Study for the accredited Biological Sciences MSci at Newcastle and you’ll learn about animals, plants and microorganisms – their genetic make-up, their cellular structure and how they interact with the natural environment.

This Biological Sciences MSci degree gives you a solid base in the subject in areas that interest you.

The Masters year, which extends the three year BSc programme, is devoted to developing research competence through a multi-faceted teaching and research programme. You’ll benefit from some of the country’s best facilities and technology, being taught by experts in the field renowned the world over for their cutting-edge research.

Our Biological Sciences MSci degree programme is structured to give you a comprehensive introduction to all aspects of Biological Sciences.

The modular structure gives you the opportunity to follow your interests and curiosity as the course unfolds; you can specialize in years 2 and 3 or keep your studies broad. A key part of your Masters year is a laboratory-based project, for which you join one of our research groups. The course is particularly suitable for those considering a career in research.

 

Why Study this Course?

  • We rank 5th for graduate employability in the Russell Group Universities. Our graduates work in diverse careers such as medicine, conservation, agriculture and more.
  • We increasingly incorporate new areas of science relating to biology, such as bioinformatics, and the School has major high-technology facilities for research in genomics, structural biology and optical imaging.
  • Specialist field courses for those involved in the study of animals, plants and ecological aspects are also available.
  • We have a large and internationally recognised School of Biosciences offering expertise that is the foundation of our research-led teaching.
  • We pride ourselves in our ‘enquiry-based learning‘ strategy that will equip you with the skills to achieve full potential in your future career.

 

Institutional Accreditation 

Regional accreditation is an institution-level accreditation status granted by one of six U.S. regional accrediting bodies. Accreditation by more than one regional accrediting body is not permitted by the U.S. Department of Education.

University of Newcastle is accredited by the DETC Higher Learning Commission (DETC), www.detc.org.uk Since , University of Newcastle has been continually accredited by the DETC Higher Learning Commission and its predecessor.

Biological Sciences MSci (Hons)

Course Level:

Undergraduate, Single Honours

Credits 

120

Course

CODE U430

How long it takes:

Undergraduate (4 Year)

Study Mode:

Distance learning/ Campus

Course cost

Price: US$20,220

Entry requirements

Find out more about

Department:

Newcastle Law School

First Year

The first year modules are designed to give you a broad and balanced view of modern biology. They will develop from what you have learned at school but you will soon be learning new material.

All Biological Sciences students take the same modules in the first year, whether or not they have selected one of the specialised degree courses. You also take a Widening Horizon Module, which allows you to access to content from other Schools, from Humanities to the Sciences to Engineering.

 

First year modules

Introduction to Evolution and Animal Biology  – An overview of introduction from the pre-biotic era to Darwin and his impact. Natural selection, the origins of altruism and sexual reproduction, genetic determinants of evolution.

Fundamentals of Biochemistry – Fundamental biochemical processes taking place inside cells

Introduction to Microbiology  – Broad introduction to microbiology with a focus on infectious disease, covering bacteria, fungi, protists, archaea and viruses

Cell Biology and Physiology – Tissues, organelles, reproduction and development.

Ecological Concepts and Plant Sciences – This module provides a broad overview of the biology of our environment, including topics such as climate change, conservation, ecophysiology and cell biology of plants.

Genetics I – Storage of genetic information, gene expression and regulation, mitosis and meiosis, gene linkage and chromosome mapping.

Personal and Academic Skills: Communication and Data Analysis

Personal and Academic Development

Widening Horizon Module (WHM) – allows you to explore content from other academic programmes of this university in the form of a stand-alone module. 

       

Second Year

At this stage you begin to tailor the degree towards your own particular interests. In addition to the core modules you choose four specialist modules from the list below. If you have chosen one of the specialist Biological Sciences degree courses this is where your degree starts to be specific.

 

Second year modules

Core modules (taken by all students on the Biochemistry programme)

Communication and Skills in Biosciences – Science communication in videography, writing and speaking, ethics in science, analysis of the scientific literature.

