Biomedical Science and Biology. Undergraduate Degree Programmes

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1 Biomedical Science and Biology Undergraduate Degree Programmes

2 Biomedical Science and Biology Welcome to Biomedical Science and Biology at Aston You are about to start one of the most exciting experiences of your life becoming a University student. We know that choosing the right course and the right university can be a very stressful experience. We hope that this booklet will provide you with useful information about the Biomedical Science and Biology programmes taught at Aston University, and help you to choose the right programme and the university for you. Please also consider visiting us during one of our Open Days and contact us if you require any further information. Contents Information 4 What makes Aston special? 5 School of Life & Health Sciences 6 BSc in Biomedical Science 6 Career Prospects 12 BSc in Biology 12 Career Prospects 18 Further information 19 Useful information Aston Facts Aston is ranked 25th out of 116 UK Universities in the 2012 Complete University Guide In the key areas of Graduate Prospects and Spending on student facilities Aston University is ranked 16th and 6th respectively out of all UK universities In the annual Sunday Times University Guide, which also ranks Graduate Level employment success, Aston was ranked 10th out of all UK Universities over the last three years. 2 3

3 Biomedical Science and Biology What makes Aston special? School of Life and Health Sciences School of Life and Health Sciences Outstanding graduate employment record Degree programmes at Aston University provide students with cutting edge professional skills to equip them for a career in the modern world. Our programmes have a high reputation with, and are valued by, employers and other stakeholder institutions. Aston University has an outstanding record in graduate employment and for over 20 years has consistently been in the top group of universities in the graduate employment league. Graduates from the School of Life & Health Sciences have excellent career prospects, 88% enter graduate level employment or further study within 6 months of graduating. Student satisfaction According to the 2011 National Student Survey (NSS), our own students rate their experiences highly with an overall satisfaction level of 84%, well above the national average of 77%. Aston also came in top 5 in the UK (NSS) for Personal Development which confirms our aim to inspire our students to succeed through skills development and placement experience alongside academic studies. A sense of community With around 9,000 students Aston is large enough to be lively and diverse, but small enough to have a close-knit and friendly atmosphere. Student accommodation, the Students Guild and other social and sporting facilities are on a single, safe site. The Students Guild oers a wide variety of entertainments, clubs, societies and social events. Outstanding facilities The Aston University campus has modern sporting facilities with two sports centres, a swimming pool and a large gym. There are shops and numerous catering outlets on campus and the facilities of Birmingham city centre are a short walk from the campus. Library and IT facilities are open 7 days a week and the campus has broad internet coverage with wireless internet in all main academic buildings. Our attractive and safe campus, along with our friendly students, makes living in our University residences a very sociable and enjoyable experience. Around 7 million was invested in the refurbishment of many lecture theatres, public areas and laboratories during 2007 and School of Life & Health Sciences The School of Life & Health Sciences (LHS) at Aston is acknowledged as one of the leading centres of health sciences within the UK with an outstanding reputation for teaching and research. There is a huge breadth of academic research undertaken within LHS. The integration of this research with information from lecturers and professors gives students a distinct advantage in having access to the latest trends, thinking, issues and research in their particular field. All our programmes are rated excellent by the quality assurance agency for teaching quality and have high national student survey ratings. I have thoroughly enjoyed my university experience at Aston and studying Biomedical Science has given me the opportunity to further my interest in Science as well as gaining an insight into the medical career path. Biomedical Science is a course that leads to many dierent routes and so even when you graduate you have many opportunities waiting to be discovered. Karen Sandhu Biomedical Science Central location Birmingham is at the centre of the country and the centre of the national road and rail networks and within easy reach of all parts of the UK. In addition, Birmingham International airport is just 10 minutes by train from the centre of the city, making Aston University very accessible. In 2010, a fantastic new development opened which provides 2,400 study bedrooms with en suite accommodation. The new development is part of a range of dierent residence options that are available to our students. This forms part of a 215 million project and represents one of the highest spends per student on facilities and support. Aston University s green and compact campus is situated in the heart of Birmingham, a fantastic student city. All the major shopping and cultural attractions including the Bullring Shopping Centre, National Indoor Arena (NIA), Birmingham Repertory Theatre, restaurants and cafes are just a few minutes walk from the campus. 4 5

