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.
Year 0 - Foundation Year
Advancing Biology (20 credits)
The aim of this module is to build on material learned in the module ‘Biological concepts’. Elements of genetics and molecular biology are extended and you will be introduced to various facets of the environmental sciences, including ecology and conservation, agricultural science, and pollution science. The module also aims to extend your practical skills within the life sciences.
Advancing Chemistry (20 credits)
This module aims to build on the knowledge acquired in Principles of Chemistry and to explore different fields within the subject of chemistry (physical chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry and environmental chemistry). The module will also further develop your laboratory skills.
Biological Concepts (20 credits)
This module aims to aims to introduce students to the central principles of biology, namely the basic structure, function and variety of living organisms and how they reproduce. It also aims to give students the basic transferable skills needed to understand scientific reasoning and to undertake scientific investigations.
Physical Laws of the Natural World (20 credits)
The aim of this module is to introduce you to the physical concepts that underpin all of science and how physics are studied in the natural sciences. You will develop an understanding of how physical laws are used to describe natural phenomena and how they may be applied to gain a deeper knowledge of particular systems and processes.
Principles of Chemistry (20 credits)
This is an introductory module that aims to develop your familiarity with fundamental chemical concepts such as atomic structure, chemical nomenclature, bonding, stoichiometry and a range of chemical reactions. The module also aims to develop your basic chemistry laboratory skills.
Study Skills (20 credits)
The course aims to give you the basic transferable skills needed to understand and practice scientific reasoning, to undertake scientific investigations and to communicate effectively scientific ideas and outcomes.
Biochemistry (20 credits)
The aim of this module is to introduce you to the foundations of biological systems through the study of biochemistry and cell biology. You will learn about the essential biological components of cells and how they interact and work together to support life at the molecular level. This module also teaches you essential laboratory skills and prepares you for further study in more advanced cell biology and molecular biology modules.
Chemistry (20 credits)
Chemistry is fundamental to the understanding of the reactions and processes that happen inside all organisms. This module aims to give you the necessary theoretical background and practical skills in chemistry, which will be essential for your study of biological sciences.
Diversity of Life (20 credits)
This module aims to equip you with a fundamental understanding of the history of life on earth and the ancestral relationships between living things. You will learn about the physiological and anatomical features that distinguish various groups of organisms, as well as the characteristics that they have in common. The module also aims to develop your skills in identifying organisms and the use of dichotomous keys.
Genetics and Evolution (20 credits)
This module aims to give you the necessary background in genetics and evolutionary biology, providing knowledge of Mendelian genetics and the mechanisms of evolution which are essential for the study of biological and environmental sciences. The module also includes practical sessions on important molecular techniques such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and how to analyse genetic sequence data.
Microbiology (20 credits)
This module aims to develop your aseptic technique and microbiological laboratory skills while also investigating the classification and uses of microorganisms. The module aims to develop your independent research skills as you investigate the various diseases and other issues that are caused by microorganisms.
Science Skills and Introduction to Statistics (20 credits)
This module aims to develop your background in skills and methods essential for the study and communication of biological sciences. The module will introduce you to scientific publications and how to engage effectively with them, how to design experiments effectively as well as the statistical methods essential to the analysis of scientific data.
Animal anatomy and Physiology (20 credits)
The module focusses on a detailed exploration of the vertebrate skeletal, muscle, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine and nervous systems. The aim is to build a holistic understanding of animal physiology and anatomy and allow comparison with human anatomy and physiology. The concept of homeostasis and how it sustains animal life is a recurring theme throughout the module.
Data Handling (20 credits)
This module aims to develop your ability to do quantitative biological data analysis and introduce you to bioinformatics analysis and the analysis of “big data”. Central to the first aim will be introducing you to the powerful statistical programming language, R and how it can be used to carry out statistical analyses and display data effectively.
Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (20 credits)
This module aims to provide you with an in depth perspective of the theory, practical and commercial applications of molecular biology. The practical emphasis of this module permits you to further develop a range of fundamental molecular biology techniques, which are not only essential for studying biomolecules within a laboratory research setting, but also highly desirable for future employability.
