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Human Biology and Infectious Diseases with Foundation Year

BSc (Hons)

School - School of Environment & Life Sciences

Subject area - Biology and Zoology

UCAS Code: BC50

Start Date(s): September


4 years full-time
5 years full-time with a placement year
Up to 8 years part-time


UK - £8,250 for Foundation Year, then standard UG fee per year.

Part-time - Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.

International - £14,820 per year

In Brief:

  • Gain a broad, basic knowledge of biological  principles to prepare you for more advanced study
  • An excellent route into science for those from a non-scientific background
  • Ideal if you are returning to education or seeking to develop your career in a new direction
  • Part-time study option
  • Work/industrial placement opportunity
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

To prepare you for our Human Biology and Infectious Diseases (HBID) degree, our foundation year provides the basic, but essential understanding of biological principles that underpin the field. It is ideal if you have an interest in Human Biology and Infectious Diseases or a desire to enter a related career but do not currently have the necessary scientific background. We aim to give you a solid foundation on which to build highly specialised and advanced expertise by providing the knowledge, practical and analytical skills required to confidently and effectively progress to study HBID at degree level.

Those who study our Royal Society of Biology accredited HBID degree seek to understand how the human body functions normally in health and abnormally in disease. 

Underpinned by our cutting-edge research, HBID focusses on the detailed understanding of human anatomy and physiology, pathological processes and the biology, transmission and epidemiology of infectious disease. A major difference between HBID and Biomedical Science is rather than providing clinical context, we place more emphasis on the mechanistic knowledge required to understand how diseases spread then interact with the human body; essential for the development of new ways to treat and eradicate disease.

HBID is particularly suited to those who wish to pursue a career in disease-based research or academia, but is equally suited to those who develop interests in medical fields such as clinical science, postgraduate entry medicine or dentistry and physicians associate degrees. Graduate employability is enhanced by integration of highly relevant transferable research skills, experience and insight brought by optional placement years and vacation scholarships, our innovative research-led modules, final year research projects, invited lectures by external professionals and the availability of focussed expert guidance on how to enter a research or clinical based career

Discover our £3m Bodmer laboratories

Find out more about the School of Environment and Life Sciences

Foundation Year        

Take a hands-on approach to develop biological and chemical laboratory skills, practise environmental and fieldwork techniques, and apply scientific knowledge in the interpretation of results of experiments and surveys.            
Explore the characteristics of plant and animal cells which are the building blocks of all life forms; their interactions with micro and macro environments, and learn about the diversity of animal and plant life in a range of ecosystems.            
Develop skills for application of statistical and mathematical methods and practise using Information Technology for effective presentation and communication of data and ideas.            
Develop life-long learning skills including techniques for self-assessment and reflection, written and verbal communication skills for meetings, debates and presentations.            

Choose two modules from:

Understand key ecological concepts, explore biogeography, appraise conservation techniques and consider priorities and issues in management of habitats and wildlife.            
Explore the interactions of earth processes, geological structures and environmental functions, the use of resources e.g. fossil fuels including fracking and consider the differential impacts of a range of geological hazards – earthquakes, volcanic activity and rising sea levels.            
Evaluate a range of environmental and scientific factors that interact to influence health – e.g. pollution, nutrition, drug development and consider examples of environmental interventions and clinical trials.            
Understand the significance of the structure of atoms, their classification in the periodic table, chemical reactions and bonding to form organic and inorganic molecules and the importance of pH.            

