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Facilities for students

As a biosciences and medicine student, you’ll have access to our multi-million-pound laboratories, fitted with industry-standard equipment, to prepare you for a scientific career.

Take a facilities tour

Take a look around our state-of-the-art facilities with our undergraduate students Asini and Kate.

Equipment, software and experiments

Find out what equipment and software each of our biosciences facilities contain and what experiments you can carry out with these.

Innovation for Health Learning Lab

This Lab will be where you’ll complete most of your undergraduate scientific practicals and can accommodate up to 200 students.

In the Lab, you’ll have access to:

  • ADInstruments kits
  • Balances
  • Blood analysers
  • Centrifuges
  • Flame photometer
  • Fume hoods
  • Gel imagers
  • Kjeldahl digestion block and distiller
  • Light microscopes
  • pH meters
  • Pipettes
  • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machines
  • Soxhlet extraction system
  • UV-Vis spectrophotometers.

Year 1

In your first year, you’ll familiarise yourself with some of the basic equipment by completing introductory experiments. Depending on the modules you study, the other experiments you’ll complete will vary.


  • Carrying out serial dilution
  • Enumeration techniques for bacteria
  • Handling cultures
  • Isolating bacteria
  • Performing Gram stains
  • Using diagnostic tests to identify groups of bacteria


  • Enzyme properties and the effect of substrate concentration
  • Protein assay and standard curve generation
  • Thin-layer chromatography
  • Titrations and use of a pH meter

Cell Biology

  • Histological staining
  • Light microscopical examination of histological specimens
  • Observation of dividing cells and their chromosomes
  • Subcellular fractionation of cauliflower by differential centrifugation

Evolutionary Origins of Biodiversity

  • Lake chemistry – turbidity, pH, nitrate an orthophosphate concentration, and dissolved oxygen, carbon dioxide and chlorophyll determination
  • Microscopy and odentification of algae protozoa and planktonic life
  • Sampling


  • Analysis of data
  • Culture techniques
  • Good microbiology practice
  • Microscopy

Molecular Biology

  • Gel electrophoresis
  • PCR
  • Using bacterial conjugation to illustrate the link between and organisms genotype and phenotype


  • Cardiovascular function
  • Haematology – performing blood cell counts, measuring haematocrit and packed cell volume, and determining the ABO and rhesus blood groups of samples
  • Lung function testing

Years 2 and 3

As you move into your second- and third-year studies, you’ll complete more complex experiments, that again vary depending on the modules you take:

Analytical Biochemistry

  • Urinalysis for the investigation of clinical samples

Biomedical Microbial Products

  • Screening and discovery of bioactive products

Cellular Microbiology and Virology

  • Haemagglutination and haemagglutination inhibition assay
  • Plaque assay

Energy and Lipid Metabolism

  • Determination of total plasma cholesterol
  • High-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triacylglycerol

Food Microbiology

  • Food poisoning – outbreak investigation
  • Meat microbiology
  • Milk microbiology
  • Yoghurt fermentation

Food Science

  • Analysis of caffeine by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)
  • Chemical and physical characterisation of fats and oils
  • Compositional analysis of sausage
  • Determination of sugars
  • Functional properties of starch

Introduction to Immunology

  • Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)
  • Flow cytometry

Microbial Communities

  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Dental biofilms and quorum sensing
  • Environmental biofilms

Molecular Biology and Genetics

  • Casting, running and visualising a gel, then analysing results
  • Genomic PCR
  • RNA isolation, quantification and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)

Pathology and Medicine

  • Buccal smear staining and analysis using light microscopy
  • Liquid-based cytology for cervical screening

Human Movement Lab

If you’re studying sport and exercise-science-related modules, you’ll get to use our Human Movement Lab.

You’ll have access to specialised equipment, including:

  • Delsys electromyography (EMG) systems
  • Dynamometers
  • Force plate treadmills
  • Force plates.

You’ll also get to use Optojump and Qualisys software.

Using this equipment and software, you can:

  • Track isometric and isokinetic movements by attaching EMG electrodes and measuring muscle activity (including using muscle stimulus), analyse muscular power and imbalances between limbs, and predict possible injuries.
  • Complete 3D motion analysis looking at walking and running gait by using infrared cameras to track movements, then analyse movement variability.
  • Investigate jump performance by looking at different jump types and the effect of strength and conditioning training.
  • Test muscular power by performing isokinetic and isometric movements to measure muscle function and nerve function.

Exercise Physiology Lab

You’ll also have access to our Exercise Physiology Lab, if you’re studying sport and exercise-science-related modules.

You’ll get to use:

  • A dry gas analyser
  • A metabolic cart
  • Biosen blood glucose-lactate analysers
  • Douglas bags
  • Monark Peak Bikes
  • Servomex analysers
  • Treadmills.

Using this equipment, you can:

  • Complete a Wingate test to analyse the power output and the percentage drop off once maximal power is reached.
  • Carry out VO2 max and sub maximal tests to see how efficiently participants use oxygen while completing exercise.
  • Calculate lactate threshold by analysing glucose and lactate levels in the blood.
  • Measure O2 and CO2 levels of expired air and volume.

Nutrition Lab

You’ll use this Lab if you’re conducting a nutrition research project as a final-year undergraduate or masters student.

You’ll get access to a:

  • Colorimeter
  • Differential scanning calorimeter
  • High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) system
  • Kjeldahl system
  • pH stat
  • Rheometer
  • Soxhlet
  • Texture analyser
  • Water activity meter.

If your project involves molecular biology techniques, you may also use our Tissue Culture Lab. This has a clinical chemistry analyser you can use to analyse the levels of various metabolites in human plasma.

Project Lab

You’ll get to use our 60-person Project Lab for your final-year undergraduate or integrated masters dissertation projects.

You’ll have access to basic molecular biology equipment, including:

  • Balances
  • Centrifuges
  • CO2 incubators
  • Gel imagers
  • Heat blocks
  • Horizontal and vertical gel running equipment
  • Microscopes
  • PCR machines
  • pH meters
  • Pipettes
  • Power packs
  • Spectrophotometers
  • Water baths.

Using this equipment, you can carry out:

  • Aseptic techniques looking at handling bacterial cultures, biofilms and antimicrobial resistance
  • DNA manipulation and purification, preparation of agarose gels and DNA separation
  • PCR reactions using a thermal cycler
  • Preparation of media and buffers, and calculations of concentrations (%, M)                  
  • RNA isolation, quantification and RT-PCR
  • SDS-PAGE and Western blotting for separation and detection of proteins
  • The Miles and Misra method, using a spectrophotometer to measure bacterial growth
  • Tissue culture technique, microscopy and transfection of cells.

Contact us

  • Phone: +44 (0)1483 686700

Find us

Map of the University of Surrey


School of Biosciences and Medicine
University of Surrey