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Biological Sciences BSc (Hons)

Key Facts

  • UCAS Code:

    C900

  • Level:

    Undergraduate

  • Duration:

    3 years full time
    4 years full time (with Foundation)
    4 years part time

  • Starting:

    September

  • Fees UK:

    Full Time: £9,250
    Part Time: £1,465 per 20 credit module Integrated Foundation Year: £6,780

  • Location:

    Waterside

Get in touch


For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

UK/EU Students enquiries

study@northampton.ac.uk
0300 303 2772

Overview


BSc Biological Sciences enables you to study and investigate the diverse aspects of the biological, environmental and life sciences in order to develop a detailed knowledge and understanding of the interconnection between organisms and the environment.

In the first year you will study a broad programme of compulsory modules, giving you a firm knowledge base in subjects like Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Ecology, Evolution, Microbiology and Anatomy. In the second and third year you have the opportunity, should you wish, to specialise in a variety of topics , choosing from a range of biology, biomedical, ecology and environmental science disciplines, which, allows you to design your degree to meet your future career.

Whatever your ambitions, we’re here to help you to achieve them. We’ll support you to identify the skills you’re learning during your course, find your strengths and secure practical experience so that when it comes to applying for jobs or further study you’ll feel confident in standing out from the crowd. We’ve created the Northampton Employment Promise because we are so confident that if you focus on your studies and complete one of our awards you’ll be highly employable by the time you graduate. Putting you in a great position to secure employment or continue your studies.

Updated 22/09/2021

Highlights


    • Select the topics that most interests you, designing your degree to your individual interests and career aspirations
    • Lots of applied, practical laboratory classes in new £330 million Waterside Campus
    • Opportunities for visits, fieldwork and overseas travel*
    • You have the opportunity to present your final year research dissertation at our annual research conference
    • Guaranteed paid internship with the Northampton Employment Promise.
    • HP laptop and software included with this course for eligible students (see Eligibility criteria and Terms and Conditions)

Take a look around our Waterside campus


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*All trips subject to national and local Covid-19 guidelines and restrictions. See our situation updates page for more on the University’s response to Covid-19

Course Content


  • This course has been designed to contribute towards achieving the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:

    SDG15: Life on Land

    A wide and diverse range biological aspects of science are explored throughout this degree programme. This interdisciplinary degree provides you with the opportunity to develop a broad knowledge base in the first year of study before specialising in topics and disciplines in the second and third year.

    You will have the opportunity to choose modules that most interest you or ones that specifically meet your future career aspirations.  You can choose from varied aspects of biological science including plant and animal biology, genetics, environmental science, microbiology, human biology, ecosystems, pharmacology, ecology, adaptations to life, neuroscience and biochemistry.

    You will apply your knowledge throughout your degree and recognise its relevance to society at national and global levels. You also have the opportunity to learn a wide range of laboratory and field skills as well as learning about current issues and research areas.

    You may also elect to take the Life Science Placement Year module after your second year before returning to complete your degree.  We will help you find this paid placement and support you during this year.

    Our modules are informed by staff who are active researchers in their specialist areas, introducing you to scientific principles to help you develop analytical skills and encourage you to evaluate and recommend solutions to real-world biological problems.

    You will be supported during your final year research project by a supervisor with relevant research expertise and by studying the second year research methods and specialised laboratory and/or fieldwork modules with essential training in the latest techniques. You even have the opportunity to present your own final year research dissertation at our annual research conference.

    We will support you to achieve your career and study ambitions, which is why if you complete our Employability Plus Gold programme or Changemaker Gold certificate alongside your studies and if you haven’t secured full-time employment 12 months after graduating** we will secure a three – six month paid internship for you, or support you into postgraduate study.

    **with a 2:2 degree classification or higher

    Modules

    View proposed modules below (module titles and specification subject to validation):

    Year 1 

    Biochemistry and Cell Biology
    Introduction to Ecology
    Life of Earth
    Genetics and Molecular Biology
    Introduction to Microbiology
    Anatomy and Physiology

    Year 2 

    (Various modules listed below will be designated)

    Bioscience Research Methods
    Biogeography
    Fieldwork Module
    Terrestrial and Freshwater Ecology
    Plants and the Environment
    Adaptations to Life on Land, in Water and Air
    Genes and Genomics
    Health and Disease
    Techniques in Molecular Biology
    Pharmacology
    Processes of Life: Biochemistry

    Optional Placement Year

    Life Sciences at Work

    Year 3

    (Various modules listed below will be designated)

