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MSciHuman Biology

University of Birmingham
United Kingdom, Birmingham
Tuition fee To be confirmed
More information

Expenses, accommodation, working etc.

birmingham.ac.uk/..human-biology-msci.aspx 

Overview

Human biology is crucial to the continual development of the fields of medicine, sports science, nutrition, and other areas.

This course builds on the content and structure of the 3-year BSc Human Biology degree, promoting the development of a broad and systematic understanding of biological principles, and the skills to place this understanding in the context of the human condition. Students on the MSci Human Biology course can take all the modules available to students on the corresponding 3-year course. The Masters year has an extended research project at its centre piece, for which you will join one of the research groups in the School of Biosciences.

Programme structure

First Year
The Human Biology course begins with an introduction to key concepts in biology, from molecular and cellular features to the concept of evolution, including genetics and physiology. Skills training is an integral part of the course at all levels. You also take a Widening Horizon Module, which allows you to access to content from other Schools, from Humanities to the Sciences to Engineering.

First year modules

Human Nutrition and Metabolism – Exploring four broad themes: nutrition, energy metabolism, practical biochemistry techniques, and regulation and deregulation of metabolic pathways.

Introduction to Evolution and Animal Biology | Watch video – An overview of introduction from the pre-biotic era to Darwin and his impact. Natural selection, the origins of altruism and sexual reproduction, genetic determinants of evolution.

Cell Biology and Physiology – Tissues, organelles, reproduction and development.

Genetics I – Storage of genetic information, gene expression and regulation, mitosis and meiosis, gene linkage and chromosome mapping.

Fundamentals of Biochemistry – Fundamental biochemical processes taking place inside cells

Introduction to Microbiology | Watch video – Broad introduction to microbiology with a focus on infectious disease, covering bacteria, fungi, protists, archaea and viruses

Widening Horizon Module (WHM) – allows you to explore content from other academic programmes of this university in the form of a stand-alone module.

Second Year
The second year features a combination of core modules that all students on the Human Biology course follow, and elective modules, where you can start to define your personal direction in the course.

Second year modules
Core modules (taken by all students on the Human Biology programme)

Molecular Biology and its Applications – Genetic analysis and gene cloning, DNA fingerprinting and forensics, genomics and computational approaches to genetics.

Communications and Skills in Biosciences – Science communication in videography, writing and speaking, ethics in science, analysis of the scientific literature.

Human Structure and Function – Human anatomy and how it relates to its function and evolutionary origin.

Choose four optional modules
Example optional modules may include:

Cell and Developmental Biology – Development of multicellular organisms, interaction between cells and the cellular matrix, regulation of stem cell function.

Evolution of Humans and Other Animals – The primary aim of this module is to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of comparative animal biology in an evolutionary context.

Topics in Medical Biosciences – Neurobiology and neurotransmitters, pharmacology and anaesthetics, blood constituents and haemostasis, complement and immunity.

Genetics II – Organisation of genes and genomes, generation of genetic diversity, gene transmission and analysis of problems in transmission and molecular genetics.

Microbes and Man – The impact of microbes on humans, bacteria, fungi and viruses, common themes of infectious disease mechanisms.

Animal Biology – This module explores how the central nervous system translates sensory stimuli to behaviour. Topics include comparative neurobiology, biological timekeeping, sensory biology, learning and behaviour and others.

Third year
A key component of the final year is the Research Dissertation, which covers 40 of 120 final year credits and stretches over both Semester 1 and 2. In dialogue with a lecturer or professor, you will do your own research and be led to intellectual independence. A diverse spectrum of elective modules allows you to explore individual facets of human biology according to your personal preference and interests.

Students choose their disserations from an extensive list near the end of their 2nd year. Some even arrange a project independently in collaboration with an academic member of staff. Whichever path you choose, you will find that the dissertation provides valuable skills training.

Third year modules
Core content

Research Dissertation

Choose four optional modules*
Example optional modules may include:

Human Evolution – Genetics and genomics, development of bipedalism, development of society and how humans’ activity applies selective pressure on the evolution of HIV.

Human Health and Disease – This module builds on the 2nd year module ‘Human structure and function’, and discusses advanced concepts in anatomy and physiology. It also gives students an insight into how clinicians approach problems relating to diagnosis and management of disease.

Cancer Biology – Regulation of cell division and aberrations in malignant tumours, genetic bases of tumourigenesis, programmed cell death.

Cellular Signalling** – Signal transduction in and between cells, G-protein coupled receptors, phospholipid and Ca2+ signalling, ligand-gated ion channels and electrical responses.

Molecular Basis of Bacterial Infection | Watch video – Evolution of bacterial virulence, antibiotics and antibiotics resistance, genomic data in analysing pathogenicity.

Structures of Destruction – Bacterial and viral pathogens explored from the perspective of their molecular structures, protein misfolding and amyloid diseases.

Bacterial Gene Regulation – How genes are switched on or off in response to external stimuli, how control of gene expression can be explored experimentally.

Molecular and Cellular Immunology | Watch video – Evolution of the immune system, innate immunity, cell biology of immunity, structural basis of discrimination between self and non-self.

Genetic Variations in Humans and other Eukaryotes – Genetic variation in humans and model organisms, dynamics of chromosome organisation during mitosis and meiosis, genome instability.

Living in Groups: Collective Behaviour in Animals – This module explores features and rules of group behaviour in animals.

Cellular Neurobiology** | Watch video – Neuronal function and neural development, synaptic function, transmitter receptors and ion channels.

Applied and Environmental Microbiology- Microbial communities, how they compete, and behave socially.

Eukaryotic Gene Expression – The central processes in gene expression are transcription and translation. Control of gene expression plays an important role in development, homeostasis and disease. This module explores the molecular mechanisms used to control gene expression, including transcription initiation, post-transcriptional control and epigenetic.

Career opportunities

Graduates of the University of Birmingham are highly regarded among employers in the UK, and a Human Biology degree from this University is an excellent qualification for securing your future career in a diverse range of industries and employment sectors. Our graduates have done consistently well over the last several years, ranking 5th in the Russell Group in terms of Graduate Prospects. Whether you have a clear idea of where your future aspirations lie or want to consider the broad range of opportunities available once you have a Birmingham degree, our careers and employability service, known as Careers Network, can help you achieve your goal.

Apply now! Fall semester 2021/22
This intake is not applicable

We are currently NOT ACCEPTING applications from NON-EU countries, except Georgia and Serbia.

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States

Apply now! Fall semester 2021/22
This intake is not applicable

We are currently NOT ACCEPTING applications from NON-EU countries, except Georgia and Serbia.

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States