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Diploma in Biomedical Sciences (Awarded by Management Development Institute of Singapore) *

About the Course
Course Curriculum

*Note: The Programme is under teach-out, we are no longer recruiting new students.


Programme Aims and Objectives

The Diploma in Biomedical Sciences programme is designed to foster opportunities for entry into the life science industry. and as an avenue for students to embark on further professional development and is particularly suited for:

  • Students who wish to pursue higher education in Biomedical Sciences or Biotechnology, as well as a host of other disciplines.
  • Professionals who lack previous exposure to the sciences but are involved in the life sciences industry or are preparing for entry into that industry.
  • Individuals who wish to pursue an alternative career path and those who have a keen interest in the discipline will also find the programme a rewarding first step into the diverse field of biological sciences. Members of the cosmetics, food, legal, teaching, banking and environmental professions who would also find the programme of individual benefit to their knowledge base.

Methods of Assessment

Progress is measured through coursework (such as practical assignments, quizzes or tests) and examinations.


Students who successfully complete the programme will be awarded the Diploma in Biomedical Sciences, awarded by MDIS.


Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS)

The Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS), founded in 1956, is Singapore's oldest not-for-profit professional institute for lifelong learning. MDIS has two subsidiaries: Management Development Institute of Singapore Pte Ltd (MDIS Pte Ltd) to oversee its Singapore academic operations, and MDIS International Pte Ltd to further its globalisation strategy.


*Note: The Programme is under teach-out, we are no longer recruiting new students.

Programme Curriculum


The aim of this module is to introduce the discipline of anatomy and provide knowledge and an understanding of the structural organisation of the human body. This will facilitate further understanding of the functional organisation of the body, as covered in the subsequent module on physiology. The module focuses upon:

  • Histology - major types of tissues - epithelial, connective, nervous and muscular tissues
  • Blood, lymph and lymphoid organs
  • Gross anatomy of the different organs - heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, stomach, sense organs etc
  • Gross anatomy of organ systems in the body - the respiratory, urinary, digestive, cardiovascular, nervous, muscular and reproductive systems


In this module students will learn some of the general concepts of biology-essential to developing a foundation for further study in the subsequent Physiology and Molecular Cell Biology modules, as well as at higher levels. 

  • The main levels within a taxonomic hierarchy and the general features of the kingdoms and selected phyla and classes 
  • The flow of energy and nutrients through various specified ecosystems and the principles of tropic interaction and population dynamics 
  • The fundamental life processes common to all living things 
  • The prokaryotic level of organisation and the typical structure of a prokaryotic cell 
  • The eukaryotic cell, organelles and inclusions
  • The fluid mosaic model of membrane structure and the significance of various membrane components
  • The various methods available for exchange between cells and their environment 
  • The structure and significance of viruses 
  • The impact of human action on the environment (using pollution as a specific example) 
  • The use of biological tools and techniques (such as microscopy, spectrophotometry, etc) 

Chemistry I

This module is designed for students who have little prior knowledge of chemistry. Selected topics in basic chemistry required for an understanding of the biochemical basis of the life sciences are covered:

  • Atomic structure and chemical bonds
  • Solutions, units and concentrations. The concept of the mole as an expression of the amount of a substance and molarity as an expression of its concentration. Balancing chemical equations. Hydrogen ion concentration. Acid/Base titration and the use of indicators
  • Redox systems. The definition of oxidation and reduction. Simple electrochemical cells. Halfreactions. The Electrochemical Series
  • Organic chemistry. The chemistry of carbon compounds. Hydrocarbons and their structure. Properties and nomenclature. Structural and geometric isomers. Molecular shapes. Identification of the major organic functional groups


This is an introductory module dealing with genetics at the molecular, cellular and individual levels; and with the organisation, transmission, expression, and evolution of the genetic material. The module covers:

  • Cell division 
  • Mendelian Genetics, heredity, inheritance and the transmission of genetic material 
  • The chromosomal basis of Mendelian Genetics 
  • Linkage and Crossing over 
  • Sex determination 
  • Chromosome mapping 
  • Variation in chromosome number and structure 
  • Errors of cell division 
  • Chromosomal abnormalities

Mathematics I

This module aims to develop a general knowledge of Maths at a level appropriate for an appreciation of the
importance of numerical and scientific data in the Life Sciences.

