage disease. Progress and become a pharmacologist working in the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Pharmacology Pathway

    • 2021/22
    • BSc (Hons)
    • BSc/BSc (Hons)
    Awards:
    • BSc (Hons)
    • BSc/BSc (Hons)
    Start date:
    • Aug 2021
    Subject:
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
    Begin this degree at college, and achieve an HND in two years. You can become a pharmacologist if you enjoy hands-on practical laboratory work using the latest techniques. Study the human body and the drugs used to manage disease at degree level.
Courses 1 - 12 of 12

Meet the department

Our teaching and support staff are here to help (see below).

For Course and programme enquiries: T: +44 (0)141 331 8630 / E: studentenquiries@gcu.ac.uk

Head of Department and Reader
Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Dr Sharron Dolan graduated with a BSc (hons) in Developmental Biology from the University of Glasgow in 1989 and subsequently undertook a PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Stirling with Dr Peter Cahusac.

Lecturer in Pharmacology
Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Yvonne Dempsie graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Pharmacology from the University of Glasgow in 1998 and subsequently undertook a PhD at the University of Nottingham.

Lecturer in Physiology‌
Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Sadie's background is in Clinical Biochemistry and Endocrinology having worked for 17 years in the Laboratory Service at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Science
Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences

I am the Programme Leader for the IBMS accredited MSc in Biomedical Science and depute Programme Leader for the BSc (Hons) accredited degree in Biomedical Science

Research Fellow
Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Dr Fiona Kerr is a Research Fellow and Principal Investigator in the Department of Biological & Biomedical Sciences at GCU, with a focus on studying the molecular links between ageing and Alzheimer’s disease.

Senior Lecturer
Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences

I have been at Glasgow Caledonian since 1995 having moved from Glasgow University where I did my PhD and 5 years as a post doctoral researcher.

Lecturer
Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Studies of neuromuscular physiology in humans - A study of the effects of non noxious cutaneous stimulation, such as brushing, on muscle tone, in neurologically normal subjects (with Dr L. Wood).

Biomedical Science Placement Officer
Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences

I graduated from the University of Glasgow with an Honours degree in Immunology after which I began a Trainee Biomedical Scientist position in Pathology at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

Lecturer
Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Janice received her PhD from the Open University while working as a clinical scientist at the Central Public Health Laboratory, Colindale, London (now part of Public Health England) investigating the pathogenicity of enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC).

Senior Lecturer in Microbiology
Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences

I graduated in Applied Biosciences with specialism in Microbiology from Glasgow Caledonian University in 2000 and subsequently undertook a PhD in Microbiology at GCU working with Dr Alastair Sutherland on Bacillus cereus emetic toxin.

Senior Lecturer in Physiology
Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences

I graduated in Physiology from Glasgow University in 1981 and subsequently undertook a PhD in Physiology at Glasgow working with Bill Ferrell on pressure-volume relationships in joints and their effects on the discharge of articular mechanoreceptors.