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BSc single honours Biology with foundation year 2017/18

Year of entry

Apply from September 2017. Come to an Open Day

Newly validated for September 2017 start

Biology-based enterprises often operate in a tightly regulated environment and require well trained, knowledgeable professionals with a knowledge of animal welfare, health and behaviour, or plant health and physiology. This is your chance to gain a strong foundation in the skills and knowledge you will need to forge a career in this fascinating area.

You will have the opportunity to interact with a range of employers in the field, including: The Life Sciences Industry Liaison Lab, Howletts and Port Lympne Zoos, Wildwood and Wingham Wildlife Park, Thanet Earth, and FAST Brogdale.

You will explore areas including:

    • taxonomy
    • animal anatomy and physiology
    • plant physiology and development
    • microbiology.

Biology is one of the most diverse and integrated scientific disciplines, ranging from the study of microscopic molecules and their biological importance to the investigation of whole organisms and their behaviour. The design of our Biology BSc Single Honours course with foundation year reflects this exciting diversity and provides opportunities for you to develop key skills and knowledge across a range of biological subject areas.

Our Biology BSc (with Foundation Year) course will prepare you for work in the science sector by placing a focus on practical work in the laboratory. The course also emphasises on developing transferrable skills in oral and written communication and the use of modern computational and statistical approaches to working with biological data. We have close links to the businesses and industries that need science graduates and their input has helped shape this course to maximise the employability of our graduates.

Some graduates have gone onto work in cancer research, in medical microbiology, and in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Many others have gone on to continue their studies at MSc or PhD level or to train as teachers.

This course is for you if you are excited about Biology in all its diversity and wonder and want to work within the science sector. It offers an interdisciplinary approach to Biology, providing experience in a wide range of practical and theoretical subjects.

Entrants to foundation level (Level 0) study the core sciences of biology, chemistry and physics as well as study skills and introductory level maths. Completion of level 0 permits students to progress to level 4.

At level 4, the programme introduces you to key concepts and skills in biochemistry, genetics, and explores the vast diversity of life on earth. From this broad foundation, at levels 5 and 6 the programme introduces concepts of animal and plant anatomy and physiology and practical skills in molecular biology and gives you options to specialise your studies.

The optional modules will allow you to focus on a particular aspect of biology or to maintain breadth in your studies, with the course embracing topics as diverse as animal and plant pathology, immunology and bioinformatics.

Some of our past graduates have published research they completed as part of their final year dissertation project in scientific journals or presented it at national conferences.

Work experience:

The course includes an option to take a summer work placement as part of your studies.

You will also be able to apply for internships over the summer breaks. These usually involve working with lecturers on their research projects in collaboration with external partners and potential employers in industry and research.

In line with good practice, module content is regularly updated and module titles may on occasion change to reflect updated content in the advances in the field of study. 

Year 0 - Foundation Year

Advancing biology

The aim of this module is to build on material learned in the module ‘Biological concepts’. Elements of genetics and molecular biology are extended and you will be introduced to various facets of the environmental sciences, including ecology and conservation, agricultural science, and pollution science. The module also aims to extend your practical skills within the life sciences.

Advancing chemistry

This module aims to build on the knowledge acquired in Principles of Chemistry and to explore different fields within the subject of chemistry (physical chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry and environmental chemistry). The module will also further develop your laboratory skills.

Biological concepts

This module aims to aims to introduce students to the central principles of biology, namely the basic structure, function and variety of living organisms and how they reproduce. It also aims to give students the basic transferable skills needed to understand scientific reasoning and to undertake scientific investigations.

Physical laws of the natural world

The aim of this module is to introduce you to the physical concepts that underpin all of science and how physics are studied in the natural sciences. You will develop an understanding of how physical laws are used to describe natural phenomena and how they may be applied to gain a deeper knowledge of particular systems and processes. 

Principles of chemistry

This is an introductory module that aims to develop your familiarity with fundamental chemical concepts such as atomic structure, chemical nomenclature, bonding, stoichiometry and a range of chemical reactions. The module also aims to develop your basic chemistry laboratory skills.

Study skills

The course aims to give you the basic transferable skills needed to understand and practice scientific reasoning, to undertake scientific investigations and to communicate effectively scientific ideas and outcomes.

Year 1

Biochemistry

The aim of this module is to introduce you to the foundations of biological systems through the study of biochemistry and cell biology. You will learn about the essential biological components of cells and how they interact and work together to support life at the molecular level. This module also teaches you essential laboratory skills and prepares you for further study in more advanced cell biology and molecular biology modules.

Chemistry

Chemistry is fundamental to the understanding of the reactions and processes that happen inside all organisms. This module aims to give you the necessary theoretical background and practical skills in chemistry, which will be essential for your study of biological sciences.

Diversity of life

This module aims to equip you with a fundamental understanding of the history of life on earth and the ancestral relationships between living things. You will learn about the physiological and anatomical features that distinguish various groups of organisms, as well as the characteristics that they have in common. The module also aims to develop your skills in identifying organisms and the use of dichotomous keys.

