Available in clearing

 - Call 01332 592020

Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 years, Part-time: Up to 6 years

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year (2020/21)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2020/21)

UCAS points

120 (September 2020 entry)

UCAS code

C101

Course level

Undergraduate

Qualification

BSc (Hons)

Start date

September

Location

Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

If you do not achieve the typical entry points required, you may want to consider studying this course with foundation year.

View with foundation year optionView with foundation year option

Course description

If you’d like a scientific career where you can focus on improving people’s health and wellbeing, our BSc (Hons) Human Biology course is the ideal starting point.

94% overall student satisfaction - BSc (Hons) Human Biology**National Student Survey 2020
94%of students satisfied with teaching on the course - BSc (Hons) Human Biology**National Student Survey 2020

Human Biology at Derby

If you aspire to a scientific career focused on improving people's health and wellbeing, this degree is an ideal starting point. Studing Human Biology places you at the forefront of advances in areas like medicine, sports science, nutrition and mental health.

Ageing is inevitable - but healthy ageing is acheivable. With people living longer and the population getting older, effective approches to healthy ageing have never been more important, as reflected in global initiatives, like the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals where 'Good Health and Wellbeing' is highlighted as a priority. By studying with us, you will address some of the most pressing health concerns facing today's society, by investigating the cause, effect and treatment of human disease and illness.

This course delivers a solid grounding in human physiology and anatomy, biochemistry, genetics and medical microbiology, helping you understand the basis of human disease, diagnosis and treatment. You'll also explore factors which impact health such as nutrition, smoking, air pollution, and alcohol/drug misuse, plus the social and economic changes and government policies transforming global public health.

Professional and career development skills are embedded throughout our courses. You'll have the opportunity to visit different health care and laboratory environments, and attend guest lectures from leading professionals.

Agata talks about her passion for Human Biology, her internship and lab work, and her experience as an international student at the University of Derby

View Agata's Experience video transcript

Expert teaching

You'll benefit from working with lecturers who have a wealth of experience in their chosen profession, so you're getting industry relevant teaching to help you shine in your chosen career. Many are also involved in research, bringing the latest theories into the classroom.

The diversity of research projects under way is vast – covering issues such as:

You could apply to help with the team’s research projects, which will deepen your understanding and give you an ideal preparation for your future career.

"Every one of my lecturers inspired me with their passion for the subject and their desire for students to question them. They want you to do well and helped whenever I asked." Claire Storer, BSc (Hons) Human Biology graduate

An academic using a pipet.

Accredited course

Our accreditation from the Royal Society of Biology (RSB) follows an independent and rigorous assessment, ensuring that the degree provides a solid academic foundation in biological knowledge, key technical abilities, and transferrable skills.

This means that, when you graduate, you will meet the requirements for Associate Membership of the Society (AMSB), and after appropriate professional experience you can then apply for full membership, which is widely recognised throughout the industry and by potential employers.

Invaluable placement opportunities

You can apply to work in industry or undertake an internship between stages two and three of the course. This not only helps to prepare you for your final year of studies, but also provides an opportunity to add solid experience to your CV, boosting your future prospects. Previously, our students have secured roles at the Leukaemia Research Foundation in London, Royal Derby Hospital and local pharmacies. 

“What about me” is a short educational film about the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and is designed to provide a greater understanding about HPV and the links to head and neck cancer
A woman holding her hands against her neck

Uncovering the link between HPV and head and neck cancer

Our scientists have developed a new screening method that detects human papillomavirus (HPV) in the mouth. They are now using this method to gain a better understanding of how HPV causes head and neck cancer.

Read moreRead more

Specialist facilities

Our facilities include a molecular biology laboratory, class ll microbiology laboratory and tissue culture facilities. We provide modern instrumentation and specialist containment facilities for the growth and manipulation of bacteria and viruses, as well as the sequencing and characterisation of DNA.

We have also opened a student research laboratory which gives you a dedicated space throughout your studies.

 

Monica Erdos, Human Biology student

Human Biology: moving towards a career in cancer research

A research internship looking at ovarian cancer helped Human Biology student, Monica Erdos, take a big step towards meeting her career goal of working in cancer research.

