Satisfy your curiosity about biology with an integrated Master’s in Biosciences that will enhance your understanding of the world around you and prepare you for employment in the science sector and beyond.
3 years full-time
With science and its challenges making today’s global headlines, studying this research-led modular degree will help you develop the necessary skills you’ll need to pursue a career in the science sector and beyond. The MBiol course offers flexibility so that you can follow specialised routes within biological sciences by offering module combinations to address your specific areas of interest.
The curriculum links academic theory with practical experience through a combination of core and optional modules that offer plenty of opportunity to tailor your studies as your interests evolve. Themed ‘routes’ include Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Biomedical Science, Cell Biology, Genetics, and Ecology and Environmental Science.
In Year 1 you will study the fundamental aspects of biology and the basics of scientific research.
Year 2 concentrates on providing the skills required for research-led learning.
Year 3 places a strong emphasis on research, with taught content directly linked to research being carried out in the Department. Two core modules, a field course or laboratory-based workshop and a literature review, are combined with optional modules linked to your interests and career aspirations.
The final year, prepares you for research at postgraduate level and includes an extended project in a biology related area. Running through most of the academic year, it allows you to gain hands-on experience working alongside academic staff doing world-leading research.
Molecules and Cells gives an overview of cells and their molecular components. It explores the structure and functions of proteins and biological membranes; cellular metabolism and energy-generating processes; and communication and signalling between cells.
Genetics introduces the development of genetics and the processes linking genotype to phenotype in living organisms. It provides an overview of modern technologies for genetic analysis and manipulation.
Introduction to Physiology covers mammalian physiology as a model for processes in other organisms, describing a range of tissues and processes and connecting them at a molecular and cellular level.
Organisms and Environment provides an introduction to the diversity of life, from adaptation of organisms to a range of environments to diversification via the concept of evolution. It introduces the concepts of ecology and the role of behaviour in determining interactions between species and individuals, along with a survey of ecosystems and their responses for changing global conditions.
Fundamentals of Bioscience Research develops the basic toolkit of skills required for research, including communication, presentation, handling source materials, analysis, problem solving and reporting. The module also covers chemistry and maths designed to support learning in the other modules.
Research Skills for Biosciences, in which skills required for research-led learning at Year 3 are covered.
Workshop (laboratory-based) or field course (field-based, currently held in South Africa or Scotland), involving research experience.
Literature review involves the study of current research literature in a topic area selected by you, under personal supervision.
Finally, you will select a research module comprising an enterprise task, an education project or a study of contemporary issues in the Biosciences.
The fourth year of the MBiol course examines the principles and research practice in the biosciences, and includes an additional field course or practical laboratory workshop and a research project, which will prepare you for research at postgraduate level.
Staff in the Department of Biosciences will offer suitable projects over a wide range of topics in modern biological and biomedical sciences. The projects will address the requirements of potential employers, as well as providing an opportunity for you to carry out work at the cutting-edge of biosciences research. The research project will be written up as a Master’s dissertation.
Lectures represent the largest proportion of teaching hours allowing the effective delivery of knowledge and forming the factual basis of this science subject. You will also benefit from practical classes which provide hands-on experience of experimental techniques.
Year 1 provides teaching across the full spectrum of biological science sub-disciplines alongside practical experience and workshops on data handling techniques to help you develop a range of adaptable skills.
The degree develops with workshops, research-based projects and literature reviews taking the place of practical classes and an emphasis on independent learning, providing an opportunity for further developing your interests and research skills as you start to prepare for postgraduate life and employment.
Modules are assessed via a combination of examinations as well as coursework including essays, laboratory reports, case studies, oral presentations and posters.
Literature reviews (dissertation), project reports and laboratory workshop/fieldwork reports are an important part of this degree. The final-year research project is assessed through a full Master’s-level thesis.
A level offer – AAA including Chemistry and Mathematics.
BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma/OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma – DDD and A level requirements as above.
IB Diploma score – 37 with 666 in higher level subjects including Chemistry and Mathematics.
In addition to satisfying the University’s general entry requirements, please note:
International students who do not meet direct entry requirements for this degree might have the option to complete an International Foundation Year.
|Home students||£9,250 per year|
|EU students||£31,250 per year|
|Island students||£9,250 per year|
|International students||£31,250 per year|
The tuition fees shown for home students are for one complete academic year of full time study and are set according to the academic year of entry. Fees for subsequent years of your course may rise in line with an inflationary uplift as determined by the government.
The tuition fees shown for overseas and EU students are for one complete academic year of full time study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).
Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.
We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities.Find out more about Scholarships and Bursaries
Not only will you receive an outstanding education in biosciences, but you will also gain valuable transferable skills to prepare you for future challenges, enhance your personal development and improve your employment prospects. These skills can be applied to roles across a range of sectors as we prepare you to be active thinkers and future leaders.
Graduates have gone on to roles in teaching, the health sector, industrial R&D and biotechnology within the private sector, management, accountancy, conservation, ecological and environmental services, broadcast and print science journalism, environmental and biological patent law, the pharmaceutical industry, the civil service, and the armed services. Graduates of the Biomedical Sciences degree also enter the NHS as trainee clinical scientists. A number also progress to postgraduate study at universities across the UK and overseas.
(Source: HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey. The survey asks leavers from higher education what they are doing 15 months after graduation. Further information about the Graduate Outcomes survey can be found here www.graduateoutcomes.ac.uk)
The discipline of Biosciences is wide ranging, with many different branches of study. Spanning topics from botany to food science, immunology to zoology, it has the potential to transform societies, economies and tackle global challenges. In a changing world, bioscience has never been more important.
We are a community that shares a passion for education and development. Our work addresses many of the important challenges facing humankind, including climate change and biodiversity conservation, developing new technologies for healthcare, and feeding an increasing human population.
Our research-led approach to teaching has been designed to immerse you in a mix of theoretical and practical learning from day one, equipping you with a wide range of analytical and practical skills that will prepare you to meet the challenges of tomorrow.
You can choose to follow a three-year BSc route, add a work placement year or a year abroad, or take a four-year MBiol route with a research focus.
All students have the option to undertake a residential field course as part of the degree, with recent locations ranging from South Africa to Scotland, the Alps to the Arctic where students learnt how to use tools that can measure the carbon flux induced by climate change.
For more information see our department pages.
We are located just a short walk from the historic centre of Durham, with other academic departments and university services nearby.
We are equipped with the latest state-of-the-art technology. Our equipment includes electron and confocal laser scanning microscopy, transgenic studies, genomics, DNA analysis and proteomics, bioinformatics, remote sensing, ecological field sampling and computer modelling. Teaching and research in the Department covers the breadth of the biological sciences, and often collaborate on projects with other disciplines such as the physical sciences.
The best way to find out what Durham is really like is to come and see for yourself!