    Human Bioscience Dissertation
    Contemporary Issues in Biology
    Biodiversity and Conversation
    Sustainable Development: Land Use and Planning
    Health, Risk and Environment
    Integrated Medical Genetics
    Immunology and Health
    Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience
    Pathogen Biology
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology
    Gene Regulation

      • Module code: ENV1002
        Status: Compulsory
        This module provides an introduction to the science of ecology. It considers basic ecological concepts and principles and focuses on individuals populations interactions (between species) communities and ecosystems.
      • Module code: ENV1126
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to introduce students to the diversity of life on earth and to the concept of geologic time. Students will explore the major events in earth?s history and how scientific facts are determined such as the age of the earth and the relationship between organisms.
      • Module code: SLS1013
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to give level 4 students an introduction to human biochemistry and cell biology. You will study the molecules and chemical processes that occur in living organisms and explore the structure and function of cells their components and their interactions with the external environment.
      • Module code: SLS1019
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to provide an insight into how invading organisms can cause disease and relate human world health issues to populations. This module allows students to develop a broad understanding of infectious disease across the globe and the biology of the the causative agents as well as examining intrinsic & extrinsic strategies to combat microbial pathogens.
      • Module code: SLS1020
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to give you an introduction to genetics and molecular biology. You will learn about the fundamental mechanisms of DNA replication transcription and translation. You will also explore how the tools of molecular biology including cloning and PCR allow the manipulation and understanding of genes and the proteins they encode.
      • Module code: SLS1035
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to provide an apropriate level of understanding of the anatomy and to introduce the student to the basic principles and concepts of physiology. Enableing an understanding of different body systems and how they are integrated to produce homeostasis.The focus will be on human anatomy & physiology and will study the form and functions of the major body systems.
      • Module code: ENV2103
        Status: Designate
        Biogeography combines ecology and geography to help us understand spatial patterns of biodiversity. `It is the study of distributions of organisms habitats and biomes both past and present and of related patterns of variation over the earth in the numbers and kinds of living things' (Brown & Lomolino 1998).
      • Module code: ENV2124
        Status: Designate
        This module provides opportunities for field-based investigations either within Britain or further afield*. The module allows scope for students to be involved in more in-depth fieldwork actitvities than a standard module would allow. Data analysis and scientific reporting skills are developed as are collaborative working skills as students work in teams to collect data in the field and to report on research. (*NB. There may be an additional charge for overseas fieldwork ? contact module tutor for further info.)
      • Module code: ENV2138
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this ecology-oriented module is to enable students to explore behavioural physiological and molecular mechanisms of adaptation to environmental stress. They will also examine the mechanisms that organisms can utilise to respond to changes occurring on varying timescales and over a wide range of geographic areas.
      • Module code: ENV2139
        Status: Designate
        Students will explore the interactions between plants and their environment and how their functional properties are influenced by external factors. They will be aware of the wide variety of uses of plants for society as well as the threats to plant biodiversity from these uses and climate and environmental changes.
      • Module code: ENV2140
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to explore the fundamentals of a range of ecosystems and introduce a range of habitats. Students will develop an understanding of the distinct characteristics that define these habitats and explores how life has adapted to them and threats to their existance.
      • Module code: SLS2001
        Status: Designate
        The sequencing of the human genome has enhanced our understanding of the genetic basis of disease and led to the emerging fields of both bioinformatics and genomics. This module will extend the students' appreciation of molecular biology learnt in SLS1020 while introducing students to both genomics and bioinformatics. The focus will be on applications of genomics to human disease forensics and sports science.
      • Module code: SLS2010
        Status: Designate
        Students will develop an understanding of the biochemical physiological genetic and immunological mechanisms involved in disease processes. Although the topics covered seem to concentrate on disease rather than health the approach will be to emphasise preventative interventions both at the individual and population level.
      • Module code: SLS2013
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to develop knowledge and understanding of quantitative research methods analysis and research skills within the context of human bioscience. The emphasis will be upon understanding and experiencing the entire research process from conception to presentation and developing the critical skills necessary to undertake an independent research project.
      • Module code: SLS2014
        Status: Designate
        The aim of this module is to enable students to study the techniques used in molecular biology and how they are used in the examination of cellular function and disease. Students will learn about the multiple approaches used to study human disease and human pathogens. Students will also learn how model organisms are exploited in vitro to aid these processes as well as using public sequence databases to retrieve information.
      • Module code: SLS2015
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to provide the students who have studied physiology and biochemistry in year one with a program that will introduce them to the study of pharmacology. This module will focus on basic mechanisms of drug action e.g. how drugs interact with the body and understand how drug action is measured quantitatively.
      • Module code: SLS2016
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to give the student the opportunity to investigate the mechanisms underlying metabolic activities and physiological processes. By achieving the learning outcomes this module aims to develop an understanding of biochemical regulation of the processes of life. Students will work toward securing the basic foundation needed to study all areas of biology preparing them to undertake their independent research projects.
      • Module code: ENV3013
        Status: Designate
        This module explores social economic and environmental issues associated with land use. Ethical consumerism will be linked to contemporary land use. Techniques for the evaluation of landscapes (including GIS) will be introduced and the effectiveness of policies and legislation that aim to facilitate sustainable development will be critically evaluated and discussed.
      • Module code: ENV3021
        Status: Designate
        This module deals with theoretical aspects of measuring biodiversity and understanding patterns of its distribution. It also considers more practical elements in terms of the practice of wildlife conservation including the evaluation and assessment of biodiversity for conservation.
      • Module code: ENV3142
        Status: Compulsory
      • Module code: SLS3001
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to examine the effect of modern lifestyles on human survival. Humanity has a large influence in shaping the environment; whichalthough often beneficial is now also having detrimental effects on human health and longevity. This module investigates and appraises contemporary environmental issues and critically analyses and evaluates the application of biological principles to interpret the evidence.
      • Module code: SLS3002
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to build on the understanding of material learnt in SLS2001. This will enable students to develop a deeper understanding of how genes behave both at the level of the individual and in populations. There will be an emphasis on linkage association and interaction of genes with other genes and the environment and a discussion of how these factors influence complex traits and diseases.
      • Module code: SLS3003
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to build on the knowledge of the immune system that students have acquired from the Health and Disease module at Level 5. Students will develop a deeper understanding of how the immune system functions and an appreciation of the central role that it plays in determining our state of health.
      • Module code: SLS3010
        Status: Designate
        Build on the knowledge of the CNS neurophysiology and pharmacology studied in previous years. To develop an understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying phenomennon such as neural plasticity and synaptic potentiation. To develop an understanding of the CNS in health and disease.
      • Module code: SLS3011
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to actively engage in current research on pathogens and understand the mechanisms used by pathogens to cause disease and impact on human health. The module will also focus on the challenges posed by infections with antimicrobial resistant microorganisms.
      • Module code: SLS3023
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to provide an apropriate level of understanding of the anatomy and to introduce the student to the basic principles and concepts of physiology. Enableing an understanding of different body systems and how they are integrated to produce homeostasis.The focus will be on human anatomy & physiology and will study the form and functions of the major body systems.
      • Module code: SLS3024
        Status: Designate
      • Module code: SLS4005
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to formulate a research question and undertake an independent research project in a chosen topic area of human bioscience.
  • Standard entry requirements apply. A typical offer would be BCC at A Level or DMM at BTEC. In addition, you are expected to have studied a natural science subject (preferably Biology or Human Biology but Chemistry and Physics  are also accepted) in an A Level at grade C, or equivalent qualification such as International Baccalaureate.

