BSc single honours Human Biology 2019/20

Year of entry

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This exciting area of the sciences is at the core of a rapidly expanding sector. The programme can accommodate a range of career aspirations and gives you the opportunity to participate in specialist training to meet your individual career aspirations.

You will be taught by experts who have been recognised for their high quality teaching, ensuring that you are studying up-to-date and relevant material. You will also enhance your practical skills by undertaking a significant amount of laboratory work as part of the programme.

You will explore areas including:

  • human anatomy and physiology
  • human health and disease
  • nutrition.

Human Biology represents a modern degree programme with strong components of Life Sciences that are underpinned by fundamental biology and integrated with aspects of Sports Science. This exciting area of the sciences is at the core of a rapidly expanding sector, making it an excellent choice for those wishing to pursue a career in scientific research or healthcare.

The programme at CCCU offers students the opportunity to receive interdisciplinary expert research informed and involved teaching in a variety of core topics specifically relevant to human form, function and disease. Students will learn how to apply a theoretical scientific knowledge base to active research areas that address contemporary challenges in society and will enhance their practical skills by undertaking a significant amount of laboratory work as part of the programme. Course content will be taught by staff that are recognised for their delivery of high quality teaching through a Team Award in the University Teaching and Excellence award scheme.

Furthermore, the course will include guest lectures and seminars delivered by professionals in the scientific and healthcare industry. Students will work alongside a number of industrial collaborators at the forefront of scientific research as part of their study through the Life Sciences Industry Liaison Laboratory at Discovery Park. This is an exciting and unique feature of the Human Biology programme that is only available to Life Sciences students at CCCU.

You can study French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish as part of, or alongside, your course.

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At level 4 you will study core subjects including biochemistry, evolution and genetics, human anatomy and physiology, sport and exercise physiology, microbiology and human health. These provide a firm grounding in scientific knowledge and laboratory skills in addition to analytical skills and a knowledge of statistics.

At level 5 you will deepen your knowledge of statistics and experimental analysis, and you will develop a knowledge of molecular biology. You will study nutrition, anatomy and physiology and human diseases and have the option to study animal genetics or sport and exercise training. This flexibility will enable you to focus your learning in order to pursue your own individual interests and career aspirations. In addition, there is an optional work placement module that will enable you to gain valuable work experience within a relevant employment sector.

At level 6 you will demonstrate scientific competence and independence by devising and undertaking a piece of novel research which will be presented as a fully referenced scientific paper and in the form of an oral presentation of a poster. You will also learn about human reproduction and development as well as current science issues relevant to human biology. At this level, there is further flexibility in learning and you are able to specialise by choosing your remaining modules to suit your chosen career path from topics covering bioinformatics, immunology and cancer biology, exercise, sporting extremes and nutrition.

During the course, you will have the opportunity to participate in the ‘Added Value Programme’ enabling further specialist training supplementary to course material in order to meet your specific individual interests and career aspirations. Furthermore, there are a number of opportunities to gain work experience through summer internship programmes either within research laboratories supervised by members of staff at CCCU or in collaboration with industrial partners at the Life Sciences Industry Liaison Laboratory at Discovery Park.

Core modules

Year 1

Biochemistry (20 credits)

The aim of this module is to introduce the basic concepts and chemical foundations of biochemistry and cell biology to develop an understanding of structure and function at the molecular level. This module prepares students for further study in more advanced cell and molecular modules.

Genetics and Evolution (20 credits)

This level 4 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.

Human Anatomy and Introduction to Human Physiology (20 credits)

The Human Anatomy and Introduction to Physiology module aims to provide students with an understanding of how Homo sapiens have evolved into a complex overall form that is made up of several coordinated physiological systems. Both the macro- and micro-anatomy of the key physiological systems that govern all essential processes required to support normal, healthy human function will be covered. This module will highlight how each system is specially adapted for specific roles, forming a basis for further study in Advanced Human Physiology at level 5.

