Undergraduate School

Applied Biology

C110 BSc Applied Biology
C111 MBiol, BSc Applied Biology (Integrated Masters)

Applied Biology looks at the study of how fundamental biological knowledge is put to use.

Society of BiologyLeeds, with one of the UK's largest and most diverse biology teaching groups, is well equipped to deliver a top class degree programme.

Applied Biology (Integrated Masters) - has received interim accreditation by the Society of Biology.

This course offers:   

  • exciting and diverse contemporary topics such as parasitology, animal nutrition and metabolism, sustainable food production, animals as pests, human genetics, animal developmental biology and how plants work.
  • a superb location for study sites: North Yorkshire Moors, Yorkshire Dales, Peak District and the Lake District are all nearby
  • Leeds University Farm for project and fieldworkPig development Centre
  • a Faculty ranked 4th in the UK by the leading scientific journal ‘Nature*’
  • Leading research centres including the National Pig Development Centre and The Centre for Plant Sciences
  • Staff contribute to research in The Centre for Plant Sciences a dynamic research environment for plant research in the areas of cell biology, developmental biology, gene expression, epigenetics, biotechnology and crop science
  • Other research is undertaken through the Africa College international research partnership working to improve the lives of the millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa by the sustainable enhancement of their food and nutritional security.

 

 

*based on the numbers of staff producing research that was “world leading or internationally excellent”

Applied Biology

Greenhouse experiment Applied Biology is the study of how fundamental biological knowledge is put to use. Much that we now take for granted around us, from food to medicines to our environment, involves the applications of biology. Everyone has heard of GM foods, embryonic stem cells, global warming. But how will findings in Biology influence our lives in the future?

Applied Biology graduates will have a key part to play in delivering the benefits of the considerable current financial investment in biological research.

Real life examples from the work of the Leeds team include helping find answers to hunger and malnutrition in Africa, helping reduce pesticide use and misuse in India and Uganda and working with UK animal feed manufacturers to research and advise on pig nutrition.

Why study Applied Biology?

Petri Dish Applied biology provides an excellent understanding of all the aspects of basic biology. It concentrates on how this knowledge can then be implemented for practical purposes. Many issues arise in society related to aspects of biology such as genetics, disease and food security. Such issues can be addressed by the implementation of our scientific understanding within the relevant areas of Applied Biology. Applied Biology can make a dramatic impact on society. At the undergraduate level this course has a focus on issues such as health, plant biotechnology, animal production systems and nutrition, crop protection.

Entry Requirements

2014 entry requirements

BSc Applied Biology - UCAS code C110

A Level or Advanced Higher: AAA-ABB from 3 A2/Advanced Higher including Biology and preferably another science or science-related subject. If Biology is the only science subject then an A grade is required. Critical Thinking and General Studies excluded

We consider applications on an individual basis and an offer will depend on the information given on your UCAS form. Applications are assessed from a combination of the following; the balance, nature and quality of A2, AS and GCSE subjects (or equivalents); the referee's comments and your personal statement.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF): DDD in Applied Science, including distinctions the following units: Fundamentals of Science, Mathematical Calculations for Science, Biochemistry and Biochemical Techniques, Genetics and Genetic Engineering, Chemistry for Biology Technicians.

International Baccalaureate: 35 to 34 (with 18-16 at higher level) including 6 in higher level Biology and another science or science-related subject at higher level.

Irish Leaving Certificate: AAAAAB-AAABBB including an A in HL Biology and another science or science-related subject at HL.

Scottish Higher: Scottish Highers not accepted on their own.

Cambridge Pre-U: D3/D3/D3-D3/M2/M2 including Pre-U Biology plus one other science or science-related subject.

Science subjects: Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Physics.
Science- related subjects: Computing, Environmental Science, Food Science, Geography, Geology, ICT, P.E, Psychology, Science in Society, Statistics and Sports Science.

