Biological Sciences BSc (Hons) Add to your prospectus

  • Offers study abroad opportunities Offers study abroad opportunities
  • Opportunity to study for a year in China Offers a Year in China

Key information


  • Course length: 3 years
  • UCAS code: C100
  • Year of entry: 2018
  • Typical offer: A-level : ABB / IB : 33 / BTEC : DDD in relevant diploma
life-sciences-4

Module details

Programme Year One

Core modules:

  • Essential skills for life sciences I
  • Evolution and biodiversity
  • Experimental skills in current biology
  • Grand challenges in biology
  • Molecules and cells

Selected ptional modules:

Students will take three typically from:

  • Animal biodiversity
  • An introduction to marine ecosystems
  • Applied genetic and molecular technologies
  • Biochemistry and biomedical sciences
  • Biological chemistry
  • Developmental biology
  • Ecology and conservation
  • Ecology and the global environment
  • Introduction to animal husbandry
  • Introduction to physiology and pharmacology
  • Microbiology

In addition to one typically from:

  • Biochemical methods
  • Field skills

Year One Compulsory Modules

  • Essential Skills for the Life Sciences I (LIFE109)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterWhole Session
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    This module aims to:

    1. Develop in students the essential skills that they will require to be competent life scientists;
    2. Enhance the employability prospects of students.
    Learning Outcomes

    Use a range of mathematical and numerical tools to address biological problems

    Structure and communicate ideas effectively, both orally and in writing

    ​Manage time, work to deadlines and prioritise workloads 

    ​Actively participate in groups but be capable of independent work

    ​Find relevant information and use IT effectively

    ​Address the relevance and ideas of others 

    ​Evaluate own performance and working standards 

  • Experimental Skills in Current Biology (LIFE107)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterWhole Session
    Exam:Coursework weighting30:70
    Aims

    This module aims to:

    1. Introduce students to a range of practical skills and techniques that are of general use in subjects across the Life Sciences;
    2. Explain to students the importance of working safely in the laboratory and to adhere to Health and Safety protocols and good working practices;
    3. Train students how to observe and record experiments, and how to present and analyse data;
    4. Demonstrate the relevance of experimental skills across all biological disciplines and the essential relationship between quantitative skills and key skills;
    Learning OutcomesRecord, evaluate andinterpret qualitative and quantitative data, and record procedures andprotocols​

    Plan and execute a seriesof experiments​

    Use laboratory equipmentcorrectly and safely to generate data​

    Identify, formulate andtest hypotheses in relation to laboratory based experimental design​

    Apply appropriatestatistical tests for data evaluation​

    Demonstrate good laboratorypractice in relation to Health and Safety in the laboratory and good workingpractices​

    ​Demonstrate specific skills in pipetting, microscopy, weighing, serial dilution, spectrophotometer, centrifugation, aseptic technique, standard curve, biological drawing and quantitative analysis (descriptive statistics).

  • Grand Challenges in Biology (LIFE105)
    Level1
    Credit level7.5
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims
    1. To encourage students to become aware of the themes that are driving biological research in Liverpool and globally;
    2. To engage students with their programme of study;
    3. To excite student interest in their subject and the way it relates to the challenges that face us all;
    4. To foster the development of study skills that will equip students to investigate research topics and communicate their findings and views on them.
    Learning Outcomes

    To identify the grand challenges that face biological scientists

    ​To put into context the advances that science makes possible and the ethical issues associated with meeting the Grand Challenges

    ​To evaluate different approaches to the resolution of scientific questions

    ​To conduct an independent piece of research and report their findings to their peers

  • Molecules and Cells (LIFE101)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
    Aims

    After successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

    1. Recognise the basic of structure, composition and function of cells;
    2. Explain core concepts relating to the organisation and specialisation of eukaryotes, prokaryotes and viruses;
    3. Define the cellular components involved in the regulation of key functions such as the generation of energy, movement, cell growth and division and differentiation;
    4. Describe the latest techniques that are used in cell biology to determine cell structure and function;
    5. Develop in students the knowledge and understanding of the subject and the ability to apply, evaluate and interpret this knowledge to solve problems.
    Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of the module students will be able to:

    1. Describe how cells arose and their structural features;
    2. Compare and contrast eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells;
    3. Identify the different ways cells manipulate energy;
    4. Define the molecular basis of the processes by which cells grow, replicate, communicate, interact with their environment, move and die;
    5. Describe the functional importance of cell specialisation and cooperation in tissues.

