Genetics is central to all areas of biology, from cellular differentiation and development, through reproduction, to biodiversity and conservation.
Genetics is a fast moving field; with the advent of new technologies that make genome sequencing almost routine, we are seeing rapid advances in our understanding of areas as diverse as human disease and the diversity of organisms living in the deep sea.
The BSc Biological Sciences (Genetics) course builds on the BSc Biological Sciences course and allows you focus increasingly on modules covering elements of Genetics. This includes classical genetics, gene regulation, epigenetics and RNA processing all the way to genome science.
Our Biological Sciences (Genetcis) BSc degree programme is structured to give you a comprehensive introduction to modern genetics in the context of the Biological Sciences programme. The modular structure allows you to follow your interests and curiosity as the course unfolds.
The modular structure gives you the opportunity to follow your interests and curiosity as the course unfolds; by choosing your favourite modules in years 2 and 3, you can focus on a single area of biology, or sample content from animal behaviour to molecular biology.
Why Study this Course?
There are plenty of reasons to study BSc Biological Sciences (Genetics) at the University of Newcastle:
- We rank 5th for graduate employability in the Russell Group Universities. Our graduates work in diverse careers such as medicine, conservation, agriculture and more.
- We increasingly incorporate new areas of science relating to biology, such as bioinformatics, and the School has world leading facilities for research in genomics, structural biology and optical imaging.
- In addition to the Genetics-focused content, you will encounter a broad range of topics on our courses, ranging from studies on the three-dimensional structure of individual molecules through to the study of whole ecosystems. Specialist field courses for those involved in the study of animals, plants and ecological aspects are also available.
- Genetics and genomics are an integral part of research in the School of Biosciences. This expertise forms the foundation of research-led teaching in Biological Sciences (Genetics).
University of Newcastle is accredited by the DETC Higher Learning Commission (DETC), www.detc.org.uk Since , University of Newcastle has been continually accredited by the DETC Higher Learning Commission and its predecessor.
Biological Sciences (Genetics) BSc (Hons)
Undergraduate, Single Honours
How long it takes:
Undergraduate (3 Year)
Distance learning/ Campus
Find out more about
Newcastle Law School
In the key first year Genetics module you will cover DNA structure and function, information flow, gene regulation and the genetics of bacteria and higher organisms. Along with all of the other students on the Biological Sciences programmes you will take other modules (listed below) designed to introduce you to all aspects of this broad subject discipline.
Key First Year Modules:
Genetics I – Storage of genetic information, gene expression and regulation, mitosis and meiosis, gene linkage and chromosome mapping.
Personal and Academic Skills: Communication and Data Analysis
Personal and Academic Development
Fundamentals of Biochemistry – Fundamental biochemical processes taking place inside cells
Introduction to Evolution and Animal Biology – An overview of introduction from the pre-biotic era to Darwin and his impact. Natural selection, the origins of altruism and sexual reproduction, genetic determinants of evolution.
Cell Biology and Physiology – Tissues, organelles, reproduction and development.
Ecological Concepts and Plant Sciences – This module provides a broad overview of the biology of our environment, including topics such as climate change, conservation, ecophysiology and cell biology of plants.
Introduction to Microbiology – Broad introduction to microbiology with a focus on infectious disease, covering bacteria, fungi, protists, archaea and viruses
Widening Horizon Module (WHM) – allows you to explore content from other academic programmes of this university in the form of a stand-alone module.
In the second year Genetics module you will study the basis by which genetic variation arises and is transmitted from generation to generation. You will also look at the organisation, structure and dynamic nature of genomes, as well advanced topics in gene regulation in both bacteria and higher organisms, including man. In the core second year module Molecular Biology and its Applications you will study some of the more molecular aspects of genetics.
Genetics is central to all aspects of biology, you choose 4 other modules from the list below. If you are interested in genetics in the context of whole organisms you might choose the Animal and Plant modules, if you are more interested in molecular genetics you might choose Cell and Developmental Biology.
Key second year module:
Genetics II – Organisation of genes and genomes, generation of genetic diversity, gene transmission and analysis of problems in transmission and molecular genetics.
Core modules taken by all second year students:
Communication and Skills in Biosciences – Science communication in videography, writing and speaking, ethics in science, analysis of the scientific literature.
Molecular Biology and its Applications – Genetic analysis and gene cloning, DNA fingerprinting and forensics, genomics and computational approaches to genetics.
Example optional modules may include:
Microbes and Man – The impact of microbes on humans, bacteria, fungi and viruses, common themes of infectious disease mechanisms.
Cell and Developmental Biology – Development of multicellular organisms, interaction between cells and the cellular matrix, regulation of stem cell function.
