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What makes Human Biology at Worcester special?

We are living through an age of unprecedented scientific discovery, with the mapping of the human genome and the potential of stem cell research revolutionising the understanding of how our bodies work and how we can have completely novel approaches to treating genetic conditions. We cannot even imagine the likely changes that we will see in our ability to treat disease and perhaps even prolong the human lifespan. By the end of the century and even in the short term, the current revolution in our understanding will begin to impact our daily lives. By studying at Worcester, you can help shape this future.

For this course, we have adopted a practical approach to learning, with brand new laboratories equipped with the latest technologies, so you can get hands-on with the topics that interest you the most. In your final year, you will carry out an independent research project to showcase your development and set you apart from other graduates.

This page includes information on joining this course in September 2023. We also have a page for September 2022 entry.

Overview

Overview

Key features

  • Explore the wonders of the human body from genes, proteins and cells to physiology and disease.
  • Shape a degree to suit you - build a firm foundation in core principles, whilst selecting from a wide range of optional modules such as microbiology, genomics & bioinformatics, parasitology and pharmacology.
  • 90% of Human Biology students are in work or further study 6 months after graduating
  • Follow your interests and career aspirations by choosing your research project. Recent topics have included studying binding properties of proteins in treatments of basal cell carcinoma, the effect of learning styles on children’s performance and understanding in learning, the effects of black tea on cardiovascular performance and the expression of proteins in response to cytomegalovirus infection.

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Top 20 for student experience

We're in the top 20 for student experience in the Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022.

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

96-104
UCAS tariff points

Entry requirements

96 UCAS Tariff points MUST include A2 Biology and A2 another science, maths or statistics.

104 UCAS Tariff points MUST include A2 Biology.

Don't quite meet the entry requirements or returning to education? Consider studying a Biological Science with Foundation Year.

Other information

International Students – Making an Application

If you are applying as an EU or Non-EU student you are strongly advised to apply online through the Universities & Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

If you are using The Common Application, you can add the University of Worcester to your list of colleges via this link and complete the application there. Further information can be found here “Making an International Application”.

Mature Students

We welcome applicants who hold alternative qualifications/experience and mature students who can demonstrate the ability to benefit from the course and show their potential to complete the course successfully. Although recent preparatory study at an appropriate level (e.g. an Access to Higher Education Diploma) is recommended, students may be considered on the basis of prior evidenced professional/work experience and/or other assessment procedures, and the assessment of personal suitability. University Admissions Office staff can offer information, advice and guidance on this process. Further information can also be found here.

Two students looking into their microscopes whilst the lecturer leans over the lab counter to talk to them.

Biological sciences foundation year

If you don't quite meet the entry requirements or you're returning to education then you might consider studying this degree with a foundation year.

Find out more about courses with a foundation year
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Course content

What will you study?

Our courses are informed by research and current developments in the discipline and feedback from students, external examiners and employers. Modules do therefore change periodically in the interests of keeping the course relevant and reflecting best practice. The most up-to-date information will be available to you once you have accepted a place and registered for the course. If there are insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this might not be offered, but we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative. 

Year 1

Mandatory

  • Biological Diversity
  • Health and Disease
  • Cell Biology
  • Chemistry for the Life Sciences
  • Comparative Physiology

Year 2

Mandatory

  • Systems Physiology I
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • Project and Career Development
  • Immunology

Optional

Year 3

Mandatory

  • Research Project
  • Mammalian Reproduction
  • Systems Physiology II
  • The Biochemistry of Cancer

Optional

  • Pharmacology
  • Genomics and Bioinformatics
  • Parasitology
  • Extension Module

Human Biology BSc (Hons)

In your first year, you will develop a comprehensive understanding of the structure and functions of living organisms appropriate to the course. In Years 2 and 3, the modules become more specialised. Subjects central to the course such as Cell Biology are delivered in double modules to allow for suitable development of the subject and for the delivery of important subject-specific and generic skills.

