BSc (Hons) Biology

  • Study Abroad Option Available
  • Sandwich Year Option Available
  • International Students Can Apply
  • Work Placement Opportunity
  • Fieldwork

Overview

UCAS Code:C100
Course Length:3 Years Full-Time
Start Dates:September 2017
Department:Department of Biology
Location:Edge Hill University
  • Biology at Edge Hill University ranked in the top two in the UK for teaching and overall satisfaction and top in the North West for personal development in the National Student Survey 2016;
  • Discover Biology’s contribution to modern society from cloning and gene therapy to pollution control and biodiversity conservation;
  • Benefit from dedicated practical laboratories and an optional work placement and carry out detailed fieldwork in the rich diversity of local habitats which will enhance your employability prospects.

Biologists are central to many exciting advances in the world, with Biology at the core of areas such as disease treatment, cloning, feeding a growing population, assessing health risks from foods or the impact of mankind on our environment. Your study will encompass the full range of life that fascinates biologists from molecules through to ecosystems and beyond. You will also develop knowledge of the classic areas of the subject and the many recent developments. In addition, you will gain an appreciation of the issues biological advances present to society and understand the scope and limitations of biological knowledge and techniques. Our degree also combines technical, analytical and communication skills which makes our graduates extremely employable.

Student Profiles

  • Claire Roberts

    BSc (Hons) Biology
    Being able to tailor the degree to my specific scientific interest has definitely been beneficial for my future plans.
  • Danielle Marsden

    BSc (Hons) Biology
    Biology at Edge Hill offered many module options, giving me lots of time to decide on exactly which path I wanted to follow within the subject, while still studying something I loved.
  • Dale Pendleton

    BSc (Hons) Biology
    I’ve also undertaken a work placement that Edge Hill arranged for me which really gave me an insight into life after graduation.
  • Elisha Peers

    BSc (Hons) Biology
    I am enjoying studying here so much and feel it is one of the best decisions I have ever made.
  • Neil Bennett

    BSc (Hons) Biology
    The placement allowed me to hone my field survey skills and gain relevant knowledge in identifying some of the most threatened organisms, and why we need to protect their habitats.
  • David Goodson

    BSc (Hons) Biology
    I'd say that my Edge Hill experience has been life-changing, I never thought that my skills surrounding biology would develop to such a high standard within just three years.
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Department of Biology

Course in Depth

What will I study?

The degree encompasses the full breadth of the subject, spanning all levels of biological organisation from the molecular, cellular and organismal through to the ecology of populations, communities and global perspectives.

You will have the option of following a number of distinct interlocking strands within the subject including evolution and genetics, human biology and disease, biodiversity, conservation and marine biology. Alongside other third year modules, your dissertation will help you develop and apply a range of research and transferable skills in the planning, execution and reporting of an individual research project, supported by a diverse team of researchers.

How will I study?

The programme has a strong practical base. Learning involves lectures, practical work, tutorials and fieldwork. The department has a wide range of practical facilities and we are keen to develop student skills in these areas. These include microscopy, microbiology and DNA technologies. The degree also involves a residential field course in Cyprus plus the option of other UK based field courses.

Our optional second year placement module will provide a professional setting for a five week period in which you can apply the knowledge and skills you have acquired from the course. The module is often used by students to gain experience in a branch of biology in which they are considering a career.

How will I be assessed?

Modules are assessed by a mixture of coursework and examinations tailored to suit the subject area of each module. An extremely wide range of coursework is employed which may include practical portfolios, specimen collections, project reports, field notebooks, website development plus individual and group oral presentations. Examinations include seen papers and open book approaches.

Who will be teaching me?

Our experienced and knowledgeable staff take pride in the quality of their teaching. Their research activity means they keep up-to-date with current developments in their areas of interest and pass this knowledge onto their students.

The Biology department is friendly and approachable and of a size that enables us to know our students personally and be able to respond to their needs.

