Bioscience FdSc

Full-time undergraduate (2 years)

University Centre Peterborough

September 2017

code: 72C8

Apply via UCAS


Develop the core knowledge and technical skills you need for a successful bioscience-related career.

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Full description


Many of our graduates have built successful careers in the health services or in laboratory settings such as pathology, biomedicine, toxicology, forensics, and pollution monitoring or control.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • Foundations of Cell Biology
    Cells are the fundamental units of life. This module will introduce you to the different types of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, with their identifying characteristics and properties. Eukaryote cellular organelles, including the plasma membrane, nucleus, endomembrane system, lysosomes, mitochondria and chloroplasts, and the cytoskeleton, are examined, together with cellular energetics, the cell growth and division cycle, and mitosis and meiosis. A brief overview of bacterial, viral and organelle diseases is given, which provides you with an introduction to ‘General Microbiology’ and pathology modules in later years. Laboratory skills are developed throughout the module, as are skills in presenting data and discussing results.
  • Core Biology
    This module, which runs throughout the year, addresses key biological concepts and the scientific methods which underpin our study of biology. We introduce a broad range of topics including among others, chemistry for the biosciences, cell structure and function, genetics, evolution, and the fundamentals of animal and plant biology. We explore the history of the different disciplines of biology, and put into practice a number of fundamental scientific techniques. These lectures will help you to understand how we have arrived at the major theories of biology. These topics will then be explored in greater detail in other modules. We also introduce the main disciplines of biomedical science, themes which run through the entire course. Key scientific skills will be developed, such as the ability to design experiments, carry them out competently, and present and describe your data effectively. As part of Core Biology, personal tutorials help you develop those key skills needed to succeed in higher education. You will write a personal development plan, to help you foster those transferable skills which are part of a broader university education.
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology 1
    This module provides you with a solid foundation of human anatomy and physiology, with the study of the structure and function of the human body at the microscopic and macroscopic levels. We examine the fundamental principles of physiology, including the concepts of homeostasis, set points and feedback mechanisms. Histology, the study of cells and tissues, is central in our understanding how the organs and organ systems work, and is a central theme of the module. Running in parallel with ‘Foundations of Cell biology’, we discuss how the basic cellular building blocks are used to construct tissues, which then make up organs and organ systems. We then focus on specific organ systems, including the nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory and lymphatic and immune systems. There will also be an introduction to haematology. Understanding the basic physiology of a system allows us to understand the perturbations found in disease, and examples of the biological basis of disease are discussed where appropriate.
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology 2
    This module follows on from ‘Human Anatomy and Physiology 1'. The focus on functional histology (which emphasises the importance of tissue design in relation to its role) continues, and additional organ systems are surveyed, many of which are regulated by or form part of the endocrine system. Additional organ systems discussed include the musculoskeletal and integumentary systems, the gastro-intestinal system, and accessory structures such as the liver, gall bladder and pancreas, and the urinary and reproductive systems. There is also brief overview of embryology and development. Where appropriate, examples of human disease, disorder and dysfunction are introduced in parallel with the descriptors of normal structure and function. These introductory topics are explored further in ‘The Physiology of Organ Systems,’ and are the basis of the pathology modules.
  • Introduction to Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
    This module builds on from topics covered in 'Foundations of Cell Biology' and provides a sound basis for understanding the processes of life at the molecular level. The structure and function of the four major classes of biological macromolecules are discussed. Key aspects of biochemistry and molecular biology are considered, including enzyme structure and function, their kinetics and modulation, together with the central pathways of metabolism (glycolysis, Krebs cycle and oxidative phosphorylation). Genetic material and its replication, and the mechanisms and control of gene expression, are also studied. Throughout the module a number of different biochemical techniques will be discussed and then applied in laboratory practicals. The module concludes by looking at the basics of genetic engineering, focusing on the use of restriction enzymes and cloning vectors. Students will also be guided through some of the basic calculations which are used daily in working laboratories. The topics introduced in this module will be explored in more depth in ‘Metabolism and its Control’.
  • Biomeasurement
    This module introduces the use of statistics and computing software in the biosciences. Although we focus on biological applications, the quantitative and IT skills you will gain will be of benefit in a number of graduate employment roles. You will be shown how to use information in the form of data to answer questions about biological systems, and learn a range of visual data presentation and statistical techniques. We will also show you how to choose the most appropriate technique for a range of data types and circumstances, perform and interpret numerical and graphical analyses correctly, and communicate the results clearly and transparently.
  • General Microbiology
    Microbiology is the study of microorganisms, the taxonomic diversity of which is reflected in the huge diversity of their life styles. You will explore the structure and function of the major groups of microorganism, including bacteria, archaea, algae, fungi, protoctists and viruses. You will learn the basic concepts of microbiology and use them in the laboratory, in order to obtain a deeper understanding of the subject area, and its applicability in clinical laboratories. We will consider the diversity of microorganisms from many different perspectives including their structure, function, taxonomy and ecology, as well as introducing some of the diseases with which they are associated. The aim of this introductory module is to also teach the key practical techniques, such as oil immersion microscopy, aseptic technique, and culturing and staining of microorganisms, which you will apply in later modules such as ‘Laboratory Techniques for the Biomedical Sciences’. You will gain basic knowledge that is explored further in modules such as ‘Principles of Pathology’ and ‘Microbial Pathogenicity’, examining how infectious diseases damage the human host, and the challenges faced by antimicrobial resistance.

