Course details

Study options

Full-time: 4 years

UK fee

£9,250 per year (2021/22)

International/EU fee

£14,045 per year (2021/22)

UCAS points

72 (2022 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BSc (Hons)

Start date



Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

Course description

Studying Human Biology with a foundation year is your starting point for an exciting and worthwhile scientific career. You will achieve a highly regarded qualification in four years.

Biomedical Science and Human Biology - your questions answered

In the below video, Head of Discipline for Biomedical and Forensic Science, Dr Shivadas Sivasubramaniam, answers some of the most frequently asked questions about subject at the University of Derby. You can also watch exclusive subject content by signing up to Derby on Demand.

Dr Shivadas Sivasubramaniam, Head of Discipline for Biomedical and Forensic Science.

View Biomedical Science and Human Biology - your questions answered! video transcript

6thin the UK for teaching quality**The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021, Biological Sciences subject area
5thin the UK for student experience**The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021, Biological Sciences subject area
9thfor student satisfaction**The Complete University Guide 2022, Biological Sciences Subject area

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, physiology 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 physical activity, smoking, air pollution, infectious disease, 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.

Purple slides used for examination

Foundation Year - helping you to achieve more

Including a foundation year as part of your four-year study programme will give you a head start in your academic and professional life. The foundation year offers the chance to strengthen your skills, knowledge and confidence – with extensive support from our expert staff – before you advance to stage one of your honours degree. It could also be beneficial if you are planning a career change and want to get to grips with aspects of subjects which are new to you.

Our degrees with a foundation year are continuous, meaning that you won’t need to apply again once you have successfully completed the first year.

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

A covid testing centre sign.

Students gain hands-on experience in our Covid test centre

The University of Derby's testing centre has allowed Human Biology students to gain hands-on experience to support their learning.

Read more about how our students are supporting our Covid test centreRead more about how our students are supporting our Covid test centre

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.

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

Invaluable placement opportunities

You can apply to work in industry or undertake an internship between stages two and three of the course. This is not only an excellent preparation for your final-stage studies but also the ideal opportunity to add substance to your CV, boost your future prospects and develop the broader professional skills demanded by employers today. Previously our students have secured roles at the Leukaemia Research Foundation in London, Royal Derby Hospital and local pharmacies. 

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.

You will be able to use a range of analytical and biomedical equipment including:

We also have new molecular and cellular biology laboratories. These will help us conduct in vitro cell/tissue culture based investigations, so we can understand the pathophysiology and establish effect treatment strategies against cancer, age-related disorders (such as dementia), diabetes, pre-eclampsia and more.

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
A female and male looking at a slide on a microscope

Human Sciences Research Centre

Our Human Sciences Research Centre conducts theoretical and applied research into the prevention and treatment of diseases and into improvements to the quality of life for people of all ages.

Find out more about our researchFind out more about our research

What you will study

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.

Kedleston Road, Derby Campus entrance

Undergraduate Open Days

The best way to find out if studying at Derby is right for you is to experience an Open Day. Get a feel for the city and campus, tour our first-class facilities and see where you could be living.

Book your Undergraduate Open DayBook your Undergraduate Open Day

How you will learn

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


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) and computer-based assessments. Coursework includes essays, experimental reports (based on laboratory work), case studies, reflective portfolios, posters and oral presentations. In some modules, group work is assessed.

At Level 6 students are expected to be able to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding, and application of the original work generated within their Research Project by submission of a thesis, and through an oral/poster presentation to a lay audience.

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 by notable academics on topical subjects. 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

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

2022 entry

These are the typical qualification requirements for September 2022 entry.

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points72
GCSEGCSE Maths and English are preferred, however if you don't have these qualifications you will be able to undertake Maths and English at Level 2 as part of your course of study
Access to HEPass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2

English language requirements

IELTS: 6.0 (with at least 5.5 in each skills area)

Fees and funding

2021/22 Fees (August 2021 - July 2022)


£9,250 per year



£14,045 per year


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

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

UK students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University


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.

Please also note that due to the current Covid-19 situation, if your course offers fieldtrips, the location of these may change or be cancelled. If this happens, you will be communicated to in advance and we will do our very best to seek out other practical opportunities to ensure your experience is not affected.

The information below is correct for entry in the academic year September 2021 - August 2022 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.

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