Human Biology is the integrated study of human anatomy and physiology, including the study of the body in health and disease. It covers a wide range of topics, ranging from genetics, microbiology and immunology to the core disciplines of anatomy, microanatomy and physiology.
The degree is designed to allow a greater degree of flexibility in the choice of modules, in comparison to the closely related degree in Biomedical Sciences.
Specialist subject areas which can be studied in detail include Pharmacology, Topographical Anatomy, Exercise and Applied Physiology, Developmental Studies, Embryology and Neuroscience. Within these subject areas we provide a wide and innovative range of learning experiences, such as the use of ultrasound imaging in cardiovascular physiology and exposure to cadaveric dissection.
Human Biology Degree highlights
The School has invested in a new cadaver dissection lab which allows students the opportunity to gain valuable experience and understanding of human anatomy.
- The School has links with two universities in the USA - the University of Nevada in Reno and the University of Vermont, where several students have the opportunity to complete a one-year work placement programme.
World Class Facilities
- Our Centre's teaching facilities have benefited from investment of over £2 million in recent years. This includes a fully equipped modern anatomy teaching unit with dissection facilities, as well as state-of-the-art physiology teaching facilities, offering at undergraduate level cardiopulmonary exercise testing and ultrasound.
Internationally Renowned Experts
- Our academic staff combine enthusiastic teaching with world-class research in the Biomedical Sciences. With over 60 principal investigators and their teams specialising in Cancer Research and Cell Biology, Population Sciences research and translational technologies.
- The School continues to score highly in the National Student Survey for student experience.
- Up to 12 prizes are available as an added incentive to our students from 1st to 3rd year, awarded for top performances in individual modules and overall degree performances. This includes prizes awarded from the professional bodies (Physiological Society, Pharmacological Society).
I thoroughly enjoyed my Human Biology course. With the range of modules available, I was given the opportunity to tailor my degree, giving me the good foundation and knowledge to benefit me most for my chosen career. I found this kept me engaged, challenged and allowed me to learn about topics that interested me. As a mature student, I found the support network within Queen’s exemplary which allowed me to meet my full potential.
BSc (Hons) Human Biology Graduate 2018
Introduction The Human Biology degree at Queen’s is underpinned by the core disciplines of Anatomy, Microanatomy and Physiology (the study of the function of the human body). In addition, it provides a solid foundation in Mammalian Biochemistry, Genetics, Molecular Biology, and Microbiology. Stage 1 Students must take the following three compulsory modules:
Molecular Basis of Life (nature of biomolecules with emphasis on amino acids, proteins, DNA structure and basic experimental techniques)
The World of Microorganisms (biology of bacteria, viruses, fungi, algae, protozoa and parasites)
Human Structure and Function (integrated anatomy and physiology)
Stage 2 Students must take the following three compulsory modules:
Research methods and statistics (application of statistics to medical research and the methodology of how to undertake scientific research)
Physiological Sciences (more advanced cardiovascular, respiratory, neuromuscular and renal function)
Anatomical Sciences (more advanced aspects of cardiovascular microanatomy/histology and gross anatomy)
And a choice of one from:
Human Evolution (comparative anatomy between modern humans and our closest living relatives)
Molecular Cell Biology (molecular basis of cell structure and function)
Human Physiological Measurement (methods to measure physiological changes in major body systems used in clinical and research settings)
Stage 3 Students must take the following compulsory module:
And a choice of two from:
Cardiovascular Pathobiology and Treatment (cardiovascular biology and pathology and the evaluation of established and emerging therapies)
Advanced Neurosciences (detailed brain and nerve anatomy in relation to disease)
Embryology and Developmental Biology (mechanistic understanding of how the human body develops, including stem cells and epigenetics in development of major organ systems)
Pharmacology and Therapeutics (pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics and toxicology)
Sports and Exercise Physiology (cardiac, vascular, respiratory, metabolic and muscular responses, kinetics, genetic factors, fitness training and health benefits of exercise)
People teaching youDr Stephen McCullough
Contact Teaching Times
Large Group Teaching 14 (hours maximum)
Medium Group Teaching 12 (hours maximum)
Personal Study 24 (hours maximum)
Learning and Teaching
Students on the BSC Human Biology programme benefit from the world class research and anatomy facilities. Students learn through a variety of teaching methods which help engage students with the learning process.
- Adviser of Studies
Who acts as a first point of contact for students with academic or personal issues that they may require guidance and/or support with.
- E-Learning technologies
Information associated with lectures and assignments is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Canvas. A range of e-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree programme through the use of, for example, interactive support materials, podcasts and web-based learning activities.
