Applied Biosciences BSc (Hons) with foundation year

Study level: Undergraduate
HNC/HND courses
Two Applied Biosciences students working 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 London (Dagenham, London)

Study mode

Full-time
Sandwich

Duration

4 years full-time
5 years sandwich

UCAS codes

CF13

Start date

March 2024
April 2024
June 2024


Course overview

Foundation year

The foundation year course offers an introduction to your chosen subject and helps you develop the necessary skills for degree-level study. It aims to provide an understanding of cell biology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology, health and disease.

Degree

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 and workplace 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.

Accreditation and professional recognition

This course is accredited and recognised by the following bodies1:

RSB logo

The Royal Society of Biology

This course has been mapped to the Royal Society of Biology (RSB) Accreditation Matrix. This means that when you graduate you may be eligible to apply for professional registration with the RSB and then as a Registered Scientist (RSci) with The Science Council to receive accreditation1 (additional costs may apply).


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What you'll study

This 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 before your final year of study. They’re a great way to help you explore your potential career path and gain valuable work experience, while 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. Please note that all UK and international experience opportunities may be subject to additional costs, competitive application, availability and meeting applicable visa and travel requirements are therefore not guaranteed2.

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

The foundation year aims to provide you with the skills and knowledge relevant for successful progression onto degree-level study. It also sets the foundation for your journey to employment, creating opportunities for professional and academic development.

Modules

  • This module introduces how ill health and diseases develop, and their effects on cellular systems, organs, organ systems and homeostatic control mechanisms at a chemical/molecular level.

    Along with exploring the relationship between pathophysiological changes to structure and function of body systems, and the most common causes of morbidity, mortality and sickness absence, you will also consider the inter-relationships between specific health issues and how they impact on homeostatic control, and therefore cause key signs and symptoms.

    We will also cover epidemiology, risk factors and preventative strategies. The module aims to help you understand the key pathophysiological changes that accompany a particular health issue or disease, and on the physiological and biochemical basis of current and possible future therapies.

    Compulsory

  • Here, we focus on physiological systems in the human body and how these systems interact to create a steady state (homeostasis). An introduction into the basic anatomical structures of the main biological systems in the human body is explored, while observing the function and purpose of these systems and how they help to regulate homeostasis.

    Compulsory

  • This module is designed to provide you with knowledge of cell biology and skills required for a successful transition to degree-level study in bioscience disciplines. The module provides a foundation of knowledge in cell biology, with a strong emphasis on the application of the subject in bioscience contexts.

    You will examine the facts, principles and concepts of cell biology such as the key molecular components of cells and organelles, as well as their function, and genetics. You will progress to developing the skills required to use this knowledge and will also learn to understand scientific methods, advances in technology relevant to cell biology and their effects on society.

    You will also bring together knowledge and understanding of how different areas of cell biology relate to each other and other areas of bioscience.

    Compulsory

  • Foundation of Chemistry aims to equip you with the knowledge and skills of chemistry to progress to degree-level study.

    The module provides a foundation of knowledge and understanding of the main branches of chemistry. You will be introduced to the major aspects of chemical terminology, as well as a range of organic and inorganic materials, and physical chemistry. You will also develop an understanding of scientific methods, and the link between theory and practical experiments, as there is a strong emphasis on the practical application of the subject, in the context of biosciences.

    You will bring together knowledge of how different areas of chemistry relate to each other and other areas of bioscience, and the use of chemistry in society.

    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

Your initial foundation year focuses on applied learning geared to high-intensity teaching and study throughout the course. The delivery of course content is a blend of lectures, tutorials and online mediums.


Teaching contact hours

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.

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.

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.

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 which includes 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 students 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.

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.

40 UCAS tariff points. All foundation courses require 5 GCSEs at A-C/9-4 including Maths and English, and at least one A2 level or a BTEC equivalent qualification.

If you don’t fulfil the entry criteria, your application may be considered on an individual basis, taking into account any work experience, other qualifications and/or any training you have completed. Speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.

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Fees and funding

2023/24 tuition fees.

Foundation year

Student Full-time Part-time
UK, Ireland*, Channel Islands or Isle of Man £7,950 Not available
International/EU £18,300 Not available

Degree

Student Full-time Part-time
UK, Ireland*, Channel Islands or Isle of Man £7,950 per year Not available
International/EU Not currently available*** 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.

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.

**This course with foundation year is not currently available to international students

If you do not meet the entry requirements to directly join year 1 of the degree, please take a look at our International Pathways Programme for additional options.

  • We carry out an initial fee status assessment based on the information you provide in your application. Your fee status determines your tuition fees, and what financial support and scholarships may be available to you. The rules about who pays UK (home) or international (overseas) fees for higher education courses in England are set by the government's Department for Education. The regulations identify all the different categories of student who can insist on paying the home rate. The regulations can be difficult to understand, so the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has provided fee status guidance to help you identify whether you are eligible to pay the home or overseas rate.

    If you meet all the criteria required by any one category, including any residence requirements, your institution must charge you the home rate. You only need to find one category that you fit into.


Facilities

You’ll be based in the spacious building at Dagenham campus, which provides an outstanding learning environment including a science laboratory and a library that includes loan laptops, print copies of essential and recommended reading, over 115,000 eBooks and a quiet study area.


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 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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