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Biology BSc

Our biology degree gives you the hands-on experience you need to thrive in a wide range of fields.
BSc: C100
October 2023
BSc: 3 years full-time, 4 years with sandwich year, 5 years part-time
£9,250 (UK) *
£15,100 (EU / INT) *
Course leader
Dr Martijn Timmermans

We are no longer accepting applications for this course. A new programme will be available for registrations in May. Have a look at our Natural Sciences courses for alternative options.

Why study BSc Biology at Middlesex University?

Biology encompasses and unites concepts, techniques and data from many allied sciences to provide a broader understanding of Life’s processes and interactions. The programme at Middlesex University is unique in combining a range of modules that cover a broad spectrum of biology but also integrates an emphasis on skills and experience acquisition that provides you with a valuable and marketable skill set. It is a programme for self-motivated students with a strong scientific interest who wish to develop their knowledge and practical skills in biology.

Course highlights

  • Access to a wide range up-to-date research and analysis facilities
  • Opportunities to join research expeditions in areas of outstanding conservation importance and evolutionary interest
  • Develop your own final year research project with research-active academics as well as other opportunities to contribute to research team activities via volunteering schemes where available
  • Students acquire an increasing personal library of free electronic textbooks as their programme proceeds
  • Field trips in the UK and overseas


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What will you study on BSc Biology?

This programme builds upon a first year core of cell biology, microbiology, genetics, biochemistry, evolutionary biology, and biological techniques. This allows you to focus your studies upon your own interests in your second and third years. You will be able to select from modules in a variety of disciplines related to themes in molecular biology, bioinformatics, ecology and biodiversity, for example.

What will you gain?

Throughout your degree you will gain biological and transferable skills necessary for a scientific career. In your final year, you will be equipped to carry out your individual research project, supervised by one of our academics with expertise in ecological, molecular, microbiological microbiological or bioinformatics research. Such research will develop your personal flexibility and creativity whilst honing organisational and project management skills. Projects can result in your contribution to published scientific papers.


  • Year 1 - Compulsory

    • Biological Techniques (30 credits)

      This module introduces you to the fundamental laboratory and field techniques that underpin the study of Biology. Skills introduced in this module include data handling, analysis and presentation; safe working practises and the ability to communicate scientific ideas in a variety of formats. The module will enable you to develop these skills and relate them to your future career.

    • Biological Systems and Processes (30 credits)

      This module aims to acquaint you with evolutionary biology. It mainly focuses on structural and physiological function of organisms. 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.

    • Genetics (15 credits)

      This module teaches key concepts in prokaryote, eukaryote and virus genetics. It will provide you with a detailed understanding of the genetic processes that are operating at molecular, organism, population and species levels, processes that ultimately underlie adaptive change.

    • Fundamentals of Biochemistry (30 credits)

      This module aims to equip you with the skills and comprehension in biochemistry that will underpin your future studies in Biology. You will build your knowledge around key academic concepts in molecular composition of cells and nutrients for cells. These concepts will be introduced from an atomic level and developed to explain fundamental biochemical cellular processes. Attaining an understanding of how chemical properties determine the function and roles of biomolecules is essential in supporting any Biological sciences discipline.

    • Cell Biology (15 credits)

      This module explores the structure and physiology of eukaryote, prokaryote, and archael cells, function and methods of replication of these cells as well as acellular units (viruses). You will also be introduced to core theory and experimental techniques used to investigate physiology, growth and death of cells.

  • Year 2 - Compulsory

    • Research Methods and Project Planning (30 credits)

      The module aims to provide you 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.

  • Year 2 - Optional

    • 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.

    • Environmental Monitoring (15 credits)

      This module aims to introduce you to the practice field and give them experience in, assessing a range of variables associated with environmental and ecological monitoring.

      It will provide practice and evaluation of different biological and environmental monitoring/recording methods of both biotic and abiotic parameters.

      You will be trained in the identification and interpretation of environmental variables of fundamental relevance to specific contemporary environmental issues.

