Diploma of Specialist Practice

Advance your career and upgrade your IBMS membership with an IBMS specialist qualification

The IBMS Diploma of Specialist Practice will enable early-career biomedical scientists working in research or reference laboratories to demonstrate specialist knowledge and skill within their chosen discipline. It is a specialist professional qualification assessed by a written dissertation of original work or research in the field of biomedical science.

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

Further information

Who can apply for the Diploma of Specialist Practice

To apply for an IBMS Diploma of Specialist Practice you must:

  • be a Licentiate of the IBMS 
  • maintain your IBMS membership throughout the period in which you undertake the qualification 
  • have specialist knowledge and skills in a field of biomedical science, or
  • be involved in research and development or teaching


About the Diploma of Specialist Practice qualification

Your dissertation must be:

  • 8000 words (± 10%) 
  • presented as a written essay or report describing an aspect of professional practice in the field of biomedical science

You must provide evidence that your dissertation has met the learning outcomes outlined in the IBMS Specialist Portfolio. You may not submit any material entered previously for examination by any other body or for any of the IBMS prizes. However, a summary dissertation of work undertaken previously by the candidate that has led to the award of a postgraduate research degree, (ie MPhil or PhD) may be considered acceptable.

If you have already achieved a Masters degree in a biomedical science subject and where the emphasis of the project/thesis is based on laboratory practice, you must provide evidence of further work covering a new feature or a wider field of investigation. 


Diploma of Specialist Practice fees

It costs £170 (from 1 January 2024) to undertake an IBMS Diploma of Specialist Practice. Please submit to the IBMS Examinations Team:

  • your payment of £170 (from 1 January 2024),  along with
  • a copy of your completed dissertation

Once you have submitted a copy of your dissertation and payment your dissertation will be assessed. 


How to apply for the Diploma of Specialist Practice

You will need to submit to the IBMS Examinations Team a:

Your application will be reviewed and we will write to you to confirm whether your dissertation proposal has been accepted or requires modification. If your proposal is approved you will be asked to seek out a dissertation supervisor who you can consult for advice and guidance. This can be a colleague who works in the subject area of your dissertation. You must submit your dissertation within two years of your dissertation title and summary being approved.  


Diploma of Specialist Practice resources

The Diploma of Specialist Practice (DSP) can be referenced  in the Harvard or Vancouver Referencing. The following documents provide guidance on how to reference in both the Harvard and Vancouver Style of Referencing.

IBMS - A 'How to' Guide to Referencing - Harvard Referencing

IBMS - A 'How to' Guide to Referencing - Vancouver Referencing