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2019/20 Undergraduate Programme Catalogue

MBiol, BSc Genetics (Integrated Masters)

Programme code:MBBS-GENEUCAS code:C409
Duration:4 Years Method of Attendance: Full Time
Programme manager:Dr Andrew Cuming Contact address:a.c.cuming@leeds.ac.uk

Total credits: 480

Entry requirements:

A-level: AAA: Including Biology and another science or science-related subject. General Studies and Critical Thinking excluded. 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.
International Baccalaureate: 35 (with 18 at higher level) including 6 in higher level Biology and another science or science-related subject at higher level.

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:

The subject of genetics is highly topical with the development of rapid and inexpensive whole genome sequencing driving advances being made in the medical sphere. The Genetics programme aims to demonstrate broad knowledge and understanding of the processes of the transmission and expression of genetic information, and its variation in space (across populations) and in time (through evolution); the techniques, at the whole organism, microscopic, and molecular levels, by which this understanding has been reached and may be extended in the future and the economic and social potential of present genetic knowledge and its future development.

The MBiol, BSc Genetics programme 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 Genetics 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 at Level 3. 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.

The level one core curriculum exposes students to the fundamentals of Biology. Programme-specific core topics are covered at level 2 preparing for subsequent research-led subject specialist modules. The extent and diversity of Genetics at Leeds, coupled with the medical input from clinical colleagues at St James' hospital and the LGI offers extensive choice.

Core practical and IT skills are taught at level 1 in specific modules, ensuring that all students are prepared similarly. At level 2, practicals are embedded in lecture modules to aid comprehension. At Level 3 all students carry out independent research projects, which will comprise a 20 credit Research and Manuscript project and a 20 credit Research 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. The content of both projects will be specific to Genetics.

Academic tutorials are offered 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. Levels 1 and 2 tutorials include a number of workshops to teach skills eg library use, presentation skills etc.followed by assessed exercises e.g. essays, talks etc. 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 Genetics is one of 5 Integrated Masters programmes in the School of Biology. Differentiation of the Genetics programme at year 4 (level 5) from the others will be through the extended research project which comprises two-thirds of the final year. Research topics will be specific to Genetics and hence substantial subject-specific specialisation will be achieved through the project. In addition, specialisation will be achieved through a range of taught module topics offered, again aligned to Gene tics.

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

The most important values which inform the MBiol, BSc Genetics 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 this 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 programme are appreciation of the fundamental underpinning principles of Genetics 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 the Genetics area, together with advanced level research skills expected of early stage PhD students.

Competency will be developed in a broad range of topics associated with Genetics 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 The MBiol, BSc Genetics 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 The MBiol, BSc Genetics 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:

Students will be required to study the following compulsory modules:

BLGY1125Biology Practicals and Data Analysis20 creditsSemester 1
BLGY1128Living Planet20 creditsSemester 1
BLGY1232Introduction to Genetics10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY1234Practical Genetics10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY1306Research and Study Skills Level 110 creditsSemesters 1 & 2
FOBS1135The Basis of Life20 creditsSemester 1

Optional modules:

Candidates will be required to study up to 30 credits from the following optional modules:

BIOL1223Career and Professional Development for Life Scientists10 creditsSemester 2
BIOL1225How can Biological Sciences change the world10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY1211Applied Biology and Agriculture10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY1238Exploring Whole Organism Biology in the Lab and Field10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY1300Coastal and Upland Habitats Field Course10 creditsSemester 2
BMSC1212Introduction to Pharmacology10 creditsSemester 2
MICR1202The Microbial World10 creditsSemester 2

Students who select BLGY1238 must also select BLGY1211.

Discovery modules:

Students may select 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:

BIOL2112Genes and Genomes20 creditsSemester 1
BLGY2132Advanced Practical Skills for Genetics10 creditsSemester 1
BLGY2163How Plants Work10 creditsSemester 1
BLGY2201Introduction to Bioinformatics10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY2262Animal Developmental Biology10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY2296Human Genetics10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY2303Research and Study Skills Level 210 creditsSemesters 1 & 2

Optional modules:

Candidates will be required to study at least 30 credits from the following optional modules:

BIOL2210Biological Membranes and Cell Signalling10 creditsSemester 2
BIOL2211Human Diseases10 creditsSemester 2
BIOL2223Employment, Career planning and Professional Development for Life Scientists10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY2175Human Populations10 creditsSemester 1
BLGY2223Organismal Evolution
Pre-requisite for: BLGY3245
10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY2225Sustainable Food Production10 creditsSemester 2
FOBS2240Skills in Communicating Research beyond the University10 creditsSemester 2
MICR2120Cell Biology of Disease10 creditsSemester 1
MICR2121Molecular Virology10 creditsSemester 1
MICR2221Medical Immunology10 creditsSemester 2

Discovery modules:

Candidates may choose up to 10 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:

BLGY3110Applied Genetics20 creditsSemester 1
BLGY3152Advanced Topics in Human Genetics20 creditsSemester 1
BLGY3395Advanced Research Skills and Experience20 creditsSemester 2
BLGY3396Research Literature Review20 creditsSemester 1

Optional modules:

Candidates will be required to study 40 credits from the following optional modules:

BIOL3215Cancer Biology20 creditsSemester 2
BLGY3205Applied Plant Science10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY3245Advanced Topics in Evolution20 creditsSemester 2
BLGY3246Evolution and Population Genetics10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY3251Animal Developmental Biology10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY3252Plant Developmental Biology10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY3291Comparative Genomics10 creditsSemester 2
MICR3211Advanced Topics in Microbiology 220 creditsSemester 2
MICR3212Advanced Topics in Microbiology 320 creditsSemester 2

Students can choose either MICR3211 or MICR3212, but not both. Students must have the appropriate pre-requisite Level 1 & 2 modules in Microbiology/ Virology and obtain the approval of the Genetics and Microbiology programme leaders. Students can not take both MICR3212 and BIOL3215.


Year4 - View timetable

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

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

BIOL5112MBioimaging10 creditsSemester 1
BIOL5152MTopics in Plant Science10 creditsSemester 1
BIOL5172MPractical Bioinformatics10 creditsSemester 1
BIOL5178MHigh-Throughput Technologies15 creditsSemester 1
BIOL5251MPlant Biotechnology10 creditsSemester 2
BIOL5276MMedical Diagnostics10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY5104MConservation Genetics15 creditsSemester 2

Last updated: 20/05/2019

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