Genetics and evolution

This module aims to give you the necessary background in genetics and evolutionary biology, providing knowledge of Mendelian genetics and the mechanisms of evolution, which are essential for the study of biological and environmental sciences. The module also includes practical sessions on important molecular techniques such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and how to analyse genetic sequence data. 

Microbiology

This module aims to develop your aseptic technique and microbiological laboratory skills while also investigating the classification and uses of microorganisms. The module aims to develop your independent research skills as you investigate the various diseases and other issues that are caused by microorganisms. 

Science Skills and introduction to statistics

This module aims to develop your background in skills and methods essential for the study and communication of biological sciences. The module will introduce you to scientific publications and how to engage effectively with them, how to design experiments effectively as well as the statistical methods essential to the analysis of scientific data.

Year 2

Animal anatomy and physiology

The module focusses on a detailed exploration of the vertebrate skeletal, muscle, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine and nervous systems. The aim is to build an holistic understanding of animal physiology and anatomy and allow comparison with human anatomy and physiology. The concept of homeostasis and how it sustains animal life is a recurring theme throughout the module.

Data handling

This module aims to develop your ability to do quantitative biological data analysis and introduce you to bioinformatics analysis and the analysis of “big data”. Central to the first aim will be introducing you to the powerful statistical programming language, R and how it can be used to carry out statistical analyses and display data effectively.

Molecular biology and biotechnology

This module aims to provide you with an in depth perspective of the theory, practical and commercial applications of molecular biology. The practical emphasis of this module permits you to further develop a range of fundamental molecular biology techniques, which are not only essential for studying biomolecules within a laboratory research setting, but also highly desirable for future employability.

Natural product chemistry

This module aims to provide you with an understanding of the chemistry of natural products and the links between their molecular structure and properties that determine their behaviour in biological systems. It also introduces purification methods and other analytical methods that can be used to isolate and identify these compounds.

Plant physiology and development

This module aims to equip you with a sound knowledge of the basics of plant physiology and development. The module also aims to develop your ability to analyse and interpret published data through student-led discussions of the role of plant hormones (plant growth regulators) in controlling physiological processes and developmental switches.

Option modules

Options are subject to availability and may change. The work placement module is offered based on suitable work placement being available and the student being accepted by the employer offering the placement.  
Animal pests and diseases

This module will encourage you to develop the necessary knowledge to make reasoned arguments on current issues in the field of animal pests, parasites and pathogens. You will develop a holistic view of the relationship between pests, parasites and pathogens, their target host species and their environments. You will also develop an understanding that human activities can profoundly affect virulence in pests, parasites and pathogens.

Chemistry of the environment

This module aims to provide you with an understanding of the fundamental theoretical concepts and practical applications of environmental chemistry in aquatic, terrestrial and atmospheric environments. It aims to familiarise you with some of the chemical analytical methods that can be used in the monitoring of these environments and address issues of environmental pollution.

Plant pests and pathogens

This module enables you to develop a knowledge of common important plant pests and diseases, their effects on plant growth and yield, and how to recognise them in the field. The module also aims to develop your ability to analyse and interpret published data through student-led discussions about specific pests and diseases and their control.

Work placement

This module provides you with the opportunity to develop key skills and experience while working in a commercial environment. You will be able to develop critical reflection skills as you review your own competencies as they expand and diversify.

Year 3

Advanced plant physiology and development

This module aims to develop in you an advanced knowledge of plant physiology and development. The module also aims to develop your ability to analyse, interpret and critically discuss published data through student-led discussions of the molecular basis of acclimation responses to abiotic stresses.

Animal Reproduction and Development

This module aims to provide you with an understanding of both reproductive and parental strategies in animals, and the various stages of embryogenesis in a range of vertebrate and invertebrate organisms. This includes genetic regulation of embryogenesis and development and assisted reproductive technologies for the treatment of infertility.

Current science issues

This module allows you to develop your wider understanding of how science impacts and affects society. You will develop your independent research and analysis skills by commenting on important current science issues that you discover and present yourselves or that are presented by visiting speakers.

Honours project

This module allows you to undertake a piece of commercially/socially relevant research. You will be required to identify an area of biological research related to the content of the biology programme you have studied and design and undertake appropriate experiments. The module aims to give you experience of independent research, analysis and how to present findings effectively in two styles: a written scientific paper and a poster presented to a non-specialist audience.

Optional modules

Options are subject to availability and may change.
Animal health and husbandry

The aims of this module are to explore the importance of animals in society and the scientific background to animal health and welfare issues, including nutrition, good husbandry, pain perception, the ability of animals to cope with their environments and the physiological and behavioural aspects of health and welfare.

Bioinformatics 1

This module aims to develop a systematic understanding of the role of computing in biological research, how this links to the fundamentals of molecular biology. You will learn how to apply key concepts and techniques in Bioinformatics to answer real research questions.