Introduction to Sport and Exercise Physiology (20 credits)

The aim of this module is to introduce students to the physiological basis of sport and exercise, through both theoretical and practical experience. The module provides a foundation in human physiology and metabolism with specific reference to the topic of energy and the body’s responses to sport and exercise.

Microbiology and Human Health (20 credits)

This module aims to develop an understanding of how microorganisms can influence both human health and disease. Students will acquire a knowledge of the classification of microorganisms as well as an overview of the general features of microbial anatomy and physiology. Students will additionally develop laboratory skills in aseptic technique

Science Skills and Introduction to Statistics (20 credits)

This module aims to 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.

Year 2

Advanced Human Physiology (20 credits)

The Advanced Human Physiology module aims to build upon the learning outcomes of the Human Anatomy and Introduction to Physiology module and the Introduction to Exercise Physiology modules covered at level 4. Students will develop a deeper understanding of how the key anatomical and physiological systems are combined and coordinated to ensure normal, healthy human function. Particular emphasis will be placed on how these systems act together in concert to sustain human life. This will form the basis for further study of how dysfunctional anatomical and physiological structures and processes lead to disease, which is covered in the Human Disease module in semester 2.

Data Handling (20 credits)

This module aims to develop the techniques necessary to handle quantitative biological data analysis and introduce the beginnings of bioinformatics. Central to the first aim will be introducing the powerful statistical programming language, R. This “programming” language is critical to current approaches to handling/analysing data, particularly “big data”. The module will also introduce critical biological sequence analysis techniques that form the foundation of the more complex bioinformatics techniques and knowledge (much of which will be introduced in the level 6 Bioinformatics 1 and Bioinformatics 2 modules). The module will also conclude with a brief session introducing R as a potential bioinformatics tool. This module will enable students to become comfortable with the console-based software and to use it for their statistical and data display needs.

Human Disease (20 credits)

This module aims to describe the aetiology and pathobiology of a number of disease processes specifically relevant to Human Biology and public health. Building on a foundation of knowledge achieved through the learning outcomes of Genetics and Evolution, Microbiology and Human Health, Human Anatomy and Introduction to Physiology, Advanced Physiology and Introduction to Exercise Physiology, the Human Disease module will provide a detailed understanding of the processes that underpin the occurrence of disease and how the process of ageing may be relevant. In turn, this will facilitate student understanding of the principles behind disease diagnosis and treatment procedures.

Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (20 credits)

This module will build upon the fundamental knowledge gained during the level 4 Genetics and Evolution and Biochemistry modules to provide an in depth perspective of the theory, practical and commercial applications of molecular biology. The 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 also highly desirable for future employability.

Nutrition for the Exercising Human (20 credits)

The aim of the module is to develop an understanding of nutritional factors which can influence health, fitness, and sport performance. 

Year 3

Current Science Issues in Human Biology (20 credits)

This module aims to develop a student’s wider understanding of how scientific research and developments impact and affect human health and society. Students develop their independent research and analysis skills as they critique important issues relating to Human Biology and public health.

Honours Project in Human Biology (20 credits)

This module allows students to undertake a piece of commercially/socially relevant research in the field of Human Biology. Students are required to identify an area of research directly relevant to their degree pathway and design and undertake appropriate experiments. BSc (Hons) Ecology students are required to undertake field based research evidencing a minimum of 10days field work. The module aims to give students 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. 

Human Reproduction and Development (20 credits)

The aim of the Human Reproduction and Development module is to provide students with an in depth understanding of sexual reproduction, including the hormonal control of gametogenesis, ovulation and pregnancy. Students will learn the processes that occur during the formation of an infant from fertilisation, through gestation and up to delivery at full term.

Likely optional modules

Year 2

Genetics of Animal Breeding (20 credits)

The aim of the module is to provide students 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. The module will help students to develop a further understanding of key genetic principles such as Mendelian inheritance, epistasis and codominance, building on previous knowledge acquired. There will be a particular emphasis on the various applications of modern genetic techniques such as genome wide association studies, cloning and transgenics.

