Biomedical science is the study of physiology, anatomy, and pathology to develop better healthcare treatments. It applies various medical disciplines, exploring the connection between biology and pathological mechanisms to better understand how diseases affect the human body.

If you want to learn more about biomedical sciences and how to pursue a career in this field, you’ve come to the right place.

Biomedical Science Degree

Typically, a biomedical science degree is a 3-year programme where students study human biology and medical sciences such as biochemistry, microbiology, and pharmacology. It prepares students for roles in research, diagnostics, and the development of innovative patient treatments, often leading to careers in labs or the biotechnology industry.

It typically does not include clinical training or patient management, which are integral components of medical degrees like those in medicine, nursing, or pharmacy. Nonetheless, it is a rewarding career with vast opportunities making a real impact on human health and well-being.

A group of medical students wearing white lab coats are gathered in a laboratory. In the foreground, a smiling female student in a hijab stands confidently with her arms crossed. In the background, other students are engaged in various activities, including reading a book and using lab equipment. The setting is bright and modern, with a skeleton model and scientific equipment visible.

Biomedical Science Degree in Malaysia

In Malaysia, you can study biomedical science by enrolling in a bachelor’s program at a university offering this degree. These programs typically require a pre-university qualification like STPM, A-levels, or a Foundation in Science. 

RUMC’s undergraduate medicine (MB BCh BAO) is a 5-year medicine programme that prepares students to become a doctor. It is delivered transnationally (Dublin, Ireland & Penang, Malaysia) and accredited by the Malaysian and Irish Medical Council. Students gain exclusive access to hospitals and learn about pathology, microbiology, and other medical subjects.

Note: RUMC’s undergraduate medicine is distinct from a biomedical science degree.

Ratings Duration Fees On-Campus? Mode of Delivery
#171 (QS World University Rankings 2024), internationally recognised by ECFMG, FAIMER, WDOMS. 5 years (2.5 years each in Ireland & Malaysia) RM 620,000 (Malaysian)*

RM 740,000 (International)*

*Accurate as of the time of writing.

Yes Face-to-face

What You Learn in a Biomedical Science Course

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
  • Introduction to Biomedical Science
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Pathophysiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology
  • Biostatistics
  • Research Methods
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Haematology
  • Neuroscience
  • Medical Genetics
  • Cancer Biology
  • Dissertation/Research Project

General syllabus of a biomedical science degree

A biomedical science programme typically spans 3 years, covering foundational topics such as Human Anatomy, Biochemistry, and Genetics. Students then advance to specialised subjects like Pathophysiology, Pharmacology, and Cancer Biology, before culminating in a Dissertation/Research Project.

Human Anatomy and Physiology

Human anatomy and physiology study the structure and function of the human body. Anatomy focuses on the body’s physical structures, while physiology explores how these structures work, individually and together, to support life and health.

This subject is essential because it provides the fundamental knowledge of how the human body is structured and how its systems function. Understanding anatomy and physiology is critical for all subsequent studies in disease mechanisms, diagnostics, and treatments.


Biochemistry explores the chemical processes within and related to living organisms. It combines biology and chemistry to study the molecular mechanisms by which cells harness energy, grow, reproduce, and carry out various life-sustaining functions.


Genetics is the branch of biology that studies genes, heredity, and genetic variation. It focuses on how traits and characteristics are transmitted from parents to offspring through DNA. This field explores the structure, function, and behavior of genes, as well as how genetic information impacts an organism’s development, health, and evolution, providing insights into inherited diseases and genetic diversity.


Pathophysiology is the study of how disease processes affect the function of the body. It examines the physiological changes that occur due to illness or injury, exploring the mechanisms that lead to abnormal function and the body’s response. This field combines pathology and physiology to understand the impact of diseases on bodily systems and overall health.

Molecular Biology

Molecular biology explores the molecular mechanisms of biological activity within cells. It focuses on the interactions between various cellular systems, particularly the roles of DNA, RNA, and proteins in replication, transcription, translation, and cell function. This field provides insights into how genetic information is expressed and regulated within living organisms.

Entry Requirements

While the entry requirements vary from university to university, there are general criteria that all medical schools adhere to. Students considering studying biomedical science must be aware of these essential requirements and prepare accordingly.

Academic Excellence

International students are required to have completed a minimum of twelve (12) years of schooling and must have passed a national or international examination that is recognized by the Ministry of Education for entry into diploma or degree programs.

Achieve a general pass in High School Certificate, A-levels, or an equivalent, with at least a Grade C (60%) in any two subjects, and a minimum Grade C (60%) in Mathematics at the Secondary School or O-level.


Interviews are commonly conducted by educational institutions in Malaysia for international students. Interviewers assess a range of qualities such as communication skills, ethical reasoning, empathy, and motivation to pursue a career in the biomedical sciences. The format may include traditional one-on-one interviews, Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs), or a combination of both.

Special Requirements for International Students

Student’s Visa Application: Complete the Student Pass application form (IMM. 47) and submit it along with all the required documents to the nearest Malaysian Embassy or Consulate in Indonesia.

