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Programme Specification for the 2019/0 academic year

BSc (Hons) Intercalated Biosciences

1. Programme Details

Programme nameBSc (Hons) Intercalated Biosciences Programme codeUFS1BIOBIO01
Study mode(s)Full Time
Academic year2019/0
Campus(es)Streatham (Exeter)
NQF Level of the Final Award6 (Honours)

2. Description of the Programme

The one year BSc (Hons) Intercalated Biosciences programme is only available to selected students who are undertaking a medical degree at the University of Exeter or another appropriate medical institution, and have completed at least the first two years (240 credits) of their medical school programme (see University Regulations Governing Honours Degrees: Regulation 1.2, Section 5).

In this broad programme you will be able to explore diverse aspects of the fundamental molecular and cellular biology that underpins many of our recent advances in the treatment of disease.  You will have the opportunity to consider how drugs are discovered and subsequently modified to achieve a better therapeutic outcome, how the immune system protects itself again pathogens and how they in turn pathogens (bacterial and fungal) adapt and defend themselves in response to host defences and drug therapy. You will be able to examine how science is conducted through practical investigation and look at how science is communicated to both specialist and lay audiences. The programme provides access to our specialist modules delivered to students in the second or final year of our three year undergraduate programmes. Many of these are seminar modules which provide valuable new perspectives to topics you may already have completed as part of your main programme of study, allowing you to explore complementary areas in greater detail.

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

The general aims of this programme are:

To provide education intended to give you competence in Biosciences, and to encourage you to develop your intellectual capabilities within an institution that is committed to advancing research, scholarship and learning, and to disseminating knowledge.

More specifically, this programme aims:

  • To provide you with knowledge and understanding of biology from the fundamentals to the frontiers of the subject.
  • To provide you with the basic scientific, intellectual, and practical training that will prepare you for lifelong learning, and, if you wish, for a career in biosciences research.
  • To enable you to experience a supportive learning environment that fosters your academic and personal development.

4. Programme Structure

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.

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.

You are also permitted to take the five, ten or 15 credit Professional Development Experience modules BIO3910, BIO3911 or BIO3912. Registration on these modules is subject to a competitive application process. If taken, these modules will not count towards progression or award calculation.

Stage 1

45 credits of compulsory modules, 75 credits of optional modules

Please note that all modules are subject to change as they align with staff research interests. The following list should be considered as indicative rather than definitive.

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
BIO3096 Biosciences Research Project 45Yes

Optional Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
BioS S1 iBSc Bio opt 2019-0
BIO2066 Forensic Science 15 No
BIO3041 Pharmacology and Medicinal Chemistry 15 No
BIO3077 Frontiers in Molecular Cell Biology 15 No
BIO3078 Cellular Basis of Immunity 15 No
BIO3079 Molecular Basis of Infection 15 No
BIO3082 Science Communication 15 No
BIO3085 Horizons of Biochemical Research 15 No
BIO3086 Cell Biology of Disease 15 No
BIO3091 Animal Developmental Biology 15 No
PHL3018 Sex and Death: Introduction to the Philosophy of Biology 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 broadly all levels of biological organisation (molecular, cellular, organismal and ecological).
2. Describe in detail essential facts and theory in at least one subdiscipline of biology (e.g. molecular and cellular biology or organismal biology and ecology).
3. Describe and critically evaluate aspects of current research in the biosciences with reference to reviews and research articles.

Within the programme, teaching and learning activities are designed to encourage a progressive acquisition of subject knowledge and skills by moving from study methods that have a greater degree of support and assistance towards more independent learning.

The programme uses a diverse range of teaching and learning methods: lectures; research project or dissertation and group work.

Typically a 15 credit module would consist of 15-20 x 1 hour lectures in which the core subject material will be provided. The lecture notes will be available via the University of Exeter Virtual Learning Environment and references to outside reading will be made available.

The research project will normally take place in the 1st term where the student will undertake a project in a research group followed by production of a written report in the 2nd term; alternatively one dissertation will be written in terms 1 and 2.

The programme uses a diverse range of assessment methods such as: essay examinations; short answer and multiple choice tests (MCQ); practical work and reports; quantitative (numerical) problems; project report or dissertation; oral presentations.

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:

4. With limited guidance, deploy established techniques of analysis, investigation, and enquiry within the biosciences.

See above.

See 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:

5. Communicate ideas effectively and professionally by written, oral and visual means.
6. Study autonomously and undertake projects with minimum guidance.
7. Select and properly manage information drawn from books, journals, and the internet.
8. Interact effectively in a group.

See above.

See above.

7. Programme Regulations


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 every student meetings each term with a personal tutor. The role of personal tutors is to provide you with advice and support for the duration of the programme and extends to providing you with details of how to obtain support and guidance on personal difficulties such as accommodation, financial difficulties and sickness. You can also make an appointment to see individual teaching staff. The Biosciences website/fileserver includes the student handbook and learning materials. Every student has access to computers and printers within Biosciences. Each student can expect reasonable access to all teaching staff through appointments. The Biosciences Student/Staff Liaison Committee enables students and staff to jointly participate in the management and review of the teaching and learning provision.

ELE: All modules will have ELE pages. ELE is the University of Exeter's online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It provides an online set of integrated tools to support e-Learning activities and enables students to access course materials and use tools such as Discussion Forums and Quizzes to interact online.

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.


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 draw on a range of data to review the quality of educational provision. The College documents the performance in each of its taught programmes, against a range of criteria on an annual basis through the Annual Programme Monitoring cycle:

  • Admissions, progression and completion data
  • In Year Analysis data
  • Previous monitoring report
  • Monitoring of core (and optional) modules
  • External examiner's reports and University and College responses (reported to SSLC)
  • Any Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body/accrediting body or other external reports
  • Consultation with employers and former students
  • Staff evaluation
  • Student evaluation
  • Programme aims

Subject areas are reviewed every four years through a periodic subject review scheme that includes external contributions. (

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


18. Final Award

BSc (Hons) Intercalated Biosciences

19. UCAS Code


20. NQF Level of Final Award

6 (Honours)

21. Credit

CATS credits ECTS credits

22. QAA Subject Benchmarking Group

[Honours] Biosciences

23. Dates

Origin Date


Date of last revision