    We welcome international applicants and applications from students with a range of non-traditional educational or professional qualifications

    For more information on how to make an application, please visit our How to Apply page.

    If you are an International student and would like information on making an application, please see our How to Apply page.

    Integrated Foundation Year (IFY)Entry Requirements

    Admission to the BSc Honours Human Bioscience 4 year Programme with Foundation Study is normally DEE at A Level or MPP at BTEC with a D in a Natural Science. However, we would also like to hear from you if you have professional or industry experience instead, a range of other qualifications or self-developed subject knowledge that relates to the course you wish to study.

  • 21/22 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 21/22 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • UK – Full Time: £9,250
    • UK – Part Time: £1,465 per 20 credit module
    • UK – Integrated Foundation Year: £6,780 as part of a four year programme (subsequent years will be charged at standard BSc rate)
    • International – Full Time: £13,000
    • International – Integrated Foundation Year: £13,000 as part of a four year programme (subsequent years will be charged at standard BSc rate)
    Additional costs

    There are no additional costs for this course for students beginning their studies in September 2021. Should this change, applicants and students will be contacted by the university with details of the costs.

    2020/21 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 20/21 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • UK and EU – Full Time: £9,250
    • UK and EU – Part Time: £1,450 per 20 credit module
    • UK and EU – Integrated Foundation Year: £6,750 as part of a four year programme (subsequent years will be charged at standard BSc rate)
    • International – Full Time: £12,900
    • International – Integrated Foundation Year: £12,900 as part of a four year programme (subsequent years will be charged at standard BSc rate)

     

    Additional costs

    There are no additional costs for this course for students beginning their studies in September 2020. Should this change, applicants and students will be contacted by the university with details of the costs.

