Applied Biosciences BSc (Hons)

Study level: Undergraduate
HNC/HND courses
Student using a microscope in a laboratory

Applied biosciences explores life at all levels from chemicals, molecules and cells to organ systems, laying the foundation for a career in human health and disease.

Course option

Year of entry

Location

CU Coventry (Coventry)

Study mode

Full-time
Part-time
Sandwich

Duration

3 year - Degree
2 year - HND
1 year - HNC
Flexible part-time

UCAS codes

CF11 / 112C / 11FC

Start date

June 2024


Course overview

The course aims to provide you with a solid grounding for building a career in the health and bioscience sectors.

  • It explores life at all levels from chemicals, molecules and cells to organ systems. You will also explore human health and illness and how they are managed in the context of contemporary research, as well as how populations, communities and the environment influence health and illness.
  • Course content and assessments have been designed to help you develop theoretical knowledge and understanding, as well as the practical skills to enhance your career and academic opportunities.
  • Each year, the course is reviewed to ensure it includes the major causes of illness and death globally as researched by the World Health Organisation (WHO), as well as the major causes of sickness absence from the workplace, to give you a well-rounded understanding of the way disease affects human life.

Why you should study this course

The course aims to develop autonomous scientists of the future - so you will know where and what to look for as you face scientific challenges throughout the course.

Bioscientists work all over the world in a wide variety of jobs and careers that require knowledge and application of science, from research to business and from regulation to teaching (The Science Council 2019). Settings include research and development laboratories (for example microbiology, marine science and immunology), biotechnology companies, classrooms, sales representatives and the food and drink industry.

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What you'll study

The first year explores essential concepts such as chemistry, cell and molecular biology, microbiology and anatomy and physiology. You will also learn to use scientific vocabulary. The practical aspect focuses on vital laboratory skills specific to the subject which includes the safe use of complex equipment, report writing and the development of accurate lab skills. Students who successfully complete year one are eligible for a Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Applied Biosciences.

Modules

  • This module aims to teach the fundamentals of chemistry, how it is used in society and how it connects with other areas in science, with emphasis on the application to biochemistry and the human body.

    Compulsory

  • Here, we explore various microorganisms and parasites, including pathogens, with an aim to develop your understanding of personal and public health, from the simplest of microbes to the most complex.

    Compulsory

  • This module introduces knowledge of the cell to build an understanding of human health and disease. You’ll explore the cell, carbohydrates, lipids, water and proteins and these will all be discussed within the context of cellular function. Other key concepts covered include the various stages of the cell cycle, key structural components, and their associated function about different types of cells and tissues throughout the body.

    Compulsory

  • This module focuses on the structure and function of systems in the human body. Topics include how the various types of cells and tissues make up the major organs within the body. You will develop core knowledge of how these structures function to understand the human body in greater detail, ready to apply this knowledge to health and disease.

    Compulsory

In year two, you will build on knowledge gained in your first year. Specifically, this includes more advanced practical skills and expanding on concepts such as thermodynamics, electrochemistry and chemical kinetics. You’ll also discover infectious diseases and how they affect people on a personal and public level. The year concludes by focusing on human physiological systems and the mechanisms of the major causes of morbidity, mortality and sickness absence, which will include exploring cutting-edge genetic screening procedures. By using scientific journals you’ll further develop the critical skills of academic writing and data presentation, and the principles of good scientific writing and data presentation will be examined. Throughout your second year, you will further develop and enhance your academic, practical and analytical skills in preparation for year three, and build skills that are attractive to employers.

Students who successfully complete year two are eligible for a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Applied Biosciences.

Modules

  • You’ll explore, in more depth, the molecular regulation of the cell life cycle and division, the human genome, and the molecular process of gene expression. Covered within this module is how genes control the development of organs through tissues and cells and how the state of the gene affects the health of these human structures.

    Compulsory

  • This module aims to develop your academic and practical skills. The module focuses on the biochemistry of individual molecules, cells and organisms and the ways that they interact at a chemical level. You will develop an in-depth knowledge of key biochemical concepts in topics such as thermodynamics, electrochemistry and chemical kinetics in relation to biological systems.

