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Biological Sciences BSc Honours

Our biological sciences degree gives you the hands-on experience you need to thrive in a wide range of fields.
Code
C100
Start
September 2024
Duration
3 years
Attendance
Full-time
Fees
£9,250 (UK)*
£16,600 (INT)*
Course leader
Dr Martijn Timmermans

Why choose Biological Sciences BSc at Middlesex?

Biological Sciences encompasses and unites concepts, techniques and data from many allied sciences to provide a broader understanding of Life’s processes and interactions. This degree is perfect if you have a strong scientific interest and wish to develop your knowledge and practical skills and pursue a career in life sciences.

You will have access to outstanding laboratory facilities (e.g. molecular and microbiology labs) throughout your studies. And you'll develop your skills working with experienced teaching staff within a research-led teaching environment.

You will also develop your fieldwork skills with residential field trips and expeditions into London.

What you will gain

Throughout your degree, you will gain biological and transferable skills necessary for a career in the Biological Sciences.

You will be equipped to carry out individual research projects. Such research helps you develop into an independent life science professional with bioscience, organisational and project management skills.

You will have the option to specialise your degree, depending on the modules you take in year 2 and 3. You will be able to graduate with either BSc Biological Sciences, BSc Biological Sciences (Molecular biology) or BSc Biological Sciences (Environmental biology). Please see the module section to see which modules link to each route.

What you will learn

This course gives you a solid foundation in the underlying principles of biology and develops your practical skills through laboratory-based experiments and problem-based learning.

You will use industry analysis facilities and tech. You will be led in your learning by research-active academics who will help you develop your final-year research project.

You will also have the opportunity to grow your learning and field experience by:

  • Joining research expeditions in areas of outstanding conservation importance and evolutionary interest – in the UK and overseas
  • Collaborating and contributing to research team activities on volunteering schemes.

Keep informed

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You will have the option to specialise in your degree, depending on the modules you take in year 2 and 3. You will be able to graduate with one of the following :

  • BSc Biological Sciences
  • BSc Biological Sciences (Molecular biology)
  • BSc Biological Sciences (Environmental biology).

The module section below illustrates this in more detail here is an overview of how the course is structured year by year.

Year 1

You will get a grounding in all areas of Biological Science.

Year 2

You will choose your modules to decide which exit award you will take.

Sandwich / placement year

An opportunity for you to work in an industrial, field or laboratory-based setting for a whole year. You will gain important and relevant skills related to your biological sciences degree.

Final year

Choosing your final modules, taking an optional work experience module and undertaking your own final-year research project. This will be supervised by one of our academics with expertise in ecological, molecular, microbiological or bioinformatics research.

Duration:

  • 3 years full-time: October 2024 to June 2027
  • 4 years with placement year: October 2024 to June 2028

Modules

  • Year 1 - Compulsory

    • Cell Biology and Genetics (30 credits)

      This module explores the cellular structure and function and genetics of eukaryotes, bacteria, archaea and viruses. It will provide students with principles of genetics as well as a detailed understanding of the genetic processes that are operating at molecular, organism, population and species levels and that ultimately underlie adaptive change. Students will also be introduced to core theory and experimental techniques used to investigate physiology, growth and death of cells.

    • Form and Function I (15 credits)

      This module focuses on structural organisation and physiological function of organisms. It will introduce biological structures of animals and plants, their relationships and their physiology.

    • Form and Function II (15 credits)

      This module aims to acquaint students with evolutionary biology. Using a comparative framework similarities and differences in anatomy and physiology among higher organisms will be discussed. It will introduce the nature of functional relationships between organisms and their environment and thus provide a framework to support future learning of concepts related to functional biology.

    • Fundamentals of Biochemistry (30 credits)

      This module aims to equip students with practical skills and comprehension of biochemistry that will underpin their ongoing and future studies in Biological Sciences. Emphasis is placed on building a knowledge base from an atomic level through to macromolecules, developing an understanding of how chemical properties determine role and function. This forms a fundamental knowledge base of cellular composition and biochemical processes, with broad applications.

    • Professional skills (15 credits)

      This module aims to develop student’s academic and transferrable skills in key areas applicable to biosciences. This includes mathematics for analysis, presentation and interpretation of data. As well as reading and writing literacy at university standard within a scientific context. Furthermore, employability content to create career awareness and showcase opportunities for personal and professional development, both within and outside the academic institution.

