Biosciences with Business Management BSc

Biosciences with Business

Life science is one of the strongest economic sectors in the UK, both in terms of annual revenue and in terms of number of employees. Combining expertise in the biosciences with a solid grasp of how commercial enterprises function prepares you for a sector that has bright growth prospects, and is particularly in need of individuals who understand the science as well as the business. A split of two thirds to one third between biosciences and business management modules ensures an in-depth education in both areas. Moreover, applicants choose between alternative pathways focussing on Molecular or Environmental Biosciences. 

Course fact file

UCAS code: C7N2

Duration: 3 years

Places Available: 250 (Total number of places for all undergraduate courses in the school)

Applications in 2013: 1819

Typical Offer: AAA-AAB (More detailed entry requirements and the international qualifications accepted can be found in the course details)

Start date: September

Details

Based on the major/minor model, this single honours course draws on modules taught by the School of Biosciences and the Birmingham Business School. Each year you will follow both Biosciences and Business modules with a weighting of two thirds to one third, where sessions include lectures, tutorials and workshops. Equally, you will get hands-on training in experimental techniques through practical sessions in Biosciences. In addition to subject-specific skills and knowledge, you will be trained in a variety of skills that are in demand in any professional sector, including communication, leadership, teamwork, critical evaluation and academic writing, to name a few. The ‘Modules’ section below has more details on the course content, including a link to brief descriptions of each module.

While you need to decide at the outset which of the two available pathways – Molecular Biosciences or Environmental Biosciences - you wish to pursue, each route offers flexibility in terms of choosing between alternative elective modules, allowing you to follow your curiosity rather than being confined to a set academic syllabus.

Why study this course

We have a large and internationally recognised School of Biosciences offering expertise that is the foundation of our research-led teaching, while the Birmingham Business School enjoys recognition of its academic programmes around the globe.

Biosciences and Business Management is a rather appropriate combination of subjects for the biotechnology and life sciences sector, where small or medium-sized companies are often the drivers of innovation, research and development. Such companies particularly value versatility of employees, even more so, when your skills include a thorough understanding of business and enterprise.

You will encounter a broad range of topics on our courses. Depending on which route you take – Molecular or Environmental Biosciences, you will learn about how proteins interact with pharmaceutical drugs, or about the many ways microbial organisms can cause disease, or how ecosystems change in response to a warmer climate. We pride ourselves in our ‘enquiry-based learning’ strategy that will equip you with the skills to achieve full potential in your future career.

We increasingly incorporate new areas of science relating to biology, such as bioinformatics, and the School has major high-technology facilities for research in genomics, structural biology and optical imaging. 

Modules

Below you will find information on the structure of the course and what modules you will study in which year. For short descriptions of each of the modules please download the BSc Biosciences with Business module information (PDF 910Kb).

First year

Business Modules

Four modules form the business component in the first year:

  • Introduction to Financial Analysis
  • Business Organisation and Management
  • Introduction to Economics
  • International Economy

Biosciences Modules

Molecular Biosciences

Environmental Biosciences

Compulsory modules

Cell Biology and Physiology

Introduction to Evolution and Animal Biology

Skills for Biosciences

Skills for Biosciences

Biochemistry

Essentials of Cell Biology and Physiology

Genetics

Genetics

Electives

Choose one from

Choose one from

* We recommend that only students who followed Chemistry to A2 level take this module.

Second year

The second year keeps the same split between Biosciences and Business modules, but offers increased variety among elective modules.

Business Modules

  • Financial Decision Making
  • Introduction to Marketing
  • Human Resource Management
  • Global Marketing

Biosciences Modules

Molecular Biosciences

Environmental Biosciences

Compulsory

Molecular Biology and its Applications

Molecular Biology and its Applications

Communications and Skills in Biosciences

Communications and Skills in Biosciences

Elective 1

Choose one from

  • Membranes, Energy and Metabolism*
  • Topics in Medical Biosciences

Choose one from

Elective 2

Choose two from

  • Genetics II
  • Cell and Development Biology
  • Microbes and Man
  • Proteins and Enzymes*
  • Animal Sensory Systems, Neurobiology and Behaviour

Choose one from

  • Genetics II
  • Animal Sensory Systems, Neurobiology and Behaviour
  • Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Microbes and Man
Field courses

 

Choose one from:

* We recommend that only students who followed Chemistry to A2 level or equivalent take this module.

Final year

A key component of the final year is the dissertation, in which you will systematically review a segment of the biosciences literature, analyse and dissect primary research articles and write a research proposal. Specialist modules in Biosciences and Business complement your programme of study.

