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Description

Programme Specification for the 2022/3 academic year

MSc Advanced Biological Sciences

1. Programme Details

Programme nameMSc Advanced Biological Sciences Programme codePTS1BIOBIO12
Study mode(s)Part Time
Academic year2022/3
Campus(es)Streatham (Exeter)
NQF Level of the Final Award7 (Masters)

2. Description of the Programme

The MSc Advanced Biological Sciences allows you to study a broad base of advanced biology and gives you the option to specialise in areas of biology that interest you. We offer seven specialisms: Animal Biology; Bioinformatics; Ecotoxicology; Frontiers in Plant Science; Microbiology and Infectious Disease; Molecular and Cellular Biology; and, Sustainable Aquaculture. You will carry out a substantial research project (90 credits) in one of our world-leading research laboratories as well as taking six taught modules including Advanced Laboratory Skills (providing specialised training and advanced data processing), and Advanced Topics in Biological Sciences. You will be able to choose three optional advanced modules that align with your research interests.

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

The educational aims of the programme are to:

  • Provide you with the knowledge and understanding of biology at the frontiers of the subject.
  • Provide you with a scientific, intellectual, and practical training that will enhance your employability for a career in research, and prepare you for autonomous lifelong learning.
  • Enable you to experience a supportive learning environment that fosters your academic and personal development.
  • Enable you to think critically, evaluate evidence, analyse, challenge, solve problems, work collaboratively, and communicate effectively.

4. Programme Structure

The MSc Advanced Biological Sciences is a one calendar-year full-time programme of study at National Qualification Framework (NQF) level 7 (as confirmed against the FHEQ). The programme is divided into units of study called ‘modules’ which are assigned a number of ‘credits’. The credit rating of a module is proportional to the total workload, with 1 credit being nominally equivalent to 10 hours of work.

Interim Awards

  • A Postgraduate Diploma is awarded when a student gains at least 120 credits, including at least 90 at Level M on a designated programme.
  • A Postgraduate Certificate is awarded when a student gains at least 60 credits including at least 45 at Level M on a designated programme.

5. Programme Modules

The following tables describe the programme and constituent modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme.

MSc optional modules can be selected from appropriate level modules within the Department of Biosciences, examples of modules are listed below. You may take optional modules as long as any necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, where the timetable allows, and if you have not already taken the module in question or an equivalent module.

The MSc will provide students with the necessary advanced research skills (through the Advanced Laboratory Skills and Professional Skills modules) to equip them for their research project. In addition, students will take four optional advanced level modules to give them the necessary theoretical background for their research projects. Students can elect to have a specialism in their degree title; consult section 7 below.

Stage 1


120 credits of compulsory modules, 60 credits of optional modules

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
BIOM560 Research Project 90Yes
BIOM509 Professional Skills 15No
BIOM549 Advanced Laboratory Skills 15No

Optional Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
MRes-MSc Advanced Biological Sciences optional modules 2021-2
BIOM551 Biology of Marine Vertebrates 15 No
BIOM552 Animal Development Biology 15 No
BIOM553 Current Issues in Marine Biology 15 No
BIOM4043 Rewilding the United Kingdom 30 No
PSYM205 Advances and Methods in Animal Behaviour 30 No
PSYM213 Current Research Issues in Animal Behaviour 15 No
BIOM516 Bioinformatics 15 No
CSC4007 Medical Genomics 15 No
CSC4005 Pharmacogenomics 15 No
NSCM005 Mathematical Modelling in Biology and Medicine 15 No
BIOM568 Blue Planet 15 No
BIOM544 Ecotoxicology 15 No
BIOM543 Ecology of Environmental Change 15 No
BIOM545 Frontiers in Plant Biology 15 No
BIOM546 Living in a Microbial World 15 No
BIOM562 Sustainable Land Use in Grassland Agriculture 15 No
BIOM563 Crop Security 15 No
BIOM525 Molecular Basis of Infection 15 No
BIOM515 Cellular Basis of Immunity 15 No
BIOM534 Medical Mycology 15 No
BIOM567 Application of Genomics in Infectious Disease 15 No
BIOM547 Frontiers in Molecular Cell Biology 15 No
BIOM548 Cell Biology of Disease 15 No
NSCM009 Bioimaging 15 No
BIOM554 Advanced Applications of Physiology 15 No

6. Programme Outcomes Linked to Teaching, Learning and Assessment Methods

Intended Learning Outcomes
A: Specialised Subject Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

1. Explain systematically current problems and/or new insights in biosciences.
2. Describe comprehensively some techniques applicable to research in Biosciences.
3. Apply detailed knowledge with originality and illustrate practically how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in biosciences.
4. Evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline, evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, propose new hypotheses.