Year two, core modules

  • Preparation for Research
    This module is designed to introduce you to the concept of preparing to undertake an independent research project. For some, the thought of designing and writing a project proposal will be a daunting task. This module is an opportunity to customise your degree by being involved in an area of research that interests you. The module is made up of lectures, workshops and practicals designed to give you the knowledge and experience to help you write your research proposal, as well as prepare you for when you move through to the third year and start your dissertation research project.
  • Principles of Pathology
    In this module you will learn how disease starts, how it spreads, and how the body responds. You will consider the biology of disease from the molecular level to the whole organism, especially the causes of cellular injury and how this leads to a failure of cellular and organ function. After the course you will be able to identify and classify particular diseases with respect to their origin and spread, disease mechanisms, complications and sequelae and prognosis and evaluate external and internal factors in disease (e.g. genetic, environmental factors and infective agents). You will also be able to discuss responses to disease including acute and chronic inflammation and the immune response, and their contribution to the pathology.
  • Work-Based Learning 2
    You'll be encouraged to explore of your professional/occupational practice, along the strands developed in previous modules, as a source of learning. In this module you'll be expected to demonstrate a significant degree of autonomy in the management of your learning, demonstrate a detailed knowledge of relevant theoretical underpinning and be able to analyse and evaluate both information and argument. You'll be required to demonstrate the application of theory to practice and will be in a work environment for a substantial part of this module. During this work placement you'll be required to keep a diary which will assist in the production of an action plan which will reflect upon your work practice. You'll agree a topic with module tutor and produce a report on this. The topic must be related to your work practice. Demonstration of an ability to work within a team will be an important aspect of the placement and report. You'll be required to log at least 45 hours of work practice. This must be IT related and may be at the your existing place of employment. An appropriate placement will be found for those that are unable to find A suitable work placement.
  • Laboratory Techniques for the Biomedical Sciences
    In this laboratory-based module, which runs throughout the year, you will develop your experience and understanding of the techniques that are used in the Biomedical Sciences in both clinical and research settings. You will be provided with experience in a variety of laboratory skills appropriate to the key subjects of Molecular Biology, Cellular Pathology, Clinical Chemistry, Haematology and Medical Microbiology. In addition to equipping you with the relevant laboratory skills, there will be continued engagement with good laboratory practice, and health and safety practices that are required of laboratory scientists in research and clinical laboratories. You will also be provided with further experience in the analysis of experimental data. Additionally, this module will introduce you to techniques and experimental skills that could be employed during your final year research project.
  • Principles of Genetics
    The discovery of the structure of DNA by Watson and Crick, and the publication of the Human Genome, arguably represent the most significant scientific advances of the twentieth century. In the modern era, the study of genetic underpins all of biology. Following on from concepts introduced in ‘Core Biology’, and running parallel with the molecular mechanisms of DNA discussed in ‘Metabolism and its Control’, Principles of Genetics provides an integration of concepts at the organismal, cellular, chromosomal, protein and DNA levels. Genetics offers a biologically-based explanation for morphological, physiological, and even behavioural traits in an organism, and also gives us a mechanism for the generation and maintenance of variation and the raw material for evolution. Modern genetics and genetic engineering offers hope for the cure of many diseases, topics which will be expanded upon in ‘Medical Genetics’.