A Great Study Environment

BSc (Hons) BiologyOur Biosciences building incorporates impressive, modern laboratories, offering exciting and highly relevant practical experience in some of the best equipped facilities in the country. Resources include confocal, fluorescence and scanning electron microscopes, DNA extraction and analysis equipment, and climate controlled insectaries.

A number of the leading nature reserves in the country are in close proximity. You will be taught within a short travelling distance of impressive field sites such as one of the finest saltmarsh and dune systems in Europe, restored mires of international importance, hay meadows and limestone woodlands. Almost adjacent to the University is a farm sympathetically managed for biodiversity and a mixed woodland.

The Department of Biology also has specialist information technology facilities and is home to an active research culture. An extensive network of relationships has been established with relevant environmental organisations and other universities in the UK and overseas, ensuring a rich, diverse and rewarding student experience.

Modules

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Year 1

SCI1106 Variation, Evolution and Heredity (20 credits)

Variation, Evolution and Heredity examines the molecular processes that cause genetic information held in DNA to be expressed in the form of proteins and how this in turn leads to variation in the phenotype. The module also studies how genetic information is passed on to the next generation. This is a fundamental feature of life and central to any understanding of biology. Moreover, molecular genetics concepts are central to a grasp of recent biomedical developments.

SCI1107 Biology in Practice (20 credits)

Biology in Practice looks at the nature of biological enquiry, the ways that biological knowledge develops, and the contribution biology makes to society. Part of this module will be delivered during a field trip to Cyprus (costs included in fees).

SCI1108 Cellular Form and Function (20 credits)

Cellular Form and Function provides an introduction to cellular physiology and biochemistry. Through a range of practical activities you will examine the molecular components that determine the structure, biochemical nature and physiology of different cells and will develop essential skills and confidence in scientific laboratory techniques. The module is designed to help you understand biological phenomena at a variety of levels, from molecular through to whole organism.

SCI1112 Ecology (20 credits)

Ecology introduces concepts from across the full breadth of the subject, such as microbial ecology and the population and community ecology of plants, in addition to animals and aspects of human ecology, with humans as both population and habitat. The module covers the basic subject-specific skills required for ecological study, including plant and animal identification, survey techniques and data handling. Fieldwork activities include studies on both animals and plants which will be used to develop concepts such as energetics, food webs, limiting factors and population dynamics. You will gain an appreciation of the broad application of the subject to environmental, medical and resource issues.

SCI1113 Biodiversity (20 credits)

Biodiversity provides an overview of the key evolutionary processes that have led to the evolution of life and the major forms of biodiversity and examines the ways in which biologists classify the variety of life. The module also explores the diversity of organisms on the planet from a broad range of groups including microbes, invertebrates, amphibians, mammals and birds.

SCI1114 Human Body Systems (20 credits)

Human Body Systems focuses on developing your knowledge of the structure and function of the human body and builds your understanding of the inter-relationship between the systems of the body in the context of human health and disease. There will be a considerable emphasis on laboratory-based activities, including molecular techniques and practical physiological investigations.

Language modules in French, Spanish or Mandarin, delivered at the Edge Hill Language Centre, are available to study as an integral part of this degree. A single Language module can be studied instead of SCI1107 Biology in Practice.

Year 2

SCI2308 Research Methods in Biology (20 credits)

Research Methods in Biology introduces you to essential biological research methods and data analysis. You will examine experimental design and analysis with varied types of data and subsequently design a study of your own.

You will select a total of 100 credits from the following modules:

SCI2312 Field Botany (20 credits)

Field Botany immerses you in a course of plant identification and surveying through field and laboratory work. Such skills are in increasing demand in both the government and private sectors. The module includes visits to some of the best habitats in the North West of England.

SCI2314 Environmental Physiology (20 credits)

Environmental Physiology develops your understanding of the physiological mechanisms in animals and plants which are affected by environmental stress. Practical laboratory studies will help you to understand how the environment impacts on organisms and appreciate how environmental factors limit what organisms can do.

