BSc (Hons) Human Biology

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


UCAS Code:C190
Course Length:3 Years Full-Time, 6 Years Part-Time
Start Dates:September 2018
Department:Department of Biology
Location:Edge Hill University
  • Understand how the body works and the impact of disease;
  • Complete extensive practical work in modern, well-equipped laboratories, developing skills to enhance your employability;
  • Enhance your awareness of current developments in human biology and exhibit a firm grasp of its underlying principles.

Human Biology is a rapidly developing area of modern society so this rigorous and exciting degree enables you to explore the latest developments alongside the established science. You will gain a solid theoretical grounding, expertise using relevant technology and awareness of recent advances. Appealing to those with a broad scientific understanding and a keen interest in the subject, it introduces you to the essentials of cellular, organ, tissue and systems biology, as well as providing an understanding of pathology and epidemiology. Alongside this you will hone your biological research skills and undertake extensive practical work to prepare you for your future career.

Student Profiles

  • Kaine Caruana

    BA (Hons) Human Biology
    Being on placement has given me a completely different picture to the media’s depiction of an underperforming NHS. I’d recommend anyone taking a placement. It’s a really valuable experience that will give you direction after graduation.
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Department of Biology

Course in Depth

What will I study?

Year 1 provides you with an overview of the components of the body, such as the cardiovascular and endocrine systems, and outlines the basics of cellular genetics and biochemistry. A wider context is provided by studying the evolutionary processes that have led to the existence of Homo sapiens. Experience of scientific research is also introduced.

Year 2 examines the causes of disease and their pharmacological treatment whilst developing a more detailed understanding of molecular processes. This is underpinned with skills in essential biological research methods, data analysis, as well as extensive practical work using equipment such as fluorescence and scanning electron microscopes.

The practical experience and theoretical background in Years 1 and 2 allow you to develop your own areas of investigation in Year 3 supported by a diverse team of researchers. Additional modules covering subjects such as epidemiology and pathology will augment your specialist knowledge.

How will I study?

You will study via a combination of lectures, practical work and tutorials which are generally taught in four hour sessions. The programme has a strong practical base and, in addition to the taught sessions, you will be expected to hone your practical skills using the departmental facilities in your own time. The degree also involves a residential field course in Cyprus plus the option of other UK based field courses.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment is through a mixture of coursework and examinations tailored to suit the knowledge and skills required for each module. A wide range of coursework is employed which may include practical portfolios, project reports, individual and group presentations. Examinations include seen papers and open book assessments.

Who will be teaching me?

You will be taught by research-active experts in human biology who take pride in the quality of their teaching and academic studies. The programme team are up-to-date with current developments in their areas of interest and frequently share this knowledge through directly engaging students in their research. Visiting speakers assist in the delivery of the programme, often providing novel approaches to particular subjects.

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) Human BiologyEdge Hill University has over 25 years’ experience in delivering field biology degrees and has a wealth of experienced tutors, technical staff and field and laboratory equipment to support the study of human biology on this programme.

Our 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 best nature reserves in the country are in close proximity to the campus. 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. The University also has extensive grounds including meadows which serve as a useful area for demonstrating sampling techniques.

The Department of Biology 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.


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Level 4 (Year 1 of Full-Time Programme)

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).

You will select five of the following modules:

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.

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.

SCI1115 Chemistry for Biologists (20 credits)

Chemistry for Biologists introduces the basics of chemistry, involving clear and lucid explanations of chemical concepts with a coherent problem solving approach. Building your understanding of the periodic table, atomic and molecular structures, pH, solutions, chemical reactions, model buildings and practical skills are the core elements of this module. The aim is to provide you with a toolkit of knowledge and practical skills within chemistry and linking to wider concepts within biological and physical sciences. Appropriate mathematical knowledge will be embedded throughout the module.

Language modules, 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 one of the optional modules above.

Level 5 (Year 2 of Full-Time Programme)

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:

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.

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.

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.

