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BSc/BSc (Hons) Human Biology

UCAS Code: C100 BSc/HB

Duration: 3/4 years

  • Introduction
  • Course facts
  • Modules
  • Entry Requirements
  • Careers/Case Studies

Human biology is a fundamental understanding of how the body works and how it responds to changes in health and disease, such as growth, ageing, obesity and heart disease.

This course will provide you with the skills to work in a variety of areas related to the science of human biology.

In the first two years, you will gain a grounding in the core areas of the biological sciences. During this time you will study a range of modules and there is a significant practical element where you will develop basic research and laboratory skills such as using a pipette, microscopy and statistics.

In Year Three, you will begin to focus on a range of specific areas related to the function of the body in health and disease. You can also select from a range of modules which allow you to determine the focus of your future career.

In Year Four, the majority of your time will be spent on your honours project which will involve you carrying out an individual research project. This will help to develop and enhance the skills and knowledge that will be required in the workplace. In addition to this, further modules will enhance your understanding and critical evaluation of human biology, with optional modules to tailor your own programme of study.

Most modules involve student-centred learning, as well as tutor-led lectures, tutorials, labs and workshops.

The modules listed here are correct as of April 2016, but may differ slightly to those offered in 2017. We will add any updates to this page if necessary.

You can opt to study for an honours degree over four years or an ordinary degree over three years. You will complete a range of modules, as outlined, each year.

  • Significant elements of Years One and Two are shared with our BSc/ BSc (Hons) Applied Pharmacology, BSc/ BSc (Hons) Nutrition,
    and BSc/ BSc (Hons) Nutrition and Food Sciences courses meaning you can change course anytime up to the end of Year Two.

  • The course provides a firm foundation in all the sciences associated with the body in health and disease, including metabolism, nutrition
    and drug therapy.

  • Optional modules in Years Three and Four allow you to tailor the course to suit your own interests and career aspirations.

  • In Year One, you will attend QMU approximately 11-15 hours per week to participate in a mixture of lectures, tutorials and laboratory
    practical classes. The attendance will reduce slightly in later years where there is more independent learning.

  • Year One: Biochemistry/ Developmental Biology and Ageing/ Genetics/ Health and Society/ Cell Biology & Human Physiology/ Integrating Module 1/ Introduction to Neuroscience/ Introduction to Nutrition/ Key Investigative Skills 1/ Microbiology

    Year Two: Immunology/ Integrating Module 2/ Key Investigative Skills 2/ Laboratory Investigative Procedures/ Medical Microbiology/ Molecular Biology/ Nutrition: Energy and Macronutrients/ Pharmacology/ Professional Development in Scientific Analysis/ Systems Biology

    Year Three: Clinical Sciences/ Determinants of Health/ Dissertation (choice of topic)/ Epidemiology and Health/ Integrating Module 3/ Advanced Neuroscience/ Professional Module/ Scientific Enquiry and Evaluation/ Plus one from the following optional modules: Drug Abuse and Addiction/ Public Health Practice/ Techniques for Nutrition Research

    Year Four: Advanced Medical Microbiology and Immunology/ Current Issues in Cancer/ Current Issues in Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular Disease/ Current Issues in Health/ Epidemiology/ Honours Project (research)/ Research Communication / Research Process/ Plus one from the following optional modules: Current Issues in Sport and Exercise/ Health Education and Promotion/ International Health and Nutrition

    Scottish Higher: BBB

    A Level: BB

    Irish Leaving Certificate: Pre 2017: BBB
    2017 onwards: H2, H2, H3

    International Baccalaureate: 26 points

    Required Subjects: Chem or Biol and preferably one other science (may include Maths or Home Economics) at Higher/A Level or equivalent AND Chem, Biol, Maths and Eng at S/Int2/N5/GCSE level.

    Mature/Access: SWAP Access to Science or Biological Sciences. We welcome applications from mature students with relevant qualifications in biology and chemistry and /or experience.

    Advanced Entry: Year 2 - HNC Biological Sciences/ HNC Applied Science with B in the graded unit. Year 3 - HND Applied Biological Sciences with CB in the graded units.

    Health Requirements: For honours projects involving tissue materials, students may be required to be immunised against Hepatitis B.

    Other: You may be requested to be immunised against Hepatitis B

    Graduates can enter a variety of scientific and health-related careers in the public and private sectors, such as: laboratory and research scientists; research co-ordinators; clinical and clinical data analysts; scientific information managers and writers; healthcare management and administration; health promotion; health education; science teaching; product development (eg pharmaceuticals, medical products); marketing of health and scientific products; and studies for higher degrees by research or specialist postgraduate courses. As a multi-skilled and multidisciplinary graduate, you have many other opportunities and careers open in wider areas of employment.

    Kylie Conroy - BSc (Hons) Human Biology

    I am originally from Australia and after leaving school, I went on to do an apprenticeship in hospitality with a view to one day opening my own restaurant or café after I had done some travelling. My travels brought me to the UK and I spent a few years working in restaurants and bars, but I realised that I wanted to do something different. I was still interested in food, but I was keen for a more scientific career. As my previous qualifications were not science-focused, I did a one year Access course at college which gave me the qualifications to apply for the BSc (Hons) Nutrition at QMU.

    The content of Years One and Two of QMU’s degrees in Nutrition, Human Biology and Applied Pharmacology is the same and provides a grounding in science. This is great as it means that you can refocus your studies if you enjoy one aspect more than the other. Enjoying lab work, I decided to change to the Human Biology degree and I’m glad that I changed: I really enjoyed it and although I found it challenging, I believe that if you put in the work you get the results and I did a First Class Honours. The modules were very interesting and well presented and I really enjoyed the written assignments and delving deep into a particular topic. I was also able to secure a three month studentship at University of Edinburgh where I did some research into depression - which was a brilliant experience. Similar undergraduate studentships are offered in universities throughout the UK and I would highly recommend doing one. It not only gave me good experience, but it also meant that I could see first hand what was involved in laboratory work and real research. Also, through my contacts there I was able to do some further research that formed the basis of my honours project.

    Towards the end Year Four, I started thinking about my future. As I had enjoyed laboratory work and researching for my honours project, I quite fancied carrying on to do a PhD. QMU were offering studentships for various topics of research, so I applied and was accepted. Between graduating and starting my PhD, I went back to work in the lab at Edinburgh University. After finishing my PhD, I’d like to work in industrial research and take a break from studying, with the hope of further study after I’ve gained some work experience. With the changing economy though, who knows what lies ahead. I am just going to finish my PhD and then take it from there. I am keeping my eye on the job market though.

    for further information, contact:
    +44 (0)131 474 0000

    » how to apply

    »Visit the Dietetics, Nutrition and Biological Sciences webpages.


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