    • Practical skills for Bioscientists (15 credits)

      This module introduces students to fundamental laboratory and field techniques that underpin the study of biological systems. Skills introduced in this module include wet lab and field techniques, safe working practises and the ability to communicate scientific ideas in a variety of formats. The module will enable students to develop these skills within their degree programme and beyond.

  • Year 2 - Compulsory

    • Statistics and Experimental Design (30 credits)

      The module aims to provide students with the skills necessary to plan, implement, analyse and report project-based work with 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 will be explored to meet individual programme requirements.

    • Tree of Life (15 credits)

      This module aims to give students a solid grounding regarding the vast diversity of Eukaryote life and currently recognised Supergroups. Students will gain functional knowledge of how that diversity originated, is geographically distributed and interacts with the biotic and abiotic environment. Processes associated with speciation and extinction are examined, together with evidence regarding current and past biodiversity fluctuations.

    • Ecology and the Environment (15 credits)

      This module aims to introduce students to the complex relationships between living organisms and their physical environment and the different level of ecological organizations.  In the module students will explore the ecological condition and distribution of ecosystems, how climate and other environmental changes impact on ecosystems and drive the biodiversity crisis.

    • Molecular Biology (15 credits)

      This module aims to provide a foundation on the molecular mechanisms underlying the structures and functions of genomes. Furthermore, you will have the opportunity to acquire experience in the main laboratory technologies used for the analysis of DNA to gain essential skills for the application of genetic techniques.

  • Year 2 - Optional

    • Environmental monitoring (15 credits)

      This module aims to introduce students to practical field, and give experience in, assessing a range of variables associated with environmental monitoring. It will provide practice and evaluation of different biological and environmental monitoring/recording methods of both biotic and abiotic parameters. Students will be trained in identification and interpretation environmental variables of fundamental relevance to specific contemporary environmental issues.

    • Gene expression and control (15 credits)

      This module aims to provide an understanding of processes involved in gene regulation and current methods available for investigating gene expression. It also aims to give an apprehension of how gene activity 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.

    • Applied microbiology and epidemiology (15 credits)

      The module aims to explore applied aspects of microbiology including the use of microbial production methods to produce pharmaceuticals and foods.  There is a focus on the role of micro-organisms in infectious disease transmission and emerging and re-emerging diseases in the clinical and environmental setting.  The module will also consider the challenges of outbreak control strategies including through antimicrobial use and vaccinations.

    • Immunology and endocrinology (15 credits)

      This module aims to introduce the concepts and language of immunology that are, or may be, applied clinically. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the different cellular and molecular mechanisms underpinning the development of a range of different immunopathologies.  Regulation of the human endocrine system will also be introduced and explored by developing an understanding of what happens when regulation is lost leading to the onset of common endocrine pathologies. Knowledge of laboratory skills and analysis of data will be developed using immunological and endocrinological techniques.

    • Biochemical methods in cancer research (15 credits)

      This module is to develop practical skills in conducting assays used in cancer research. Students will also be trained to select the appropriate protein markers for studying aberrant cell signalling pathways in human cancers.

  • Year 2 (Molecular Biology route)

    • Statistics and Experimental Design (30 credits) - Compulsory

      The module aims to provide students with the skills necessary to plan, implement, analyse and report project-based work with 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 will be explored to meet individual programme requirements.

    • Tree of Life (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to give students a solid grounding regarding the vast diversity of Eukaryote life and currently recognised Supergroups. Students will gain functional knowledge of how that diversity originated, is geographically distributed and interacts with the biotic and abiotic environment. Processes associated with speciation and extinction are examined, together with evidence regarding current and past biodiversity fluctuations.

    • Ecology and the Environment (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to introduce students to the complex relationships between living organisms and their physical environment and the different level of ecological organizations.  In the module students will explore the ecological condition and distribution of ecosystems, how climate and other environmental changes impact on ecosystems and drive the biodiversity crisis.

    • Molecular Biology (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to provide a foundation on the molecular mechanisms underlying the structures and functions of genomes. Furthermore, you will have the opportunity to acquire experience in the main laboratory technologies used for the analysis of DNA to gain essential skills for the application of genetic techniques.

    • Gene expression and control (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to provide an understanding of processes involved in gene regulation and current methods available for investigating gene expression. It also aims to give an apprehension of how gene activity 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.