BSc (Hons) Applied Biology with Industrial Placement

If you are interested in this programme, apply via UCAS for the standard BSc programme above. We will provide you with further details of the placement and study abroad schemes in year one, and you can transfer at the end of year two (subject to academic performance).

Read more about Industrial Placements

BSc (Hons) Applied Biology with Study Year Abroad

If you are interested in this programme, apply via UCAS for the standard BSc programme above. We will provide you with further details of the placement and study abroad schemes in year one, and you can transfer at the end of year two (subject to academic performance).

Read more about Study Year Abroad

MBiol, BSc Applied Biology (Integrated Masters) - UCAS code C111

A Level or Advanced Higher: AAA from 3 A2/Advanced Higher including Biology and another science or science-related subject. Critical Thinking and General Studies excluded.

International Baccalaureate: 35 (18 at higher level) including 6 in higher level Biology and another science or science-related subject at higher level.

Irish Leaving Certificate: AAAAAB including an A in higher level Biology and another science or science-related subject at higher level.

Scottish Higher: Scottish Highers not accepted on their own.

Cambridge Pre-U: D3/D3/D3 including Pre-U Biology plus one other science or science-related subject.

Applications are assessed from a combination of the following; the balance, nature and quality of A2, AS and GCSE subjects (or equivalents); the referee's comments and your personal statement.

Science subjects: Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Physics.
Science- related subjects: Computing, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, ICT, P.E, Psychology, Science in Society, Statistics and Sports Science.

Duration of the course 3 Years Full Time (C110)
4 Years Full Time (C111)
An Industrial Placement or Study Year Abroad will add a year to the duration of the course
English language requirements If English is not your first language, please check our minimum English language requirements. UG brochure 2014
See also BSc Biology, BSc Biology and History and Philosophy of Science, BSc Biology and Mathematics and MNatSc, BSc Natural Sciences
Admissions policy Download our Admissions Policy for 2014 entry. (PDF format). This includes information on the application process, our admissions intake and the selection process.
Admissions enquiries Carolyn Giles
Tel. +44/0 113 343 2829
Email: fbsadmissions@leeds.ac.uk

Admissions tutor

Dr Henry Greathead
Tel. +44/0 113 343 3063
Email: h.m.r.greathead@leeds.ac.uk

Department

Faculty of Biological Sciences Undergraduate School

Programme Leaders

Professor Peter Urwin

Course brochure

Download a course brochure

Course Structure

The structure of your course will vary depending upon which of the following pathways you choose:

Qualification Course Title Duration
BSc Applied Biology 3 years
BSc Applied Biology with industrial placement year 4 years
BSc Applied Biology with a study year abroad 4 years
MBiol, BSc Applied Biology 4 years
MBiol, BSc Applied Biology with industrial placement year 5 years
MBiol, BSc Applied Biology with a study year abroad 5 years

BSc Course Structure

Applied Biology You will be taught in a variety of ways. In the first and second years, lectures, practicals and tutorials are the most important forms of teaching. You will have lectures, tutorials, and regular laboratory sessions. For your final year research project, you will be able to choose your favourite topics to study under the guidance of leading experts. Your research project will take up about one third of your time with the rest devoted to lectures and tutorials. Formal examinations are held twice a year, in January and May/June, to spread the assessment load.

Modules

All degree programmes are modular and offer wide choice.

Nemotode CystModules may be core (you have to take them), optional (you can choose from a list of alternatives) or elective (you have a free choice); the balance depends upon your year and programme of study. We offer a wide range of modules. Below is a list of the core modules for each year:

Applied Biology Year 1

Introduction to Cell Biology: from Molecules to Cells and Tissues

This module covers aspects ranging from basic energy metabolism in micro organisms to higher order structures including the complexity and purpose of cell compartmentalisation in higher life-forms. It involves model organisms and special cases, will include plant and animal examples, and aims to provide the foundation for the study of more complex and ethically sensitive organisms (i.e. humans) which are generally not subject to rigorous experimental analysis. The module aims to provide basic conceptual understanding of Cell Biology and the underlying Biochemistry to underpin later studies in applied biology, genetics, microbial, plant and animal physiology, developmental biology and molecular cell biology.

