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Natural Sciences BSc(Hons)

2022-23 (also available for 2023-24)

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

Start date

19 September 2022

Duration

3 years full-time
4 years inc. placement year

About the course

Reasons to study

  1. Prepare for your future career and gain valuable real-world skills by undertaking a work placement year.
  2. Your learning will take place in new £18.2 million facilities such as our chemical sciences labs where you'll access instruments used in industry.
  3. Tailor your studies to match your interests or career ambitions, with a wide range of optional modules.

Many of the technical issues of sustainability in energy and material resources, advances in technology and medicine, that are now faced by society are interdisciplinary. Our Natural Sciences BSC(Hons) degree offers the opportunity to study across the traditional discipline divides, preparing you for multidisciplinary workplace and to contribute to a better life for all.

  • The course enables you to study your chosen areas of science at the depth of a single honours degree but also gives you the chance to explore a wide range of options during your studies.
  • You could find yourself delving into medicinal chemistry or getting to grips with chemical engineering. Studying or developing an understanding of environmental science. The range of subjects on offer helps you to tailor your degree to the kind of job you’d like to do after graduation.
  • The flexibility of the course means that as your interests evolve so too can the subjects you study in your degree. Whichever options you choose, you’ll be able to get a grounding in the fundamentals of science while developing your logical reasoning and imaginative problem-solving skills in specialist research skills modules.
  • In our labs you’ll have the opportunity to learn using the kind of instruments used in industry. And with an optional work placement in the UK or abroad in Year 3, you’ll find everything in place to help you gear your study towards boosting your employability.
  • You'll be taught by academics in specialist areas of science all educated to doctoral level in their subjects and involved in forward-thinking research. This ensures we keep our courses challenging, exciting and thought-provoking and helps prepare you well to start your own career in academic, industrial or commercial settings.

Course detail

Core module:

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.

Option modules:

Choose five modules from at least two subject areas, with at least two modules from the same subject area, from a list which may include-

Chemistry:

Inorganic Chemistry 1

This module introduces you to the chemistry of the elements. Starting with the earliest known chemical events in the universe, this module discusses the elements, their origin, structure and properties before looking at the structure and bonding in and reactions of chemical compounds and encompasses a number of areas of (mostly) main group chemistry including, but not limited to, the constituents of the earth's crust and the chemistry of the atmosphere.

Organic Chemistry 1

This module teaches you to recognise a range of functional groups and to name systematically compounds that contain them. Structure and bonding in organic compounds are discussed, as are the concepts of the octet rule, orbital hybridisation, formal charge, bond polarisation and resonance. The importance of molecular geometry is introduced and the basic principles of molecular conformation and of stereochemistry are covered. In preparation for the chemistry to follow, an integrated treatment of the 'language of chemical change' is presented. The ideas of mechanism and reaction intermediates are met, together with the curly arrow symbolism which chemists use to represent the electron movement inherent in chemical reactions. In the second half of the module, the chemistry of the principal functional groups is considered, using the ideas developed earlier. The lecture programme is reinforced by regular tutorials in which problems are worked. Running parallel to the lecture programme is a continuously assessed practical course that introduces you to the basic techniques of preparative organic chemistry.

Physical Chemistry 1

This module covers four areas of physical chemistry: properties of ideal and non-ideal introductory thermodynamics, solution chemistry of acids, bases and salts and reaction kinetics, including catalysis.

Analytical Science 1

This module aims to introduce students from diverse backgrounds to the range of skills required in modern analytical science and illustrate how analytical methodology underpins scientific investigation across the conventional discipline boundaries. The module will build on and develop your prior knowledge of analysis whilst not assuming any particular area of expertise and will also endeavour to improve your numerical, IT and communication skills by illustrating analytical methodology in the context of these key skill areas. This module also aims to develop your ability to obtain and interpret a wide range of spectroscopic data in a systematic and logical fashion. In this way you'll be taught to apply your knowledge to a wide range of new problems and in so doing develop your general problem solving skills. The module will be taught primarily by lectures and tutorials with illustrative practical work to highlight salient points from the lecture material.

Biology:

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 courses. 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.

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.

Molecular and Cellular Biology

This module starts with 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 and the lecture course follows a 'walk through the cell' theme where each organelle is dealt with individually, both in terms of structure and function. Cell culture techniques are introduced, in particular the use of mutants and complementation to analyse biological processes is considered. The problems of packaging DNA in a eukaryotic chromosome is also discussed. The module extends to consider genetic analysis in a number of systems. Simple Mendelian genetics is considered together with more complex linkage analysis and its uses in identifying genes. The special genetic systems of bacteria and fungi are introduced with examples of the strategies employed to make use of these systems.

Chemical Engineering:

Heat Transfer and Fluid Flow

This module introduces you to the fundamental concepts of fluid flow and heat transfer with emphasis on practical design and rating calculations.

