Biological Sciences

Undergraduate

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  • Give your career a head-start through the option of a one-year work placement, after year two.
  • Go to Wales on a field trip, and take up the chance to go on a student-funded trip to South Africa. 
  • Take control of your learning by choosing modules in your area of interest.
  • Work in our state-of-the-art laboratories.
  • Roehampton is in the top four universities in London for graduate earnings in biological sciences (Longitudinal Education Outcomes, 2018 results, earnings three years after graduation).
  • 100% of students in work or further study within six months of graduation (Destination of Leavers of Higher Education, 2018 results).
  • We are ranked in the top ten universities in London (Complete University Guide 2020).

Summary

A degree in Biological Sciences is a gateway into all Life Sciences career paths. Study Biological Sciences at the University of Roehampton to explore current developments and gain a strong foundation in this rapidly developing scientific discipline, focused on the study of life and living things.

On this fascinating BSc, you will delve into the very essence of life and living organisms, and learn about the molecular, cellular and organismal aspects essential for understanding modern biology.

You will develop your skills and understanding right across the biological disciplines, from core aspects of animal and plant biology via the diversity and evolution of life, right to cutting edge developments within the fields of biotechnology, climate change, antimicrobial resistance and molecular ecology.

This degree provides opportunities to work in our state-of-the-art laboratories, participate in field trips in the UK and abroad, and conduct your own research project. We offer exciting modules such as Chemistry of Life, where you will work in the lab to study the structure, evolution and biochemistry of the cell; Comparative Zoology, where you will learn about vertebrate anatomy, physiology and development; and The Brain in Health and Disease, where you will gain valuable insight into neurobiology and the very latest developments in brain research.

Overall, you will gain highly transferable skills allowing you to pursue careers across Life and Health Sciences and beyond.

Year one 

  • Begin exploring the key areas of biology, including cell biology, ecology, evolution, and the diversity and details of the major animal and plant groups.
  • Gain knowledge in basic biochemistry, learn about the physiology of our own bodies and contrast them with other species. Develop analytical skills to assess laboratory and field data.

Year two 

  • Focus on the key areas that interest you and choose from a broad range of modules.
  • Modules cover diverse topics such as ecology, evolutionary biology, animal behaviour, molecular biology, physiology and immunology.
  • The Research Methods module involves developing a research proposal on a topic of your choice.
  • A residential field course in rural Wales provides a six-day immersion into field and lab data collection.

Year three 

  • Select advanced modules from any area of biology and specialise further, e.g. Medical Microbiology or Aquatic and Invertebrate Biology.
  • An independent research project will allow you to collect seminal data on a topic of your choice, advancing current knowledge in that area.
  • Choose to attend a student-funded field trip to South Africa.

Here are some examples of the various modules we currently offer:

Year 1

Required Modules
Chemistry of Life
Biometrics: Physiology, Statistics and Maths
Cell Biology
Diversity of Life
Core Skills in Biological Science
Introduction to Evolution

Year 2

Required Modules:
Biosciences Field Course
Biosciences Research Methods
Molecular Biology: Theory and Practice

Additional Required Modules: Students must take an additional 20-40 credits from these:
Comparative Zoology
Ecology and Evolution

Optional Modules: Students must take 20 - 40 credits from these:
Understanding Behaviour
Immunology
Physiology and Metabolism
Pharmacology and Toxicology
The Brain in Health and Disease
Humans and other Primates

Particular Circumstances: The following module is only available to students in particular circumstances and with prior agreement of the Programme Convener:
Field Work Methods in Ecology

Year 3

Compulsory modules
Biosciences Research Project
Biosciences Independent Study

Optional modules
Advances in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology
Conservation Ecology
Aquatic and Invertebrate Biology
Conservation, People and Wildlife: South African Field Course - optional student funded module
Human Epidemiology and Pathophysiology
Medical Microbiology
Palaeoanthropology
Human Osteology and Diversity
Primate Behaviour and Cognition
Animal Behaviour and Welfare
Molecular Ecology
Data Analysis for Zoologists and Bioscientists

 

Compulsory and Required modules
Compulsory and/or required modules may change when we review and update programmes. Above is a list of modules offered this academic year.

