MSci Biomedical Sciences / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course description

Our MSci Biomedical Sciences course will enable you to achieve an integrated master's degree while you study for a BSc, giving you significant research experience that will be invaluable for a PhD and a career in research.

The first three years of the course will give you a grounding in a range of medically related disciplines, including physiology, pharmacology, neuroscience, cell biology, microbiology, anatomy and histology, genetics, biochemistry and immunology.

You will learn how to apply biology-based science for medical use through research, health monitoring or treatment, benefiting from the course's strong focus on practical experience.

In Year 4, you will undertake a major research project in one of the University's more than 200 research labs to achieve your undergraduate master's award.

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

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 between most of our biological sciences degree courses at the end of your first year or, in some cases, later.

Teaching and learning

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.

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 MSci, you must normally obtain a mean mark of at least 60% in Year 1.

Year 1 contributes 6% to your overall degree mark.

Year 2

Lecture units are usually assessed by essay-based exam.

Year 2 contributes 19% to your overall degree mark.

Year 3

Lecture units are usually assessed by essay-based exam.

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

The three MSci-specific units are assessed through different means such as e-learning, reports and poster and oral presentations.

Year 3 contributes 37.5% to your overall degree mark. To continue on to the final year of the MSci course, you must obtain a mean mark of 60% in Year 3.

Students who fail to meet this grade will graduate with a three-year BSc degree.

Year 4

The whole year is dedicated to the research project assessed through a scientific talk, written abstract, poster presentation and a report in the format of a journal. There will also be a project performance mark.

Course unit details

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

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

Course content for year 1

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

  • biochemistry
  • genetics
  • microbiology
  • anatomy
  • physiology
  • the cells of the nervous system
  • pharmacology
  • molecular biology.

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

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
Microbes, Man and the Environment BIOL10532 10 Mandatory
Writing and Referencing Skills (online unit) BIOL10741 0 Mandatory
Body Systems BIOL10811 10 Mandatory
Drugs: From Molecules to Man BIOL10822 10 Mandatory
Excitable Cells: the Foundations of Neuroscience BIOL10832 10 Mandatory
A History of Biology in 20 Objects BIOL10381 10 Optional
Biodiversity BIOL10511 10 Optional
Genes, Evolution and Development BIOL10521 10 Optional
Chemistry for Bioscientists 1 CHEM10021 10 Optional
Fundamentals of Chemistry CHEM10111 10 Optional
Science & the Modern World HSTM10221 10 Optional
Displaying 10 of 16 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
Human Sciences EDM BIOL21061 10 Mandatory
Dissertation BIOL21090 10 Mandatory
The Biology of Being Human BIOL20982 10 Optional
Genome Maintenance & Regulation BIOL21101 10 Optional
Proteins BIOL21111 10 Optional
The Dynamic Cell BIOL21121 10 Optional
Cell Metabolism & Metabolic Control BIOL21132 10 Optional
Cell Membrane Structure & Function BIOL21141 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
Plants for the Future BIOL21202 10 Optional
Ecology & Ecosystems BIOL21211 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
Molecules and Cells in Human Disease BIOL21351 10 Optional
Haematology BIOL21361 10 Optional
Organismal Genetics BIOL21371 10 Optional
Introduction to Virology BIOL21381 10 Optional
Anatomy of the Special Sense Organs BIOL21402 10 Optional
Animal Behaviour BIOL21432 10 Optional
Disease in Nature BIOL21442 10 Optional
Chemistry of Biomolecules CHEM21162 10 Optional
From Cholera to Aids: A Global History of Epidemics HSTM20031 10 Optional
The Information Age HSTM20282 10 Optional
British Sign Language ULBS20011 10 Optional
British Sign Language - semester two ULBS20012 10 Optional
Displaying 10 of 40 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

You will take two papers and six lecture units specific to the anatomical sciences. 

You will prepare for the papers through tutorials with current BSc students.

The remaining 40 credits will come from the following MSci units:

  • Research Project Proposals (10 credits)
  • Bioinformatics Tools and Resources (10 credits)
  • Experimental Skills (20 credits)

Course units for year 3

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
MSci Research Project Proposal BIOL33000 10 Mandatory
MSci Experimental Skills Module BIOL33012 20 Mandatory
Advanced Behavioural and Evolutionary Ecology (E) BIOL31471 10 Optional
Conservation Biology (E) BIOL31482 10 Optional
Green Biotechnology (E) BIOL31501 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
MSci Bioinformatics Tools and Resources BIOL33011 10 Optional
Computational Approaches to Biology BIOL33021 10 Optional
MSci Reproducible Data Science BIOL33031 10 Optional
Geomicrobiology EART30831 10 Optional
Madness and Society HSTM30832 10 Optional
Climate Change & Society HSTM33201 10 Optional
Displaying 10 of 16 course units for year 3

Course content for year 4

You will undertake a 120-credit research project over a period of six to seven months in research laboratories or a field station run by University staff to complete the work needed for your MSci award.

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
MSci Research Project BIOL40010 120 Mandatory

What our students say

It is great to have the opportunity to plan my fourth year project alongside academics that I have personally approached, according to my research interests.

My project will be investigating either secondary hyperparathyroidism and calcium homeostasis, or lipid storage in the placenta, both in the context of clinical disease. I am quite proud in that I have been actively involved in writing an initial protocol for each project.

Soon, I'll be deciding which project I would like to proceed with next year for seven months - equally exciting and terrifying! I feel that my master's year will be extremely telling of whether I want to pursue a career in research.

Sarah Maguire

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