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Clinical Skills & Medical Research - 5 Day Course

Hands-on experience for students interested in health related subjects including medicine, nursing and biomedical science

The Clinical Skills and Medical Research course lasts for 5 consecutive days during school holidays from 9.30am- 4pm to offer intensive clinical and laboratory experience with qualified medics and research scientists. The course content aligns with A-Level Biology syllabus and makes an ideal summer school for year 12 and Year 13 students.

During the COVID-19 pandemic strict policies have been implemented to keep students and staff safe. This includes free weekly COVID screening of all staff and students and an updated residential policy, please see up to date COVID policy for further information.

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Shadowing vs REAL Experience

On the rare occasion that students have organized work placements in hospitals and research laboratories, they are often unable to have hands-on experience to develop their own clinical and laboratory skills. This is often due to the high costs of reagents or the health and safety issues associated with limited supervision or patient contact.

At BioGrad, students have the opportunity to gain practical skills that will ultimately help them with university and job applications. Each student has access to their own equipment and sufficient time is allocated for each student to develop new skills over the course of the week and make (safe) mistakes, then perfect their techniques before they leave us.

BioGrad courses are not shadowing, students are taught REAL skills by experienced professionals.

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Effective work placements provide more than just work experience, they can improve student motivation, support academic learning and enhance memory recall for exam preparation.

“When planned and implemented well, learning outside the classroom contributed significantly to raising standards and improving student’s personal, social and emotional development.” OfSted, (2008)

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BioGrad laboratory based residential courses are strictly limited to 10 students in each group with 1-2 scientists/medics in each session. Students always have the opportunity to speak with our researchers to discuss their career options and ask any questions they may have over the 5 days.

BioGrad Laboratories have provided laboratory and clinical training for thousands of students from the below 585 institutions throughout the UK, Europe, Africa and Asia:

Course Content:

Clinical Skills (2.5 days):

  • Head to toe patient assessment
  • Blood pressure analysis
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation
  • Clinical examination of lung sounds for disease diagnosis
  • Spirometry for assessment of lung function and diagnosis of COPD and asthma
  • Peak flow analysis
  • Diagnosis of disease using patient data sets

Medical Research (2 days):

  • Diagnosis of infectious disease using ELISA
  • Analysis of SARS disease epidemic
  • Blood typing procedures to link a donor and recipient in a medical emergency
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Career Development (0.5 days):

Meet like-minded peers and start to build your networks that will last for years:

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Duke of Edinburgh Awards:

BioGrad is an Approved Activity Provide for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. This course may be used as your Duke of Edinburgh Gold Residential Award, which can be signed off by the course leader on the final day.

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Please provide your Duke of Edinburgh Award number on your registration form at the time of booking your course.

UCAS References:

Students who wish to use this course as work experience to support university applications may request a reference to be sent directly to their school/college. These references are signed off by the course leader after obtaining feedback from staff teaching during the course. These references help your teachers to create your UCAS reference.

Please provide the name of your school on your registration form at the time of booking your course.

Student feedback:

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Exam Board feedback:

“Their enthusiasm for this work is impressive, the practical courses not only providing the minimum experience for students but, with independent investigation opportunities and an insight into potential career pathways for students. I am really pleased to see such outstanding provision available. Thank you for your dedication and commitment to supporting [students] to develop their practical skills in such a stimulating environment.” A-Level science cross board monitoring visit– 2019

Careers Adviser feedback:

“Three students from our Academy have just completed the 5-day Clinical Skills course at BioGrad. I would like to say that for any students wishing to enter a career in Medicine or any clinical profession this programme will provide experience which cannot be obtained anywhere else. It has provided our students with hands on clinical skills training not usually available to A level students and will for sure not only enhance their applications to medical school but provided such motivation which one of our students described as life changing. I very much intend to send our students on BioGrad courses in future. Many Thanks to Dr Kenny and the excellent team of Scientists and Clinicians.” Careers advisor for The Academy of St Nicholas

“I cannot thank the BioGrad team enough, they have changed the lives of some of our students, opening them up to possibilities they had never even considered.” Head of Careers for Archbishop Beck High School


Students are provided with a certificate of attendance at the end of the course.


We will happily take photographs of students working in the laboratory and clinical centre which often serve as excellent profile pictures for work related social networking (such as LinkedIn).

Students are asked not to take photographs of other attendees or staff without consent. Students under the age of 18 years old must provide the completed photo/video consent form on the first day of the course (sent to all students in their course registration confirmation) if they wish to have photographs taken for use on professional or social media.

Course Leaders

The course is designed and delivered by experienced Dr’s and nurses working in the NHS and medical researchers from Public Health England and the Institute of Environment and Health. The course provides clinical and medical training to support university applications and enhance understanding of the A-level biology syllabus.

The course is taught with a very low student to tutor ratio (a researcher for every 8-10 students). This also allows students to spend as much time as they need to practice techniques until they are confident. We allow students to make (safe) mistakes and correct their own work so that they learn from their own mistakes and we encourage students to try different approaches to solve problems in the clinical and laboratory setting.

