Our Human Biology degree course draws on our research expertise in this area. The flexible modular course structure will allow you to tailor your programme in the second and final year of study to suit individual interests and ambitions. The course particularly emphasises practical training, as well as the development of transferable skills that can be deployed in a wide range of professional settings.
The first year modules are designed to give you a broad and balanced view of modern biology. They will develop from what you have learned at school but you will soon be learning new material.
All Human Biology students take the same modules in the first year, irrespective which version of the course they are on.
At this stage you begin to tailor the degree towards your own particular interests. In addition to the core modules you choose four specialist modules. If you are enrolled in BSc Human Biology with Professional Placement, you will take the first steps to prepare for your placement year.
Central to final year studies is the research project, which makes up one-third of the year. We offer you the opportunity to join one of our research groups, of which there are almost 60, providing the fascinating opportunity to experience research first hand and to contribute to current research projects in the department. Project work can also involve an extended review of current research literature in a given area, or a computer-based project.
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.
You will encounter a broad range of topics on our courses, ranging from studies on the three-dimensional structure of individual molecules through to the study of whole ecosystems. 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.
Specialist field courses for those involved in the study of animals, plants and ecological aspects are also available. You also have the opportunity to study part of the course abroad or in industry.
2013 National Student Survey "96% of students said that overall they were satisfied with the quality of our Biology and Related Sciences courses"
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.
When you study human biology you will focus on aspects of biology which are most relevant to our own species. You will study genetics, physiology, cell biology, evolution and development.
The flexible modular structure allows you to follow your specific interests in Human Biology. Following a first year, where all modules compulsory, you will enjoy an increasing level of choice in the second and final years of the course, as described below.
For more detailed descriptions of individual modules download Human Biology Module Descriptions (PDF 385KB).
All Human Biology students take the same modules in the first year.
Beth Pattle, first year student "I chose human biology because I really felt that I wanted to specialise after previously studying a wide spectrum of topics at A level. I have thoroughly enjoyed my first year; it is hard work butvery rewarding."
In the second year you have a combination of core modules and elective modules.
Molecular Biology and its Applications
Human Evolution, Adaptation and Behaviour
Communication and Skills in Biosciences
Optional modules - choose 4 from
Cell and Developmental Biology
Microbes and Man
Topics in Medical Biosciences
Animal Sensory Systems, Neurobiology and Behaviour
Membranes, Energy and Metabolism
The final year is made up of a combination of taught modules and independent study. Our Human Biology students also have the option of joining in our Field Course in Florida.
Choose from these options: Laboratory project, literature review project, computer-based project (or field course).
Optional modules - choose 4 from:
Human Reproductive Biology and Development
Mechanisms of Toxicity and Human Disease Processes
Molecular Basis of Bacterial Infection
Molecular and Cellular Immunology
Genetics III: Genetic Variation in Humans and other Eukaryotes
Eukaryotic Gene Expression
Advanced Topics in Animal Behaviour
Whole-Organism Biology: from genes to behaviour and ecology
Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Fees and funding
Number of A levels required: 3
Typical offer: AAB-ABB
Required subjects and grades: Biology/Human Biology A level and one other from Chemistry, Computer Science, Environmental Studies, Geography, Geology, ICT, Maths, Physics, Psychology or Sports Studies/PE.
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.
GCSE requirements: Five GCSEs at grade C (minimum) including English and Mathematics and grade B in Chemistry (or Double Award/Integrated Science) if Chemistry is not offered at A or AS Level.
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 Baccalaureate Diploma: 34-35 points excluding bonus points from TOK and Extended Essay. 6, 5, 5 at HL to include Biology and one other science at HL. 5 points in each of SL English and Maths if not offered at GCSE or equivalent.
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
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.