- A level requirements: AAB
- UCAS code: C103
- Study mode: Full-time
- Length: 4 years
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This programme allows you to pursue your own areas of specific interest and to have an appreciation of the full range of the subject.
The Master of Biological Sciences (MBiol) is a four-year programme, in which students first follow the three-year BSc in Biological Sciences and then continue into a fourth year, subject to performance.
In the first three years, you’ll study a broad range of modules including topics spanning the breadth of biology, from human disease, molecular diagnostics and therapeutics to animal behaviour, conservation biology, ecology and animal physiology with the opportunity to specialise and carry out your own research project.
The fourth (Master’s) year aims at developing enhanced research and personal skills for students seeking a high-level career in research (e. g. studying for a PhD or working in industry) or those seeking to enhance their qualification. Students will join a research team to undertake a significant research project. Students can also apply for a six-week summer research internship in the UK or overseas or apply to spend time working in industry or in other enterprises in the final year.
Discover what you'll learn, what you'll study, and how you'll be taught and assessed.
In this first year, you’ll gain an understanding of core concepts of biology as well as the fundamental principles of immunity, infection, and therapy. You will also study how organisms develop and function and learn about ecology and the global environment. You will develop practical skills and participate in field studies, and you will discover how to utilise quantitative skills and study techniques.
In your second year you’ll expand your range of knowledge building those essential research skills, experimental design and analysis together with professional skills preparing you for a career within or outside the area of biological sciences. You will study animal and human behaviour, and explore the relationship between cells and how they sense and respond to their environment. In addition, you will have optional modules from a variety of disciplines, enabling you to follow your interest in cellular biology, therapeutics, infection biology, human and animal physiology, marine ecology and comparative/animal biology.
OPTIONAL MODULES (CHOOSE ONE)
OPTIONAL MODULES (CHOOSE TWO)
Year three will provide an unparalleled opportunity for you to learn at the cutting edge of biological sciences research and be taught by world-leading academics in your choice of subjects. You can choose modules from a variety of disciplines exploring the breadth of biology, ranging from ecology, evolution, and conservation biology to cancer biology, infection biology, molecular systems biology and pharmacology to veterinary infection, immunology and pathology. You will also have the option to develop advanced practical computational or field skills and you will have the opportunity to take a physical or virtual placement. Central to this year is the research project where you will plan and execute your own research, analyse and critically evaluate data and communicate your research findings in your chosen specialisation.
OPTIONAL MODULES (CHOOSE THREE)
The fourth year of study offers great flexibility – students may spend it entirely on campus at Liverpool, but more commonly they take up opportunities to broaden their experiences, for example a six-week research internship in the UK (in hospitals, industry or research institutes) or abroad (in our partner universities in Thailand or China). Others may elect to spend the entire fourth year on placement, in similar host institutions. Students will take core modules in research methods and statistics or informatics, together with a 60-credit research project. Students may replace the internship with other modules that cover advanced topics of global importance.
Optional modules (choose one)
Optional modules (Students choose either the research internship, or two of the remaining modules)
The School offers a range of projects that allow students to conduct research individually at Masters level under the supervision of a member of academic staff. Topics are closely allied to the research field of the supervisor, and the basis of the project may involve data collection by observation and experimentation in situ (field projects), in vitro (laboratory projects), or in silico (bioinformatics). However, all types of projects have the same learning outcomes (that is, all students should acquire the same kinds of skills; see below), achieved by in-depth study. The nature of the lab or field-based projects might be adapted if the field trips or labs access are limited due to unavoidable circumstances.
This module will provide students with an understanding of the processes and methods required for the successful planning and delivery of research projects. It will also Introduce students to the latest, cutting edge technologies that will support their research field of interest. It will develop in students the transferrable communication skills that will enable them to disseminate their findings to both scientific and general audiences.