4 Biomedical Science and Biology BSc in Biomedical Science What is Biomedical Science? Biomedical Science is a discipline allied to medicine and studies the human body in both health and disease. Biomedical Scientists are highly trained and skilled professionals who undertake laboratory investigations to facilitate the diagnosis of human health and disease. They provide vital information to clinicians, which can influence patient management and treatment. Biomedical Scientists are amongst approximately 50,000 Health Care Scientists who work predominantly in the NHS, often in core Biomedical Science disciplines including Clinical Microbiology, Clinical Biochemistry, Haematology and Blood Transfusion, and Cellular Pathology. Many Biomedical Scientists also choose to work outside of the NHS and use their skills in a broad range of health-related institutions including pharmaceutical and drug companies, universities and Research Councils. Why choose this degree? Aston is ranked 1st out of 77 universities for Subjects Allied to Medicine in the Times and The Guardian League Tables 2011 Emphasis on biomedical and applied aspects of biosciences Accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) Applied Biomedical Science with integrated hospital placement approved by the Health Professions Council (HPC) Close links with local hospitals Research in the School ranked 3rd out of 63 universities in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). The spectrum of duties undertaken by Biomedical Scientists is therefore varied. In the clinical environment for example, investigations range from the diagnosis of disease to rehabilitation engineering. Serious health conditions and potentially lifethreatening conditions including cancer, diabetes, immunological disorders, leukaemia and infections including meningitis, hepatitis and AIDS are just some of the medical conditions they investigate. Biomedical Scientists therefore form a vital component within the NHS and health-related institutions and without them many departments, for example NHS Accident and Emergency and operating theatres, would not be able to function. The successful performance of this key role in modern healthcare relies on the accuracy and eiciency of investigations undertaken by Biomedical Scientists, and patients lives and the treatment of illness depend upon their skill and knowledge. Career prospects Graduates in Biomedical Science leave the University equipped with the essential knowledge and skills required for a variety of career opportunities. Whilst some Biomedical Science graduates choose to undertake careers as HPC-registered Biomedical Scientists within the NHS, others will choose to use their degree as a springboard into one of many scientific or health-related careers including research, pharmaceutics, medical journalism, teaching, medical sales and marketing. 6 7