Year One Optional Modules

  • Animal Biodiversity (LIFE112)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
    Aims
  • To foster in students an understanding of structure and function of the basic body plan of the major groups of animals

  • ​To encourage the appreciation of the evolutionary origins of the basic body plan of animals;

  • ​To develop an understanding of how the basic body plan of animals has been modified to adapt to different modes of existence and habitats

  • ​To develop knowledge and understanding in animal biodiversity, and the ability to apply, evaluate and interpret this knowledge to solve problems in zoology.

  • Learning Outcomes

    To identify the structure and function of the basic body plan of the major invertebrate and chordate groups, and the diversity within the groups that has arisen through evolution

    To ​recognize how the basic body plan of animals has been modified to adapt to different modes of existence and habitats

    To ​read and interpret phylogenetic trees
  • Applied Genetic and Molecular Technologies (LIFE108)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
    AimsThis module aims to:
    1. Provide students with the knowledge and understanding of the structure of nucleic acids and how these molecules encode the properties of cells;
    2. Develop knowledge and understanding of the mechanisms that lead to inheritance in offspring;
    3. Equip students tobe able to describe the basic techniques that are used to experimentally clone genes and analyse their structure and function;
    4. Develop students'' knowledge and understanding in genetics and molecular biology, and their ability to apply, evaluate and interpret this knowledge to solve problems, in these disciplines. 
    5. P.MsoNormal{text-align:justify;margin:0cm 0cm 0pt;font-family:Arial;font-size:10pt;}LI.MsoNormal{text-align:justify;margin:0cm 0cm 0pt;font-family:Arial;font-size:10pt;}DIV.MsoNormal{text-align:justify;margin:0cm 0cm 0pt;font-family:Arial;font-size:10pt;}.MsoChpDefault{font-family:Calibri;font-size:11pt;}.MsoPapDefault{line-height:115%;margin-bottom:10pt;}DIV.WordSection1{page:WordSection1;}Introduce students to the ethical implications of genetic and molecular technologies.
    Learning Outcomes

    Explain the molecular processes that occur to produce variation in the offspring;

    and how to interpret Mendelian and non-Mendelian patterns of inheritance;

    ​Explain how to apply molecular technologies to isolate and characterise nucleic acids and design and interpret basic experiments to clone and analyse genes;

    ​Show how molecular biology technologies might be used to solve problems in biology, food security, veterinary science and medicine;

    ​Develop an appreciation of the ethical issues associated with genetic and molecular technologies.

  • Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences (LIFE102)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
    Aims

    After successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

    1. Describe the major dietary components for humans and other organisms, and the processes that result in their digestion and absorption;
    2. Explain the mechanisms and processes that regulate carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism;
    3. Define how imbalances in nutrition can lead to lifestyle diseases and how genetic or infectious diseases can result in impaired ability to generate energy;
    4. Develop knowledge and understanding in biochemistry and biomedicine, and ability to apply, evaluate and interpret this knowledge to solve problems.
    Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this module, the students should be able to:

    1. Describe the important groups of diseases affecting humans and other organisms;
    2. Explain the processes involved in the control and regulation of metabolism and how their dysfunction results in lifestyle diseases;
    3. Identify the genetic mechanisms that underlie inherited diseases affecting oxygen transport and storage;
    4. Define the processes involved in bacterial and viral infectious disease and the mechanisms that protect organisms from infection.
  • Biological Chemistry (LIFE104)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
    Aims
  • This module aims to develop in students: Knowledge and understanding of the chemical reactions that underpin biological processes
  • ​Awareness of the chemical processes that are required to understand pharmacological principles

  • ​The ability to apply, evaluate and interpret this knowledge to solve problems, in biochemistry, pharmacology and biomedicine.