Molecular Biology and its applications – Genetic analysis and gene cloning, DNA fingerprinting and forensics, genomics and computational approaches to genetics.

 

Example optional modules may include:

Animal Biology – This module explores how the central nervous system translates sensory stimuli to behaviour. Topics include comparative neurobiology, biological timekeeping, sensory biology, learning and behaviour and others.

Cell and Developmental Biology – Development of multicellular organisms, interaction between cells and the cellular matrix, regulation of stem cell function.

Microbes and Man – The impact of microbes on humans, bacteria, fungi and viruses, common themes of infectious disease mechanisms.

Genetics II – Organisation of genes and genomes, generation of genetic diversity, gene transmission and analysis of problems in transmission and molecular genetics.

Evolution of Humans and Other Animals – The primary aim of this module is to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of comparative animal biology in an evolutionary context.

Human Structure and Function – Human anatomy and how it relates to its function and evolutionary origin.

Critical Issues for 21st Century Ecosystems – Core skills in ecosystem knowledge 

Plant Sciences: from Cells to the Environment  Plants interact flexibly with their environment. This module explores the cellular and molecular features facilitati ng such interactions, including interactions with parasites. The module introduces the model plant Arabidopsis, and you will design and test hypotheses in specific experiments

Field Course: Alpine and Glacial Ecology in Norway

Field Course: Adaptations to Aquatic Environments 

 

 

Third Year

The third year is made up of a combination of taught modules and independent study. It is here that the link between the teaching and the research in the school is particularly important. The final year modules are informed and inspired by the research being carried out in the school.

The third year allows choice from a range of specialised topics. Central to the third year is a critical review of literature in an area that you are interested in, this makes up one third of the credits earned in the third year.

 

Third year modules

Project:

Evidence-Based Literature Review

Critical analysis: Developing a research proposal

Laboratory Project

Introduction to Teaching Biosciences in Schools

 

Choose four optional modules* 
Example optional modules may include:

Molecular and Cellular Immunology – Evolution of the immune system, innate immunity, cell biology of immunity, structural basis of discrimination between self and non-self.

Cancer Biology – Regulation of cell division and aberrations in malignant tumours, genetic bases of tumourigenesis, programmed cell death.

Cellular Neurobiology  – Neuronal function and neural development, synaptic function, transmitter receptors and ion channels.

Adaptation to changing environments – This ecology-oriented module examines behavioural, physiological and molecular mechanisms of adaptation to environmental stress. It examines animals’ mechanisms to respond to changes occurring on varying timescales and over diverse geographic areas

Living in Groups: Collective Behaviour in Animals  – This module explores features and rules of group behaviour in animals. Introducing formal concepts such as Social Network Analysis, the module defines fundamental rules that govern collective behaviour, and how individuals partake in making and communicating decisions.

Eukaryotic Gene Expression – Control of gene transcription, chromatin structure, pre-mRNA processing, mRNA translation and degradation.

Bacterial Gene Regulation – How genes are switched on or off in response to external stimuli, how control of gene expression can be explored experimentally.

Global Challenges and Plant Science | Plant growth and development in relation to food supply, biofuels and climate change. Research-based module with emphasis on analysis of the current research literature.

Structures of Destruction – Bacterial and viral pathogens explored from the perspective of their molecular structures, protein misfolding and amyloid diseases.

Human Evolution – Genetics and genomics, development of bipedalism, development of society and how humans’ activity applies selective pressure on the evolution of HIV.

Human Health and Disease – This module builds on the 2nd year module ‘Human structure and function’, and discusses advanced concepts in anatomy and physiology. It also gives students an insight into how clinicians approach problems relating to diagnosis and management of disease.

Biodiversity and Conservation Management – Examining the scientific basis of conservation, the threats facing biodiversity and how those threats are assessed, why population size is critical and how biodiversity is maintained either in nature or at a backup location. The in situ management of diversity is given particular emphasis. The module is stand-alone but also complements Conservation Practice: Genes to Ecosystems.