In your final year, you will undertake a Biosciences Research Project. This is a double module and must demonstrate original data. The research project will have been designed in the 'Project and Career Development’ module in Year 2 with the support of specialists in your chosen area of human biology research.

Past topics have included amplification of ancient human DNA, the relationship between the intake of essential fatty acids and cognitive performance, the effects of caffeine on the cardiovascular system, Janus kinase and microtubule interacting protein 1 (JAKMIP1) expression in human peripheral mononuclear blood cells.

Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?

We enable you to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement.

A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support through the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will enable you to flourish and be successful.

Teaching

You are taught through a combination of lectures, laboratory-based practical work, video presentations, group tutorials, discussions, directed reading, and formative assessments. The first year also includes study skills sessions. The course is very practical and offers you the opportunity to undertake an independent project in your third year. The emphasis on the development of 'hands on' practical skills will provide you with useful skills for your future career.

In addition, meetings with personal academic tutors are scheduled on at least four occasions in the first year and three occasions in each of the other years of a course.

You have an opportunity to take a work experience module in your second year, to engage with an Erasmus scheme and spend a semester abroad, or to become involved in staff research through the Vacation Research Assistantship Scheme.

Contact time

In a typical week you will have around 16 contact hours of teaching. The precise contact hours will depend on the optional modules selected and in the final year you will normally have slightly less contact time in order to do more independent study.

Typically class contact time will be structured around:

  • 4 hours of lectures
  • 11 hours of supervised laboratory practicals
  • 1 hour of group workshops
  • 1 hour of Study Skills (first year only)

Independent self-study

In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake around 27 hours of personal self-study per week. Typically, this will involve going over your lecture notes and reading around the topic in order to reinforce the content, completing online activities, reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library and online, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations.

Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources.

Teaching staff

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. You will mainly be taught by senior academics, but visiting speakers with specialised expertise may deliver some sessions. Technicians support practical sessions.

Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader. Teaching is informed by the research and consultancy. All lecturers in Biological Sciences are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy or working towards this. Twenty per cent also have Teaching Fellowships from the University of Worcester. You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles.

Assessment

The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or 'formative' assignments. Each module has one or more formal or 'summative' assessments which are graded and count towards the overall module grade.

Assessment methods include practical reports, presentations, posters, on-line activities, essays and examinations (which may be practical, written, data analysis, seen exams or open book exams).

Feedback

You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate.

We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.

Programme specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document.

Meet the team

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course.

dr-allain-bueno

Dr Allain Bueno

Dr Allain Bueno is Course Leader for the BSc Medical Sciences course

Dr Bueno joined the University of Worcester in January 2012, after 4 years of Post-doctoral experience at the Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition in London, working with Prof Michael Angus Crawford, one of the pioneers in fatty acid metabolism and brain composition.

Dr Bueno investigated in his PhD the effects of dietary fats on adipose tissue metabolism, and how different types of fat can influence disorders such as inflammation and diabetes. In his MPhil Dr Bueno investigated the impact of surgical removal of fat pads on metabolic adaptations in obesity induced by diet and by neurochemical malfunctioning.

Dr Bueno graduated as a Biomedical Scientist – Medical Modality – from Paulista School of Medicine, Sao Paulo Federal University in Brazil. He has extensive experience in clinical sciences, having worked and taught in a leading Tertiary Referral Hospital. His current area of research includes the biochemistry of dietary fats and their role in oxidative stress, brain metabolism and function.

Dr Bueno is a Scientific Advisor of the Food Standards Agency.

 

ray-camilleri

Dr Ray Camilleri

Ray joined the academic staff at the University of Worcester in September 2017 as a Senior Lecturer, Course Leader and Admissions Tutor of our biomedical course.

He is also a member of the Worcester Biomedical Research Group and Health, Life and Environment Research Ethics Committee.

Ray’s research has been focused on the genetic and phenotypic links between von Willebrand factor-cleaving protease and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura.