Experimental Design and Analytical Skills for Cell Biology and Biochemistry

This module provides a basic conceptual understanding of laboratory practices for Cell Biology and Biochemistry. You will use basic pieces of laboratory equipment and become familiar with generic laboratory methods. You will gain an understanding of scientific experimentation, to begin to design experiments, appreciate the value of suitable controls and understand appropriate levels of accuracy required. A basic appreciation of good experimental design principles is one of the key outcomes. The selection of practicals should lead to a basic familiarisation with basic analytical techniques from quantitative enzymatic assays to qualitative techniques such as microscopy.

Diversity of Life: Practicals

You will acquire a basic conceptual understanding of laboratory practices for the study of Biology at the whole organism level. These topics will allow you to understand the complexity of life on earth as it is today, and in the past, as well as the importance of appreciating biodiversity. Personal time management, action planning and presentational skills will also be developed. You will gain a basic understanding of the diversity of biological life forms, classification systems and the relationship between organisms and their environment. A basic appreciation of good experimental design principles is one of the key outcomes. This module accompanies the Diversity of Life module.

The Diversity of Life

The course will look at the origins of life, its diversity, and the way that the environment has shaped the evolution of organisms over geological time. To understand these concepts, you will learn about systematics, taxonomy, evolution, physiology, morphology and the application of molecular studies. These topics will allow you to understand the complexity of life on earth as it is today, and in the past, as well as the importance of appreciating biodiversity in society today. You will learn about the current understanding of the relationships between different groups of organisms and consider the timescale over which evolutionary changes have occurred. The course covers details for a range of organisms and how natural selection has modified structure, metabolism, physiology and behaviour to equip them for their way of life.

Applied Biology and Agriculture

This module is all about how knowledge derived from biology is applied to the discipline of agriculture. As an occupation it is an excellent example of how man exploits living organisms, as it encompasses all aspects of exploitation, i.e. use, protection and control. It also happens to be: the foundation of all civilisations, the world's largest industry, and a springboard for development. The module will consider specific examples of plant and animal biotechnology, the domestication of both plants and animals, and animal health. By the end of the module you will be aware of examples of plant, animal and microbial biotechnology and understand mode of spread and control of some of the major diseases of animals that are important in relation to public health.

Introduction to Genetics

We - and all other living organisms - are the product of the genetic information we contain. We pass that information on from one generation to the next in ever-changing combinations. This module describes the nature of the genetic material - DNA - and how it is transmitted from parents to offspring. The form and function of living organisms is determined by the genetic information they contain, and how that genetic information is interpreted. You will examine the way in which the genetic material encodes biological information, how that information is replicated and how it is expressed in a regulated manner within organisms. You will also examine the technologies that allow us to isolate individual genes, sequence them, manipulate them, and analyse whole genomes. If you have a good understanding of Biology, are curious about the secrets of life and are ready for an intellectual challenge, then this module is for you.

Practical Genetics

This module demonstrate the principles of genetic segregation and will provide experience of genetic analysis in bacteria and eukaryotes. You will use techniques used in molecular genetic manipulation and analysis. Throughout the module you will gain an understanding of the experimental techniques that underpin knowledge of genetic mechanisms in living organisms. The syllabus includes: genetic segregation in plants and humans, bacteriophage and bacterial inheritance, isolation analysis and manipulation of DNA and chromosomes and karyotyping.

Practical Applied Biology

The module is practical-based. The practicals complement the theory being taught in the co-requisite lecture-based module BLGY1211 (Applied Biology and Agriculture), which aims to demonstrate how a fundamental understanding of Biology can be applied to solving problems. The key objective of this module is to provide training in a range of experimental techniques, and data collection, analysis and interpretation. Through this training technical competence will be developed. You will gain an understanding of the experimental techniques that underpin knowledge of applied biology. The practicals cover domestication of plants, pollution associated with animal production, composition of fat in various foods, plant pathology, and brewing.

