Undergraduate study
Life & Physical Sciences

BSc (Hons) Human Biology (Extended)

UCAS code: B151 BSc/HBEx

This extended degree course is ideal if you wish to study for a university degree but you do not have the necessary Level 3 qualifications required for direct admission. In the first year of the extended programme, you enhance your knowledge in maths and the fundamentals of biological, chemical and physical sciences.

Course information

Full-time

  • Length: 4 years (including a foundation year) or 5 years with additional work placement year

More full-time details

Part-time

  • Not available part-time

Contact details

Further information

  • Facilities

    Microscopy laboratory

    Here at Teesside we have world-class facilities, including our microscopy laboratory, it's a 360 video so have a scroll around.

  • Facilities
 

Human biology involves the study of the human body and how it is adapted to its environment. This course is designed to equip you with a broad-based understanding of the human body in health and disease. This programme develops your knowledge of human biology, with a focus on the medical aspects of human processes, such as how we respond to infection and the effects of drugs on the human body.

You learn about the physiology of the major systems of the body, about the impact of nutrition and environment on health, and about human development and evolution.

The course includes practical classes that provide first-hand experience of biology, genetics and human physiology and anatomy. This helps you develop comprehensive knowledge and skills relevant to current industry and employer requirements. You also carry out research-based projects from a wide choice that involve either hands-on research or further study.This degree course equips you with knowledge and understanding that will allow you to follow a career path in science, health or industry.

The foundation (Year 0) modules provide an excellent preparation for your science-based degree studies. You enhance your understanding of mathematics and science to prepare you for the remainder of your course. The remaining years of this course are the same as the BSc (Hons) Human Biology degree.

In years 1 and 2 you focus on a number of key discipline-based topics – biological methods, cell biology and microbiology, human development, and human metabolism and clinical biochemistry.

The final-year modules, which include Health Product Development, Drugs and Toxicology, and Sports Nutrition, integrate the key concepts and heighten awareness of the continuing advances in biological sciences and their impact on other disciplines. You also develop your independent learning skills in your final year by undertaking a hypothesis-driven research project in human biology.

The course also develops skills and attributes which prepare you for the world of work. For example, you undertake a series of intensive projects - these mimic real-life situations and help you become an effective member of a team.

Course structure

Year 0 (foundation year) core modules

Experimental Methods for Life Sciences

This module is based on a series of practical sessions. The first emphasises important basic skills such as how to work safely in a practical environment and how to properly document practical work. This is followed by a series of practical sessions based on your wider academic interests. If you are interested in biology, you investigate the basics of microscopy and handling microorganisms. If you are interested in food sciences, you look at safely handling food. If you are interested in chemistry, you begin to use volumetric glassware and investigate acid base titrations.

Fundamentals of Biology

Biology is considered by some as the most dynamic and rapidly-growing of all the sciences. Its key principles underlie medicine, nutrition, biotechnology, forensics and crime scene science. This module develops your understanding of cell structure and function, the basic principles of genetics and protein synthesis, biochemistry, human anatomy, disease-causing microorganisms, environmental management and the role of biology in the forensic and crime scene disciplines.

Fundamentals of Chemistry

Chemistry underpins many areas of science and contributes to our quality of life. Without chemistry we would have no pharmaceuticals, plastics, perfumes or paints, and many other materials that we take for granted. This module develops your understanding of the fundamentals of chemistry. You study the structure of elements and compounds, how they interact with each other, and how new chemical compounds are formed. Building on these foundations, you study the basics of organic and biological chemistry.

Fundamentals of Mathematics for Science

This module refreshes and enhances your maths skills as you prepare to study science at undergraduate level. It introduces the mathematical notation and techniques relevant to studying science, developing the skills you need to analyse and solve science problems. You study numerical and algebraic manipulation, solving equations, solving triangles, and introducing probability and descriptive statistics.

You are assessed by an in-course assignment (40%) focusing on the practical application of statistics to scientific data. You also sit an end examination (60%).

Fundamentals of Physics

You develop an understanding of the fundamentals of physics, and their application in science. Concepts from physics and physical measurement underpin nearly all other areas of scientific endeavour. You develop an understanding of the fundamental ideas, particularly common units of measurement.

Learning Skills for Life Sciences

The module develops the learning skills you need to successfully study science at undergraduate level. You are encouraged to reflect on and manage your own learning. We emphasise time management and good learning practices throughout.

