Biomedical Sciences

Biomedical Science (BMS) is an exciting and rapidly moving subject area, highly relevant to major issues facing society today.

The University of Oxford is an internationally recognised centre for biomedical research and teaching, and our broad and flexible programme reflects this with material ranging from genetics and molecular and cellular biology to integrated systems physiology, neuroscience and psychology. The modular nature of the course allows students first to acquire an integrated understanding of biomedical science before progressing to specialisation later in the course. On the basis of that specialisation students will be awarded a BA degree in either Neuroscience or Cells and Systems Biology. For further details on the structure of the course please refer to the Biomedical Sciences website.

Magdalen has a strong tradition of teaching and research in the medical sciences, particularly neuroscience and infection and immunity where we have in the past had four Fellows who have won a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine: Charles Sherrington, who laid the ground work for our modern understanding of the nervous system; John Eccles, who was his student and who helped discover how nerves signal; Howard Florey, who developed penicillin; and Peter Medawar, who discovered the function of lymphocytes and how the immune system distinguishes between self and non-self.

The Biomedical Sciences Fellows are: Lucy Bowes, Professor of Experimental Psychology, who studies the impact of early life stress on psychological and behavioural development; Robert Gilbert, Professor of Biochemistry, who uses structural methods to study the molecular basis of several biomedically important processes, including gene expression control and membrane pore formation; Christopher Garland, Professor of Vascular Pharmacology, who studies how very small arteries control blood flow; Stephen F. Goodwin, a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator and Professor of Neurogenetics, who studies the neural mechanisms that underlie sex-specific behaviours; and Quentin Sattentau, Professor of Immunology, who studies interactions between HIV and the immune system.

In addition, Magdalen hosts three prestigious Statutory Chairs: Gero Miesenboeck, Waynflete Professor of Physiology, who studies the neurophysiological basis of behaviour in a fly model; David Clark, Professor of Psychology, whose research focuses on cognitive approaches to the understanding and treatment of anxiety disorders; and Peter Ratcliffe, Professor of Medicine, who has done ground-breaking work on the role of oxygen-sensing factors in disease.

Entry requirements


All candidates must take the Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT).

Written work

None required.

Specific subjects

Any two from Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics are essential. We expect you to have taken and passed any practical component in your chosen science subjects.

Deferred entry

Applications for deferred entry are not normally considered.