SCI2316 Human Population Ecology (20 credits)

Human Population Ecology explores some of the significant questions of the future that are posed by our population reaching seven billion, introducing the concepts of sustainability and environmental protection. The module investigates the historical patterns of human population growth and takes an ecological perspective on our resource needs and the impact on the environment.

SCI2317 Invertebrate Ecology (20 credits)

Invertebrate Ecology explores the diversity of invertebrates in terrestrial habitats, examining their life cycle and basic physiology alongside their importance to the functioning of a range of ecosystems. Through field and laboratory work you will gain a sound knowledge of taxonomy and the use of a wide range of sampling techniques.

SCI2319 Laboratory Masterclass (20 credits)

Laboratory Masterclass provides extensive experience and underpinning theory in such fundamental tools as an electron microscope, a confocal microscope and DNA technologies to provide a thorough insight into the use and application of such equipment.

SCI2320 Molecular Genetics (20 credits)

Molecular Genetics considers recent developments such as epigenetics and gene regulation. The module also covers clinical applications such as cytogenetics and gene therapy.

SCI2324 Nutrition (20 credits)

Nutrition develops your understanding of the properties of food constituents. The acquisition of food and the anatomy of the digestive system will be investigated. You will gain an appreciation of the effects of nutrient deficiency and excess on the human body, as well as disease and disorders of the digestive process.

SCI2325 Biogeography (20 credits)

Biogeography examines spatial and temporal patterns of living organisms over the Earth’s surface and highlights fundamental processes and factors which determine these patterns such as climate, evolutionary history, continental drift, area, isolation, succession and disturbance. You will explore themes such as biodiversity and the history and development of ecological communities through time. The module will also furnish you with an understanding of human impacts such as the effects of habitat fragmentation and invasive alien species.

SCI2326 Biology of Disease (20 credits)

Biology of Disease examines the classic causes of disease and considers how diseases influence normal physiology. You will investigate diseases caused by external factors, such as invading organisms, or those caused by internal dysfunctions, such as specific gene abnormalities, autoimmune diseases or environmental factors.

SCI2327 Marine Biology (20 credits)

Marine Biology investigates marine communities on shores and in deeper waters (using a research vessel) during a residential field course. In addition to enhancing your field skills, you will have the opportunity to examine and identify animal and plant species found only in marine environments and to understand their patterns of distribution.

SCI2328 Biological Placement (20 credits)

Biological Placement provides you with a professional setting in which you can apply the knowledge and skills acquired in your other modules. The placement is five weeks in duration and provides an ideal opportunity to gain experience in a branch of biology in which you are considering a future career.

SCI2900 Study Abroad Placement (40 credits)

Study Abroad Placement enables you to enhance your employability by spending a period of time studying abroad. The module involves undertaking part of your studies at a partner university in another country, experiencing a different culture and a different education system. It provides an opportunity to improve your language skills, stand out in the professional job market, and open up new opportunities in the competitive international marketplace. You will be asked to describe and reflect upon scientific techniques and investigations undertaken at  the partner institution, where the curriculum content studied will be highly relevant to your degree.

If you studied a Language module in Year 1, you may wish to study a further Language module in Year 2. This would form an integral part of your degree in place of one of the optional 20 credit modules above.

Year 3

SCI3308 Dissertation (40 credits)

Dissertation is widely regarded as the pinnacle of undergraduate academic achievement as it enables you to draw heavily on your subject knowledge and understanding while at the same time putting your skills into practice. You will develop an initial idea of your own into a suitable project, undertake the practical work, summarise and analyse the data appropriately and then place your findings in the wider context of the subject. A project log will record all stages of the project and include an employability portfolio.

You will select four of the following modules:

SCI3014 Applications of Genetics (20 credits)

Applications of Genetics examines the applications of genetics including the areas of conservation, food production, health and medicine. You will evaluate relevant ethical considerations as appropriate. The module will utilise a series of detailed case studies, exploring the relevant primary literature and examining how this has actual or potential practical applications. These examples will cover the broad range of disciplines in which genetic understanding is now being applied. The module covers a number of important fields including medicine (e.g. disease diagnostics), food production (GM crops), conservation, taxonomy and forensics.