The internship is undertaken as placement in the summer period between years 3 and 4 of the MBiolSci programme. The student will work with a research group working on a specific project or a set of related projects. A senior member of the project team will provide day today supervision. The purpose of the internship is for the student to understand the objectives of the research (in of light of the research strategy of the group or institute), how the research is conducted and managed, and how the data are recorded and analysed. The student will also learn how project design is influenced by factors such as, the business strategy of the company, the research priority areas of the country, and ultimately the funding opportunities available to support the research.
This module serves as a focal point for students on the M.Biol.Sci, M.Sc. & M.Res whose interests include evolution, ecology and behavioural biology
The module will make use of varied teaching methods including structured discussions on selected texts as student-led seminars.
The content will focus on areas of evolutionary and behavioural biology that are currently important in the senses (i) that they are progressing rapidly and (ii) that they address fundamental questions of general importance. In addition we will also highlight the key papers and ideas in recent evolutionary biology, showing how research fields develop after pivotal work is published.
The module will have two coursework assessments which are designed to show depth of understanding and an evaluative approach to theory and data in evolutionary biology. There will be some group work, related to one of the assessments.
This module is aimed at postgraduate students in the Life Sciences, wishing to learn about methods for use in data-intensive research. The module provides a broad introduction to the use of Python coding for performing basic tasks in the biological sciences. The student will get practical experience in writing their own Python scripts for basic bioinformatics tasks, such as manipulating DNA, RNA and protein sequences, file input/output and working with other programs, such as BLAST. There is also an introduction to data visualisation using Python, and simple techniques used in data science, including a basic introduction to machine learning.
Around 10 hours of lectures will be provided on core topics, with a strong emphasis on practical activity in workshops (totalling around 40 hours), allowing students to gain confidence in writing scripts for their own tasks. The module will be assessed by two short coding assignments, one team working coding assignment building a bioinformatics pipeline, and a data science mini-project.
Modern biotechnology and bioimaging applies novel tools and approaches to address today’s global challenges.
You will learn a variety of methods in mammalian cell biotechnology as well as imaging technologies that range from the microscopic scale to cellular and organ imaging in vivo. You will develop knowledge of a diversity of cell analysis techniques. Furthermore, the use of reporter genes for various types of imaging will be explained, including imaging technologies for cell analysis on the microscopic level as well as for cell imaging and functional analysis in animal models of disease.
The lectures will convey basic knowledge and include examples of applications from actual research publications, or the lecturer’s own research work, in equal measure. The students will have learning tutorials on critical appraisal of literature. There will also be a practical workshop on contemporary microscopy.
The module will be taught through a combination of lectures, workshops and practical exercises. There are two written assessments in this module.
This is a key module for students on the MSc Infection and Immunity Programme and might also be taken by other MSc, MBioSci and MRes students whose interests include infection and immunology. The module is topical in light of the pandemic and will address areas of research-connected infection biology teaching across areas of broad relevance to infectious disease, as well as to coronavirus. The module includes research connected lectures, workshops and structured discussions on selected texts as student-led topics. The content will focus on areas of infectious disease that support the programme and are relevant in that: (i) they are current/topical or (ii) they address fundamental questions of general importance. In addition, students will also be supported with key research and ideas in emerging infections and pandemics, showing how interconnected interconnected nature of health and disease through integrating aspects of biology and society. The module assessments are aimed at: 1) writing a report on a selected emerging pathogen that communicates the multifactorial considerations for researchers and society 2) presentation of a key factor that contributes to or affects disease emergence and the response by society or an agency. The factor focused on will be selected from workshops and student-led discussions
The module will address three main topics: hallmarks of cancer, cancer diagnosis and biomarkers, and cancer therapies & current challenges. These topics will be taught using various cancer models that have been selected based on the expertise at the University of Liverpool and to illustrate research, diagnostic and therapeutic problems.
This module will be taught by both scientists and clinicians who are experts in cancer research. The module will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, case-based learning tutorials and workshops. The lectures will convey basic knowledge and include examples of applications from actual research publications and the lecturer’s own research work.