Sport and Exercise Training (20 credits)

The aim of the module is to develop understanding of the physiological factors which influence sport and exercise performance, with specific focus on the methods and techniques used to enhance these factors.

Work Placement in Human Biology (20 credits)

This module aims to provide students with the opportunity to develop key employability skills while working in an academic/commercial research environment or a healthcare institution placement directly relevant to the field of Human Biology.

Year 3

Bioinformatics 1 (20 credits)

The 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.

Immunology and Cancer Biology (20 credits)

This module aims to provide students 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 students will study the latest cutting-edge treatments and the molecular mechanisms used by these treatments.  Finally, students will participate in discussions on the impact cancer has on people’s lives and how patients are cared for including end of life care.

Nutritional Strategies for Sport and Exercise (20 credits)

The module will provide students with the opportunity to explore nutritional strategies associated with enhancing health, exercise and sports performance. The module will investigate established and contemporary strategies based around broad themes of body weight loss and weight gain, altering substrate use during sport and exercise and the nutritional challenges faced by specific clients. There will be focus on pre/during/post exercise nutritional strategies and the class will consider practices that are (and are not) supported by a volume of scientific literature Laboratory work will be undertaken to explore appropriate tools and methods of data collection in this field. 

Physical Activity and Health (20 credits)

This module aims to: i) provide an in-depth understanding of the effects of physical activity upon health; ii) encourage a deeper understanding of the important ‘issues’ in the context of physical activity and health and their foundation in the health-related research literature; iii) allow appropriate physical activity to be prescribed to members of the general and clinical population. Successful completion of the module will equip students with both generic and specific employability skills, as well as providing a firm foundation for future professional development in the health and fitness industry.

Sporting Extremes (20 credits)

The aim of the module is to consider selected factors that influence an individual’s ability to perform strenuous physical activity. Successful completion of the module will equip students with both generic and specific employability skills, as well as providing a firm foundation for future professional development in careers related to sport, health, fitness and medicine.

Graduates can use their training to pursue a range of career opportunities including academic or industrial research, project management, scientific communication, pharmaceutical product design and manufacture, healthcare and sports healthcare.

Alternatively graduates have the option to take on further study through taught or research postgraduate training including MSc by research or MPhil/Ph.D., or a postgraduate diploma in Physician Associate Studies enabling advanced training for a career in clinical healthcare.

In addition to these programmes postgraduate entry into Medicine or the Scientific Training Programme (STP) is available to those who wish to pursue a career in healthcare or sport and exercise medicine.


The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  UK / EU Overseas
Full-time - Foundation Year 0 £6,575 £8,500
Full-time - years 1-3 * £9,250 £11,900
Part-time £4,625 N/A

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

* The tuition fee of £9,250 relates to 2019/20 only. Please read the 2019/20 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2019/20 tuition fees and mid-course year on year fee increases.

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

Initially an emphasis is placed on acquisition of basic knowledge and development of key laboratory skills. The emphasis is on developing independent learners and learning by student experimentation and observation. At level 0 and level 4 two thirds of each module (40 hours) is delivered as practical experimentation either in laboratories, IT labs or in the field. These sessions are supplemented by lectures, and seminars/workshops in which students’ feedback from their structured independent study. For each 20 credit module (200 hours of study) at level 0 and level 4 there are 60 hours of delivery. This allows sufficient laboratory time for students to develop important skills required for continuing studies at level 5 and 6 and compliance with the QAA Benchmark Statement Biomedical Sciences. A further 40 hours is structured independent learning in which students are required to undertake specific self-study tasks posted in the VLE Blackboard. At level 0 and level 4 secondary sources in the form of text books form the main reference points for student study. At level 0 students are encouraged to read a generalist science magazine such as New Scientist, while at level 4 students are encouraged to read review papers from publications such as The Journal of Physiology and a minimum of one primary research paper will be work-shopped in each level 4 module. Assessments at level 4 include lab log books assessing the key scientific skills of experimentation, accurate data recording and data presentation.