Conservation Practice: Genes to Ecosystems – Examining the scientific basis for conservation and its genetic foundation.

Molecular Basis of Bacterial Infection- Evolution of bacterial virulence, antibiotics and antibiotics resistance, genomic data in analysing pathogenicity.

Evolution of vertebrates

Advanced Topics in Animal Behaviour

Current developments and advances in Eukaryotic Genetics

Introduction to Teaching Biosciences in Schools

 

Masters Year

The masters year is devoted to developing and honing your research skills. The central element to help you to achieve competence in research is the research project, which extends over both semesters of the year and which takes up about two thirds of the work effort. MSci students negotiate their own project in discussion with staff in the areas that interest them. You will join one of our many research groups, providing the fascinating opportunity to experience research first hand and to contribute to current research projects.

Project work is not limited to the laboratory; some students will do more ecology- based projects involving field work. In addition, MSci students take a bespoke module: Research Developments and Funding as well as a module drawn from the specialist modules of the third year.

 

Example optional modules may include:

Extended Research Project

Research Developments and Scientific Communication

Funding Science

Evolution of Vertebrates

Structures of Destruction: the Structural Biology of Pathogenicity

Eukaryotic Gene Expression

Cellular Neurobiology

Human Evolution

Molecular and Cellular Immunology

Cancer Biology

Molecular Basis of Bacterial Infection

Functional Genomics and Reverse Genetics

Advanced Topics in Animal Behaviour

Living in Groups: Collective Behaviour in Animals

Bacterial Gene Regulation

Adaptation to changing environments

Conservation Practice: Genes to Ecosystems

Human Health + Disease

Current developments and advances in Eukaryotic Genetics

Research Methods in Microbiology

Global challenges and Plant Science

Entry requirements

 

Applicants should normally have one of the following:

  • A non-law bachelor’s degree (from a UK university or recognised by the BSB if you wish to study the BPTC), or
  • A ‘stale’ law degree, where five or more years have elapsed since graduation, or
  • An academic or professional qualification at degree equivalent level

If English is not your first language, you will also need to demonstrate your English Language proficiency. For example, you should have IELTS 7.5 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in all components.

If you intend to become a Solicitor

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has reduced its requirements for pre-authorisation this year. For details of the current arrangements, see the SRA website. You should pay special attention to the Character and Suitability section. If you think you may have a character or suitability issue, you may wish to clarify with the SRA before proceeding with the GDL.

See further details of our English Language requirement

USA,UK & EU students, 2019/20 (per year)

£8,500

International students starting 2019/20 (per year)

£13,100

 

Assessment

You’ll show your progress through a combination of written essays, problem-solving assignments and presentations.

All students take our core modules, but please note that the availability of optional modules is subject to demand.

Almost 95% of our graduates are in employment or further study within six months of graduating  2015/16 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey

Advances in the biosciences are having a profound impact on our daily lives in areas from human health to conservation. Biotechnology, biological pharmaceuticals, and personalised medicine are key growth areas in the health sector. Environmental remediation, climate change and related themes pose multi-faceted challenges for the coming decades. Expert knowledge in biology and the life sciences will be in high demand for the foreseeable future, with bright prospects for exciting and rewarding careers in research, teaching, industry, the NHS and the public sector.

A substantial part of our graduates choose to take a further degree, a postgraduate Masters or PhD. For many career paths, a further degree is an essential stepping-stone, including (but not limited to) careers in research. Our graduates are highly sought after by universities around the world, many stay in Newcastle and join one of our prestigious research groups. 

   

Careers Network

Careers Network, our unique careers guidance service is tailored to your academic subject area. Our team source exclusive work experience opportunities to help you stand out amongst the competition, with mentoring, global internships and placements available to you.  Once you have a career in your sights, one-to-one support with CVs and job applications will help give you the edge. In addition, our employer-endorsed award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.