Course specification and structure
Undergraduate Course Structures Postgraduate Course Structures

UDNSCBFY - BSc (Hons) Natural Sciences (Biology) (including foundation year)

Course Specification


Validation status Validated
Highest award Bachelor of Science Level Honours
Possible interim awards
Total credits for course 480
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School School of Human Sciences
Subject Area Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Part-time 6 YEARS 8 YEARS
Full-time 4 YEARS 8 YEARS
Course leader  

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

This course enables students to maintain a breadth of science subjects not afforded by a typical Biology degree, reflecting the increasingly multidisciplinary nature of scientific research and enterprise. Consequently, this breadth of scientific knowledge and related technical and transferable skills and competencies will equip students to progress to further study in various post-graduate degree programmes or into several areas of the biological, biochemical or pharmaceutical industries. The increased flexibility within this course allows students to more easily tailor their module pathway towards a unique degree suited to their personal interests and future employment.

The BSc course in Natural Sciences (Including Foundation Year) provides detailed theoretical and practical education in the fundamental aspects of physical, chemical and biological sciences, and more in-depth practical and technical aspects of the natural sciences. The material will be delivered by a range of mechanisms designed to allow the student to maximise the use of their preferred learning style (traditional lecture/tutorial sessions, guided independent learning, use of IT-based material such as VLOs, peer-assisted sessions).

Utilisation of the University’s VLE, WebLearn has become an invaluable tool with which to disseminate information and to support and assess student learning. Online progress tests will be used to provide students with feedback on their progress. Exams in several modules are delivered as online exams. Feedback will be delivered online and through provision of tutorial question and answer sessions and other formative exercises.

Practical skills exercises at each level are used to monitor proficiency at experimental work. Assessment of data handling skills are embedded in practical reports, problem solving exercises, information abstracting and reviewing exercises, poster presentations and seminar presentations.

The level 6 Research Project provides the ultimate measure of experimental and other practical skills. The excellent Science Centre provides an unrivalled facility in which to carry out the level 6 Research Project module. BSc project assessment will culminate in the presentation of a dissertation and a viva exam, designed to allow the student to demonstrate their depth of knowledge and understanding.

Students have access to the Learning Centre situated on the North campus. This has recently been comprehensively refurbished. It provides specific group study areas as well as access to a comprehensive and regularly reviewed range of textbooks, journals and online learning resources. In addition, there are ‘all access’ areas on the ground floor of the Tower building, the green lounge in Benwell Road and the newly fitted interactive teaching spaces in the Roding building. These areas come with comfortable seating and IT facilities.

This four-year course includes a Foundation Year (level three) which introduces students to the fundamentals of science to enable them to study Natural Sciences at level four. It makes no assumptions about prior scientific study. Students will gain a solid grounding in biology, chemistry, biochemistry and numeracy relevant to these subject areas. Practical sessions in the Science Centre help students gain proficiency at experimental work, and are delivered within PR3001 (Scientific Studies).

Course aims

The programme aims to provide students with biological and biochemical knowledge and practical skills, as well as the ability to solve theoretical and practical problems especially at the interface between Biology and Chemistry. The range of knowledge and the variety of skills are a preparation for further study in Biology, Chemical Biology or multi-disciplinary areas within the Natural Sciences where Biology forms a primary component. The course aims to enhance the intellectual and practical skills necessary for the collection, analysis, interpretation and understanding of biochemical data in order to produce value in future employment. More generally, the course aims to develop an awareness of the ethical implications of modern scientific work and develop skills of self-evaluation and analysis to enhance career development.

