Bachelor of Science (BSc)
4 years full-time
27 September 2021
Department of Study
Department of Life Sciences
Location of Study
University of Warwick
Life Sciences provides a wide range of biology-focused degree courses. Advances in new technologies, including genomics and integrative biology, have made this varied discipline more exciting than ever. We teach and research the processes of life from the molecular, right through to whole animal and the environment, to understand the cellular, molecular and physiological interactions that are fundamental to biology and medicine.
Biomedical Science involves the study of life processes in humans and provides an understanding of the causes and consequences of human and animal disease, including infection, cancer and neurological decay. The application of new biological concepts in medicine is an ever-growing and exciting process. Developments in molecular, genetic and cellular biology research continue to drive progress in areas such as vaccine development, neurogenerative diseases and metabolic diseases.
Through lectures, laboratory work, tutorials and independent research, you’ll develop an understanding of the nature and extent of human and animal disease, both locally and globally. You will develop the hands-on lab, problem solving and research skills employers desire. If you are considering a career in medicine we provide mentoring and support for medical school applications.
You can opt to take a year-long industrial placement or study abroad between your second and third years.
This course is accredited by the Royal Society of Biology (RSB).
A core syllabus is offered in the first year for all degree courses providing the essential foundations in biology, biochemistry, genetics and chemistry. The shared content in the first year means that it is often possible to transfer between the different degrees at the end of the first year. Core and optional modules in the second and third years allow students to tailor their degree.
All modules are core in the first year with more optional modules in year two and four.
How will I learn?
You will have weekly (first year) and fortnightly (second and third years) taught tutorials, which are in small groups to ensure that you are able to develop, and receive regular feedback on assessment. Purpose-built teaching facilities are fully integrated with research laboratories, meaning you will be learning alongside teaching and research staff who are at the cutting edge of their fields. You will spend one or two days a week undertaking lab work. This becomes more project-oriented in your second year, culminating in a six-week individual research project in your fourth year.
In your first year, lecture sizes are typically 320 students. The modules you take in years two and three will vary in class size. The maximum number is typically 100 and the minimum 10 students.
12 - 16 hours per week over 25 weeks. In your first year you should expect around 10 lectures a week, a full day in the laboratory and a taught tutorial with your personal tutor and 6-7 of your peers. Independent learning, reading and preparing for lectures and preparing assessments will occupy the rest of your study time.
How will I be assessed?
You will be assessed through tutorials, laboratory practicals, oral presentations, written assignments and exam-based questions. Approximately 35% of your marks will be assessed by coursework throughout your degree.
As an alternative to a work placement we support student mobility with the opportunity to apply for a year abroad at one of our partner universities all over the world. The Study Abroad Team based in the International Student Office supports these activities, and the School’s dedicated Study Abroad Co-ordinator will provide more specific information and assistance.
You can take a year in industry after your second year to gain industrial experience. Work placements cover a wide range of work experience types and destinations, both laboratory and non-laboratory. You will have both an academic and placement site supervisor. Your placement will allow you to improve personal and transferable skills, make new contacts and will enhance your employability. Whilst we do not guarantee you a placement, you will be given extensive support to secure one. Recent placements have included GSK, The Binding Site, Micropathology and The Body Shop. Many of our BSc students also choose to undertake work placements during vacations. We actively promote these placements and will support you with applications and interview skills.
General entry requirements
- AAB to include Biology
- OR ABB to include Biology and one of the following: Chemistry, Maths, Physics, Applied Science, Environmental Science, Statistics, Geology or Geography
- You must also achieve a pass in the science practical assessment (if applicable)
- 36 to include 5 in Higher Level Biology
- OR 34 to include 5 in Higher Level Biology and 5 in Higher Level Chemistry/Physics/Maths/Geography.
- We welcome applications from students taking BTECs as long as essential subject requirements are met.
We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications.
Contextual data and differential offers
Warwick may make differential offers to students in a number of circumstances. These include students participating in the Realising Opportunities programme, or who meet two of the contextual data criteria. Differential offers will be one or two grades below Warwick’s standard offer (to a minimum of BBB).
Warwick International Foundation Programme (IFP)
All students who successfully complete the Warwick IFP and apply to Warwick through UCAS will receive a guaranteed conditional offer for a related undergraduate programme (selected courses only).
Taking a gap year
Applications for deferred entry welcomed.
We do not typically interview applicants. Offers are made based on your UCAS form which includes predicted and actual grades, your personal statement and school reference.
Quantitative Skills for Biology
All biological scientists need to understand and analyse quantitative data. So, this module will see you learning to use statistical methods for analysing and summarising experimental data (for example, from your lab classes), and learning the basic principles for modelling biological populations.
Molecules, Cells and Organisms
You'll study this module as the essential foundation for most other modules taught in the School of Life Sciences. You'll gain the basic knowledge you need of molecular and cellular aspects of biology, and also become familiar with whole-organism and developmental biology, in the context of evolution.
