University of Hertfordshire - BSc (Hons) Molecular Biology

University of Hertfordshire

BSc (Hons) Molecular Biology

This degree is all about the study of biology at the molecular level, providing novel insights into the nature of genes and proteins and the relationship between them. You might already know that DNA carries all the information that determines the structure of proteins. Nowadays, we can read and re-write its sequences to measure the effects of those changes in living cells. This means, you’ll get the opportunity to be a part of a new era that can investigate organisms at their most fundamental level. Explore how cells take instructions, grow and divide. Learn how specialised cells differentiate and how they make up millions of different life forms. You can gain practical experience in genetic manipulation. These technical skills are highly valued by employers, giving you the tools, you need to succeed in your future career pathway when you leave us. 

In your first year you will gain a solid foundation in areas such as genetics, how drugs work inside our bodies and how viruses and fungi are formed and spread. You will also be able to choose two optional modules. Would you like to explore the chemical principles that underlie biological processes? Or maybe focus on the organic, structural and physical chemistry in biochemical and pharmaceutical sciences? The choice is yours.  

In your second year you’ll specialise even more. You will learn about the different research methods applied to study diseases and drugs. You can even start your medical work experience at this point if you want to.  

Work placement/study abroad option: Between your second and final year, you’ll have the option to study abroad or do a work placement for up to a year. Not only will this give you invaluable experience of a clinical, diagnostic or research workplace, it will also give your CV a boost. If you’d rather go straight to your final year, that’s absolutely fine too. 

In your final year you’ll find that you have grown to love certain topics that you just need to delve deeper into. All modules are optional, whether you’d like to look at disease, blood or medicine. In this year, you will also do a major project or dissertation in your chosen area of research.  

You’ll enjoy 20 hours of contact time, with lectures and workshops taking up about 6-10 hours per week. The remaining time is devoted to practical work. Throughout your degree, you will be assessed in a variety of ways. This will include exams, literature reviews, portfolios, lab reports, practical's and presentations. Coursework assessments account for around 50-100% per module. 

Entry Requirements

UCAS pointsA LevelBTEC

BBC-BBB: Including 2 science GCE A Levels (or equivalent) one of which must be a grade C in either biology or chemistry (acceptable A levels are Human Biology, Psychology, Geography, Maths, Physics,  ICT and Sports Studies).Pass required in A level science practical.

DMM-DDM: Extended Diploma in Applied Science (depending on optional units studied) with DMM profile.

GCSE: Grade 4/C in English Language, 4/C in Mathematics and 4/C in Double Science or two Single Science grades at 4/C.

All students from non-majority English speaking countries require proof of English language proficiency, equivalent to an overall IELTS score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each band.

Career Prospects

This programme gives you flexibility in your studies at university resulting in flexibility in your choice of career at the end of your course. You will acquire a much broader base of knowledge and experience that could really widen your employment opportunities. Graduates have found employment in diverse roles such as computer programmers, design engineers, management development specialists, accountants and project managers. 75% or our students have gone on to work or study after graduation (Unistats, 2013).

Graduates can find employment in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries as well as in industrial, academic and charity-funded research. Some graduates also go on to work in clinical trial companies, in education and in healthcare as cytogeneticists or, with further study, as genetic counsellors.

Course Details

Degree programmes are structured into levels, 4, 5 and 6.  These correspond to your first, second and third/final year of study.  Below you can see what modules you’ll be studying in each.   

Part-time study

If you are studying part-time you will have up to 7 years to complete your course from registration. You will complete 60 credits per year (2-4 modules). The modules you will study each year will depend on how they fit together on the timetable.  For some modules, there are several sessions running for each workshop and practical.  As a part-time student you will be able to choose the workshop slots that best fit your schedule, though there might be some timetabling restrictions.  

Year 1

Human physiology with pharmacology
Practical and transferable skills
Molecular biology and genetics
Core biochemistry
Cell and microbiology

Optional modules
Chemistry for biologists
Molecular structure and reactivity

Year 2

Bioscience research methods
Microbiology of disease
Principles of immunology
Biology of disease
Genes and genomes
Cell and molecular biology

Optional modules
Bioscience work experience

Year 3

Molecular medicine
Cell differentiation and development
Applied and integrated molecular science
Cellular and molecular pathology

Optional modules
Year abroad: bioscience
Sandwich placement; bioscience

*The information’s are correct at the time of publishing, however it may change if university makes any changes after we have published the information. While we try our best to provide correct information, It is advisable to call us or visit university website for up to date information.

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