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BSc Plant Science with a Modern Language / Course details

Year of entry: 2019

Course description

Our BSc Plant Science with a Modern Language course will enable you to develop your language skills while learning about the growth, development and productivity of plants.

To understand and exploit these processes, you will learn how to apply concepts from a wide range of biological areas to plant science, including genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry and cell biology.

We offer a rich combination of seminars and interactive events, including  field studies .

These include the opportunity to go on a field course on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca in the Easter vacation of your first year, when the orchids are in bloom. 

A tropical or UK-based field course builds on this in your second year.

We offer French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese and Mandarin for the language component of the course, which includes a year abroad on a research placement.

Our course has Advanced Accreditation from the  Royal Society of Biology , which recognises academic excellence in the biosciences and highlights degrees that educate the research and development leaders and innovators of the future.

Special features

Study in the field

Travel to locations in the UK or countries such as Mallorca on a  field course .

Connect with other languages students

Learn alongside other students taking a variety of language degrees at the University, giving you the opportunity to practice your skills with your fellow students and make new friends.

Foundation year available

You can prepare for the full degree course if you do not have the appropriate qualifications for direct entry by undertaking our foundation course  first.

Flexibility to transfer between courses

You can transfer away from this course to most of our biological sciences degree courses at the end of your first year or, in some cases, later. You can only transfer onto it if you have completed the required language units in Year 1.

Teaching and learning

The course consists of two-thirds of biological sciences learning and one-third modern language learning. You will learn your modern language alongside other students taking a variety of language degrees at the University.

You will benefit from a wide range of teaching and learning methods that suit the content and aims of each course unit.

These range from lectures and tutorials to practicals and research projects, including the  final year project .

Find out more about how you will learn and see a typical Year 1 timetable on our  teaching and learning  page.

Coursework and assessment

Assessment methods vary widely to suit the nature of the course unit and each level of study. 

  • Lecture units are usually assessed by written exam (multiple choice or essay-based), which are held at the end of an academic semester in either January or May/June.
  • Field courses are usually assessed via oral and written presentations, group work and/or projects.
  • Practical units are usually assessed by experimental report and/or short written assignment and/or written exam.
  • The proportion of independent study assignments increases during each year of study.

Year 1

Lecture units are usually assessed by e-learning activities during the unit and multiple choice exams at the end of the semester. 

If you wish to continue on the modern language or industrial/professional experience course, you must normally obtain a mean mark of at least 60% in Year 1.

Year 1 contributes 10% to your overall degree mark.

Year 2

Lecture units are usually assessed by essay-based exam.

Year 2 contributes 30% to your overall degree mark.

Placement year

You will complete a scientific report and undergo an oral examination on your research that contributes 10% to your overall degree mark.

You will be marked out of 110% for your whole degree.

Year 4

Lecture units are usually assessed by essay-based exam.

You will also take two 'honours' papers and examinations comprising essays and data-handling problems.

A significant part of the year (accounting for one-quarter of the overall degree mark) is the project, which is assessed by literature review and a written report.

Year 4 contributes 60% to your overall degree mark.

Course unit details

This course is modular. You will study compulsory course units and choose some optional units.

Most science units are assigned 10 credits and you will take 120 credits each year.

For most languages, you will need to acquire 20 credits per year, but this can be higher for certain other languages, such as Japanese, which requires 40 credits.

Course content for year 1

You will gain a broad introduction to biological sciences, covering key concepts such as:

  • biochemistry
  • genetics
  • biodiversity
  • microbiology
  • molecular biology.

You will attend a field course and you could choose to study plant adaptation on the Spanish island of Mallorca.

Year 1 also provides an introduction to the essential data handling and laboratory skills required for all biological scientists.

You will spend approximately one-third of your time studying course units related to your chosen language.

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Academic Tutorials Year 1 BIOL10000 10 Mandatory
Biochemistry BIOL10212 10 Mandatory
Molecular Biology BIOL10221 10 Mandatory
From Molecules to Cells BIOL10232 10 Mandatory
Introduction to Laboratory Science BIOL10401 10 Mandatory
Biodiversity BIOL10511 10 Mandatory
Genes, Evolution and Development BIOL10521 10 Mandatory
Microbes, Man and the Environment BIOL10532 10 Mandatory
Writing and Referencing Skills (online unit) BIOL10741 0 Mandatory
A History of Biology in 20 Objects BIOL10381 10 Optional
Field Course in Mediterranean Biodiversity and Conservation BIOL10622 10 Optional
British Conservation Ecology & Behaviour BIOL10662 10 Optional
Body Systems BIOL10811 10 Optional
Drugs: From Molecules to Man BIOL10822 10 Optional
Excitable Cells BIOL10832 10 Optional
Chemistry for Bioscientists 1 CHEM10021 10 Optional
Chemistry for Bioscientists 2 CHEM10022 10 Optional
Fundamentals of Chemistry CHEM10111 10 Optional
Introduction to Ecology EART10602 10 Optional
Displaying 10 of 19 course units for year 1

Course content for year 2

You will continue your studies in greater depth and begin to specialise. You will also undertake a dissertation.

