Biology BSc | Middlesex University London
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Biology BSc

Learn about the course below
October 2018
3 years full-time
£9,250 (UK/EU) *
£13,000 (INT) *
Course leader
Steve Kett

This specialist programme will allow you to study living things at a range of different scales, from genes of individual microorganisms to interactions within whole ecosystems. You will investigate how biology impacts on the world around us, encouraging flexibility and choice so you can tailor your studies towards your scientific interests.

Why study BSc Biology at Middlesex University?

This programme allows you to tailor your module choices from a range of traditional and contemporary biological disciplines so you can explore and develop your scientific interests towards specific career aspirations. There is a placement opportunity as part of this course between the second and third year, or an internship in your third year, to build crucial practical skills. You will learn to think like a scientist through theory classes and practical experimentation in our state-of-the-art labs.

BSc Biology is part of a new suite of biology courses, designed to offer choice and flexibility in the modules you study. There is a common first year that focuses on covering the fundamentals of biology so you have the option of changing pathway at the end of the first year. The other courses in this suite are:

Course highlights

  • We will support you with finding the best placement or internship for you and help with making your application
  • The course emphasises options and flexibility, permitting you to design your own approach to the study of biology
  • Our labs provide the next generation of scientific instrumentation for molecular analysis post the genomic era - in line with the focus in scientific research on protein-hunting rather than gene-hunting
  • You can select modules across a range of traditional and contemporary biological disciplines, including those from other pathways as well as some from environmental science and some biomedical sciences modules
  • As a student of this course you'll receive a free electronic textbook for every module.

What will you study on the BSc Biology degree at Middlesex University?

This programme will develops your critical awareness of biology and the significance of new developments within the field. The introductory modules provide a framework of core knowledge in the disciplines of cell biology, chemistry, genetics, ecology, microbiology, immunology, and the anatomy and physiology of animals and plants.

You will develop practical laboratory skills to support your studies and develop this knowledge further in the biological techniques module. You will be introduced to the cross disciplinary nature of biosciences and its wide range of applications. As the course progresses you will be able to select optional modules aimed at your interests and once you graduate, you will be prepared for work at postgraduate level and/or for employment in relevant fields.

What will you gain?

This programme provides experience of current analytical techniques and practical skills relevant to biology and appropriate for employment. You will develop competence in scientific methods of enquiry and problem solving and you will be to carry out high level research within an ethical framework. All pathways focus on core disciplines of biology including plant and animal biology, cell biology, microbial sciences and molecular biology as well as general skills in laboratory/field work and research methodology.


  • Year 1

    • Anatomy and Physiology of Plants and Animals (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module explores the cell as the basic functional unit of life investigating the structure and function of cell components and introducing the cell cycle and the biology of disease. Concepts of evolution and the principles of inheritance are explained at the molecular level.

    • Chemistry for Biologists (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module provides you with the skills and knowledge of chemistry that underpin studies in biology. Emphasis is placed on building a knowledge base around key academic concepts in chemistry and biochemistry using examples from health and the environment to reinforce ideas. You will acquire a range of laboratory skills, learn how to analyse experimental results in the context of theoretical concepts.

    • Principles of Microbiology (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module is an introduction to the scope of microbiology, the nature and importance of micro-organisms and factors influencing their growth and survival. The module explores the field of microbiology and its applications and importance in biotechnological processes, the environment and in health and disease.

    • Biological Techniques (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module introduces the fundamental laboratory and research techniques that underpin the study of biological sciences. Skills introduced in this module include observations and note taking; data handling, analysis and presentation; safe working practices and the ability to communicate scientific ideas in a variety of formats. The module will enable you to develop these skills within their degree programme and facilitate recognition of these skills in relation to employability.

    • Cell Biology and Genetics (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module explores the cell as the basic functional unit of life investigating the structure and function of cell components and introducing the cell cycle and the biology of disease. Concepts of evolution and the principles of inheritance are explained at the molecular level.

  • Year 2

    • Research Methods and Project Planning (30 credits) - Compulsory

      The module aims to provide you with the skills necessary to plan, implement, analyse and report project-based work, with the focus on preparation for the final year project module. The module also develops core research skills fundamental to a scientific research design, irrespective of discipline. Specific research skills include analytical techniques appropriate to individual programme requirements.

