Medical Biology BSc(Hons)

2019-20 (also available for 2018-19)

Start date

23 September 2019

Duration

3 years full-time
4 years inc. placement year

Entry requirements

A Level - BBC

BTEC - DMM

See full entry requirements

UCAS Code

C131

Places available (subject to change)

20

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Phone contact: +44 (0)1484 473867

About the course

The search for new ways to diagnose and treat diseases is one of the most challenging and exciting areas of science. On our Medical Biology BSc(Hons) degree course, you’ll have the chance to explore cellular biology and molecular genetics and lay down the foundations for a fulfilling career in medical research, the pharmaceutical industry or other healthcare specialism.

If you want to make your mark on medical research and set yourself up to be part of the teams that could be making dramatic breakthroughs in the coming decades, studying with us could give you just the edge you need to succeed.

In the early stages of the degree, you’ll study alongside our other biological sciences students on certain modules, building up your knowledge to enable you to investigate advanced topics further down the line – topics such as molecular genetics, immunology and cancer.

Through lectures, seminars and specialised lab sessions, you’ll have the opportunity to learn from our expert staff with doctoral-level expertise in their subjects and experience across the biological sciences. In your third year, you’ll get the chance to step out of the classroom and into the real world on an optional placement year working for 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. And as an extra bonus to add to your CV, if you choose to study on this course you'll be able to sign up for student undergraduate Associate Membership of the Biochemical Society and the Physiological Society (UK).

Course scholarships available – up to £3000. More details.

The tutors are really supportive in various aspects of university life, from help with my studies in the first year, to placement and personal support in my third and subsequent years.

Student Profile course quote

Covadonga Fernandez-Valdes, Medical Genetics BSc(Hons)

Course Detail

Core modules:

Molecular and Cellular Biology

The module is designed to give a basic introduction to cellular biology and genetics. You’ll have the opportunity to study the cellular basis of life, comparing the simple prokaryotes with much more complex eukaryotic cells - looking at the structure and function of many of the sub-cellular organelles. You’ll also be introduced to simple Mendelian genetics, together with more complex linkage analysis and its use in identifying genes. You will be assessed by coursework and exam.

Biochemistry 1

This is a fundamental module for all biological sciences courses. Lectures and seminars provide insight into (i) the structure and function of biological macromolecules, including proteins and DNA; (ii) the processes by which the central biochemical pathways make energy, and build new cells from raw materials. Basic concepts in metabolism and metabolic regulation are introduced to show how biochemistry underpins a multitude of processes from athletic performance to human disease. Assessment is by coursework and exam.

Chemical and Physical Principles of Biology

This module covers the basic principles of chemistry that are encountered in our biological sciences degrees and food and nutrition degrees. The module starts with material covered at GSCE and progresses to AS-Level standard. The material covered includes units of measurement, atoms, moles, bonding, pH values, pKa values, organic molecules and spectroscopy. The module aims to help you to develop the necessary skills to be effective biologists and nutritionists. Assessment is by coursework and exam.

Physiology 1: Structure and Function

The aim of this module is to provide an introduction to normal and abnormal human bodily functions. The module introduces basic physiological concepts and the clinical relevance of these will be highlighted using clinical examples. This insight into human physiology is designed to enhance your understanding of related subject areas such as pharmacology . A variety of teaching activities will be used on this module including lectures, tutorials and laboratory classes. The laboratory sessions help you to gain basic laboratory skills in physiological measurement through assessed written practical reports. You’ll also be assessed by a final examination.

The World of Microbes

This module aims to introduce you to the full range of microbial life and the techniques used to study microorganisms. The course 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 is reviewed along with the criteria for the identification of microbes. The associated practical classes are designed to develop your laboratory skills and familiarity with the basic microbiological methods. Assessment is by coursework and exam.

Research Skills

This module enables you to develop the requisite background skills for successful completion of an Honours degree in which understanding of scientific research methods plays an important part. The type of skills that you’ll be encouraged to develop during the year can be divided into two areas, numerical skills and information and communication skills. The numerical skills component begins with some basic mathematical skills such as rearranging equations and working with logarithms and exponential data. You’ll then be introduced to a variety of statistical methods during lectures and tutorials. Assessment is by a series of coursework.

The first year shares modules with our other biological sciences courses and lays the foundation for you to study advanced topics such as molecular genetics in Year 2 and immunology and cancer in the final year.