  • Learning OutcomesApply basic thermodynamic principles to biological systems and energetics

    ​Identify the principles of electronic structure and organic and bioinorganic chemical reactions, and their analysis

    ​Describe the anomalous properties of water and their importance in biological systems

    ​Use the principles of chemical reaction rates to quantify enzymatic reactions and pharmacokinetics

    Explain the application of basic spectroscopic techniques

    ​Describe how these chemical and thermodynamic principles explain key biological mechanisms

  • Developmental Biology: Embryology and Mechanisms of Development (LIFE114)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
    Aims

    This module aims to:

    1. Describe the processes that regulate development and the general properties of stem cells;
    2. Explain the mechanisms of germ line development and early development from fertilisation to gastrulation; 
    3. Provide students with an understanding of how the major organ systems of the body form;
    4. Highlight the experimental evidence underpinning this knowledge;
    5. Develop knowledge and understanding in human biology, and ability to apply, evaluate and interpret this knowledge to solve problems.
    Learning Outcomes

    Explain the fundamental mechanisms that regulate development;

    ​Describe the general properties of stem cells and their role in development;

    ​Explain the developmental processes that form the three layered embryo and the experimental evidence that underpins our understanding; 

  • Describe the formation of the main organs of the body from the ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm;
  • ​Explain the basic mechanisms that regulate the development of the major organ systems and the experimental models used to investigate these mechanisms.

  • Ecology and Conservation (ENVS157)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
    AimsUsing certain key themes, to introduce students to the complex and multifaceted nature of environmental issues and ecological science, particularly stressing the interrelationships between their biophysical and human dimensions.

    To encourage students to manage their own learning.

    Learning Outcomes An appreciation of the complexities and multifaceted nature of environmental issues.



    ​An understanding of land-use change, its history, the main drivers and their interactions.

    ​An overview of natural disasters and irreversible environmental change.

    ​An introduction to the politics of natural resources and energy.

    ​A basic understanding of ecological principles.

    ​An understanding of the complexities of conserving biodiversity.

    ​An understanding of the scientific debate about evidence for global climate change, the possible socio-economic impacts of various climate change scenarios, and possible ameliorative measures.

  • Ecology and the Global Environment (LIFE120)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
    Aims
  • This module aims to:

    Describe the physical and chemical contexts of the biosphere, the cycling of important elements at different scales, the distribution of biomes and the ecosystem concept;

  • Discuss ecological concepts such as succession, niche, food web theory, ecosystem stability and the impact of human activities;
  • Explain conservation of biodiversity at a range of scales.
  • Develop knowledge and understanding in ecology, and ability to apply, evaluate and interpret this knowledge to solve problems.
  • Learning Outcomes​Identify a range of global problems facing mankind that have ecological origins;
    Link each of these problems to key ecological concepts;Recognize how interactions of individuals, populations and communities with the physico-chemical environment contribute to determining species distributions and abundance, and to the flows of energy and nutrients;

    Identify the demographic forces underlying the growth and size of populations and the determination of biodiversity.

  • Introduction to Animal Husbandry (LIFE118)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
    Aims

    This module aims to develop knowledge and understanding of:

    1. The present day structure of the agriculture industry including topics such as seasonality of production of the various domesticated animal species, the breeds used and which management  strategies are employed.
    2. The role of various crops and crop by-products as food sources; their evaluation as suitable foods for animals; how the nutritional requirements of animals are met;  and how to assess and formulate rations to prevent poor performance, metabolic disease and toxicities.
    3. Introductory theory of practical animal breeding; and to apply, evaluate and interpret problems in veterinary animal husbandry.

    Learning Outcomes

    Describe the role of the agricultural industry in the UK and to explain the seasonality of the production cycle and the interaction between crop and animal production and to identify the industries that pertain to a variety of farm and companion animal species.