Year two, optional modules

  • Diagnostic Techniques in Pathology
    Diagnostic Techniques in Pathology is one of a series of modules that enables you to acquire the key knowledge and skills required of a biomedical scientist. This module provides you with the knowledge which underpins the roles of, and diagnostic techniques used by, the major clinical disciplines within modern pathology laboratories (Molecular Biology, Medical Microbiology, Clinical Chemistry, Cellular Pathology, and Haematology). You will learn about basic sample handling, storage and screening within the various pathology laboratories. There is a firm grounding in the legal requirements for safe working practice, ethical issues, quality assurance procedures and identifying potential risks and hazards within pathology laboratories. You will explore the concepts of reference ranges and the use, analysis and evaluation of quality control data. In addition, a range of separation techniques and the principles behind some of the major analytical methods will be described. You will gain an understanding of the application of computerisation and automation within pathology laboratories, and an awareness of how patient data can be presented in a case study. Finally you will learn the fundamental principles used in obtaining results, and how these results are communicated to stakeholders.
  • Metabolism and its Control
    This module leads on from ‘Foundations of Cell Biology’ and ‘Introduction to Biochemistry and Molecular Biology’. Here you will examine a range of metabolic pathways, with a view to gaining a detailed understanding of the overall strategy of metabolism and the internal logic of key metabolic pathways. Other topics include the role of allosteric enzymes in the feedback control of metabolism and the effects of drugs and inhibitors on enzyme action. You will also study the organisation of the genome, how genetic material is transcribed and translated, and the complex regulation of this process. Once the basic metabolic pathways and contribution of genes are understood, you will consider the problems associated with inborn errors of metabolism and the effects of therapeutic drugs on individual reactions of metabolism. Finally there is a more thorough examination of cellular specialisation and the structure and biological functions of the major cellular organelles, and the roles of intracellular trafficking and hormonal signaling in metabolic control.


We’ll assess your progress using exams and essay assignments, as well as your portfolio, practical work and presentations.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Science & Technology is one of the largest of five faculties at Anglia Ruskin University. Whether you choose to study with us full- or part-time, on campus or at a distance, there’s an option whatever your level – from a foundation degree, to a BSc, MSc, PhD or professional doctorate. 

Whichever course you pick, you’ll gain the theory and practical skills needed to progress with confidence. Join us and you could find yourself learning in the very latest laboratories or on field trips or work placements with well-known and respected companies. You may even have the opportunity to study abroad.

Everything we do in the faculty has a singular purpose: to provide a world-class environment to create, share and advance knowledge in science and technology fields. This is key to all of our futures.

Where can I study?

University Centre Peterborough
University Centre Peterborough

University Centre Peterborough (or UCP) is our modern campus in the heart of an historic city.

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Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2017/18 (per year)


How do I pay my fees?

You can pay your fees in the following ways.

Tuition fee loan

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Most English undergraduates take out a tuition fee loan with Student Finance England. The fees are then paid directly to us. The amount you repay each month is linked to your salary and repayments start in April after you graduate.

How to apply for a tuition fee loan

Paying upfront

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If you choose not to take out a loan you can pay your fees directly to us. There are two ways to do this: either pay in full, or through a three- or six-month instalment plan starting at registration.

How to pay your fees directly

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Funding for UK & EU students

We offer most new undergraduate students funding to support their studies and university life. There’s also finance available for specific groups of students.

Grants and scholarships are available for:

Entry requirements

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64 UCAS tariff points. Required subjects: 2 A levels in related subjects (ie biology, preferably with chemistry in addition). GCSE(s) required: 3 GCSEs at grade C or above in English, Mathematics and Science.

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Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

All tariff points must come from A levels. Points from AS levels cannot be counted towards the total tariff points required for entry to this course.

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UK, EU & international applicants

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Email University Centre Peterborough