Immunology and cancer biology

This module aims to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the biology and genetics of cancer and of the role of the immune system in tumour development in humans and other animals. It will introduce a range of medical techniques used to diagnose cancer and you will study the latest cutting-edge treatments and the molecular mechanisms targeted by these treatments. You will also participate in discussions on the impact of cancer on lives and how patients are cared for, including end of life care.

Molecular plant microbe interactions

This module allows you to develop skills in critical analysis, interpretation and presentation of experimental data. The module enables you to develop a detailed knowledge of the molecular and genetic processes that underpin the interaction of plants with a range of different microbes.

The broad, multi­disciplinary nature of the course is well suited to anyone seeking opportunities in science-­based industry in a technical, managerial or public relations role. Our graduates have found employment in research laboratory management, conservation management, the pharmaceutical industry, medical physics, public health laboratories and in analytical laboratories.

Other graduates have progressed to study for higher degrees, including taught and research Masters degrees and PhDs, while others go into a career in teaching, either at primary, secondary or post­compulsory level. The transferrable skills and level of scientific literacy developed by this programme is also valuable in other non­scientific areas of industry, commerce and the media.

In the Section of Life Sciences, we practice ‘research-involved teaching’. This means that all of the modules you will study are led by experienced academic staff who are specialists and active researchers in relevant areas, including biologists, chemists and physicists. The programme is designed to give you opportunities to develop skills and experience by engaging with research either as part of taught modules or via extra-curricular internships and volunteering.

The emphasis is on developing independent learners and learning by student experimentation and observation. At level 0 and level 4 two thirds of each module is delivered as practical experimentation either in laboratories, IT labs or in the field. These sessions are supplemented by lectures, and seminars/workshops in which students feedback from their structured independent study. By level 5 laboratory and field based experimentation is complemented by analysis of published research and by level 6 the emphasis is on learning being driven by student led workshops discussing published research papers. All teaching material is posted on the internal VLE Blackboard. Learning is supplemented at all levels by tutorial sessions with an individual personal tutor and small group seminars (I2 sessions) which are requested by students to address specific topics.

Each 20 credit module requires 200 hours of study which comprises of formal contact (lectures, practicals, tutorials, workshops), structured independent learning (prescribed reading and/or online exercises) and independent learning. Each module at level 4 has 60 hours of formal contact, supplemented with 40 hours of structured independent learning. As students develop and become more independent formal contact and structured learning reduces to 50 hours of contact and 30 hours of structured independent learning at level 5, and 40 hours of contact and 20 hours of structured independent learning at level 6. 

Assessment is by both coursework and examination. Individual modules are assessed either solely by coursework or by an equally-weighted combination of coursework and examination. Examination allows assessment of a student’s understanding of important key concepts and accounts for less than half the assessment of the programme. Coursework assessments permit students to develop key scientific and transferable skills and assignments include: scientific lab/log books, written reports, written scientific papers, discursive essays, PowerPoint presentations and poster presentations. There is a maximum of two assessments per 20 credit module studied.

Students are often able to use modern, research­grade equipment during taught modules and for their individual research on their dissertation project. 

The Life Sciences Industry Liaison Lab at Discovery Park in Sandwich, Kent was launched in March 2016. Discovery Park is a fabulous site with well over 100 companies now based there, many of which are active in the science sector.

Tuition Fees for 2018/19 have not yet been finalised - please read the 2018/19 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2018/19 tuition fees and year on year fee increases.

Fees

The 2017/18 annual tuition fees for this course are:

 UK/EUOverseas
Full-time £9,250* £11,000**
Part-time £4,625 N/A

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

*Full-time courses which have a Foundation Year 0 will have a 2017/18 UK/EU tuition fee of £6,165 in Year 0.

**Tuition Fee Scholarship discounts of £1,500 are available to eligible overseas students. Visit the International webpages for further information.

Please read the 2017/18 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2017/18 tuition fees and year on year fee increases

Further information

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

CategoryDescription
Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

Course specific costs

CategoryDescription
Learning Materials Textbook “Biology: How Life Works, by Morris et al”, ISBN-13: 978-1464138263. Currently £39.99. Includes one year’s access to Launchpad, an interactive web e-book which is integrated into some of the modules.

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) Yes, if the trip contributes to the course (whether it is part of an optional or compulsory module), but not including food and drink. Yes, if the trip is not an essential part of the course but is offered as an enhancement or enrichment activity, or for a student’s personal development.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

Fact file

UCAS code

  • C101 Biology with Foundation Year

Institutional code

  • C10

Length

  • 4 years full time

Starts

  • September 2017

Entry requirements

  • For entry onto the 4 year full-time programme (7 year part-time/level 0 full-time only) candidates should hold a GCSE in English language grade C or above, or be able to demonstrate English language skills equivalent to an IELTS score of 6.0 overall with a score of 6.0 in writing and a minimum score of 5.5 in all other sections.

Location

School

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Last edited: 21/04/2017 13:41:00