      You will be introduced to applying the interpretation of palaeoclimatic and palaeobiological information to contemporary environmental issues.

    • Biodiversity and Ecosystems (15 credits)

      This module aims to introduce you to the concept of biodiversity, its origins, uses and management.

      Concepts of climate-biota interaction undergo investigation and this evidence is examined to investigate current trends and their likely effects on global biodiversity.

    • Molecular Biology (15 credits)

      This module aims to extend your knowledge and appreciation of the molecular basis of life, the structure and function of genomes and the processes that drive evolutionary change at the molecular level.

      In addition, you will gain experience in the principles, quality assurance and application of commonly employed molecular (genetic) tools and techniques.

    • Phylogenetic Aspects of the Tree of Life (15 credits)

      This module aims to give you a solid grounding regarding eukaryote biodiversity reflected in the Tree of Life concept.

      You will gain a functional knowledge of how that diversity relates to, and results from differential reproduction based upon the ability to exploit different resource spectra within the context of temporal and spatial barriers to gene exchange.

      Processes associated with speciation and extinction are examined, together with evidence regarding biodiversity fluctuations in the past.

    • Applied Microbiology (15 credits)

      This module provides you with the knowledge of important “state of the art” analytical methods in biological sciences. There is a focus on developing your practical skills in analytical methodsThis module explores the applied aspects of microbiology with a particular focus upon interactions between microorganisms, animals, humans and the environment. and the analysis and interpretation of results. Particular emphasis will be on proteins in the context of biochemical research and analysis.

    • Biochemistry (15 credits)

      In this module, you will develop a more complete appreciation for the structure, function and regulation of critical 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 discuss their importance and impact on habitat.

  • 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. You will select a topic of personal interest that you wish to study in-depth and will manage your own learning with the support of an academic supervisor.

  • Year 3 - Optional

    • Gene Technology (15 credits)

      The module considers current approaches to genetic manipulation and the widening fields of application. You will learn how to use vectors and tools for DNA/RNA manipulation for modification of prokaryotes and eukaryotes organisms for biotechnology, research and detection. Ethical issues and regulation of the field of gene technology will be explored.

    • Work Experience (30 credits)

      This module lets you formalise and integrate the professional experience into their programme. It aims to link academic learning to professional work-based skills.

      The module provides opportunities for you to gain hands-on experience from the process of applying for work in relevant organisations and enhance your skills of self-expression, communication and self-reliance.

      At the end of this module, you will be able to:

      1. Develop a plan of learning outcomes and personal development.
      2. Explore how subject theoretical knowledge may be integrated into the placement environment relating their work experience to the context and aims of their degree programme.
      3. Critically examine the operational aspects of a professional setting.
      4. Critically reflect upon personal growth, development and learning during the placement.
      5. Critically reflect upon the practical/competency skills required and how placement enabled the negotiated development of employability and transferable skills.
      6. Demonstrate effectiveness in a work environment.
    • Gene Expression and Control (15 credits)

      This module aims to understand processes involved in regulating gene expression and current methods available for investigation.

      It also aims to explain 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.

      Upon the completion of the module, you will be able to:

      • Explain the structure and the role of gene regulatory regions in gene expression in eukaryotes.
      • Recognise how gene expression may be altered by environmental stimuli and disease.
      • Assess recent advances in gene expression analysis and identify suitable current techniques for biological/biomedical research.
      • Critically analyse bio(medical) research questions using gene expression data sets.
    • Sustainable Biotechnology (15 credits)

      The module lets you recognise how biotechnology can be applied to achieve a more sustainable future.

      The module will explore the role of biotechnology on food security, pollution remediation, waste minimisation, clean and dirty water management and production of renewable energy sources.

      The importance of these processes for society and health will be explored.

    • Urban Environment (15 credits)

      This module aims to introduce you to the practice field and give you experience in assessing a range of variables associated with environmental and ecological monitoring.

      It will provide practice and evaluation of different biological and environmental monitoring/recording methods of both biotic and abiotic parameters.

