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Biology (Biomedical & Molecular) (Top-up) BSc(Hons)

2024-25 (also available for 2025-26)

Start date

16 September 2024


1 year full-time

Places available (subject to change)


About the course

Reasons to study

  1. As a student you will be eligible for student undergraduate Associate Membership of the Biochemical Society.
  2. Plenty of support available to to help you get ahead in your studies and social life.
  3. You will have the ability to express relevant biological reactions in chemical terms.

This top-up year will build upon core skills and knowledge you will have acquired in your prior study including the ability to understand and manipulate numerical data and carry out field or laboratory investigations of living systems in a responsible, safe and ethical should have knowledge of the structure and function of various types of cells in unicellular and multicellular organisms, the structure and function of cell membranes and cell differentiation.

You will also have the ability to express relevant biological reactions in chemical terms along with being able to explain the chemistry and structure of the major biological macromolecules and how that determines their biological properties. You will also be able to describe cell metabolism, including the main anabolic and catabolic pathways, along with the ability to describe protein structures and functions and their control mechanisms.

Course detail

Applied Molecular Genetics

This module provides an in-depth description of many of the current applications of molecular genetics and will begin with a description of vectors and their uses in recombinant DNA technology. Practical considerations for cloning, PCR and site-directed mutagenesis techniques will then be covered. The application of modern molecular biological techniques for medical research, the production of pharmaceuticals, the generation of transgenic organisms, genome engineering (e.g. CRISPR), methods for silencing expression of genes and protein engineering will be described with illustrations of current research in these areas. This will be followed by a description of techniques to improve plants by genetic manipulation. Tutorials will reinforce salient points in lectures and develop problem solving and investigative skills, (e.g. characterisation of genetically modified organisms and designing strategies for cloning and mutagenising genes). The pitfalls will be discussed and the strategies which have been adopted to circumvent these.

Immunology and Infection

After a brief introduction to the nature of the immune system with an emphasis on clonal selection, antibody structure is studied in fine detail. The incredible ability of the vertebrate immune system to produce a vast range of antibody specificities is discussed and the genetic mechanisms by which this repertoire is generated receives an in depth coverage. Following this, the properties of the various types of T cell are explored with a discussion of the role of the Class I and Class II MHC molecules in recognising virally infected cells. The module progresses to consider what happens when the immune system "goes wrong" and a number of pathological conditions are considered. The subsequent part of the module outlines the molecular and cellular interactions between infectious organisms and the host immune system. Selected infectious organisms and agents, including a range of bacteria, viruses, protozoa and parasitic worms will be studied in detail to illustrate the complexity of the host/pathogen interaction. The way these organisms have evolved to overcome detection by the immune system will be discussed. The life cycles of selected viruses, protozoa and parasitic worms will be covered in detail.

Mechanisms and Pathology of Cancer and other Chronic Diseases

Pathobiology (the biology underlying disease) is a critical element of biomedicine. This module considers the aetiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of some of the major chronic diseases that affect human health with an emphasis on cancer and will also include neurodegenerative diseases, heart disease, diabetes and others. The module will also include chronic conditions associated with the disruption of the normal human immune system including inflammatory conditions, auto-immune diseases and hypersensitivities. The aims of this module are to introduce you to a range of chronic diseases and their global significance. To explain in detail the molecular and cellular mechanisms that are responsible for the development of chronic diseases, and describe the symptoms and progression of chronic diseases including modern methods in diagnosis and screening. This module also discusses the targets and treatments for therapeutic intervention in chronic diseases.