    • Applied microbiology and epidemiology (15 credits) - Compulsory

      The module aims to explore applied aspects of microbiology including the use of microbial production methods to produce pharmaceuticals and foods.  There is a focus on the role of micro-organisms in infectious disease transmission and emerging and re-emerging diseases in the clinical and environmental setting.  The module will also consider the challenges of outbreak control strategies including through antimicrobial use and vaccinations.

  • Year 2 (Environmental Biology route)

    • Statistics and Experimental Design (30 credits) - Compulsory

      The module aims to provide students with the skills necessary to plan, implement, analyse and report project-based work with 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 will be explored to meet individual programme requirements.

    • Tree of Life (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to give students a solid grounding regarding the vast diversity of Eukaryote life and currently recognised Supergroups. Students will gain functional knowledge of how that diversity originated, is geographically distributed and interacts with the biotic and abiotic environment. Processes associated with speciation and extinction are examined, together with evidence regarding current and past biodiversity fluctuations.

    • Ecology and the Environment (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to introduce students to the complex relationships between living organisms and their physical environment and the different level of ecological organizations.  In the module students will explore the ecological condition and distribution of ecosystems, how climate and other environmental changes impact on ecosystems and drive the biodiversity crisis.

    • Molecular Biology (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to provide a foundation on the molecular mechanisms underlying the structures and functions of genomes. Furthermore, you will have the opportunity to acquire experience in the main laboratory technologies used for the analysis of DNA to gain essential skills for the application of genetic techniques.

    • Environmental monitoring (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to introduce students to practical field, and give experience in, assessing a range of variables associated with environmental monitoring. It will provide practice and evaluation of different biological and environmental monitoring/recording methods of both biotic and abiotic parameters. Students will be trained in identification and interpretation environmental variables of fundamental relevance to specific contemporary environmental issues.

  • Year 3 - Compulsory

    • Dissertation (30 credits)

      This module fosters academic curiosity; an inquiry-based approach, the employment and application of research skills thus facilitating the development of a higher level of theorising. Students will select a topic of personal interest that they wish to study in-depth and will manage their own learning with the support of an academic supervisor.

  • Year 3 - Optional

    • Informatics (30 credits)

      This module will provide students with computer skills to analyse complex biological datasets. The module will follow a hands-on, problem-based approach to learning. Students will be given an overview of the computational tools that are commonly used, will be taught to program and to use the command line. They will then apply their skills to manipulate and explore publicly available biological datasets and answer authentic questions related to molecular biology.

    • Life in a changing world (30 credits)

      This module aims to develop students’ knowledge of the role of micro- and macroevolutionary events and processes upon Earth’s biota and to broaden students’ ability to apply a wide range of evolutionary concepts to specific cases.

    • Work experience (30 credits)

      This module enables students to formalise and integrate professional experience into their programme. It aims to link academic learning to professional work-based skills. The module provides opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience from the process of applying for work in relevant organisations and enhance their skills of self-expression, communication and self-reliance.

    • Biotechnology (30 credits)

      This module enables you to recognise how traditional and modern biotechnology are applied to produce products or services for a more sustainable future. You will learn how to use the main tools for the manipulation of the genetic information and the production of GMOs. In addition, bioethical and legal issues in the field of biotechnology will be considered.

    • Clinical neurology (30 credits)

      The module will build on earlier learning, enabling you to develop a much deeper understanding of neurology. It also provides a basis for an exploration of neurological disorders at neurogenetic, molecular or cellular level, and an appreciation of diagnostic and therapeutic approaches in neurology.

    • Cellular and Molecular Pathology (30 credits)
    • Sandwich Year in Industry or Research (120 credits)

      The year-long placement is an opportunity for students to work in an industrial, field or laboratory-based setting gaining important and relevant skills related to their biology degree programme. The module aims to enhance a student’s employability skills, embed transferable and graduate skills and enable students to reflect on how the knowledge gained is relevant to their degree programme and the field of biology. Through the work placement students will gain experience of working in a team, facilitate their understanding of the workplace and enhance their skills of self-reliance and communication. The placement experience provides students with the opportunity to enhance their skills of self-reliance, communication, self-expression and co-operation.

  • Year 3 (Molecular Biology route)

    • Dissertation (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module fosters academic curiosity; an inquiry-based approach, the employment and application of research skills thus facilitating the development of a higher level of theorising. Students will select a topic of personal interest that they wish to study in-depth and will manage their own learning with the support of an academic supervisor.