Year one        

This module focuses on the basic principles involved in the build-up of molecules from atoms: the formation, properties and importance of bio-organic molecules, the diverse nature of micro-organisms and their structure, function and importance.            
This module will help you develop an understanding of genes and genetics, and their influence on evolution and development. It looks at the basic principles of molecular genetics, and the function and evolution of genes in organisms.            
This module will look at the multidisciplinary nature of cell biology and the basic structure of cells, focusing on animal cells. It will help you develop a theoretical knowledge of the fundamental physiological and biochemical functions carried out by cells.            
This module aims to provide you with a systems-led approach to understand basic human anatomy and embryology. You will gain an in depth understanding of structure-function relationships of key systems in the human body through the study of gross anatomy and tissue histology.            
This module will help you develop practical laboratory skills relevant to cell, organismal, micro- and molecular biology which will form a basis for competence in biological and biochemical experimental work.            
In this module you will learn by observation, investigation, comparison and engagement. You will develop practical learning and presentation methods which can be applied generically during year 1 and beyond. You will also gain an appreciation of Personal Development Planning and effective data handling, calculation and numerical skills.            

Year 2                

The aim of this module is to provide you with a cohesive lecture and laboratory programme to enable you to become aware of mammalian molecular biology and genetics and to develop an understanding of theoretical and practical knowledge in the application of clinical laboratory techniques used for diagnosis.            
The aim of this module is to encourage an awareness of the physiological nature of life in humans and develop an understanding of form, function and adaptation in organ systems central to the maintenance of life and interaction with the environment.            
This module aims to provide you with a cohesive lecture programme and directed reading, enabling you to gain knowledge and understanding of: the range of infectious diseases that impact on humans; the basic biology and lifecycles of protozoa and helminths of medical importance; vectors that transmit  infectious agents and the internal and external factors that affect transmission of infectious diseases.            
This module is to help you develop an ability to understand the basics of scientific research under the following areas in order to prepare you for future research-based activity:                                
  • critical evaluation of research-based literature                                        
  • understanding experimental techniques and design                                        
  • data interpretation, analysis and presentation                                        
  • dissertation writing and presentation                                        
This module will provide you with a cohesive lecture and practical course to emphasise the importance of microbial metabolic and genetic diversity.You will be able to describe the different ways in which microorganisms communicate and respond to their environments and will be introduced to concepts        of pathogenicity and symbiosis and the virulence factors that contribute to disease.            
The aim of this module is to develop an understanding of selected human physiological systems and what happens when they go wrong.            

Year 3            

In year 3 there are a tailored set of modules appropriate to the degree plus the inclusion of a detailed project in the area of Human Biology and Infectious Disease.  You can undertake a lab-based research project for 40 credits, your core module and  three optional  modules from the list below, or take a literature or data analysis project worth 20 credits, your core  module, plus four optional modules from the list below. A key feature of this year is the inclusion of tutorial based Professional Skills within the project to enhance your employability            

This module aims to provide you with a cohesive lecture programme and directed reading to enable you to gain a knowledge and understanding of: humans in evolutionary context, genetic markers and human migration; the Human Genome; genetic factors controlling development and epigenetic mechanisms of gene control; genetic diseases. You will also develop the skills required to write a substantive piece of academic writing on Human Genetics.            
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is now widely recognised as one of the greatest threats to global health. This module focuses on the reasons underlying the emergence of AMR and investigates diverse often innovative solutions to the crisis.                  
The aim of this module is to develop an advanced understanding of selected human physiological systems and to gain an understanding of how failure of these systems can contribute to disease.            
This module looks at mammalian immunological mechanisms and the roles played by T and B cells/Lymphokines in generating an immune response. It helps you develop an understanding of the genetics of antibody diversity, HIV pathogensis and the current immunodiagnostic assays for infectious and non-infectiousdiseases.            
This is a unique module that builds on the considerable research experience that staff at Salford have in Parasitology and infectious diseases. It covers the basics and epidemiology of this group of diseases from a holistic view.            
This module looks at the importance of human and animal parasites, in relation to medical, veterinary or wild-life aspects, life-cycle biology, host response and the principles of parasite epidemiology and transmission. You will also study strategies for parasite detection, diagnosis and control. The  module includes a unique field course to enable you to see parasites living in their natural environment.            