SCI3015 Genomics and Bioinformatics (20 credits)

Genomics and Bioinformatics centres on how the combination of sequencing and increased computational power has led to a revolution in the way genetic information is utilised and applied. From a human perspective, the sequencing of entire genomes will allow more precise diagnosis and intimations of risk, with attendant tailored treatments. Beyond humans the complex interplay between genome, epigenetic and life history is starting to be unravelled. This module takes you to the leading edge of the discipline and to the forefront of conservation and medicine.

SCI3017 Nerves, Brain and Behaviour (20 credits)

Nerves, Brain and Behaviour considers how the nervous system develops, operates normally, and fails in the case of neurological or psychiatric diseases. The module is comparative in nature and will highlight successful neural systems and behaviours used by a diverse array of animals, including humans.

SCI3309 Biodiversity and Conservation (20 credits)

Biodiversity and Conservation is a field-based module providing you with an opportunity for a detailed study of habitats and conservation issues at protected sites. A diverse range of management issues across a range of organisms will be explored through fieldwork in varied habitats. This will be placed in the context of ecological theory, conservation legislation and wider pressures on the landscape.

SCI3310 Tropical Ecology (20 credits)

Tropical Ecology examines the unique nature of tropical habitats, including forests, savannas and coral reefs, and explores why tropical habitats are so species rich. Threats to these ecosystems, such as deforestation and exploitation, are examined, with an emphasis placed on the importance of incorporating local cultures into addressing conservation problems.

SCI3311 Ecological Genetics (20 credits)

Ecological Genetics allies fieldwork to molecular genetic methods to understand the factors influencing genetic variation in populations. This includes speciation, gene flow, reduced population size and the impact of historical events such as glaciation.

SCI3312 Environmental Change (20 credits)

Environmental Change provides an overview of the biological and chemical impacts of pollutants released into the environment. The module will concentrate on techniques used to measure biological effects both in the past and present to reveal trends in the impact of extensive pollution, such as acidification, eutrophication and climate change on natural habitats.

SCI3314 Current Issues in Biology (20 credits)

Current Issues in Biology considers the role of biologists in recent and current projects that often involve controversy between science and society, such as the applications of the Human Genome Project, badger culling, genetically modified organisms and stem cell research. Such work shows that biologists do not work in isolation from society and that complex moral and ethical issues are involved. This module explores how topics like these involve complex issues which do not have a simple right or wrong answer. Solutions need to be underpinned by sound, scientific thinking, but must also be aware of the social dimension.

SCI3316 Pathology (20 credits)

Pathology addresses various aspects of disease with a particular focus on the development of abnormal conditions, including the diagnostic cellular, physiological and morphological changes that result from disease processes.

SCI3318 Invertebrate Ecology (20 credits)

Invertebrate Ecology explores the diversity of invertebrates in terrestrial habitats, examining their life cycles and basic physiology, but also their importance to the functioning of a range of ecosystems. Through field and laboratory work, you will gain a sound knowledge of taxonomy, and the use of a wide range of sampling techniques.

SCI3319 Field Botany (20 credits)

Field Botany is a field-based module, providing you with an opportunity for detailed study of a particular group of organisms. The module introduces the full range of plant diversity across a wide range of habitats alongside supporting laboratory work using keys and microscopes. The module also incorporates coverage of the National Vegetation Classification (NVC), the standard method for classifying British vegetation.

SCI3321 Pharmacology (20 credits)

Pharmacology details the development, application and action of drugs on the human system through a combination of practical and theoretical work.

SCI3322 Laboratory Masterclass (20 credits)

Laboratory Masterclass exposes you to the skills required for working in a research laboratory which includes developing working knowledge of the safe use of laboratory equipment. The module also encompasses health and safety, including legal requirements, and good laboratory practice. It will develop your ability to identify research questions in a field of biology in which you have developed an interest and make a preliminary assessment of that research question.