Find out moreFind out more

What you will study

Year 1Year 1Year 2Year 2Optional Placement YearOptional Placement YearYear 3Year 3

Code: 4BH500

Concepts of Human Health and Wellbeing

The module aims to develop an understanding of what health and wellbeing is and the states of human health that exist. Students will gain knowledge of impacts upon health and wellbeing, and significant public health issues. They will also be introduced to how the clinical laboratory specialities of biomedical science work together in disease diagnosis.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 4BY505

Genetics

Since the full elucidation of DNA structure in 1952 our knowledge in the field of genetics has increased exponentially. The development of molecular techniques means that genetics now has the capacity to impact on almost all areas of human life. Medical testing, conservation work and criminal investigation are three diverse examples of areas that in which genetics plays a major role. Knowledge of such a significant area is thus a pre-requisite for all biological and forensic based study. The module aims to provide a broad introduction to, and basic understanding of, the key concepts in classical and molecular genetics. The module also addresses the role of genetics in society and some of the ethical issues that surround its use.
20 Credits
core
Exam
Coursework

Code: 4BY506

Anatomy and Physiology

Fundamental anatomical and physiological concepts in biology will be explored. Emphasis will be placed on the homeostatic interaction between the structure and function of organ systems and their relationship with the internal and external environment. Comparative Physiology will also be introduced. Concepts of health and disease and medical intervention will be identified throughout the module as a range of body systems are explored. Assessment will be via a portfolio of work built up over the course of the module.
20 Credits
core
Exam
Coursework

Code: 4BY508

Chemistry of Life

This module introduces key concepts essential to the understanding of biological and biochemical structures and processes at an atomic, molecular and cellular level. The basic skills required to understand and interpret the behaviour of biological and chemical materials, both qualitatively and quantitatively, will be covered. This module provides a comprehensive introduction to the cell, both prokaryotic and eukaryotic, along with the basic biochemistry of carbohydrates and lipids.
20 Credits
core
Exam
Coursework

Code: 4BY514

Practical Methods in Medical Biosciences

This module will introduce students to the key research methodology required in medical biosciences, which will include cellular pathology, clinical microbiology and clinical biochemical experimental techniques, ethical implications, scientific report writing, presentations and data analysis. Future careers in Biomedical Science and Human Health.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 4PS521

Introduction to Biological and Developmental Psychology

This module has two components, Developmental Psychology and Biological Psychology. The Developmental Psychology component introduces students to concepts, theories and methods relevant to the study of child development. Students will first be introduced to the area of developmental psychology, its historical development, the methods used by researchers working in this field and key debates such as what drives development? The research and theories proposed by key figures working in the areas of social and cognitive development will then be discussed.

Within the Biological Psychology component students will explore how the brain works, including an introduction to the brain, neural structures and neurons. We will investigate whether parts of our brains serve specialised functions and if there are individual differences in brain structure, in particular associated with handedness. We will also investigate how our understanding of brain function informs our understanding of selected areas of cognition and behaviour.

More information
20 Credits
core
Exam
Coursework

Code: 5BY509

Molecular Biology

The Molecular Biology module builds directly on a range of aspects of genetics covered in the first year modules; particularly ‘Genetics’ and ‘Chemistry for Life’. The module also provides direct support to a wide range of material that will be covered in both biological and forensic modules in the third year. The module covers both theoretical and practical aspects of evolutionary and forensic genetics. A range of skills will be developed which are directly relevant to the workplace.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5BY511

Human Physiology and Disease

The module develops the concept of disease within the context of the normal physiological mechanisms that underlie some key body systems. It will enhance the background knowledge of anatomy and physiology gained from a previous Stage 1 module (Human Biology). Guest lecturers from the medical and scientific research worlds are invited to discuss the pathology and medical relevance of an aspect of each of the key physiological systems studied. Assessment will be via a series of in-class tests taken at regular intervals throughout the module, and questions relating to epidemiology study design and data analysis.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5BY534

Independent Research and Professional Development

The module will prepare students for their Independent Studies research project undertaken at level 6 and deliver important information regarding research design and ethics. Students will receive guidance on how to plan and propose a piece of independent research and complete the University Research Ethics proposal form, as well as relevant Health and Safety documents. The module will also address the student’s current professional development with a focus on increasing awareness of graduate skill and career pathways.
0 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5BY500

Nutrition and Metabolism for Sport and Exercise

This module investigates the function and role of dietary macro nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats and proteins, micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals, supplements/ergogenic aids and fluid consumption on sport and exercise performance.
20 Credits
optional
Exam

Code: 5BY514

The Cell

This module builds on year 1 studies of biomolecules and cells and aims to provide the student with a clear view of cell structure and function, together with the underlying biochemistry and biochemical pathways supporting these activities. The involvement of membranes and the cytoskeleton will be illustrated in activities such as energy production, mitosis and cytokinesis, together with cutting edge subjects such as stem cells, cell aging, cell signalling and cancer.
20 Credits
optional
Exam
Coursework

