In first year, modules introduce you to core subject material relevant to all biology degree programmes.You will also take two introductory Chemistry modules. The following modules are compulsory.
- Biology 1: provides an introduction to molecular and cellular biology. It covers cell diversity and the origins of life, cellular structures and fundamental processes.
- Biology 2: provides an introduction to the diversity of life on Earth and addresses key elements of organismal and ecological aspects of life.
- Introductory Inorganic and Physical Chemistry: covers the origin of the elements, atoms and the periodic table, shapes and properties of molecules, chemistry of the elements, properties of solutions, thermochemistry, thermodynamics and kinetics, and the mathematical tools for chemistry.
- Organic and Biological Chemistry 1: covers the structure and nomenclature of simple organic compounds, basic stereochemistry, fundamental organic reaction mechanisms, organic functional groups and their reactions, introductory bioorganic chemistry, and organic spectroscopy.
In second year, modules are chosen which will best prepare you for your intended degree (or group of possible degrees), and new topics are introduced in some second-year modules such as evolutionary biology and ecology. Students intending to study Biochemistry at Honours level must take the following compulsory modules:
- Applied Molecular Biology: examines case studies to provide examples of how molecular biology techniques are applied in research to address real-life questions and problems.
- Biochemistry: a number of central metabolic pathways and their control are studied in detail, alongside examples of their importance in disease and recent metabolomic studies.
- Molecular Biology: provides an introduction to modern molecular biology, covering fundamental biological processes such as transcription, translation, and DNA replication and repair.
- Research Methods in Biology: develops essential academic and transferable skills, with major emphasis on problem solving. This is achieved through a combination of interactive lectures, independent data-handling workshops and group work on a mini research project.
- Organic Chemistry 2: covers methods for carbon-carbon bond formation and interconversion of functional groups, aromatic and heteroaromatic reactivity, retrosynthetic analysis, mechanistic biological chemistry and organic spectroscopy.
In third year, you will continue to specialise in Biochemistry via a wide range of modules covering core topics. Modules that have been offered in previous years include:
- Advanced Biochemistry
- Infection and Disease
- Gene Regulation
- Membranes and Cell Communication
- Protein Structure and Function.
In fourth year, you will study your chosen subject area at a deeper scientific level and will also have the opportunity to select from a wide range of small, group-specialised modules. These modules are taught by academics at the forefront of their discipline.
In this year, students also undertake a substantial final year research project. This research project is designed to develop skills in experimental design and problem-solving, the evaluation and interpretation of data, and communication skills. The project is selected and supervised by a member of academic staff. This project occupies half of the year.