SCI3324 Epidemiology (20 credits)

Epidemiology is the study of factors affecting the health and illness of populations. You will investigate how disease patterns are monitored both nationally and globally, how changes in disease patterns are studied and how public health strategies are formulated. This is an important contemporary field of biology.

Optional modules provide an element of choice within the programme curriculum. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by timetabling requirements.

Disclaimer

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our published course information, however our programmes are subject to ongoing review and development. Changing circumstances may necessitate alteration to, or the cancellation of, courses.

Changes may be necessary to comply with the requirements of accrediting bodies, revisions to subject benchmarks statements, to keep courses updated and contemporary, or as a result of student feedback. We reserve the right to make variations if we consider such action to be necessary or in the best interests of students.

Entry Criteria

Entry Requirements

120 UCAS Tariff points on the new UCAS Tariff, normally to include Biology or a related subject, plus GCSE Mathematics at Grade C or Grade 4 or above (or equivalent).

Example Offers

Some typical examples of how you can achieve 120 UCAS Tariff points are detailed below.

  • A Levels – BBB;
  • BTEC Extended Diploma (or combination of BTEC QCF qualifications) – Distinction, Distinction, Merit (DDM);
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma – successful completion of Diploma to include 45 credits at Level 3, of which 30 credits must be graded Distinction and 15 credits graded Merit.

Please note, the above examples may differ from actual offers made. A combination of A Level and BTEC awards may also be accepted.

As long as you have a minimum of two A Levels (or equivalent), there is no maximum number of qualifications that we will accept UCAS points from. This includes additional qualifications such as the Welsh Baccalaureate and Certificate of Personal Effectiveness (CoPE), AS Levels that haven’t been continued to A Level, and General Studies AS or A Level awards.

For further information on how you can meet the entry requirements, including details of alternative qualifications, please visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/offers.

EU students can get country-specific information about the University’s entry requirements and equivalent national qualifications at www.edgehill.ac.uk/eu.

International students should visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/international for information on the entry criteria for overseas applicants.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Edge Hill University recognises learning gained elsewhere, whether through academic credit and qualifications acquired from other relevant courses of study or through recognition of an individual’s professional and employment experience (also referred to as ‘experiential learning’).

Previous learning that is recognised in this way may be used towards meeting the entry requirements for a programme and/or for exemption from part of a programme. It is your responsibility to make a claim for recognition of prior learning. For guidance, please consult the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning Policy and contact the faculty in which you are interested in studying.

Career Prospects

What are my career prospects?

The knowledge, skills and personal attributes you will gain will enable you to compete successfully for biological and wider graduate employment or to engage with lifelong learning, research and enquiry.

Career paths include areas such as laboratory and field-based scientific enquiry, ecologist, environmental consultancy, management and protection, countryside ranger, postgraduate study or teacher training.

How can I enhance my employability?

It is useful to consider, even before you apply, how you will spend your time while studying and make the most of your university experience.

Optional, additional activities may be available on this degree which could help to prepare you for a stimulating and rewarding career. These include:

  • Sandwich Year – you may have the opportunity to apply to complete a sandwich year placement as part of your programme (usually the third year of a four year degree) and gain highly relevant work experience;
  • Study Abroad – you may have the opportunity to apply to spend an additional year (usually the third year of a four year degree) studying or working abroad;
  • Language Learning – you may be able to select language modules in French, Spanish or Mandarin, delivered at the Edge Hill Language Centre, as an integral part of your degree (for which you will gain academic credits). Alternatively, it may be possible to select the language modules as additional study.

Please note, the availability of these additional activities cannot be guaranteed for all students. Depending on availability and the number of students wanting to participate, there may be a competitive application process for sandwich year placements or study abroad opportunities or you may be required to secure a relevant placement yourself.

Finance

Tuition Fees

If you are a prospective UK or EU student who will be joining this undergraduate degree in academic year 2017/18, we expect tuition fees to increase to £9,250 per annum but this is currently subject to Government approval. You are advised to check this page regularly and once the position has been confirmed we will update this information. Tuition fees for international students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2017/18 are £11,575 per annum.