Introduction to Statistics

On completion of this module you will be aware of how to apply and interpret a range of statistical tests to scientific data. You will be able to take data into Excel, manipulate and graph it, and perform a number of parametric statistical procedures. You will gain skills in interpreting and managing data, understanding and applying statistics, statistical tests, and IT skills, particularly the use of Excel. The module will cover the basic parametric and non-parametric techniques including chi-squared, t-test, paired data, one factor analysis of variance, regression and correlation.

Tutorials for Biology and Genetics

This tutorial based module aims to enhance the ability to use library and other resources and gain an appreciation of the skills required to present written reports under "normal" and "examination" conditions. You will gain generic and subject-related transferable skills, with particular emphasis on written, verbal communication and problem solving skills. Practical knowledge for literature search, scientific writing and scientific communication; - Knowledge of current research activities within the faculty and worldwide in different fields of You will learn more about how to read and comprehend scientific literature, conduct literature searches, write formal scientific communications, give oral presentations and discuss current issues relating to the public awareness of science, from a rational, scientific standpoint.

LabsApplied Biology Year 2

Enhanced Study Skills for Biologists

On completion of this module you will have developed a range of transferable skills that they will apply to their future careers. These will include: written and spoken communication skills; enhanced research and library skills through to finding information and analysing it for discussion, presentation and writing exercises. You will learn how to use the library resources effectively and gain skills to use databases, write effective presentations, scientific writing and understanding research papers, analysing statistics and preparing projects.

Parasitology

The course will provide an introduction to parasitology with an emphasis on those that cause diseases of medical and veterinary importance. You will gain an introduction to parasitology with an emphasis on those that cause diseases of medical and veterinary importance. The main content will be delivered through the use of specific examples. These will include single celled microparasites such as Malaria, Toxoplasma, Trypanosoma, Leishmania, and Giardia and macroparasites such as Schistosoma, Ascaris, Geohelminths, and the Filarial Nematodes. The overall aim is to have an understanding of this group of organisms, which are responsible for disease on a global scale.

Animal Nutrition and Metabolism

You will gain an understanding of the basic principles of nutrition and how the body deals with the various nutrients. Nutrition is now a vital topic both in everyday life and especially in biology and animal science. The aim of the course is to teach the principles of nutrition including a description of the major nutrients and their digestion, absorption and metabolism in various classes of animals including humans and other mammals, both ruminant and non-ruminant, wild and domestic. Birds are also included.

How Plants Work

You will cover he basic structures and functions of plants and have an appreciation of the principles of plant developmental biology. The module looks at how a plant develops throughout its life-cycle and responds to intrinsic and extrinsic stimuli. The syllabus covers basic plant structures; embryogenesis; meristems and postembryonic development; flower and seed development; gravitropism and phototropism; perception of light, gravity and hormonal signals; model systems and research methodologies. All content will address the physiological aspects of plant biology as well as the molecular approaches to its study.

Sustainable Food Production

This module provides a thorough and broad background covering the field of modern food production. It covers the field of modern food production and current food production research. The syllabus includes plant genetics; molecular mechanisms of plant transformation; detection of GM in foodstuffs; natural resistance genes; insect and other pests and intensive and extensive production systems.

Animals as Pests

This module covers the applied biology of animals as pests, primarily in the UK context. Practical and field course exercises are an important part of this module and are directly linked to the lecture course. The main objective is to provide an in depth understanding of the biology of animals as pests of crops and their impact on the availability and quality of food. You will study how animals become major pest species, their impact and how to implement control management strategies. You will acquire sort-after skills of sampling for invertebrate pests in an agricultural environment, identification of the pests, appreciation of their biology and how this knowledge can be applied to controlling the pest with chemical and biological pesticides. These skills are sought after by industry and government organisations.