Environmental Science:

Dynamic Living Systems

This introductory module in biogeography defines and explains the major geographic patterns of life on Earth and explores how different terrestrial and oceanic ecosystems are shaped by natural processes and human activity. Some of the planetary processes and nutrient cycles introduced in the Global Earth Cycles module are re-considered in this module from the perspectives of contemporary and prospective global patterns of animal, plant, and microbial diversity. Introductory consideration of the interaction between organisms with their environments provides a foundation for the intermediate level module Ecological Adaptation and Conservation Management. The course is primarily lecture-based but a number of tutorials are included to reflect on and provide supplementary information for the lecture course. A short oceanography-themed laboratory series also features on the module. This module can be taken independently of other foundation-level geography modules, but the oceanography-themed laboratory classes provide a complement to the analytical work performed for the module Global Earth Cycles.

Global Earth Cycles

This module introduces you to the natural global processes that have shaped the world we live in. It will explore how the past and current environment has been influenced and the interaction between the biosphere and the geosphere. It will begin with the emergence of life on earth and how the generation of oxygen via photosynthesis transformed the terrestrial environment. The module will then progress to examine the classical nutrient cycles (C, N, S, P, Fe, I) and how human intervention has modified and accelerated them. The role of basic soil processes (CEC, hydraulic conductivity, alkalinity etc) in the retention and release of elements and how these impact plant, animal and human nutrition will also be explored. The module will particularly focus on the impacts of agriculture, industry and global climate change. The module has a strong practical component with a focus on fieldwork, data collection, analysis and reporting. The fieldwork element of this module will be delivered during scheduled class time.

Maths:

Calculus

This module introduces the differential and integral calculus which form the basis of much of the subsequent mathematical topics. The main aims of the module are: To introduce the concept of a derivative To show how to derive derivatives by first principles and by the application of rules such as the product, quotient and chain rules. To introduce integration and its applications. Generalise the notion of a derivative to functions of multiple variables. To introduce first order differential equations and methods for solving them To introduce second order differential equations with constant coefficients.

Linear Algebra

This module introduces fundamental concepts in linear algebra. This module will provide you with a thorough grounding in matrix theory, including properties of matrices (determinant, rank, inverse etc.) and their use in solving systems of linear equations, including existence, ill-conditioning, linear dependence, orthogonality, QR factorisation, Cholesky factorisation, LU factorisation and other solution methods.  You will be introduced to the concepts of eigenvalues and eigenvectors, determining eigen-solutions using both deterministic and numerical methods.

Probability Theory and Statistical Analysis

The module is designed to give you an introduction to the mathematical foundations and the use of statistical methods and methodologies. A variety of real-life problems (involving the analysis of data and interpretation of results) will be used to develop your ability to select and use relevant statistical methods and methodologies. This module gives you a grounding in probability theory and statistical modelling and analysis. It will develop an understanding of probability spaces, conditional probabilities, Bayes theorem, discrete and continuous random variables, statistical distributions, independence, density and mass functions, variance, standard deviation, expectation, statistical sampling and sampling distributions, - chi squared, t-tests. This module will develop both the theory and application of statistical methods through a range of real problems focusing particularly on the analysis of data and interpretation of results.

Entry requirements

To find out if you’re eligible to start this course in September 2022 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 2023, please view the 2023-24 course information.

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 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 LICAMN Light Laboratories, Lonza, Public Health England, University of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire Analytical Service and Yorkshire and Humber Scientific Support. Those in the Chemical Engineering subject area have undertaken placements with JN Bentley Ltd, Siemans Gamesa Renewable Energy and University of Huddersfield. Previous students in the Chemistry subject area have undertaken placements with Amelia Knight Ltd, Brenntag UK Ltd, Chemfix Products Ltd, Christeyns, Lonza Biocides, Pfizer, RSK Stephenson Group, Solvay Solutions UK Ltd, Thornton & Ross and University of Huddersfield. Those in the Forensic Science subject area have undertaken placements with Innovative Physical Organic Solutions (IPOS), West Yorkshire Analytical Services and University of Huddersfield.

Your career


As a graduate of this course, you may consider a career in a wide range of scientific areas, including chemical analysis, chemical manufacturing, healthcare, pharmaceutics, environmental consultancy, oil and gas, food and drink, petrochemicals, research and teaching, the NHS, molecular sciences, medical genetics, pharmaceuticals, developing scientific patents, medical sales or marketing, medical writing and teaching.

Natural Sciences BSc(Hons) is a new course and therefore there are no graduates as yet. However, previous graduates from courses in the subject area of Chemistry at Huddersfield have gone on to roles such as Analyst at ALS Environmental, Analytical Scientist at Sequani, Microbiological Analyst at Microsearch Laboratories Ltd, QC Analyst at Ernest Jackson & Co Ltd and Operations and Technical Support Assistant at National Nuclear Laboratory.**

**LinkedIn

*Whilst this is a new course and therefore no graduate statistics for this specific course are available, 80% of graduates from courses in this subject area were in work or further study 15 months after graduating (HESA Graduate Outcomes 18/19, UK Domiciled).

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, 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.

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

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