Agents of Infectious Disease
You will start by gaining a thorough foundation in microbiology and virology, using infectious diseases as a common link to promote your understanding. Through your study of epidemiology, you will learn to appreciate the way that diseases spread and the methods used to investigate this spread. On completion, you can expect to understand the role of various structures associated with the bacterial cell in causing a range of diseases, and appreciate the structure of viruses and how this relates to their capacity to cause disease and the host response to viral challenge. This will equip you with the necessary theoretical foundations to underpin your future studies.
Physiology and Metabolism
On this module, you will learn how parts of the body function and work together in the whole organism. You will study the physiology of the nervous system, cardiovascular system, respiratory system and special senses. Your study of metabolism will help you to understand the generation of energy within the body, anabolism, the role of enzymes, and specific functions such as glycolysis, the citric acid cycle, pentose phosphate pathway and photosynthesis. You will then combine your learning to gain a thorough understanding of the way the body adapts to environmental conditions such as altitude, depth, cold and heat.
Tutorials and Laboratories
Chemistry for Biologists - compulsory for entrants without A2 level Chemistry>
Tutorials and Laboratories
Molecular Cell Biology
On this module, you will gain a sound knowledge of the organisation, complexity and essential processes that occur in the genomes and information-processing mechanisms in all three domains of life. You will study the molecular biology that underlies fundamental cellular processes, including the cytoskeleton in cellular structure, function and motility, the mechanisms that control cell proliferation and genome stability, protein processing in secretory pathway organelles, and programmed cell death in eukaryotic cells.
Blood and Circulation
This module is designed to give you an all-round understanding of the physiology and pathophysiology of two linked body systems, blood, the haematological system, and circulation, the cardiovascular system. You will cover the functioning of these systems in both health and disease.
Epidemiology and Public Health
This module forms the basis for the third year modules Infectious Diseases and Health and Modern Approaches to Human Disease. You will cover assessing the evidence, the dynamics of disease and public health.
This module covers the replication strategies of important viruses, antiviral therapies, diagnosis and clinical case studies. You will learn how the medically related aspects of virology (how virus infections are diagnosed and treated) are important in combating viral disease.
The module provides an overview of the immune system with a focus on T cell immunity.
You will be introduced to a range of important microparasites, the diseases they cause and the parasite-host and environmental interactions that govern their biology and approaches to control. Examples include vector-borne and/or zoonotic organisms from Mycobacterium, Trypanosomes, Plasmodium to fungi.
Year Three/Four (Depending on if you do an industrial placement or study abroad)
Tutorials and Research Project
Modern Approaches to Human Disease
On this module, you will engage with two major themes in modern medicine: evidence-based medicine and medical ethnics. You will achieve this through in-depth study of the medical specialities of reproductive medicine, renal medicine and central nervous system (CNS) medicine.
One World Health and Neglected Tropical Diseases
On this module, you will learn the important concepts in population biology and epidemiology that are key to understanding medical and veterinary infectious disease transmission, treatment and control. In your studies, you will pay particular attention to current efforts to improve world health, with a focus on tropical diseases.
Examples of optional modules/options for current students:
- Science Communication
- Health and Community
- Clinical Microbiology
- Genetics and Genomics
- Molecular Endocrinology
- Advanced Immunology
- Integrative Neuroscience
- Medical Virology
- Introduction to Secondary Teaching in Biology
- Interdisciplinary and Business modules
Additional course costs
There may be costs associated with other items or services such as academic texts, course notes, and trips associated with your course. Students who choose to complete a work placement or study abroad will pay reduced tuition fees for their third year.
We believe there should be no barrier to talent. That's why we are committed to offering a scholarship that makes it easier for gifted, ambitious international learners to pursue their academic interests at one of the UK's most prestigious universities. This new scheme will offer international fee-paying students 250 tuition fee discounts ranging from full fees to awards of £13,000 to £2,000 for the full duration of your Undergraduate degree course.
Graduates on our courses have gone on to work for employers including:
- Civil Service
- Johnson and Johnson
- ALS: Sarstedt Ltd
- Universities and Schools
They have pursued roles such as:
- Graduate-entry medicine students
- NHS scientists
- Biomedical research and development scientists
- Scientific publishing professionals
- Laboratory technicians
- Business, marketing and accountancy professionals
- Postgraduate students or researchers
Helping you find the right career
Our department has a dedicated professionally qualified Senior Careers Consultant to support you. They offer impartial advice and guidance, together with workshops and events throughout the year. Previous examples of workshops and events include:
- Careers in Life Sciences Networking Event
- Careers in Science
- Warwick careers fairs throughout the year
- Mock Interviews for Life Sciences students
- Interested in Careers in Scientific Publishing
"My third year project was an investigation into the immunomodulatory and bactericidal effects of the medieval antibiotic 'Bald's Eyesalve'.
I selected it because I was intrigued by the concept that we can use medieval remedies to inspire modern treatments. I also wanted to be involved in research that has the potential to make a huge impact in society regarding the challenge of antimicrobial resistance in the development of new antibiotics.
My project developed my skills not only in the lab but also in presentations, scientific writing and data interpretation. It also confirmed my enthusiasm for research and helped me in my decision to pursue a career in biomedical research.”
This information is applicable for 2021 entry. Given the interval between the publication of courses and enrolment, some of the information may change. It is important to check our website before you apply. Please read our terms and conditions to find out more.