 

Year 1 core modules

Anatomy and Physiology

This module provides you with a basic knowledge of human anatomy and develops your ability to relate this knowledge to the mechanisms associated with controlling and regulating physiological processes of the major organs of the body. This module develops contexts of applied knowledge such as constructing biological profiles for human identification including sex, age at death, stature determination and biological affinity.

Biochemistry and Chemical Science

Biochemistry, the study of the chemistry of life, is one of the most important and exciting areas of science. It spans areas including biomedical science, nutrition, drug design, forensic science, agriculture and manufacturing. It covers the most important principles of biochemistry including the structure of the atom, chemical bonding and the forces that operate between molecules, chemical reactions and biological pathways. You study the chemistry of carbon and why it is capable of forming the complex 3D modules that make life possible. And you study important groups of biological molecules in detail including proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and nucleic acids.

Biological Methods

Life sciences is a multifaceted field drawing on knowledge and understanding from the molecular level to whole organisms and ecosystems. Biologists must be able to work in teams, drawing on this vast knowledge to solve problems in the field. In this module, you work in teams to solve a biologically relevant problem, taking into account the principles of health, safety and ethics facing professionals in the workplace. You develop a range of employability skills such as time management and presenting your work. You also gain the research skills needed to support problem solving in the field and to help you become a well-rounded, professional scientist.

Cell Biology and Microbiology

The cellular basis of all living organisms is one of the characteristics which defines life. This module explores the common features and the immense diversity of form and function displayed by cells of organisms. The module will increase your understanding of biological processes at the cellular level. It covers the structure and function of major cellular components and examines how fundamental processes within cells are organised and regulated, such as gene and protein expression. It also addresses the mechanisms by which cells divide, reproduce and differentiate. You study the historical development of cell biology and microbiology advances in theoretical and practical aspects of the discipline. You explore how knowledge of the biology of microorganisms, including bacteria and viruses, has informed the identification and control of infectious diseases. You also examine the beneficial roles of many microorganisms and their utilisation in genetic engineering and biotechnology.

Core Skills in Life Sciences

Knowledge of the degree subject is not the only thing you learn whilst at university and it’s not the only thing that potential employers are looking for after graduation. You also need to develop a range of skills applicable for a variety of career pathways These include your ability to articulate yourself clearly, confidently and effectively to different audiences; to work independently or on your own initiative demonstrating creativity and adaptability when tackling problems where you don’t have all the necessary information available; to locate information and critically assess its usefulness; and to make efficient and effective use of the latest information technology.

You also learn to assess your own performance, giving you the chance to recognise and build on your strengths, and identify and improve your weaknesses as a way to raise your aspirations. This module also introduces you to basic principles and good practice in collecting, recording and evaluating data, and using information resources and referencing. You also consider the assessment and handling of scientific errors. You review a range of basic mathematical skills and introduce statistical methods that are essential in a wide range of scientific endeavour. Emphasis is placed on using spreadsheets for data recording, presentation and statistical analysis.

Food Science and Nutrition

This module provides you with an introduction to the fundamental concepts that underpin modern food science and nutrition. This includes a review of the composition of food, in terms of macronutrients and micronutrients. You also look at energy in food and the consequences of malnutrition, addressing the question of how to translate our understanding of food and nutrition science into public health initiatives that actually change people’s behaviour for the better.

This translational science agenda provides the rationale for the course and introduces you to the issues surrounding food, nutrition and translational science.

 

Year 2 core modules

Human Development

This module introduces you to recent advances that have taken place in our understanding of human reproductive and developmental biology. You examine the process of human development from the formation of gametes (gametogenesis) through to birth and identifying genetic disorders. To complement this, you see how to apply this knowledge in the areas of stem cells, IVF and genetic counselling.

Human Diseases and Immunology

Infectious diseases are responsible for a third of global mortality and have a significant impact on quality of life on a worldwide basis. This module examines the organisms able to generate pathogenic interactions with human populations and takes a systems-based approach, for example gastrointestinal, respiratory and genitourinary tract, to examine the virulence determinants, pathology, characteristics and epidemiology of selected pathogens. You are also introduced to the current molecular and cellular biology of pathogen interactions and co-evolution with host cells, and their relevance to human diseases. And you consider the factors contributing to the emergence of devastating pandemics and new diseases, in particular the significance of zoonotic diseases. The module reviews the extensive array of protein and cell-based responses which are typically launched against microbial pathogens as part of the innate and acquired immune response. You analyse the effectiveness of strategies used to treat and control the transmission of infectious diseases.