    • Microbial Life (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will explore microbial diversity and extend knowledge of the role of micro-organisms in relationships with other organisms, the environment and in the cause of disease. The module aims to further underpin knowledge of the numerical concepts associated with growth and death.

    • Biology of Complex Organisms (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to acquaint you with the organisation and complexity of Eukaryotic biota on Earth, their fundamental biological processes and interactions with each other and the environment. You will gain a solid grounding regarding Eukaryotic diversity as well as specific, functional knowledge of how they reproduce, respond to stimuli and maintain the requirements of life. Emphasis is laid upon establishing links between each specific topic and between those in other modules so you may develop your own biological synthesis throughout the module.

    • Molecular Biology (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will reinforce and expand on the Year 1 module, Cell Biology and Genetics. The overall aim is for you to obtain understanding of the molecular processes occurring in organisms. In addition, you will gain experience in the principles, practice, quality assurance and application of commonly employed molecular methods and genetic tools and techniques.

    • Analytical Techniques (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module provides you with the knowledge of important “state of the art” analytical methods in biological sciences. There is a focus on developing practical skills in analytical methods and the analysis and interpretation of results. Particular emphasis will be on proteins in the context of clinical diagnostics and environmental assessment.

    • Biochemistry (15 credits) - Compulsory

      In this module, you will develop a more complete appreciation for the structure, function and regulation of key cellular molecules. With a running theme of enzyme function, you will be provided with an overview of molecular and metabolic pathways and a detailed compilation of the mechanisms by which they are regulated as well as disorders affecting these. The module will also consider biochemical pathway diversity in prokaryotes and the impact on habitat and importance.

    • Microbial Biotechnology (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module provides an introduction to the principles of fermentation technology and examines the ways in which micro-organisms are commercially exploited in the food industry.

    • Biodiversity (15 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to introduce the concept of biodiversity, its origins, measures, uses and management, as well as its Phanerozoic history. Concepts of climate-biota interaction undergo investigation and this evidence is examined to investigate current trends and their likely effects on global biodiversity.

    • Ecology and Field Techniques (15 credits) - Optional

      This module introduces the biological and environmental factors influencing structure and ecological interactions within a variety of ecosystems. UK Ecosystems and communities are particularly highlighted to illustrate concepts covered. Emphasis is placed on the "hands-on" approach. You will be required to participate in sampling different habitats, to analyse composition of sampled communities and to take responsibility for drawing conclusions from the results of your analyses.

  • Year 3

    • Dissertation (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will build on the skills you have acquired when undertaking previous modules and from the knowledge and skills gained throughout the programme. Further development of research skills, analysis, critical thinking and scientific literary style will be promoted in completing a dissertation.

    • Gene Technology (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module considers current approaches to genetic manipulation and the widening fields of their applications. Ethical issues and regulations of the field of gene technology will be explored.

    • Current Topics in Biosciences (15 credits) - Optional

      The module gives you the opportunity to develop advanced knowledge of a current topic within a biological sciences subject area of interest to you. You will be guided towards independent research of an appropriate topic of you choosing and then present your findings orally and in writing.

    • Aspects of Evolution (15 credits) - Optional

      The aim of this module is to provide you with knowledge of function and interaction of evolutionary processes upon Earth’s biota. Effects of both natural and anthropogenic mechanisms/processes upon the evolution of extant and palaeobiota are examined within the context of specific case studies investigating events throughout the whole Phanerozoic.

    • Sustainable Biotechnology (15 credits) - Optional

      The module enables you to recognise the current and future impact of sustainable biotechnology. The module will explore the role of biotechnology in plant and animal biotechnology, in waste remediation, clean and dirty water management, and the production of renewable energy sources. The importance of these processes for society and health will be explored.

    • Cellular and Molecular Biology (15 credits) - Optional

      The module explores genetic and environmental factors that lead to changes in cells and cell processes with an emphasis on cellular and molecular responses in cancer. It reviews the current and future potential for molecular biology in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease including the associated ethical issues.

    • Gene Expression and Control (15 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to provide an understanding of processes involved in regulation of gene expression and current laboratory methods available for investigation. It also aims to provide an understanding of how gene expression may be modulated according to changes in the cellular environment, how environmental conditions can trigger changes in these processes and how aberrations in gene expression can lead to disease.

