You will be introduced to core themes relating to biotechnology, including molecular and cellular biology, genetics, applied biology and microbiology and immunology. These topics will give you a broad understanding of life at the molecular and cellular level. Alongside these modules, you will learn about entrepreneurship and business planning. Optional modules will allow you to further develop your business awareness.
Additionally, you will develop skills in laboratory techniques for studying microorganisms (microscopy, sterile technique) and cellular components such as proteins and DNA (eg PCR, electrophoresis), including experience in experimental design. In regular tutorials with your personal tutor, you’ll focus on the application of molecular and cellular sciences, developing your ability to analyse, interpret and present data, and use scientific information to solve problems, together with both written and oral presentation.
At the end of year 1, our flexible degree structure offers you the opportunity to transfer onto other suitable degree courses.
You will study genetic engineering and genomics, and gain an understanding of the biology underpinning sustainable food production.
Practical laboratory work will bring together the techniques learnt in year 1 to complete projects involving cloning and gene expression, drug discovery, and studying the effects of growth factors on cell division.
Tutorials with specialist tutors will develop your skills in experimental design, research ethics, data analysis and interpretation, and reviewing the current research literature on topics of interest, as well as support for career planning.
You will continue to develop your understanding of business practice and enterprise at both theoretical and practical levels, through core modules in entrepreneurship and new enterprise planning.
At the end of year 2, you will have the opportunity to complete an industrial work placement, study abroad, or combined study and work abroad. This will add an additional year of study to your degree.
You will conduct an independent research project in both biotechnology and enterprise. Your biotechnology project can be laboratory-based, working alongside professional research scientists, literature-based, researching the global understanding of a cutting edge topic or computer-based, using modern bioinformatic techniques to analyse and interpret biological data.
Recent topics have included:
Studying bioengineering of naturally-occurring antibiotics.
Analysing the genome of the virus responsible for foot and mouth disease.
Investigating enzymes which break down plant material to form biofuels.
Your enterprise project will involve working as part of a team with a company outside the university to deliver a project relevant to their needs.
Alongside these projects you’ll continue to develop both subject-specific and transferable skills. You will choose from a range of advanced bioscience topics which will develop your knowledge of these areas in cutting edge of research, and explore global challenges in entrepreneurship.
Integrated Masters (MBiol)
Our integrated Masters MBiol programme shares the same year 1 and 2 studying with our BSc programme, providing a foundation knowledge and skills.
Year 3 (MBiol)
You will undertake a practical project which will introduce you to increasingly sophisticated techniques, and research facilities such as mass spectrometry, electron microscopy and NMR, in preparation for your lab project. You’ll undertake a literature review of your proposed project area, with the support of your supervisor. Alongside this, you’ll undertake an advanced skills module, and study cutting edge topics aligned with your areas of interest.
Year 4 (MBiol)
Spend approximately 6 months working on your extended research project in your supervisor’s laboratory, alongside a skills module designed to prepare you for a career as a professional scientist. MBiol projects are very varied, using a range of techniques and equipment eg CRISPR, advanced DNA/RNA sequencing techniques, X-ray crystallography, confocal microscopy, bioinformatics and many more, depending on the project. MBiol students regularly contribute to journal articles published by their supervisor, so this project may provide the first publication of your career!
You will also study a Masters-level enterprise module to further develop your knowledge and understanding of entrepreneurship and enterprise.
Details of typical modules/components for our courses will now be published after July 1st (instead of May 1st), due to current limitations as a result of covid-19. These details may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
Throughout your degree you will benefit from a range of opportunities to expand your intellectual horizons outside or within your subject area.
This course gives you the opportunity to choose from a range of discovery modules. They’re a great way to tailor your study around your interests or career aspirations and help you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Find out more about discovery modules on our Broadening webpages.
Learning and teaching
You’ll have access to the very best learning resources and academic support during your studies. We’ve been awarded a Gold rating in the latest Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF, 2017), demonstrating our commitment to delivering consistently outstanding teaching, learning and employment outcomes for our students.
You’ll experience a wide range of teaching methods including lectures, tutorials, workshops and practicals. Your first and second years will focus on these three teaching methods, building your skills, understanding and knowledge in preparation for your final year research project, which will see you take on independent research and learning with the guidance of leading experts.
Across all years, additional workshop and seminar sessions will complement your lectures and lab practicals, and you will undertake private study, supported by online resources.
As a guide, a typical week in your first year includes four to eight hours of lectures, six hours of practical sessions in the laboratory, tutorials, workshop and seminar sessions, plus private study.
Independent study and research are crucial to every year of the course. We have excellent library and computing facilities to support your learning, and the University Library offers training to help you make the most of them.
On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.
We use a variety of assessment methods to help you develop a broad range of skills. These include practical work, data handling and problem-solving exercises, multiple-choice tests, group work, online and face-to-face discussion groups, computer-based simulations, essays, posters and oral presentations.