Applied Biosciences with Foundation Year BSc (Hons)Study level: Undergraduate
The Applied Biosciences with Foundation Year BSc (Hons) course aims to provide you with a solid grounding for building a career in the health and bioscience sectors.
Year of entry
CU London (Dagenham, London)
4 years full-time
5 years sandwich
The information on this page is for 2022-23 entry and should be used as guidance for 2023-24 entry. Please keep checking back on this course page to see our latest updates.
The Applied Biosciences with Foundation Year BSc (Hons) course aims to provide you with a solid grounding for building a career in the health and bioscience sectors.
The strength of the course lies in preparing students, who are unable to follow the more traditional route onto a degree course in Applied Biosciences.
- Students who successfully complete their foundation year will then progress onto the Applied Biosciences BSc (Hons).
- The Applied Biosciences BSc (Hons) degree 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 both theoretical knowledge and understanding, as well as the practical skills to enhance your career and academic opportunities.
- Each year of the degree, 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 rounded understanding of the way disease affects human life.
Why CU London
We offer a style of education which is flexible and designed to fit around your life, allowing you to benefit from a modern, forward-thinking higher education institution, reinforced by the quality and reputation of Coventry University. Wherever possible, we aim to provide career-focused courses, coupled with placement opportunities2 to help prepare you for the world of work. We are dedicated to making higher education accessible and enjoyable to everyone, so we keep our fees low and made it a policy to cover one module at a time, so you have the opportunity to study topics in-depth and give assignments your full attention before moving onto the next.
Accreditation and professional recognition
The Applied Biosciences BSc (Hons) degree part of this course is accredited1 and recognised by the following bodies:
The degree part of the 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 accreditation (additional costs may apply).
The RSB is a professional membership body. Holding an RSB qualification is a route to some of the most in-demand skills in the world and, subject to completing the correct amount of work experience, allows you to become a Registered Scientist. This course is currently accredited by RSB for the 2022/23 intake. If the accreditation of this course changes, we would seek to notify applicants and students as soon as possible.
What you'll study
The foundation year aims to provide you with the skills and knowledge relevant for successful progression onto a degree in Applied Biosciences. It also sets a foundation for your journey to employment, creating opportunities for professional and academic development.
Biosciences are a varied, interesting and important area to study and on the degree part of your Applied Biosciences BSc (Hons) we’ll explore technical theory from both chemical and molecular levels through to the human body as a whole.
Practical elements are another key focus of the course and you will be expected to perform advanced hands-on experiments which includes computer-based activities. Combining the two helps to solidify knowledge of the subject and prepares you for your career.
Your foundation year will provide a strong framework for your continued studies toward your Applied Biosciences BSc (Hons) degree.
Introduction to Health and Disease
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.
As well as 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. Emphasis is placed on understanding 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.
Foundation of Anatomy and Physiology
Here, we focus on physiological systems in the human body and how these systems interact to create a steady state (homeostatis). 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.
Introduction to Cell Biology
This module is designed to provide you with the cell biology knowledge and skills required for a successful transition to year two study in bioscience disciplines. The material covered is at a level corresponding to pre-university qualifications such as A levels in the UK. The module provides a foundation of knowledge in cell biology, and there is 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.
Foundation of Chemistry
Foundation of Chemistry aims to equip you with the knowledge and skills of chemistry to progress to degree-level study. The material corresponds to A level qualifications in the UK.
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.
The second 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 two are eligible for a Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Applied Biosiences.
Chemistry for Biosciences
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.
Introduction to Microbiology
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.
Applied Cell Biology
This module introduces knowledge of the cell to build an understanding of human health and disease. You will 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 with regard to different types of cells and tissues throughout the body.
Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology
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 aim to 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.
In year three you will develop knowledge gained in your second 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 will 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 third year, you will further look to develop and enhance your academic, practical and analytical skills in preparation for your final year, and build skills that are attractive to employers.
Students who successfully complete this year are eligible for a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Applied Biosciences.
Advanced Cell and Molecular Biology
You will 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.
Principles of Biochemistry
This module aims to develop your academic and practical skills. Emphasis is placed 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.
