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What makes an Integrated Masters in 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 the understanding of how our bodies work and how we can have completely novel approaches to treating disease. We cannot even imagine the likely changes that we will see in our ability to treat disease and perhaps even prolong the human lifespan by the end of the century and even in the short term the current revolution in our understanding will begin to impact our daily lives. By studying at Worcester, you can help shape this future.

For this course, 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 your final year, you will carry out an independent research project to showcase your development and set you apart from other graduates.

If you have a passion for the subject doing a Masters year  to gain an MBiol qualification gives you the opportunity to explore the subject in greater detail by undertaking an extensive research project which can be used to gain a job at a higher entry level or help towards entry to PhD programmes.

Overview

Overview

Key features

  • Study for a four year Integrated Masters degree in Human Biology in a friendly and supportive environment with a strong emphasis on practical work
  • Explore the wonders of the human body from genes, proteins and cells to physiology and disease.
  • Shape a degree to suit you - build a firm foundation in core principles, whilst selecting from a wide range of optional modules such as microbiology, genomics & bioinformatics, parasitology and pharmacology.
  • 90% of Human Biology students are in work or further study 6 months after graduating
  • Follow your interests and career aspirations by choosing your research project. Recent topics have included studying binding properties of proteins in treatments of basal cell carcinoma, the effect of learning styles on children’s performance and understanding in learning, the effects of black tea on cardiovascular performance and the expression of proteins in response to cytomegalovirus infection.

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Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

96-104
UCAS tariff points

Entry requirements

  • 96 UCAS Tariff points MUST include A level Biology and A level in another science, maths or statistics.
  • 104 UCAS Tariff points MUST include A level Biology
  • Other qualifications will be taken into account when considering your application, typical BTEC entry would be DMM.

Language Requirements

Applicants for this course must have a good command of reading, writing and spoken English.

Applicants whose first language is not English are required to provide a language test certificate as evidence of their proficiency and must ensure that it is, or is comparable to, IELTS level 7.0 with no element below 6.5.

Other information

International Students – Making an Application

If you are applying as an EU or Non-EU student you are strongly advised to apply online through the Universities & Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

If you are using The Common Application, you can add the University of Worcester to your list of colleges via this link and complete the application there. Further information can be found here “Making an International Application”.

Mature Students

We welcome applicants who hold alternative qualifications/experience and mature students who can demonstrate the ability to benefit from the course and show their potential to complete the course successfully. Although recent preparatory study at an appropriate level (e.g. an Access to Higher Education Diploma) is recommended, students may be considered on the basis of prior evidenced professional/work experience and/or other assessment procedures, and the assessment of personal suitability. University Admissions Office staff can offer information, advice and guidance on this process. Further information can also be found here.

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Course content

What will you study?

Our courses are informed by research and current developments in the discipline and feedback from students, external examiners and employers. Modules do therefore change periodically in the interests of keeping the course relevant and reflecting best practice. The most up-to-date information will be available to you once you have accepted a place and registered for the course. If there are insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this might not be offered, but we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative. 

Year 1

Mandatory

  • Biological Diversity
  • Health and Disease
  • Cell Biology
  • Chemistry for the Life Sciences
  • Comparative Physiology

Year 2

Mandatory

  • Systems Physiology I
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • Project and Career Development
  • Clinical Immunology

Optional

Year 3

Mandatory

  • Research Project
  • Mammalian Reproduction
  • Systems Physiology II
  • The Biochemistry of Cancer

Optional

  • Pharmacology
  • Genomics and Bioinformatics
  • Parasitology
  • Extension Module

Year 4

Mandatory

  • Research Methods
  • Applied and Commercial Research
  • Integrated Masters Dissertation in Human Biology

Student Views

In your first year you will develop a comprehensive understanding of the structure and functions of living organisms appropriate to the course. Subjects central to Human Biology such as Cell Biology and Physiology 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 Years 2 and 3 the modules become more specialised. In Systems Physiology I, you will gain detailed understanding of the cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal and renal systems. In Systems Physiology II, we cover neurophysiology and neuroendocrine physiology in detail.

In Year 3, you will undertake an independent study which is a double module, designed in Year 2. Past topics have included amplification of ancient human DNA, the antimicrobial effects of mouthwash against oral biofilms, relationship between caffeine consumption and memory retention, intake of essential fatty acids and cognition in young and aged individuals, and second to fourth digit ratio and correlations with aggression, memory retention and handedness.

Year 4 modules are common to a range of Biological Science Integrated masters courses but each subject specialisation will be achieved by students varying their selection of topics from within menus of material within each module. For example, a Human Biology student will undertake an appropriate research project which will differ from the choices available to a Plant Scientist. Although there will be generic material, the individual skills delivered within the Applied and Commercial Research and Research Methods modules will also be tailored to deliver the individual needs of each Integrated Masters course.

Applied and Commercial Research is a unique aspect of our Integrated Masters programme compared with other institutions. It will offer students valuable insights into applied and commercial rather than just pure research. Most of this module will take advantage of current commercial and applied research expertise in our Charles Darwin Laboratories including the National Pollen and Aerobiology Research Unit.

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. In year 4 you will interact with other students from other disciplines to produce a commercial research proposal which you will 'pitch' to customers. This module will also allow you to reflect on your role. Year 4 will also involve independent learning via a 60 credit dissertation.

