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Biological Sciences

BSc (Hons) - single

Department of Biological and Medical Sciences

Oxford Brookes has an international reputation for outstanding research work in the biological and biomedical sciences, and the Oxford area is an increasingly important centre for the bioscience industry. 

Our degree course in Biological Sciences will give you an understanding of the main principles, theories and concepts underlying modern human biosciences and their applications in different situations. The degree is broad-based, combining cell, molecular, and human biology and physiology, plus clinical science modules, to give you the opportunity to develop and follow your interests in the human biosciences as you progress through the course.

Typical offers

UCAS points: 112 - preferred subjects include Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Human Biology and Physics

Available start dates

September 2017 / September 2018

Teaching location

Headington Campus / Headington Campus, Marston Road site

Course length

  • Full time: 3 years
  • Part time: part-time study is possible

UCAS code

C900

For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • You will benefit from high-quality teaching, supported by some of the best learning resources in the country, including access to the UK's largest science collection, the Radcliffe Science Library.
  • We encourage and support the inclusion of work placements in the degree structure.
  • You will gain the practical skills employers require through extensive practical experience using a range of essential equipment. You will get to know the other students and lecturers on your course as we keep our practical classes small.
  • Our academics are keen to involve you in our research groups: we explore subjects such as genetic damage induced by radiation and the mechanisms of nicotine addiction.
  • Students can join a research group in their final year as part of a research project, using advanced techniques and state-of-the-art equipment, such as electron and confocal microscopes.

Studies in Year 1 aim to develop a firm understanding of core topics such as cell biology, physiology, chemistry and mathematics, along with basic science skills. A feature of your first year is a series of tutorials with your academic adviser (a member of the teaching staff who is responsible for overseeing your academic progress). The tutorials are designed to help you to adjust to academic life at university and establish good study habits.

Year 2 and the final year allow you to expand your studies in both breadth and depth, and you can choose modules covering diverse topics, from biochemistry to clinical physiology, and from molecular biology of cancer to immunology. The topics are all supported by time spent in practicals, and you may wish to develop your scientific skills further by carrying out a research project with one of our staff members.

Study modules

As courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you choose from may differ from those shown here.

Year 1

Compulsory modules:

Recommended modules:

Year 2 and final year

Compulsory modules

  • Biochemistry of Cell Function (double)
  • Molecular Biology and Genetics (double)

Alternative compulsory modules (must take at least one)

  • Clinical Biochemistry and Pharmacology (double)
  • Project (double)

Optional modules

  • Advanced Topics in Cell Biology
  • Cellular Pathology
  • Context of the Cell
  • Enterprise Skills for Life Scientists
  • Evidence-Based Medicine and Diagnostics
  • Haematology and Immunology
  • Independent Study in Life Sciences
  • Infection, Immunity and Immunology
  • Integrated Physiology (double)
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology of Cancer
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pathophysiology
  • Research Methods for Life Scientists
  • Science and Humanity
  • Work Experience

Work placements

We encourage our students to undertake a work placement - the experience will give you the competitive edge when you are applying for jobs.

Study abroad

Great opportunities to study or work abroad
You may be able to go on a European or international study exchange while you are at Brookes. Most exchanges take place in the second year. Although we will help as much as we can with your plans, ultimately you are responsible for organising and funding this study abroad.
 
Studying abroad provides an amazing opportunity to add value to your studies by:
  • increasing your employability within an international market
  • boosting your language skills
  • building your confidence in adapting to new situations
  • improving your knowledge of different cultures.
While on exchange you will have the opportunity to study for comparable courses, allowing you to gain credits which count towards your degree.
 
We have more than 100 partner universities around the world. Funding is available through the Erasmus scheme, and also via some international programmes such as the Santander Student Awards.
 
There is also a European work placement programme which gives you the chance to work abroad as part of your studies.
 
For more information, visit our pages on studying abroad and exchanges.

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:

  • studying at a Brookes partner college
  • studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

Additional costs

You will need to buy some basic personal protection equipment for laboratory practicals (lab coat, safety glasses), at a cost of around £25.

Teaching and learning

Teaching and learning methods include lectures, practicals, tutorials, seminars and surgeries. Biological sciences is a hands-on subject and we have a good range of equipment and specialised laboratories. You will also have the opportunity to attend seminars given by visiting speakers from around the world.

Time spent in different learning activities

Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 27%73%0%
2 27%73%0%
3 18%82%0%

Approach to assessment

The course includes a variety of teaching, learning and assessment methods that are informed by contemporary practice in science teaching in higher education. Assessment methods include essays, reviews, examinations, laboratory or field notebooks, scientific reports, posters and oral presentations. Reflective learning is encouraged through use of self, peer or staff formative feedback on assignments, group work and project work, and reflective diaries.

Breakdown of assessment methods used on this course

Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 45%0%55%
2 45%0%55%
3 43%0%58%

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2017/18: £9,250

Home/EU - part time fee: 2017/18: £750 per single module

International - full time: 2017/18: £13,730 2018/19: £14,000

*Please note tuition fees for Home/EU students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students.