    Compulsory

  • Here, you will explore microorganisms and parasites and their involvement in health and illness, as well as developing a greater understanding of how pathogens spread infectious diseases and affect personal and public health issues. You’ll also explore the biology, prevention and treatment of infections in greater depth. 

    Compulsory

  • This module aims to provide you with an understanding of human organ systems and the biological mechanisms of disease. It expands on knowledge gained during year one and will introduce additional factors that affect the way the major systems operate. This module will also introduce the fundamental pharmacological principles involved in the management and treatment of the major causes of morbidity, mortality and sickness absence.

    Compulsory

There’s no better way to find out what you love doing than trying it out for yourself, which is why a work placement2 can often be beneficial. Work placements usually occur between your second and final year of study. They’re a great way to help you explore your potential career path and gain valuable work experience, whilst developing transferable skills for the future.

If you choose to do a work placement year, you will pay a reduced tuition fee3 of £1,250. For more information, please go to the fees and funding section. During this time, you will receive guidance from your employer or participating institution, along with your assigned academic mentor who will ensure you have the support you need to complete your placement.

Modules

  • This module2 provides you with an opportunity to reflect upon and gain experience for an approved placement undertaken during your programme. A placement should usually be at least 26 weeks or equivalent; however, each placement will be considered on its own merits, having regard to the ability to achieve the learning outcomes.

    Optional

  • This module2 provides you with an opportunity to reflect upon and gain experience for an approved international study/work placement undertaken during your programme. A work/study placement should usually be at least 26 weeks or equivalent; however, each placement will be considered on its own merits, having regard to the ability to achieve the learning outcomes.

    Optional

In this year, you will have the opportunity to gain confidence to understand, criticise and design complex research projects both inside and outside the laboratory, and how to apply learnings to the workplace or in future study. To build on years one and two, you will study the applications of biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, microbiology and pathophysiology, and disease management. These areas are studied in context with the use of relevant examples so that you can apply knowledge directly to the workplace.

You will also undertake an independent research project, from ideation to performing practical experiments to gather data, to analysing, writing up and presenting your findings.

Modules

  • This module explores the application of complex principles of biochemistry through a combination of current scientific theory and lesser-known cutting-edge scientific research. You’ll analyse the uses of organic materials, explore identification using spectroscopic methods and discover their relevance to the fields of pharmacology, toxicology and environmental sciences.

    Compulsory

  • Here, we will expand upon the previous topics of applied cell biology and molecular biology. This module will include an in-depth study of the complex genetic involvement in major causes of sickness, mortality and disease; investigating genetic profiles, genotypes and phenotypic characteristics, as well as biotechnological applications, including bioengineering, nanotechnology, stem cell technology and regenerative medicine. This module also explores how lifestyle factors contribute to modified cellular function and the impact this has on human sickness and mortality.

    Compulsory

  • At this stage, you will take an in-depth look at the pathophysiological mechanisms of human disease. This module expands upon knowledge gained during year two, and examines current research theories relevant to infectious and non-infectious causes of morbidity, mortality and sickness absence. You would then apply knowledge and understanding in the critical analysis of relevant preventative and management strategies. This module will also help you to develop universal academic skills. The flipped-classroom approach means you will be provided with a problem, required to research autonomously, critically analyse scientific papers and ultimately propose a solution. 

    Compulsory

  • In the final module you will undertake an independent research project. You will develop a research question, design an experimental method and collect data from either a laboratory experiment or a field-based project. As part of the project, you should demonstrate an ability to work independently, a high level of organisational skills and awareness of health and safety, ethical considerations and good laboratory practice. You will have full access to industry-standard equipment which includes a tissue culture suite, microbiology lab and chemistry lab. As a final year student, you will also have access to a separate project lab. You will be expected to present findings in a format that includes a dissertation, and to defend and justify the design and scientific approach of your experiment in a viva voce (oral) exam. 

    Compulsory

We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.


