Undergraduate BSc (Hons)

Human Biology and Infectious Diseases

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Attendance

Full-time

Part-time

With placement

Course

Three year

Six year

Four year

Next enrolment

September 2021

Introduction

In a nutshell

Our BSc (Hons) Human Biology and Infectious Diseases focuses on human biology and the pathology, transmission and epidemiology of infectious diseases affecting humans and animals.

Unique course content

This is one of the few courses available outside of medicine that combines aspects of human physiology, immunology and infectious diseases. You will gain a systematic understanding of the key aspects of human biology and infectious diseases, within a supportive environment. In addition to studying a core biology curriculum, you will study specialist modules such as Pathophysiology and Veterinary and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases.

Hands-on learning

This course has a strong practical focus, allowing you to develop the lab skills needed for a career in medical laboratory research in a wide range of industry sectors. 

Professionally-accredited programme

This programme has been accredited by the Royal Society of Biology following an independent and rigorous assessment. It contains a solid academic foundation in biological knowledge and key skills, and prepare graduates to address the needs of employers. 

In the NSS 2020 survey, BSc (Hons) Human Biology and Infectious Diseases received 100% overall satisfaction [University of Salford analysis of unpublished NSS 2020 data].

You will:
  • Gain a detailed and systematic understanding of human biology and infectious diseases
  • Have the opportunity to gain an understanding of many non-infectious diseases such as cancer and heart disease
  • Have the option to undertake a relevant industry placement in a clinical or research-based setting
  • Have the opportunity to tailor your degree to your own ambitions through specialist optional modules
Placement

options available

International

students accepted

Course accreditations
Royal Society of Biology accreditation logo

This is for you if...

1.

You are motivated to specialise in the areas of public health, tropical disease and infection biology

2.

You wish to pursue a career that is aligned to solving real-world, global health issues

3.

You are interested in a career in disease-based research or are interested in post-graduate entry medicine / dentistry

Course details

All about the course

For three years of study - or four, if you choose an industry placement, you'll explore some fascinating subjects, including parasitology and infectious diseases, pathophysiology and molecular genetics.

  • During year one, you will focus on a range of theoretical and practical modules that introduce human anatomy, genetics, molecules and microbes.
  • As you progress into year two, you will gain insight into the world of disease processes, and how they are diagnosed and treated, by following modules including pathophysiology, parasitology and infectious diseases and molecular genetics.
  • In your final year, you'll choose from optional specialised modules to shape your knowledge. Your final year also includes a research project, where you can choose from a wide range of medical topics and work with expert academics and technicians in our Biomedical Research Centre. 
Industry Placements

On this course, you will have the option to take an industry placement year between years two and three. Although you will be responsible for securing your placement, a tutor will support you, monitor your progress and assess your final placement report. 

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.

Year one

Molecules to Microbes

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.

Genetics

Genetics has become a central topic not only in biological science, but also for topics such as data science, art and culture. Genetics is revolutionising all spheres of life at an unprecedented speed. It is central to all areas of biology, from cellular development and reproduction to conservation and biodiversity. In this core module, we will provide you with the framework of this diverse area, covering areas from DNA fingerprinting and DNA/RNA editing, to ethics and conservation biology. We will expose you to the latest research in the area of molecular genetics and provide the foundation for your future. 

Human Anatomy

In the first trimester, this module is intended to provide a systems-led approach to understand basic human anatomy, embryology and the structure function relationships therein. In the second trimester, this is further explored at a microscopic level through studying the histology of human tissues. 

Biological Skills

This module will help you develop practical laboratory skills employed in biological laboratory practice and relevant to cell, organismal, micro and molecular biology, which will form a basis for competence in biological and biochemical experimental work.

Study Skills

In this module you will learn by observation, investigation, comparison and engagement and will develop practical learning and presentation methods which can be applied generically during year one and beyond. You will also gain an appreciation of Personal Development Planning and effective data handling, calculation and numerical skills.

Cell Biology

This module provides a broad cell biology knowledge base, building a solid foundation of key scientific content relevant to subsequent modules within several bioscience degrees.

Year two

Molecular Genetics

Molecular Genetics will enable students to gain practical skills in molecular biology and bioinformatics, through linked laboratory and computer sessions. The lecture programme is delivered by three academics, each an expert in their specific area of molecular genetics. Topics covered include, current molecular biology and bioinformatics techniques, the control of bacterial and eukaryotic gene expression, the effect of mutations on gene expression, population genetics and the application of molecular genetics to conservation.

Introduction to Parasitology and Infectious Diseases

This module aims to provide you with a comprehensive 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 life cycles of protozoa and helminths of medical importance; vectors that transmit infectious agents and the internal and external factors that affect transmission of infectious diseases.