The students will take part in case-based learning tutorials on critical appraisal of scientific seminars provided by cancer researchers. Workshops will cover literature search, referencing, and preparation of oral scientific presentations in preparation for the final assignment which is a conference style talk. A practical workshop will also cover tumour pathology and will train students in the identification and interpretation of tumour biopsies.
The module will be assessed via two assessments. The first assessment consists of a seminar report, based on a pre-recorded seminar provided by a cancer researcher. The final assessment will be an oral presentation, in which students will be required to give a conference-style lecture on an emerging cancer research topic related to one of the lectures and provide an abstract of their presentation.
Clinical trials are the key final step to translate medical research into the benefit of patients. The Liverpool Clinical Trials Unit is one of the largest in the UK, running a wide variety of surgical and oncology studies, that range from phase I studies to large, practice-changing phase III studies, as well as more novel trial designs. Since new therapies have become available in the treatment of cancer, the methods used in clinical trials have also evolved. The module in Cancer Clinical Trials is aimed at developing the knowledge and understanding of decisions affecting the design, delivery and assessment of clinical trials. This module will be taught by clinicians, researchers, statisticians and trial methodologists at the Liverpool Trials Unit, and cover fundamentals of clinical trials and designs, as well as the challenges that arise at each of these strategies. The module in Cancer Clinical Trials is ideal for current in-service health professionals looking to broaden their role in the design, management, analysis and reporting of clinical trials. It is also suited to those wishing to gain an understanding of clinical trials. The module will be taught through a combination of lectures, case-based learning tutorials and workshops, and assessed via a poster presentation and a written assessment, involving the design of a clinical trial.
Successful research in the biological sciences inevitably depends on the power that statistical inference provides for hypothesis testing. Understanding which test to use and when is the key to success. This module aims to further this understanding of, and competence in, the use of statistical techniques in the design of experiments in biological research, and in the analysis and interpretation of data.
The module is available to students who are on-campus (LIFE707) or, alternatively, who are studying on a University of Liverpool programme while off-campus (LIFE607), for example in a yearly placement in industry or while studying at an overseas University.
The learning and teaching materials are delivered as an online set of resources (available through Canvas). The module aims to provide a guide to the statistics that students will need to complete an advanced research project (M-level or PhD), and the ability to develop a research-level statistical approach to the analysis of biological data. The module will also introduce students to the powerful open access statistical software package, R.
Bioinformatics is a key skill needed in many research settings. This module gives students a theoretical and technical grounding in a range of application areas including bioinformatics-related topics such as sequence analysis, phylogenetics, and the modelling of proteins, and others. While lectures are provided on core topics, there is a strong emphasis on practical exercises to demonstrate the application of common tools and data sources in these contexts. Teaching is delivered in the form of a weekly lecture and workshops. Students will be given guided reading and online activities to support their learning. The module will be assessed by three data analysis continuous assessments.
This is a key module for students on the MSc Infection and Immunity Programme and might also be taken by other MSc, MBioSci and MRes students whose interests include infection and immunology. The module is topical in light of the pandemic and will address areas of research-connected immunology teaching across areas of broad relevance to infectious disease, as well as to coronavirus. The module includes research connected lectures, workshops and structured discussions on selected texts as student-led seminars. The content will focus on areas of immunology that support the programme and are relevant in that: (i) they are current/topical or (ii) they address fundamental questions of general importance. In addition, students will also be supported with key research and ideas in immune mechanisms and host defence, showing how research fields progress and our understanding of defence mechanisms develop. The module assessments are aimed at: 1) using graphics to show illustratively specific and complex immunological host-pathogen interactions and will aid skills in image design; and 2) poster presentation to demonstrate immunological interactions based on the student-led workshops on host defence and microbial evasion.
For students with interests in infection biology, the module will enhance skills and enable critically evaluation of key concepts, technologies and multifactorial considerations circumscribing diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines. The module is topical in light of the current pandemic. The research-connected teaching will focus on prevention, limitation and treatment of infectious disease.