5 BSc in Biomedical Science Programme Content Biomedical Science BSc honours degree: a qualification for the future A Biomedical Science degree oers a springboard for graduates to work within the NHS and many health-related institutions. The Biomedical Science degree is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS). The IBMS was founded in 1912 and is the professional body for Biomedical Scientists in the United Kingdom. The Institute aims to promote and develop Biomedical Science and currently represents approximately 16,000 members. The aim of professional body accreditation is to ensure that a high quality degree is delivered, which equips the students with modern professional skills and a sound knowledge foundation necessary for suitable employment in the dynamic profession of Biomedical Science. We currently oer a 3-year full-time route to graduation in Biomedical Science, a four year option which includes an integrated one-year hospital placement in the third year (Applied Biomedical Science), and a four-year sandwich option with a placement in an industrial or research laboratory. All routes are fully accredited by the IBMS. Three-year full-time degree without clinical placement The 3-year full-time degree in Biomedical Science without a clinical placement may oer a more favourable route to graduation for those students who wish to study Biomedical Science but do not necessarily wish to practice as Health Professions Council (HPC) registered Biomedical Scientists following graduation, e.g for those graduates wishing to work in other health-related industries such as the pharmaceutical industry. For those students who opt for the 3-year full-time degree and subsequently wish to practice as HPC-registered Biomedical Scientists, an additional Certificate of Competence awarded by the IBMS will need to be achieved following graduation. To achieve the Certificate of Competence the graduate must successfully complete the IBMS training and registration portfolio in an approved clinical laboratory. In this circumstance, the portfolio will be issued to the graduate when subsequently employed as a trainee within the laboratory. The IBMS assesses competency of graduates to practice against HPC Standards of Proficiency and awards the certificate following successful submission of the portfolio. Four-year integrated degree with clinical placement The integrated clinical placement takes place between the second and final academic years in an appropriate NHS laboratory. Students who gain such a placement will transfer from the Biomedical Science programme to the Applied Biomedical Science programme at the end of year two. Please note the availability of NHS placements is not guaranteed, that they are currently limited in number and they are allocated in competition. You will have to undergo an enhanced Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check and will have to pay for occupational health checks. The clinical placement in the approved laboratory allows students to complete the IBMS Training and Registration portfolio in the third year of the degree course. By undertaking this route, graduates are eligible to apply to the HPC for registration as Biomedical Scientists as soon as they receive their University degree. Placements on the 4-year Sandwich option in Industrial or Research Laboratories are also available but do not lead to eligibility to register with the HPC on graduation. Demonstrating the presence of self-reactive antibodies: green fluorescence staining of nuclei indicates the presence of anti-nuclear antibodies in a sample of serum. 8 9

6 BSc in Biomedical Science First Year Second Year Final Year Biomedical Science students study up to 9 modules each year equating to 120 credits. Each module comprises approximately 100 learning hours which includes lectures, tutorials, practical classes, directed student-centred learning and preparation for coursework assignments and examinations. The following modules are subject to change each academic year. Microbiology I : provides the student with an introduction to bacterial physiology, pathogenicity, infectious diseases and clinical microbiology, and to parasites and fungi which cause disease in man. Biochemistry: provides the student with an overview of the structure of biological macromolecules and the small molecules from which they are assembled. Physiology: provides students with a theoretical and practical approach to the physiology of nerves and the nervous system, muscle, brain, endocrine glands, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, blood, kidneys, gastrointestinal tract and digestion. Inheritance and Population Genetics: examines the modes of inheritance of the gene. This module also introduces students to some of the underlying principles of population genetics Development and Human Anatomy: reviews the principles and foundation elements of embryology and study of human anatomy. Molecular Biology: provides students with a basic introduction to the nature, properties, structure, function and replication of genes. Introductory Immunology: provides the student with a basic understanding of the immune system as an integrated system of tissues, cells and molecules. This module also explores the cellular and molecular basis of immunity and examines how these may be controlled. Cell Biology: provides a basic introduction to cellular components and processes involved in the birth, life and death of cells. Biomedical Key Skills: comprises a series of academic tutorials with a personal tutor and a series of workshops (and external lectures) on Biomedical Science and career management. This module also provides the student with an opportunity to develop core skills including communication, numerical and IT skills and also explores the importance of team work, self analysis and problem solving. Microbiology II: Covers microorganisms of medical importance including Gram-positive, Gram-negative and intracellular bacteria from the perspective of clinical manifestations, microbial pathogenesis; infection control and prevention. Metabolism: provides the student with an understanding of major pathways of intermediary metabolism and their integration and regulation. Molecular Genetics: describes the molecular basis for the regulation of gene transcription and presents the key techniques in gene manipulation. Biomedical Technology: provides an insight to the importance of biotechnology and commercial biology including fermentation, large scale microbial culture, antibiotic production and tissue culture. Nutrition and Dietetics: provides the student with the basic concepts in human nutrition and dietetics including macronutrients, obesity, vitamins and minerals, food allergy and diabetes. Endocrinology: provides a detailed study of the endocrine system, extending and developing information covered in earlier parts of the course. Human Physiology: provides a detailed study of the mechanisms and processes through which the body achieves and maintains homeostasis. Molecular Pathology: examines some of the molecular mechanisms involved in cell growth, dierentiation, maturation and senescence, and illustrates how these processes are altered in disease. Immunology II: develops deeper understanding of the immune system as an integrated system of tissues, cells and molecules. Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease: provides a comprehensive view of the pathogenesis and diagnosis of infectious disease within the community and hospital setting. Food Microbiology: provides a study of the relationship between food and health including the scientific, technical and manufacturing factors which influence food quality and safety. Haematology/Transfusion Science: provides an in depth study of the pathophysiology of haematological disorders. Cellular Pathology: provides students with a comprehensive overview of the current practice of diagnostic cellular pathology and histological techniques. Medical Biochemistry: provides a detailed study of the application of chemical and biochemical methods to the study of disease. Biological Basis of Human Disease: considers the basic biological principles underlying the development of diseases in man including obesity, cancer, motor neurone diseases, growth disorders, disease of the heart, liver, lungs, gastrointestinal tract and kidneys. Biomedical Research Project: provides the student with the opportunity to undertake a laboratory-based research project under the supervision of an academic member of sta within the school of Life & Health Sciences. Applied Molecular Biology: provides in-depth explanations of genetic engineering techniques and their applications. Immunology III: builds on information learnt in the first and second years. Biomedical Key Skills II: builds on key skills learnt in the first year. Focusses on personal and professional development, group work, scientific communication and preparation for the placement year. Biomedical Key Skills III: reviews the structure and function of the NHS including people, places and funding