Medical Screening: Medical screening for health includes a general examination by a doctor, along with tests of your blood and urine, and a chest x-ray. All international students, except those enrolling in Public Universities, must undergo a medical examination before arriving in Malaysia. Additionally, international students are required to complete a medical examination at one of EMGS’s approved clinics or hospitals within 7 days of arriving in Malaysia.

Biomedical Science Career Pathways

After earning a Biomedical Science degree, graduates typically pursue various pathways including entry-level positions in clinical or research laboratories, further education such as master’s or PhD programs, professional healthcare degrees (e.g., medicine, dentistry), or specialized training in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, or public health.

Immediate Career Paths

After earning a Biomedical Science degree, graduates can immediately enter various fields. Many find roles as clinical laboratory scientists, working in hospitals or diagnostic labs. Others become research assistants in universities or private companies, contributing to experimental research and data analysis. Positions in biotechnology firms and pharmaceutical companies are also common, offering opportunities to develop new products and technologies.

Advanced Education Options

Many Biomedical Science graduates choose to further their education, enrolling in medical or dental school to become physicians or dentists. Others pursue master’s or PhD programs in specialized areas of biomedical research, such as genetics or pharmacology. Advanced education enhances career prospects and allows for deeper expertise in specific fields, opening doors to higher-level positions and specialized roles.

Biomedical Science Fees

The estimated tuition fees for an international student studying biomedical science in Malaysia are about RM44,000 per year. It’s also essential to budget for living expenses, which vary based on location and lifestyle in Malaysia, along with other costs such as travel and books. 

Tuition and Fees

Parents should first consider the cost of tuition and associated fees. Tuition rates can vary significantly between institutions and locations, so it’s essential to research and compare different universities. Additionally, factor in extra costs such as lab fees, technology fees, and other mandatory charges that may be part of the program.

Accommodation and Living Expenses

The cost of living is another crucial aspect. Whether the student plans to live on campus, off campus, or commute from home, accommodation costs can add up. Additionally, parents should budget for daily living expenses, including food, transportation, utilities, and personal items, which can vary depending on the city or town where the university is located.

Books and Supplies

Biomedical Science programs often require specialized textbooks and laboratory supplies. Parents should account for the cost of these materials each semester. Purchasing second-hand books, renting textbooks, or using digital versions can help manage these costs, but it’s important to have a realistic estimate of these expenses.


Many universities in Malaysia, including RUMC, offer a variety of scholarships designed to support deserving students, including those from Indonesia. These scholarships are typically awarded based on academic excellence, financial need, or a combination of both, helping to reduce tuition costs significantly.

For Indonesian students, obtaining a scholarship can also assist with covering living expenses and educational materials. Scholarships are crucial for supporting students in need of financial support to achieve their educational goals. 

Studying Biomedical Medicine in Malaysia as an International Student

There are several factors that international students must consider before pursuing a biomedical science degree in Malaysia. International students must consider university accreditation, visa requirements, living costs, cultural adaptation, and the university’s accreditation and reputation, such as RUMC’s recognition by the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) and Irish Medical Council (IMC) for its Undergraduate Medicine degree.

University Accreditation and Reputation

Malaysia has several well-recognised universities offering Biomedical Science degrees. RUMC provides an undergraduate medicine degree that sets you on the path to become a doctor. RUMC possesses accreditations from the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) and the Irish Medical Council (IMC). This dual accreditation opens the door to a worldwide network of career opportunities. 

Note: RUMC’s undergraduate medicine degree differs from a Biomedical Science degree, but both also prepare students for a career in medicine. 

Visa and Immigration Requirements

To study in Malaysia, international students need a Student Pass, which is typically arranged by the university. The application process involves submitting documents like an offer letter, passport copy, medical report, and proof of financial stability. The visa processing fee is around MYR 1,060 (approximately USD 250), and it is advisable to apply at least three months before the course starts.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Malaysia is relatively affordable compared to Western countries. According to Wise, the average cost of living in Penang for a single person per month is 456.77 USD. The amount is slightly higher in Kuala Lumpur at 476.75 USD. 

Setting aside this amount should comfortably cover all accommodation, food, transportation, and other personal expenses. However, we’d strongly recommend budgeting a higher amount to include entertainment and emergency expenses. 

Cultural Adaptation

Malaysia is a multicultural country with a diverse population comprising Malay, Chinese, Indian, and other ethnic groups. The official language is Malay, but English is widely spoken, especially in educational institutions. Engaging with cultural events, student clubs, and community activities can help international students acclimate to the new environment.


The undergraduate medical program at RUMC is a good option if you’re keen to pursue a rewarding career in medicine. Due to its transnational teaching environment, this course provides a distinctive fusion of traditional Irish medical training and a worldwide perspective, building on the history and cumulative experience of over 400 years in Irish medical education. Specialising in providing a unique chance to obtain a medical education that is recognized worldwide, RUMC stands out as one of the world’s leading medical schools.

Check out more information about RUMC‘s program and its advantages to find out if it fits with your goals of becoming a doctor.