BSc/BSc (Hons) Human Biology

Human biology is a fundamental understanding of how the body works and how it responds to changes in health and disease, such as in growth, ageing, obesity and heart disease.


Human biology is a fundamental understanding of how the body works and how it responds to changes in health and disease, such as in growth, ageing, obesity and heart disease. The breadth of disciplines covered on this course means that graduates are well placed to compete for many life science jobs. Modules choices in latter years enable you to focus your future career.




Why QMU?

  • The course is taught by experienced pharmacologists, physiologists, biochemists, and other life scientists, many of whom are research active. Their applied research informs the teaching programme, keeping up to date with current thinking in the field.
  • Years One and Two are shared with our BSc/BSc (Hons) Applied Pharmacology, BSc/BSc (Hons) Nutrition and Food Science and BSc/BSc (Hons) Nutrition, meaning you can change course any time up to the end of Year Two.


About the course

This course will provide you with the skills to work in a variety of areas related to the science of human biology.

In the first two years, you will gain a grounding in the core areas of the biological sciences. During this time you will study a range of modules and there is a significant practical element where you will develop basic research and laboratory skills such as using a pipette, basic laboratory equipment (eg HPLC, platereaders) and statistics.

In Year Three, you will begin to focus on a range of specific areas related to the function of the body in health and disease. You can also select from a range of modules which allow you to determine the focus of your future career.

In Year Four, the majority of your time will be spent on your honours project which will involve you carrying out an individual research project. This will help to develop and enhance the skills and knowledge that will be required in the workplace. In addition to this, further modules will enhance your understanding and critical evaluation of human biology, with optional modules to tailor your own programme of study.

Most modules involve student-centred learning, as well as tutor-led lectures, tutorials, labs and workshops.



You can opt to study for an honours degree over four years or an ordinary degree over three years. You will complete a range of modules each year as outlined.

Teaching, learning and assessment

The information on teaching, learning and assessment for entry in 2019 is not yet available, but will be accessible from here. 
The information below is for entry in 2018 and will give you an idea of what to expect.

>>Click for more information on 'Learning, Teaching and Assessment'


Year One modules

  • Biochemistry
  • Developmental Biology and Ageing
  • Genetics
  • Health and Society
  • Cell Biology & Human Physiology
  • Integrating Module 1
  • Introduction to Nutrition
  • Key Investigative Skills 1
  • Microbiology

Year Two modules

  • Food Science
  • Immunology
  • Integrating Module 2
  • Key Investigative Skills 2
  • Molecular Biology
  • Nutrition
  • Pharmacology
  • Professional Development in Scientific Analysis
  • Systems Biology

Year Three modules

  • Applied Nutrition
  • Clinical Sciences
  • Determinants of Health
  • Dissertation (choice of topic)
  • Epidemiology and Health
  • Professional Module
  • Public Health Practice
  • Techniques for Nutrition Research

Year Four modules

  • Current Issues in Cancer
  • Current Issues in Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular Disease
  • Current Issues in Obesity
  • Epidemiology
  • Food and Nutrition Policy
  • Honours Project (research)
  • Research Communication
  • Research Process
  • plus one from the following optional modules: Current Issues in Sport and Exercise/ Health Education and Promotion/ International Health and Nutrition

The modules listed here are correct at time of print (Feb 2018) but may differ slightly to those offered in 2019. Please check the website for any updates.



There are no formal placements, but a limited number of volunteering opportunities allow you to gain further experience and develop skills in particular areas of practice.


Exchange opportunities*

In Years Two or Three, you have the opportunity to study for one semester at a university overseas. For more information, see www.qmu.ac.uk/study-here/international-students/exchanges-and-study-abroad/

*subject to availability



Graduates can enter a variety of scientific and health-related careers in the public and private sectors, such as: laboratory and research scientists; research co-ordinators; clinical audit and clinical data analysts; scientific information managers and writers; healthcare management and administration; health promotion; health education; science teaching; product development (eg pharmaceuticals, medical products); marketing of health and scientific products; and studies for higher degrees by research or specialist postgraduate courses. As a multi-skilled and multidisciplinary graduate, you have many other opportunities and careers open in wider areas of employment.



Entry requirements

Scottish Higher: BBB

A Level: BB

Irish Leaving Certificate: H2 H2 H3

International Baccalaureate: 26 points

International: IELTS of 6.0 with no element lower than 5.5

Required subjects: Chem or Biol and preferably one other science (may include Maths or Home Economics) at Higher/A Level or equivalent AND Chem, Biol Maths and Eng at S/Int2/N5/GCSE level

Mature/Access: See related Access courses. We welcome applications from mature students with relevant qualifications in biology and chemistry and/or experience.

Direct Entry:

Year Two - HNC in a related subject with B in the graded unit

Year Three -  HND in a related subject with CB in the graded units

For details of related HNC and HND courses, see www.qmu.ac.uk/college-qualifications

Other: You may be requested to be immunised against Hepatitis B


Associate student places

You can study this course as an associate student completing your first year at West Lothian College. For more information, see www.qmu.ac.uk/study-here/access-to-higher-education/associate-student-scheme/

Professional registration/ accreditation



Teaching staff, class sizes and timetables

For more information, please see ‘How we teach and how you’ll learn’.

Awarding body

QMU. For more information, please see ‘External Review’ section on the ‘How we teach and how you’ll learn’ page.

Please Note:

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2019/20 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Undergraduate).

Teaching staff may be subject to change.

 Special Information for EU Applicants The Scottish Government has confirmed that undergraduate EU students enrolling in the 2019/20 academic year will be entitled to free tuition fees in Scotland for the duration of their course. Those assessed as eligible will remain so for the duration of their course. You must apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for funding. For guidance on eligibility and funding please visit the SAAS website

Course Overview

3/4 years
Start Date
September 2018
Study Abroad
School of Health Sciences
Subject Area
Fees & Funding
C100 BSc/HB

A Student Story - more at foot of page

Kylie Conrey - BSc/BSc (Hons) Human Biology "I was... able to secure a three month studentship at University of Edinburgh where I did some research into depression - which was a brilliant experience [...] It not only gave me good experience, but it also meant that I could see first hand what was involved in laboratory work and real research." Read my story...