As an early-career biomedical scientist working in research or reference laboratories, the IBMS Diploma of Specialist Practice will enable you to demonstrate specialist knowledge and skill within your chosen discipline.

As a specialist professional qualification, it is assessed by a written dissertation of original work or research in the field of biomedical science.

Achieving an IBMS Diploma of Specialist Practice will make you eligible to upgrade to become and IBMS Member.  

Applying for the diploma

To apply for an IBMS Diploma of Specialist Practice, you must be an IBMS Licentiate and have specialist knowledge and skills in a field of biomedical science, or be involved in research and development or teaching.

Your IBMS membership must be maintained for the duration of this qualification.

Completing the diploma

You will be expected to complete a dissertation that must be 8000 words (± 10%) and be 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 guidance and any material submitted must not have been entered previously for examination by any other body or for any of the IBMS prizes. However, a summary dissertation of your work undertaken previously 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 Master’s 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. 

Referencing guides

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:

Guide to referencing Harvard style


Guide to referencing Vancouver style
Fees and how to apply

It costs £133 to undertake an IBMS Diploma of Specialist Practice.  

To apply

You will need to submit to the IBMS Examinations Team a completed dissertation proposal form along with a 500-word summary of your proposed area of study and your payment of £133. 

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. Alternatively, you can submit a copy of your dissertation and payment by post to:
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