Code: 5BY520

Human Reproduction

This module is designed to cover a range of topics in the field of human reproduction, including developmental genetics, infertility, sexually transmitted diseases and sex determination. It will be delivered via face-to-face lectures and tutorials from academic staff and medical specialists, as well as having associated directed study. It will be assessed via a two-element piece of coursework and a written exam.
20 Credits
optional
Exam
Coursework

Code: 5BY533

Biomedical Professional Practice

This module will build on laboratory skills developed in Level 4.
20 Credits
optional
Coursework

Code: 5FO503

Forensic Anthropology

Using skeletal remains to assist in human identification is an important area of practice for the Forensic Scientist and involves a variety of theories and methods focusing on the wider scope of human skeletal biology on issues of medico-legal significance. This module provides an introduction to the practice of Forensic Anthropology. Through a series of lectures and practical lab sessions, you will learn about methods of bioprofiling used by forensic anthropologists, topics on skeletal biology, disease and trauma that can be observed on bone, and ethical concerns involved when working with human remains in legal contexts.
20 Credits
optional
Coursework

Code: 5PS500

Psychopathology: Diagnosis, Treatment and Issues

The module aims to develop in students a critical understanding of the main forms of mental illness from a psychological perspective. The module provides students with an understanding of the key features of a variety of disorders and examines the contribution psychological approaches make to the theories, research, diagnosis and treatment of abnormal behaviour.
20 Credits
optional
Practical
Coursework

Code: 5PS534

Biological and Developmental Psychology

This module has two components, Biological Psychology and Developmental Psychology. The Biological component of this module aims to provide students with a critical understanding of the relationship between brain functioning and behaviour.

Students will examine the biological bases of a range of behaviours and will consider how research in biological psychology can contribute to the understanding of psychological function. This component of the module is delivered through a mix of lectures, seminars, workshops/online materials and activities, and discussion.

The Developmental component of this module aims to further develop students’ understanding of psychological concepts, theories and methods relevant to the study of lifespan developmental psychology. During this section of the module students will explore a range of research relating to cognitive and social development throughout the lifespan and develop the skills needed to evaluate existing research. This component of the module may be delivered through a mix of lectures, seminars, workshops/online materials and activities, and discussion.

Both components will be assessed by a single exam.

More information
20 Credits
optional
Exam

Code: 5SO501

Physical Activity and Health

This module will enable students to understand the incidence and causes of mortality and morbidity. The benefits of physical activity on multiple facets of health such as coronary heart disease, metabolic syndrome, obesity and cancer will be discussed. The module will also examine health promotion initiatives put forward by a range of organisations, and the methods by which people can be motivated to become more physically active for health benefit.
20 Credits
optional
Practical
Coursework

Code: 5SO528

Applied Professional Practice

This module provides a framework for the development of “lifelong learning” skills appropriate to all areas of professional practice; including objective setting, planning, negotiating, implementing, demonstrating and reflecting. The emphasis in this module is on the analysis and evaluation of the work completed within the organisation. This module also gives students an opportunity to relate their academic knowledge to the work environment.
40 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5SO529

Contemporary Issues in Professional Practice

Students need to be aware of the commercial realities and external factors that influence the success of an organisation. This module provides opportunities for students to acquire an understanding of contemporary issues that may impact on industrial and professional practices relevant to a career within their chosen discipline.

During this period of work experience, students can gain a deeper appreciation of the responsibilities arising from both corporate and individual responses to such issues, thus enabling them to relate to the wider world when exploring a personal direction for potential career development.

More information
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 6BY993

Research Project

This module represents an opportunity for the student to exercise initiative, creative thinking, and organisational skills in the pursuit of an independent piece of work of his/her choosing (subject to approval on academic, safety and ethical grounds where appropriate), and is a continuation of the personal skill development initiated in Stages 4 and 5. Central to the research study will be a degree of problem-solving and formulation and testing of hypotheses.
40 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 6BH501

Cell Signalling in Health and Disease

A knowledge of cell signalling is essential to understanding the molecular mechanisms of disease and the rationale behind drug design. This module focuses on the regulatory mechanisms behind the cellular response to a variety of external signals, considering our current understanding of signalling pathway regulation in health and dysregulation in non-communicable disease states.
20 Credits
optional
Exam
Coursework

