Skip to content

ASP._Page_site_elements_razor_entry_records_course_record_cshtml

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 our understanding of how our bodies work.

On our Human Biology degree, 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 the next 10 years the current revolution in our understanding will begin to impact on our daily lives. By studying Human Biology at Worcester, you can help shape this future.

Overview

Overview

Key features

  • Staff are active in biomedical research, leading to informed and up-to-date teaching
  • Flexible course options allow you to pursue your interests
  • 90% of Human Biology students are in work or further study 6 months after graduating
  • New laboratories and specialist equipment - an inspiring environment for you to develop your ideas
  • Strong emphasis on practical work

Register your interest

Enter your details below and we will keep you up to date with useful information about studying at the University of Worcester.


THE-awards-2020-course-promo

University of the Year - Finalist 2020

We're proud to have been shortlisted for the prestigious Times Higher Education University of the Year for the second year running.

Find out more
Royal Society of Biology accredited degree logo

This programme has been accredited by the Royal Society of Biology following an independent and rigorous assessment. Accredited degree programmes contain a solid academic foundation in biological knowledge and key skills, and prepare graduates to address the needs of employers.

The accreditation criteria require evidence that graduates from accredited programmes meet defined sets of learning outcomes, including subject knowledge, technical ability and transferable skills.

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

The University will consider each application on its individual merits and will recognise a range of qualifications not currently included in the Tariff, including pre-2002 qualifications such as GNVQ.

If your qualifications are not listed, please contact the Admissions Office for advice on 01905 855111 or email admissions@worc.ac.uk for advice.

Further information about the UCAS Tariff can be obtained from the UCAS website.

If you are an international student who does not have the relevant entry requirements for direct entry onto this course, our pathway courses at University of Worcester International College could be the right option for you and enable you to still graduate with this degree. To find out more visit the Science and Health & Social Science pathways page.

Visitors at a University of Worcester open day

Book your place at an Open Day

Want to know why so many students love living and studying in Worcester?

Our Open Days are the perfect way to find out.

Book your place

Virtual Taster Event

If you are interested in studying Biological Sciences (Animal Biology, Biochemistry, Biology, Biomedical Science, Forensic & Applied Biology, Human Biology, Human Nutrition, Medical Sciences) with us and want to know more, then please join us for this taster event where you can learn about Worcester University and the courses and take part in taster sessions with lecturers who will introduce you to the studying Biological Sciences at University level.

The next event is due to take place on 16th December 4.00-6.00pm and to book your place, please visit the booking page here.

Time

Activity 

Person

16:00 – 16:10

An introduction to Biological Sciences at the University of Worcester

Mike Wheeler

16:10 – 16:30

Course Talk with interactive Chat Room

Mike Wheeler,

Kate Unwin

16:30 – 16:50

Teaching through practice – Using our experience as Forensic Practitioners to inspire students

Kate Unwin

16:50-17:00

Break

 

17:00 – 17:20

Why do Bees Matter?

Kate Ashbrook

17:20 – 17:40

Your Immune System – a Natural Killer!

Steve Coles

17:40 – 18:00

Live Q&A with course team and current students

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

  • Cell Biology
  • Health and Disease
  • Introduction to Human Nutrition
  • Introduction to Human Anatomy and Physiology

 

Optional

 

Year 2

Mandatory

  • Human Genetics
  • Systems Physiology I
  • Project and Career Development

Optional

  • Work Experience
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Genetics
  • Medical Forensic Science
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • Optional language modules

Year 3

Mandatory

  • Research Project
  • Mammalian Reproduction
  • Systems Physiology II

Optional

  • Work Experience
  • The Biochemistry of Cancer
  • Pharmacology
  • Genomics and Bioinformatics
  • Extension Module
  • Parasitology

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 Human Biology 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, which 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, the effects of auditory and somatosensory distractions on reaction times, and the antimicrobial properties of curry spices and other plant compounds.

View the Biology Programmes Overview.