Course learning outcomes

On the BSc Natural Sciences (Biology), the QAA outcomes for Biosciences and Chemistry have been referred to generate the generic area(s) for each specific outcome.
The learning outcomes for the BSc Natural Sciences (Biology) course are indicated below.
By the end of the course the student is expected to have developed:
1. A knowledge and understanding of the physical and chemical properties of elements and compounds and the ability to analyse critically how they react and interact on a molecular basis;
2. A knowledge and understanding of analytical techniques and the ability to apply them in the collection and analyses of biochemical data, and the structural determination/composition of a chemical compound, including regards to validity, accuracy, calibration, precision and reproducibility;
3. The practical and analytical skills necessary to safely carry out, interpret results, and draw conclusions from, experimental work such as might be required of a competent professional within the areas of biology, chemistry or biochemistry;
4. Higher order skills that are reflected in their ability to construct logical and reasoned arguments to support their position on the social and ethical impact of advances in biochemistry;
5. A knowledge of the diversity of cell types, and an understanding of the relationship between cellular structure and function, and of the mechanisms by which individual cells interact in complex organs and multicellular organisms;
6. An understanding of the structure and chemical function of biological molecules, of information storage, transfer and processing in living systems and of metabolic processes and their control;
7. The ability to analyse different situations and devise approaches to solving problems showing a high level of understanding and reasoning, incorporating the skills of self-reflection and self-management, to offer their own interpretation of provided information;
8. The analytical skills to provide a realistic assessment of their own level of achievement and devise strategies for ensure their personal development is fitted to their career goals.
9 The ability to communicate a subject clearly and accurately orally, and in a variety of forms of written English;
10. Employ a full range of investigative skills which can be applied to any set task; use analytical and reviewing skills in order to produce accurate summaries based on a body of literature.
11. An appreciation of the fundamental concepts in biology, chemistry, biochemistry and
numeracy.

Course learning outcomes / Module cross reference

Scientific Studies PR3001
Biology PR3002
Chemistry PR3003
Biochemistry PR3007
Laboratory Science CY4001
General Chemistry CY4051
Concepts in Chemistry CY4005
Biochemistry CY4052
Cell and Molecular Biology CY4003
Analytical Science CY5007
Inorganic Chemistry CY5009
Physical Chemistry CY5010
Molecular Biology BE5060
Metabolism BE5058
Principles of Pharmacodynamics and Drug Actions CY5011A
Microbiology BE5059
Human Immunity BE5061
Parasitology BC5052
Research Project BC6P01
Advanced Physical Chemistry CY6059
Toxicology BE6057
Advanced Inorganic Chemistry CY6010A
Systems Pharmacology CY6051
Bioinformatics & Molecular Modelling BE6056
Neuropharmacology CY6065
Medical Genetics CY6055
Advanced Bioanalytical Science CY6061
Ethics for Science BC5K55
Work Placement CY6W54

Learning Outcomes LO 1 - LO 11

Principle QAA benchmark statements

Chemistry

Assessment strategy

Students are assessed through a variety of methods including problem solving exercises, in-class test, data analysis, practical reports, case studies, oral presentations, extended essays, examinations, research project interim report, oral examination and dissertation.

Practical skills are summatively assessed through coursework assignments, including those in the project module. Data handling skills are summatively assessed by practical reports, problem solving exercises, oral presentations and examinations.

Formative assessments include group activities in tutorial classes, mini-tests and project workshops.

Organised work experience, work based learning, sandwich year or year abroad

The course includes the option to take either a 15 credit Work Placement module at level 6. Students must be advised on funding implications of extending their course to five years.

Course specific regulations

Exemption from UG Awards Framework has been granted regarding Level 5 delivery (2x30 credits plus 4x15 credits).

Modules required for interim awards

The cores for the award of BSc (Hons) are listed in course structure section. For intermediate awards, any combination of the modules from the course spec would be appropriate.

Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development

During the induction phase of the programme students will be introduced to structured reflection on their development of Undergraduate Skills which constitute much as the substance of personal development planning. Students will undertake to produce their personal development plan (PDP) during their undergraduate career or in the workplace. PDP can include other activities outside of the academic aspect of university life.

PDP is designed to allow students to articulate the skills developed during their undergraduate career and encourages them to critically reflect on their learning experience, to set new personal and academic goals and evaluate progress made in achieving those goals. PDP activities will be specifically incorporated into core modules on the course to ensure all students undertake reflective practises throughout their course of study.

