BMSc Degree Outcomes

Across the seven basic medical science departments that contribute to the courses and modules leading to a BMSc degree there are a number of expectations and program learning outcomes that should be attained by all of our graduates. The BMSc program has been developed conjointly with the Faculty of Science (Medical Sciences Yr 1 and Yr 2) and students enter the BMSc program in their 3rd year. About half of our students undertake a department(s) specific honors specialization or major, while the other half enter the Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences modules in which they are able to take courses from two or more basic medical science departments. Within the departmentally-based Honors Specializations students have the opportunity to work with a faculty member on a senior research project and within this setting begin to attain mastery in many of the desired learning outcomes and competencies. Within the IMS modules students are exposed to a broad number of techniques and methods and have the opportunity to see these applied in the context of looking at a specific disease across an interdisciplinary focus (e.g., atherosclerosis, diabetes, cancer).

These degree outcomes are based on the Western Degree Outcomes and all of our graduates are expected to have met these outcomes in the broadest sense. Within each one of the field specific disciplines the depth and breadth of knowledge for specific fields of study will vary and how these outcomes are assessed and evaluated within each discipline may also vary, but these outcomes outline the minimum achievements/attributes expected of our students.


Upon successful completion of the BMSc program, students will be able to or have:

  1. Demonstrate foundational knowledge and basic understanding and use of mathematics, physics and chemistry necessary to understand (bio)physical and (bio)chemical phenomena. 

  2. Demonstrate knowledge of normal biological systems at the molecular, cellular, tissue and organ level through the study of cell biology, genetics, basic biological and medical sciences, e.g., biology, biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology, anatomy. 

  3. Acquired a more detailed knowledge and understanding within one or more of the basic medical sciences disciplines (i.e., anatomy and cell biology/medical cell biology; biochemistry; epidemiology & biostatistics; medical biophysics; microbiology & immunology; pathology; physiology & pharmacology). 

  4. Apply problem solving skills to approach a problem from a variety of perspectives and disciplinary outlooks and find solutions in a systematic way (i.e., applying the scientific method to develop a clear and concise hypothesis; design and use methods to test that hypothesis; collect, synthesize and integrate new data to analyze and confirm or deny that hypothesis; and generate new questions and hypotheses). 

  5. Use and evaluate laboratory methods and techniques and be confident in being able to learn new methods.

Literacies and Interdisciplinarity

Upon successful completion of the BMSc program, students will be able to:

  1. Exhibit digital literacy to be able to generate an easy-to-read, well-organized report or essay (word processing application); collect and analyze data (spreadsheet application); communicate information (presentation application, communications applications); and collect, organize, analyze, retrieve and report data (database or bibliographic application). 

  2. Possess information literacy to assess information needs, identify and use the best resources, search the relevant literature effectively, assess the retrieved information and use and cite it appropriately.
  3. Develop foundational skills in numeracy to be able to collect, analyze and interpret data using a variety of basic analytical tools. 

  4. Apply a system and interdisciplinary perspective to the understanding and analysis of health, disease, and both physical and social determinants of health. 


Upon successful completion of the BMSc program, students will be able to:

  1. Effectively and clearly communicate technical concepts and experimental results to diverse audiences, both orally and in writing. 

  2. Build cogent arguments to effectively defend (orally or in writing) scientific knowledge and/or results of your own research work. 

  3. Demonstrate and practice an understanding of how science is communicated to a variety of diverse audiences, i.e., to a lay audience, to a technical audience, to your colleagues. 

Resilience and Life Long Learning

Upon successful completion of the BMSc program, students will be able to:

  1. Develop the habits of a life-long learner and recognize the need for continually updating knowledge and staying current with literature. 

  2. Acknowledged biases and limits of knowledge in others and in own written and oral work. 

  3. Demonstrate the qualities and transferable skills (initiative, personal responsibility and accountability, organization, time management) necessary for further study, employment and community involvement. 

Global and Community Engagement

Upon successful completion of the BMSc program, students will be able to or have:

  1. Identify influences that are acting on education, economy, politics, society, the health system, and environment in the world around them.
  2. Gained an understanding and appreciation for different points of view; different cultures; and different beliefs, attitudes and values. 

  3. Recognize the human impact on the environment and its consequences and be able to make informed decisions related to the environment. 

  4. Participated in the Western community; took part in departmental or faculty Outreach activities, wherever possible. 

Critical Inquiry and Creative Thinking

Upon successful completion of the BMSc program, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate curiosity and critical thinking.

  2. Critically appraise scientific research, critique scientific methodologies and data used by others as reviewed in the scientific/medical literature.
  3. Display a willingness to question long-standing scientific beliefs.

Professionalism and Ethical Conduct

Upon successful completion of the BMSc program, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate confidence, curiosity, responsibility, honesty, independence, maturity and passion for science and their field of study throughout their career as a student and as a graduate of the BMSc program.
  2. Practice professionalism in all circumstances (in class or laboratory setting, on campus and in the community) by taking responsibility for their actions and acting in a responsible way (e.g., organize own time effectively and efficiently to meet deadlines and due dates; respect and abide by safety rules and regulations), and being courteous and respectful to others.
  3. Appreciate the challenges and responsibilities of ethics in scientific research.
  4. Work effectively in a team to learn, to solve problems or to work with others toward a shared scientific/academic goal as team member or team lead when appropriate.