Business Management Modules

  • Strategic Management (20 cr)
  • Supply Chain Management (10 cr)
  • Corporate Finance (10 cr)

Biosciences Modules

Molecular Biosciences

Environmental Biosciences

Compulsory

Dissertation

Dissertation

Elective 1

Choose one from

  • Experimental Design, Analysis and Interpretation of Biochemical Data
  • Applied and Environmental Microbiology
  • Cellular Neurobiology Play video Watch video
  • Mechanisms of Toxicity and Disease
  • Eukaryotic Gene Expression
  • Genetic Variation in Humans and other Eukaryotes

Choose one from

  • Applied and Environmental Microbiology
  • Cellular Neurobiology Play video Watch video
  • Conservation Biology
  • Genetic Variation in Humans and other Eukaryotes
  • Integrated Whole Organism Biology
  • Advanced Topics in Animal behaviour
Elective 2

Choose one from

  • Structures of Destruction
  • Bacterial Gene Regulation
  • Cellular Signalling
  • Molecular and Cellular Immunology
  • Molecular Basis of Bacterial Infection

Choose one from

Fees and funding

Standard fees apply 
Learn more about fees and funding

Scholarships
Learn more about our scholarships and awards

Entry requirements

Number of A levels required: 3

Typical offer: AAA-AAB

General Studies: We do not accept General Studies, Critical Thinking, Citizenship Studies, Applied Science, Communication and Culture, Critical Studies, Global Perspectives, Science in Society and World Development.

  • Required A-levels for Environmental Biosciences route: Biology and one other from Business Studies, Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, Environmental Studies, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology, or Sports Science/PE. Five GCSEs at grade C or above including English, Maths and Double Award Science (or equivalent).  If Chemistry is not offered at AS or A Level, grade B is required.
  • Required A-levels for Molecular Biosciences route:   Chemistry and one other from Business Studies, Biology, Computer Science, Economics, Environmental Studies, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology, or Sports Science/PE. A-level Biology in combination with a second science and AS-level Chemistry (grade B) acceptable. Five GCSEs at grade C or above including English, Maths and Double Award Science (or equivalent).

Additional information:

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (Applied Science) is accepted only in combination with a science subject at GCE A2 level at grade B or better. Other qualifications are considered – learn more about entry requirements.

International students:

International Baccalaureate Diploma: 35-36 points excluding bonus points from TOK and Extended Essay. 6, 6, 5 at HL to include Biology and one other science at HL for Environmental Biosciences or Chemistry and one other science at HL for Molecular Biosciences. HL Biology in combination with a second HL science and SL Chemistry (grade 5) is acceptable for the Molecular Biosciences route.

Standard English language requirements apply
Learn more about international entry requirements

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in the Birmingham Foundation Academy, a specially structured programme for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on the foundation academy web pages.

How to apply

Apply through UCAS at www.ucas.com 
Learn more about applying

Key Information Set (KIS)

Key Information Sets (KIS) are comparable sets of information about full- or part-time undergraduate courses and are designed to meet the information needs of prospective students.

All KIS information has been published on the Unistats website and can also be accessed via the small advert, or ‘widget’, below. On the Unistats website you are able to compare all the KIS data for each course with data for other courses.

The development of Key Information Sets (KIS) formed part of HEFCE’s work to enhance the information that is available about higher education. They give you access to reliable and comparable information in order to help you make informed decisions about what and where to study.

The KIS contains information which prospective students have identified as useful, such as student satisfaction, graduate outcomes, learning and teaching activities, assessment methods, tuition fees and student finance, accommodation and professional accreditation.

Learning and teaching

As a Birmingham student you are part of an academic research elite and will learn from world-leading experts. From the outset you will be encouraged to become an independent thinker, however you will have plenty of contact with the staff who teach you.

  • Lectures - Your learning will take place in a range of different settings, from scheduled teaching in lectures and small group tutorials, to self-study and peer group learning. As well as traditional whiteboard and pen, our lecture theatres are equipped with the latest techology including movies and animations, molecular graphics and ‘ask the audience’ style electronic voting systems. Student interaction using various social media is encouraged before, during and after lectures.
  • Practical classes - Laboratory-based practical work is an integral part of our degree. A typical practical session will last 3 hours  delivering important transferable skills, experience of practical work is essential if you wish to move into a research career and is valued by a wide range of employers. You will be able to engage with academic and post graduate researchers who will help you during these practical sessions.
  • Field courses - Biological Sciences students have the opportunity to develop their field skills on a wide range of field courses in different environments. See the Course Modules tab for details.
  • Tutorials - A personal tutorial system is an essential feature of our degree programme and your tutors will help you in three important areas: supporting your academic progress, developing transferable skills and helping with any welfare issues. From the outset, you will be assigned your own Personal Tutor who will get to know you as you progress through your studies, providing academic and welfare advice, encouraging you and offering assistance in any areas you may feel you need extra support to make the most of your potential and your time here at Birmingham.