How you'll learn

This course is available as a full-time three-year or optional four-year sandwich course, the latter incorporating a work placement or study year in a related field2. Alternatively, part-time study is also available.

Our teaching methods are varied, offering several teaching styles to suit the needs of all our students, so in addition to lectures, we also utilise a blended learning approach, including online aspects, workshops and group work. Additional support is available via email and our online learning platform, Aula.

Progression through the modules develops knowledge and skills, including communication (written and oral), study skills, research methods, project management, presentation and career development. We will also encourage you to consider your employability and/or entrepreneurial development. 

Unlike traditional institutions, there are no end-of-year exams. Instead, learning is assessed through coursework and phase tests, which are more reflective of our learning model.


Teaching contact hours

Full-time
If you choose to study full-time you can expect up to 20 hours of learning activities per week, made up of face-to-face teaching, individual and group tutorials, online classes and independent learning. 

Additionally, you will be expected to undertake significant self-directed study of approximately 30 hours each week, depending on the demands of individual modules. 

Part-time
If you choose to study part-time you'll usually receive up to eight hours per week of blended learning, including classes, tutorials and online learning. Outside of this, there will also be independent study and online support. Please note: part-time courses run subject to numbers. 

As an innovative and enterprising institution, the university may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the university may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.

Since COVID-19, we have delivered our courses in a variety of forms, in line with public authority guidance, decisions, or orders and we will continue to adapt our delivery as appropriate. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.


Assessment

The learning outcomes of modules, assignments and projects will be clearly stated. Your work will be marked according to how well you achieve these learning outcomes and your final feedback will refer to each outcome, as well as providing an overall percentage grade.

Assessment methods vary and include: practical class and project performance, written practical reports, project thesis, laboratory experiments, tutorial tasks and assessments. 

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes.


International experience opportunities

You may have the opportunity to attend international visits2 with academic or industry collaborative partners. Furthermore, a number of modules across the course may have collaborative online international learning (COIL) projects embedded within them, allowing you to gain valuable experience working with peers, both at Coventry University and global collaborative institutions.

Please note that all international experience opportunities may be subject to additional costs, competitive application, availability and meeting applicable visa and travel requirements are therefore not guaranteed2.


Entry requirements

Typical offer for 2023/24 entry.

Entry level What we're looking for
HNC 64 UCAS tariff points. Minimum 5 GCSEs graded 9-4 / A* - C including Maths and English. Minimum two A2 levels or BTEC equivalent qualification, including a Science-based subject. Access to HE qualifications based on Science will be considered for entry to the course.
HND 80 UCAS tariff points. Minimum 5 GCSEs graded 9-4 / A* - C including Maths and English. Minimum two A2 levels or BTEC equivalent qualification, including a Science-based subject. Access to HE qualifications based on Science will be considered for entry to the course.
Degree 104 UCAS tariff points. Minimum 5 GCSEs graded 9-4 / A* - C including Maths and English. Minimum two A2 levels or BTEC equivalent qualification, including a Science based subject. Access to HE qualifications based on Science will be considered for entry to the course.

Access Course 
Successful completion of our Health & Human Sciences Access to HE course will guarantee you progression onto this degree programme, subject to meeting specified criteria.

If you undertake an Access to HE course, you may qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan. If you are eligible and awarded an Advanced Learner Loan, and successfully complete an eligible Higher Education course, the outstanding balance from your Access course could be written off. For full information and to check your eligibility visit www.gov.uk/student-finance/who-qualifies.

We recognise a breadth of qualifications, speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.

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Are you eligible for the CU Support Scheme?

We believe every student should have the opportunity to dream big, reach their potential and succeed, regardless of their background.

CU Support Scheme

Entry level What we're looking for
HNC 64 UCAS tariff points. Minimum 5 GCSEs graded 9-4 / A* - C including Maths and English. Minimum two A2 levels or BTEC equivalent qualification, including a Science based subject.
HND 80 UCAS tariff points. Minimum 5 GCSEs graded 9-4 / A* - C including Maths and English. Minimum two A2 levels or BTEC equivalent qualification, including a Science based subject.
Degree 104 UCAS tariff points. Minimum 5 GCSEs graded 9-4 / A* - C including Maths and English. Minimum two A2 levels or BTEC equivalent qualification, including a Science based subject.