Applied Biology Year 3

Applied Animal Science

Current animal production systems have developed (amongst other things) as a consequence of animal biology; the natural environment; scientific advances; and political, social and economic pressures. The study of animal production science is therefore an integrated discipline that to understand fully requires students to build upon their knowledge of animal science and other aspects of biology and apply this to real world situations. The module is therefore likely to prove invaluable if you are looking to obtain a job in the agricultural sector (for example, nutritionists; agricultural consultants, policymakers and scientists; vets; farmers) and will be of great interest to anyone concerned with the future of agriculture, our rural environment and our rural communities. The syllabus includes nutrition of different species and different physiological states; diet assessment and formulation; animal production systems in the UK and Europe, sheep, pigs, cattle and applied aspects of animal health. Lectures will discuss systems for sheep, beef, pig, poultry and dairy production and key issues related to these such as animal welfare; animal health; animal breeding and grassland management.

Applied Genetics

You will gain a sound grasp of the techniques used to achieve the genetic transformation of bacteria, fungi, plants and animals, and the uses to which these and other molecular biology techniques are being put in the agricultural, medical and commercial fields. During the course you will take part in the 'Genetics Debates'. At the end of the course they will sit an examination which tests both their general knowledge base and their comprehension of selected subjects. The syllabus includes: advanced aspects of in vitro DNA manipulation and protein engineering; the genetic basis of bacterial pathogenicity in man and animals; genetic engineering of microorganisms for antibiotic production and the degradation of xenobiotics and waste materials; the genetic manipulation of animals, including invertebrates and domesticated species and plant genetic manipulation, ethical and biohazard aspects of genetic manipulation.

Applied Plant Science

Following the introductory lecture you will complete a series of practicals that follow on from one another, so that ultimately you will have generated your own transgenic plant material. By the very nature of the work many of the practicals take place in the Plant Growth Suite i.e. a research environment. The work is continually assessed: There is no examination associated with this module. This puts considerable emphasis on attendance and performance in the practicals. A report on the work is required at the end of the module. Continual assessment is not the easy option and a depth of scientific understanding and knowledge, within the subject area, is expected. This module provides a practical guide to modern crop improvement and includes the essential skills of plant tissue culture including crop pets and pathology; disease cycles and disease control; plant defence and resistance; fungal pathogens; plant pathogens.

Animal Metabolism and Nutrition

The module will consider the relationship between nutrition and the associated metabolic response with regard to the development of the neonate, lactation, and growth. Development of the neonate will consider the relationship between nutrition and the animal's immune system and antioxidant systems. You will consider the influence of an animal's nutrition on meat quality, and the ways in which meat quality can be manipulated via the animal diet to meet consumer requirements. The physiological and metabolic basis of ruminant nutrition, namely energy and nitrogen metabolism and the interactions between rumen and animal and the implications for feeding forages will be studied. core subject areas of the module include the influence of maternal nutrition on development and growth of the neonate; the influence of nutrition on female performance; the relationship between nutrition and antioxidant systems; the interactions between rumen microbial metabolism and the metabolism of the host animal, and the implications for feeding forages and growth and carcass composition of meat animals and the nutrition manipulation thereof.

Module Details

This link takes you to detailed information (on another part of the University of Leeds website) about this degree for the 2012/13 academic year. Please bear in mind that programme details may change and that entry requirements refer to previous years.

Research Projects

Final year students choose an individual project from a wide range of topics to suit their interests and career aspirations. The project is an original laboratory, literature or computer-based study, supervised by an academic member of staff. These projects are an important way for students to learn about independent scientific research and develop important skills for future employment.

ChromosomeVisit the Studying with us  pages to find out more about studying in the Faculty of Biological Sciences Undergraduate School.

MBiol Course structure

To find out more about how the MBiol differs from the BSc programme, download our PDF guide to MBiol degrees.

Module details

This link takes you to detailed information (on another part of the University of Leeds website) about this degree for the 2012/13 academic year. Please bear in mind that programme details may change and that entry requirements may refer to previous years.

Please be aware that course details do change from time to time. ...

