BSc (Hons) Medical Biology with foundation year

Our Royal Society of Biology accredited BSc (Hons) Medical Biology with foundation year is a great opportunity to develop an in-depth 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 prepare you for further study, including graduate-level entry into Medicine or Dentistry.

Key information

Award:

BSc (Hons)

Mode of Study:

Part-time

Duration:

6 years

Location:

University of Bolton

UCAS points:

48

UCAS code:

C250

Start date:

To be confirmed

Course Details

Medical biology is a huge and vital topic. Understanding how the human body works, and the need to continuously develop and improve ways to diagnose and treat disease, is integral to improving the length and quality of our lives. Throughout the University of Bolton's BSc (Hons) Medical Biology with foundation year degree, our expert team will support you to build your understanding of its key principles, concepts and applications. As well as exploring the human biology aspects of medical biology, we'll consider key principles and advancements relating to the medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical job markets.

The foundation year centres on preparing you for degree-level study. It offers an excellent grounding in the fundamentals of biology, chemistry and mathematics alongside study skills development.

We focus on equipping you with hands-on laboratory and practical experience teamed with an invaluable grounding in theory. Our academics will lead you in an exploration of human biology from molecular to organ level. Our dedicated and supportive team will also introduce you to the principles of scientific investigation that relate to medical biology. You'll benefit from training in a wide variety of experimental techniques and equipment encompassing areas relevant to biomedicine, such as anatomy and physiology, molecular and cellular biology, biochemistry, molecular genetics, microbiology, nutrition and microscopy. As you progress, you’ll build on these themes in a range of ways, taking a medical perspective on disease, diagnosis and treatment.

The course aims to help you develop skills that will be of value should you wish to apply for the GAMSAT, BMAT and UKCAT medical school entrance exams. It’s also designed to help you develop strong communication and problem-solving skills, quantitative and scientific reasoning, and gives you the chance to gain experience using a wide variety of relevant biomedical instrumentation.

Highlights
  • Our Biological Sciences courses are ranked fourth in the UK and top in the North West of England for student satisfaction, according to The Complete University Guide 2022.
  • 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.
  • At the honours level, you'll undertake a research project or professional practice placement. This is your opportunity to conduct a significant piece of original, independent research, using all of the analytical, critical, practical and ICT skills you've gained throughout your studies. Our excellent facilities ensure that on-campus laboratory-based projects are available to all students who choose them. Alternatively, you have the option of seeking a suitable professional practice placement, 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'll encourage you to become a student affiliate member of the Royal Society of Biology so that you can benefit from access to their network of experienced biologists and annual careers day.
Key Features
  • 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.
  • Our anatomy, physiology and clinical skills classes take place in Bolton One. This facility contains large, spacious clinics for learning anatomy and clinical skills, along with a very well-equipped physiology laboratory.
  • 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. Our small class sizes also allow you to learn sophisticated laboratory procedures that would not be possible in larger groups.
  • 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.
  • You'll also have the chance to attend our annual careers event and be inspired by the career journeys of successful experts in the medical biology field.
  • Biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies and the NHS have been consulted on the design of this course to ensure that our graduates gain the knowledge and skills these industries need.
  • 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.
Professional recognition

This programme has been accredited by the Royal Society of Biology following an independent and rigorous assessment. Accredited degree programmes contain a solid academic foundation in biological knowledge and key skills, and prepare graduates to address the needs of employers. The accreditation criteria require evidence that graduates from accredited programmes meet defined sets of learning outcomes, including subject knowledge, technical ability and transferable skills.


  • 48 UCAS points. Please see our guide to the UCAS Tariff for examples of how to achieve these points.
  • Any subjects are acceptable at Level 3.
  • You should also have five GCSEs at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent) including English, Mathematics and Science.
  • 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.

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. Understanding how to use laboratory equipment is crucial, so this is an important focus of our BSc (Hons) Medical Biology with foundation year degree. As a graduate of our course, you can expect to possess knowledge of a wide range of laboratory techniques and experience using high-specification instrumentation, alongside a sound understanding of the theories and principles of relevant bioscience disciplines.

Though some careers can be more independent, working in a team with other professionals is common, so collaboration and team-working are encouraged throughout this degree. Analytical and problem-solving skills are also vital, along with strong literacy and numeracy, so we'll support you to gain these skills.

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 sectors.

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 postgraduate qualifications.

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 BSc (Hons) 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 as a stepping-stone into a range of other careers, bearing in mind that 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 students starting this course in the first year will be required to pay a Home fee of £6,000 for the academic year 2021/22.

Important note regarding tuition fees for the 2021-2022 academic year: EU nationals who meet residency requirements (have settled or pre-settled status) may be eligible for ‘Home’ fee status. If you do not meet these residency requirements, overseas fees will apply. Irish citizens living in the UK or Ireland will be eligible for ‘Home’ fee status under the Common Travel Area arrangement. Please read the student finance eligibility 2021-2022 policy on www.gov.uk for information.

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.

For 2021-2022 entry, the maximum government approved undergraduate tuition fee for UK students is £9,250 per year. The University is able to charge this fee subject to an approved Access and Participation Plan for 2021-2022 and its current rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework.

Bursaries

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


For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:

Call Admissions

Please contact Admissions by telephone on 01204 903903 or email enquiries@bolton.ac.uk

Admissions
University of Bolton
Deane Road
Bolton, BL3 5AB
United Kingdom

Tel: 01204 903903
Email: enquiries@bolton.ac.uk

International applications are not possible for this course

As an international student you are not allowed to study this course because of the restrictions on your visa.

We offer a wide range of full-time courses in lots of different subjects, many of our courses start in September and January. If you would like to see what courses are available please visit our Course Search.

Please contact Admissions by telephone on 01204 903903 or email enquiries@bolton.ac.uk

Admissions
University of Bolton
Deane Road
Bolton, BL3 5AB
United Kingdom

Tel: 01204 903903
Email: enquiries@bolton.ac.uk


Face-to-face contact with our expert team is highly interactive, and we pride ourselves on offering personalised support and attention. Our strong preference for small group teaching means your tutors quickly get to know you as an individual. This ensures we can respond to your questions, identify your learning style and support your learning more effectively.

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. Mini-research projects embedded in practical classes encourage your curiosity and help build your critical thinking skills. Also, guided computer-based workshops help you gain the data analysis skills and knowledge you’ll need for your final year research project and develop crucial skills in bioinformatics.

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 marks. 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
  • Foundations of Anatomy and Physiology
  • Transition to Higher Education
  • Investigating Science and Personal Development
  • Introduction to Biochemistry
  • Human Anatomy
  • Human Physiology
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • Molecular Genetics
  • Medical Biochemistry
  • Medical Microbiology
  • Research Science in Practice
  • Nutrition and Physical Activity in Health and Disease
  • Cancer Biology
  • Neurobiology
  • Biological Basis of Disease and Therapeutics
  • Clinical Diagnostic Techniques
  • Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
  • Project and Professional Practice
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 55%, Practical exams 18%, Written exams 27%
Level twoCoursework 58%, Practical exams 17%, Written exams 25%
Level threeCoursework 58%, Practical exams 29%, Written exams 13%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 66%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 34%
Level twoGuided independent study 70%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 30%
Level threeGuided independent study 80%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 20%

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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