Teaching

You are taught through a combination of lectures, practical work, field 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. Year 4 will involve much more independent work and group work and the chance to engage in a substantial piece of research.

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 third and fourth years 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 will substantially increase in year 4.

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. Research assistants post doctoral researchers will support pure and applied research in year 4.

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. All lecturers in Biological Sciences are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy or working towards this. 20% 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).

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.

Programme specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document.

Meet the team

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course.

dr-allain-bueno

Dr Allain Bueno

Dr Bueno joined the University of Worcester in January 2012, after 4 years of Post-doctoral experience at the Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition in London, working with Prof Michael Angus Crawford, one of the pioneers in fatty acid metabolism and brain composition.

Dr Bueno investigated in his PhD the effects of dietary fats on adipose tissue metabolism, and how different types of fat can influence disorders such as inflammation and diabetes. In his MPhil Dr Bueno investigated the impact of surgical removal of fat pads on metabolic adaptations in obesity induced by diet and by neurochemical malfunctioning.

Dr Bueno graduated as a Biomedical Scientist – Medical Modality – from Paulista School of Medicine, Sao Paulo Federal University in Brazil. He has extensive 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 and their role in oxidative stress, brain metabolism and function.

dr-steven-j-coles

Dr Steven J Coles

Steve joined the University of Worcester in 2013, following 5 years post-doctoral experience at Cardiff University, School of Medicine (Section of Haematology), working with Professors Tonks and Darley. During his time at Cardiff, Steve investigated the role of the immune checkpoint molecule, CD200, in a type of blood cancer known as acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).

Since joining us, Steve has introduced several new modules to the Biological and Biomedical Sciences curriculum that align with his expertise, including: Immunology and  Biochemistry of Cancer.

Steve has also helped to establish and lead the Worcester Biomedical Research Group, where the research focuses on Cancer, Neurodegeneration and Cardiovascular Disease.

ray-camilleri

Dr Ray Camilleri

Ray is the Course Leader of our BSc Biomedical Science course.

Ray joined the academic staff at the University of Worcester in September 2017 as a Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences. This followed six and a half years as Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Westminster and eleven years as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Haemostasis Research Unit at University College London.

Ray’s research interests have been on various genetic and molecular biological aspects of several haematological disorders, but most recently has been focussed on the genetic and phenotypic links between von Willebrand factor-cleaving protease and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP).

Ray also has ten years’ experience as an Admissions Tutor and is a member of the Worcester Biomedical Research Group. 

dr-amy-cherry

Dr Amy Cherry

Dr Amy Cherry joined the University of Worcester following postdoctoral positions at the National Institute of Medical Research and the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm. Her research focuses on understanding how proteins work at the molecular level and on how one can use knowledge of protein structure to tackle disease.

Mathieu photo

Dr. Mathieu Di Miceli

Dr Mathieu Di Miceli is a lecturer within the School of Science and the Environment. Mathieu joined the University in 2021 after his long background in neuroscience. Mathieu has developed his skills in electrophysiology in Dr Gronier’s (De Montfort University) and Dr Layé’s (Université de Bordeaux) laboratories, studying the neurophysiological mechanisms following psychostimulant exposure, as well as the link between dietary lipid intake and synaptic plasticity. As a member of the Worcester Biomedical Research Group, he is currently investigating the pathological alterations that can lead to neurophysiological dysfunctions in the brain, using in silico modelling of neural circuits. Mathieu is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and his teaching is focused on anatomy, physiology, neuroscience, pharmacology, epidemiology, genomics and bioinformatics.

Careers

Where could it take you?

Employability

It is becoming increasing difficult for graduates to obtain PhD positions with only a BSc (Hons) degree. Graduates with an Integrated Masters degree would have significant additional research expertise that would enable them to progress straight to an MPhil/PhD position. There is an increasing need for graduates in the UK economy as skilled researchers for UK PLC. Such graduates have much to offer within the general area of applied biological research but also, critically, to drive forward the innovation that is vital for the UK economy.

The Biological Sciences courses have a strong applied component. We have retained a great deal of practical and field work, both of which have been greatly reduced in many universities; these give our students an advantage when seeking employment or continuing their studies through a higher degree. This has suited students well for careers in the laboratory or the field. Some are engaged in research or education and some undertake medical qualifications or complete higher degrees.

Two students are walkng next to each other and smiling

Careers and Employability

Our Graduates pursue exciting and diverse careers in a wide variety of employment sectors.

Find out how we can support you to achieve your potential.
Costs

How much will it cost?

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard fee for full-time home and EU undergraduate students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the 2023/24 academic year is £9,250 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the 2023/24 academic year is £14,700 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 the academic year 2023/24 are £1,156 per 15-credit module, £1,542 per 20-credit module, £2,312 per 30-credit module, £3,083 per 40-credit module, £3,469 per 45-credit module and £4,625 per 60 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.

If your course offers a placement opportunity, you may need to pay for a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check.

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. Our halls of residence are home to friendly student communities, making them great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our range of student halls. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £122 per week to 'En-suite Premium' at £207 per week (2023/24 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

How to apply

How do you apply?

Applying through UCAS

Biological Sciences (Human Biology) MBiol (Integrated Masters) - CC11

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

CC11

Get in touch

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

Professional Administrative Service (School of Science and the Environment)

Dr Amy Cherry

Admissions tutor