  • Handling numbers
  • Logarithmic, exponential and trigonometric functions
  • Graphs
  • Solving equations

Physics I

This module aims to develop a general knowledge of Physics to a level appropriate for further studies in the
Life Sciences. 

  • Units
  • Structure of matter
  • Basic forces
  • Electricity
  • Waves
  • Light


This module aims to equip students with a basic understanding of some of the major computational tools and methods available to the life scientist - an especially valuable toolkit following the successful sequencing of
the human and other genomes.

  • IT and biological data
  • Biological databases - sequences, structures, genome, pathways
  • Introduction to bioinformatics software
  • Gene and protein sequence comparison
  • Molecular sequence alignment
  • Macromolecular visualization

Chemistry II

This module is designed to both develop those chemical concepts introduced in the Chemistry I module of the
Diploma course, and introduce further topics in organic and stereo-chemistry that are required for an understanding
of the biochemical basis of the life sciences. The module therefore covers:

  • Structural, geometric and optical isomers
  • Optical activity and the molecular criteria which determine it
  • Balanced equations to represent organic reactions
  • Typical functional groups of organic compounds
  • Structure and reactivity of primary, secondary and tertiary alcohols and amines
  • Structure of biological molecules - carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, enzymes
  • Nature of an acid, a base and a buffer solution
  • Acidity constant (Ka), pH and pKa; calculation of these values from provided data on acid/base ratios in the Henderson-Hasselbalch equation
  • Titration curves for weak acids and weak bases to show buffer regions, pKa and end-points
  • Nature of chemical equilibrium and the Law of Mass Action
  • Le Chatelier’s Principle in equilibrium situations
  • Nature of catalysis
  • Factors that affect reaction rates
  • Energy profiles of exothermic and endothermic processes and the nature of activation energy
  • Enthalpy

Mathematics II

In this module, which develops from Maths I, concepts behind statistical tests of significance and their application to biological variation will be introduced.

  • Introduction to Statistics
  • Probability and probability distributions
  • Estimation
  • Statistical testing
  • Correlation and regression
  • Introduction to differential calculus
  • Integral calculus

Physics II

Extending from the basic principles covered in Physics I, this module will elaborate on the concepts of force and
energy, and develop an understanding of solid material pertinent to the biological sciences.

  • Motion
  • Forces and energy
  • Power
  • Dynamics: Newton’s Law of Motion
  • Materials in biological and biotechnological sciences.
  • Density
  • Fluids, liquid and gases
  • Magnetism
  • Mains electricity

Molecular Cell Biology

This module begins with an explanation of how individual cells and their chemical components work as part of a whole living organism. It goes on to stimulate an understanding of the relationship between DNA structure and function, inheritance and human disease. The module building from the groundwork in the biology and genetics modules covers:

  • Structure and function of basic cell components and surface molecules
  • Microscopy, cell staining and cell counting
  • Enzyme structure, properties, function, factors affecting activity in vitro and in vivo
  • Energy metabolism, metabolic inter-relationships, metabolic control
  • DNA replication and cell cycle


This module aims to extend the students’ knowledge and understanding of biology by studying a range of physiological processes (such as mammalian respiration, nutrition and development) in more detail. Hence, in the module, students will study:

  • Principles of homeostasis, feedback mechanisms and the control of body processes
  • Functioning of specialised mammalian tissues - blood, muscles and nerves
  • Mechanisms of muscle contraction - the sarcomere,the myofibrils and the sliding filament mechanism
  • Nervous system - Central, Peripheral, Autonomic
  • Cardiovascular system - heart, blood, blood vessels
  • Lymphatic system - lymph, lymph nodes, lymphoid organs
  • Respiratory system - the lungs
  • Urinary system - the nephrons
  • Digestive system - the alimentary canal
  • Reproductive system - male and female
  • Immune system and the fight against diseases


The average lecturer/student ratio is 1 : 100 (lecture)

The average lecturer/student ratio is 1 : 30 (tutorial/lab)

Click here to download profiles of lecturers.





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