    • Biology Work Experience (30 credits) - Optional

      This module enables you to gain credits for work experience related to your programme. It aims to link academic learning to a placement organization. The experience provides opportunities for you to work in a relevant organisation and enhance your skills of self-expression, communication, co-operation and self-reliance.

    • Conservation in a Changing World (15 credits) - Optional

      This module provides an overview of the concepts and methods associated with conservation within an increasingly anthropogenic environment. It addresses arguments for conservation as well as problems associated with wildlife conservation.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Module and programme information is indicative and may be subject to change.

  1. Overview
  2. Teaching and learning
  3. Assessment and feedback
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  1. UK & EU
  2. International

How can the BSc Biology support your career?

Biology is a broad area with a wide range of career options available. You may choose to study a postgraduate degrees including, but not exclusively in the fields of Biology, Microbiology, Biotechnology, Ecology, Biomedicine and Environmental Sciences.

You could progress into teaching, both at primary and secondary level following a teaching qualification. The sciences and industrial environments offer employment opportunities as do areas such as fisheries, agriculture, forestry and aquaculture.

You might also wish to spend another year at a college/university that offers training programs for specialised techniques such as proteomics, biological computing, ecological survey or DNA sequencing and synthesis.

Natural Sciences Academic Society

The Natural Sciences Academic Society is the Middlesex University Student Union society that aims to Increase awareness of biosciences and their applications in jobs, research and innovation. Members and officers organise and participate in a variety of activities and events to showcase biological sciences and to illustrate that they offer more than just being enslaved to a laboratory. They aim to help students become the next generation of leading scientists by offering a spectrum of opportunities to bring out personal qualities and passions necessary for good science.

Some of the main features of our laboratories are:

  • Mass spectrometry and electron microscope suite - housing all new Shimadzu Krytos AXIMA CFR MALDI-TOF MS; LC-MS 2010A and GC-MS QP5050A instruments and a scanning electron microscope
  • Biomedical Science laboratory – A fifty-student capacity facility for hands-on laboratory skills teaching
  • Molecular biology research laboratory housing real-time PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction -multiplication of a small part of a gene), and gene sequencing, as well as 2D gel electrophoresis and gel visualisation and analysis equipment
  • Tissue culture research laboratory – three class II biological safety cabinets, video microscopy and full height roller bottle and standard CO2 incubators
  • Histology research lab, housing cryostats, standard microtomes and Fluorescence microscopy imaging equipment
  • General biochemistry research laboratory – housing immunoassay, Chromatography (separation techniques -separating mixtures and molecules), CZE, HPLC, FPLC, LC and general separation equipment.

Steve Kett
Course leader

Steve Kett is the course leader for BSc Biology and a senior lecturer at Middlesex University. Steve graduated with a PhD frm the Royal Holloway College, University of London in 1991. His thesis concentrated primarily on aspects of the competitive ecology of roach, Rutilus rutilus (Linnaeus, 1758), and rudd, Scardinius erythrophthalmus (Linnaeus, 1758), in a gravel-pit lake.

Since then, Steve has been a lecturer at Middlesex University and his areas of academic interest include evolutionary biology, ecology and biodiversity. He lectures in a number of subjects including global biodiversity and climate change, biotechnology, anatomy, physiology and pathology and applied environmental science amongst many others.

Dr Martijn TImmermans

Dr Martijn Timmermans’ research aims to link the evolution and maintenance of biological diversity to changes in genomes. He uses insects as model organisms to gain understanding of the genetics underlying phenotypic divergence. In addition, he uses phylogenomic methods to resolve hexapod relationships.

Dr Huw Jones

Dr Huw Jones has a wide range of environmental chemistry and statistics research interests including application of field biomonitoring techniques and impacts of contaminants (e.g. metals/metalloids, organic compounds and plastics) in aquatic environments.

Other courses

Biology (Environmental Biology) BSc Honours

Start: October 2018

Duration: 3 years full-time

Code: C150

Biology (Biotechnology) BSc Honours

Start: October 2018

Duration: 3 years full-time

Code: J700

Biology (Molecular Biology) BSc Honours

Start: October 2018

Duration: 3 years full-time

Code: C703

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