Human Metabolism and Clinical Biochemistry

This module provides you with a broad understanding of the linked themes of metabolism and endocrinology. Metabolism, the chemical processes that occur in living organisms, is examined in the context of cellular respiration, and the metabolism of exogens such as drugs and vitamins. Endocrinology, the study of the physiological role of hormones, is covered in detail, including review of the mechanisms underpinning hormone action, the roles of second messengers, and endocrine system disorders. This module also explores the methods used for collecting, measuring and analysing clinical samples.

Lifestyle and Health

Lifestyle and behaviour choices are important considerations in influencing major risk factors for a number of chronic health conditions including obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, some cancers and high blood pressure. This module develops your understanding of how lifestyle can have an impact on health over an individual’s life span. You take a wider perspective by looking at broader populations. You consider the influence of factors such as the obesogenic environment, socioeconomic status and the impact of life course on health behaviours. You also consider the relationship between physical activity, nutrition, smoking and alcohol consumption to study the impact of lifestyle on health outcomes.

Science Communication and Bioethics

Central to this module is using teamwork for problem-based learning and monitored or facilitated self-directed learning. You explore the way science is communicated within the scientific community, to stakeholders and the general public. You discuss and critically analyse the different communication methods. You are also introduced to bioethical issues central to your programme of study. You are expected to debate these issues and sensibly communicate the complexity of the themes which are embedded within the scientific disciplines.

Science Research Methods and Proposal

You will take this module if you are studying a science degree and complete a hypothesis-driven research project at Level 6 of your degree studies. It is delivered though lectures, tutorials and workshops.

You develop a proposal for your research project, which includes an explanation of the project targeted at both a specialist audience and the general public, and details of experimental design and statistical analysis to be employed. The proposal considers academic beneficiaries and economic, environmental and societal impacts. Project costs are estimated on the basis of a full economic costing model. In addition, the proposal is supported by a targeted CV.

A short lecture series at the start of the academic year provides you with an introduction to the module and advice on completing the research proposal documentation, followed by a series of assessment centre-style workshops and tasks which help assign you to a specific research project area and supervisor. These tasks familiarise you with the type of activities you might face during the application, interview and selection procedures.

You must produce a research proposal for your individual project. You are supported by a series of meetings with your supervisor to provide feedback on your progress.

For the proposal to be considered you must acquire ethical clearance from the School Research Ethics Committee. Once you are allocated a project you join discipline-based tutorials with other students. Each discipline operates tutorial sessions, which are used to provide academic guidance and support for completing ethical clearance documentation and the proposal. A series of research methodology-based workshops introduce you to various experimental designs and statistical techniques relevant to your discipline. These sessions also demonstrate how you can use software such as Minitab, SPSS and Excel to present and analyse datasets. These workshops help you decide on the design and analysis of the data associated with your project.

The module is assessed by you successfully acquiring ethical clearance (pass/fail) and submitting a completed research project proposal and supporting CV (100%).

 

Final-year core modules

Biology Research Project

The Biology Research Project allows you to bring together a range of practical and academic skills developed in previous years of study. You specialise in a particular area of biology supported by an academic staff member as your research supervisor. They will act as a mentor, guiding you in developing and completing your research project.

You must present a poster and abstract at the annual School of Science & Engineering poster day attended by academic members of the School, external examiners and professionals from the region. The poster contributes to your final project mark.

Throughout the project you are expected to maintain systematic and reliable records of your research. These records will be reviewed on a regular basis by your supervisor and assessed at the end of the project. Finally, you will submit your research in the style of a paper which could be submitted to an appropriate scientific journal related to your discipline.

Health Product Development

This group-work module provides you with the necessary entrepreneurship skills to understand the process of business start-up and learning to manage life science and healthcare ventures. It allows you to connect to the real-world experience of launching a new business venture and product development. You experience challenges similar to those encountered in the launch of a healthcare product from laboratory bench to the bedside. You learn about healthcare product development, regulatory control and intellectual property rights. As part of this learning you learn how to write and produce a business plan including where to raise finance.

Human Ageing and Disease

This module furthers your understanding of the molecular, cellular and whole organism ageing processes. It addresses how ageing occurs by the accumulation of damage to molecules, cells and tissues, resulting in a loss of function and leading to an increased risk of death. Ageing is a major risk factor for a number of diseases including dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. This module addresses advances in intervention mechanisms which have contributed to reduced disease risk and development in an ageing population.

 

and three optional modules

Drugs and Toxicology

You examine pharmacological and biochemical aspects of drug action and the subject of toxicology. Mechanisms of drug action are considered as are: intoxication, side-effects and factors affecting response to xenobiotic compounds as well as misuse and abuse issues. Methods for drug testing and the associated analytical techniques for forensic investigation are also considered.