    • Informatics (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will provide students with computer skills to analyse complex biological datasets. The module will follow a hands-on, problem-based approach to learning. Students will be given an overview of the computational tools that are commonly used, will be taught to program and to use the command line. They will then apply their skills to manipulate and explore publicly available biological datasets and answer authentic questions related to molecular biology.

    • Biotechnology (30 credits) - Optional

      This module enables you to recognise how traditional and modern biotechnology are applied to produce products or services for a more sustainable future. You will learn how to use the main tools for the manipulation of the genetic information and the production of GMOs. In addition, bioethical and legal issues in the field of biotechnology will be considered.

  • Year 3 (Environmental Biology)

    • Dissertation (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module fosters academic curiosity; an inquiry-based approach, the employment and application of research skills thus facilitating the development of a higher level of theorising. Students will select a topic of personal interest that they wish to study in-depth and will manage their own learning with the support of an academic supervisor.

    • Informatics (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will provide students with computer skills to analyse complex biological datasets. The module will follow a hands-on, problem-based approach to learning. Students will be given an overview of the computational tools that are commonly used, will be taught to program and to use the command line. They will then apply their skills to manipulate and explore publicly available biological datasets and answer authentic questions related to molecular biology.

    • Conservation, restoration and reconciliation (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module provides an overview of the concepts and methods associated with conservation science in different ecological contexts. The student will explore how different techniques of conservation science could be used to protect and restore nature in an increasingly anthropogenic environment and to lead to a sustainable future.

To find out more about this please download the full Biological Sciences BSc Honours course specification (PDF).

Module and course information is indicative and may be subject to change.

How we'll teach you

Our learning and teaching strategy are built on the idea that students learn best when they are actively engaged with the learning. Modules contain activities in seminars, workshops and laboratory sessions that enable students to participate, discuss and question their learning and develop their practical skills.

Assessment

The assessment strategy is designed to both facilitate and to assess learning. Assessment is authentic and relies on students having knowledge that is used in context and applied to the task. Biology is multidisciplinary so by means of such assessments, we enable students to acquire the skill of making connections and to develop their own holistic synthesis. Assessments are diverse and could include portfolios, presentations, laboratory reports, problem solving reports, case study analysis, essays and oral examinations.

Hatchcroft Building

Our Hatchcroft Building houses specialist bioscience and chemistry labs, microbiology, cell and tissue culture labs, the cancer research lab, the mass spectrometry facility and medical engineering labs, to name just a few. You’ll have access to all the latest equipment you need to develop your skills and launch a career.

Three students working in a lab

Student support

We offer lots of support to help you while you're studying including financial advice, wellbeing, mental health and disability support.

Additional needs

We'll support you if you have additional needs such as sensory impairment or dyslexia. And if you want to find out whether Middlesex is the right place for you before you apply, get in touch with our Disability and Dyslexia team.

Wellness

Our specialist teams will support your mental health. We have free individual counselling sessions, workshops, support groups and useful guides.

Work while you study

Our Middlesex Unitemps branch will help you find work that fits around uni and your other commitments. We have hundreds of student jobs on campus that pay the London Living Wage and above.

Financial Support

You can apply for scholarships and bursaries and our MDX Student Starter Kit to help with up to £1,000 of goods, including a new laptop or iPad.

We have also reduced the costs of studying with free laptop loans, free learning resources and discounts to save money on everyday things. Check out our guide to student life on a budget.

How can Biological Sciences BSc Honours support your career?

Biologial Sciences graduates go on to a diverse range of careers. Over the last couple of years a significant number of graduates went for further academic study (MSc, MRes and PhD) at Middlesex University or other highly ranked national (e.g. Imperial College, UCL, Queen Mary, Oxford, Cambridge) and foreign Universities (e.g. University of Amsterdam; Leiden University). Others found positions at research institutions, charities (e.g. Cancer Research UK), public bodies (e.g. National Rail), government organisations (e.g. DEFRA) and (biotech) companies (e.g. Novogene). These examples show that graduates of the Biological Sciences are well prepared for a career in the broad field of life sciences.

Graduate job roles

Previous graduates have found employment in a wide variety of settings, particularly within research, laboratory-based work and biomedical product design companies. You could be employed in the NHS or a private company. Career opportunities include:

  • Clinical or rehabilitation engineering
  • Bioinstrumentation
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomechanics
  • Medical imaging
  • Orthopaedic implant design
  • Academic Research.