7 Biomedical Science and Biology BSc Programmes in Biology Programme Content What is Biology? Why choose this degree? Programme Content Biology, derived from the Greek words bios (life) and logos (reasoned account) is the study of life, from the simplest organism to the complexity of the human species. It can be studied at several levels ranging from molecular interactions at a sub-cellular level to cellular interactions at a tissue level, or even the interactions of whole organisms at a population level. Biology therefore encompasses many academic fields that may be regarded as individual disciplines. For example, disciplines including microbiology, immunology, biochemistry, molecular biology, molecular genetics and cell biology study life at the cellular and molecular level, whilst human evolution and physiology explore life on a multicellular scale. In combination, however, these disciplines intertwine to form Biology, the scientific study of life, in both health and disease. Emphasis on human and applied aspects of Biology Paid professional placement opportunities in a wide range of health, medical and commercial settings Strong links with the industry Top ten for Anatomy and Physiology in the Guardian University Guide 2011 Consistently high levels of student satisfaction according to the National Student Survey (NSS) Research in the School ranked 3rd out of 63 universities in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise. Strong record of graduate employment and postgraduate research success for Aston Biology students New MBiol four-year Integrated Master s degree to be introduced in Transfer from existing Biology programmes will be possible up to the end of year 2 subject to performance. Careers prospects Graduate employment for Biology students mirrors the success of Aston University as a whole. We believe that the integration of our teaching with research and a high standard of practical tuition, coupled with the generic skills we impart, enable our graduates to enter a wide range of professional careers. The University Careers Service provides comprehensive support for all students past and present who are seeking employment % of our graduates go into research, while others enter a wide range of careers in health, welfare and the biological industries. In addition to scientific positions some graduates enter general management and personnel work as well as product development and marketing. There are currently four BSc Honours programmes available at Aston University which are oered as 3-year full-time degrees or as 4-year sandwich degrees with an industrial placement. These modern degree programmes are specifically designed to promote an awareness of the application of biological knowledge to human health and welfare, and to equip students with the skills necessary to succeed in a continually changing dynamic subject. The four programmes are: Biological Sciences Cell and Molecular Biology Human Biology Microbiology and Immunology After a common and broadly based first and second year you will choose topics for specialisation in your final year. In the first term of the final year you will choose five modules to study in depth. Students of Biological Sciences will have a wide choice from amongst the final year modules listed under Programme Content. Human Biologists will concentrate on modules such as Human Physiology, Stem Cell Biology and Cancer Biology. Students of Microbiology and Immunology will focus on areas such as Immunology, Food Microbiology and Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease. Students of Cell and Molecular Biology will specialise in modules such as Cell Biology, Applied Molecular Biology and Cell Biology of Cancer Metastasis. The second term is devoted to a research project which is supervised by an individual member of the academic sta.????????????? Students on all Biology programmes can choose to undertake a 3-year degree or a 4-year sandwich degree with industrial placement. The sandwich degree involves a 12-month professional work placement between the second and final years of the degree. This oers students the opportunity to gain valuable experience and set their studies in the context of a working environment alongside professional biologists. Our recent placements have been with research institutes, breweries, the food industry, pharmaceutical companies (e.g. AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline), clinical trials, medical sales and biotechnology companies. Students undertaking the sandwich degree are often better organised, more confident and motivated and have improved academic performance when they graduate. The Biology Placement Tutor will help you find a suitable industrial placement and oer support and advice if you choose to undertake the sandwich degree option. Furthermore, during your placement you will be visited by a designated member of the academic sta on two occasions to discuss your industrial experience