Undergraduate fee levels for 2018/19 have not yet been announced by the government and are therefore yet to be confirmed. Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning home and EU students at the maximum permitted level for new and returning Home/EU students.

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088
finance-fees@brookes.ac.uk

Funding and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see:

Typical offers

UCAS points: 112 - preferred subjects include Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Human Biology and Physics

A-level: BBC - preferred subjects include Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Human Biology and Physics

International Baccalaureate: 30 points

BTEC: DMM

Students studying more than one science subject may receive a lower offer.

We seek to admit students who have the potential to make good scientists and accept that qualifications are not the only indicator of future potential. Typical offers also include:

  • A-level grades BB plus 2 AS-levels at grade C (equivalent to 112UCAS tariff points*)
  • 1 12-unit vocational A-level at grade BB plus 1 A-level or 2 AS-levels at grade C
  • other recognised qualifications, eg BTEC Nationals or Scottish qualifications (equivalent to 112 UCAS points*).

If your combination of qualifications doesn't match our typical offer, please contact our admissions tutor.

*A new UCAS Tariff point system is being introduced for students applying to start university in September 2017, which uses  a qualification’s size and grades to calculate total Tariff points under a brand new system. Therefore the Tariff points for 2017 entry look very different from 2016 entry - the 2017 BBC equivalent for this course will be 112 UCAS points for 2017. Please visit the UCAS website for more information.

Specific entry requirements

GCSE: Mathematics, English Language and Double Integrated Science (or equivalent) at grade C minimum

You must have studied science post-16, either at A-level or equivalent. If you do not have a background in science, we encourage you to consider our Life Sciences foundation year taught at Abingdon and Witney College.

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

Please see the University's standard English language requirements

International and EU applications

Preparation courses for EU students

We offer a range of courses to help students meet the academic and English language entry requirements for their courses and also familiarise them with university life.

Find out more about the international foundation pathways we offer and our pre-sessional English language courses.

Country specific entry requirements

If you are studying outside the UK, for more details about your specific country entry requirements, translated information and local representatives who can help you to apply, please have a look at our country specific information pages.

English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

How to apply

Full-time students should apply for this course through UCAS.

Part-time students should apply directly to the university

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Credit transfer

Oxford Brookes operates the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). All undergraduate single modules are equivalent to 7.5 ECTS credits and double modules to 15 ECTS credits. More about ECTS credits.

Why Oxford is a great place to study this course

Recognised as one of Europe's leading centres of enterprise, innovation and scientific knowledge, Oxfordshire is a bioscience hotspot with the Oxford, Milton, Begbroke and Harwell science parks in the county. The Oxford Brookes Student Bioinnovation Hub is a focus for partnerships with industry providing work experience through placements and projects.

Oxford is also home to leading health care providers such as the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust which offers excellent work experience and career opportunities.

Oxford is one of the world's great academic cities, it is a key centre of debate, with conferences, seminars and forums taking place across education, science, the arts and many other subjects.

In addition to our own excellent libraries and resource centres, our students have access to the world-renowned Bodleian Library and the Radcliffe Science Library.

Support for students studying Biological Sciences

Our Personal and Academic Support System (PASS) has gained national and international recognition for its proactive approach to personal tutoring. It recognises that students need to make various adjustments as they move into higher education, whether from school or employment.

The system encompasses three elements:

  • a structured group tutorial programme
  • an academic adviser who will help you to plan your degree programme and future career
  • interaction with other students on your course.

The first stage includes regular seminars covering a wide range of subjects including research skills, understanding assessment criteria and making the most of coursework feedback. Our programme also helps students adjust to university life by developing their transferable skills.

Secondly our academic staff monitor your progress regularly to check that you are maximising your potential. If you experience academic difficulties we can arrange for you to receive academic mentoring support.

Thirdly if you are faced with challenges that affect your ability to study, such as illness, bereavement, depression, financial difficulties or accommodation issues, we will work with you in finding a way forward. Please talk to your academic adviser or our student support team. Oxford Brookes also offers a range of excellent services to support you.

Specialist facilities

Biological science is a practical subject and we have a very good range of equipment, including high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), confocal and electron microscopes, and specialised laboratories for tissue culture, microbiology, physiology, biochemistry and cell biology.

General support services

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Personal support services

We want your time at Brookes to be as enjoyable and successful as possible. That's why we provide all the facilities you need to be relaxed, happy and healthy throughout your studies.

Career prospects

Our graduates enjoy good career prospects with diverse destinations, from medical school and teaching to local authorities and research laboratories. As many as 50% of our graduates each year are appointed to research posts in universities, research institutes or biotechnology companies, while others pursue careers allied to medicine and health care.

Our courses are designed to equip you with the skills you need for employment. We put a strong emphasis on developing the multidisciplinary graduate attributes needed to keep ahead in a rapidly changing workplace.

Further study

About a quarter of our graduates go on to further study, such as MSc courses, PhDs or PGCEs. One option for future study is the MSc in Medical Genetics and Genomics at Oxford Brookes.

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