Bioscience BSc (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (3 years)

University Centre West Anglia (King's Lynn)



Pursue a career in the science industry, teaching or lecturing. Study full-time at University Centre West Anglia on this module-based degree course.

Full description


This degree course is for people looking to work in the science industry or wanting to pursue a career in teaching or lecturing.

Modules & assessment

Level 4 modules

  • 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.
  • The subjects you will cover in your degree will enable you to develop your knowledge of how the body functions and the consequences that occur if normal functions break down. In the Core Biology module you will be introduced to the central principles of biology, chemistry and physics that underpin all other modules on the course. We will cover topics such as the history and philosophy of science and the scientific method, chemical principles, introduction to genetics, introduction to zoology, botany and ecology, biophysics, the biology of disease and an introduction to pharmacology. You will gain a range of core skills that are necessary for you to develop as a competent scientist, and that you will need to apply in your learning in the rest of the course. Laboratory skills are essential for a biomedical scientist and in core biology you will learn to use the basic equipment, including microscopes and spectrophotometers, which are employed in more complex practicals in other modules. Numerical skills will also be put into practice in the laboratory sessions, such as determining concentrations and volumes. As a scientist, the ability to find relevant information and apply it to specific circumstances, including writing scientifically, are key skills that you will need in any future employment. These will be developed through the lectures, practicals and assessments in Core Biology in association with personal development tutorials. You will also produce a portfolio that will evidence the skills developed in the laboratory sessions, consider career options through a range of tasks, and write a reflection on their learning experience.
  • Cells are the fundamental units of life. In this module, you will be introduced to the many different types of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, with their identifying characteristics, structures and properties. You will examine eukaryote cellular organelles, including the plasma membrane, nucleus, endomembrane system, lysosomes, mitochondria, chloroplasts and the cytoskeleton, together with the cell growth and division cycle, with particular emphasis on mitosis and meiosis. An overview of bacterial, viral and organelle diseases is given, which underpins the ‘General Microbiology’ and ‘Principles of Pathology’ modules, delivered later in the course. Laboratory skills, including microscopy, spectroscopy and sub-cellular fractionation techniques are developed throughout the module, as are key numerical skills in analysing and presenting data.
  • Microbiology is the study of microorganisms - organisms that are too small to be seen without magnification. The taxonomic diversity of microorganisms is reflected in the huge diversity of their lifestyles. In this module you will explore the major groups of microorganism: bacteria, archaea, algae, fungi, protists and viruses. In so doing, you will learn the basic concepts of microbiology and apply them to a scientific understanding of the subject area. You will consider the diversity of microorganisms from many different perspectives including their cell structure (if present), function, taxonomy and ecology. Microorganisms have a long, often negative, association with humans. You will study their importance as pathogens, as well as useful applications, and the increasingly important area of antimicrobial resistance. You will be introduced to the latest advances in microbiology, through a series of laboratory-based classes, where you will also be trained in handling microorganisms and using aseptic techniques to prepare cultures. You will also gain the fundamental practical skills required by microbiologists and biomedical scientists, including performing Gram stains, viable counts, sub-culturing techniques, and maintaining safe and efficient working practices. You will practise in state-of-the-art lab spaces, working in teams, preparing you for work in lab-based careers particularly in biomedical science environments.
  • This module goes hand in hand with topics covered in 'Foundations of Cell Biology' and provides a sound basis for understanding the processes of life at the molecular level. Key aspects of biochemistry and molecular biology are considered, including the four major classes of biological macromolecules, enzyme structure, function and kinetics. An overview of the central, energy generating pathways of metabolism (Glycolysis, Krebs cycle and Oxidative phosphorylation) is provided to underpin more advanced material delivered in ‘Metabolism and its Control’, later in the course. Genetic material, its replication and the mechanisms and control of gene expression are also studied. Throughout the module a number of different biochemical techniques, including chromatography, measuring enzymatic reactions and protein purification will be discussed and then employed 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 Biomedical Science laboratories.

