MSci Human Sciences

Duration
4 years
UCAS code
BCL1
Course Type
Undergraduate, Single Honours
Fees
£9,250 (Home - 2022-23)
£24,600 Fee Band 3a (International Students - 2022-23)
More detail

Study for the Human Sciences MSci at Birmingham and you’ll discover an interdisciplinary programme that combines topics including genetics, sociology, psychology, evolutionary biology, biochemistry, neurosciences and anthropology coupled with understanding the past and ongoing impact of the human race and the human condition on ecosystems and the planet.

This 4-year MSci-level course builds on the framework of the 3-year BSc Human Sciences BSc course. It offers the same flexibility and allows you to tailor a programme of study that matches individual interests and goals.

This course particularly emphasises practical training and research skills, as well as the development of transferable skills that can be deployed in a wide range of professional settings. The Masters year, which follows on from the three-year BSc programme creating a fourth year, is devoted to developing research competence through a multi-faceted teaching and research programme. You'll benefit from some of the country's best facilities and technology, being taught by experts in the field renowned the world over for their cutting-edge research.

Why study this course?

  • Innovative interdisciplinary teaching and learning. Human Sciences is an innovative programme that draws on teaching and research expertise from the four Schools that make up the College of Life and Environmental Sciences. As such the course brings a unique and rich interdisciplinary viewpoint to bear on the topics that you will study.
  • Learn from multimodal research performed at different scales. The Schools that collectively deliver this course use very different research approaches reflecting their different disciplines. This programe will provide you with a unique insight to these different approaches, but also what fundamentally unites them and how they can be brought together to address major local and global challenges. You will spend time in individual research groups and laboratories across these different disciplines as well as learning about research exploring large scale multi-million-pound infrastructures.
  • Outstanding employability opportunities. The needs for global action are changing the graduate employment market in real time. New roles are arising in companies from new start-ups to global corporations as well as in agencies (such as WHO, UNICEF, UN), in NGOs, forestry, agriculture, governments, law, education, research, journalism, and broadcasting. This programme has been designed in response to these growing employment needs and will equip you to be able to become one of the next generation of leaders, innovators, policy makers, teachers, and researchers at forefront of tackling global challenges.
  • Opportunity for training in innovation and company start up. Perhaps you may feel that during your studies you have identified a gap in the market and have an idea for a start-up company of your own. An option in the final year is to take modules in learning entrepreneurial skills and entrepreneurial start-up.
  • Glacial Eco-systems Field trip. One of the optional second years modules on offer is a field trip to Norway to study glacial ecosystems and how these are threatened by human global impacts.

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Modules

Please note: You will take 120 credits of modules in each year of study. The modules listed on the website for this programme will be regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2022. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to modules; in this event, we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

Introduction to Human Sciences at Birmingham

Cell Biology & Physiology

Global Environmental Issues A

Global Environmental Issues B

Skills for Human Sciences: Communication and Research Awareness

Personal and Academic Development in Human Sciences

Optional modules (choice of 2)

Ecological Concepts and Plant Sciences

Sport, Exercise and Health Psychology

Cognitive Psychology

Cities in Transition

Genetics I

 

Year 2

Compulsory modules

Exploring Experimental Environments

Foundations of Data Science

Optional modules (choice of 4)

Example optional modules may include:

Cultural and Development Geographies

Environmental Pollution and Management

Evolution of Humans and Other Animals

Microbiology: Medicine, Industry & Environment

Language and Communication

Introduction to Social and Differential Psychology

Alpine and Glacial Ecology in Norway

Environmental Human Geography

Urban Policy Design and Planning Analysis

Critical Issues for 21st Century Ecosystems

Cell and Developmental Biology

Human Structure and Function

Social and Cognitive Development

Genetics II

 

Year 3

Compulsory modules

Students enrolled on the MSci programme undertake either

(i)                  A literature-based project leading to a novel research project proposal (40 credits), or

(ii)                The entrepreneurial skills and start up modules (60 credits in total that includes a literature based research project)

Students must then select the appropriate number of additional optional modules to make up 120 credits suitably balanced over semester one and two.

Optional modules (choice of 3 or 4 depending on project choice)

Example optional modules may include:

Embodiment and the Carceral

Geographies of Childhood and Education

Geographies of the Global South

Exercise as Medicine

Brain Health Across the Lifespan

Higher Cognitive Functions in Children, Adults and Non-human Animals

Cellular Neurobiology

Conservation Practice: Genes to Ecosystems

Climate change in the Earth System

Sport and Mental Health

Metabolic Perspectives in Exercise and Nutrition

Adolescence: Mind and brain

Human Evolution

Politics of Environment

Current developments and advances in Eukaryotic Genetics

 

Fourth year

The Masters year, is devoted to developing research competence through a multi-faceted teaching and research programme. The central element to help you to achieve competence in research is the research project, which extends over both semesters of the year and which takes up about two thirds of the work effort. MSci students negotiate their own project in discussion with staff in the areas that interest them. You will join one of our many research groups, providing the fascinating opportunity to experience research first hand and to contribute to current research projects.