By level 5, laboratory experimentation is complemented by analysis of primary source in the form published refereed research. The emphasis moves away from reliance on textbooks to students engaging with refereed journals. It is assumed that students maintain a lab book as a matter of course and assessments focus on in depth data analysis and interpretation with reference to peer-reviewed published sources. Workshopping published papers forms a key part of module delivery at level 5. For each 20 credit module (200 hours of study) at level 5, there are 50 hours of delivery (practical sessions, IT sessions and supplementary lectures) accompanied with 30 hours of structured independent learning.

At level 6 the emphasis is on learning being driven by student led workshops discussing published research papers. For each 20 credit module (200 hours of study) there are 40 hours of delivery supplemented with 20 hours of structured independent learning. At level 6 students also undertake a piece of novel research in the 40 credit Honours Project module which allows students to develop independence, draw on their practical experimental and analytical skills. The assessment requires students to present an argument synthesised from experimental data and published research.

The increasing reliance on primary research as students progress through the programmes is reflected also in the journals with which they interact. In module descriptors subject specific journals are detailed rather than generic journals such as Nature, Science and PNAS. It is expected that students would consult these higher level generalist journals at level 6.

The development of students as independent learners is reflected in the delivery hours across the programmes for each 20 credit module (60 hours at Level 0 and level 4, 50 hours at level 5 and 40 hours at level 6), and also in the structured independent learning (40 hours at level 0 and 4, 30 hours at level 5 and 20 hours at level 6), and the increase in independent study from 100 hours at level 0 and 4 to 120 hours at level 5 and 140 hours at level 6.

Academic input

Experienced academic staff teach across all modules at all levels and act as module leaders. All academic staff are in possession of a Ph.D. and all have completed or are working towards completion of a higher education teaching qualification. Postgraduate students (University Instructors) assist in the delivery of some lectures and seminars (primarily at foundation level) and practical classes (all levels), however each module in which postgraduate students deliver content are ultimately led by academic staff.Practical classes are additionally supported by Laboratory Technicians (responsible to Dr. Pamela Lithgow, Laboratories and Professional Services Manager). Occasionally, guests will be invited to deliver lectures/seminars in specialist subjects of their field. These may include professionals working in scientific research or in healthcare.

Assessments for all existing and new modules will follow the prescribed 4000 word limit for a 20 credit module (8000 word limit for a 40 credit module). All modules across all levels are 20 credits, with the exception of the Honours Project at level 6, which makes up 40 credits. Assessment is by both coursework and examination. Individual modules are assessed either solely by coursework or by a combination of coursework and examination. Examination allows assessment of a student’s understanding of important key concepts and accounts for less than half the assessment of the programme. Coursework assessments permit students to develop key scientific and transferable skills and assignments include: scientific lab/log books, written reports, written scientific papers, discursive essays, PowerPoint presentations and poster presentations. There is a maximum of two assessments per 20 credit module studied. The Honours project (40 credits) is assessed solely by coursework made up of Assessment 1: A written Synopsis of work to be undertaken (10% 800 word equivalent), including protocols, risk assessments and COSHH documentation for the experiments. Assessment 2: A written Experimental Rationale and completed lab book (30% 2400 word equivalent) detailing experiments undertaken, data recorded and analyses performed. Assessment 3: Scientific Paper (40% 3200 word equivalent) written in the format required for submission to a named journal in the field detailing the results of the experiment. Assessment 4: Poster presentation (20% 1600 word equivalent).

CCCU has a number of industrial collaborations with links to global industry relevant to the field of Human Biology through a new and innovative Industry Liaison Laboratory based at Discovery Park, Sandwich. These include: Genea Biomedx, Tetrad, Levicept, Venomtech, Anton Paar and Randox. In addition to this, there are over 100 other established companies based on site.


Full-time study

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Part-time study

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Full-time study

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Fact file

UCAS course code

  • B100 Human Biology
  • B101 Human Biology with Foundation Year

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 3 years full-time

    4 years full-time including a Foundation Year

    6 years part-time


  • September 2019

Entry requirements



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Last edited: 03/07/2019 08:47:00