  • Taught lectures
  • Field Trips
  • Laboratory work/training
  • Data analysis
  • Guided reading of literature, literature research and revision
  • Design and Implementation of research project

The programme uses a diversity of assessment methods such as:

  • Essay/report
  • Oral presentation
  • Short answer and multiple choice tests (MCQ)
  • Literature Review
  • Project report
  • Grant proposal
  • Poster presentation
  • Practical work and reports
  • Quantitative (numerical) problems

Intended Learning Outcomes
B: Academic Discipline Core Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

5. Collate and synthesise information from multiple sources
6. Critically evaluate current research in the discipline
7. Within the independent research project module assessments, demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to your research
8. Undertake research in an organised and rigorous manner

As above

As above

Intended Learning Outcomes
C: Personal/Transferable/Employment Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

9. Solve problems by the application of appropriate scientific principles and methods
10. Communicate ideas effectively and professionally by written, oral and visual means to both specialist and non-specialist audiences
11. Work as part of a team
12. Interact effectively with academic and professional contacts

As above

As above

7. Programme Regulations

 

Programme-specific Award Rules

 

Our flexible programme enables you to choose either a specific pathway or a selection of modules, which might be at a much later date than date of entry to the MSc Advanced Biological Sciences. All students graduate with an MSc Advanced Biological Sciences, but if you elect to specialise, you will have one of the following pathways named in your degree title:

*You cannot choose this module if you have already taken the undergraduate version

 

Animal Biology
The programme comprises modules of at least 45 credits from the specialist modules listed below, and the BIOM560 Research Project must be relevant to the field of Animal Biology.

Code

Module Title

Credits

Compulsory

Non-Condonable

BIOM551

Biology of Marine Vertebrates*

15

N

N

BIOM552

Animal Development Biology* 

15

N

N

BIOM553

Current Issues in Marine Biology*

15

N

N

BIOM554

Advanced Applications of Physiology*

15

N

N

BIOM4043

Rewilding the UK

30

N

N

PSYM205

Advances and Methods in Animal Behaviour

30

N

N

PSYM213

Current Research Issues in Animal Behaviour

15

N

N


Bioinformatics
The programme comprises modules of at least 45 credits from the specialist modules listed below, and the BIOM560 Research Project must be relevant to the field of Bioinformatics.

Code

Module Title

Credits

Compulsory

Non-Condonable

BIOM516

Bioinformatics*

15

Y

N

BIOM567

Applications of Genomics in Infectious Disease

15

Y

N

CSC4007

Medical Genomics

15

N

N

CSC4005

Pharmacogenomics

15

N

N

HPDM041

Bioinformatics, Interpretation and Data Quality Assurance in Genome Analysis

15

N

N

NSCM005

Mathematical Modelling in Biology and Medicine

15

N

N


Ecotoxicology
The programme comprises modules of at least 45 credits from the specialist modules listed below, and the BIOM560 Research Project must be relevant to the field of Ecotoxicology.

Code

Module Title

Credits

Compulsory

Non-Condonable

BIOM568

Blue Planet

15

Y

N

BIOM544

Ecotoxicology*

15

Y

N

BIOM543

Ecology of Environmental Change*

15

N

N

BIOM4043

Rewilding the UK

30

N

N

BIOM554

Advanced Applications of Physiology*

15

N

N


Frontiers in Plant Science
The programme comprises the specialist modules listed below, and the BIOM560 Research Project must be relevant to the field of Frontiers in Plant Science.

Code

Module Title

Credits

Compulsory

Non-Condonable

BIOM545

Frontiers in Plant Biology*

15

Y

N

BIOM546

Living in a Microbial World*

15

Y

N

GEOM149

Green Planet 15 Y N


Microbiology and Infectious Disease
The programme comprises modules of at least 45 credits from the specialist modules listed below, and the BIOM560 Research Project must be relevant to the field of Microbiology and Infectious Disease.

