Biological Sciences MBiolSci (Integrated Masters)

Key information


  • Course length: 4 years
  • UCAS code: C900
  • Year of entry: 2020
  • Typical offer: A-level : AAB / IB : 34 / BTEC : D*DD in relevant diploma
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Module details

Years One, Two and Three

For the first three years, students will follow the same programme as those studying on the three-year BSc Honours degree equivalent of their chosen pathway. For details please see the individual programme listings.

Programme Year One

Students should take core and optional modules from the pathway of choice.

Programme Year Two

Students should take core and optional modules from the pathway of choice.

Programme Year Three

 Students should take core and optional modules from the pathway of choice.

Programme Year Four

Core modules

  • Research Methods and Applications in Biological Sciences
  • Research Project

Year Four Compulsory Modules

  • Research Project (LIFE700)
    LevelM
    Credit level60
    SemesterWhole Session
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To provide students with an in-depth understanding of an area of contemporary biological research.

    To develop students' ability to design experiments to investigate hypotheses, to analyse data, and to critically interpret results cognisant of the relevant literature

    To develop in students the confidence to work independently and in a team to effectively attain a scientific goal;

    To develop students' ability to communicate scientific concepts and findings in a variety of formats.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Plan and execute a piece of scientific research in a responsible, safe, professional and ethical manner;

    (LO2) Formulate a hypothesis and design a coherent and feasible experimental plan to test that hypothesis using scientific methods and resources;

    (LO3) Analyse and critically evaluate data, observations and draw valid conclusions;

    (LO4) Appreciate the importance of maintaining clear, accurate and up to date records;

    (LO5) Evaluate own performance and working standards, and place their work in the context of the wider scientific community;

    (LO6) Synthesise and interpret the relevant literature and communicate findings in a variety of formats (oral, written reports) to supervisor, research staff and peers.

    (S1) Technical proficiency in experimental or observational methods relevant to the specific project

    (S2) Problem solving skills, numeracy, IT skills

    (S3) Communication skills, ethical awareness.

    (S4) Team work and Organisational skills

  • Advanced Statistics for Biological Research (LIFE707)
    LevelM
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
    Aims

    To enable students to analyse biological data by:

    Choice of appropriate statistical approaches to test hypotheses;

    Critical understanding of the use of a range of advanced statistical tests for appropriate analysis and  model fitting of a range of biological datasets;

    Using the software package, R;

    Synthesizing information, summarising statistical findings, and using hypothesis testing to critically review evidence from experimental data to support conclusions.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Illustrate and explain the methods of hypothesis testing

    (LO2) Critically evaluate experimental design(s) used in data collection and then apply the appropriate statistical test(s).

    (LO3) Design data collection methods appropriate to rigorous data analysis

    (LO4) Synthesise information from data analysis, test statistical hypotheses and critically review evidence to support conclusions.

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Numeracy

    (S3) IT skills

    (S4) Communication skills

    (S5) Organisational skills

    (S6) Lifelong learning skills

  • Advanced Statistics for Biological Research (off-campus) (LIFE607)
    LevelM
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
    Aims

    This module is designed to:

    1. Provide students with an insight into the process of scientific research;
    2. Expose students to the research environment;
    3. Develop in students the confidence to work independently, to effectively and efficiently attain a scientific goal;
    4. Develop in students the ability to communicate scientific concepts and findings in a variety of formats.
    Learning Outcomes

    Use appropriate statistical approaches to test hypotheses.​

      Critically evaluate a range of advanced statistical tests for appropriate analysis and modelling of a range of biological datasets.​
      ​Use the software package, R, for these statistical tests and modelling of data​​
      ​Synthesise information from data analysis, test statistical hypotheses and critically review evidence to support conclusions.​
    1. Research Methods and Applications in Biological Sciences (LIFE731)
      LevelM
      Credit level15
      SemesterWhole Session
      Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
      Aims

      This module is designed to:

      Provide students with an understanding of the processes required for the successful planning and delivery of research projects;

      Introduce students to the latest, cutting edge technologies in their research field of interest;

      Develop in students the transferrable communication skills that will enable them to disseminate their findings to both scientific and general audiences.