A formalised induction for all undergraduate students. For Stage 1 students, this includes several the week before the programme begins to allow students to familiarise themselves with the campus and the degree programme and their fellow classmates. During Stage 1 there are a number of follow-up sessions throughout the year. Topics such as academic writing, referencing, plagiarism, communication skills, examination preparation and managing time effectively are all covered in these practical sessions.
These introduce foundation information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading. As the module progresses this information becomes more complex. Lectures, which are normally delivered in large groups to all year-group peers, also provide opportunities to ask questions and seek clarification on key issues as well as gain feedback and advice on assessments. Additional guest lectures are also delivered by researchers or experts in their fields.
- Peer Mentoring Scheme
Whereby students in second and third year of their degree programme volunteer to mentor Stage 1 students. This informal interaction helps with transition from School to University with the help of trained and enthusiastic fellow students.
- Practical laboratory
Human Biology has practical classes contributing to most modules, and the hands-on experience is hugely popular with our students. In the first year this includes extensive work in Physiology, Anatomy, Molecular Biology and Microbiology. Further advanced practical experience is offered in Anatomy and Physiology in the second and third years for all students in the obligatory modules, and the practical experience will then vary depending on optional modules chosen.
- Self-directed study
This is an essential part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.
In these sessions, the class is split into small groups (typically 4-5 students). These sessions are designed to explore, in more depth, the information that has been presented in the lectures. This provides students with the opportunity to engage closely with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions of them and to assess their own progress and understanding with the support of their peers.
- Summer Studentships
Competitively available to students (usually 6-8) about to move into 2nd or 3rd year, these studentships provide additional hands on laboratory experience in one of our research laboratories for up to 6 weeks over the summer breaks, and are useful for general laboratory experience as well as for skills to be employed in 3rd year projects.
- Third year Supervised Projects
Based on choices made from the list of projects available each year, students are assigned their third year project, usually carried out as a valued member of a research group in one of our World-leading Research Centres within the Faculty, over the course of 2 semesters. This will often involve designing and conducting of experiments, presenting data and analysing it in the context of the area of research. In addition to the submitted write-up, our students regularly get the opportunity to present their results at scientific meetings or are included as part of a full paper publication.
Details of assessments associated with this course are outlined below:
- Assessment will vary according to the Learning Objectives of each module. Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments. Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in Canvas or the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction. Students are assigned an Advisor of Studies who can advise on personal and academic matters.
As you progress through your course you will receive general and specific feedback about your work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisors of study and your peers.
As a university student, you will be expected to take a greater role in reflecting on this and taking the initiative in continuously improving the quality of your work.
- Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that you, as an individual or as part of a group, have submitted.
Face to face comment. This may include occasions when you make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help you to address a specific query.
On-line or e-mailed comment.
General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid. In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which you can review in your own time.
Feedback and outcomes from practical classes.
Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.
Once you have reviewed your feedback, you are encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work.
- Adviser of Studies
In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance below on 'How we choose our students' prior to submitting your UCAS application.
Applications are dealt with centrally by the Admissions and Access Service rather than by the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences. Once your on-line form has been processed by UCAS and forwarded to Queen's, an acknowledgement is normally sent within two weeks of its receipt at the University.
Selection is on the basis of the information provided on your UCAS form. Decisions are made on an ongoing basis and will be notified to you via UCAS.
For entry last year, applicants offering A-level/BTEC Level 3 qualifications must have had, or been able to achieve, a minimum of five GCSE passes at grade C/4 or better (to include English Language and Mathematics), though this profile may change from year to year depending on the demand for places. The Selector also checks that any specific entry requirements in terms of GCSE and/or A-level subjects can be fulfilled.
Offers are normally made on the basis of three A-levels. Two subjects at A-level plus two at AS would also be considered. The offer for repeat candidates is normally one grade higher than for first time applicants. Grades may be held from the previous year.
Applicants offering two A-levels and one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent qualification) will also be considered. Offers will be made in terms of performance in individual BTEC units rather than the overall BTEC grade(s) awarded. Please note that a maximum of one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent) will be counted as part of an applicant’s portfolio of qualifications. The normal GCSE profile will be expected.
Applicants offering other qualifications, such as relevant Higher National Certificates and Diplomas, will also be considered.
Those offering a relevant Higher National Certificate (HNC) or Diploma (HND) are considered individually on their own merits for entry to Stage 1. For applicants offering a HNC, the current requirements are successful completion of the HNC with 2 Distinctions and remainder Merits. For those offering a HND, at least half of the units completed in the first year of the HND must be at Merit level. Where offers are made students would be expected to achieve Merits in all units assessed in final year. For those offering a HNC or HND, some flexibility may be allowed in terms of GCSE profile.
