BSc (Hons) Medical Biology with foundation year

Our BSc (Hons) Medical Biology with foundation year is a great opportunity to develop a solid understanding of human biology from a medical perspective. It’s designed to equip you with the skills and understanding needed for a career in biomedical science, or to prepare you for further study, including graduate-level entry into Medicine or Dentistry.

Key information

Award:

BSc (Hons)

Mode of Study:

Full-time

Duration:

4 years

Location:

The University of Bolton

UCAS points:

48

UCAS code:

C250

Start date:

21/09/2020

Course Details

Understanding how the human body works – and the need to continuously develop and improve ways to diagnose and treat disease – is integral to improving both the length and quality of our lives. Medical biology is therefore a huge and vital topic. This is your opportunity to take big steps into the subject and develop an understanding of its key principles, concepts and applications. As well as teaching the human biology aspects of medical biology, we’ve designed the course to demonstrate key principles and advancements relating to the medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical job markets.

The foundation year is the first year of this degree, offering an excellent grounding in the fundamentals of biology, chemistry and mathematics alongside study skills development. It is designed to prepare you for degree level study.

You’ll have the chance to familiarise yourself with the fundamentals of human biology from molecular to organ level. Our dedicated and expert team will also introduce you to the principles of scientific investigation that relate to medical biology. As you progress, you’ll build on these themes in a range of ways, taking a medical perspective on disease and treatment.

The course aims to help you develop skills that will be of value should you wish to apply for medical school entrance exams, and gives you the chance to gain experience using a wide variety of relevant biomedical instrumentation.

Highlights
  • You’ll explore the causes of disease, and the methods and technologies used to treat and diagnose disease.
  • This highly practical course focuses on developing your practical skills, and knowledge of research methods, by giving you experience of using equipment in our high-spec instrumentation laboratory.
  • We’ll also support you to gain skills in critical thinking, problem solving and communication that are highly valued in the biosciences and medical industries, and beyond.
  • Many of the areas you’ll explore benefit from University staff research, so you’ll have direct access to in-house expertise, and the latest ideas and learning as they present themselves.
  • The course includes a framework through which suitable work placements can accrue credit towards your degree, allowing you to gain work experience in a career-relevant environment and build your network of industry contacts. If you’re interested in a placement, we'll work with you to identify and approach suitable placement providers.
  • We offer a warm and friendly environment, with relatively small class sizes, purpose-built teaching and laboratory facilities, and excellent student support and library services.
Key Features
  • Our Biological Sciences courses are placed in the UK’s top 15 for teaching quality by The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020.
  • We’re based in the Queens Specialist Building, which offers modern teaching laboratories and classrooms, plus a high-spec instrumentation laboratory, microscopy facility, microbiology laboratory and tissue engineering suite, all dedicated to undergraduate teaching.
  • You’ll have opportunities to explore medical biochemistry, molecular genetics, medical microbiology, cancer biology, neurobiology, clinical examination skills and tissue engineering.
  • We prefer to keep lecture and practical classes relatively small, so that you have plenty of opportunities to ask our friendly, supportive tutors for help, as well as benefit from the ideas and support offered by your classmates.
  • By inviting experts in specialist areas of biology to give guest lectures and provide an overview of their research and professional experience, we aim to enhance your learning and help you to make contacts in the industry.
  • We spoke to biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, as well as the NHS, while designing the course, to ensure that our graduates gain the knowledge and skills these industries need.
Professional recognition
You can become a Student Affiliate member of the Royal Society of Biology.

  • 48 UCAS points. Please see our guide to the UCAS Tariff for examples of how to achieve these points.
  • Your Level 3 subjects must include mathematics or a science subject; for instance, A-level Biology or BTEC Extended Diploma in Applied Science.
  • You should also have five GCSEs at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent) including English, Mathematics and Science.
  • Please note that Health and Social Care is not acceptable as a biology or science related subject.
  • You may be required to attend an interview and/or provide a portfolio of work.
  • If English isn’t your first language you’ll also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details.

Want some reassurance or advice? Speak to one of our advisors. Email us at enquiries@bolton.ac.uk or call us on +44 (0)1204 903 903.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.


Medical biology careers span the spectrum of medical sciences. Since the subject area is so broad in scope, the available career options are similarly vast. Whether your focus is on disease diagnosis and treatment, or developing a new medicine, medical biology careers often involve working in laboratories, and understanding how to use laboratory equipment is crucial. Though some careers can be more independent, working in a team with other professionals is common. So analytical and problem-solving skills are also vital, along with strong literacy and numeracy.

What can I do with this qualification?

As a graduate, you’ll have gained a highly transferable skill set that can be adapted to a huge range of careers and work environments, in both the public and private sector. Medical biologists are employed in healthcare, biotechnology, medical research and pharmaceutical fields. Working in hospital laboratories, health clinics, government agencies, charities, education and even sales are possible options. Other potential areas of employment include medical science, epidemiology and laboratory technology. Alternatively, you may choose to use your degree as a springboard to higher level study in medicine, or at master’s or doctoral level. If you’re attracted to a career in medicine, you may also be interested in becoming a physician associate (PA). Physician associates work under the direct supervision of a doctor and carry out many similar tasks, including patient examination, diagnosis and treatment. The University of Bolton’s MSc Physician Associate Studies course is open to Medical Biology graduates who achieve at least a Lower Second Class (2.2) Honours degree, and takes only two years to complete.

