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BSc Molecular Biology with a Modern Language / Course details
Year of entry: 2023
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Our BSc Molecular Biology with a Modern Language course will enable you to develop your language skills while studying the structure and function of biologically important molecules, giving you a range of theoretical knowledge and practical lab skills.
You will learn about DNA, RNA and proteins and the molecular events that govern cell function while exploring the relevant aspects of biochemistry, genetics and cell biology.
You will also find out how the completion of large genome projects has helped us to begin to understand the molecular basis of illnesses and use genetic manipulation in biotechnology to make valuable products including blood clotting factors, insulin and vaccines.
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.
Connect with other languages students
Learn alongside other students taking a variety of language degrees at the University, giving you the opportunity to practise your skills with your fellow students and make new friends.
Placements are available at 20 universities throughout Europe and in China and Japan.
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 sciences degree courses at the end of your first year or, in some cases, later. You can only transfer onto this course 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.
- 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.
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.
Lecture units are usually assessed by essay-based exam, and some units also include a coursework element. Year 2 contributes 30% to your overall degree mark.
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.
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 through a presentation 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 and Mandarin, which require 40 credits per year.
Course content for year 1
You will gain a broad introduction to biological sciences, covering key concepts such as:
- basic molecular biology
You will also study topics in chemistry that are relevant to biology.
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 content for year 2
You will continue your studies in greater depth and begin to specialise. You will also undertake a Science Communication unit.
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.
|Molecular Biology RSM||BIOL20352||10||Mandatory|
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.
What our students say
I went to Paris on my placement year and worked on stem cell research. The year gave me valuable experience working as a research scientist and helped me decide which PhD to do once I finish my degree. I also saw a big improvement in my French.
I am still in contact with my colleagues from the lab and they have offered me a post-doctoral research job if I decide to go back to Paris after my PhD.
Find out more about what it's like to study at Manchester on the Biology, Medicine and Health Student Blog .
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;
- 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.
Our experimental grounds include a variety of plants and controlled growing conditions used in research. These facilities complement resources at the Manchester Museum where you have access to important natural history collections and a tropical frog conservation centre .
You will also have access to the University's other facilities for undergraduate students .
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.