35% of the study time on this course is spent in lectures, tutorials, laboratory sessions etc.

You will be taught through a series of lectures, tutorials and laboratory work. Assessment will include written exams, multiple choice questions, problem solving exercises, oral presentations and assessment of laboratory skills. The final year research project contributes to your degree classification.

Your module specification/course handbook will provide full details of the assessment criteria applying to your course.

Feedback (usually written) is normally provided on all coursework submissions within three term time weeks – unless the submission was made towards the end of the session in which case feedback would be available on request after the formal publication of results.Feedback on exam performance/final coursework is available on request after the publication of results.

Huddersfield is the UK’s only university where 100% of the permanent teaching staff are fellows of the Higher Education Academy.*

*permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching

Entry requirements

BBCat A Level including a grade B in a relevant Science subject. The endorsement for practical work is an essential part of Science A Level study, and is a requirement for entry to our degree course.

112 UCAS tariff points from a combination of Level 3 qualifications including a grade B in a relevant Science subject at A Level.

DMM in BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Applied Science. Alternatively a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care is acceptable but must be accompanied by another Science A Level at grade C or above.

  • Access to Higher Education Diploma with 45 Level 3 credits at Merit or above to include modules in a relevant science subject.
  • 112 UCAS tariff points from International Baccalaureate qualifications which should include modules in a relevant science subject.

If you do not have the appropriate qualifications for direct entry to this degree you may be able to apply to our Science Extended Degree (BCF0).

Other suitable experience or qualifications will be considered. For further information please see the University's minimum entry requirements.

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.

Further information

The teaching year normally starts in September with breaks at Christmas and Easter, finishing with a main examination/assessment period around May/June. Timetables are normally available one month before registration.

Your course is made up of modules and each module is worth a number of credits. Each year you study modules to the value of 120 credits, adding up to 480 credits in total for a bachelor’s qualification, or 360 credits in total should you choose not to take the supervised work experience year. These credits can come from a combination of core, compulsory and optional modules but please note that optional modules may not run if we do not have enough students interested.

If you achieve 120 credits for the current stage you are at, you may progress to the next stage of your course.

Placements


In the third year of this course, you’ll get the chance to step out of the classroom and into the real world on an optional placement year working for 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 do your placement in the UK or experience a new culture and work abroad for one year. Where could this year take you?

Well, previous students in the Biological Sciences subject area have undertaken placements with the Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre, Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine, Chalmers University (Sweden), The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (Germany), Monash University (Australia) or Sooam Biotech Research Foundation (South Korea).

I feel I've become more confident working in a research lab and with new equipment. I also had the opportunity to present my poster at the European Workshop for Rheumatology Research. This made me more prepared for presentations in my final year.

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Zoe Wigton, Medical Genetics BSc(Hons), placement with University of Leeds. St James Hospital

Teaching excellence

  1. Huddersfield is a TEF gold-rated institution delivering consistently outstanding teaching and learning of the highest quality found in the UK (Teaching Excellence Framework, 2017).
  2. We won the first Global Teaching Excellence Award recognising the University’s commitment to world-class teaching and its success in developing students as independent learners and critical thinkers (HEA, 2017).
  3. Here at Huddersfield, you’ll be taught by some of the best lecturers in the country. The University is number one in England for the proportion of staff with teaching qualifications (HEFCE, 2016).
  4. For the past ten years, we’ve been the UK’s leading university for National Teaching Fellowships too, which rate Britain’s best lecturers. It’s all part of our ongoing drive for teaching excellence, which helps our students to achieve great things too.
  5. We’re unique in the fact that all our permanent teaching staff* have, or are completing, doctorates. This expertise, together with our teaching credentials, means that students here learn from knowledgeable and well-qualified teachers and academics who are at the forefront of their subject area.

*Permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching; research degrees applies to those on contracts of more than half-time.

Your career


We know you’re coming to university to undertake your course, meet new people and broaden your horizons. However, we also help you to focus on life after you have graduated to ensure that your hard work pays off and you achieve your ambition. 

So while you’re here (and even after you graduate) the Careers and Employability Service offer professional help, support and guidance, including industry-supported workshops, careers fairs and one-to-one guidance sessions. Find out more about the Service.

* Percentage of graduates from this subject area at Huddersfield who go on to work and/or further study within six months of graduating (DLHE Survey 2015/16).

* Source: *Destinations of Leavers Survey 2015/16

80% 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

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.

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, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.

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