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What makes Human Biology at Worcester special?

We are living through an age of unprecedented scientific discovery, with the mapping of the human genome and the potential of stem cell research revolutionising our understanding of how our bodies work.

At Worcester, we have adopted a practical approach to learning, with brand new laboratories equipped with the latest technologies, so you can get hands on with the topics that interest you the most.

In the next 10 years the current revolution in our understanding will begin to impact on our daily lives. By studying Human Biology at Worcester, you can help shape this future.

Key features

  • Excellent industry links with organisations including Astra Zeneca, Shimadzu and the NHS
  • Staff are active in biomedical research, leading to informed and up-to-date teaching
  • Flexible course options allow you to pursue your interests
  • 90% of Human Biology students are in work or further study 6 months after graduating
  • New laboratories and specialist equipment – an inspiring environment for you to develop your ideas
  • Strong emphasis on practical work
Student smiling in lab

"I was nearly put off education by the pressure of my A levels, but I decided to carry on and apply to University of Worcester, and have loved it ever since. It’s really inspired me. I started off doing the broad Biology BSc, but I changed my pathway as I discovered which areas I found particularly interesting. That’s the amazing thing about the course - you study so many diverse topics, from ecology to genetics to microbiology, but you still study in depth, with a strong practical element.”

Jade Osborn

TSB Accredited degreeThis programme has been accredited by the Royal Society of Biology following an independent and rigorous assessment. Accredited degree programmes contain a solid academic foundation in biological knowledge and key skills, and prepare graduates to address the needs of employers.

The accreditation criteria require evidence that graduates from accredited programmes meet defined sets of learning outcomes, including subject knowledge, technical ability and transferable skills.

Taster days

A Biological Science taster day gives you the opportunity to explore our facilities, take part in Biological Science taster activities, and find out about student life. This day is for those considering applying for the course, not those who have already applied or those who have been offered an interview. For further information or to request a place please email insiders@worc.ac.uk or complete this enquiry form.

Upcoming taster days:

Tuesday 8th May 2018, 10am - 2pm

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

Entry requirements

96 UCAS Tariff points MUST include A2 Biology and A2 another science, maths or statistics.

104 UCAS Tariff points MUST include A2 Biology.

 

Other information

The University will consider each application on its individual merits and will recognise a range of qualifications not currently included in the Tariff, including Access courses, European Baccalaureate and pre-2002 qualifications such as GNVQ.

If your qualifications are not listed, please contact the Admissions Office for advice on 01905 855111 or email admissions@worc.ac.uk for advice.

Further information about the UCAS Tariff can be obtained from http://www.ucas.com

Book your place at an Open Day

Want to know why so many students love living and studying in Worcester?

Our open days are the perfect way to find out.

Book your place

Course content

What will you study?

Here is an overview of current modules available on this course. Regular updates may mean that exact module titles may differ.

Year 1

Mandatory

  • Introduction to Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Cell Biology
  • Health and Disease

 

Optional

  • Introduction to Human Nutrition
  • Introduction to Forensic Biology
  • Animal Diversity
  • Introduction to Biological Chemistry
  • Comparative Animal Physiology
  • Introduction to Biological Chemistry and Genetics
  • Human Origins
  • An Introduction to Sustainability

Year 2

Mandatory

  • Human Genetics
  • Human Systems Physiology
  • Project and Career Development

Optional

  • Work Experience
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Agents And Allergens
  • Molecular Genetics
  • Medical Forensic Science
  • Integrated Human Metabolism
  • Molecular & Cellular Biology

Year 3

Mandatory

  • Independent Study
  • Mammalian Reproduction
  • Systems Physiology II

Optional

  • Work Experience
  • Animal Movement
  • Forensic DNA Analysis
  • Biological Indicators for Crime Reporting
  • The Biochemistry of Cancer
  • Research Methods and Research Project
  • Pharmacology
  • Extension Module
  • Parasitology

Student experiences

In your first year you will develop a comprehensive understanding of the structure and functions of living organisms appropriate to the course. In Years 2 and 3 the modules become more specialised. Subjects central to Human Biology such as Cell Biology are delivered in double modules to allow for suitable development of the subject and for the delivery of important subject specific and generic skills.

In your final year you will undertake an Independent Study or Biosciences Research Project, which is a double module and must demonstrate original data. The Independent Study will have been designed in the Project and Career Development module in Year 2. Past topics have included amplification of ancient human DNA, relationship between the ACTN3 gene, 577 SNP allele variations and speed/strength performance phenotypes, the effect of televised sport on blood pressure and heart rate, and the antimicrobial effects of curry spices.

View the Biology Programmes Overview.

Teaching and Assessment

How will you be taught?

We enable you to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement. 

A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support through the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will enable you to flourish and be successful.

Teaching

You are taught through a combination of lectures, laboratory-based practical work, video presentations, group tutorials, discussions, directed reading, and formative assessments. The first year also includes study skills sessions. The course is very practical and offers you the opportunity to undertake an independent project in your third year. The emphasis on the development of ‘hands on’ practical skills will provide you with useful skills for your future career.

In addition, meetings with personal academic tutors are scheduled on at least 4 occasions in the first year and three occasions in each of the other years of a course.