    For information on the scholarships available to you, please see our scholarships page.

  • Accreditation of this programme is pending from the Royal Society of Biology – the leading professional body for the biological sciences in the United Kingdom.

  • The Integrated Foundation Year (IFY) offers a new and exciting route into studying for a degree, attracting ambitious and driven students who are willing to learn and advance.

    If you have non-standard qualifications or do not quite meet the admissions requirements we can offer you a fantastic opportunity to study a four year programme which includes an Integrated Foundation Year. The Integrated Foundation Year will help you develop the theoretical/practical and academic skills you need, in order to successfully progress to the full award.

    Featuring a reduced tuition fee in the first year, our four-year courses will enable you to successfully follow the degree pathway of your choice while gaining essential study skills. The foundation year of your chosen degree will be studied on a full-time basis and is aimed at supporting the transition to higher education. Years two, three and four are then studied as a standard degree programme.

  • You may also elect to take the Life Science Placement Year module after your second year before returning to complete your degree.  This is an optional and paid placement year, working within industry.  Students who complete this typically achieve higher degree outcomes and have improved employability.  The University has a whole team of people to help you find a paid placement and will support you during this year.

  • How will I be taught?

    We aim to make learning an engaging and enjoyable experience from our extensive online resources and face to face teaching. We will introduce you to science principles, help you to develop analytical skills and encourage you to evaluate and recommend solutions to real-life, local to global, biological problems.

    Teaching and learning occurs through a variety of methods, with laboratory practicals, workshops, learning how to use new software, fieldwork, seminars and lectures.

    Modules are typically semesterised, which means that modules are delivered in either the Autumn Term or the Spring term. You will have four hours of contact time per week to enable you to get the most out of practical sessions, workshops and field visits.

    All the module tutors use our virtual learning environment (NILE) to provide additional resources to facilitate your independent learning.

    How many hours per week of teaching/ personal tutoring?

    Each module typically has four hours per week contact time and students typically study three modules per week. In addition, all students are allocated a personal tutor before they start their degree.  They will meet with their personal tutor on a regular basis and are able to book office hours with them for both academic and pastoral support.

    How will I be assessed?

    Assessment methods include writing scientific reports, blogs, articles, giving presentations, and taking time constrained assessment and exams. Many modules are assessed through 100% coursework but some modules have exams that could be worth up to 60% of the final module grade.

    Any specialist facilities/ features?

    Our well-equipped Bioscience laboratories are modern research facilities enabling you to learn and develop your skills in an innovative and supportive environment. In addition, for students interested in more environmental biology the campus is adjacent to the River Nene and has its own nature reserve Current specialist lab facilities include:

    • cell culture facilities (for working with human cell lines – i.e. cancer cells)
    • genetics/genomics facilities for the analysis of DNA and RNA (including PCR and next-generation sequencing technology)
    • specialist Microbiology laboratories
    • fluorescence, bright-field and electron microscopy
    • environmental science research lab

    Special course features include:

    • on-site specialist laboratories for teaching and research.
    • Accreditation of this programme has been submitted to the Royal Society of Biology.
    • opportunities to engage in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) outreach activities.
    • continual networking with potential employers within the Bioscience industries.

Upcoming Open Days

Open Days give you the best experience and insight to courses, people and facilities that interest you. Make your choice easier and come meet us.

Staff


Jing Guo

Lecturer in Nutritional Biochemistry
Faculty of Arts, Science and Technology

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Careers and Employability


This course will open up a range of career opportunities, including:

  • Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Paramedic Science
  • Biomedical science
  • Teaching
  • Pharmaceutical Industry
  • Food industry
  • Environment / Conservation​
  • Information Technology​
  • Sales
  • Public Health​
  • Health Service Admin​
  • Publishing and Media​
  • Think Tank/Policy Advising​
  • Research
  • Further study eg MSc/MPhil/PhD

Facilities


Our well-equipped Bioscience laboratories are modern research facilities enabling you to learn and develop your skills in an innovative and supportive environment.   In addition, for students interested in more environmental biology the campus is adjacent to the River Nene and has its own nature reserve Current specialist lab facilities include:

  • cell culture facilities (for working with human cell lines – i.e. cancer cells)
  • genetics/genomics facilities for the analysis of DNA and RNA (including PCR and next-generation sequencing technology)
  • specialist Microbiology laboratories
  • fluorescence, bright-field and electron microscopy
  • environmental science research lab

Special course features include:

  • on-site specialist laboratories for teaching and research.
  • Accreditation of this programme has been submitted to the Royal Society of Biology.
  • opportunities to engage in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) outreach activities.
  • continual networking with potential employers within the Bioscience industries.