Level 5 modules

  • A biomedical scientist is trained to use and develop diagnostic tools and treatments for diseases. You will be introduced to the biomedical science diagnostic disciplines of medical microbiology, clinical chemistry, cellular pathology, haematology and transfusion science, clinical immunology and clinical genetics. You will develop an understanding and appreciation of the day-today workings of an NHS pathology department as well as the scientific background of the diagnostic procedures you would perform as a Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)-registered Biomedical Scientist. You will be able to describe and discuss basic sample handling, storage and disease screening within the various pathology laboratories. You will also gain a firm grounding in the legal requirements for safe working practice, ethical issues and quality assurance procedures; you will study legislation governing these aspects, which will enable you to identify potential risks and hazards within pathology laboratories. You will also learn the fundamental principles used in obtaining results and how results are communicated to service users. Your teaching is delivered by qualified academic and HCPC-registered Biomedical Scientists. A case study approach is used to allow you to learn real-life and up-to-date diagnostic practices. You will develop the communication skills required to work as part of a multi-disciplinary healthcare team, while discipline-specific laboratory practicals will allow you to demonstrate your team-working and project management skills. You will also develop business and commercial awareness through knowledge of pathology department management and planning. This module prepares you to undertake the IBMS registration portfolio towards employment as a HCPC-registered Biomedical Scientist. However, you will also be equipped with knowledge and skills required to work in areas such as medicine, clinical and medical science, healthcare policy, and management, among others.
  • Practical laboratory skills are essential for a wide variety of careers available to BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science graduates. You will develop your competency and experience in a wide variety of laboratory skills essential to anyone working in a laboratory. You will gain the knowledge and understanding of basic practical laboratory techniques (such as laboratory-based maths skills, pipetting, weighing chemicals, and making solutions). You will gain experience and insight into the manipulation and analysis of DNA in silico using contemporary bioinformatics techniques, and will apply this knowledge in the laboratory, where you will clone genes and express proteins. You will conduct experiments and analyse and quantify your results, and will be monitored on your practical competency, and the ability to document your work. A key part to this module is to educate you inGood Laboratory Practice (GLP) and instruction in health and safety practices that are required of biomedical scientists in research and clinical laboratories. You will also develop key employability skills through taking part in activities such as presenting data, computing skills, organising your work, managing time, and working in both a team environment and as an individual. On completing this module you will be equipped with a variety of skills that will assist you in different laboratory-based areas, including bioinformatics, clinical biomedical science, research laboratory work, or in biotechnology companies.

Level 6 modules

  • As the culmination of your degree, we will be looking at the cutting edge of research in the biomedical and biomolecular fields, and will also foster your future employability with the development of enhanced graduate skills, including the use of social media platforms for research and networking purposes. You will be taught via interactive lectures, and workshops, and participate in a number of conference days. Sessions will focus on the latest areas of research, with discussion of the implications for medical therapies and their impact on society, as well as highlighting different postgraduate research opportunities. You will develop a detailed knowledge and critical understanding of topics at the forefront of biomedical and biomolecular science. Experts in their field will also come to speak about their own careers and specialist interests. You will also hear talks from representatives of industries and careers as diverse as medical sales, laboratory research, marketing, drug development, teaching, entrepreneurship, physician associate programmes and many more. You will be invited to participate in discussions of the ethical, economic and societal impacts of the research you learn about. Coursework for the module focuses on student-centred learning, helping you to expand upon and improve your capacity for scientific thought and independent work. In the coursework assignments, you will be given the freedom to pursue those subjects in the biomedical science field which excite you the most. Your understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the latest research techniques will be further developed by critically evaluating cutting edge research presented by eminent guest researchers.
  • Before the advent of recombinant DNA technology, molecular genetics were largely limited to studying laboriously obtained mutant organisms. Only phage and prokaryotic genes were readily transferable from one cell to another using the natural processes of transformation, conjugation, and transduction. Over recent years, however, our understanding of the structure and function of the genome, individual genes and the techniques for manipulating them have increased enormously. Recombinant DNA technology has now made it possible to study virtually any gene in detail by using one, or more, of a number of biochemical tools and methods. This module provides you with an in-depth study of the techniques, strategies and applications of recombinant DNA technology, gene manipulation, DNA analysis and the polymerase chain reaction. Increasing use is now been made of such techniques from areas as diverse as criminal investigations to the genetic screening of human embryos. As such, practical work will form a significant part of this module to allow you to acquire hands-on experience of a number of industry-standard techniques. This module will also help develop a number of transferable skills, relevant to general employment, including report writing, data collection, handling and presentation.
  • Our increased understanding of genetics has had a profound impact on human affairs. Much of our food and clothing and increasingly, therapeutic agents, come from genetically improved organisms. An increasing proportion of human illnesses have been shown to have a genetic component. Genetic knowledge and research have provoked new insights into the way we see ourselves, particularly in relation to the rest of the biological world. Building from the concepts introduced in ‘Core Biology’, ‘Principles of Genetics’ and ‘Metabolism and its Control’, you will focus on the enormous input genetics has had into our understanding of, and developing treatments for, human disease. Topics such as epigenetic and chromosomal changes, genetics of inborn errors of metabolism, pharmacogenetics and the advent of personalised medicine, developmental genetics, and genetics of cancer are discussed, among others. There will also be an opportunity for you to put your views forward with regards to the ethical dilemmas presented by our greater understanding of and ability to manipulate the genome.
  • Molecular cell biology is at the cutting edge of modern biological and biomedical science. We will be building on your knowledge and understanding of cell structure and function at the molecular level, questioning evidence from experiments that have contributed to our modern understanding of concepts and models of cell function. You will explore techniques such as fluorescence microscopy, viral transfection and recombinant DNA technology, bioinformatics, and the range of methods for isolating proteins and DNA. You will investigate the molecular structure and biological function of cell organelles, looking in detail at processes such as regulation of gene expression, signal transduction, protein trafficking, endocytosis, and cytoskeletal changes. We will look throughout at examples of diseases where cell biology is altered, concluding in a focus on cancer. Throughout this module we will encourage you to question how we know what we know. A focus on problem-solving will help you to develop essential scientific employability skills including the ability to question experimental evidence, apply experimental logic, and devise, sustain and present scientific arguments. You will also develop practical and bioinformatics skills, key to being a successful modern molecular cell biologist.
  • The knowledge and skills of biomedical science and pathology are being applied to an ever increasing number of specialist fields. In this module you’ll develop a deeper understanding of these advanced specialisms. It will build upon your knowledge of routine diagnostic pathology disciplines gained in the ‘Diagnostic Techniques in Pathology’ module and you will learn to apply these to a range of specialist fields in the clinical, pharmaceutical and forensic pathology sectors, ranging from reproduction and fertility, through paediatrics and neonatology to gerontology, and from pharmacology and neurology to drug monitoring and forensic pathology. You’ll consider the theoretical and practical aspects of pathology through the application of knowledge and practical skills in each discipline. Additionally, you’ll gain an appreciation of the governance and legislations involved in these specialisms. This module is designed to impart a systematic knowledge of the theory, skills and techniques required of a graduate biomedical scientist and additionally, prepare you for careers in a variety of specialist fields.
  • Identify and develop detailed knowledge and understanding of topics at the forefront of the study of Cell and Molecular Biology. Over the 12 week semester you’ll choose a series of topics for discussion and debate, both within the classroom setting and online. You’ll work to promote awareness and understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of current theory and research focus as well as considering the ethics of science, its public understanding and how advances in science can be effectively communicated to the wider public audience. You’ll improve your research and discussion skills with many of the exchange of ideas will take place using the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).
  • You will create in a substantial piece of individual research and/or product development work, focused on a topic of your choice. You could choose your topic from a variety of sources including research groups, previous/current work experience, your current employer, a suggestion from your tutor or a topic you are specifically interested in. You will identify problems and issues, conduct literature reviews, evaluate information, investigate and adopt suitable development methodologies, determine solutions, develop hardware, software and/or media artifacts as appropriate, process data, critically appraise and present your finding using a variety of media. Regular meetings with your project supervisor will ensure your project is closely monitored and steered in the right direction.