The information provided in the personal statement section and the academic reference together with predicted grades are noted but, in the case of this degree, these are not the final deciding factors in whether or not a conditional offer can be made. However, they may be reconsidered in a tie break situation in August.
A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking would not normally be considered as part of a three A-level offer and, although they may be excluded where an applicant is taking four A-level subjects, the grade achieved could be taken into account if necessary in August/September.
Applicants are not normally asked to attend for interview.
If you are made an offer then you may be invited to a Faculty/School Visit Day, which is usually held in the second semester. This will allow you the opportunity to visit the University and to find out more about the degree programme of your choice and the facilities on offer. It also gives you a flavour of the academic and social life at Queen's.
If you cannot find the information you need here, please contact the University Admissions and Access Service (firstname.lastname@example.org), giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
- Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
- Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.
International Students - Foundation and International Year One Programmes
INTO Queen's offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare international students for undergraduate study at Queen's University. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre on campus, and will have full access to the University's world-class facilities.
These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry.
The INTO progression course suited to this programme is
INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
This degree programme is aimed at students seeking a broad-based knowledge of Human Biology with career opportunities in the medical and pharmaceutical industries, teaching, scientific publishing or the scientific civil service. Many students go into further study after their degree, completing Master’s and PhDs and a significant proportion of graduates gain entry to a Medical degree both here and abroad.
Employment after the Course
Recent and frequent employment opportunities have been taken by our graduates in Life Science/Pharmaceutical/Biotechnology industries in a wide range of roles, including Laboratory Technician, Scientific Officer, Sales and Marketing, and Clinical Trials Supervision, in leading local, national and international industries, including Norbrook, Almac and Galen.
A limited number of summer internships are currently available with Randox Laboratories, appointed via competitive application. Further Study Many of our students go on to further study, predominantly within Queen’s or in other universities in the UK or abroad.
Graduates have gone into areas such as Medicine, Dentistry, Computational Biology, Teaching, and PhDs in various research areas.
Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Prizes and Awards
A number of professional bodies sponsor prizes on an annual basis for best students in their level, module or category. These include The Physiological Society and The British Pharmacological Society.
Degree plus award for extra-curricular skills
In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.
Fees and Funding
Northern Ireland (NI) 1 £4,530 Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £4,530 England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £9,250 EU Other 3 £21,400 International £21,400
1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled or pre-settled status, are expected to be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly Student Fees Regulations. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB are expected to be charged the GB fee, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.
2 It is expected that EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI will be eligible for NI tuition fees, in line with the Common Travel Agreement arrangements. The tuition fee set out above is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.
3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.
All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2021-22, and relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
Tuition fee rates are calculated based on a student’s tuition fee status and generally increase annually by inflation. How tuition fees are determined is set out in the Student Finance Framework.
Additional course costs
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library.
If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. A programme may have up to 6 modules per year, each with a recommended text.
Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.
Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.
If a final year includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.
Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.
There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Human Biology costs
Year 1 students are required to buy a laboratory coat at a cost of £10.
Students undertaking placements are responsible for funding travel, accommodation and subsistence costs. These costs vary depending on the location and duration of the placement. Students may receive payment from their placement provider during their placement year.
How do I fund my study?
There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union.
Information on funding options and financial assistance for undergraduate students is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/Fees-and-scholarships/.
Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students. Information on scholarships available.
Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.
How and when to Apply
How to Apply
Application for admission to full-time undergraduate and sandwich courses at the University should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at: www.ucas.com/students.
When to Apply
UCAS will start processing applications for entry in autumn 2021 from 1 September 2020.
Advisory closing date: 15 January 2021 (18:00). This is the 'equal consideration' deadline for this course.
Applications from UK and EU students after this date are, in practice, considered by Queen’s for entry to this course throughout the remainder of the application cycle (30 June 2021) subject to the availability of places.
Applications from International (non-UK/EU) students are normally considered by Queen’s for entry to this course until 30 June 2021. If you apply for 2021 entry after this deadline, you will automatically be entered into Clearing.
Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.
The Institution code name for Queen's is QBELF and the institution code is Q75.
Further information on applying to study at Queen's is available at: www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/How-to-apply/
Terms and Conditions
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study. Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions.
Additional Information for International (non-EU) Students
- Applying through UCAS
Most students make their applications through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for full-time undergraduate degree programmes at Queen's. The UCAS application deadline for international students is 30 June 2021.
- Applying direct
The Direct Entry Application form is to be used by international applicants who wish to apply directly, and only, to Queen's or who have been asked to provide information in advance of submitting a formal UCAS application. Find out more.
- Applying through agents and partners
The University’s in-country representatives can assist you to submit a UCAS application or a direct application. Please consult the Agent List to find an agent in your country who will help you with your application to Queen’s University.
Fees and Funding
- Applying through UCAS