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Diploma of Higher Specialist Practice

Advance your career and upgrade your IBMS membership

The IBMS Higher Specialist Diploma enables biomedical scientists working in research and reference laboratories or areas outside the main biomedical science disciplines to demonstrate high levels of knowledge, skill and competence within their chosen field. It is a specialist professional qualification assessed by a written thesis of original work or research in the field of biomedical science. 

On achieving an IBMS Diploma of Higher Specialist Practice you will be eligible to upgrade to a Fellow of the IBMS.

Further information

Who can apply for the Diploma of Higher Specialist Practice

To undertake an IBMS Diploma of Higher Specialist Practice you must be a Member of the IBMS.

Diploma of Higher Specialist Practice qualification structure

The IBMS Diploma of Higher Specialist Practice is an M-level professional qualification and is assessed by a written thesis of original work or research in the field of biomedical science or laboratory management.

The written thesis must be:

  • a report of original work performed by the candidate in the field of biomedical science or laboratory management
  • of a standard of this work should be comparable to the level of a Masters degree
  • 20,000 words (±10%)

You may not submit material previously entered for examination by any other body unless substantial further work covering a new feature or a wider field of investigation is incorporated. 

You must submit your thesis within three years of the date of approval of the thesis title and synopsis. 

IBMS Diploma of Higher Specialist Practice Guidance 

Diploma of Higher Specialist Practice assessment

The IBMS Diploma of Higher Specialist Practice is assessed by examiners from the IBMS Advisory Panel of your specialism. 

You will need to submit:

  • two copies of your completed thesis
  • examination fee  

to the Examinations Team.

You can send by post to Examinations Team, IBMS, 12 Coldbath Square, London, EC1R 5HL. 

Once the examiners have assessed your thesis you will be invited to the IBMS offices to undergo an oral examination on the work presented in your thesis. 

The oral examination will cover:

  • how your research was conducted 
  • the rationale behind your research
  • your ability to discover new methods of solving problems
  • the results of your practical work

Theses areas are categorised as either:  

  • passed
  • failed 
  • referred  

If a thesis is not worthy of a pass but requires partial revision, it may be referred for amendment. Any amendments required must be made before a final bound copy is submitted to the IBMS.

Following the oral assessment, you will need to submit you have submitted a final version thesis to the Examinations Team.

The examiners from the IBMS Advisory Panel will confirm the results of your assessment and award an IBMS Diploma of Higher Specialist Practice.

 

How to apply for the Diploma of Higher Specialist Practice

To apply to undertake an IBMS Diploma of Higher Specialist Practice you will need to:

  • download and complete a thesis proposal form
  • write a 500-word synopsis of the proposed area of study and the rationale for the research 

and send to the Examinations Team.

You can send by post to Examinations Team, IBMS, 12 Coldbath Square, London, EC1R 5HL. 

Confirmation of application for the Diploma of Higher Specialist Practice

Applications will be reviewed by examiners from the IBMS Advisory Panel of your specialism.

You will be notified in writing about whether or not their proposal has been accepted.

If your proposal requires modification you will be advised on adjustments to your proposal and invited to resubmit your application.

Once your title and synopsis are approved you will be advised to seek a supervisor who you can consult for advice and guidance on the research.

Diploma of Higher Specialist Practice fees

It costs £325 to undertake an IBMS Diploma of Higher Specialist Practice. 

You will need to submit to the Examinations Team:

  • two copies of your completed thesis
  • examination fee (£325) 

Fees can be paid by: 

  • cheque made payable to "IBMS"
  • credit or debit card payment by phone on +44 (0)207 731 0214 ext 142 or 
  • purchase order from your hospital Trust

Diploma of Higher Specialist Practice resources

Guidance on Recognising and Avoiding Plagiarism

You can find discipline-specific reading lists to support you in completing an IBMS Diploma of Higher Specialist Practice on our Science Reading page

You can find articles and online resources to support you in completing an IBMS Diploma of Higher Specialist Practice in our Resources section

 

Deferrals, withdrawals and mitigating circumstances

If you wish to defer, withdraw or highlight any mitigating circumstances please contact examinations@ibms.org as soon as possible.