Financial Support

Subject to eligibility, UK and EU students can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the Government to cover the full cost of tuition fees. UK students may also be eligible to apply for additional funding to help with living costs.

For comprehensive information about the financial support available to eligible UK and EU students joining this programme in academic year 2017/18, together with details of how to apply for funding, please view our Money Matters 2017/18 guide at www.edgehill.ac.uk/undergradfinance2017.

Financial support information for international students can be found at www.edgehill.ac.uk/international/fees.

Scholarships

ScholarshipsEdge Hill University offers a range of scholarships with a competitive application process for prospective full-time undergraduate students. These scholarships aren’t linked to academic success and celebrate determination, talent and achievement beyond your coursework, for instance in creativity, enterprise, ICT, performance, sport or volunteering.

Additional scholarships, which you may qualify to receive, reward outstanding grades and are available to eligible UK and EU students.

To find out more about scholarships, to assess your eligibility, and to meet some of our dedicated scholarship winners, visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/scholarships.

Apply

How to Apply

Apply online through UCAS at www.ucas.com.

Visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/applyucas to find out more about the application process.

Should you accept an offer of a place to study with us and formally enrol as a student, you will be subject to the provisions of the regulations, rules, codes, conditions and policies which apply to our students. These are available at www.edgehill.ac.uk/studentterms.

Visit Us

If you are considering applying to study at Edge Hill University, the best way to gain an insight into student life is to discover our stunning campus for yourself by attending an open day. You can view dates and book your place at www.edgehill.ac.uk/bookanopenday.

Alternatively, if you are unable to attend an open day, you can find out more about all of our events for prospective undergraduate students, including monthly campus tours, at www.edgehill.ac.uk/undergradevents.

Request a Prospectus

If you would like to explore our full range of degrees before you apply, you can order an undergraduate prospectus at www.edgehill.ac.uk/undergradprospectus.

Get in Touch

If you have any questions about this programme or what it’s like to study at Edge Hill University, please contact:

International students should visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/international or email international@edgehill.ac.uk with any queries about overseas study.

  • Book an Open Day
  • Request a Prospectus
  • Enquire Online
  • Live Chat
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Course Changes

This page outlines any material changes to course content, programme structure, assessment methods, entry criteria, and modes of study or delivery, implemented since 1st September 2015.

15th August 2016 - Change of Modules

SCI1112 Ecology (20 credits) replaces SCI1109 Ecology (20 credits), SCI1113 Biodiversity (20 credits) replaces SCI1110 Biodiversity (20 credits) and SCI1114 Human Body Systems (20 credits) replaces SCI111 Human Body Systems (20 credits) as compulsory modules in Year 1.

26th May 2016 - Withdrawal of Modules

SCI3315 Blood Science (20 credits) and SCI3317 Medical Microbiology (20 credits) are no longer available as optional modules in Year 3.

26th May 2016 - New Modules Added

SCI2900 Study Abroad Placement (40 credits) added as an optional module in Year 2. There is also now the option of selecting a Language module in French, Spanish or Mandarin as an integral part of this degree in Year 2, providing a Language module was studied in Year 1.

SCI3014 Applications of Genetics (20 credits) and SCI3015 Genomics and Bioinformatics (20 credits) added as optional modules in Year 3.

28th September 2015 - Change to Module Status

SCI1107 Biology in Practice (20 credits) has changed from compulsory to elective in Year 1 in order to accommodate the option of selecting a Language module in French, Spanish or Mandarin as an integral part of this degree.

28th September 2015 - Withdrawal of Modules

SC2318 Pharmacology (20 credits) and SCI2321 Nerves, Brain and Behaviour (20 credits) are no longer available as optional Year 2 modules and SCI3016 Nutrition (20 credits) is no longer available as an optional Year 3 module.

15th September 2015 - Change to Module Assessment

The module assessment for SCI3308 Dissertation (40 credits) in Year 3 has changed, with the research project log extended to include the creation of an employability portfolio.