Part-time structure            

If you are studying part-time, you select two to four modules from each year of study, completing the rest of the modules for the year in the following year.  This leads to a maximum six-year duration for a part-time degree. If studying part-time you do not have the placement option.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

Entry Requirements

Qualification Entry requirements
European Baccalaureate Completion of two full years study and an awarded qualification
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
English Language and Maths at grade C or 4 or above
UCAS tariff points 64 points
GCE A level 64 points
BTEC National Diploma MPP
Scottish Highers 64 points Higher Level
Irish Leaving Certificate 64 points Higher Level
International Baccalaureate 64 points Higher Level
Access to HE 64 points

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

Please note that you should discuss the possibility of being considered for the scheme with the Admissions Tutor  before making an application. Please contact the Environment and Life Sciences school office to speak with the Admissions Tutor for this course: +44(0)161 295 4656

English Language Requirements

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 (with no element below 5.5) is proof of this. If you need to improve your written and spoken English, you might be interested in our English language courses.

Applicant profile

We are looking for applicants with a biology background who are motivated to specialise in the areas of public health, tropical disease and infection biology.

Fees and Funding


Fees 2019-20

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £8,250 for Foundation Year, then standard UG fee per year.
Part-time Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Full-time International £14,820 per year

Fees 2018-19

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £6,165 for Foundation Year; £9,250 for subsequent years
Part-time Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Full-time International £14,400 per year

Additional costs

  • Field courses - a non refundable deposit of £25 is charged for all residential field courses 
  • Field trips - students will not be charged for field (day) trips but are expected to provide their own refreshments.

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.


Andrea Gbobaniyi
Human Biology and Infectious Diseases graduate

The lecturers are very friendly and easy to approach. They do not only teach valuable skills for your future but also prepare you, over the years, to execute a given task independently and with confidence.

You will learn through a combination of:

  • Lectures
  • Practical classes
  • Small group tutorials
  • Research projects
  • Guided reading
  • Residential and day field courses.


Assessment throughout is by a combination of coursework and examination, with coursework accounting for around one third of the marks in years 1 and 2 and up to a half in year 3. Continuous assessment includes the research project, laboratory reports, essays, data analysis, and presentations. The final degree award is weighted to reflect year 2 (25%) and year 3 (75%) performances.


Yvette Merga

Human Biology and Infectious Diseases graduate

Yvette went on to Masters level study at Salford, a PhD at Liverpool and is now working as a research scientist on an EU-funded project on food-borne infection.

I really enjoyed my time at Salford, and I feel that the Human Biology and Infectious Diseases course provided me with very interesting and useful knowledge about public health, infectious diseases and microbiology from experts in these fields. In my opinion, I learned about things that other biology  degrees simply didn't offer, as well as developing many transferable skills essential for a variety of careers.  It gave me a great background from which to start my career as a research scientist.

Career Prospects

This degree is ideal for careers in biomedicine, sports science, health care, health promotion, pharmaceutical and food industries and forensic science, both in the UK and internationally. Many of our graduates have been employed by large organisations such as AstraZeneca and the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute. Others have continued on to postgraduate study, either taught science Masters courses, research degrees or teaching qualifications.

Placement Opportunities

We encourage all students to undertake a placement year between years two and three of study. Placement years are arranged by the student with our support. Recent Human Biology and Infectious Diseases students have undertaken placements at the Wolfson Imaging Centre in Manchester, the Clinical Epidemiology unit at Manchester and at TSC Ltd in Heywood. In our experience, final degree results and employability are enhanced for students who undertake a placement year. The placement also counts towards the final degree classification as part of the year 2 mark.

Further Study


We have recently invested in the development of a new, state-of-the-art, integrated teaching laboratory known as the Bodmer Lab. The Bodmer Lab is a specialist, purpose built facility and ensures our students benefit from the latest technologies to support their learning and remain on the cutting edge of innovation and discovery.

The university hosts industry standard instrumentation including cell culture facilities, FACS, MALDI-TOF, LC and GC mass spectrometry, FTIR and FTNMR spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy and microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Having access to industry standard technology means that upon graduation, our students are fully prepared and equipped to enter the workplace.

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