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 will also explore the biology, prevention and treatment of infections in greater depth.
Principles of Pathophysiology
The aim of this module is to provide you with an understanding of human organ systems and the biological mechanisms of disease. The module expands on knowledge gained during year one and will introduce additional factors that affect the way the major systems operate. The module will also introduce the fundamental pharmacological principles involved in the management and treatment of the major causes of morbidity, mortality and sickness absence.
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, whilst developing transferable skills for the future.
UK Work Placement – 0 credits
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.
International Study/Work Placement – 0 credits
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.
In this year, you will become confident enough to understand, criticise and design complex research projects both inside and outside the laboratory and how to apply this to the workplace or in future study. To build on your previous years 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. Students who complete their final year will receive a BSc (Hons) Applied Biosciences.
Applications of Biochemistry
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 will analyse the uses of organic materials, identification by spectroscopic methods and discover their relevance to the fields of pharmacology, toxicology and environmental sciences.
Analysis and Applications of Cell and Molecular Biology
Here, we will expand upon the previous topics of applied cell biology and molecular biology. The 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. The module also explores how lifestyle factors contribute to modified cellular function and the impact this has on human sickness and mortality.
Applications of Pathophysiology
At this stage, you will take an in-depth look at the pathophysiological mechanisms of human disease. The module will expand on the knowledge gained during year two, and examines current research theories relevant to infectious and non-infectious causes of morbidity, mortality and sickness absence. This knowledge and understanding will be applied to the critical analysis of relevant preventative and management strategies. The 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.
Applied Biosciences Project
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 lab4. 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.
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 is focused 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.
After your foundation year, you will have the option to do either another three years full-time or another four-year sandwich course where you undertake a work placement or study year in a related field2.
Our teaching methods for the degree courses are varied depending on which course/modules you take, offering a number of teaching styles to suit the needs of our students, so in addition to lectures, we also utilise a blended learning approach, including online aspects, workshops and group work. We also operate an open-door policy, with additional availability via email and our current 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 is more reflective of our learning model.
Teaching contact hours
The number of full-time contact hours may vary from semester to semester, however, on average, it is likely to be around 20 contact hours per week each year (excluding placement year). Additionally, you will be expected to undertake up to 30 hours of self-directed study, depending on the demands of individual modules.
As an innovative and enterprising institution, CU may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), CU Coventry may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.
During your foundation year, 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, oral presentations, tutorial tasks and assessments which take place at the end of each six-week block. This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will vary depending upon the degree selected or the module.
- Coursework (all years)
- Phased tests (foundation year)
- Presentations (year two onwards)
- Exams (year two onwards)
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.
Fees and funding
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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.
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.
Tuition fees 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.
The following are additional costs not included in the tuition fees:
- Any optional overseas ﬁeld trips or visits: £400+ per trip.
- Any costs associated with securing, attending or completing a placement (whether in the UK or abroad)
How do you know if you need to pay UK or international tuition fees?
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.
You’ll be based in the spacious Civic Centre building, which provides an outstanding learning environment4. You will have access to our Library & Learning Services, which hosts multiple study areas and loanable laptops, fully-equipped seminar rooms and impressive IT suites. Our laboratories are home to industry-standard equipment, so that you learn using the same equipment as many industry professionals.
Careers and opportunities
On successful completion of the Applied Biosciences with Foundation Year BSc (Hons), 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 an Applied Biosciences with Foundation Year BSc (Hons), your chances of employment could be 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 giving you an advantage over other candidates. You could go on to work in a number of 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 Applied Biosciences with Foundation Year BSc (Hons), can provide you with a strong set of transferable skills valued by employers.
Where our graduates work
Graduates have progressed into further education, undertaking a master’s degree in related subjects, such as Biotechnology, Cancer Research, Pharmacology and Drug Discovery, Molecular Micobiology, Medical Sciences, Polymer Chemistry and more. Graduates have also gone on to work at a number of nationally and internationally renowned companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, HelloFresh, Oxford Immunotec and ALS Environmental.
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.
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.
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.
Due to COVID-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) and some non-academic offerings (particularly in relation to international experiences), may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.
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.