8 BSc Programmes in Biology First Year Biology students study up to 9 modules per year. Each module comprises approximately 100 learning hours which include lectures, tutorials, practical classes, directed studentcentred learning and preparation for coursework assignments and examinations. The following modules are subject to change each academic year. Molecular Biology: provides students with a basic introduction to the nature, properties, structure, function and replication of genes. Physiology: provides students with a theoretical and practical approach to the physiology of nerves and the nervous system, muscle, brain, endocrine glands, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, blood, kidneys, gastro-intestinal tract and digestion. Microbiology I: provides the student with an introduction to bacterial physiology, pathogenicity, infectious diseases and clinical microbiology and to parasites and fungi that cause disease in man. Inheritance and Population Genetics examines the modes of inheritance of the gene. This module also introduces students to some of the underlying principals of population genetics. Development and Human Anatomy: reviews the principles and foundation elements of embryology and the study of human anatomy. Biochemistry: provides the student with an overview of the structure of biological macromolecules and the small molecules from which they are assembled. Key Skills I: comprises a series of academic tutorials with a personal tutor and a series of workshops on career management and IT skills. Cell Biology: provides a basic introduction to cellular components and processes involved in the birth, life and death of cells. Introductory Immunology: provides the student with a basic understanding of the immune system as an integrated system of tissues, cells and molecules. Second Year Immunology: develops deeper understanding of the immune system as an integrated system of tissues, cells and molecules. Molecular Genetics: describes the molecular basis for the regulation of gene transcription and presents the key techniques in gene manipulation. Biotechnology: provides an insight to the importance of biotechnology and commercial biology including fermentation, large scale microbial culture, antibiotic production and tissue culture. Metabolism: provides the student with an understanding of major pathways of intermediary metabolism and their integration and regulation. Nutrition and Dietetics: provides the student with the basic concepts in human nutrition and dietetics including macronutrients, obesity, vitamins and minerals, food allergy and diabetes. Molecular Pathology: examines some of the molecular mechanisms involved in cell growth, dierentiation, maturation and senescence and illustrates how these process are altered in disease. Endocrinology: provides a detailed study of the endocrine system, extending and developing information covered in earlier parts of the course. Key Skills II: provides the student with an opportunity to develop core skills including communication, numerical and IT skills and also explores the importance of team work, self analysis and problem solving. Microbiology II Covers microorganisms of medical importance including Gram-positive, Gram-negative and intracellular bacteria from the perspective of clinical manifestations, microbial pathogenesis; infection control and prevention