Students are introduced to a range of different forms of assessment and will be in accordance with the learning outcomes and will be both formative (e.g. computer-based exercises, non-assessed presentations, class exercises etc) and summative (e.g. unseen and seen examinations, computer-based assessments, essays, practical/field reports, assessed seminar presentations, review and assessment of scientific papers, laboratory skills, project report, work placement report etc). Although employer input is crucial to the success of work-based learning, they are not involved directly in the assessment process.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Science & Engineering is one of the largest of the four faculties at Anglia Ruskin University. Whether you choose to study with us full-time or part-time, on campus or at a distance, there’s an option whatever your level – from a foundation degree, 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, technology and engineering fields. This is key to all of our futures.

Where can I study?

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2019/20 (full-time, per year)


UK & EU students, 2019/20 (part-time, per year)


Important fee notes

The part-time course fee assumes that you’re studying at half the rate of a full-time student (50% intensity, or 60 credits per year). Course fees will be different if you study over a longer period, or for more credits. All fees are for guidance purposes only. Your offer letter will contain full details of credits and fees, or you can contact us if you'd like more information.

How do I pay my fees?

You can pay your fees in the following ways.

Tuition fee loan

UK students can take out a tuition fee loan, which you won’t need to start repaying until after your graduate. Or there's the option to pay your fees upfront.

Loans and fee payments


We offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Some of these cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Explore ARU scholarships

Funding for UK students

Most new UK undergraduate students can apply for government funding to support their studies and university life. This also applies to EU, EEA and Swiss nationals who have citizens' rights following Brexit.

Government funding includes Tuition Fee Loans and Maintenance Loans. There are additional grants available for specific groups of students, such as those with disabilities or dependants.

We also offer a range of ARU scholarships, which can provide extra financial support while you’re at university.

Entry requirements

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  • 88 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent level 3 qualification, e.g. Extended Diploma (MMP) or Access to Science and Nursing course (30 level 3 credits at merit grade are required for Access progression)
  • GCSE English, Maths and Science at grade 4 (C) or above

Mature students without the above are considered depending on relevant experience and aptitude.

International (EEA) applicants:

International applicants from the European Economic Area (EEA) may be asked to complete IELTS and achieve a level 7 if there are significant doubts about an applicant's level to communicate. A NARIC statement of comparability will be required to translate grades into their UK equivalents.

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.

You'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. Before starting a course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning. Our website also has general information for new students about starting at ARU.

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UK students

Apply for 2022

UCAScode: C700

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