      Learning Outcomes

      (LO1) Develop hypotheses and design a series of experiments that would allow these hypotheses to be tested

      (LO2) Critically review the legal and moral frameworks within which scientific research must be conducted, in particular research ethics and current legislation;

      (LO3) Effectively communicate research findings using writing styles for different audiences, including the scientific and lay communities, and to understand the need to promote the public understanding of science;

      (LO4) Understand why and when it is appropriate for biologists to engage with mathematicians, computer scientists and physical scientists to obtain more quantitative, holistic or systems-based approaches to studying biological processes;

      (LO5) Critically review the latest scientific discoveries in their research field, and understand the principles underpinning cutting edge technologies that may be applied to their area of scientific investigation;

      (LO6) Synthesise information, critically review evidence to support conclusions, and define complex problems by applying appropriate knowledge and skills.

    2. Research Methods and Applications in Biological Sciences (off-campus) (LIFE631)
      LevelM
      Credit level15
      SemesterWhole Session
      Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
      Aims

      To provide students with an understanding of the processes required for the successful planning and delivery of research projects;

      To introduce students to the latest cutting-edge technologies in their research field of interest;

      To develop in students the transferrable communication skills that will enable them to disseminate their findings to both scientific and general audiences.

      Learning Outcomes

      (LO1) Develop hypotheses and design a series of experiments that would allow these hypotheses to be tested;

      (LO2) Critically review the legal and moral frameworks within which scientific research must be conducted, in particular research ethics and current legislation.

      (LO3) Effectively communicate research findings using writing styles for different audiences, including the scientific and lay communities, and to understand the need to promote the public understanding of science.

      (LO4) Understand why and when it is appropriate for biologists to engage with mathematicians, computer scientists and physical scientists to obtain more quantitative, holistic or systems-based approaches to studying biological processes

      (LO5) Critically review the latest scientific discoveries in their research field, and understand the principles underpinning cutting edge technologies that may be applied to their area of scientific investigation

      (LO6) Synthesise information, critically review evidence to support conclusions, and define complex problems by applying appropriate knowledge and skills

    3. Informatics for Life Sciences (LIFE721)
      LevelM
      Credit level15
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
      Aims

      This module aims: to provide a   broad overview  of the use of informatics in the biological sciences to give students a theoretical and technical grounding in a range of application areas including bioinformatics-related topics

      Learning Outcomes

      (LO1) Critically judge and utilise core techniques in bioinformatics to support their research projects;

      (LO2) Critically analyse and evaluate data analyses results and explain the correlation of them within the research context;

      (LO3) Design research methods in bioinformatics to solve biological problems

      (LO4) Appraise different bioinformatics tools and choose the appropriate ones to solve biological problems

      (S1) IT skills

      (S2) Learning skills online studying and learning effectively in technology-rich environments , formal and informal

      (S3) Numeracy (application of) manipulation of numbers, general mathematical awareness and its application in practical contexts (e.g. measuring, weighing, estimating and applying formulae)

      (S4) Problem solving/critical thinking/creativity analysing facts and situations and applying creative thinking to develop appropriate solutions.

      (S5) Communication and collaboration online participating in digital networks for learning and research

      (S6) Lifelong learning skills

      (S7) Communication skills

      (S8) Self-management readiness to accept responsibilty (i.e. leadership), flexibilty, resilience, self-starting, initiative, integrity, willingness to take risks, appropriate assertiveness, time management, readiness to improve own performance based on feedback/reflective learning

    4. Informatics for Life Sciences (off-campus) (LIFE621)
      LevelM
      Credit level15
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
      Aims

      This module aims: to provide a broad overview of the use of informatics in the biological sciences to give students a theoretical and technical grounding in a range of application areas including bioinformatics-related topics

      Learning Outcomes

      (LO1) Critically judge and utilise core techniques in bioinformatics to support their research projects;

      (LO2) Critically analyse and evaluate data analyses results and explain the correlation of them within the research context;

      (LO3) Design research methods in bioinformatics to solve biological problems.