Animal Biology – This module explores how the central nervous system translates sensory stimuli to behaviour. Topics include comparative neurobiology, biological timekeeping, sensory biology, learning and behaviour and others.
Evolution of Humans and Other Animals – The primary aim of this module is to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of comparative animal biology in an evolutionary context.
Human Structure and Function – Human anatomy and how it relates to its function and evolutionary origin.
Critical Issues for 21st Century Ecosystems – Core skills in ecosystem knowledge
Plant Sciences: from cells to the environment
Field Course: Alpine and Glacial Ecology in Norway
Field Course: Adaptations to Aquatic Environments
The final year is made up of a combination of taught modules and independent study. It is here that the link between the teaching and the research in the school is particularly important. The final year allows choice from a range of specialised topics in genetics which are informed and inspired by the research being carried out in the school.
Central to the final year is the research project, which makes up one-sixth of the credits earned in the final year. This allows you to join one of our many research groups, providing the fascinating opportunity to experience research first hand and to contribute to current research projects.
Choose a research project and at least 2 final year modules from:
Bacterial Gene Regulation – How genes are switched on or off in response to external stimuli, how control of gene expression can be explored experimentally.
Eukaryotic Gene Expression – Control of gene transcription, chromatin structure, pre-mRNA processing, mRNA translation and degradation.
Example optional modules may include:
Cancer Biology – Regulation of cell division and aberrations in malignant tumours, genetic bases of tumourigenesis, programmed cell death.
Human Evolution – Genetics and genomics, development of bipedalism, development of society and how humans’ activity applies selective pressure on the evolution of HIV.
Evidence-Based Literature Review
Critical analysis: Developing a research proposal
Current developments and advances in Eukaryotic Genetics
Introduction to Teaching Biosciences in Schools
Research Methods in Microbiology
Global Challenge and Plant Science
Applicants should normally have one of the following:
- A non-law bachelor’s degree (from a UK university or recognised by the BSB if you wish to study the BPTC), or
- A ‘stale’ law degree, where five or more years have elapsed since graduation, or
- An academic or professional qualification at degree equivalent level
If English is not your first language, you will also need to demonstrate your English Language proficiency. For example, you should have IELTS 7.5 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in all components.
If you intend to become a Solicitor
The Solicitors Regulation Authority has reduced its requirements for pre-authorisation this year. For details of the current arrangements, see the SRA website. You should pay special attention to the Character and Suitability section. If you think you may have a character or suitability issue, you may wish to clarify with the SRA before proceeding with the GDL.
See further details of our English Language requirement
USA,UK & EU students, 2019/20 (per year)
International students starting 2019/20 (per year)
You’ll show your progress through a combination of written essays, problem-solving assignments and presentations.
All students take our core modules, but please note that the availability of optional modules is subject to demand.
We are ranked Top 5 in the Russell Group for UG graduate prospects – Complete University Guide 2019
Graduates of the University of Newcastle are highly regarded among employers in the UK, and a Biochemistry degree from Newcastle is an excellent qualification for securing your future career in a diverse range of industries and employment sectors. Our graduates have done consistently well over the last several years, ranking 5th in the Russell Group in terms of Graduate Prospects. Whether you have a clear idea of where your future aspirations lie or want to consider the broad range of opportunities available once you have a Newcastle degree, our careers and employability service, known as Careers Network, can help you achieve your goal.
Almost 95% of our graduates are in employment or further study within six months of graduating 2015/16 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey
Advances in the biosciences are having a profound impact on our daily lives in areas from human health to conservation. Biotechnology, biological pharmaceuticals, and personalised medicine are key growth areas in the health sector. Over the next decade our increasing understanding of how genomes are regulated will revolutionise how we interact with the natural world. Environmental remediation, climate change and related themes pose multi-faceted challenges for the coming decades. Expert knowledge in biology and the life sciences will be in high demand for the foreseeable future, with excellent prospects for exciting and rewarding careers in research, education, media, industry, the NHS and the public sector.
A significant number of our graduates choose to take a further degree, a postgraduate Masters or PhD. For many career paths, a further degree is an essential stepping-stone, including (but not limited to) careers in research. While many of our graduates remain in Newcastle and join one of our prestigious research groups, they are also highly sought after by universities around the world.
Careers Network, our unique careers guidance service is tailored to your academic subject area. Our team source exclusive work experience opportunities to help you stand out amongst the competition, with mentoring, global internships and placements available to you. Once you have a career in your sights, one-to-one support with CVs and job applications will help give you the edge. In addition, our employer-endorsed award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.