Project work is not limited to the laboratory; some students will do more ecology- based projects involving field work. In addition, MSci students take two bespoke modules: Research developments and scientific communication and Funding Science as well as a module drawn from the specialist modules of the third year.

Fees

Standard Home student fees 2022-23

For UK students beginning their studies in September 2022, the University of Birmingham will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year. The fees for your first year of study will therefore be £9,250. Visit our tuition fees page for more information.

Standard international student fees 2022-23

International fee
Fee Band (Undergraduate) Full-time
Band 3a (Laboratory) £24,600

Learn more about fees and funding 

Scholarships
Learn more about our scholarships and awards

How To Apply

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

Standard offer

International Requirements



Number of A levels required:
3
Typical offer:
AAA
Required subjects and grades:
To include either Biology or Geography and one other science° or Maths. Where a student does not have both Biology and Geography at A level a GCSE (Grade 4 or above) in the non-A level subject will be required.

°Subjects accepted as 'second science': Chemistry, Mathematics (or Further Mathematics or Statistics), Physics, Geography, Geology, Psychology.

Specified subjects excluded for entry: General Studies, Critical Thinking, Citizenship Studies, Applied Science, Communication and Culture, Critical Studies, Global Perspectives, Science in Society and World Development.

BTEC Extended Diploma in Applied Science with sufficient Biology and Chemistry content is only accepted when combined with an A level in a required subject. Grades D*D*D* required in addition to grade B in a required subject A level.

BTEC Diploma accepted when combined with two acceptable A levels.

BTEC Subsidiary Diploma is not accepted.

Access to HE (Science) with sufficient Biology and Chemistry content is considered. Contact Admissions Team for details.

Other qualifications are considered – learn more about entry requirements

Applicants who take the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and meet our offer criteria will be made the typical offer for the programme, plus an alternative offer, which will be one grade lower plus a grade A in the EPQ.

International Students

International Baccalaureate Diploma: 6, 6, 6  in Higher level subjects plus 32 points overall. Higher level subjects need to include the required subjects as defined for the A-level qualification.

Standard English language requirements apply
Learn more about international entry requirements

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

On this course research and teaching go hand-in-hand. The Lecturers and Professors contribute to scholarship in their fields and, as academic teachers, are keen to introduce you to what intrigues them

Blended Learning- Some of the course content will be delivered as recorded ‘lectures’ broken down into informative sections. You can revisit and review parts of these session as needed and they will remain available at the end of each semester to aid revision. This material will be complemented with time tabled weekly face to face session with the staff teaching the content. Often this will take the form of a 'flipped' class, asking you to study a particular topic prior to a session, and using the contact time to explore the topic in more depth through problem solving exercises, question-and-answer sessions or lecturer-led group discussions. Student interaction using discussion boards, social media is expressively encouraged.

Practical classes - Laboratory-based practical work is an integral part of our degree. A typical practical session will last 3 hours, allowing you to complete the work at your own pace. In addition to gaining 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 engage with academic and postgraduate researchers who will help you during these practical sessions.

Other types of learning experience. The course also includes seminar and workshop style learning and teaching sessions. You will have opportunities to spend time getting up close to the research performed across the College of Life and environmental Sciences both in individual research labs but also substantial research facilities.

Support

You will have access to a comprehensive support system to help you make the transition to Higher Education.

Personal tutors - You will be assigned your own personal tutor who will get to know you as you progress through your studies. They will provide academic support and advice to enable you to make the most of your time here at Birmingham.

Wellbeing officers - We have dedicated wellbeing officers who provide professional support, advice and guidance to students across a range of issues. They can meet with you to discuss extensions, disabilities, reasonable adjustments, extenuating circumstances, or talk through any problems you might be experiencing, and help you access wider support on campus and beyond.

Academic Skills Centre - The centre aims to help you become a more effective and independent learner through a range of high-quality support services. The centre offers workshops on a range of topics, such as note-taking, reading, academic writing and presentation skills.

Student experience - Our Student Experience Team will help you get the most out of your academic experience. They will offer research opportunities, study skills support and help you prepare for your post-university careers. They will also organise social events, such as field trips, to help you meet fellow students from your course.

During your first year it is important that you have a smooth transition into university. You will be able to talk to your tutors about this and discuss if there are particular areas where you need support.

Contact Hours

Throughout your degree you can expect an average of about 10-12 hours of contact time per week over the two teaching terms (autumn and spring). This will be made up of lectures, practical laboratory workshops and seminars. The proportion of time spent in each will vary depending on which year you are in and the optional modules you choose.

Studying Human Sciences at Birmingham will provide a unique understanding of complex global problems and their relationship to the human condition. You will be empowered to view these problems in a new way unrestrained by traditional interdisciplinary boundaries bringing a ‘can do attitude’ to the tackling of large scale global and local challenges.

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