SCI2331 Life on the Edge (20 credits)

Life on the Edge provides you with an understanding of how life reacts, adapts, and thrives under different types of environmental extremes. The module includes different extreme biotopes and conditions (e.g. high temperature, salinity, acidity), their inhabitants, and specific adaptations.

SCI2332 Molecular Genetics (20 credits)

Molecular Genetics provides an understanding of several aspects of molecular genetics for both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. The module is essential preparation for studying more advanced topics in the field of genetics and biotechnology. You will investigate the major techniques in molecular genetics including polymerase chain reaction (PCR), quantitative PCR, gene expression, gene cloning and sequencing. Several concepts of bioinformatics will be introduced and you will gain hands-on experience of using several web-based tools and software for handling and analysing molecular data. Furthermore, you will be exposed to the latest technical advances in whole genome sequencing, gene cloning, and genetically modified organisms.

SCI2334 Biochemistry and Metabolism (20 credits)

Biochemistry and Metabolism enhance your understanding of several advanced concepts in the field of life sciences. The module provides a global perspective on biomolecules, the different types of anabolic and catabolic pathways, as well as basic concepts in enzymology and eukaryotic and prokaryotic cellular energetics. In addition to the theoretical aspects of the module, you will develop a range of transferable and subject specific skills, such as basic laboratorial techniques, recording and analysis of experimental data, information retrieval and research, synthesis capabilities, and presenting scientific information to both specialised and non-specialised audiences.

SCI2336 Biology of Disease (20 credits)

Biology of Disease focuses on how a disease is an abnormal condition of an organism that impairs bodily functions. A disease may be caused by external factors, such as invading organisms, or it may be caused by internal dysfunctions, such as autoimmune disorders or environmental factors. This module examines the classic causes of disease and examines how they influence normal physiology.

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.

Level 6 (Year 3 of Full-Time Programme)

SCI3331 Dissertation - Human Biology (40 credits)

Dissertation – Human Biology develops further understanding of the concepts, theories and skills acquired during earlier studies in human biology. A 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.

You will select four of the following modules:

HUG3125 The Wider Determinants of Overweight and Obesity (20 credits)

The Wider Determinants of Overweight and Obesity will enable you to gain an insight into the issues relating to obesity and being overweight, closely associated with modern society and the wider determinants of health and well-being.

HUG3153 Child and Adolescent Mental Health (20 credits)

Child and Adolescent Mental Health explores the key concepts that shape child and adolescent mental health issues and services. This will include an exploration of child and adolescent mental health from a psychological, sociological and policy perspective. A particular focus will be on child and adolescent mental health issues and services with reference to the current political and economic climate.

HUG3155 Applied Health Psychology in Context (20 credits)

Applied Health Psychology in Context focuses on the application of health psychology (theory, research and practice) in a variety of contexts including forensic, occupational, clinical, sport and counselling. The module will highlight key issues concerning structure, policy and practice in the application of health psychology to a range of contexts. You will evaluate the theoretical and methodological contributions made by psychological approaches to health prevention and intervention strategies in applied settings and identify and evaluate the role that health psychologists have in a range of healthcare settings.

HUG3264 Exercise, Diet and Health Promotion (20 credits)

Exercise, Diet and Health Promotion provides you with the opportunity to look into the health and physical activity status of different population groups. The module will enable you to assist individuals across the lifespan in adopting physical activity, exercise and other healthy behaviours that lead to increased fitness, wellness and optimal health alongside a well-balanced diet. You will explore strategies for promoting sport and exercise participation and reflect upon the influence of physical and social environments on engagement. The aim is for you to develop the knowledge and skills to create and deliver promotional programmes that enhance awareness about healthy lifestyle behaviour, increase health-enhancing behaviours, decrease health risk behaviours and create environments to support a healthy lifestyle.

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.

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.

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.

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.

If you studied Language modules in Years 1 and 2, you may wish to study a further Language module in Year 3. This would form an integral part of your degree in place of one of the optional modules above.

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.


