Year 1 of this course is designed to give you a broad grounding in biosciences. This enables you to decide which theme to choose in Year 2.
Year 1 covers an introduction to cell biology, biochemistry, microbiology, molecular physiology, genetics and immunology. This provides a broad understanding of life at the molecular and cellular level. You’ll also have the opportunity to select from a range of optional modules to broaden your studies.
You’ll develop sound laboratory techniques for studying microorganisms and cellular components such as proteins and DNA through practical classes. You’ll develop your ability to analyse, interpret and present data, use scientific information to solve problems, and design experiments exploiting the techniques you have learnt in the laboratory.
At the end of Year 1, there are opportunities to transfer between the Biological Sciences, Microbiology and Biology courses (including Genetics).
In Year 2, you’ll continue to cover core topics in molecular and cellular biology, building on your learning in Year 1. You’ll study genomics and genetic engineering, and further explore cell structure and function, applying this knowledge to help you understand disease processes. In addition, one of the unique features of our courses is that you’ll choose one of the following four themes, this will allow you to focus your studies in an area of interest over the remaining years of your course.
Molecular Medicine - focuses on the actions of molecules, both as therapeutic agents (drugs) and as toxic substances.
Infection and Disease - concentrates on areas such as virology, parasitology and immunology.
Molecular Zoology - combines studies of animal physiology and development with opportunities to learn about pests and parasites.
Plants and Agriculture – focuses on plant physiology, sustainable food production, and the role of pests in agriculture.
You’ll continue your skills development through Year 2. Practical classes will take the form of projects on topics relating to your lecture material in which you’ll integrate and extend the skills and techniques learnt during Year 1. Tutorials with a range of specialist tutors will develop your data analysis and interpretation skills, together with other skills such as researching new topics from the scientific literature.
At the end of your second year you’ll have the option of taking a Study Year Abroad or Industrial Placement Year – a great way of enhancing your experience and your CV.
In Year 3 your main focus will be on undertaking an independent research project, which can be laboratory, literature or computer based (eg bioinformatics, a sought-after skill for modern bioscientists), and completed under the supervision of one of our world class scientists. Alongside this you’ll continue to develop a broad range of skills through the subject-specific skills module, as well as study advanced topic modules for which you’ll be able to choose from a range of topics at the cutting-edge of research.
Integrated Masters (MBiol)
Years 1 and 2 are the same as for the BSc, and provide foundation knowledge and skills. Transfer from the BSc course at the end of Year 2 is available subject to performance.
With a greater focus on research, the MBiol will offer you research preparation modules in Year 3 as well as Masters level modules and an extended research project in your fourth year.
In Year 3, you’ll undertake a practical project which aims to introduce you to increasingly sophisticated techniques and research facilities in preparation for your research project. You’ll also 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 current topics aligned with your choice of theme.
In Year 4, you’ll spend approximately six months working on your research project in your supervisor’s laboratory, alongside a skills module which aims to prepare you for life as a professional scientist.
Find out more about choosing between an integrated Masters and a BSc degree
Details of typical modules/components for this course will be published on May 1st. These may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
Broadening your academic horizons
At Leeds we want you to benefit from the depth and breadth of the University's expertise, to prepare you for success in an ever-changing and challenging world. On this course you broaden your learning through core and/or optional modules. Find out more on the 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 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 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 on-line resources.
As a guide, a typical week in your first year includes eight to nine 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.
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.