Progress with Undergraduate Skills will be articulated to students as the programme progresses through feedback from tutors and peers enabling them to reflect on their progress based on the evidence available. This process assists students in developing as independent learners, identifying their strengths and weaknesses. This will be of benefit throughout their future career. One module at each level will be used to specifically develop employability and reflective activities. At level 4 this is CY4001 – Laboratory science and at level 5, CY5007 – Analytical Science. At level 6, BC6P01 – the research project module is used – which requires research of the topic, planning and executing practical activities, analysis of results and re-evaluation of the direction of the work provides an appropriate forum to emphasise the importance of reflection and of the skills (both transferable and subject-specific) gained during the course.

Students at all levels will take part in tutorials designed to facilitate discussion on what has been learnt in order that reflective learning will contribute to identifying objectives, success criteria, and action plans that can be included in PDPs.

Career, employability and opportunities for continuing professional development

There is a wide range of career opportunities relating to the natural sciences, or postgraduate studies, which students can enter on completion of the course. Employment opportunities include research and development in the biochemical industry, education and healthcare, with roles such as developer, lab technician. The analytical and communication skills developed on the course are also in demand in non-science-based careers such as teaching, journalism and marketing.

Career opportunities

A degree in science can lead to a wide range of hugely rewarding careers, with opportunities to work in biological research, public health laboratories and hospitals, as well as a wide range of other industries.

Entry requirements

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • at least one A level (or a minimum of 32 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg BTEC Subsidiary/National/BTEC Extended Diploma)
  • English Language and Mathematics GCSEs at grade C (grade 4) or above (or equivalent eg Functional Skills at Level 2) – if you meet the UCAS points criteria but have obtained a D (grade 3) in English and/or Maths at GCSE you may be offered a University test in these areas

To study a degree at London Met, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. If you require a Tier 4 student visa you may need to provide the results of a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

If you need (or wish) to improve your English before starting your degree, the University offers a Pre-sessional Academic English course to help you build your confidence and reach the level of English you require.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2019/20 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 16 Aug 2019 Last validation date 16 Aug 2019  
Sources of funding HE FUNDING COUNCIL FOR ENGLAND
JACS codes
Route code NSCBFY

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 03 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
PR3001 Scientific Studies Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR FRI AM
          NORTH SPR+SUM TUE AM
PR3002 Biology Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR TUE AM
          NORTH SPR+SUM MON PM
PR3003 Chemistry Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR TUE PM
          NORTH SPR+SUM WED AM
PR3007 Biochemistry Core 30        

Stage 1 Level 03 January start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
PR3001 Scientific Studies Core 30 NORTH SPR+SUM TUE AM
PR3002 Biology Core 30 NORTH SPR+SUM MON PM
PR3003 Chemistry Core 30 NORTH SPR+SUM WED AM
PR3007 Biochemistry Core 30        

Stage 2 Level 04 October start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
CY4001 Laboratory Science Core 30        
CY4003 Cell and Molecular Biology Core 30        
CY4005 Concepts in Chemistry Core 30        
CY4051 General Chemistry Core 15 NORTH AUT THU AM
CY4052 Biochemistry Core 15        

Stage 3 Level 05 Not currently offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
BE5060 Molecular Biology Core 15        
CY5007 Analytical Science Core 30        
CY5009 Inorganic Chemistry Alt Core 30        
CY5010 Physical Chemistry Alt Core 30        
BC5052 Parasitology Option 15        
BE5058 Metabolism Option 15        
BE5059 Microbiology Option 15        
BE5061 Human Immunity Option 15        
CY5011A Principles of Pharmacodynamics and Drug Actions Option 15        

Stage 4 Level 06 Not currently offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
BC6P01 Project Core 30        
CY6010A Advanced Inorganic Chemistry Alt Core 15        
CY6059 Advanced Physical Chemistry Alt Core 15        
BC5K55 Ethics for Science Option 15        
BE6056 Bioinformatics & Molecular Modelling Option 15        
BE6057 Toxicology Option 15        
CY6051 Systems Pharmacology Option 15        
CY6055 Natural Products Option 15        
CY6061 Advanced Bioanalytical Science Option 15        
CY6065 Neuropharmacology Option 15        
CY6W54 Work Placement Option 15