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Biology (Molecular and Cellular) with Research Placement BSc(Hons)

2024-25 (also available for 2025-26)

Places available in clearing. Find out more.
Places available in clearing. Find out more.

Start date

16 September 2024


4 years inc. placement year

About the course

Reasons to study

  1. This course has advanced accreditation by the Royal Society of Biology, which provides you with industry-wide recognition regarding the quality of your qualification.
  2. Your learning will take place in new £18.2 million facilities such as our modern biological science labs, using scientific instrumentation.
  3. Experience working in an active research environment and undertake your own research project during a Research Placement Year.

Studying biology helps you better understand the structure, function, and taxonomy of living organisms, which include humans, animals, plants, and microorganisms. Specialising in molecular and cellular biology allows you a deeper understanding of how molecules and cells work and can be manipulated, which opens the door to a broad range of careers. A degree in molecular and cellular biology can put you at the forefront of modern scientific breakthroughs, vaccine developments and more.

Why study Biology (Molecular and Cellular) with Research Placement BSc(Hons)

A Biology (Molecular and Cellular) with Research Placement BSc(Hons) degree prepares you for an exciting career or for further study in the field of biology. With advanced accreditation by the Royal Society of Biology, reflecting the compulsory placement year in research and allowing you to apply for associate membership upon graduation, this course covers core topics in molecular and cellular biology which include biochemistry, cell biology and research skills.

You’ll gain relevant real-world experience throughout this course. You’ll be taught by biology academics with doctoral-level expertise in their subject areas, through lectures, seminars, and sessions, which will see you gain hands-on experience using modern, scientific instruments in our specialist biological sciences labs. Following your first two years in the course, you’ll have the opportunity to put your knowledge and skills to the test in a compulsory and supervised Research Placement Year. During this placement year, you’ll:

  • Experience working in an active research environment in a lab within the University or within the industry in the UK or internationally.
  • Explore employment opportunities within organisations related to your studies.
  • Network with potential employers and construct work experience profiles to prepare for a future biology career.

This course will prepare you for a variety of potentially exciting careers in a range of fields in research and industry, as well as for future study. You’ll be able to work in medical research, medical genetics, the NHS, pharmaceuticals and more.

Course detail

Core modules:

Molecular and Cellular Biology

The module considers genetic analyses in a number of systems. Mendelian genetics is considered together with linkage and pedigree analysis and their uses in identifying genes. The genetic systems of microbes are introduced with examples of the strategies employed to make use of these systems. Allele inheritance is considered at the population level, along with the concept of evolution. The Tree of Life is also discussed. Finally, the module contains an introduction to basic cytology, the cellular basis of life is considered and a comparison between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells performed. The concept of 'compartmentalisation' is dealt with, where organelles are dealt with individually. Cell culture techniques are introduced and the problems associated with packaging DNA in a eukaryotic chromosome discussed.

Biochemistry 1

​Biochemistry 1 gives a basic account of the structure and function of biological macromolecules, particularly proteins and is illustrated by reference to such molecules as haemoglobin. A firm grounding in enzyme action is provided and this is supported by a number of practical classes. The relationship between genes and proteins and the Central Dogma of Molecular Biology are emphasised. A foundation in the study of metabolism is provided, directing you towards an understanding of the underlying principles rather than rote learning of metabolic pathways. The subject provides the basis for further studies in subjects such as Cell Structure and Pharmacology. The subject is delivered by formal lectures and in laboratory classes. However your learning is supported by tutorial classes, the provision of web-based material and, where necessary, a limited amount of individual tuition.

Chemical and Physical Principles of Biology

​This module introduces you to the basic principles in chemical and physical science necessary for a sound understanding of modern biology. It is suitable for those students who have not studied any science beyond GCSE level and aims to prepare them for the more chemical topics and also to assist in the understanding of some of the theory behind techniques such as spectrophotometry and electrophoresis. The subject is delivered by formal lectures and in laboratory classes. However, your learning is supported by tutorial classes, the provision of web-based material and, where necessary, a limited amount of individual tuition. An introduction to atomic structure and the periodic table is followed by an account of chemical bonding sufficient to understand descriptions of the structure and properties of biologically important substances. Simple chemical kinetics and thermodynamics are also briefly covered along with an outline of the SI system of units. States of Matter is delivered mainly in a qualitative manner, sufficient to support such topics as respiratory physiology.

Physiology 1: Structure and Function

This module covers all the major organs of the body together with models of normal and abnormal bodily function. Emphasis will be directed to the concept of homeostasis and the integration of dynamic processes involved in the maintenance of health.

The World of Microbes

This module aims to introduce you to the full range of microbial life and the techniques used to study microorganisms and begins by introducing the diversity and countless activities of microbes. Subsequently, the structural and functional components of the cell and the similarities and differences of prokaryotes and eukaryotes are highlighted. Control of microbial growth, nutritional categories of microbes and environmental factors influencing the growth and viability of microbes are also investigated. The module then examines the biology of eukaryotes (fungi, algae and protozoa) by exploring classification, growth, asexual and sexual reproduction and nutritional adaptations. Finally, the classification of microorganisms using the Whittaker five kingdom system and the Woese three domain system is reviewed, as well as criteria for the identification of microbes. The associated practical classes are designed to develop your laboratory skills and familiarity with the basic microbiological methods.