Alternatively, visit our International hub for further advice and guidance on how to apply and travelling to and living in the UK.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.0

If you don't meet the English language requirements, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

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Fees and funding

2023/24 tuition fees.

Student Full-time Part-time
UK, Ireland*, Channel Islands or Isle of Man £7,950 per year Not available
EU £7,950 per year with EU support bursary**
£18,300 per year without EU support bursary**
Not available
International £18,300 per year Not available

For advice and guidance on tuition fees3 and student loans visit our Undergraduate Finance page and see the university’s Tuition Fee and Refund Terms and Conditions.

We offer a range of international scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.

Tuition fees3 cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them.

If you choose to do a work placement2, you should consider travel and living costs to cover this. There is also a tuition fee3 of £1,250 that will cover your academic support throughout your placement year.

The following are additional costs not included in the tuition fees3:

  • Any optional overseas field trips or visits.
  • Any costs associated with securing, attending or completing a placement (whether in the UK or abroad).

*Irish student fees

The rights of Irish residents to study in the UK are preserved under the Common Travel Area arrangement. If you are an Irish student and meet the residency criteria, you can study in England, pay the same level of tuition fees as English students and utilise the Tuition Fee Loan.

**EU Support Bursary

Following the UK's exit from the European Union, we are offering financial support to all eligible EU students who wish to study an undergraduate or a postgraduate degree with us full-time. This bursary will be used to offset the cost of your tuition fees to bring them in line with that of UK students. Students studying a degree with a foundation year with us are not eligible for the bursary.


Facilities

All our facilities are located at Mile Lane4. Our building has been designed to enable collaboration, creativity and innovation to flourish, and includes (subject to availability):

  • indoor and outdoor social spaces, including a café
  • a library that includes loan laptops, over 115,000 eBooks and a silent study area
  • open access IT suites and 83-inch teaching screens
  • engineering lab, science lab and a moot courtroom
  • student support and careers advice teams

Careers and opportunities

On successful completion, you will be able to:

  • understand the fundamentals of biological and chemical sciences, including cell biology, chemistry and physiology. You will develop a core understanding within the sciences, with applications to industry and the health sector
  • develop appropriate research and analysis techniques, alongside the ability to undertake reliable scientific research activities
  • operate, lead and collaborate in a team to solve problems of a practical (experimental) nature and to provide appropriate solutions
  • apply appropriate presentation and evaluation tools to establish the significance of research data produced.

With a degree, your chances of employment are improved and the level at which you enter the job market could mean a higher salary. 

On graduation, you will have a portfolio of employability skills across a range of science disciplines, which could give you an advantage over other candidates. You could go on to work in different disciplines including studying towards postgraduate qualifications, working within laboratory-based industries, technical posts within education or industry, research technician or even teaching in science. The degree also provides you with a strong set of transferable skills valued by employers.

Where our graduates work

Graduates have gone on to work at a number of nationally and internationally renowned companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, HelloFresh, Oxford Immunotec and ALS Environmental.

Further study

Graduates have progressed into further education, undertaking a master’s degree in related subjects such as Biotechnology, Cancer Research, Pharmacology and Drug Discovery, Molecular Microbiology, Medical Sciences and Polymer Chemistry.


How to apply

  • Coventry University together with Coventry University London Campus, CU Coventry, CU London, CU Scarborough and Coventry University Online come together to form part of the Coventry University Group (the “University”) with all degrees awarded by Coventry University. 

    1Accreditations

    The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.

    2UK and international opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or International opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel COVID and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the visa requirements, please contact the International Office.

    3Tuition fees

    The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For UK (home) students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.

    For International Students, we may increase fees each year but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.

    4Facilities

    Facilities are subject to availability. Access to some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) may vary from those advertised and/or may have reduced availability or restrictions where the university is following public authority guidance, decisions or orders.

    Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. A copy of the 2023/24 contract can be found here. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.

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