    ​Demonstrate how to assess and formulate nutritional rations and describe the causes of metabolic conditions and toxicities;  

    ​Define how animals grow, develop and breed, and the factors that influence these processes, such as inherited diseases;

    ​Explain an animal''s responses to changes in the climatic environment and how these influence efficiency and productivity outcomes.

  • Introduction to Physiology and Pharmacology (LIFE106)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
    Aims

    This module aims to:

    1. Provide students with a grounding in the concepts and principles that underlie human systems biology;
    2. Introduce the concepts of interactions of drugs and other exogenous chemicals on biological processes;
    3. Develop concepts of drug absorption and the relationship between chemical structure and drug action;
    4. Develop knowledge and understanding in physiology and pharmacology, and ability to apply, evaluate and interpret this knowledge to solve problems in these disciplines.
    Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this module, the students will be able to:

    1.  Describe homeostasis and its maintenance;
    2.  Define osmosis and hydrostatic pressure;
    3.  Outline the fundamentals of membrane potentials and how they are influenced;
    4.  Explain the roles played in various body systems in organism maintenance;
    5.  Distinguish how body systems interact in response to external stressors;
    6.  Define the way in which pharmacology is studied and drugs are developed;
    7.  Describe the properties of receptors;
    8.  Identify the chemical interactions between drugs and receptors;
    9.  Define and use the terms absorption, distribution and metabolism of drugs.
  • Biochemical Methods (LIFE122)
    Level1
    Credit level7.5
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
    Aims

      This module aims to:

    1. Introduce students to a range of practical skills and analytical techniques that are applicable to many fields of modern biology;
    2. Explain to students the importance of working safely in the laboratory in accord with Health and Safety protocols and good working practices;
    3. Train students how to observe and record experiments, and how to present and analyse data;
    4. Demonstrate the relevance of experimental skills across all biological disciplines and the essential relationship between quantitative skills and key skills;
    5. Develop knowledge and understanding in biochemistry, biotechnology and biomedicine, and ability to apply, evaluate and interpret this knowledge to solve problems.
    Learning Outcomes

    Record, evaluate and interpret qualitative and quantitative data, and record procedures and protocols;

    Plan and execute a series of experiments;​

    ​Use laboratory equipment correctly and safely to generate data;​

    ​Identify, formulate and test hypotheses in relation to laboratory based experimental design;​

    ​Demonstrate good laboratory practice in relation to Health and Safety in the laboratory and good working practices.​

  • Biology & Ecology Field Skills (LIFE124)
    Level1
    Credit level7.5
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting40:60
    Aims

    This practical module aims to instruct students in: 

    1. A range of ecological skills in field work that will have a wide application to many fields of modern biology;
    2. The identification of plants and animals, communities and measurement of selected ecological processes;
    3. Quantitative skills in field ecology and how they can be used to solve fundamental and applied problems.
    Learning Outcomes​Work safely under field conditions

    ​Use identification keys to successfully identify species

    Utilise practical approaches to investigating animal behaviour and abundance​

    Explain influences on the distribution of plants, and implications for nature conservation​

    ​Sample communities and describe ecosystem function;​

    ​Interpret field data via quantitative/statistical approaches.​

Programme Year Two

Core modules:

  • Essential skills for life sciences II

Selected optional modules:

Choose from across the School's provision, in consultation with the programme team.

Programme Year Three

Core modules:

  • Advanced skills in biological sciences
  • Research project

Selected optional modules:

Choose from across the School's provision, in consultation with the programme team.

Programme Year Four

Students can transfer into the C900 (MBiolSci) programme to complete a four-year integrated master's. This offers industrial placements in the UK or abroad (subject to performance).

Selected optional modules:

You will take modules from your pathway of choice.

The programme detail and modules listed are illustrative only and subject to change.


Teaching and Learning

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.


Assessment

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 the semester and by final examination. You will also prepare posters, complete tests, analyse data, give short talks, research the scientific literature and write essays and reports. The style of examination progresses from short answers towards the essay format in the later years of each degree programme, as your understanding deepens.