National Heart & Lung Institute (NHLI)

BSc in Medical Sciences with Respiratory Science

lung x-ray

Student analysing an X-ray

Respiratory diseases affect more than a billion people worldwide. In the UK, respiratory disease kills one in five people and costs well over £6 billion per year (The Burden of Lung Disease Report, 2006, British Thoracic Society).

Imperial College London has the largest group of scientists and doctors studying lung disease in Europe with over 200 staff and students undertaking internationally recognised basic and clinical research. It offers the only BSc in Medical Sciences with Respiratory Science in the UK which is aimed at medical and biomedical sciences students. The course gives you the scientific basis behind clinical practice and provides the foundation in scientific methodology that could lead to postgraduate research studies.


Course details

The course provides three taught modules and a research project or further taught courses.

  • Module 1 (Investigation, management and new therapies for lung disease: bench to bedside), teaches pathophysiology of common lung diseases including asthma, chronic bronchitis and cystic fibrosis, and pharmacology of current and innovative treatments.
  • “A relaxed, fun, and well run BSc option!”

    — a current BSc student

  • Module 2 (Molecular cell biology of the lung in health and disease) investigates how the complex network of pulmonary cells and mediators maintain homeostasis and become dysregulated in disease, and the interactions of genetics and environment in lung diseases.
  • Module 3 (Infectious and allergic lung disease) explains the contributions of infectious agents to development of respiratory disease and the cellular and molecular mechanisms driving allergic responses. The epidemiological principles behind current trends in respiratory disease are investigated.

Teaching methods used in Modules 1-3 include attendance at chest clinics, practical experimentation, small group teaching and structured lectures.

Research projects can be laboratory-based, a clinical study or a library project and are often hosted by internationally recognised leaders in their field. Many former students have presented at national meetings and have published their project work.



“Great lecturers, interesting things to do, and actually useful not only for respiratory illnesses but in other crucial areas of medicine too.”

— course feedback

Each taught module has two pieces of in-course assessment (2500 word essay and a presentation or debate) and a written examination. Projects are assessed on both written and oral presentations.



For further information regarding the BSc in Medical Sciences with Respiratory Science, please email

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