Optional modules
Optional modules, when offered as part of a programme, may vary from year to year and are subject to viability.

This course offers all students the option to apply for a one-year paid work placement. If you successfully secure a work placement, you will undertake the placement following year two of your programme and return following the placement to complete your studies.

A placement year is the perfect opportunity to implement the skills and knowledge that you will learn in year one and two, while gaining valuable work experience. The opportunity to make connections in your chosen industry will greatly improve your career prospects and equip you with the skills and experience you need to secure graduate-level employment.

The University Careers and Placements team will support you to develop your CV and skills though webinars, workshops and 1-2-1 appointments. You will also benefit from regular communication about available opportunities to aid your placement search.

Please note while the University will support you with your placement search and applications, a placement cannot be guaranteed.

You will develop highly sought-after skills perfect for careers in bioengineering and biotech companies, the pharmaceutical industry and environmental consultancies. You can also continue your studies at post-graduate level.

Our careers team is available to support you from the start of your studies until after you graduate. They will help you build your CV, prepare for interviews, and meet and learn from successful graduates working at the top of their careers. You’ll also have opportunities to work with our partners across London and beyond, and to attend a Roehampton jobs fair where you can find out about graduate opportunities and meet employers. 

Find out more about teaching staff on our BSc Biological Sciences and their research interests here:

Dr Volker Behrends
Senior Lecturer

Dr Volker Behrends

I'm Volker and I am the programme convenor for the Biological Science and Zoology programmes. I am a microbiologist with a strong interest in both infection biology and metabolism. My main interest is the bugs you could pick up in a hospital setting, finding out how they exploit and manipulate their host and how we can treat these infection using novel approaches. I have been at the university since 2014 and I am involved in most of the microbiology teaching across the Department of Life Sciences, for example in the 3rd year module Medical Microbiology. I really like how Roehampton's Life Sciences programmes combine different perspectives. Depending on module choice, students can look at how mammals (humans included) perceive their environment and react to it at a neurological, behavioural or ecological level.

Dr Andrea Perna
Senior Lecturer

Dr Andrew Perna

I am Andrea. I am a Senior Lecturer in Biology and Zoology, but I also like subjects at the interface between biology and other disciplines: before joining Roehampton I worked in a mathematics department (at the University of Uppsala, in Sweden), in a computer sciences department (at the University of Nantes, in France), and even in a research institute for Future Energy (in Paris). I am very happy that at Roehampton I get an opportunity to teach precisely these subjects that I like: I convene the third year module on biological data analysis and I teach sessions in ecology and biometrics. In the picture you see me studying a termite nest; understanding how tiny insects coordinate together to build such large structures is one of my research passions.

Dr Maria Teresa Esposito
Senior Lecturer

Dr Maria Teresa Esposito

I am Dr Maria Teresa Esposito. I'm a cancer biologist and my research focuses on mechanisms of chemotherapy resistance of leukemic cells. I joined Roehampton in 2017. I love working in a multidisciplinary small department surrounded by green! I also enjoy working with students and helping them to realise their potential. My favourite module to teach is Cell Biology. I love to teach this module because I love cells and I love to show students how microscopic phenomena happening in our cells affect our daily life, how we fight a bug or cancer or how we feel hungry.

Dr Robert Busch
Senior Lecturer

Dr Robert Busch

Hello, I am Robert. As a senior lecturer, I teach all years of the Biomedical Science programme. As the smallest independently-living units in our body, the vital processes that sustain cells and their mutual cooperation are fundamental to how we survive, adapt, and suffer illnesses, so this subjects is a great introduction to living systems. My research is about key mechanisms by which immune cells communicate about infectious agents to mount immune defences, and about how the same mechanisms go haywire in immune-related illnesses. I have worked in the United States and Germany and started at Roehampton in 2013. I love Roehampton's human scale, its commitment to research excellence and inclusive teaching, and its friendly staff. The sunsets over Richmond Park, seen from the rear windows of Parkstead House at Whitelands, are a lovely bonus!

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