School of Biological Sciences

Medical Biology BSc (Hons)

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Course facts

  • UCAS code: C191
  • Bangor code: BSc/MedB
  • Course length: 3 years

Entry requirements

  • 260-320 points including A level Biology and preferably at least AS Chemistry. (Please note, we do not consider Psychology as a science subject for the purposes of study in the field of Biological Sciences.)
  • Irish Leaving Certificate including Biology at Higher level and preferably Chemistry
  • Scottish Highers including Biology at Advanced Higher Level and preferably Chemistry at Higher level
  • Access and BTEC qualifications
  • Mature age students with relevant experience
  • Students will be assessed for transition onto the Masters at the end of Year 2

Medical Biology is the corner stone of modern health care and advanced drug development. On this Medical Biology course you will learn about the cellular and genetic causes of all major disorders (including cancer, psychiatric syndromes, autoimmune diseases, genetic disorders), stem cell biology and drug development. More than 80% of students graduating from a medical focused degree do find employment, or join a Medical School.

Medical Biology is the bridge between basic research and clinical medicine. On this Medical Biology course you will study the human body, how diseases develop and how drugs work. A modern and supportive teaching environment ensures that all students have the opportunity to develop into first class graduates.

The first year provides the foundations in human physiology, cell and molecular biology, microbiology, parasites & pathogens and research skills. The second year offers immunology, clinical biochemistry, blood sciences, medical microbiology, as well as advanced insights into cellular & molecular biology and experimental design.

The third year allows students to engage with cutting-edge research in form of the experimental project and it delivers advanced knowledge in the areas of drug development, medical genetics and cellular causes of disease. It also offers transferrable skills and prepares students for professional life after graduation.

Students can either graduate after three years with a BSc (Hons) in Medical Biology (C191) or they can acquire a Master in Biology (Medical Biology) (C192) by conducting an extended research project in year 4.

Medical Biology is delivered in close collaboration with the North West Cancer Research Fund Institute based at Bangor University, the Neurobiology Group and the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board which is responsible for providing NHS services in North and Mid Wales.

Career Prospects

We aim to produce graduates who will be admirably placed to meet the recruitment needs of future employers in the areas of biotechnology, drug development, clinical research or public health services. Graduates can become involved in intellectual property management, business development, project management or marketing. Medical Biologists are employed by Companies, Cancer Charities, Government Agencies, the NHS and Research Institutes across the world.

For more on studying degree courses see our Study at Bangor section.

Students are required to take 120 credits each year made up of lectures, practicals, research projects, interactive exercises and tutorials. Modules become more specialised as the degree progresses and the number of compulsory modules varies between years. Assessment is by a mixture of formal examination and continuous assessment. Welsh medium modules are also available.

The Master in Biology (Medical Biology, C192) is an extended undergraduate programme which allows students to graduate either with BSc (Hons) at the end of the third year or with a Master at the end of the fourth year. If at the end of the second year a sufficient standard is achieved, then progression onto the Masters year will be permitted following completion of the third year.

The fourth year offers a unique opportunity to conduct an extended research project under the supervision of leading scientists in the field of medical biology. The number of credits is given in brackets after the name of each module. Some modules will include lectures, practicals and interactive exercises.

What will I study?

Year 1

In year one you will carry out a number of compulsory modules to provide you with a good grounding in several important aspects of biology. All of the modules in year 1 are compulsory.

Human Physiology (20): The module will present an overview of mechanical, physical, bioelectrical, and biochemical functions of humans in good health, their organs, and the cells of which they are composed.

Cellular & Molecular Biology (20): This module will cover the chemistry of life, the molecular basis of inheritance and important aspects of cell biology, such as structure and function.

Biomedical Practicals (20): Students will undertake a range of practicals in molecular and cell biology introducing experimental design and data handling. The practicals will coincide with the appropriate subject area in the lecture modules.

Good Laboratory Practice (10): This hands-on module allows students to become familiar with laboratory equipment and modern research methods.

Introduction to Microbiology (10): The module will introduce students to prokaryotic and eukaryotic micro-organisms by outlining their characteristics and structures.

Research Skills (20): The module is aimed at developing a range of skills commonly used by natural scientists, including basic mathematical manipulation, data interpretation, and presentation, experimental design and statistical analysis, IT skills and effective use of the literature.

Parasites & Pathogens (10): The module introduces the parasites and pathogens of the most important diseases and it analyses how and why the pathogens and parasites cause disease.

Tutorials (degree specific) (10): Tutorials will be held by individual members of staff to groups of 6-7 students and involve discussions that are degree specific. Tutorials will develop communication skills.

Year 2

In the second year you will extend and deepen your understanding of medical biology by specialising in clinical aspects of cell biology, genetics, biochemistry and immunology.

Compulsory Modules:

  • Bioscience Skills (20)
  • Molecular Biology & Biochemistry (20)
  • Cell Biology (20)
  • Biochemistry Practicals (20)
  • Haematology & Transfusion (10)
  • Basic Clinical Biochemistry (10)
  • Human Immunology (10)
  • Medical Microbiology (10)

Year 3

The third year includes a major project that may be experimental or take the form of a Literature Review, which is supervised by a member of staff on a subject to suit your interests.

Compulsory Modules:

  • Medical Genetics (10)
  • Drug Development (20)
  • Molecular Causes of Disease (20)
  • Human Immunology & Disease (10)
  • Bio Enterprise & Employability (20)
  • Integrated Reserch Project

Year 4 (Master in Medical Biology)

The Master in Medical Biology is an extended undergraduate programme which allows students to graduate either with BSc (Hons) at the end of the third year or with a Master at the end of the fourth year. Sufficient standard must be achieved at the end of the second year for progression onto the Masters year following completion of the third year.


For the Master degree, the fourth year is dedicated to an individual research project (90 credits), accompanied by 30 taught credits including:

  • Current Life Science Topics (10)
  • Advanced Research Skills (20)

Further information on each module can be found on our website.

Modules for the 2014–15 academic year:

Year 1 Modules

Compulsory Modules

Semester 1
Semester 2

Year 2 Modules

Year 3 Modules

  • Clinical modules are taught by consultants from hospitals in North Wales and by invited guests from other research centres as well as from companies, charities or agencies.
  • Cutting-edge science is integral to our research programmes, and feeds through into the teaching environment. Our expertise in medical biology encompasses studies into cell cycle research, cancer biology, neurobiology anddevelopment, cell and genomebiology.
  • Our excellent facilities include: well equipped cell and molecular research laboratories; and the Robert Edwards Laboratory which has been newly refurbished for practical teaching.
  • Currently, this course is unique in Wales and there are only a few related degrees across the United Kingdom.
  • Students graduating from this degree can join a Medical School.
  • Very good career opportunities in the private sector.
  • We offer a 4 year Master degree in Medical Biology
  • Pleasant and friendly environmentin which to study.

“All the students I interviewed expressed praise for the quality of the teaching and pastoral care provided by the School of Biological Sciences”. EXTERNAL EXAMINER

Contact us:

Mrs Tracey Johnstone, Admissions Administrator, School of Biological Sciences, Bangor University, Gwynedd LL572UW.

Tel: 01248 382527



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