The IBMS Diploma of Higher Specialist Practice will enable you to demonstrate your high levels of knowledge, skill and competence to progress your career and IBMS membership grade.

Assessed by a written thesis of original work or research in the field of biomedical science, through a portfolio of experiential learning and four written examinations, it is a specialist professional qualification.

Achieving an IBMS Diploma of Higher Specialist Practice will make you eligible to upgrade to become an IBMS Fellow.

Fees, criteria and how to apply

£360 for the qualification. 


To apply, you must be an IBMS Member and complete and return a proposal form with a 500-word synopsis of the proposed area of study and the rationale for your research. 


Your completed application must be emailed to 

Applications will be reviewed by examiners from the IBMS Advisory Panel of your specialism and you will be notified whether it has been accepted or rejected.

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.

Payment methods

Once your proposal has been accepted, payment can be made via:

  • Cheque/Postal Order - which must be attached to your application
  • Card payment - by phone on +44 (0)207 713 0214
  • Purchase order - you must include the purchase order number, order details and an address to send the invoice.

Please note that a £50 administrative fee will be applied to any refund if you withdraw from the qualification at any time.

Deferrals, withdrawals and mitigating circumstances

If you wish to defer, withdraw or highlight any mitigating circumstances, please contact

Assessment information

The IBMS Diploma of Higher Specialist Practice is an M-level professional qualification assessed by examiners from the IBMS Advisory Panel of your specialism.

You will undertake a written thesis of original work or research in the field of biomedical science or laboratory management by examiners from the IBMS Advisory Panel of your specialism.

Written thesis

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

Your thesis must be a 20,000 word (±10%) report of your original work performed in the field of biomedical science or laboratory management. The standard of this work should be comparable to the level of a master’s degree.

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. 


Once the examiners have assessed your thesis you will be invited for 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.

These areas are categorised as either passed, failed or 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 a final version thesis to the

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