Alternative career options

Graduates can also use the qualification to enter a range of other careers, and for some of these roles, both relevant experience and/or postgraduate study may be required. Some of these careers include:

  • Teaching and education
  • Medical administration
  • Health service management
  • Science writing
  • Health promotion
  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Research and development
  • Medical sales
  • Intellectual property
  • Financial analysis
  • Genetics
  • Health education
  • Public relations

Course fees
Home EU Fees Year of study Total
Entry year2020/212021/222022/232023/242024/25
2020£9,250£9,250£9,250£9,250-£37,000
International Year of study Total
Entry year2020/212021/222022/232023/242024/25
2020£9,250£12,450£12,450£12,450-£46,600

The fees for a student’s course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

The university is currently awaiting government guidelines as to EU fee charges for students commencing study in 2021/2022.

UK undergraduate tuition fees are subject to UK government approval and are subject to the outcome of the Teaching Excellence Framework.

Bursaries

Click here for more information about the scholarships and bursaries available to University of Bolton undergraduate students.


September start

Please apply through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for September entry.

The online application form and guidance notes are available on the UCAS website.

You can apply for up to 5 courses through UCAS (at the same or different institutions) for a fee of £24. Alternatively, if you only wish to apply for a single course at a single institution then a reduced applicant's fee of £13 is applicable.

You will need the following information to complete your UCAS application form:

  • Institution Code Name: BOLTN

  • Institution Code Number: B44

UCAS - Universities and Colleges Admissions Service

Tel: 0870 1122211
Web: www.ucas.com

The University welcomes applications from international students from all over the world. We try to make the application process as simple and as fast as possible for our international applicants.

How you apply is determined by your current location and what you are choosing to study:

  1. Apply direct to the University. Links for the next available intakes of this course are shown below. Please click the link which will direct you to the online application form. Please read the user guidance before completing this.
  2. Apply via one of our approved in-country referral partners. A list of our partners may be found on the International pages of this website.
  3. Apply via UCAS for courses starting in September only – visit www.ucas.com.

Should you have any queries please contact the International Team on +44 (0) 1204 903110 or email international@bolton.ac.uk

University of Bolton Group Partners

Bolton College
University Technical College
University of Bolton

The University welcomes applications from our group partners and progressing students so we try to make our application process as simple and as fast as possible. By selecting the link for your chosen course from the list shown below you will be taken directly to our online application form. Please read the user guidance before completing this and ensure you upload all supporting documents such as certificates and your personal statement when you apply.

Please ensure when you are asked to add a contact email address you add your college/university email account address as well as your personal address. If you do not add your college address as your contact address we will be unable to identify you as a partner and you will be referred to apply via UCAS, which incurs a cost.

We look forward to receiving your application and you continuing your academic journey with us!


We use a wide variety of teaching and learning methods to help you achieve your potential. Lectures introduce course content, while seminars are a valuable way to explore subjects in greater detail. Tutorials allow you to ask questions about the topics we cover, and discuss your learning approaches and strategies for success. Practical laboratory sessions help you learn to apply academic theory to scientific problems, and develop practical skills in research methods and scientific techniques. Also, guided computer-based workshops help you gain the data analysis skills and knowledge you’ll need to take on your research project and thesis.

Self-directed and independent study is essential if you want to reach your potential in this hugely rewarding and constantly evolving subject, so we encourage you to devote significant time to it. For example, for background reading, assignments, preparing for seminars, writing essays and revising for exams.

Summative assessments include in-class tests, essays, seminar presentations, laboratory reports, independent project work, and exams that contribute to your final module mark. These assessments are your chance to confirm your knowledge and understanding, as well as your critical and evaluation skills.

Meanwhile, you’ll get to benefit from ongoing formative assessments throughout your degree. These don’t contribute to module marks or final grades, but are designed to support your progress and help you build on your strengths and overcome perceived weaknesses. They’re also a good way to help you identify and pursue the independent learning strategies that best suit your needs and preferences.

Modules

The modules listed below may be a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules shown as part of the course.

  • Principles of Biomolecular Science
  • Research Skills for Medical Biology
  • Biology Form and Function: Levels of Organisation
  • Transition to Higher Education
  • Investigating Science and Personal Development
  • Molecular Basis of Life
  • Cellular Basis of Life
  • Clinical Anatomy
  • Human Physiology
  • Introduction to Biochemistry
  • Research Science
  • Technology in Advanced Musculoskeletal Diagnosis and Treatment
  • Sport and Exercise Nutrition
  • Molecular Genetics
  • Medical Biochemistry
  • Medical Microbiology
  • Project
  • Placement
  • Cancer Biology
  • Neurobiology
  • Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
  • Biological Basis of Disease and Therapeutics
  • Clinical Diagnostic Techniques
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 63%, Practical exams 10%, Written exams 28%
Level twoCoursework 30%, Practical exams 13%, Written exams 57%
Level threeCoursework 52%, Practical exams 16%, Written exams 32%
Level fourCoursework 58%, Practical exams 20%, Written exams 22%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 64%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 36%
Level twoGuided independent study 66%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 34%
Level threeGuided independent study 66%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 34%
Level fourGuided independent study 61%, Placement/study abroad 13%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 27%

Disclaimer

The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Andy Baldwin
Programme Leader

A.Baldwin@bolton.ac.uk

+44 (0)1204 903470

Ann Kolodziejski
Placement Co-ordinator

A.L.Kolodziejski@bolton.ac.uk

+44 (0)1204 903149

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton

enquiries@bolton.ac.uk

+44 (0)1204 903903

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