In the Research Skills unit, you have the opportunity to carry out techniques that are widely used in current biological science research.

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Academic Tutorials Year 2 BIOL20000 10 Mandatory
Organismal Biology EDM BIOL21051 10 Mandatory
Dissertation BIOL21090 10 Mandatory
Plants for the Future BIOL21202 10 Mandatory
Ecology & Ecosystems BIOL21211 10 Mandatory
Disease in Nature BIOL21442 10 Mandatory
Genome Maintenance & Regulation BIOL21101 10 Optional
Proteins BIOL21111 10 Optional
The Dynamic Cell BIOL21121 10 Optional
Cell Metabolism & Metabolic Control BIOL21132 10 Optional
`Omic Technologies & Resources BIOL21152 10 Optional
Principles of Developmental Biology BIOL21172 10 Optional
Prokaryotic Microbiology BIOL21181 10 Optional
Principles of Infectious Disease BIOL21192 10 Optional
Animal Diversity BIOL21221 10 Optional
Fundamentals of Evolutionary Biology BIOL21232 10 Optional
Immunology BIOL21242 10 Optional
Parasitology BIOL21252 10 Optional
Endocrinology BIOL21261 10 Optional
Gut and Renal Human Physiology BIOL21272 10 Optional
Animal Physiology BIOL21281 10 Optional
Human Anatomy & Histology BIOL21291 10 Optional
Clinical Drug Development BIOL21302 10 Optional
Drugs & the Brain BIOL21312 10 Optional
Membrane Excitability: Ion Channels & Transporters in Action BIOL21321 10 Optional
Motor Systems BIOL21332 10 Optional
Sensory Systems BIOL21341 10 Optional
Haematology BIOL21361 10 Optional
Organismal Genetics BIOL21371 10 Optional
Introduction to Virology BIOL21381 10 Optional
Animal Behaviour BIOL21432 10 Optional
Chemistry of Biomolecules CHEM21162 10 Optional
Displaying 10 of 32 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

Subject to satisfactory academic performance and placement availability, you will spend this year overseas on your modern language placement.

Course content for year 4

Final year topics reflect the current hotspots of bioscience endeavour and the research interests of our staff, and are constantly being updated.

You will undertake an independent in-depth  research project  that may involve supervised practical work in a laboratory, or you may choose to work on e-learning, educational, data analysis, bioinformatics or enterprise topics. 

Course units for year 4

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Academic Tutorials Year 3 BIOL30000 0 Mandatory
Projects BIOL30030 30 Mandatory
Project Literature Review BIOL30101 10 Mandatory
Green Biotechnology (E) BIOL31501 10 Mandatory
Evolution of Genes, Genomes & Systems (E) BIOL31391 10 Optional
Protein Sorting (L) BIOL31411 10 Optional
Comparative Developmental Biol (L) BIOL31451 10 Optional
Conservation Biology (E) BIOL31482 10 Optional
Biotic Interactions (L) BIOL31511 10 Optional
Bioethics: Contemporary Issues in Science & Biomedicine (E) BIOL31522 10 Optional
Living with Climate Change (L) BIOL31541 10 Optional
Human Impacts on the Biosphere (E) BIOL31551 10 Optional
Chemistry of Biological Processes (E) CHEM31812 10 Optional
Displaying 10 of 13 course units for year 4

What our students say

Find out more about what it's like to study at Manchester on the  Biology, Medicine and Health Student Blog .

Facilities

Learning facilities

Our modern teaching labs are equipped for a range of biological and biomedical techniques. The following are just a few of the techniques you could undertake during your degree:

  • polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
  • DNA sequencing
  • gel electrophoresis
  • spectrophotometry
  • dissection and histology
  • electroencephalography (EEG) and electrocardiography (ECG)
  • immunofluorescence microscopy.

Our computing facilities include access to over 200 PCs in dedicated clusters and e-learning tools including online lecture notes, discussion boards, lecture podcasts and quizzes.

You will also have access to the University's other  facilities for undergraduate students .

Research facilities

As a final year student, you have the opportunity to undertake a project in the labs of our world-class bioscience researchers.

To support our research, we have extensive  research facilities  equipped with high-quality technology.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk