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2019/20 Undergraduate Programme Catalogue

MBiol, BSc Biology (Integrated Masters)

Programme code:MBBS-BLGYUCAS code:C109
Duration:4 Years Method of Attendance: Full Time
Programme manager:Dr Chris West Contact address:c.e.west@leeds.ac.uk

Total credits: 480

Entry requirements:

- A-level: AAA
- Including Biology and preferably another science or science-related subject. General Studies and Critical Thinking excluded
- We accept the following science subjects: biology, human biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics.
- Science-related subjects: computing, environmental science, food science, geography, geology, PE, psychology, science in society, statistics, use of mathematics.
- Applicants taking a Science A-level (in England) will be required to achieve a pass in the practical element in addition to the standard A-level grade requirement.
- GCSE: Grade 6 (B) or above at GCSE Maths and Grade 4 (C) or above at GCSE English.

School/Unit responsible for the parenting of students and programme:

Faculty of Biological Sciences Undergraduate School (School of Biology)

Examination board through which the programme will be considered:

Faculty of Biological Sciences Undergraduate School (School of Biology)

Relevant QAA Subject Benchmark Groups:

The three year BSc programmes upon which the Integrated Masters are built meet the QAA Benchmarks and meet the QAA expectations for integrated masters programmes. There are no specified QAA Benchmarks for Integrated Masters degrees in Bioscience, however the principle of such programmes is to ensure coverage of Honours level Benchmark requirements plus ensure that the higher Masters levels objectives are met including:

Research training:
- Project-specific experimental skills
- Accessing literature
- Planning, including evaluation of hazards and environmental effects
- Making oral presentations, writing reports, including critical evaluation
- Participating in colloquia

Research project:
- Implementation of planned experiments
- Recording of data and their critical analysis
- Dissertation
- Outcome potentially publishable

Advanced studies:
- In area of specialism to support research topic
- Complementary studies outside, but cognate to, area of specialism

Problem solving:
- Development of general strategies including the identification of additional information required and problems where there is not a unique solution
- Application of advanced studies to the solutions of problems

Professional studies:
- Ethics and societal responsibilities
- Environmental impact
- Sustainability

The proportion of each activity will vary depending upon the programmes learning objectives. However, research studies (training and project) are likely to form at least one-half of the masters level study.

It is important to note that for students who may elect not to complete the fourth year of the programme, or who are advised that their performance makes it unlikely that they would be successful in completing the programme will have met the University requirements for the BSc and so will be able to graduate after 3 years.

Programme specification:

Biology is a wonderfully wide-ranging subject, and Leeds, with one of the UK's largest and most diverse biology teaching groups, is well equipped to deliver. The emphasis of the programme is the whole organism to which everything is related, be it the molecules that form proteins or communities of organisms in an ecosystem.

The MBiol, BSc offers students an excellent breadth and depth of knowledge plus the exceptional experience of advanced research. The initial two years of the programme follows the existing BSc Biology programme. The year 3 will be similar to that for students enrolled on the 3 year BSc programme but will be integrated with year 4 with students undertaking a research project comprising of a 20 credit practical research project and 20 credit research literature project. The fourth year of the programme is research focused, comprising an 80 credit research project and 40 credits of advanced research training. There is a strong emphasis on independent learning, problem solving and data analysis, taught in the context of the subject. The extended individual project allows students to develop their research skills in greater depth and produce a report containing material of publishable quality that could contribute to a research publication.

Level 1 exposes students to the fundamentals of Biology, suitable for progression to all programmes within the biology programme group. Programme-specific core topics are covered at Level 2 preparing for subsequent research-led subject specialist modules.

At Levels 2 and 3 students are free to choose more than half of their module credits with the proviso a range of modules are selected that reflect the complexity of life forms from molecules, through organisms, both plants and animals, to populations to ensure the breadth of knowledge expected of a graduate with a biology degree. This allows students to develop their own wide-ranging interests in organismal biology. Decisions on what to study are made with input from personal tutors.

The research ethos is developed and fostered from the start via practicals, which are either embedded in lecture modules or taught in dedicated practical modules, research seminars and tutorials. There is a compulsory field course in Level 1, which students must pass in order to progress into Level 2, and optional field courses in Levels 2 and 3. At Level 3 all students carry out independent research projects, which will comprise a 20 credit Research and Manuscript project and a 20 credit Literature Review and poster presentation.

In year 4 students will extend their specialist knowledge and research training through completion of an extended Masters level 80 credit research project and 40 credits of additional Masters level taught modules. In years 3 and 4, students will attend supervisory meetings with their research project supervisor who will guide them through their research project.

Academic tutorials are held at Levels 1 and 2 with the same tutor, who is also the personal tutor for the full 4 years, providing continuity and progressive guidance. Level 1 and 2 tutorials include a number of workshops to teach skills, eg library use and presentation skills, followed by assessed exercises, eg essays and talks, as opportunities to practice these skills in a subject-specific context. Students will build on these over subsequent years of specialisation and training. In years 3 and 4 students will continue with their personal tutorial meetings and attend supervision meetings with their project supervisor.

MBiol, BSc Biology is one of 5 Integrated Masters programmes in the School of Biology. Differentiation of the Biology programme at year 4 from the others will be through the extended research project which comprises two-thirds of the final year. Research topics will be specific to the biology area and hence substantial subject-specific specialisation will be achieved through the project. In a sation will be achieved through the project. In addition specialisation will be achieved through a range of taught module topics offered, again aligned to the biology area.

The MBiol, BSc Biology programme is distinctive because it develops an excellent breadth and depth of knowledge in biology together with an exceptional experience of advanced research delivered through an integrated research project.

The most important values which inform the MBiol, BSc Biology programme are to provide excellent students with the opportunity to gain substantial research training and experience through engagement with an individual research project conducted as part of a research team in an internationally recognised research laboratory.

The academic content of the MBiol, BSc Biology programme concentrates on developing an understanding of research through the delivery and active engagement in taught components, practical skills development, data analysis and problem solving elements culminating in a major research project supported by further research and transferable skills training and career planning opportunities.

The most important intellectual skills developed in the MBiol, BSc Biology programme are appreciation of the fundamental underpinning principles of the subject area leading through to the current state of the field informed by the research-based ethos of teaching and investigation.

The most useful practical skills, techniques and capabilities developed will be those underpinning Biology, together with advanced level research skills expected of early stage PhD students.

Competency will be developed in a broad range of topics in Biology combined with competency in research methodology, the development of hypothesis driven research, the approach to the analysis of data and ability to solve problems, appropriate practical skills in the design and execution of suitable experiments, the production of publication quality outputs and the ability to communicate effectively.

The most important ways in which a student will learn are dependent upon the level of the students as they progress through the course. Initially delivery will be more research-informed teaching in lecture and seminar/tutorial and practical class settings leading to more independent research-based learning through lectures and independent study, small class teaching and project team or individual mentoring. Students will progress from the development of research-based practical skills in teaching labs to the design and execution of independent research work.

On completing the MBiol, BSc Biology programme we want students to know and understand their programme specialist subject from basic principles through to cutting edge research, and to appreciate the process of research and to be able to demonstrate implementation of these principles.

On completing the MBiol, BSc Biology programme we want students to be able to compete worldwide with other students for high quality research opportunities within appropriate industries or for PhD positions to pursue research careers.


Year1 - View timetable

[Learning Outcomes, Transferable (Key) Skills, Assessment]

Candidates will be required to study 120 credits

Compulsory modules:

Candidates will be required to study the following compulsory modules:

BLGY1125Biology Practicals and Data Analysis20 creditsSemester 1
BLGY1128Living Planet20 creditsSemester 1
BLGY1211Applied Biology and Agriculture10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY1232Introduction to Genetics10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY1234Practical Genetics10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY1300Coastal and Upland Habitats Field Course10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY1306Research and Study Skills Level 110 creditsSemesters 1 & 2
FOBS1135The Basis of Life20 creditsSemester 1

Optional modules:

Students may study at least 10 credits from the following optional modules

BIOL1223Career and Professional Development for Life Scientists10 creditsSemester 2
BIOL1225How can Biological Sciences change the world10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY1238Exploring Whole Organism Biology in the Lab and Field10 creditsSemester 2
BMSC1210Biology of the Mind
Pre-requisite for: BLGY2118
10 creditsSemester 2
BMSC1212Introduction to Pharmacology10 creditsSemester 2
MICR1202The Microbial World10 creditsSemester 2
MICR1220Introduction to Immunology10 creditsSemester 2

Discovery modules:

Candidates may study up to 10 credits of discovery modules.


Year2 - View timetable

[Learning Outcomes, Transferable (Key) Skills, Assessment]

Candidates will be required to study 120 credits.

Compulsory modules:

Candidates will be required to study the following compulsory modules:

BLGY2163How Plants Work10 creditsSemester 1
BLGY2192Experimental Design and Analysis10 creditsSemester 1
BLGY2223Organismal Evolution10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY2293Animal Physiology: from Ants to Whales10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY2303Research and Study Skills Level 210 creditsSemesters 1 & 2

Optional modules:

Candidates must take overall at least 50 credits and up to 70 credits of optional modules from Group A (Genetics) & Group B (Organisms).

GROUP A: GENETICS
Candidates must take at least 10 credits and up to a maximum of 40 credits from the following group of modules.

BIOL2112Genes and Genomes20 creditsSemester 1
BLGY2201Introduction to Bioinformatics10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY2296Human Genetics10 creditsSemester 2

GROUP B: ORGANISMS
Candidates must take at least 20 credits and up to a maximum of 60 credits from the following group of modules.

