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BSc Hons Biology with Psychology

Mode of Study: Full Time Department: Biomedical and Life Sciences (Division of)
UCAS Code: C1C8 Duration/Length: 3 Year(s)
QAA Subject Benchmark: Biosciences Director of Studies: Dr MD Urbaniak
Total Credit Points: 360 Credit Points Year 2: 120
Credit Points Year 3: 120

Educational Aims: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • This degree course is for students wishing to develop an understanding of the influences that govern human behaviour, underpinned by knowledge of the biology of the system. The course is taught jointly by academics from Lancaster Environment Centre, The Division of Biomedical and Life Sciences and The Department of Psychology.  The degree is designed so that students can choose modules from the areas of environmental and medical biology, and link these studies to a progressive understanding of developmental, physiological and cognitive psychology. As well as in-depth knowledge of Biology and Psychology, the degree provides students with an impressive mixture of scientific, analytical skills and communication and interpersonal skills. This unique mixture provides students with an excellent basis for future employment or postgraduate study.

    The programme aims to:

    • Prepare graduates for careers with a wide variety of employers and to develop key transferable skills to prepare students for general graduate employment.
    • Develop the intellectual and practical skills necessary for progression to postgraduate research and training.
    • Encourage academic curiosity which will prepare students for lifelong learning.
    • Offer a range of core and optional final year modules which allow students to specialise in particular areas of Psychology and Biological Sciences.
    • Offer all students the opportunity to conduct a substantial research project. 

Learning Outcomes: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • Graduates will be able to:

    • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of key concepts in biology and psychology as well as specilalising in areas ranging from molecular and cellular biology and biomedicine through to animal behaviour and evolution. 
    • Use appropriate equipment effectively and list appropriate safety precautions associated with practical or project work.
    • Demonstrate the skills necessary to plan, conduct and report a substantial individual investigation.
    • Display competence in the laboratory and interpret numerical data.
    • Retrieve, select, synthesise and critically evaluate information from a variety of sources.
    • Communicate effectively through written and oral presentations.
    • Use relevant Information Technology including relevant Web-based resources.
    • Work independently or as part of a team.
    • Manage their time and display planning and organisational skills. 

Learning and Teaching Strategies and Methods: Knowledge, Understanding, Skills

  • Acquisition of knowledge is mainly through lectures and student-centred learning. Fundamental information in lectures is expanded by further reading which, by year 3, will include primary research papers.

    Teaching is hierarchical with a broad first year, becoming progressively deeper and more specialised in years two and three. Workshop sessions develop problem-solving and analytical skills connected with the lecture material. Students complete laboratory-based research projects and associated literature reviews in year 3 which develop a wide range of intellectual skills. Practical classes throughout the curriculum involve the generation and interpretation of numerical data.

    In summary the following teaching methods apply:

    Knowledge and understanding is developed through a combination of lectures, workshops, practical sessions, coursework exercises and undertaking reading from a range of literature sources. 

    Intellectual skills are developed as follows:

    • Analytical skills are developed through workshop sessions, projects and practical classes and are informed by lectures and reading. 
    • Skills in interpretation of numerical data and testing and formulating hypotheses are developed through practical classes and projects. 
    • Problem solving skills are developed through workshops, practical classes and projects.
    • Skills in critical evaluation are developed through lectures, workshops, practical work, projects and through reading of primary research papers.

    Practical skills are developed as follows: 

    • Test, measurement and evaluation skills are developed through lectures, workshops, practical classes and projects. 
    • Experimental and risk assessment skills are developed through practical classes and projects.
    • Skills in project management techniques are developed through practical work and individual projects.
    • Numerical skills are developed through practical classes and workshops. 

    Transferable skills are taught explicitly in first year tutorials and in a first year compulsory module. These are also embedded and developed in modules throughout the curriculum:

    • Communication skills are developed through instruction and practice in writing reports, essays, projects and giving presentations.
    • General ICT skills are developed through use of computers in several aspects of the course and for communication in the University and beyond.
    • Information retrieval skills are developed in coursework and projects.
    • Data manipulation and presentation skills are developed through practical classes, report writing and projects.
    • Independent-learning skills are developed through coursework and projects.
    • Time management skills are developed through coursework and student projects.
    • Employability skills and team working are embedded throughout the curriculum and developed in a compulsory third year module.

Assessment Strategy and Methods: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • Knowledge and understanding is assessed through unseen examinations and end of modules tests (multiple choice or short answer questions). Examinations are mainly of the essay type but also include short answer questions in second year and data analysis in years 2 and 3. Coursework assignments, which include: laboratory reports, essays, literature reviews, poster presentations and oral presentations, also tests students' knowledge and understanding. The relative weight of these components varies according to the type of module and its intended outcomes.

    Intellectual skills are assessed by a combination of coursework exercises, practical and project work and written examinations. 

    Practical skills are assessed by a combination of practical and project work, a written dissertation and data analysis examination questions. 

    Transferable skills such as written and oral presentation skills, graphical presentation of data, general IT skills and information gathering are assessed by a variety of coursework assignments, e.g. essay writing, practical reports, oral presentations, research poster design, dissertation.


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