In line with good practice, module content is regularly updated and module titles may on occasion change to reflect updated content in the advances in the field of study.
Animals in the Environment
This module explores the interaction of humans with, the environment and animals. It aims to develop your understanding and appreciation of vertebrate and invertebrate animals and the role they play in selected habitats. It also introduces you to aspects of animal behaviour. The module involves a series of practical sessions and field trips to a series of animal-based enterprises.
You will be introduced to the basic concepts and chemical foundations of biochemistry and cell biology to develop an understanding of structure and function of animals at the molecular level. You will be introduced to the basics of immunology and endocrinology and undertake a number of practicals based on the theory you have learnt.
Diversity of Life
Life on earth is amazingly diverse, colourful and multifaceted. The diversity of life module introduces you to this variety, tracing the tree of life from its roots to its branches. Beginning with simple, singlecelled organisms like bacteria and protists, you discover the various forms of complex life that have evolved and how to classify them in a taxonomic system using characteristic features of each group. The module features a large number of practical sessions in which you engage with plants, animals and other organisms.
Genetics and Evolution
You will learn about key concepts in genetics and evolutionary biology, providing a broad knowledge of Mendelian genetics and the mechanism of evolution. You will undertake a number of practical in cell biology and DNA methods and utilise bioinformatics to access, evaluate and interpret genetic and phylogenetic data.
This module will introduce you to principal taxonomic groups of microorganisms; examines their growth, physiology and culture, and their importance to humans and the biosphere. The module equips you with the necessary skills to carry out safe, aseptic practices with such organisms in a laboratory environment.
Science Skills and Introduction to Statistics
You will develop the necessary background in science communication, skills and methods essential for a degree in life sciences. You will learn how to analyse quantitative biological data, including statistics and experiment design and how to understand scientific publications and write scientific papers.
Animal Anatomy and Physiology
By examining mammalian anatomy and physiology and comparing these systems with those of a range of other animal groups you will develop an integrated understanding of animal form and function. Throughout this module, communication, evolutionary history and homeostatic processes are used as unifying themes. Dysregulation of these systems will also be investigated. A number of practical sessions will be undertaken based on the theory you have learnt in the lectures.
Animal Pests and Diseases
This module aims to teach you about pests, parasites and pathogens which affect animals, and how they affect the wider world. The course begins with introduction to the taxonomy and biology of these organisms, the economic impacts they have on societies around the world, and the ways in which animals have evolved to fight infection and infestation. You will then discuss and comment on the mechanisms by which humans have attempted to control pests, parasites and pathogens such as the use of antibiotics, pesticides, vaccination and biological control.
This module aims to develop the techniques necessary to handle quantitative biological data analysis and introduce the beginnings of bioinformatics. You will be introduced to the powerful statistical programming language, R. This programming language is critical to current approaches to handling/ analysing data, particularly “big data”.
Genetics of Animal Breeding
This module will provide you with an understanding of strategies employed for the genetic improvement of both livestock species and other domesticated animals, taking into consideration the associated ethical implications. You will develop a further understanding of key genetic principles and there will be a particular emphasis on the various applications of modern genetic techniques such as genome wide association studies, cloning and transgenics.
Molecular Biology and Biotechnology
This module offers you a unique practical experience of diverse laboratory skills associated with the isolation, handling and manipulation of DNA and proteins. You will cover the main areas of theoretical molecular biology knowledge and its practical applications in current research.
Animal Health and Husbandry
The aims of the module are to explore the importance of animals in society and the scientific background to animal welfare issues. This includes the study and analysis of nutrition, good husbandry, disease control, pain perception, the ability of animals to cope with their environments and the physiological and behavioural aspects of welfare.
Animal Reproduction and Development
This module examines the genetic and endocrine control of reproductive behaviour and other aspects of reproduction, of embryological growth and subsequent ontogeny of selected vertebrates and invertebrates. This allows you to develop an understanding of how the processes underpinning animal reproduction and development function and have evolved.
This module aims to develop a systematic understanding of the role of computing in biological research, the fundamentals of molecular biology and to introduce the key concepts and techniques in bioinformatics. A major focus will be computer practicals to re-enforce the theory within the interactive lectures.
This module provides you with autonomy in your learning as you pursue in depth the study of a topic of your own choice within animal science. In doing so, you will gain practice at organising your thinking in a scientific context and will increase your confidence in dealing with scientific problems and issues. With a broad scope, this module allows you to work with external businesses and partners and to potentially produce work that can be either published as a peer reviewed article or that may be of real world value to a partner organisation.
Likely optional modules
Options are subject to availability and may change. The work placement module is offered based on suitable work placement being available and the student being accepted by the employer offering the placement.
Animal Behavioural Ecology
This module aims to introduce you to the ecological side of animal behaviour. You will learn about the main influences on behaviour and how these can influence animal behaviour at an individual, group and species level. After undertaking this module, you will be able to design and carry out animal behavioural studies in an ecological context.
Natural Product Chemistry
The aim of the module is to provide students with an understanding of the chemistry of natural products, building on the chemical knowledge acquired in level 4 modules. It aims to introduce students to the chemistry of natural products and the links between molecular structure and properties, establishing connections with the behaviour of these compounds in biological systems. It also introduces purification methods and different analytical methods that can be used in the isolation and identification of these compounds, and to encourage a critical approach to these methods
This module gives you the opportunity to undertake a summer placement in a commercial environment to develop key skills and work experience. By the end of this module, you will be able to critically reflect and review your own competencies and development requirements.
Cancer Biology and Immunology
In this module, you will obtain a comprehensive understanding of the biology and genetics of cancer and the role of the immune system in tumour development in humans and other animals. It will introduce a range of medical techniques used to diagnosis cancer and you will study the latest cutting-edge treatments and the molecular mechanism used by those treatments. You will participle in discussions on the impact cancer has on people’s lives and how patients are cared for including end of life care.
This module provides a more in depth investigation of the techniques and analyses introduced in Bioinformatics 1 focusing on building the programming and computational skills to allow you to design and undertake complex analyses. You will build an understanding and ability to use various industry standard tools. A major focus will be computer practicals to re-enforce the theory learnt.
Current Science Issues
In this module, you will develop a wider understanding of how science influences and affects society. You will develop your independent research and analysis skills as you comment on important science issues. The weekly section research / visiting speaker lecture will be used as a base to discuss topics.