Code: 6BY504

The Human Genome

Each of us carries the record of our personal evolutionary history locked up in our genome. Our genome can also influence our future health and longevity. The focus of this module is an investigation into the main components of the Human genome. We also look at the history of the Human Genome Project and the future prospects now that we have the genome sequence in both biological and forensic contexts. Human genome sequence organization is also contrasted with a number of model organisms from bacteria through to other primates. We also look at the DNA sequence databases and how DNA sequence data is deposited, retrieved and manipulated.
20 Credits
optional
Exam
Coursework

Code: 6BY505

Oncology and Immunology

This module provides an opportunity for students to gain knowledge of two specialised areas of human biology; oncology and immunology. Subjects covered will include the genetics of cancer biology, carcinogenesis and epidemiology, virology and mechanisms of antibiotic resistance. The teaching team will include experts from medicine and research, and careers in these fields will be emphasised. Assessment will be via two pieces of coursework (an essay and oral presentation) and an exam.
20 Credits
optional
Exam
Coursework

Code: 6BY506

Science Communication

Effective communication of scientific information to a wide audience is vital social, economic and political tool for society. This module will investigate modes and implementation of effective science communication through a series of workshops. Student will cover the spectrum of delivery methods in modern society including areas such as newspapers, museums, TV programmes and the World Wide Web. Students will also discover the challenges that ineffective communication can present through a series of interesting case studies.
20 Credits
optional
Practical
Coursework

Code: 6BY507

Vocational Module

Work experience and volunteering are two important routes to develop a fundamental understanding of issues related to employment within a chosen organisation. This module also has far reaching benefits in terms of providing valuable hands on experience and a platform for developing ideas outside of the taught curriculum. This module provides an opportunity for the student to undertake a placement within a company, voluntary body or public establishment and is designed for Level 6. The student has freedom to select an appropriate host organisation. By placing the module at level 6, the student should be able to undertake a project based on their knowledge and understanding at this higher level.

The project should be selected so as to generate benefit to the host organisation. An integral part of the student experience is the compilation of a report based on deep reflection of personal experiences acquired during the placement. The report should also reflect wider issues such as the objectives, structure and procedures of the host body and the role of volunteers within the organisation. This analysis must be of a depth commensurate with Level 6 study. The placement work must relate to the student’s degree programme but must have clear differentiation from their Independent Study project in respect of either location or topic.

More information
20 Credits
optional
Coursework

Code: 6FO503

Toxicology and Drugs of Abuse

All substances, if taken in large enough doses, are toxic to humans. This module provides a comprehensive introduction to the multidisciplinary field of toxicology, from the biological and biochemical processes which occur when a poison is administered to the chemical analysis of toxicological samples. While a range of toxins from various sources will be considered, particular emphasis will be placed upon the study of drugs of abuse, including their chemistry, legislation and analysis of both toxicological and non-toxicological samples.
20 Credits
optional
Exam
Coursework

Code: 6PS510

Neuropsychology

Neuropsychology deals with the problems that arise from brain injury that affects cognitive functioning. This module looks at the biological and cognitive consequences of a number of conditions and analyses the knowledge we have at present and what that knowledge tells us about the normally functioning brain.

This module will explore a number of conceptual issues within the context of neuropsychological disorders. Issues covered will include, population sizes, methodologies, recovery of function, remediation versus research, normal versus abnormal deficits, and lesion sites. These issues will be illustrated through the exploration of visual agnosia, amnesia, blindsight, and ageing. The module will combine the acquisition of knowledge with the skill of delivering that knowledge appropriately to a named target audience.

More information
20 Credits
optional
Coursework

Code: 6SO502

Biomedical Implications of Exercise, Activity and Health

The high incidence of lifestyle-related health problems like coronary heart disease, obesity and stress means that increased activity and programmes that encourage and support the adoption and maintenance of healthy lifestyles are becoming increasingly important.

The challenge of increasing the level of physical activity requires an understanding of individual and situational factors that inhibit regular exercise. It is also recognised that that several clinical populations could benefit from regular activity (e.g. cardiac rehabilitation, osteoporosis and diabetes) and medical teams dealing with such patient groups need an understanding of how to promote long-term adherence to exercise. The module deals with the biomedical, lifestyle and physiological aspects of disease in normal and clinical populations. The health benefits of improved lifestyle and increased activity and underlying mechanisms and will be explored.