Research Skills

Research in science ranges from finding out what is already known to carrying out investigations to add to our store of knowledge. This module provides the requisite background skills for successful completion of an Honours Degree in Biology. Basic generic skills involving literacy, numeracy and use of IT are applied to summarising, understanding, interpreting and presenting data generated by laboratory investigations. Throughout the module the emphasis is on learning the skills that will be used in various parts of the degree course. Acquisition of learning skills takes precedence over memorising facts. Learning about current topics in science involves finding peer-reviewed scientific literature (using library facilities and database searches), and summarising it with source attribution as a report using correct scientific style. Basic statistics is taught using spreadsheet and statistics programs. You'll also have the opportunity to build up a portfolio of evidence relating to your skills for Personal Development Planning.

Entry requirements

To find out if you’re eligible to start this course in September 2024 and get more information on how to apply, please see our Clearing pages or call our Clearing Helpline on 0333 987 900001484 472777.

If you’re interested in studying this course in September 2025, please view the 2025-26 course information.

Meet our students

Covadonga is studying Medical Genetics BSc(Hons). Watch her film to learn more about the modules she studies, her placement experience and the help she gets from her tutors.


In the third year of this course, you’ll get the chance to step out of the classroom and into the real world on a compulsory placement year in an organisation related to your areas of interest. This is when you’ll really be able to see your knowledge in action, pick up invaluable skills for your future career and boost your employability to help you hit the ground running after graduation.

You could stay to do your placement in the UK or experience a new culture and work abroad for one year. Where could this year take you?

Previous students in the Biological Sciences subject area have undertaken placements with Kew Gardens, Lonza, Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), and University of Huddersfield.

Going on placement meant I learnt new skills and techniques and had my findings reported back to local coroners to identify causes of death.


Isabel Gatenby, Medical Biology BSc(Hons), placement with West Yorkshire Analytical Services, Morley

Your career

Graduates from our Biological Sciences courses can consider a wide range of career options in areas such as medical research, the NHS, molecular sciences, medical genetics, pharmaceuticals, developing scientific patents, medical sales or marketing, medical writing and teaching.

Previous graduates have gone on to work in roles such as Clinical Bioinformatician at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Laboratory Technician at ALS, Microbiology Medical Laboratory Technician at IDEXX Laboratories and Nuclear Medicine Sales Executive at Bartec Technologies.**

*85% of graduates from this subject area were in work or further study 15 months after graduation (HESA Graduate Outcomes 20/21, UK Domiciled).

**LinkedIn and University of Huddersfield

85% % Graduates employed*

Student support

At the University of Huddersfield, you'll find support networks and services to help you get ahead in your studies and social life. Whether you study at undergraduate or postgraduate level, you'll soon discover that you're never far away from our dedicated staff and resources to help you to navigate through your personal student journey. Find out more about all our support services.

Important information

Although we always try and ensure we deliver our courses as described, sometimes we may have to make changes for the following reasons

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by our terms and conditions, Handbook of Regulations and associated policies. It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, along with the Student Protection Plan.

Although we always try and ensure we deliver our courses as described, sometimes we may have to make changes for the following reasons

Changes to a course you have applied for but are not yet enrolled on

If we propose to make a major change to a course that you are holding an offer for, then we will tell you as soon as possible so that you can decide whether to withdraw your application prior to enrolment. We may occasionally have to withdraw a course you have applied for or combine your programme with another programme if we consider this reasonably necessary to ensure a good student experience, for example if there are not enough applicants. Where this is the case we will notify you as soon as reasonably possible and we will discuss with you other suitable courses we can transfer your application to. If you do not wish to transfer to another course with us, you may cancel your application and we will refund you any deposits or fees you have paid to us.

Changes to your course after you enrol as a student

Changes to option modules:

Where your course allows you to choose modules from a range of options, we will review these each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback or demand for certain modules. We will always ensure that you have an equivalent range of options to that advertised for the course. We will let you know in good time the options available for you to choose for the following year.

Major changes:

We will only make major changes to non-optional modules on a course if it is necessary for us to do so and provided such changes are reasonable. A major change is a change that substantially changes the outcomes, or a significant part of your course, such as the nature of the award or a substantial change to module content, teaching days (part time provision), type of delivery or assessment of the core curriculum. For example, it may be necessary to make a major change to reflect changes in the law or the requirements of the University’s regulators or a commissioning or accrediting body. We may also make changes to improve the course in response to student, examiners’ or other course evaluators’ feedback or to ensure you are being taught current best practice. Major changes may also be necessary because of circumstances outside our reasonable control, such as a key member of staff leaving the University or being unable to teach, where they have a particular specialism that can’t be adequately covered by other members of staff; or due to damage or interruption to buildings, facilities or equipment, or pandemics.

Major changes would usually be made with effect from the next academic year, but may happen sooner in an emergency. We will notify you as soon as possible should we need to make a major change and will carry out suitable consultation. If you reasonably believe that the proposed change will cause you detriment or hardship we will, if appropriate, work with you to try to reduce the adverse effect on you or find an appropriate solution. Where an appropriate solution cannot be found and you contact us in writing before the change takes effect you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the University without liability to the University for future tuition fees. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

In exceptional circumstances, we may, for reasons outside of our control, be forced to discontinue or suspend your course. Where this is the case, a formal exit strategy will be followed in accordance with the student protection plan.

The Office for Students (OfS) is the principal regulator for the University.

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