Biological Research Skills

This module is designed to help you develop an ability to understand the basics of scientific research in 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
     

Microbial Communities and Interactions

This module will help you to build your knowledge and understanding of fundamental concepts in microbiology. You will learn about the phenomenal diversity of microbial metabolism and genetics and how microorganisms have adapted in communities to survive and thrive in the most extraordinary habitats. You will investigate key examples of microbial interactions with their hosts and with each-other and how this can lead to disease or beneficial relationships. Our field trip provides a first-hand experience of how microorganisms are applied to benefit human populations. You will also refine your skills in practical microbiology, experimental design, data presentation and critical awareness of scientific research.

Pathophysiology

This module will provide students the opportunity to gain an understanding of the wide range and inter-related nature of disease and major diagnostic approaches. Students will use a range of primary and secondary information sources and group-based discussions to develop a transferable understanding of pathophysiology. This module is delivered into different programme pathways including campus based full-time and part-time studies, and work-based part-time studies, eg apprenticeship. The precise mode of delivery, and support for module content and its assessment will depend on the pathway being taken. Your learning will be supported by lectures, workshops and online material, alongside guided independent reading. On completion you will be sufficiently informed about the multidisciplinary aspect of laboratory investigations in achieving a complete diagnosis, across a range of diseases from different physiological systems. 

Human Systems Physiology

Physiology is the science of life. During the Human Systems Physiology module, you will explore the function of each major organ system. You will discover the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlay this function, and how organ systems are integrated and regulated to maintain homeostasis, while allowing the human body to adapt to changing metabolic and environmental demands. Laboratory classes use cutting-edge equipment that allow you to see “physiology in action” and develop competence in the techniques used by physiologists to advance the field.  

Year three

Human Genetics

The role of genetics and genomics has now become mainstream and is at the forefront of healthcare and disease management strategies. In your final year, the human genetics module will expose you to the recent developments in the field, together with the foundations of human genetics. The rapid advancement of genomics has also enabled data-based discovery of genetic information. In view of that, you will have a dedicated part of the content focused on data science and analysis strategies including the R statistical package.

Biology of Parasites

This module looks at the importance of human and animal parasites, in relation to medical, veterinary or wildlife 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.

Choose 2 of the following optional modules 

Veterinary and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases

This module looks at the maintenance and transmission of infectious diseases of veterinary or zoonotic interest. Particular interest is focused on the role of wildlife species in the ecology and epidemiology of infectious diseases. The role of arthropod-vectors in transmitting infections, and how this influences the ecology of such infections, is also studied. 

Clinical Immunology

Immunology is the study of the immune system. It is now a well-developed basic science, which is useful for the diagnosis and management of a great number and variety of human diseases. This module is designed to give an in-depth view of the basic components of the immune system and how these influence human diseases. Research-based discussion will be part of this module in understanding immune mechanisms in defense against human diseases and how these mechanisms can be dysregulated. Understanding the immune system leads to better clinical diagnostic and monitoring possibilities. Towards the end of the module you will also be given an overview of how the immune system can protect the body from developing cancers.  

Advances In Pathophysiology

This highly interactive optional final year module allows students to explore methods used in the diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of cardiovascular and respiratory (thoracic) diseases. Assessment of the module uses real case studies to enable students to develop both their analytical and critical narrative skills. Students will learn mechanisms of disease, how these relate to clinical outcomes, how patient care plans are developed, and the future approaches of thoracic medicine. Special features of the module include full CPET testing in the Health School human performance lab and the opportunity to visit to the North West Lung Centre to engage with clinical pulmonary testing.  

New

Educational Principles and Practice in STEM

The module will provide you with an introduction to teaching and learning at key stage 4 (level 2 GCSE qualifications) through the application of core educational concepts. You will design and deliver an educational activity for a laboratory, workshop or through an online interactive system. The module will provide a taster for students considering teaching as a career.

Human Microbiology and Infection Control

The first part of this module is a series of lectures covering microbiomes and how technological advances have allowed for the study of microbial communities. We will then explore subjects such as public health, pathogenicity, virulence, viruses and vaccination, as well as one of the key challenges facing society: antimicrobials and the development of antibiotic resistance. 

Choose one of the following final year project options

Final Year Project and Professional Skills (HANS)

This dissertation module allows you to develop independent research skills, including both data collection/generation (for example, via lab-based research or fieldwork) and analysis, while conducting research on a topic in an area relevant to your programme of study. You will also develop your professional skills, with a focus on employability. 

Final Year Project with Science Communication and Professional Skills

This dissertation module allows you to develop independent research skills, including data analysis, while conducting research on a topic in an area relevant to your programme of study. You will learn about science communication and the variety of methods in which science can be disseminated and communicated, and then put these methods into practice. You will also develop your professional skills, with a focus on employability. 