To begin with you may find university level education challenging, but we will support you to enable you to make this transition. You will have access to a comprehensive support system in the School, including personal tutors and welfare tutors, who can help with both academic and welfare issues throughout your course. You will have a formal transition review during your first year to check on your progress and identify areas where you may need some additional support, and the School's academic small group tutorial system will provide you with skills based support throughout the course.

Clinical anatomist, author and broadcaster Alice Roberts is the University's Professor of Public Engagement in Science. You can watch Alice's lecture Origins of us: Human Anatomy and Evolution above.  

Alice carries out a range of academic duties which include teaching second year Biosciences students.

Our Academic Skills Centre also offers you support with your learning. The centre is a place where you can develop your mathematical, academic writing and general academic skills. It is the centre's aim to help you to become a more effective and independent learner through the use of a range of high-quality and appropriate learning support services. These range from one-to-one support with mathematics and statistics based problems from experienced mathematicians, to workshops on a range of topics including note talking, reading, writing and presentation skills.

Assessment methods

Studying at degree-level is likely to be very different from your previous experience of learning and teaching. You will be assessed in a variety of ways and each module is assessed independently. All modules contain some components of continuous assessment, that is, assessment taking place during the teaching terms. Continuous assessment generally accounts for over one-third of the mark for a given module, while two thirds are contributed by the end-of-year examination in the summer term. A subset of modules is assessed through course work, without an end-of-year examination.

At the beginning of each module, you'll be given information on how and when you'll be assessed for that particular programme of study. You'll receive feedback on each assessment within four weeks, so that you can learn from and build on what you have done. You'll be given feedback on any exams that you take; if you should fail an exam we will ensure that particularly detailed feedback is made available to enable you to learn for the future.

More information about assessment methods and feedback is given below:

  • Feedback - You will be able to track your development by making use of a wide range of types of feedback, such as: written feedback on your assessments, class feedback and questions sessions and discussions with your tutor.
  • Examinations – The formal end-of-year examinations (in May/June of each year) are complemented by course work in the form of essays or reports, data handling or interpretation exercises, poster presentations, seminar presentations, group work and lab reports.
  • Projects and dissertations – You will choose the topic of your project from a wide range of titles. We offer a range of projects including practical work in the laboratory, field work, computer based projects, or literature reviews to give you the chance to demonstrate the full range of academic and transferable skills.

Employability

Graduates of the University of Birmingham are highly regarded among employers in the UK, and a Biosciences with Business Management degree from Birmingham is an excellent qualification for securing your future career in a diverse range of industries and employment sectors. Whether you have a clear idea of where your future aspirations lie or want to consider the broad range of opportunities available, our Careers Network can help you achieve your goal. And once you have a career in your sights, one-to-one support with CVs, interview practice and job applications will further help to give you the edge.

First destinations of University of Birmingham Biosciences graduates six months after graduation

Destinations of Leavers of Higher Education report (DHLE) 2010/11

Advances in the biosciences are having a profound impact on our daily lives in areas from human health to conservation. Biotechnology, biological pharmaceuticals, and personalised medicine are key growth areas in the health sector. Environmental remediation, climate change and related themes pose multi-faceted challenges for the coming decades. Expert knowledge in biology and the life sciences, especially when combined with an understanding of business and enterprise, will be in high demand for the foreseeable future. Indeed, bright prospects for exciting and rewarding careers await you in research, teaching, industry, the NHS and the public sector.

In order to help you build an attractive CV, bursaries from the University can help fund a summer internship in a research laboratory or in a company. Also, you can apply for one of the highly prestigious (and competitive) Alumni Leadership Mentoring or Global Challenge programmes of the University, which provide unique opportunities to see top-notch organisations from an inside perspective. Furthermore, the Personal Skills Award (PSA) scheme gives formal recognition to skills you acquired outside the course, for instance when volunteering for a charity or taking on responsibility within the Guild of Students.

Helping you find the right career

The University and the School of Biosciences provide a range of services to support you in finding a career and to build a CV that stands out from the crowd. During term time, professional career advisers hold weekly drop-in sessions, discussing with you how to prepare a CV and cover letters, the graduate application process and how to explore possible career paths. An annual Biosciences Careers Fair brings employers from the life sciences sector to our School for networking and discussions, while professionals highlight the diverse employment opp ortunities in the life sciences in weekly sessions of the Biosciences Insight Series throughout the term.