Full-time: 3 years, Part-time: 6 years
£9,250 per year (2023/24)
£14,045 per year (2023/24)
112-120 (September 2023 entry)
Kedleston Road, Derby Campus
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.
- Accredited by the Royal Society of Biology, this course demonstrates quality and sets a high professional standard
- Build up-to-date bioscience skills which allow you to respond to national and international priorities, and are important for careers in medical research, the NHS, health charities and biomedical industries
- Develop your understanding of infectious and genetic diseases, as well as the impact that lifestyle choices have on health
- Tailor your course to your own interests by choosing from a broad selection of specialist modules in bioscience, psychology and sport science
- Opportunities for placements and internships with organisations like the Leukaemia Research Foundation and Royal Derby Hospital
- Strengthen your employability through work placements, internships and live projects where you can assist in the University’s human health research – all opportunities which are offered on a competitive basis
- Learn from a research-active teaching team
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.
100%of students agreed that the course is intellectually stimulating*
91%overall student satisfaction*
91%of students were satisfied with the teaching on this course*
91%of students agreed staff are good at explaining things*
13thin the UK for student Satisfaction*
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. Studying 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 achievable. With people living longer and the population getting older, effective approaches 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. Find out more from our academics and students in the below video.
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:
- The role of the Human Papillomavirus in the development of head and neck cancers
- Antibiotic resistance bacteria in healthy individuals
- Mechanisms and cardiovascular effects of anti-angiogenic drugs
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
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.
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:
- Scanning Electron Microscope: We mainly use this for medical research, exploring everything from human/animal tissue infrastructure to bacteria and viruses. It's also useful in vaccination testing.
- High-Performance Liquid Chromatography: This has a variety of uses including quantifying plasma levels of drugs and their metabolites. It is also used in the measurement of biogenic substances that help in diagnosis.
- Gas Chromatography: We use this for various medical activities, including bioanalysis of body fluids, detecting pollutants and metabolites in serum, and for fatty acid profiling in microbes.
- Fluorescent Microscope: You may use this to understand the cellular ultra-structure or sub cellular organelles.
- Atomic Absorption Spectrometry: Used to detect minute concentrations of toxic substances in blood.
- Ion Chromatography: Used to determine many ions and substances in clinical and pharmaceutical samples.
- Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR): Used to identify molecules and for diagnostic purposes.
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.
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.
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. There is a wide range of optional modules to choose from including 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
These are the typical qualification requirements for September 2023 entry.
|Requirement||What we're looking for|
|A Level||BBB-BBC (At least a grade C in either Biology, Human Biology or Chemistry (or equivalent qualification))|
|T Level||Merit in Science|
|GCSE||GCSE Maths and English Grade 4/Grade C (or above) or equivalent qualification|
|Access to HE||Pass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 with a minimum of Distinction: 15, Merit: 24, Pass: 6. Must include passes in compulsory Level 3 subjects|
English language requirements
IELTS: 6.0 (with at least 5.5 in each skills area)
2023/24 Fees (August 2023 - July 2024)
£9,250 per year
£1,155 per 20 credit module
£14,045 per year
Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.
Additional costs and optional extras
How to apply
Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.
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:
- Research/Laboratory Assistant, Technician or Associate
- NHS Clinical Scientist
- Medical Professional
- Physiotherapist/Sports Trainer Performance Counselling
- Pharmaceutical/Medical Sales
- Scientific Writer
- Scientific/Non-Scientific Consultancy
- Public Health Service
- Clinical Trials Co-ordinator
- Human Resources
- Food Technology
- Health Charities
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.
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
Additional information about your studies
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 provided on this page is correct at the time of publication but course content, costs and other individual course details do change from time to time and are updated as often as possible, so please do check these pages again when making your final decision to apply for a course. Any updated course details will also be confirmed to you at application, enrolment and in your offer letter.
Included in your fees
- You will receive goggles and a laboratory coat
- All equipment and consumables needed for your experimental/fieldwork are provided by the University. This is subject to consumables being costed for the Independent Study and approved by your programme leader
- If a DBS check is needed for the purposes of a module or programme related work placement, this is included in your fee if done via the University
- All final year (Level 6) students without any backlogs of Level 5 modules will get free membership of the Royal Society of Biology for a year
- Free membership of the Royal Society of Biology for a year after graduation
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
- Most assignments are submitted through an online platform but due to the nature of the course, you will need to submit several hard-copy submissions such as portfolios and case files
- In your final year, you will need to submit a printed and bound Independent study (dissertation) - to print is approximately 5p per sheet, to bind is approximately £10-£15
Optional costs not included in your fees
- Recommended textbook - approximate cost is £60
- If a DBS check is needed for the purposes of a module or programme related work placement
- Travel to work experience/placements - cost is dependent on your placement venue of choice
- Membership of the Human Biology society - approximate cost is £10
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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