      (LO4) Appraise different bioinformatics tools and choose the appropriate ones to solve biological problems.

      (S1) IT skills

      (S2) Learning skills online studying and learning effectively in technology-rich environments, formal and informal

      (S3) Numeracy (application of) manipulation of numbers, general mathematical awareness and its application in practical contexts (e.g. measuring, weighing, estimating and applying formulae)

      (S4) Problem solving/ critical thinking/ creativity analysing facts and situations and applying creative thinking to develop appropriate solutions.

      (S5) Communication and collaboration online participating in digital networks for learning and research

      (S6) Lifelong learning skills

      (S7) Communication skills

      (S8) Self-management readiness to accept responsibility (i.e. leadership), flexibility, resilience, self-starting, initiative, integrity, willingness to take risks, appropriate assertiveness, time management, readiness to improve own performance based on feedback/reflective learning

    Year Four Optional Modules

    • Research Internship (LIFE701)
      LevelM
      Credit level30
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
      Aims

      This module is designed to: Provide students with an insight into the process of scientific research and debate in a setting outwith the University of Liverpool; expose students to new research and cultural environments; develop in students the confidence to work independently and in a team, to effectively and efficiently attain a scientific goal; develop student's ability to communicate scientific concepts and findings in a variety of formats. Develop students' employability skills.

      Learning Outcomes

      (LO1) Critically reflect on the development of employability skills through accurate record of their experiences

      (LO2) Appropriately communicate findings, in a variety of formats (oral, written reports) to supervisor, research staff and peers describing their experiences during the internship, including the research objectives of research team in which the internship took place, and the rationale behind the project design;

      (LO3) Appraise current work placement practice in relation to both employer and employees outcomes

      (LO4) Analyse and critically evaluate data, information and observations, and draw valid conclusions;

      (LO5) Identify personal and research transferables skills, linking them to employability.

      (S1) Problem solving skills

      (S2) Teamwork

      (S3) Communication skills

      (S4) Ethical awareness

    • Post-genomic Bioinformatics (LIFE708)
      LevelM
      Credit level15
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
      Aims

      To develop in students a critical understanding  of the origin, valueand limitations of the types of data generated by different omic technologies and of appropriate tools for analysis of the data.  To introduce students to  how bioinformatics is used to solve real-world research questions at post-graduate level, with reference to postgraduate research projects and beyond.

      Learning Outcomes

      (LO1) Apply bioinformatics tools to address a wide range of real-world analytical tasks involving biological information

      (LO2) Analyse critically the principles underlying the current generation of research tools

      (LO3)  Exploit the information available in a wide variety of biological databases to address current research questions

      (S1) Students will also develop independent learning and self-evalution skills

      (S2) Critical thinking

    • Evolution and Behaviour (LIFE709)
      LevelM
      Credit level15
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
      Aims

      The module aims to introduce students to a set of key concepts and case studies in contemporary evolutionary and behavioural biology such that they can apply key ideas in a critical and evaluative manner

      Learning Outcomes

      (LO1) Synthesise new information on evolutionary and behaviour research

      (LO2) Explain complex evolutionary and behavioural topics for both generalist and specialist biologists

      (LO3) Critically evaluate evolutionary and behavioural evidence, and suggest novel areas for research.

      (S1) Team (group) working respecting others, co-operating, negotiating / persuading, awareness of interdependence with others

      (S2) Communication, listening and questioning respecting others, contributing to discussions, communicating in a foreign language, influencing, presentations

      (S3) Information literacy online, finding, interpreting, evaluating, managing and sharing information

      (S4) Problem solving/ critical thinking/ creativity analysing facts and situations and applying creative thinking to develop appropriate solutions.