      You will be trained in the identification and interpretation of environmental variables of fundamental relevance to specific contemporary ecological issues.

      You will be introduced to applying the interpretation of palaeoclimatic and palaeobiological information to contemporary environmental issues.

    • Biodiversity and Planets (15 credits)

      To provide you with knowledge of the function and interaction of planetary processes upon Earth’s biota and, potentially, biota upon other planets.

      Effects of both biotic and abiotic processes upon the evolution and distribution of extant and fossil organisms are examined within the context of specific case studies investigating events since the origin of Earth.

      On completion of this module, you will be able to:

      1. Critically discuss the biotic and abiotic characteristics that make planet Earth habitable and evidence of how these conditions evolved.
      1. Recognise and evidence the range and disparity of abiotic conditions currently present on Earth and compare them with those present in the past.
      1. Evaluate characteristics of the past and present abiotic terrestrial environment responsible for determining attributes of organisms found within them.
      1. Critically analyse rates and causes of population growth and decline regarding environmental influence.
      1. Demonstrate critical awareness of life on Earth as a process embedded within and determined by Physico-chemical processes operating at various temporal and spatial scales within the Universe.
    • Conservation in a Changing World (15 credits)

      This module provides an overview of the concepts and methods associated with conservation science.

      On completion of this module, you will be able to:

      • Critically appraise the role of policy, convention and practice as means by which to enable wildlife conservation at local, national and international levels.
      • Critically discuss the role of environmental uncertainty as an influence in terms of invasive taxa.
      • Demonstrate an in-depth comprehension of natural and human stressors on ecosystems.
      • Critically analyse supplied data to formulate/inform conservation strategy and protocol.
      • Formulate sustainable decisions on acceptable levels of risk based on both science and values.
      • Communicate findings of a conservation-based project.
    • Evolution (15 credits)

      This module aims to provide you with detailed knowledge of the influence of micro- and macroevolutionary processes on life on Earth.

      It will demonstrate the influence of different selection drivers at different levels and temporal scales whilst permitting you to debate the roles of determinism and contingency in affecting evolutionary events and outcomes.

      The learning outcomes for this module are as follows:

      • Critically appraise current evolutionary theory within the context of recent research.
      • Evidence of the role of selection, fitness and random influences within the context of genetic, individual and taxon-level evolution.
      • Critically evaluate the importance of phylogenetic principles as mechanisms of evolutionary interpretation.
      • Demonstrate the role played by different evidence sources as illustrations of micro- to macroevolutionary principles.
      • Argue a coherent model of the evolutionary process.
    • Bioinformatics (15 credits)

      This module will provide an introduction to bioinformatics and aims to give you an overview of the computational tools that are commonly used. The module will follow a hands-on approach. Data will be retrieved from public repositories and analysed for biological patterns using command line and graphical user interface tools.

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information:

Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

  1. Overview
  2. Teaching and learning
  3. Assessment and feedback
  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. EU / International
  3. Additional costs

How can the BSc Biology support your career?

Many of our graduates go on to postgraduate study/research. Others enter the educational profession whilst many students make use of their biology credentials to access professions based within a broad spectrum of careers; from conservation and environmental consultancy to project management in industry.

Stephen Kett
Senior lecturer

Dr Kett's areas of interest include evolutionary biology, ecology and biodiversity. He lectures in a number of subjects including evolution, ecology, biodiversity, biotechnology, anatomy, pathology and applied environmental science amongst many others.

Martijn Timmerman
Senior lecturer

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.

Anne Ropiquet
Senior lecturer

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.

Other courses

Biochemistry BSc Honours

Start: October 2023

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

Code: C79A

Medical Biochemistry BSc Honours

Start: October 2023

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

Code: BSc: C74A

Start: October 2023

Duration: BSc: 3 years full-time, 4 years with sandwich year, 5 years part-time, MSci: 4 years full-time, 5 years with sandwich year, 6 years part-time

Code: BSc: F900, MSci: F902

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