The module comprises lectures, workshops and seminars and uses active-learning delivery methods to ensure students can synthesise and evaluate relative merits, attributes, issues and applications of the topics. There are two coursework assessments in the module: 1) writing a report on a selected emerging pathogen that communicates the multifactorial considerations for researchers and society 2) presentation of a key factor that contributes to or affects disease emergence and the response by society or an agency. Materials will be included on the VLE to develop digital fluency and promote assimilation and appraisal of the module content.
With the advent of genomics and functional genomics, biology has become a quantitative data-rich discipline. This has created unprecedented opportunities in virtually every area of life sciences. With the right tools, it is now possible to address fundamentally important biological questions simply analysing already available datasets. This module is designed to prepare students for this very challenge. The module covers the most important aspects of computational biology. These range from the analysis of large datasets to infer biological mechanisms to the use of mathematical modelling to conceptualize and simulate complex biological phenomena. In addition to providing an intuitive overview of the basic theoretical principles, the module will focus on real life applications through multiple cases studies. Among these, students will learn how to identify drug targets and mechanisms of drug resistance and how to understand mathematical models of biological systems. They will then learn aspects of quantitative system pharmacology and physiologically based pharmacokinetic modelling pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic modelling.
The module will be taught through a combination of lectures, workshops and seminars. The module will be assessed via a written a report and a literature critique.
Proteomics and metabolomics represent powerful tools towards unbiased, quantitative and high-throughput analysis of biological systems. Rapid “omic” technological developments in the post‐genomic era have provided insights into protein structures, biosynthesis and interactions, as well as the complex metabolic processes that are of significant importance in biological and medical research. The aims of this course are to provide a comprehensive understanding of proteomic and metabolomic techniques and related data analysis, and to illustrate how they can be applied in fundamental biological research and industrial applications. The module will be taught by lectures and workshops. The module will be assessed via two a scientific reports.
Synthetic Biology and Biotechnology will provide an in-depth understanding of the grand challenges in biotechnological applications and the principles underlying synthetic biology and modern biotechnological techniques that are designed to sustainably address specific problems. The module also aims to teach tools and strategies being developed and applied in the rapidly expanding field of synthetic biology and train students with practical experience in green biotechnology.
The module will be taught through a combination of lectures and workshops. The lectures will convey basic knowledge or the lecturer’s own research work. The workshops will provide students with the opportunity to analyse relevant data relevant to the biotechnology field. The module will be assessed via a scientific report and a scientific review.
This module will introduce the students to a range of large climate data sets from the whole Earth-atmosphere-ocean climate system. These data sets will range from satellite data sets of ocean processes, satellite rain estimation to gridded climate data sets of the ocean and atmosphere, produced from observations, reanalysis and forecasts or projections and the introduction and use of paleorecords of climate change and variation. The module is delivered through a mix of lectures and practicals and assessed through practical reports and a written exam.
Biodiversity, the Earth’s support system, is in decline. Conservation of remaining ecosystems and restoration of disturbed ones is essential and urgently needed. Here we cover controversial issues and current debates in conservation with topics covering approaches to protected area management (terrestrial and marine), ecosystem restoration and conservation policy. The module is run as a dynamic, interactive advanced tutorial course. The sessions are mostly run as lectures with background reading and discussion lead by a member of staff, but also include seminars, group work and student-led presentations.
You will experience a range of learning environments during your studies at Liverpool. These will include student-centred activities as well as lectures, tutorials, laboratory practicals, dissection classes, fieldwork, data handling sessions and computer workshops. Some of these activities will be performed individually, such as personal research projects, and others in small tutorial or project groups, in addition to formal lectures and workshops. You will have research staff as well as your own academic adviser for individual tuition on our acclaimed tutorial programme.
