Biology (Molecular Biology) BSc Honours | Middlesex University London
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Biology (Molecular Biology) BSc Honours

Learn about the course below
Code
C703
Start
October 2018
Duration
3 years full-time
Attendance
Full-time
Fees
£9,250 (UK/EU) *
£13,000 (INT) *
Course leader
Steve Kett

Our Molecular Biology degree is taught in state-of-the-art laboratories where you will discover the molecular processes that lie at the heart of biology. These processes support pioneering developments in the pharmaceutical and biomedical industries and increase understanding of essential biological processes. This degree provides knowledge and understanding of molecular and cellular biology, modern techniques for their investigation and how to apply these techniques within effective research.

Why study BSc Biology (Molecular Biology) at Middlesex University?

This specialist degree explores the interactions of cells, molecules and their applications within medicine and other biological disciplines. You will discover how biology can support life-saving advancements within the pharmaceutical and biomedical fields as well as furthering understanding of essential biological processes throughout all fields of biology.

You will study within a department that is making ground-breaking developments in cancer prevention, placing you at the forefront of breakthrough research. You will support your own investigations using these research findings and will study biological developments in research (including the structure and function of genes, gene therapy, drug development and medical diagnostics).

BSc Biology (Molecular Biology) is part of a 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.

Course highlights

  • There are placement opportunities as part of this course leading to the potential for an internship in your third year. This may be completed in the summer or on day release. We will support you with sourcing the best placement or internship for you and making your application
  • Our science facilities 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
  • Our Centre for Investigative and Diagnostic Oncology has undertaken ground breaking cancer diagnosis and therapy, giving you access to cutting-edge advancements in the field
  • Academics within the Natural Sciences Department use molecular biology to carry out research in genetics, cancer treatment, drug development, ecology, evolutionary biology, conservation and aquaculture
  • As a student of this course you'll receive a free electronic textbook for every module.

What will you study on the BSc Biology (Molecular Biology)?

You will gain a thorough grounding in the fundamentals of biology from molecular to whole organism biology and develop an understanding of chemical principles for biologists. You will take additional core modules to develop your knowledge of biochemistry (particularly enzyme function and metabolic pathways). You will also take a practical module from Biomedical Sciences: Cellular Sciences, enabling you to review the principles and practices of cellular pathology. You will extend your knowledge of cellular and molecular biology and the molecular basis of disease, and consider gene expression in the normal and diseased states.

What will you gain?

Throughout the course you will develop essential skills in laboratory and field work and build detailed knowledge of research methodologies. All pathways focus on core biological disciplines including plant and animal biology, cell biology, microbial sciences and molecular biology.

Modules

  • 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 your degree 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 the student to obtain understanding of the molecular processes occurring in organisms. In addition, students will gains 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.

    • Cellular Sciences (15 credits) - Compulsory

      The aims of this module are to give you a working knowledge of the principles and practice of cellular pathology and to gain experience in the application of commonly used techniques and the delivery of cellular pathology services. Emphasis is placed on the use of histological equipment, and on routine and special staining techniques for the demonstration of pathological conditions.

  • 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

      The 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.

    • Cellular and Molecular Biology (15 credits) - Compulsory

      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) - Compulsory

      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.

    • 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 your choosing and then present your findings orally and in writing.

    • 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 also be explored.

    • 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.

    • Aspects of Evolution (15 credits) - Optional

      This module aims 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.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Module and programme information is indivative 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 (Molecular Biology) support your career?

Molecular Biology is a broad area so a number of postgraduate disciplines may be possible including, but not exclusively in the fields of Biology, Microbiology, Biotechnology, Ecology, Biomedicine and Environmental Sciences.

You may progress to teaching, both at primary and secondary level following a teaching qualification. There are also employment opportunities in both the sciences and industrial environments, including pharmaceutical and biotechnology or working research assistant.

You could also choose to spend another year at a college/university that offers training programs for specialised laboratory techniques such as proteomics, cell culture, genetic engineering 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.

Dr Martijn Timmermans
Senior Lecturer in Biology

Dr Martijn Timmermans’ research aims to link the evolution and maintenance of biological diversity to changes in genomes. Insects are used as model organisms to gain understanding of genetics underlying phenotypic divergence. Martijn also uses phylogenomic methods to resolve hexapod relationships.

Dr Massimiliano Marvasi
Senior Lecturer in Microbiology

Dr Massimiliano Marvasi‘s research includes food microbiology especially Salmonella-produce molecular interactions and use of nitric oxide donors to disperse biofilms. His work on environmental microbiology examines the ecology of antibiotic resistant bacteria in urban river waters.

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

Biochemistry BSc Honours

Start: October 2018

Duration: 3 years full-time, 4 years with placement, 5-6 years part-time

Code: C79A

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