 

Mathieu photo

Dr. Mathieu Di Miceli

Dr Mathieu Di Miceli is a lecturer within the School of Science and the Environment. Mathieu joined the University in 2021 after his long background in neuroscience. Mathieu has developed his skills in electrophysiology in Dr Gronier’s (De Montfort University) and Dr Layé’s (Université de Bordeaux) laboratories, studying the neurophysiological mechanisms following psychostimulant exposure, as well as the link between dietary lipid intake and synaptic plasticity. As a member of the Worcester Biomedical Research Group, he is currently investigating the pathological alterations that can lead to neurophysiological dysfunctions in the brain, using in silico modelling of neural circuits. Mathieu is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and his teaching is focused on anatomy, physiology, neuroscience, pharmacology, epidemiology, genomics and bioinformatics.

dr-amy-cherry

Dr Amy Cherry

Dr Amy Cherry joined the University of Worcester following postdoctoral positions at the National Institute of Medical Research and the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm. Her research focuses on understanding how proteins work at the molecular level and on how one can use knowledge of protein structure to tackle disease.

dr-steven-j-coles

Dr Steven J Coles

Steve joined the University of Worcester in 2013, following 5 years post-doctoral experience at Cardiff University, School of Medicine (Section of Haematology), working with Professors Tonks and Darley. During his time at Cardiff, Steve investigated the role of the immune checkpoint molecule, CD200, in a type of blood cancer known as acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).

Since joining us, Steve has introduced several new modules to the Biological and Biomedical Sciences curriculum that align with his expertise, including: Immunology and  Biochemistry of Cancer.

Steve has also helped to establish and lead the Worcester Biomedical Research Group, where the research focuses on Cancer, Neurodegeneration and Cardiovascular Disease.

Careers

Where could it take you?

Employability

Upon completion of this course, you will have developed a wide range of intellectual, practical and social skills that are much in demand by employers. These include primary research and critical evaluation skills, communications skills, both written and oral, and a range of technical and IT skills such as the use of DNA technology, IT-based analysis, data analysis, and applied statistics.

Human Biologists, who can solve problems, look at the evidence and make measured and reasoned arguments, are not only required in scientific fields but also in other fields - such as the media, retailing and finance - to ensure there is a balanced view relating to new technology and that any risks are neither under nor overstated. There is also a need for people to be able to explain these scientific arguments in layman's terms, not only in teaching but also in a wide range of other vocations.

This course will prepare you for a number of different career paths including work with the police, laboratory practice, medical and laboratory sales and postgraduate degrees. Some students are using this course as a route into postgraduate medical school.

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Careers and Employability

Our Graduates pursue exciting and diverse careers in a wide variety of employment sectors.

Find out how we can support you to achieve your potential.
Costs

How much will it cost?

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard fee for full-time home and EU undergraduate students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the 2022/23 academic year is £9,250 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the 2022/23 academic year is £13,400 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Part-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fees for part-time UK and EU students registering on this course in the academic year 2022/23 are £1,156 per 15-credit module, £1,542 per 20-credit module, £2,312 per 30-credit module, £3,083 per 40-credit module, £3,469 per 45-credit module and £4,625 per 60 credit module.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Additional costs

Every course has day-to-day costs for basic books, stationery, printing and photocopying. The amounts vary between courses.

If your course offers a placement opportunity, you may need to pay for a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check.

You will also need a lab coat, which can be bought for around £13.

Accommodation

Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience. Our halls of residence are home to friendly student communities, making them great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our range of student halls. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £111 per week to 'En-suite Premium' at £189 per week (2022/23 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

How to apply

How do you apply?

Applying through UCAS

Single Honours:
Biological Sciences (Human Biology) BSc (Hons) - B150 

UCAS is the central organisation through which applications are processed for entry onto full-time undergraduate courses in Higher Education in the UK.

Read our How to apply pages for more information on applying and to find out what happens to your application.

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.

 

SSE Academic Support Unit