      (S5) Literacy application of literacy, ability to produce clear, structured written work and oral literacy - including listening and questioning

    • Advanced Topics in Cell Signaling (LIFE713)
      LevelM
      Credit level15
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
      Aims

      To illustrate the importance of cellular responses to external signals and how signalling information is transferred within cells;

      To define, in detail, the range of different strategies used by cells for dealing with signalling information and the processing of signalling information;

      To develop knowledge and deep understanding in biochemistry and biomedicine, and the ability to apply, critically evaluate, and interpret this knowledge to solve complex problems in cell signalling.

      Learning Outcomes

      (LO1) Compare and contrast the range of different mechanisms utilised for the transfer of signalling information within eukaryotic cells;

      (LO2) Critically discuss the concepts and features underlying different signalling mechanisms;

      (LO3) Evaluate the contributions made by specific signalling mechanisms in different cellular and physiological responses;

      (LO4) Apply, critically evaluate and interpret this knowledge to define and solve complex problems in biochemistry and molecular biology and will be able to review evidence to support their conclusions.

      (S1) Lifelong learning skills;

      (S2) Problem solving skills;

      (S3) Communication skills.

    • Advanced Topics in Molecular Medicine (LIFE715)
      LevelM
      Credit level15
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
      Aims

      This module aims to:

      1. Explore the application of molecular genetics and computational biology in the study and treatment of human disease;

      2. Show how the human genome project has resulted in the identification of disease-associated genes;

      3. Study in detail selected diseases such as inherited metabolic disease and muscular dystrophy;

      4. Develop in students the ability to apply, critically evaluate and interpret this knowledge to solve complex problems in molecular medicine.

      Learning Outcomes

      (LO1) Evaluate critically how genetic information can be used to identify susceptibility to disease;

      (LO2) Explain, in detail, the molecular processes underlying inherited diseases such as inherited metabolic diseases, phenylketonuria and muscular dystrophy;

      (LO3) Appraise the latest developments in the use of adult and embryonic stem cells in regenerative medicine;

      (LO4) Review critically the challenges associated with drug-discovery programmes;

      (LO5) Critically evaluate the latest bioinformatics and computer-based approaches used in modern drug design;

      (LO6) Synthesise information, critically review evidence to support conclusions, and define complex problems by applying appropriate knowledge and skills;

      (LO7) Students will also develop independent learning and self-evaluation skills.

    • Advanced Topics in VIral Disease Mechanisms (LIFE720)
      LevelM
      Credit level15
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
      Aims

      This module aims to:

      1. Describe the latest research on the role of viruses as important pathogens of humans and animals;

      2. Describe, in detail, viral virulence mechanisms, immune evasion and vaccine development;

      3. Develop knowledge and deep understanding in microbiology, and ability to apply, critically evaluate and interpret this knowledge to solve complex problems.

      Learning Outcomes

      (LO1) Explain, at the molecular level, the mechanisms of replication and pathogenesis of a range of different virus families

      (LO2) Critically evaluate the contribution of virus infection to diseases in both humans and animals and hypotheses on the evolution of virulence;

      (LO3) Evaluate the immune control of virus infection and describe viral immune evasion strategies;

      (LO4) Appraise current approaches to prevention and treatment of a range of virus infections;

      (LO5) Evaluate modern approaches to investigating virus pathogenesis;

      (LO6) Explain current theories on the importance of globalization and climate change on the emergence and re-emergence of virus disease;

      (LO7) Synthesise information, critically review evidence to support conclusions, and define and solve complex problems in virology by applying appropriate knowledge and skills.

      (S1) Students will also develop independent learning and self-evaluation skills.

    • Advanced Topics in Biotechnology (LIFE722)
      LevelM
      Credit level15
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
      Aims

      This module aims to:
      1. Describe the exploitation of microorganisms and microbial processes for biotechnological applications;
      2. Discuss economical and ethical aspects of the development of novel products and environmental benefits using biotechnological processes.;
      3. Explain the processes of antibiotic production, the use of microbes as hosts for mammalian gene products, plant biomass conversion and the uses and development of biosensors;
      4. Develop knowledge and deep understanding in microbiology, and the ability to apply, critically evaluate and interpret this knowledge to solve complex problems.