You have an opportunity to take a work experience module in your second or third year, to engage with an Erasmus scheme and spend a semester abroad, or to become involved in staff research through the Vacation Research Assistantship Scheme.

Contact time 

In a typical week you will have around 16 contact hours of teaching.  The precise contact hours will depend on the optional modules selected and in the final year you will normally have slightly less contact time in order to do more independent study. 

Typically class contact time will be structured around:

  • 4 hours of lectures
  • 11 hours of supervised laboratory practicals
  • 1 hour of group workshops
  • 1 hour of Study Skills (first year only)

Independent self-study

In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake around 27 hours of personal self-study per week. Typically, this will involve going over your lecture notes and reading around the topic in order to reinforce the content, completing online activities, reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library and online, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations.

Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources. 

Teaching staff

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. You will mainly be taught by senior academics, but visiting speakers with specialised expertise may deliver some sessions. Technicians support practical sessions.

Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader. Teaching is informed by the research and consultancy, and 93% of course lecturers in the Biological Sciences have a higher education teaching qualification or are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy. Twenty per cent also have Teaching Fellowships from the University of Worcester. You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles.

Assessment

The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or ‘formative’ assignments.  Each module has one or more formal or ‘summative’ assessments which are graded and count towards the overall module grade.  

Assessment methods include practical reports, presentations, posters, on-line activities, essays and examinations (which may be practical, written, data analysis, seen exams or open book exams).

The precise assessment requirements for an individual student in an academic year will vary according to the mandatory and optional modules taken, but a typical formal summative assessment pattern for each year of the course is:

Year 1
4 practical reports
3 practical files
6 exams of 1.5 or 2 hours duration
1 practical test
1 presentation
1 poster

Year 2
3 practical reports
6 exams of 1.5 or 2 hours duration
1 poster presentation
1 presentation
1 practical test
1 practical handbook
1 bioinformatics handbook
1 data exercise
1 lay summary
1 literature portfolio
1 research proposal
1 CV and practice job interview

Year 3
1 Independent study report
1 poster presentation
2 presentations
6 examinations of 1.5 or 2 hours duration
1 on-line activity
1 essay
1 practical test
3 practical reports
1 scientific review article
1 summary and critical discussion of academic papers

Feedback

You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate.

We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.

Meet the team

Here are a few members of the department who currently teach on this course:

  • allain-bueno-science-university-worcester

    Dr Allain Bueno

    Dr Allain Bueno joined the University of Worcester in January 2012 after 4 years of Post-doctoral studies at the Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition, London. Dr Bueno holds strong experience in clinical sciences, having worked and taught in a leading tertiary referral hospital. His current area of research includes the biochemistry of dietary fats, cell membrane phospholipids and anti-oxidant protection in health conditions.

Careers

Where could it take you?

As a Human Biologist at the University of Worcester, you will be able to develop a wide range of intellectual, practical and social skills that are much in demand by employers. These include primary research and critical evaluation skills, communications skills, both written and oral, and a range of technical and IT skills such as the use of DNA technology, IT-based analysis, data analysis, and applied statistics.

Human Biologists, who can solve problems, look at evidence and make measured and reasoned arguments, are not only required in scientific fields but also in other fields - such as the media, retailing and finance - to ensure there is a balanced view relating to new technology and that any risks are neither under nor over stated. There is also a need for people to be able to explain these scientific arguments in 'lay-mans' terms, not only in teaching but also in a wide range of other vocations.

This course will prepare you for a number of different career paths including work with the police, laboratory practice, medical and laboratory sales and postgraduate degrees. Some students are using Human Biology as a route into medical school.

Ryea Maswood credits her degree with allowing her to develop the skills to do her current job at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.

Read Myea's story

university-worcester-undergraduate-prospectus-cover-2018-small

Request or download a prospectus

Request now

Costs

How much will it cost?

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fee for full-time UK and EU students registering in 2017 will be £9,250.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international (non-EU) students registering in 2017 will be £11,700 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Part-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fees for part-time UK and EU students registering on this course in 2017 will be £1,156 per 15-credit module, £1,542 per 20 credit module and £2,313 per 30-credit module.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Additional costs

Every course has day-to-day costs for basic books, stationery, printing and photocopying.  The amounts vary between courses.

You will also need a lab coat, which can be bought for around £13.

Accommodation

Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience, and our welcoming student communities are great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our halls, 358 of which were new in 2009. We offer halls of residence to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £94 per week to the £153 per week 'En-suite Extra'.

For full details visit our accommodation page.

Apply

How do you apply?

Applying through UCAS

Single Honours:
Human Biology BSc (Hons) - B150 BSc/HBio

 

Joint Honours:
Human Biology and Human Nutrition - CBC4
Human Biology and Psychology - CCC8

 

UCAS is the central organisation through which applications are processed for entry onto full-time undergraduate courses in Higher Education in the UK.

Read our How to apply pages for more information on applying and to find out what happens to your application.

UCAS CODE:

B150

Apply now via UCAS

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.

Admissions office

01905 855111
admissions@worc.ac.uk

Lorraine Weaver

Head of Biological Sciences
01905 855598
l.weaver@worc.ac.uk

ISE Academic Support Unit

01905 855201/02/23
ise@worc.ac.uk