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 4 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 or third 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, and 93% of course lecturers in the Biological Sciences have a higher education teaching qualification or are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy. 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).

The precise assessment requirements for an individual student in an academic year will vary according to the mandatory and optional modules taken, but a typical formal summative assessment pattern for each year of the course is:

Year 1
4 practical reports
3 practical files
6 exams of 1.5 or 2 hours duration
1 practical test
1 presentation
1 poster

Year 2
3 practical reports
6 exams of 1.5 or 2 hours duration
1 poster presentation
1 presentation
1 practical test
1 practical handbook
1 bioinformatics handbook
1 data exercise
1 lay summary
1 literature portfolio
1 research proposal
1 CV and practice job interview

Year 3
1 Independent study report
1 poster presentation
2 presentations
6 examinations of 1.5 or 2 hours duration
1 on-line activity
1 essay
1 practical test
3 practical reports
1 scientific review article
1 summary and critical discussion of academic papers

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

Course Leader for the BSc and MBiol Human Biology course

Course Leader and Admissions Tutor for the BSc Medical Sciences course

Dr Allain 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 holds strong 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.

Chris Brown is standing next to a car holding a cup of tea

Dr Chris Brown

Chris studied at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Following completion of his Honours degree, he joined the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology where he worked on their sub-Antarctic programme for several years, which included over two years carrying out research on the energetics and ecology of penguins, albatrosses and petrels on Marion Island in the sub-Antarctic.

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.

 

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 us in February 2013 and is our award leader for the BSc Biochemistry programme. Since joining us, Steve has introduced several new modules to the bioscience degree programmes which are informed by his research and expertise, including: BIOS2110 Immunology and BIOS3113 Biochemistry of Cancer.

Steve's research interests include, cancer immunology, exercise immunology, diagnostics and the role of oxidative stress in disease pathogenesis. Since joining us, Steve has established an independent research profile and is the Worcester Biomedical Research Group (WBRG) lead.

dr-rob-herbert

Dr Rob Herbert

Qualifications

  • PhD Plant Cell Biology (Cardiff, 1991)
  • BSc Biotechnology (Kings, London, 1988)
  • HND Biotechnology (UWE Bristol, 1986)
mike wheeler

Dr Mike Wheeler

Dr Mike Wheeler joined the University of Worcester in 2010 after researching in the area of plant molecular genetics. Mike developed a strong background in the biology of cell signalling in plants, with specific research into the mechanisms of self-incompatibility in poppy and the control of polarity in pollen tubes of tobacco. He is currently investigating the function of a large family of secreted proteins likely to be involved in cell-cell communication in the model plants, Arabidopsis thaliana and Physcomitrella patens.

In addition to his research into plant molecular genetics Mike is also developing means of using molecular biology to solve problems in conservation biology which is a longstanding passion of his. In this area Mike is currently developing eDNA (environmental DNA) techniques to assess the effect of invasive and non-native species on species of conservation concern.

Mike is a member of the Sustainable Environments Research Group.

Careers

Where could it take you?

Employability

After studying Human Biology, you'll develop 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 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 over stated. There is also a need for people to be able to explain these scientific arguments in 'lay-mans' 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 Human Biology as a route into medical school.

Cover of the 2020 University of Worcester prospectus

Request or download a prospectus

Request now
Costs

How much will it cost?

Full-time tuition fees

UK students

The standard tuition fee for full-time UK students registering in the academic year 2021/22 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 registering in the academic year 2021/22 is £13,100 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Part-time tuition fees

UK students

The standard tuition fees for part-time UK students registering on this course in the academic year 2021/22 are £1,156 per 15-credit module, £1,542 per 20 credit module, £2,313 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 £105 per week to 'En-suite Extra' at £169 per week (2020/21 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

How to apply

How do you apply?

Applying through UCAS

Single Honours:
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.

UCAS Code

B150

Get in touch

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

 

Lorraine Weaver

Head of Biological Sciences

SSE Academic Support Unit