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 list of typical modules available on this course, please read MBiol, BSc Pharmacology in the course catalogue.
Most courses consist of compulsory and optional modules. There may be some optional modules omitted below. This is because they are currently being refreshed to make sure students have the best possible experience. Before you enter each year, full details of all modules for that year will be provided.
You will be introduced to a range of pharmacology and equipped with a broad knowledge across the biomedical sciences. This approach will develop many translatable key skills and attributes in the pharma-sector.
Topics will include essential anatomy and physiology of human systems, molecular biology and biochemistry of the cell, microbiology, neuroscience, as well as pharmacology. This is delivered in a structured and facilitated way to support your learning.
You’ll also develop the fundamental practical laboratory skills and techniques that will underpin the rest of your studies, and essential academic and professional skills to help you progress successfully through the course and into further study or employment.
There is the opportunity in year 1 to take optional modules to focus your pharmacology degree programme in the subject areas you are most interested in and across the biosciences.
At the end of year 1, our flexible degree structure may offer you the opportunity to transfer onto other suitable, related degree courses, subject to suitable academic performance and availability.
Team Based Solutions for Local Challenges in Human Sciences (20 credits) - You’ll be provided with the opportunity to address a current human health-related challenge in a facilitated team-based environment. You will develop the core skills necessary to tackle challenges which may cover topics such as the prevention and treatment of disease or healthy ageing, aligned to your programme whilst working in interdisciplinary groups. Challenges tackled and skills gained will compliment taught content in other first-year modules.
Practical Application of Clinical, Laboratory and Field Skills for Human Sciences (20 credits) - You’ll be introduced to the cornerstone skills and capabilities that are essential for scientific research in the field of Pharmacology, Biomedical Sciences and Neuroscience. This module includes hands-on practical application of these skills and will include those applied in a clinical setting, in a laboratory and out in the field, as well as skills that support such activities for example research design, hypothesis testing, scientific writing and data analysis.
Structure and Function of Human Body Systems (20 credits) - You’ll be introduced to the core concepts underpinning structure and function of human body systems, with an emphasis on how systems are structured, operate and interact. You will also discover how the environment, exercise and disease can disturb these core systems, and the underpinning physiology.
The Basis of Life (20 credits) - You’ll learn about the fundamental processes of life, identifying the key concepts that underpin the biological processes in all living organisms, from bacteria to mammals. On completion of the module, you will have a comprehensive grounding in the molecular basis of life from the atomic scale up to cells.
Biology of the Mind (10 credits) - You’ll be introduced to the foundational neuroscience concepts of structure and function, and how systems level function emerges. These concepts will be explained using examples drawn from across the human nervous system in health and disease, and from the experimental approaches used in neuroscience research.
Introduction to Pharmacology (10 credits) - You’ll be introduced to the foundational concepts underpinning pharmacology: pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, clinical pharmacology, and drug discovery and development. Learning concepts will be covered using cutting-edge examples drawn from different pharmacotherapeutic approaches, disease states and pathophysiology.
20 credits from the following, at least one module from basket 1
Introduction to Immunology (10 credits) - You’ll review fundamental immune mechanisms with a particular emphasis on human immunology and its relationship to health and disease. You will discover how we protect ourselves from infection through our immune defences, and learn about the role of different types of leukocytes and antibodies and complement in our immune defences.
The Microbial World (10 credits) - You’ll be introduced to a wide range of microscopic life forms and viruses, giving you a sound introduction to Microbiology and exploring the diversity of microbial life with emphasis on how we interact with microbes that are responsible for infections as well as those that do not normally cause disease. You will learn how microorganisms interact with each other and how they influence the lives of more complex organisms, for good or ill and will learn how fungi, bacteria and viruses are observed and manipulated safely.
If only one module is selected from basket 1, choose an optional module from basket 2
Elements of Human Nutrition (10 credits) - You’ll be introduced to the underpinning physiological processes that govern health such as nutrient function and metabolism, dietary intakes and food sources, deficiency diseases and nutritional requirements. You’ll too look apply nutritional recommendations within the context of health and special populations.
Discovery Module (10 credits) - As well as the compulsory and optional modules that make up your programme of study, you may be able to choose something different to your main subject as a Discovery Module.
Gain a more detailed exposure to the systems, processes or functions of the body in areas of key research at Leeds through core and optional modules. These will include topics based on the drug treatment of various diseases which affect a range of bodily systems such as cardiovascular and brain disorders. In year 2, there is more choice in the topics you choose within modules.
Modules are taught in an integrated way that brings together normal structure and function with changes in disease and treatment. Advanced pharmacology concept units include aspects of cardiovascular pharmacology, neuropharmacology and molecular pharmacology.
In year 2 the modules balance facilitated and independent learning. Choose from a range of optional modules, including chemotherapy, bioinformatics and human disease. You will also develop your understanding of research methods and your experimental skills.
Further improve your personal and professional skills including critical thinking, creative problem solving, team-working, and critical reasoning skills. Obtain more experience of applying your knowledge and skills to evaluate scientific evidence and creating solutions to biomedical problems.
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.
Practical Research Skills in Pharmacology (20 credits) - You’ll develop more complex practical skills to address research questions. You will participate in practical activities and mini-projects, using key experimental approaches and methods used in the biomedical sciences. This allows you to develop key research skills including experimental design, and appropriate statistical and mathematical methods or approaches for analysing biomedical data and information.
Team Based Solutions for Global Challenges in Human Sciences (20 credits) – In line with key UN sustainability goals (United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) | Sustainability (leeds.ac.uk)), students will build their skills in knowledge application, analysis, and scientific data presentation. You’ll work as a team to research and create neuroscience solutions to a global grand challenge or UN SDG. You will develop and practice key academic and professional skills including the critical analysis of research papers, verbal, written and graphical communication, team-working, planning and organisation, and negotiation.