As well as factual knowledge and understanding, biologists need practical and organisational skills, and an ability to work both alone and with other people. We record development of these abilities through continuous assessment during each semester and by final examination.
We have a distinctive approach to education, the Liverpool Curriculum Framework, which focuses on research-connected teaching, active learning, and authentic assessment to ensure our students graduate as digitally fluent and confident global citizens.
Studying with us means you can tailor your degree to suit you. Here's what is available on this course.
From arrival to alumni, we’re with you all the way:
As a Life Sciences graduate from the University of Liverpool, you will have an excellent set of career options ahead of you.
Typical types of roles/routes our graduates have gone on include:
Recent employers and sectors:
Your tuition fees, funding your studies, and other costs to consider.
|UK fees (applies to Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland)|
|Full-time place, per year||£9,250|
|Year in industry fee||£1,850|
|Year abroad fee||£1,385|
|Full-time place, per year||£27,200|
|Year abroad fee||£13,600|
Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching and assessment, operating facilities such as libraries, IT equipment, and access to academic and personal support. Learn more about paying for your studies..
We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This includes the costs associated with placements or internships, and the optional field course in Uganda.
Find out more about the additional study costs that may apply to this course.
We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to provide tuition fee discounts and help with living expenses while at university.
Check out our Liverpool Bursary, worth up to £2,000 per year for eligible UK students. Or for international students, our Undergraduate Global Advancement Scholarship offers a tuition fee discount of up to £5,000 for eligible international students starting an undergraduate degree from September 2024.
The qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course.
My qualifications are from: United Kingdom.
Applicants with the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) are eligible for a reduction in grade requirements. For this course, the offer is ABB with A in the EPQ.
You may automatically qualify for reduced entry requirements through our contextual offers scheme.
If you don't meet the entry requirements, you may be able to complete a foundation year which would allow you to progress to this course.
Available foundation years:
T levels considered in a relevant subject and specialism.
Applicants should contact us by completing the enquiry form on our website to discuss specific requirements in the core components and the occupational specialism.
|GCSE||4/C in English and 4/C in Mathematics|
Subject requirements follow those of the corresponding three year programme.
For pathways in Biological and Medical Sciences (C130) and Biochemistry (C700):
For pathway in Pharmacology (B210):
For pathways in Anatomy and Human Biology (B110), Human Physiology (B120), Biological Sciences (C100), Tropical Disease Biology (C111), Zoology (C300), Genetics (C400), Microbiology (C500) and Bioveterinary Science (D900):
Also accepted as a second science: Environmental Science, Mathematics, Physics, Geography, Psychology, Geology and Applied Science.
For science A levels that include the separately graded practical endorsement, a Pass is required.
|BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma||
D*D*D in Applied Science with a selection of preferred units in Biology and Chemistry, to include Distinction in Units 1 and 5 (Principles and Applications of Science I and II).
For previous BTEC (QCF) qualification:
D*D*D in Applied Science with a selection of preferred units in Biology and Chemistry, with at least 120 Level 3 credits at Distinction.
Please note alternative BTEC subjects are not acceptable for this programme.
|BTEC Applied Science unit requirements|
34 points, including 6 in Higher Level Biology, and 5 in another Higher Level Subject
|Irish Leaving Certificate||H1, H1, H2, H2, H2, H3|
|Scottish Higher/Advanced Higher||
Not accepted without Advanced Highers at grades ABB
|Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced||Accepted at grade B as equivalent to a third non-science A level at grade B.|
|Access||45 Level 3 credits in graded units in a relevant Diploma, including 30 at Distinction and a further 15 with at least Merit. 15 Distinctions are required in each of Biology and Chemistry. GCSE Mathematics and English grade C/4 also required.|
Many countries have a different education system to that of the UK, meaning your qualifications may not meet our entry requirements. Completing your Foundation Certificate, such as that offered by the University of Liverpool International College, means you're guaranteed a place on your chosen course.
Last updated 10 October 2023 / / Programme terms and conditions