      Learning Outcomes

      (LO1) On successful completion of this module, the students should be able to: 1. Critically evaluate the economics, ethics and regulation of modern biotechnological processes;

      (LO2) Critically appraise the impact of recombinant DNA technology on the biotechnology industry;

      (LO3) Discuss modern approaches to strain improvement and genetic manipulation;

      (LO4) Detail current approaches in microbial technology for the production of alternative fuels and feedstuffs;

      (LO5) Critically describe The Human Microbiome Project;

      (LO6) Synthesise information, critically review evidence to support conclusions, and define and solve complex problems in microbial biotechnology by applying appropriate knowledge and skills.

      (LO7) Students will also develop independent learning and self-evaluation skills

    • Advanced Topics in Bacterial and Fungal Diversity and Versatility (LIFE729)
      LevelM
      Credit level15
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
      Aims

      This module aims to:

      1. Explain the diversity of microbial life and its adaptation to environment;

      2. Describe bacteria and fungi that have interesting properties as model systems, as well as making important contributions with regard to microbiological processes, both natural and engineered;

      3. Develop knowledge and deep understanding in microbiology, and ability to apply, critically evaluate and interpret this knowledge to solve complex problems.

      Learning Outcomes

      (LO1) Appraise the principles and practice underpinning bacterial taxonomy;

      (LO2) Critically evaluate the contribution of modern molecular techniques in determining phylogenies and the composition of bacterial and fungal communities;

      (LO3) Explain in detail how bacteria and fungi grow and adapt to their environment;

      (LO4) Evaluate the contributions made by key model systems to the understanding of bacterial and fungal growth and differentiation;

      (LO5) Synthesise information, critically review eveidence to support conclusions and define and solve complex problems in microbiology by applying appropriate knowledge and skills.

      (S1) Problem solving/ critical thinking/ creativity analysing facts and situations and applying creative thinking to develop appropriate solutions.

    • Programming for Life Sciences (LIFE733)
      LevelM
      Credit level15
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
      Aims

      To provide a broad overview of the use of a scripting language for performing basic tasks in the biological sciences, with examples demonstrated through the use of Python. 

      Learning Outcomes

      (LO1) Use Python for basic scripting

      (LO2) Understand data structures in python and how to apply them to biological data

      (LO3) Use regular expressions for manipulating biological data

      (LO4) Use Python for manipulating files and controlling the running of external programs

      (LO5) Design and build simple relational databases

      (S1) Communication, listening and questioning respecting others, contributing to discussions, communicating in a foreign language, influencing, presentations

      (S2) Team (group) working respecting others, co-operating, negotiating / persuading, awareness of interdependence with others

    • Advanced Topics in Comparative Physiology (LIFE745)
      LevelM
      Credit level15
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
      Aims

      Provide a critical insight into physiological mechanisms underpinning adaptation to potentially hostile environmental conditions;

      Provide an opportunity to study in depth the integration and evolution of physiological mechanisms;

      Develop a critical understanding of animal physiology, and the ability to apply, critically evaluate and interpret this knowledge to solve complex physiological problems.

      Learning Outcomes

      (LO1) Appraise current concepts linking extreme environments to physiological stress;

      (LO2) Evaluate physiological adaptations to potentially hostile environmental conditions, such as anoxia, high hydrostatic pressure and extreme temperatures

      (LO3) Integrate components of a complex physiological mechanism from molecular to whole organism levels

      (LO4) Critically appraise the evolution of air-breathing, terrestriality and endothermy in vertebrates

      (S1) Information literacy online, finding, interpreting, evaluating, managing and sharing information

      (S2) Literacy application of literacy, ability to produce clear, structured written work and oral literacy - including listening and questioning

      (S3) Problem solving/ critical thinking/ creativity analysing facts and situations and applying creative thinking to develop appropriate solutions.

    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 each semester and by final examination.