Code

Module Title

Credits

Compulsory

Non-Condonable

BIOM525

Molecular Basis of Infection*

15

N

N

BIOM515

Cellular Basis of Immunity*

15

N

N

BIOM534

Medical Mycology

15

N

N

BIOM567

Applications of Genomics in Infectious Disease

15

N

N


Molecular and Cellular Biology
The programme comprises modules of at least 45 credits from the specialist modules listed below, and the BIOM560 Research Project must be relevant to the field of Molecular and Cellular Biology.

Code

Module Title

Credits

Compulsory

Non-Condonable

BIOM525

Molecular Basis of Infection*

15

N

N

BIOM515

Cellular Basis of Immunity*

15

N

N

BIOM547

Frontiers in Molecular Cell Biology*

15

N

N

BIOM548

Cell Biology of Disease*

15

N

N

NSCM009

Bioimaging

15

N

N


Sustainable Aquaculture
The programme comprises modules of at least 45 credits from the specialist modules listed below, and the BIOM560 Research Project must be relevant to the field of Sustainable Aquaculture.

Code

Module Title

Credits

Compulsory

Non-Condonable

BIOM568

Blue Planet

15

Y

N

BIOM551

Biology of Marine Vertebrates*

15

N

N

BIOM553

Current Issues in Marine Biology*

15

N

N

BIOM554

Advanced Applications of Physiology*

15

N

N

 

Classification

Full details of assessment regulations for all taught programmes can be found in the TQA Manual, specifically in the Credit and Qualifications Framework, and the Assessment, Progression and Awarding: Taught Programmes Handbook. Additional information, including Generic Marking Criteria, can be found in the Learning and Teaching Support Handbook.

8. College Support for Students and Students' Learning

Biosciences offers you regular meetings with your personal tutor and your project supervisor. Your personal tutor will provide you with advice and support for the duration of the programme, supporting your academic and personal development and providing you with pastoral support as required (e.g. relating to accommodation, financial difficulties, wellbeing and sickness). Your project supervisor will provide you with tailored support throughout the duration of your research project. In addition, you can expect reasonable access to all other teaching staff through appointments, whilst the Programme Director in Biosciences will act as your first point of contact for programme-related queries.

Learning resources: The Biosciences website includes the student handbook, and in addition each module will be supported electronically through the Exeter Learning Environment (ELE) where lecture notes, reading lists and assessment details will be provided. You will also be able to follow your record of achievement through the student record tab on the MyExeter student portal.

9. University Support for Students and Students' Learning

Please refer to the University Academic Policy and Standards guidelines regarding support for students and students' learning.

10. Admissions Criteria

Undergraduate applicants must satisfy the Undergraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Postgraduate applicants must satisfy the Postgraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Specific requirements required to enrol on this programme are available at the respective Undergraduate or Postgraduate Study Site webpages.

11. Regulation of Assessment and Academic Standards

Each academic programme in the University is subject to an agreed College assessment and marking strategy, underpinned by institution-wide assessment procedures.

The security of assessment and academic standards is further supported through the appointment of External Examiners for each programme. External Examiners have access to draft papers, course work and examination scripts. They are required to attend the Board of Examiners and to provide an annual report. Annual External Examiner reports are monitored at both College and University level. Their responsibilities are described in the University's code of practice. See the University's TQA Manual for details.

(http://as.exeter.ac.uk/support/admin/staff/qualityassuranceandmonitoring/tqamanual/fullcontents/)

12. Indicators of Quality and Standards

The programme is not subject to accreditation and/ or review by professional and statutory regulatory bodies (PSRBs).

13. Methods for Evaluating and Improving Quality and Standards

The University and its constituent Colleges review the quality and standard of teaching and learning in all taught programmes against a range of criteria through the procedures outlined in the Teaching Quality Assurance (TQA) Manual Quality Review Framework.

14. Awarding Institution

University of Exeter

15. Lead College / Teaching Institution

College of Life and Environmental Sciences (CLES)

16. Partner College / Institution

Partner College(s)

Not applicable to this programme

Partner Institution

Not applicable to this programme.

17. Programme Accredited / Validated by

0

18. Final Award

MSc Advanced Biological Sciences

19. UCAS Code

Not applicable to this programme.

20. NQF Level of Final Award

7 (Masters)

21. Credit

CATS credits

180

ECTS credits

90

22. QAA Subject Benchmarking Group

23. Dates

Origin Date

01/03/2021

Date of last revision

11/07/2022