More information
20 Credits
optional
Exam
Practical

Code: 6SO510

Advanced Nutrition and Metabolism for Sport and Exercise

This module builds on the basic grounding delivered in 5BY500 Nutrition and Metabolism for Sport & Exercise. Students will investigate a variety of pertinent topics such as but not limited to: nutraceuticals / synergistic use of ergogenic aids in sport and exercise performance, nutrition and immune function, nutrition for the global athlete, dysfunctional approaches to nutrition in athletes (i.e. fe/male athlete triad) and nutritional strategies for exercise in extreme environments.

The module will also progress student’s knowledge in more advanced topics of nutrition for sport and exercise such as the direct/indirect role of nutrigenomics and/or nutrigenetics on health and sport and exercise performance.

More information
20 Credits
optional
Exam

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

Side-on portrait of a young student with purple bokeh lights in the background

Campus Tours

Campus Tours are a great way to explore our campuses, facilities and halls of residence. We’ll be running the tours in two-hour timeslots, giving you the best possible experience while adhering to social distancing guidelines.

Book your Campus TourBook your Campus Tour

Virtual Open Day

Delve deeper into the course with our Virtual Open Day, packed with subject and course information to help you make your choice, including tours of facilities, 360° views of award-winning accommodation plus advice and insight from students and academics.

Explore our Virtual Open DayExplore our Virtual Open Day

How you will learn

You’ll learn through lectures, seminars, tutorials, and e-learning, supported by hands-on laboratory practicals. 

Assessment

No single assessment style suits everyone, so we take a diverse approach across the different modules. You’re assessed using a range of written assignments (including data analysis, portfolios, and practical reports), computer-based assessments, poster and seminar presentations.

Tailor your degree

You can adapt your studies to suit your chosen career path while gaining a greater understanding of how the body functions. We offer a selection of optional modules in bioscience, sport science and psychology to enable you to focus on areas that interest you most. In your final year, you’ll undertake an in-depth research project into a human health theme which matches your interests and aspirations.

Broaden your perspectives

We’re committed to your professional and career development. Guest speakers will add an extra dimension to your learning experience. We also have a vibrant Human Biology Society, established and run by students, which organises monthly guest lectures, for example, the inaugural lecture covered research into the environmental health conditions in the Calais refugee camps.

Personal academic tutoring

Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.

Find out more about personal academic tutoring

Who will teach you

Elizabeth Marsh working in Forensics lab

Dr Elizabeth Marsh
Programme leader

Elizabeth is a Senior Lecturer in Cellular and Molecular Biology. She teaches on and leads modules across Biosciences programmes, and is also the Level 4 (first year) lead for Biomedical Health and Human Biology. Her research interests are in host-pathogen interactions and innate immunity, and she is leading a project on the role of Human Papillomavirus in Head and Neck Cancers.

View full staff profileView full staff profile

Entry requirements

September 2020 typical entry requirements

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points120 (up to 16 from AS-levels)
Specific requirements at A-level

At least a C in Biology at A-level (or equivalent qualification)

Specific requirements at GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification
IELTS6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)
Interview / AuditionN/A
PortfolioN/A

Alternative entry qualifications:

We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions

Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.

September 2021 typical entry requirements

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points120
Specific requirements at A-level

At least a grade C in Biology at A-level

Specific requirements at GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification
IELTS6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)
Interview / AuditionN/A
PortfolioN/A

Alternative entry qualifications:

We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions

Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees

 Full-timePart-time
UK/EU

£9,250 per year

£1,155 per 20 credit module

International

£14,045 per year

N/A

Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

UK/EU students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Part-time students should apply directly to the University.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for EU students post-Brexit

International students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree

Male student with glasses against a bright pink backdrop

Clearing

If you don’t have a place at uni, have had a change of heart about your course, or maybe your gap year plans are on hold – don’t worry. Call our Clearing hotline on 01332 592020 and explore your options.

Call our Clearing hotlineCall our Clearing hotline

Careers

Studying Human Biology equips you with highly relevant and up-to-date skills that are important for careers in the NHS, health charities, medical research and biomedical industries, in roles such as:

Careers and Employment Service

To boost your employment skills, you can access the University's Careers and Employment Service. The team can connect you with employers to help find opportunities for work placements, part-time jobs, and volunteering. Our careers consultants are also on hand to guide you through the career options for your degree, CV writing, or starting your own business - and we commit to helping you for three years after you graduate to find a job. 

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

Contact us Contact us

Additional information about your studies

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

The information below is correct for entry in the academic year September 2020 - August 2021 only. Entry for future academic years may be subject to change.

Included in your fees

Mandatory costs not included in your fees

Optional costs not included in your fees

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.

Discover Uni

You might also like