Graduate employers

Students have gone on to work with large companies including Phillips, Siemens and Draeger.

Transferable skills

You'll gain knowledge and skills that are useful in a range of career opportunities in the life sciences or prepare you for further study (biotech, consultancy, education related).

MDXworks

Our Careers and Employability Service, MDXworks will launch you into the world of work from the beginning of your course, with placements, projects and networking opportunities through our 1000+ links with industry and big-name employers in London and globally.

Our dedicated lifetime career support, like our business start-up support programme and funding for entrepreneurs, has put us in the top 20 UK universities for business leaders and entrepreneurs – Business Money 2023 and a top 10 university for producing CEOs (Novuana, 2023).

Global network

You’ll study with students from 122 countries who’ll hopefully become part of your global network. And after you graduate, we'll still support you through our alumni network to help you progress in your chosen career.

Work placements

Placements and internships can greatly improve your future job prospects after you graduate. They usually boost your confidence and academic results by giving you the opportunity to practice what have learned in a professional setting.

On this course, you have the option of a year-long work experience 'sandwich' year between Year 2 and your final year or as a short work experience module in your final year.

Our specialist employability service will help you find placement opportunities.

  1. UK entry
  2. International entry
  3. How to apply

The fees below are for the 2023/24 academic year:

UK students1

Full-time: £9,250

Part-time: £77 per taught credit

International students2

Full-time students: £15,100

Part-time students: £126 per taught credit

Additional costs

The following course-related costs are included in the fees:

  • Free access to the resources, learning materials and software you need to succeed on your course
  • Free laptop loans for up to 24 hours
  • Free printing for academic paperwork
  • Free online training with LinkedIn Learning.
  • Audio-visual equipment available for loan, including digital stills cameras, digital video recorders, digital audio recorders
  • Use of laboratory coats.

The following course-related costs are not included in the fees, and you will need to budget for these:

  • Year 1: compulsory field trip to Devon (included – no additional costs)
  • Year 2: optional field trip to Lundy (10 days – additional cost ~£300)
  • Year 3: optional field trip UK

Scholarships and bursaries

To help make uni affordable, we do everything we can to support you including our:

  • MDX Excellence Scholarship offers grants of up to £2,000 per year for UK students
  • Regional or International Merit Awards which reward International students with up to £2,000 towards course fees
  • Our MDX Student Starter Kit to help with up to £1,000 of goods, including a new laptop or iPad.

Find out more about undergraduate funding and all of our scholarships and bursaries.

Fees disclaimers

1. UK fees: The university reserves the right to increase undergraduate tuition fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any government guidance or decisions. The tuition fees for part-time UK study are subject to annual review and we reserve the right to increase the fees each academic year by no more than the level of inflation.

2. International fees: Tuition fees are subject to annual review and we reserve the right to increase the fees each academic year by no more than the level of inflation.

Any annual increase in tuition fees as provided for above will be notified to students at the earliest opportunity in advance of the academic year to which any applicable inflationary rise may apply.

Dr Martijn Timmermans
Programme Leader

Dr 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.

Dr Andrea Cossu
Senior Lecturer in Microbiology

Dr Andrea Cossu is a Senior Lecturer in Microbiology within the Department of Natural Sciences at Middlesex University. Andrea joined Middlesex University after working as a Scientist at the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC), a government agency which is part of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). He previously worked in USA for several years where he was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (UMass) and then at the University of California, Davis (UCDavis).

Helen Roberts
Associate Professor in Skeletal Cancer Research

Dr Roberts is currently Associate Professor in Skeletal Cancer Research at Middlesex University, and coordinates a research track investigating the regulation of aberrant cellular behaviour and subsequent skeletal tissue morbidity. She has a particular interest in the role of epigenetics and autophagy in the regulation of osteosarcoma metastasis and chemoresistance.

Dr Roberts is Programme Leader for the Faculty of Science and Technology Foundation Programme, and Director of Programmes (Quality Enhancement) for the Department of Natural Sciences. Dr Roberts also contributes to the teaching of epigenetics, physiology, pharmacology, molecular biology and cell biology on undergraduate and postgraduate modules, and supervises a number of undergraduate (BSc) and postgraduate (MSc, MRes and PhD) research projects.


We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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