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.
Neuroscience is the discipline that encompasses the study of the brain and nervous system in health and disease. It is an enormous field spanning genomic, molecular, cellular, network and behavioural levels. Neuroscience is a truly multi-disciplinary and multi-dimensional endeavour. This course is for those students with an interest in the brain and the nervous system, and who, through practical classes and research-led teaching, wish to develop a greater understanding of this, the most complex and enigmatic of organs. With the knowledge and practical experience gained on this course you will be able to develop a career in neuroscience and human health, either in academic research, laboratory services, pharmaceutical drug discovery or clinical trials. Instead, you may wish to use the skills you have accumulated to pursue a myriad of other opportunities across many employment sectors that appreciate the value of a solid understanding of scientific principles, methods and approaches.
Modules span human brain health and wellbeing, neurophysiology, neuropharmacology, infection, and the biology of molecules and cellular systems, including recent advances in psychiatric conditions such as depression and schizophrenia. Other areas covered include CNS conditions such as epilepsy, stroke, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, and neuromuscular disorders.
You will benefit from our tutorial system for academic and pastoral support.
This course has received interim accreditation from the Royal Society of Biology (RSB), and is pending full advanced accreditation upon graduation of the first cohort.
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 optional modules in year two and four.
How will I learn?
In your first year you will have weekly taught tutorials. In your second and fourth year you will have tutorials every two weeks. These are in small groups to ensure that you are able to develop, and receive regular feedback on assessment.
Our purpose-built teaching facilities are fully integrated with research laboratories. This means 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.
You will receive 12-16 contact hours per week over 25 weeks.
In your first year you should expect:
- around 10 lectures a week
- a full day in the laboratory
- a taught tutorial with your personal tutor and 6-7 of your peers
You will spend the rest of your time learning independently. You will read and prepare for lectures, and prepare assessments.
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 our dedicated Study Abroad Co-ordinator can give you more 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.
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.
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.
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 for Neuroscience
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.
This physiology module provides an overview of neurobiology and includes an introduction to the physiology of the nervous system and detailed analysis of the cell and molecular biology underlying the development and functions of the nervous system.
Neurobiology of Disease
You will learn about the structure and function of the brain and the peripheral nervous system. You will gain an understanding of the neuropathology, anatomy and pathophysiology of diseases involved. You will be taught how physiological processes can be disrupted and the clinical consequences these disruptions cause.
Neuropharmacology is the study of how chemical agents influence bodily functions in both health and disease, and indeed how the body deals with these chemicals. The module will concentrate on the use of drug-based therapeutics in a range of human diseases and will bridge the gap between basic cell signalling, biochemistry and the complex patho-physiology and treatment of the diseases.
This module provides you with a foundation for the further study of endocrinology at the cellular and molecular level and a firm basis for understanding normal hormonal control.
Year Three/Four (Depending on if you do an industrial placement or study abroad)
The overall aim of this module is for you to consider the important cellular components of the central nervous system and how these determine and contribute to its integrative function. You will cover selected topics in contemporary neuroscience with content closely related to research interests of the teaching staff. You will learn about signalling in the central nervous system, genetic targeting and manipulation of brain cells, the roles of glial cells, cortical function and development, motor control, sleep and consciousness.
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.
Tutorials and Research Project
Examples of optional modules/options for current students:
- Dynamics of Biological Systems
- Biological Clocks
- Synthetic Biology
- Science Communication
- Extreme Environment Biology
- Interdisciplinary and Business modules
- One World Health and Neglected Tropical Diseases
- Introduction to Secondary Teaching in Biology
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 student or researcher
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
About the information on this page
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.