The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result, may change from year to year. The following list is therefore subject to change but should give you a flavour of the modules we offer.
Human Genetics Tutorial and Study Skills
You will be guided through the academic expectations of your degree, and provided with skills such as how to use the library, data handling and presentation of results, preparation for examinations and essay-writing skills. You’ll also be trained in transferable and scientific skills. You'll spend around 3 hours per week in lectures and tutorials studying this module.
Genetics, Ecology and Evolution
Considers the genetics, evolution, and ecology of living organisms, extending from the basics of genetics, through evolutionary genetics and molecular evolution, to behaviour and population and community ecology. Around 3 hours per week will be spent within lectures studying this module.
An introduction to the basic biology and genetics of micro-organisms, their impact on human health and the environment, and their use in biotechnology. You will spend around 3 hours per week in lectures and 3 hours per week within practicals.
Human Physiology and Pharmacology
Introduces human physiology and pharmacology. Areas of study include the central nervous system, the cardiovascular system, the blood, the gastrointestinal and endocrine systems, and reproduction. This module consists of 3 hours of lectures each week.
Introductory Cell Biology
You’ll gain an understanding of the structure and function of living cells. The major themes studied are cell structure, biochemistry and cellular physiology. Around 3 hours per week will be spent in lectures studying this module and 3 hours per week within practicals.
Genes and Cellular Control
You’ll examine how information in DNA is used to determine the structure of gene products. Topics include DNA structure, transcription and translation and mutation and recombinant DNA technology. You will spend around 3 hours per week within lectures and 3 hours per week within practicals studying this module.
Experimental Design and Analysis I
Explains how to plan your own scientific investigations, how to critically evaluate the work of others, and how to use statistics to analyse biological data. This module involves around 1.5 hours in lectures as well as 2 hours studying in workshops per week.
The Animal Kingdom
An introduction to animal design and the way evolution allows animals to exploit their environments. You’ll study topics such as diversity and order in animal design and strategies for movement and support in invertebrates and vertebrates. You'll spend around 1 hour per week in lectures and 2 hours per week within practicals studying for this module.
Immunity, Parasites and the Control of Parasitic Infections
An exploration of infection and defence against parasitic organisms. You’ll study major themes such as the immune system, and the biology of some representative parasites and why they have been successful. You’ll also consider the problems of controlling infections and the biology of free-living roundworms. This module involves around 1 hour in lectures per week and 3 hours of practicals per week.
Introduces the conventional uses of plants and some of the problems associated with plant production. You’ll consider the techniques used to study plant science, including genetics and the use of mutants. You will have a 3 hour lecture once per week if you choose this module.
Fundamentals of Biochemistry
Reviews the structural and chemical principles which direct the functions of proteins and nucleic acids. You’ll study topics including peptide bonds, protein structures, and the basics of DNA cloning. Around 3 hours per week will be spent within lectures studying this module.
Medical Molecular Genetics
Presents information on the Human Genome Project and the methods employed in disease gene identification. Topics you’ll cover include the identification of the genes responsible for some of the most common inherited disorders and the development of strategies for treatment. You will have a 3 hour lecture once per week to study for this module.
Genes, Genomes and Chromosomes
Surveys the structure and function of the genes, genomes and chromosomes of eukaryotic cells. Emphasis is placed on understanding the molecular organisation of these elements and the experimental approaches that have led to this understanding. You will have a 2 hour lecture once a week studying for this module.
Manipulating Genes and Genomes
Introduces the theoretical and practical basis of genetic engineering and gene manipulation. Using examples, manipulation of genes and genomes in bacteria, yeast and animals will be studied. You'll spend around 2 hours per week in lectures and 3 hours per week in practicals for this module.
Examines the basic concepts of vertebrate embryonic development. You’ll discuss specific topics including germ cells, blood and muscle cell differentiation, left-right asymmetry and miRNAs. You'll have a 2 hour lecture once per week to study for this module.
Bacterial Genes and Development
Molecular events that occur during the control of gene expression in bacteria will be described. You’ll consider case studies, which show how complex programmes of gene action can occur in response to environmental stimuli. You'll spend around 3 hours per week in lectures studying this module.
Investigating and Writing about Biology
You will be prepared for the challenges posed by scientific literature and the style of exam questions that you can expect in your second-year modules. This is followed by a research project into published work on a selected topic, presenting the information gained in an assessed dissertation. You will spend an average of 4 hours per week within lectures and tutorials studying this module.
Molecular and Developmental Neurobiology
You’ll consider how the brain develops and connects, how the connections work, are maintained and repaired, how information is stored in the form of memory, and how our knowledge of neurobiology can be applied. This module involves spending 3 hours per week within practicals and having a 3 hour lecture once per week.