BLGY2137Parasitology10 creditsSemester 1
BLGY2142Animal Nutrition and Metabolism
Pre-requisite for: Pre-requisite for: BLGY3273
20 creditsSemester 1
BLGY2144Population and Community Ecology
Pre-requisite for: Pre-requisite for: BLGY3133 Advanced Topics in Ecology
20 creditsSemester 1
BLGY2175Human Populations10 creditsSemester 1
BLGY2222Animal Behaviour
Pre-requisite for: Pre-requisite for: BLGY3135
10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY2225Sustainable Food Production10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY2253Animals as Pests10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY2262Animal Developmental Biology
Pre-requisite for: Pre-requisite for: BLGY3251 Animal Developmental Biology
10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY2313Mediterranean Ecology Field Course10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY2330Terrestrial Ecology and Behaviour Field Course10 creditsSemester 2

Candidates can only choose either BLGY2313 or BLGY2330, not both.
If BLGY2330 is taken students must also take either or both BLGY2222 and BLGY2223.

Candidates may study at most 20 credits of the following optional "non-Biology" modules.
Candidates must ensure that these modules do not clash with core or group options (A or B).

BIOL2210Biological Membranes and Cell Signalling10 creditsSemester 2
BIOL2211Human Diseases10 creditsSemester 2
BIOL2223Employment, Career planning and Professional Development for Life Scientists10 creditsSemester 2
BMSC2118Neurobiology20 creditsSemester 1
BMSC2210Chemotherapy10 creditsSemester 2
BMSC2214Introduction to Toxicology10 creditsSemester 2
MICR2121Molecular Virology10 creditsSemester 1
MICR2221Medical Immunology10 creditsSemester 2
MICR2222Medical Virology10 creditsSemester 2

Students may only take one of these modules, either MICR2221 or MICR2222.

Discovery modules:

Candidates may study up to 20 credits of discovery modules


Year3 - View timetable

[Learning Outcomes, Transferable (Key) Skills, Assessment]

Candidates will be required to study 120 credits.

Compulsory modules:

Candidates will be required to study the following compulsory modules:

BLGY3395Advanced Research Skills and Experience20 creditsSemester 2
BLGY3396Research Literature Review20 creditsSemester 1

Optional modules:

Students will be required to study a minimum of 80 credits of optional modules. Candidates must choose at least 10 credits from each of the 'organisational' groups: A) Genetics, B) Animals, C) Plants, D) Ecology. A single module may not be used to represent more than one of these groups. For example, students choosing BLGY3245 Advanced Topics in Evolution as their Group B Animal module are required to choose a different module to represent their Group D Ecology selection.

GROUP A: GENETICS

BLGY3110Applied Genetics20 creditsSemester 1
BLGY3152Advanced Topics in Human Genetics20 creditsSemester 1
BLGY3246Evolution and Population Genetics10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY3251Animal Developmental Biology10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY3252Plant Developmental Biology10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY3291Comparative Genomics10 creditsSemester 2

GROUP B: ORGANISMS (ANIMALS)

BLGY3105Applied Animal Science10 creditsSemester 1
BLGY3122Social Insect Biology10 creditsSemester 1
BLGY3245Advanced Topics in Evolution20 creditsSemester 2
BLGY3251Animal Developmental Biology10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY3273Animal Nutrition Science20 creditsSemester 2
BLGY3300Level 3 Field Course (South Africa)20 creditsSemester 1

GROUP C: ORGANISMS (PLANTS)

BLGY3173Plant Growth, Resources and Food Security20 creditsSemester 1
BLGY3205Applied Plant Science10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY3252Plant Developmental Biology10 creditsSemester 2

GROUP D: ECOLOGY

BLGY3133Advanced Topics in Ecology20 creditsSemester 1
BLGY3135Advanced Topics in Behaviour: from sex to death20 creditsSemester 1
BLGY3245Advanced Topics in Evolution20 creditsSemester 2
BLGY3246Evolution and Population Genetics10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY3247Advanced Topics in Conservation Science20 creditsSemester 2
BLGY3300Level 3 Field Course (South Africa)20 creditsSemester 1


Year4 - View timetable

[Learning Outcomes, Transferable (Key) Skills, Assessment]

Candidates will be required to study a minimum of 120 credits and maximum 125 credits.

Compulsory modules:

Candidates will be required to study the following compulsory module:

BLGY5380MExtended Research Project80 creditsSemesters 1 & 2

Optional modules:

Candidates will be required to study a minimum of 40 Credits (maximum 45 credits) of advanced research training from the following optional modules:

Candidates will be required to study 40 credits of advanced research training from the following optional modules:

BIOL5152MTopics in Plant Science10 creditsSemester 1
BIOL5171MInfectious & Non-infectious Diseases10 creditsSemester 1
BIOL5172MPractical Bioinformatics10 creditsSemester 1
BIOL5251MPlant Biotechnology10 creditsSemester 2
BIOL5276MMedical Diagnostics10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY5102MCommunity Ecology15 creditsSemester 1
BLGY5104MConservation Genetics15 creditsSemester 2
BLGY5112MAdvanced Statistics10 creditsSemester 1
BLGY5117MIntroduction to GIS Skills for Ecologists10 creditsSemester 1
BLGY5118MPopulation Dynamics10 creditsSemester 1
BLGY5153MAfrican Field Ecology20 creditsSemester 2

Last updated: 04/10/2019

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