Natural Product Chemistry (20 credits)
This module aims to provide you with an understanding of the chemistry of natural products and the links between their molecular structure and properties that determine their behaviour in biological systems. It also introduces purification methods and other analytical methods that can be used to isolate and identify these compounds.
Plant Physiology and Development (20 credits)
This module aims to equip you with a sound knowledge of the basics of plant physiology and development. The module also aims to develop your ability to analyse and interpret published data through student-led discussions of the role of plant hormones (plant growth regulators) in controlling physiological processes and developmental switches.
Advanced Plant Physiology and Development (20 credits)
This module aims to develop in you an advanced knowledge of plant physiology and development. The module also aims to develop your ability to analyse, interpret and critically discuss published data through student-led discussions of the molecular basis of acclimation responses to abiotic stresses.
Animal Reproduction and Development (20 credits)
This module aims to provide you with an understanding of both reproductive and parental strategies in animals, and the various stages of embryogenesis in a range of vertebrate and invertebrate organisms. This includes genetic regulation of embryogenesis and development and assisted reproductive technologies for the treatment of infertility.
Current Science Issues (20 credits)
This module allows you to develop your wider understanding of how science impacts and affects society. You will develop your independent research and analysis skills by commenting on important current science issues that you discover and present yourselves or that are presented by visiting speakers.
Honours Project (40 credits)
This module allows you to undertake a piece of commercially/socially relevant research. You will be required to identify an area of biological research related to the content of the biology programme you have studied and design and undertake appropriate experiments. The module aims to give you experience of independent research, analysis and how to present findings effectively in two styles: a written scientific paper and a poster presented to a non-specialist audience.
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 Pests and Diseases (20 credits)
This module will encourage you to develop the necessary knowledge to make reasoned arguments on current issues in the field of animal pests, parasites and pathogens. You will develop a holistic view of the relationship between pests, parasites and pathogens, their target host species and their environments. You will also develop an understanding that human activities can profoundly affect virulence in pests, parasites and pathogens.
Chemistry of the Environment (20 credits)
This module aims to provide you with an understanding of the fundamental theoretical concepts and practical applications of environmental chemistry in aquatic, terrestrial and atmospheric environments. It aims to familiarise you with some of the chemical analytical methods that can be used in the monitoring of these environments and address issues of environmental pollution.
Plant Pests and Pathogens (20 credits)
This module enables you to develop a knowledge of common important plant pests and diseases, their effects on plant growth and yield, and how to recognise them in the field. The module also aims to develop your ability to analyse and interpret published data through student-led discussions about specific pests and diseases and their control.
Work placement (20 credits)
This module provides you with the opportunity to develop key skills and experience while working in a commercial environment. You will be enabled to develop critical reflection skills as you review your own competencies as they expand and diversify.
Options are subject to availability and may change
Animal Health and Husbandry (20 credits)
The aims of this module are to explore the importance of animals in society and the scientific background to animal health and welfare issues, including nutrition, good husbandry, pain perception, the ability of animals to cope with their environments and the physiological and behavioural aspects of health and welfare.
Bioinformatics 1 (20 credits)
This module aims to develop a systematic understanding of the role of computing in biological research, how these link to the fundamentals of molecular biology. You will learn how to apply key concepts and techniques in Bioinformatics to answer real research questions.
Immunology and Cancer Biology (20 credits)
This module aims to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the biology and genetics of cancer and of the role of the immune system in tumour development in humans and other animals. It will introduce a range of medical techniques used to diagnose cancer and you will study the latest cutting-edge treatments and the molecular mechanisms targeted by these treatments. You will also participate in discussions on the impact of cancer on lives and how patients are cared for, including end of life care.
Molecular Plant Microbe Interactions (20 credits)
This module allows you to develop skills in critical analysis, interpretation and presentation of experimental data. The module enables you to develop a detailed knowledge of the molecular and genetic processes that underpin the interaction of plants with a range of different microbes