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BSc Life Sciences / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Course description

Our BSc Life Sciences course is ideal if you are committed to studying the biological sciences, but have not yet decided on the area in which you want to specialise.

You can then make that decision from a position of greater knowledge at the end of the first year.

The combination of units taken in the first year will enable you to transfer to most of our biological and biomedical sciences courses.

Special features

Study in the field

Travel to UK locations or countries such as Mallorca, Costa Rica and South Africa on a  field course .

A range of study options

You can extend your degree by a year to gain  industrial experience , study with entrepreneurship , learn a  modern language  or transfer to another course with an  integrated master's .

It is possible to broaden your degree by taking units from the University College , Business and Management for all Programmes  or the University Language Centre  in exchange for a few units from your degree.

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.

Flexibility to transfer between courses

You can transfer between most of our biological sciences degree courses at the end of your first year or 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, 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. 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.

Final year

Lecture units are usually assessed by essay-based exam. Students also take two 'honours' papers: degree programme-specific 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.

The final year 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 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
  • 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
Biodiversity BIOL10511 10 Mandatory
Writing and Referencing Skills (online unit) BIOL10741 0 Mandatory
A History of Biology in 20 Objects BIOL10381 10 Optional
Introduction to Experimental Biology - Molecular & Cellular Biology BIOL10412 10 Optional
Introduction to Experimental Biology - Human Biology BIOL10422 10 Optional
Genes, Evolution and Development BIOL10521 10 Optional
Microbes, Man and the Environment BIOL10532 10 Optional
Field Course in Marine Biology I BIOL10602 10 Optional
Field Course in Mediterranean Biodiversity and Conservation BIOL10622 10 Optional
Field Course in Animal Behaviour and Diversity BIOL10642 10 Optional
Non-Residential Field Course in Ecology & Behaviour BIOL10662 10 Optional
Body Systems BIOL10811 10 Optional
Drugs: From Molecules to Man BIOL10822 10 Optional
Excitable Cells: the Foundations of Neuroscience BIOL10832 10 Optional
Chemistry for Bioscientists 1 CHEM10021 10 Optional
Chemistry for Bioscientists 2 CHEM10022 10 Optional
Fundamentals of Chemistry CHEM10111 10 Optional
Science & the Modern World HSTM10221 10 Optional
Bodies in History: An introduction to the History of Medicine HSTM10272 10 Optional
Displaying 10 of 24 course units for year 1

Course content for year 2

You will transfer onto another of our biological or biomedical sciences courses, chosen with the guidance of academic staff.

Scholarships and bursaries

A small number of scholarships may be available to overseas applicants. Details will be made available once confirmed.

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