... If in doubt, please contact us to verify course content and availability. Whilst the University endeavours to ensure that the information on this website is accurate at the date of publication it does not accept liability for any inaccuracies. The University reserves the right to change or cancel its courses or services at any time without liability even after students have registered at the University. The University's contract with its students does not confer third party benefits for the purposes of Contracts (Right of Third Parties) Act 1999.

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Teaching and Assessment

Applied BiologyOur approach to teaching and learning is based around developing your knowledge and skills, and training you to be independent and to think critically. As well as independent study, you will learn in many different ways:

Typical timetable (3 year BSc)

A typical week:

  • in year one includes twelve hours of lectures, a three hour practical session in the lab, additional workshop and seminar sessions, plus private study.
  • in year two includes nine hours of lectures and nine hours of practicals, with a one hour tutorial or workshop, plus private study.
  • in year three week includes nine hours of lectures and extended time in a research laboratory, plus private study.

Assessment

We use a variety of assessment methods including:

  • multiple-choice testing
  • practical work
  • data handling and problem-solving exercises
  • group work
  • discussion groups (physical and online)
  • computer-based simulation
  • essays
  • posters and oral presentations

Current assessment details for each individual module can be accessed via the programme catalogue.

Careers

Further studyApplied Biology graduates enjoy excellent career prospects as the transferable skills gained are sought after for scientific and non-scientific careers alike.

Applied Biology Careers

Scientific careers

Biology is a wide-ranging subject that can take you into many occupations e.g. medical scientists, biotechnologists, teachers, ecologists, forensic scientists, genetic counsellors, neurobiologists, dietitians, agricultural scientists, conservationists, geneticists, veterinary scientists, marine biologists and many more.

Non-scientific professions

Our graduates acquire skills of numeracy, analytical thinking, and creativity in problem solving and data-handling, all of which equips them for jobs in non-scientific careers e.g. sales and marketing, accountancy, finance, patent work and journalism.

Further study

Graduates also go on to further study including PhD, Masters Degrees and PGCE.

Careers Support

Faculty careers events

We organise regular careers workshops especially for biological sciences students. We also organise an annual Bioscience Careers Networking Event, offering a chance to meet bioscience employers, speak to alumni, attend workshops and get masses of information. Browse the careers fair photo gallery.

University Careers Service

Our on-campus Careers Centre is one of the largest in the country, with experienced advisers and strong relationships with graduate recruiters. The Careers Centre will help you to find out how to develop your employability right from the start and provide support after you graduate. Find out what the Careers Centre has to offer.

Gaining work experience

Work experience is increasingly important in a competitive job market and Leeds offers many opportunities to gain experience and develop skills valuable to employers, including our industrial placement and year abroad schemes, laboratory placement schemes, and volunteering via Leeds for Life.

Industrial Advisory Board

Our Industrial Advisory Board gives employers the chance to input directly into programme and module content. This ensures that our programmes include appropriate training and skills so that our students and graduates are desirable to a broad range of graduate employers.

Join a global network of Leeds graduates

A remarkable variety of opportunities result from our relationships with our graduates, including access to the Leeds Graduate Careers Network.

Opportunities in the labRead about BSc Applied Biology graduates...

Careers resources

www.prospects.ac.uk

For more information on our approach to graduate employability, please see: www.leeds.ac.uk/employability

Field Courses

We see great value in the learning opportunities offered by practical field courses and offer field courses for undergraduates.


Not only are field courses highly enjoyable, but participants benefit from:

  • Applying university-learnt techniques in real life situations Optional field course in Scarborough
  • Individual and team working
  • High staff /student ratios
  • Tutor support on location
  • First-hand experience of collecting and analysing data
  • Opportunies to develop individual research skills
  • Skills development valued by employers after graduation
  • A chance to get to know staff and fellow students even better

 

Optional Field Courses for Applied Biology students

What will it cost?

2012 entry - Any field courses that are compulsory for your degree programme will be free of charge, however, for optional field courses you will be charged relevant out of pocket costs (principally travel, subsistence, accommodation and insurance), for which there may be help available.

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