We have links with many companies who recruit interns and graduates based on our recommendations, and partner with Kaplan Test Prep to support students with UCAT/BMAT exams or Medical School preparation. This course is designed to inspire students to enter a clinical or research career and offer help finding opportunities that most students are unaware of. Our laboratory and clinical environments are very informal offering a relaxed and enjoyable environment for students to learn in.

Clothing and Equipment

Students are provided with one set of green NHS hospital scrubs and a personal stethoscope to wear on the respiratory sessions of their course. These are included in the price of the course and available to take away at the end of the week.

Scrubs are available in a range of sizes from XS to XL. If you believe you will require a specific size that would not normally be in stock please contact BioGrad Student Services at info@biograd.co.uk. Additional scrubs, laboratory coats, pens, text books, gifts and clothing are also available from the Student Service office during the residential courses.

Students are advised to wear comfortable shoes at all times and must ensure that feet are covered when in the laboratory. The course includes the opportunity to use clinical equipment including spirometers, ECG machines and blood pressure cuffs. During these sessions it is preferable for students to access the top of their arm and the top of their chest (just below the collar bone). On cold days students may wish to wear a long sleeved top under their scrubs, however it is advisable that sleeves be loose enough to expose the top of the arm when rolled up. Participation is completely discretionary and students may opt in or out of activities as they wish. We do not want to cause embarrassment to any student and believe that appropriate clothing can help students feel more confident when partaking in these activities.

All personal protective equipment is provided during the course and students will have access to laboratory coats, gloves and goggles whilst working in the laboratory, however it is expected that students will bring a note book and stationary for recording their results. Students who wish to take away their ECG and Spirometry results are welcome to bring a laptop or tablet as all software can be downloaded during the course.

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Further Information

Accommodation - BioGrad
Evening Activities - BioGrad
Evening Activities
Facilities - BioGrad
BioGrad Facilities
The Team - BioGrad
Meet the Team

For further information please contact us using this form or email us at info@biograd.co.uk.

Course Payment:

All payments are taken securely with PayPal. All major debit and credit cards are accepted so you don’t need a PayPal account.

There are four payment options available:

  • Pay in full at the time of booking
  • Pay in 2 - 25% deposit with the remainder due 28 days before the course commences (only available if booking more than 28 days in advance)
  • Pay in 6 - 6 equal, monthly payments (only available if booking more than 26 weeks in advance)
  • Pay in 12 - 12 equal, monthly payments (only available if booking more than 54 weeks in advance)
PayPal Credit

There is no charge for early payment, which can be made via PayPal at any time.

Means tested bursaries available for students attending BioGrad Partner Schools. See our bursary page for further information


Current Academic Year 2021/2022
Date: 4th July - 8th July 2022
Location: Science Park, Liverpool
Accommodation available?: Yes
Date: 11th July - 15th July 2022
Location: Science Park, Liverpool
Accommodation available?: Yes
Date: 18th July - 22nd July 2022
Location: Science Park, Liverpool
Accommodation available?: Yes
Date: 25th July - 29th July 2022
Location: Science Park, Liverpool
Accommodation available?: Yes
Date: 1st August - 5th August 2022
Location: Science Park, Liverpool
Accommodation available?: Yes
Date: 8th August - 12th August 2022
Location: Science Park, Liverpool
Accommodation available?: Yes
Only 2 places left on this course
Date: 15th August - 19th August 2022
Location: Science Park, Liverpool
Accommodation available?: Yes
Date: 22nd August - 26th August 2022
Location: Science Park, Liverpool
Accommodation available?: Yes
Date: 3rd April - 7th April 2023
Location: Science Park, Liverpool
Accommodation available?: Yes
Only 6 places left on this course

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  • “My lab tutor was a skilful and talented teacher. He was able to simplify complex topics so all of the students could understand and then followed up to ensure we all fully grasped the techniques being taught. He made sure that any errors were rectified immediately so that we were always learning the correct techniques"
    Lucy - Introduction to Genetics
  • "I attended the course because I wanted to work in the pharmaceutical industry but didn't have enough lab based experience. After the course I had experience in some of the most up to date techniques, taught by researchers working in the pharmaceutical industry. During the lunch time I was able to chat with all of the tutors and seek their advice for securing the job I wanted. Through the experience and advice I received I managed to secure a graduate level job in a small pharmaceutical company. I cannot recommend this course enough!"
    Josep (Graduate researcher) - Practical skills in drug discovery
  • "I received excellent tuition from a patient teacher who had an incredible enthusiasm for laboratory research. Under her tutelage and supervision, I acquired many laboratory skills in the area of cell culture techniques and high throughput screening for pre-clinical drug discovery."
    Akang (Research Scientist) - Introduction to mammalian cell culture and Practical drug discovery
  • "This was the first time I had the chance to perform practical laboratory techniques which I had only seen in lectures before this point. The tutors let us try a number of different ways to quantify cells and gave us the time and guidance to perfect our own techniques."
    Mark - Introduction to mammalian cell culture
  • "I was taught by an experienced researcher who gave us the opportunity to work with many different cell types. I was able to see the differences between the morphology and growth rates of different cells for myself. I also had the opportunity to try a number of different techniques which gave me confidence to apply for PhD's requiring cell culture experience."
    Gail (PhD researcher) - Introduction to mammalian cell culture
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