Medical Microbiology

The module helps you explore how modern clinical microbiology can be used to detect, diagnose and control infectious diseases. You extend your understanding of the molecular basis of microbial pathogenesis and it allows you to explore how modern molecular biology techniques have been employed to define the nature of host-pathogen interactions.

Sports Nutrition

This module provides you with an opportunity to gain in-depth understanding of the nutritional and metabolic demands of exercise and of the interactions between diet, exercise and health. You also gain practical experience of how nutrition influences sports performance. The content and delivery of this module provides you with training in sport and exercise nutrition which will equip you for future careers in research, industry or in applied sports nutrition support.

 

Modules offered may vary.

How you learn

The first year of this course provides a number of contact teaching and assessment hours such as lectures, tutorials, laboratory work, projects, examinations. You are also expected to spend time on your own - self-study time - to review lecture notes, prepare coursework assignments, work on projects and revise for assessments.

One module in each year of your study, excluding your first year (Level 3), involves a compulsory one-week block delivery period. This intensive problem-solving week, provides you with an opportunity to focus your attention on particular problems and enhance your team-working and employability skills.

How you are assessed

Your learning involves different types of assessment including coursework assignments and examinations.


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Work placement

We produce graduates with the problem-solving and leadership skills necessary to forge successful careers.

This programme allows you to spend an optional year - in-between your second year and final year - learning and developing your skills through work experience. You have a dedicated work placement officer and the University's award-winning careers service to help you with applying for a placement. Advice is also available on job hunting and networking. Employers are often invited to our School to meet you and present you with opportunities for work placements.

By taking a work placement year you gain experience favoured by graduate recruiters and develop your technical skillset. You also obtain the transferable skills required in any professional environment. Transferable skills include communication, negotiation, teamwork, leadership, organisation, confidence, self-reliance, problem-solving, being able to work under pressure, and commercial awareness.

Throughout this programme, you get to know prospective employers and extend your professional network. An increasing number of employers view a placement as a year-long interview and, as a result, placements are increasingly becoming an essential part of an organisation's pre-selection strategy in their graduate recruitment process.

Potential benefits from completing a work placement year include:

  • improved job prospects
  • enhanced employment skills and improved career progression opportunities
  • a higher starting salary than your full-time counterparts
  • a better degree classification
  • a richer CV
  • a year's salary before completing your degree
  • experience of workplace culture
  • the opportunity to design and base your final-year project within a working environment.

Career opportunities

Graduates are sought by a wide range of industries and organisations which include pharmaceutical industries, hospitals and government laboratories. Graduates may enter the teaching profession or undertake employment in research and development laboratories.

Entry requirements

The tariff point entry requirement for this course depends on your Level 3 subjects - most applicants receiving offers with a tariff requirement in the range of 32-88 points. The points can be accumulated from any combination of Level 3 qualifications.

We also consider a range of alternative qualifications and relevant work experience.

Acceptable entry qualifications can include any of the following:

1. any combination of Level 3 qualifications (for example, A/AS levels, BTEC Certificates/Diplomas, Access to HE courses)
or
2. a High School Certificate/Diploma with good grades completed after at least 12 years of primary and secondary education
or
3. demonstrable evidence of appropriate knowledge and skills acquired from at least three years of relevant post-school work experience.

There are no mandatory Level 3 subjects required for admission on this course, but we normally expect students to provide evidence of English language and mathematical skills equivalent to GCSE grade 4 or higher. We consider a wide range of English and maths qualifications alternative to GCSEs. Please contact our admissions staff for advice.

If you are in the UK you may be required to attend an interview. During your visit you also have the opportunity to see our fantastic campus, learn more about course, tour our facilities and meet our staff. If The interview process enables us to determine your eligibility for admission to this course and to tailor your offer to your individual circumstances, background and qualifications.

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Guaranteed Place Scheme (for UK/EU students only)

If you have completed Level 3 qualifications (for example AS Levels, BTEC Nationals) and have at least five GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including English and Mathematics, you may be eligible for a guaranteed place on an Extended degree course in your chosen subject whilst still working towards meeting the conditions required for a course with higher entry requirements.
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For additional information please see the entry requirements in our admissions section

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country


You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
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Course information

Full-time

  • Length: 4 years (including a foundation year) or 5 years with additional work placement year

More full-time details

Part-time

  • Not available part-time

Contact details

Further information