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.

What will I be doing?

TEACHING 

You will learn through a combination of:

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

ASSESSMENT

Typically modules are assessed through a combination of coursework and examination, with coursework accounting for around 40% of the marks. Though this can vary from module to module, for example certain modules are assessed entirely by coursework. Continuous assessment includes a research project, laboratory reports, essays, data analysis and presentations. The final degree award is weighted to reflect year 2 (25%) and final year (75%) performances.

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Rising to the challenge of a changing world, our degree courses are designed to shape the next generation of urbanists, scientists, engineers and industry leaders. 

Driven by industry, and delivered by supportive programme teams, you can develop the knowledge and skills to become unstoppable in your career.

facilities

 

You will experience a modern learning environment, enriched with accessible lecture theatres and AV-equipped classrooms, computing suites and multimedia libraries, with access to industry journals, databases, and simulation software. 

As a biomedicine student you will also be taught in our 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.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

This degree is ideal for careers in pharmaceutical, biotechnology, food & public health industries, health care, scientific innovation & sales, teaching in further and higher education and scientific communication. Many of our graduates have been employed by large organisations such as Cancer Research UK and AstraZeneca, both in the UK and internationally. Others have continued on to postgraduate study, either taught science Masters courses, research degrees or teaching qualifications,  We have dedicated support schemes which aim to facilitate progression to research-based careers.

A degree in human biology and infectious diseases also aligns incredibly well to post-graduate entry medicine and dentistry. In recent years, our dedicated graduate entry medical school scheme has helped many of our graduates enter medical school by providing focused mentoring and support from their first year.

A taste of what you could become

a human disease research scientist

a physiologist or microbiologist

a public health specialist

a health care professional

a teacher or lecturer

and more...

Career Links

EMPLOYMENT

This course is designed to build your human biology knowledge while developing practical laboratory skills. Contemporary research methods and procedures are integrated into your studies, making you highly employable in the field. 

With growing interest in infectious diseases fuelled by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is anticipated that new research and work opportunities will arise worldwide. RSB course accreditation provides a guarantee of quality sought by employers and enhances graduate employability. 

This degree is ideal for careers in pharmaceutical, biotechnology, public health, health care, scientific innovation & sales, food manfacture, teaching in further and higher education, and scientific communication. Many of our graduates have been employed by large organisations such as Cancer Research UK and AstraZeneca, both in the UK and internationally. A degree in human biology and infectious diseases also aligns incredibly well to post-graduate entry medicine, dentistry and physician associate studies.

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.

FURTHER STUDY

Requirements

What you need to know

APPLICANT PROFILE

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

ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS

All of our courses are taught and assessed in English. If English is not your first language, you must meet our minimum English language entry requirements. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this, and we also accept a range of equivalent qualifications.  

Read more about our English language requirements, including information about pathways that can help you gain entry on to our degree courses. 

Standard entry requirements

GCSE

English language and mathematics at grade C or 4 or above. Equivalents are accepted.

You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below

UCAS tariff points

104 - 112 UCAS points including A2 Biology grade C. A Pass in the Practical Element of Science A levels must be achieved.

A level

104 - 112 UCAS points including A2 Biology grade C. A Pass in the Practical Element of Science A levels must be achieved.

BTEC National Diploma

MMM - DMM in a suitable science subject, which must include biology

Scottish Highers

104 -112 points from Higher Level including Higher Level Biology

Irish Leaving Certificate

104 -112 points from Higher Level including Higher Level Biology

International Baccalaureate

29 points including grade 4 in Higher Level Biology

Access to HE

104-112 UCAS points from QAA Approved Access Science Couse, must include Biology

 

Alternative entry requirements

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.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2021/22 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2021/22 £15,600per year
Part-time 2021/22 Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Full-time home 2022/23 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2022/23 £15900per year
Part-time 2022/23 Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Additional costs

All field trips are funded by the school but you may need to consider additional costs such as food and spending money. 

International field trips that are part of core modules are also funded by the school but you will need to pay towards international field trips that are part of optional modules (although these are subsidised by the school) and you will be made aware of these costs before selecting the module. 

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

Scholarships for international students

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships.
 
We have a range of scholarships available for students applying for courses in 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. Our Global Gold Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,500 and our Global Silver Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,000 - both are available for students studying in our 2021/22 intakes.

We also offer the Salford International Excellence Scholarship which offers up to £5,000 discount on tuition fees. As this is a prestigious award we have a limited number of these scholarships available.

See the full range of our International Scholarships.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply!

Enrolment dates

September 2021

September 2022

UCAS information

Course ID BC15

Institution S03

Clearing 2021

Start this course in September 2021. Apply through Clearing to secure your place.