9 BSc Programmes in Biology Final Year In the final year you will choose five modules to study in depth. The particular combination of modules chosen will determine whether you are awarded a degree in Human Biology, Microbiology and Immunology, Cell and Molecular Biology or Biological Sciences. The second term is devoted to a research project which is supervised by an individual member of the academic sta. Modules oered in the final year are: Human Physiology: provides a detailed study of the mechanisms and processes through which the body achieves and maintains homeostasis. Immunology: explores the cellular and molecular basis of immunity and examines how these may be controlled. Food Microbiology: provides a study of the relationship between food and health including the scientific, technical and manufacturing factors which influence food quality and safety. Applied Molecular Biology: provides in-depth explanation of genetic engineering techniques and their applications. Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease: provides an overview of microbiology and infectious diseases within the community and hospital setting and methods of diagnosing infection. Cell Biology: investigates current models of how proteins regulate and execute the cellular process of dierentiation, migration, protein traicking, synapse formation and vesicle release. Medical Biochemistry: provides a detailed study of the application of chemical and biochemical methods to the study of disease. Toxicology: informs the student of the basis of the toxicity of xenobiotic compounds including drugs and environmental toxins. Cell Biology of Cancer Metastasis: provides an insight into the organisation of the cell cytoskeleton and how modification of this structure leads to changes in migratory properties that occur when cells become malignant. Bioethics: considers ethical issues related to social factors, healthcare and research in the biological arena. Biological Basis of Human Disease: considers the basic biological principals underlying the development of diseases in man including obesity, Parkinson s disease, motor neurone diseases, growth disorders, disease of the heart, liver, lungs, gastrointestinal tract and kidneys. Cancer Biology: considers the causes of cancer, its detection, prevention and treatment from the perspective of a Human Biologist. Stem Cell Biology: Develops a basic understanding of what a stem cell is and of how stem cells are being developed as research tools and medicines

10 Biomedical Science and Biology Further information Useful information Assessment We use a range of assessment methods although the typical pattern is coursework and an end of year examination. Examinations generally take the form of unseen essay questions, although in some modules, early in the course some use is also made of short answer and multiple choice questions. Coursework assessments take many forms and could include: essays, reports of individual and group practical assignments, oral presentations and laboratory reports. We specifically encourage team working in some assignments in which there will be peer assessments where you will assess the contribution of your colleagues and vice versa. Student support Biomedical Science and Biology students are allocated a personal tutor who stays with them throughout their time at Aston. The tutor can provide both academic and pastoral guidance. You will also receive regular academic tutorials by dierent members of sta and there is a Year Tutor who manages each year of the course and who can address individual problems. We also have a sta-student consultative committee which has representatives from each year of the course, as well as academic and support sta representatives. This committee meets twice per term to identify problem areas and suggest solutions. The University also oers student mentoring schemes, a library. Learning Development Centre and a range of student support services including a Guild of Students Advice Centre and a University Health Centre with an NHS surgery and Counselling Service. Students with disabilities Aston University is committed to assisting students with disabilities and additional support needs to study and enjoy student life as independently as possible. We are continually making eorts to improve our facilities and services. The Disability and Additional Needs Unit (DANU) coordinates support for students at the university who have physical, sensory or hidden disabilities, mental health or specific learning diiculties. They oer a confidential service and can give advice on disability related issues and practical support. Easy access from wherever you live Aston University is right in the heart of Birmingham, Britain s second city, and it is easy to get to whether you come by car, coach, train or air. For directions and maps, please visit: Open days Aston hosts major open days in summer and autumn each year as well as campus tours at other times of the year. UCAS applicants who receive an oer are invited to subject based open days between December and March during the UCAS process. For more information, please visit: Application process All applications must be made through UCAS: Disclaimer We have taken great care in compiling the information contained in this brochure, which is accurate at the time of going to press. The provision of courses, admission requirements and other arrangements described in the prospectus are regularly reviewed and may be subject to change without notice. Any changes will be incorporated in subsequent additions

11 LHS Admissions School of Life & Health Sciences Aston University Aston Triangle Birmingham B4 7ET UK Tel: +44 (0) Fax: +44 (0) Copyright 2011 Aston University. All rights reserved. Designed by Glued

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