Research Project

The aim of this module is to give you experience in conducting a piece of independent, hypothesis-driven, biological research, or research into biology education. Under the supervision of a member of academic staff, you'll have the opportunity to undertake practical experimentation in the laboratory/field. Supervisors outline the aims of the project and direct you to the most recent literature. Prior to experimentation, you'll be expected to undertake a comprehensive review of the literature related to your project and will be given guidance on appropriate experimental methods. The project is generally fluid in nature, with the direction of the investigation being dictated by results obtained, or problems encountered. Results are presented in a written report and through presentations to student peers and academic staff. Module-specific tutorials will run in conjunction with personal academic tutorials. Tutorials will be given on the use of animals in research, Health and Safety, Intellectual Property, research ethics and project planning and management.

Developing Confidence in Spoken and Written English

You will be provided with the opportunity to develop higher levels of confidence in your production of spoken and written academic English. In addition, you will consolidate and refine your understanding of syntax and grammatical structures. As the module runs alongside your university studies, there is an emphasis on and an incentive to use skills that complement work done in the main area of study and which will be of use in and beyond an academic context. The use of regular AM/AI-proof tasks will ensure you develop an understanding of your own learning and the role you can play in developing your knowledge and skills. The module contributes to the attainment of skills and knowledge relevant to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) normally level B2- to B2.

The course delivers four 20 credit modules of advanced biological sciences materials across areas of genomics, immunology, infectious disease and cancer pathology and chronic disease.In addition, there is a 40 credit project module that will instil practical research skills through a supervised but independent significant piece of work.In addition to the scientific aspect the course enables you to take a module in Professional English and graduate as a well-rounded individual well prepared for a whole range of global scientific, technology and business environments.


Entry requirements

The admissions process will be in conjunction with other courses of the Chemical Sciences suite.

Entry will normally proceed through formal progression agreements with overseas partner institutions.

For entry student should have been performing at a 1st class level (exact qualifying grades to be determined through liaison with departmental admissions tutors, International Office and partner institution) in their prior undergraduate studies where credit equivalent to Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) or Higher National Diploma (HND) (equivalent of 120 F-level and 120 I-level credits).

Other candidates may be considered requesting course transfer from other institutions on a similar basis with decisions made on an individual basis.

Candidates will be at least 18 years of age by 31st December of the year of entry.

If your first language is not English, you will need to meet the minimum requirements of an English Language qualification. The minimum for IELTS is 6.5 overall with no element lower than 6.0, iGCSE English at grade B, or equivalent. Read more about the University’s entry requirements for students outside of the UK on our Where are you from information pages.

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

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

Changes to a course you have applied for

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.

Cancellation of a course you have applied for

Although we always try and run all of the course we offer, 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 to ensure you have a good learning experience. Where this is the case we will notify you as soon as reasonably possible and we will contact you to discuss other suitable courses with us we can transfer your application to. If we notify you that the course you have applied to has been withdrawn or combined, and 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

We will always try to deliver your course and other services as described. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below:

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 a range of options to choose from and 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 the core curriculum of a course or to our services if it is necessary for us to do so and provided such changes are reasonable. A major change in this context is a change that materially changes the services available to you; or 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), classes, 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; to meet the latest requirements of a commissioning or accrediting body; to improve the quality of educational provision; in response to student, examiners’ or other course evaluators’ feedback; and/or to reflect academic or professional changes within subject areas. 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.

Major changes would usually be made with effect from the next academic year, but this may not always be the case. We will notify you as soon as possible should we need to make a major change and will carry out suitable consultation with affected students. 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.

Termination of course

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 and we will notify you as soon as possible about what your options are, which may include transferring to a suitable replacement course for which you are qualified, being provided with individual teaching to complete the award for which you were registered, or claiming an interim award and exiting the University. If you do not wish to take up any of the options that are made available to you, then you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the course without liability to the University for future tuition fees and you will be entitled to a refund of all course fees paid to date. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, along with the Student Protection Plan, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to. You should read these carefully before you enrol. Please note that this information is subject to change and you are advised to check our website regularly for any changes before you enrol at the University. A person who is not party to this agreement shall not have any rights under or in connection with it. Only you and the University shall have any right to enforce or rely on the agreement.

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