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)
This module introduces you to the basic concepts and chemical foundations of biochemistry and cell biology and so develop an understanding of life processes at the molecular level. This module prepares you for further study in more advanced cell and molecular modules later in the programme, whilst the high practical content will help you to develop biochemical laboratory skills.
Chemistry (20 credits)
Life at the molecular level is essentially applied chemistry and this module aims to give you the necessary theoretical and practical background in chemical processes to permit a better appreciation of how life works at the molecular level.
Diversity of Life (20 credits)
This module equips you with a fundamental understanding of the evolutionary relationships between living things, their shared evolutionary history and the physiological and anatomical features that groups of organisms have in common. The module also aims to develop skills in identification of organisms and the use of dichotomous keys.
Genetics and Evolution (20 credits)
This module aims to give students the necessary background in genetics and evolutionary biology, providing broad knowledge of Mendelian genetics and the mechanisms of evolution which are essential for the study of biological and environmental sciences.
Microbiology (20 credits)
A fundamental understanding of genetics and evolutionary biology are essential for the study of biology and this module aims to give you the necessary background in genetics and evolutionary biology, providing a broad knowledge of Mendelian genetics and the mechanisms of evolution.
Science Skills and Introduction to Statistics (20 credits)
Here you will develop the necessary background in science communication, skills and methods essential for the study of biological sciences. This module will also provide the background knowledge required for the Level 5 Data Handling module.
Data Handling (20 credits)
Biological experiments can yield enormous amounts of data that must be stored, processed and analysed efficiently and thoroughly. In this module, you will develop the techniques necessary to handle quantitative biological data analysis and introduce the beginnings of bioinformatics. You will also be introduced to the powerful statistical programming language, R, critical to current approaches to handling/analysing data.
Genetics of Animal Breeding (20 credits)
Here you will study the reasons and strategies employed for the genetic improvement of both livestock species and other domesticated animals, taking into consideration the associated ethical implications. As part of this module, you will develop a further understanding of key genetic principles such as Mendelian inheritance, epistasis and codominance and appreciate the various applications of modern genetic techniques such as genome wide association studies, cloning and transgenics.
Genetics of Plant Breeding 1 (20 credits)
The module aims to develop an understanding of basic concepts in plant genetics/breeding and how these fundamental principles could be applied to develop high yielding and more resilient crop plants for the future.
Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (20 credits)
Building upon knowledge gained during the level 4 Genetics and Evolution and Biochemistry modules, this module provides an in depth perspective of the theory, practical and commercial applications of molecular biology. The large practical emphasis of this module permits students to develop a range of fundamental molecular biology techniques which are not only essential for studying biomolecules within a laboratory research setting, but are also highly desirable for future employability.
Natural Product Chemistry (20 credits)
This module aims to introduce you 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 allows you to develop valuable techniques in purification and analytical methods that can be used in the isolation and identification of natural compounds.
Bioinformatics 1 (20 credits)
Essential to all aspects of biology, bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field where computational methods are applied to better understand biological data. This module aims to give you 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.
Bioinformatics 2 (20 credits)
Building upon the fundamental topics in Bioinformatics 1, this module further develops the programming and computational skills to allow you to design and undertake complex analyses of biological data. Central to this is building an understanding and ability to use various industry standard tools and software platforms. The module therefore develops an integrated understanding of various bioinformatic development and analysis tools and of how to build these into analysis pipelines.
Drug Discovery and Development (20 credits)
Here you will gain an understanding of how pharmaceutical companies operate, from the beginnings of the drug discovery process through to the development phase and clinical studies, to critical regulatory approval and the importance of effective marketing of pharmaceutical products.
Honours Project (20 credits)
This module allows you to undertake a piece of commercially/socially relevant research. As a Biomolecular Science Student, you will be working on a research project usually derived from a problem provided by an industrial collaborator. You will carry out this research project at our Industry Liaison Laboratory at Discovery Park. This module aims to give you experience of independent research, analysis and experience of presenting findings in two styles: a written scientific paper and a presented poster 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 encourages you to develop the necessary knowledge to enable you to make reasoned arguments on current issues in the field of animal pests, parasites and pathogens. It will develop a holistic view of the relationship between pests, parasites and pathogens, their target host species and their environments. It will also cultivate an understanding that human needs and activities can have a profound effect upon the prevalence and evolution of virulence in pests, parasites and pathogens.
Chemistry of the Environment (20 credits)
Here you are introduced to the natural chemical processes underlying aquatic, terrestrial and atmospheric environments as well as to the different practical analytical methods that can be used to monitoring these environments. In addition to becoming familiar with the natural chemical processes in soil, water and air, you will be encouraged to analyse and discuss environmental issues, such as smog, acid rain, global warming, ozone depletion and water pollution.
Plant Pests and Pathogens (20 credits)
Within this module, you will develop an understanding as to how common important plant pests and diseases can affect plant growth and yield, and how you can recognise them in the field. The module also helps develop an ability to analyse and interpret published data through 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 develop critical reflection skills as you review your own competencies and development requirements.
Options are subject to availability and may change.
Current Science Issues (20 credits)
This module aims to develop a wider understanding of how science influences and affects society. You will develop your independent research and analysis skills as you will comment on important science issues.
Genetics of Plant Breeding 2 (20 credits)
The module aims to develop a deeper understanding of concepts in plant genetics/breeding gained from Genetics of Plant Breeding 1 module. In this module, you will learn how linkage maps are used to map QTLs and clone genes of desirable traits. You will develop a good understanding of different methods for breeding cross-pollinated crops. A special emphasis will be placed on hybrids and hybrid seed production. We will explore genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of heterosis and engage students in discussions why molecular basis of heterosis are still elusive. You will also learn about RNAi technology, phenomics and abiotic stress breeding.
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 including the latest cutting-edge treatments. As part of this module you will participate in discussions on the impact cancer has on people’s lives and how patients are cared for including end of life care.