Advanced Pharmacology Concept Units I (20 credits) – You’ll build subject specialist knowledge by choosing concept units that most interest you. This module builds on Year 1 and prepares you for Specialist Topic units in Year 3. Units may include, for example, cellular and molecular pharmacology or neuropharmacology.
Advanced Pharmacology Concept Units II (20 credits) – Students can build their subject specialist knowledge further by choosing concept units they are most interested in studying. This module builds on Year 1 and prepares students for Specialist Topic units in Year 3. Units may include, for example, the neuropharmacological basis of disease or chemotherapy.
The focus of Year 3 of the Integrated Masters programme is to extend your understanding of key topics in the biomedical sciences right up to the very forefront of what is current in research. Using your knowledge gained during Levels 1 and 2 and your critical thinking and analytical skills, you will learn to interpret advanced research data, critically evaluate theories and make decisions about how to test new ideas.
Our Integrated Masters MBiol programme shares the same year 1 and 2 studying with our BSc programme, providing a broad foundation knowledge and skills. In year 3, the theory and skills modules are the same as for the BSc programme. However, the Capstone Research Project is replaced by a critical review project and experimental proposal and plan, linked to and to prepare you for your extended research project in year 4.
Alongside this, choose research-based topics that interested you in earlier years. Specialised topic modules allow you to choose from a menu of different research topics so you can focus more on your areas of interest. You can also choose other specialist modules such as autism, psychopharmacology, drug discovery, stem cells and many more.
Specialised Topics in Pharmacology I (20 credits) – You’ll have the opportunity to build your knowledge of research in specific topic areas led by active researchers in the field of study. It will introduce you to a range of research topics in pharmacology and the broader biomedical sciences, and develop your ability to collate, critically analyse, and describe scientific information. Topics covered will reflect current research interests of the School, and may include, for example, drug discovery and development or cancer biology.
Specialised Topics in Pharmacology II (20 credits) – You’ll further build your knowledge of research specific topic areas led by active researchers in the field of study. You’ll be introduced to a range of research topics in pharmacology and the broader biomedical sciences and develop your ability to collate, critically analyse, and describe scientific information. Topics covered will reflect current research interests of the School, and may include, for example, psychopharmacology or pharmacogenomics.
Advanced Skills (20 credits) – You’ll attend a series of compulsory and optional units designed to provide scaffolding and support for your capstone research experience. This will develop and utilise your research, employability and 4th Industrial Revolution skills required both for their capstone project and for the workplace. You’ll select the units which develop key skills and attributes required for your individual capstone project and/or future employment. The assignments for this module provide further scaffolding and support for the creation of your extended research project.
Your extended research project or appropriate period of work-based practice (a project taken in the work place), will focus on an original, cutting-edge research topic. This will likely be specific to your area of interest and will equip you with the skills necessary for a career in research, in addition to ensuring you stand out in the graduate job market. These projects are often linked to the on-going research programmes of academics in our School, thus allowing students to actively contribute to the research of their groups.
Examples of previous research projects include:
- Anti-cancer drugs cause dysfunction in adult cardiac cells.
- The potential of biosensors as point-of-care diagnostic systems.
- Expression of sorting receptors and their cargo protein.
- The role of ion channels in Alzheimer’s disease-related cell dysfunction.
- Producing receptor proteins for visualising through electron microscopy.
- Investigating the mechanisms underlying neuroprotection against Alzheimer’s disease.
Advanced Research Topics (30 credits) – You’ll develop the research skills to support your laboratory or other research or enquiry-based activities that you will undertake as part of your extended research project and to prepare for a career in a research environment. You’ll develop skills to critically analyse published research. It will also expose you to current research trends in the biosciences and to leading researchers in the field.
Extended Research Project (90 credits) – You’ll choose an independent project of interest, which will be mentored by one of the world leading academics in their field, conducting an individual extended research or enquiry-based project. This will also incorporate experience of working as part of a team in a research environment and interacting with research scientists.
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
Our teaching is delivered through a combination of large and small group workshops and practicals. We take a student-centred approach to learning and so our teaching is designed to enable student engagement through active learning approaches that include creative problem-solving, team-work activities and mini-projects. In this way, you are able to apply the theoretical knowledge learnt to practical, real-life contexts. We put a high value on practical teaching and so a core part of your teaching will focus on developing hands-on practical and associated research skills.
Independent study is an important part of University learning and you will be expected to undertake private study. We will support you in becoming independent learners through our teaching approaches and through regular meetings with your personal tutor who is there to advise you academically.
We use a range of digital tools to enhance your learning. Through our Minerva learning management system, you will be able to access our extensive library of online materials, some of it designed specifically to support preparation prior to attending classroom sessions and discuss content with peers and teachers. In the classroom, educators use a variety of interactive digital tools to help you learn through discussion and debate. Laboratory practicals are accompanied by detailed online preparation guides and use of electronic laboratory notebooks to ensure you get the most out of your time and develop workplace skills.
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.
Assessment on the course is a varied mix of course work submitted during the semester and exam periods (Jan and May) each year. A portfolio of assessment approaches are used.
There is also a mixture of multiple-choice questions, short answer questions and longer essay questions used in an online time limited assessment.
Many modules adopt authentic assessment approaches where appropriate. These assessments aim to develop the personal and professional skills required in the workplace:
- Writing laboratory or other reports
- Grant applications
- Oral presentations
- Poster presentations
- Reflective accounts and portfolios
Communicating science to a wider audience is a key skill. In some circumstances there may be a choice of assessment piece to make it more relevant, meaningful and engaging for you.
Assessments in the school are prepared in a fair and inclusive manner adhering to relevant and up to date guidance.