Timetables for your first week are normally available at the end of August prior to enrolment in September. You can expect to receive your timetable for the rest of the academic year during your first week. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week. Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities.


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, 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 – 45 credits at Level 3, for example 24 credits at Distinction and 21 credits at Merit. The required total can be attained from various credit combinations.

Please note, the above examples may differ from actual offers made. A combination of A Level and BTEC awards may 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 Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), 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

EU students can get country-specific information about the University’s entry requirements and equivalent national qualifications at

International students should visit 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?

This degree provides an ideal step towards a successful career in human biology as well as progression into many other areas of graduate employment. Alternatively, you may wish to train to teach or progress onto postgraduate study.

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 Years – you may have the opportunity to apply to complete a sandwich year placement, usually as the third year of a four year degree, and gain highly relevant work experience;
  • Erasmus+ and Study Abroad – you may have the opportunity to apply to spend time studying or working abroad, usually as the third year of a four year degree, enabling you to immerse yourself in a different culture;
  • Language Learning – you may be able to select language modules, 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 participate in Language Steps classes 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 studying abroad opportunities or you may be required to secure a relevant placement yourself.


Tuition Fees

If you are a prospective UK or EU student who will be joining this undergraduate degree in academic year 2018/19, tuition fees are still to be announced by the Government. 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 2018/19 are £11,800 per annum.

The University may administer a small inflationary rise in tuition fees, in line with Government policy, in subsequent academic years as you progress through the course.

Financial Support

Financial support arrangements for eligible UK and EU students joining this programme in academic year 2018/19 are still to be announced by the Government. You are advised to check this page regularly and once the position has been confirmed we will update this information.

Financial support information for international students can be found at


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


How to Apply

If you wish to study full-time, apply online through UCAS at Visit to find out more about the application process.

If you wish to study part-time, apply directly to Edge Hill University at

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

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

Alternatively, if you are unable to attend an open day, you can find out more about all of our events for prospective students, including monthly campus tours, at

Request a Prospectus

If you would like to explore our full range of degrees before you apply, you can order an undergraduate prospectus at

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 or email with any queries about overseas study.

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

Course Changes

Expand All 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.

18th September 2017 - Change of Modules

SCI1115 Chemistry for Biologists (20 credits) added as an optional module in Year 1. SCI1107 Biology in Practice (20 credits) changes from optional to compulsory in Year 1. SCI1106 Variation, Evolution and Heredity (20 credits), SCI1108 Cellular Form and Function (20 credits), SCI1112 Ecology (20 credits), SCI1113 Biodiversity (20 credits) and SCI1114 Human Body Systems (20 credits) changed from compulsory to optional in Year 1. These changes take effect from September 2018 entry.

16th November 2016 - Change of Module

SCI3331 Dissertation – Human Biology (40 credits) replaces SCI3308 Dissertation (40 credits) as a compulsory module in Year 3.

18th October 2016 - New Module Added

A Language module is now available as a Year 3 option, providing Language modules were studied in Years 1 and 2.

6th October 2016 - Change of Modules

SCI2332 Molecular Genetics (20 credits) replaces SCI2320 Molecular Genetics (20 credits) and SCI2336 Biology of Disease (20 credits) replaces SCI2326 Biology of Disease (20 credits) as optional modules in Year 2. SCI2335 Biochemistry and Metabolism (20 credits) and SCI2331 Life on the Edge (20 credits) added as optional modules in Year 2. SCI2314 Environmental Physiology (20 credits) and SCI2316 Human Population Ecology (20 credits) removed as optional modules in Year 2.

26th August 2016 - New Modules Added

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

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 Module 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.

HUG3125 The Wider Determinants of Overweight and Obesity (20 credits), HUG3153 Child and Adolescent Mental Health (20 credits), HUG3155 Applied Health Psychology in Context (20 credits), HUG3264 Exercise, Diet and Promotion (20 credits), SCI3014 Applications of Genetics (20 credits) and SCI3015 Genomics and Bioinformatics (20 credits) added as optional modules in Year 3.