Experimental Design and Analysis II
This module combines practical elements in experimental design (through forming hypotheses and testing them through practical work in Animal Behaviour) with a short lecture course outlining principles of statistical analysis. Studying for this module involves around 2 hours per week within lectures and 6 hours per week within workshops and practicals.
An introduction to vertebrate immunity, the immune response to infection and the basis of immunological disorders in humans. You will spend around 3 hours per week in lectures studying this module and 4 hours per week within practicals.
You’ll consider the ecological specialisation of parasitic organisms and parasitism. Emphasis is given to understanding the survival strategies of parasites, through analysis of the costs/benefits of specific solutions to the problem of transmission between hosts. You will spend around 3 hours per week in lectures and 3 hours per week within practicals studying this module.
Evolutionary Biology of Animals
Introduces key evolutionary concepts and their application in the animal kingdom. Areas you’ll study include the history of evolutionary thinking, natural selection versus the neutral theory, sexual selection and human evolution. You will have a 3 hour lecture once per week during this module.
You’ll be provided with theoretical and practical knowledge about how transgenic organisms are engineered. The technologies used to generate transgenic animals and plants are assessed, with examples of those being developed for commercial uses studied. This module consists of a 3 hour lecture once per week.
Outlines the structure and function of components in eukaryotic cells and shows how they interact on a multitude of levels. You’ll study recent advances in cellular physiology, including how cells regulate their environment. You will spend around 3 hours within lectures as well as 6 hours in practicals and workshops if you choose to study this module.
The topics you’ll study include the principles of genetic modification in prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms, including strain improvement strategies and biological control. You will have a 3 hour lecture once per week for this module.
Introduces the study of populations and communities from an evolutionary point of view, and considers critically the extent of our understanding of ecological ideas. Study for this module consists of a 4 hour lecture once per week.
You’ll examine how animals cope with and take advantage of opportunities associated with living in different environments, with topics including animal form and function and feeding strategies. You'll spend 6 hours per week in lectures and practicals studying this module.
Human Genetics Project
The Project is a year-long level 3 module. You will undertake detailed research on a chosen topic after discussion with a supervisor. Each project will involve collection of data by means such as experiment, questionnaire or observation, as well as the analysis and interpretation of the data in the context of previous work.
Advanced Human Genetics
You’ll cover recent developments in the genetic approach to human disease, and will examine new findings in the study of disorders such as diabetes. You will spend around 14 hours per week in lectures studying this module.
Covers genetic variation in humans, including variation at the DNA level, and the study of human population history using genetic methods. Around 6 hours per week will be spent within lectures studying this module.
Examines the mechanisms through which eukaryotic genes are expressed and regulated, with emphasis placed on recent research on transcriptional control in yeast and post-transcriptional control in eukaryotes. Studying this module will include having a 3 hour lecture once per week.
You’ll consider the history and practice of population genetics research, with a focus on a quantitative approach to the subject, with training in problem-solving skills. You will spend around 4 hours within lectures per week studying this module.
You’ll examine a selection of acquired and inherited cancers, and develop an understanding of the role of the genes involved and how they can be analysed. To study for this module you will have a 3 hour lecture once per week.
Through group discussions, you’ll consider developments in genetics. You will also give a presentation on an assigned research paper. Around 8 hours will be spent in seminars as well as around 2 hours within workshop per week for this module.
A detailed understanding of the genetics and biochemistry behind the properties of parasites and micro-organisms that cause major human diseases in the present day. You will have a 3 hour lecture once per week for this module.
Examines the ways in which DNA and protein sequences are used to investigate evolutionary relationships among organisms. You’ll study topics including the techniques of sequence comparison and the construction of evolutionary trees.
Advanced Developmental Biology
Explains the key concepts in developmental biology and focuses on stem cells and their uses in embryos and in adult organisms. You will have a 3 hour lecture once per week for this module.
Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience
Considers ion channels at the molecular level, with topics including the structure and function of different ion channel groups and their modulation by drugs, pesticides and natural toxins. You’ll also consider the synthesis and transport of neurotransmitters and the formation and release of synaptic vesicles. You will have a 4 hour lecture once per week if you study this module.
Ageing, Sex and DNA Repair
Examines the molecular causes of the ageing and malignant transformations of somatic cells that are observed during a single lifespan, and the necessity to maintain the genome intact from one generation to the next. Around 3 hours per week will be spent within lectures studying this module.
You will examine how genetics and biotechnology are being used for the improvement of human welfare, and consider whether claims for these methods are being over-stated. The focus will be upon the underlying ethical and socio-economic issues, rather than the technology. You will have a 2 hour lecture once per week during study of this module.