Designed to give you a broad grounding in biosciences you will be introduced to cell biology, human physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, genetics and immunology.
This will provide you with 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 skills in laboratory techniques for studying microorganisms (microscopy, sterile technique) and cellular components such as proteins and DNA (e.g. PCR, electrophoresis), including experience in experimental design.
Practical classes are organised as short projects, and linked to core lecture material. In regular tutorials with your personal tutor, you’ll develop your ability to analyse, interpret and present data, and use scientific information to solve problems, together with both written and oral presentation. You will also receive guidance to start thinking about your future career plans.
At the end of year 1, there are opportunities to transfer onto degree courses in biotechnology with enterprise, microbiology and medical microbiology. Additional degree courses may be available depending on your academic background.
You will study genetic engineering and genomics, and discover how disease processes disrupt cellular structure and function; and continue to study core topics in molecular and cellular biology, building on your learning in Year 1.
Choose to focus your studies in one of four areas of interest over the remaining years of the course:
Infection and disease – focuses on virology, immunology, bacteriology and parasitology to understand current and emerging infections.
Molecular medicine – concentrates on drugs used to treat cancer and infectious diseases, and how these work at the molecular level.
Genome biology and disease – includes bioinformatics, human genetics and reproductive medical science, aiming to understand the role played by genes in human health.
Plants and agriculture - focuses on plant science, sustainable agricultural practice and the role of biotechnology in improving global food security.
Complete research-focused practical labs projects, involving cloning and gene expression and studying the effects of growth factors on cell division, bringing together the techniques learnt in year 1 to and reinforcing lecture material.
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.
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 under the supervision of one of our world-class scientists. This 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 bioinformatics techniques to analyse and interpret biological data.
Past student research topics have included:
Studies on the use of stem cells in treatment of cardiovascular disease.
Using CRISPR to study zika virus.
Researching the gut microbiome using real-time PCR and DNA sequence analysis.
Using bioinformatics to study signalling molecules in blood cancer.
Each year, some of our students gain their first publication from their project work, so this could be your chance to contribute to scientific knowledge.
Alongside this, you’ll continue to develop both subject-specific and transferable skills, and study a range of advanced topics of your choice which will develop your knowledge of these areas to the cutting edge of research.
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 will also conduct a literature review of your proposed extended research project, with the support of your supervisor. Alongside this, you will select advanced skills modules, and study current topics aligned with your choice of theme.
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 advanced techniques such as CRISPR, advanced DNA/RNA sequencing techniques, X-ray crystallography, 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.
The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Biological Sciences MBiol, BSc in the course catalogue
For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Biological Sciences BSc in the course catalogue
Introductory Skills for Biological Sciences
Introduction to Genetics
A Short Introduction to Systems Physiology
The Basis of Life
Introduction to Microbiology
The Microbial World
Introduction to Immunology
Genes and Genomes
Biological Membranes and Cell Signalling
Intermediate Skills for Biological Sciences
Cell Biology of Disease
Advanced Skills in the Biosciences
Research Tools and Applications
Extended Research Project Preparation
Extended Research Project
Specialised Research Topics and Skills
Throughout your degree you will benefit from the range of opportunities, expanding 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 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.
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.