School of Life Sciences Degrees

Further information about the degrees offered in Biomedical & Life Sciences can be obtained from the academic co-ordinators of the individual courses or from Lillias Robinson, (tel: +44 (0)141 330 2698).

Anatomical Sciences

Dr Emma Bailey
tel: +44 (0)141 330 1699

Anatomy is the scientific study of the human body in relation to its function. Throughout this programme you will explore the scientific principles which underlie clinical investigations into the form, function and development of the human body from early embryological stages into adulthood.

Course Structure

The Anatomical Sciences course for intercalating students runs in parallel with our BSc (honours) and MSci in Anatomy programmes. Most of the teaching is delivered in the form of lectures and tutorials, however, there is great emphasis on all our students to build on this material through further independent learning.

Our students select four Options (taught courses) from the School of Life Sciences catalogue, which they will study in Semesters 1 and 2. Options run for 5 weeks and focus on particular areas of anatomical research: Options A and B run in semester 1, Options C and D in semester 2. The Advanced Studies course runs throughout semesters 1 and 2, and is designed to broaden your scientific knowledge and develop your skills in critically appraising the scientific literature. All students will undertake a research project, giving them experience in a range of techniques used by modern anatomists including human dissection, histology, immunohistochemistry, light, confocal and electron microscopy and other imaging methods. Intercalating students will also participate in a course designed specifically for them: Skills for the Modern Professional. Here, you will learn about data handling, develop your understanding of statistics, and participate in regular group presentations.

Recommended Options for Anatomy (Anatomy students must chose at least two of the following)

Articulation Biomechanics (BIOL4006; A Option)
Developmental Neuroscience (BIOL4035; B Option)
Forensic Applications in Biology (BIOL4049; B Option)
Clinical Applied Anatomy (BIOL4031; C Option)
Advanced Neuroanatomy (BIOL4001; C Option)
Problems in Mammalian Reproduction (BIOL4117; D Option)

Number of students: maximum of 5


Prof Kostas Tokatlidis
tel: +44 (0)141 330 6775

Biochemistry concerns the study of proteins, nucleic acids, cellular organisation and energy metabolism and plays a central role in modern medicine both in its clinical practice and in the fundamental molecular understanding of the operation of the body in health and disease. Furthermore, modern Biochemistry underpins the development of therapeutic targets and understanding of their mechanism in pathophysiological states. All of the teaching places an emphasis on the development of key generic skills including report writing, data analysis, problem solving and oral communication, thereby complimenting other skills developed among the group of intercalated degree students in the common course.

The BSc (Med Sci) Biochemistry course comprises several elements including:

• 4 x options courses
• 10-week research project
• Advanced Studies


Students initially take the first (A) option: Central Approaches in Biochemistry, which is designed to provide students with a thorough background in basic concepts in modern biochemistry, coupled to a detailed theoretical background in addition to the broader scientific skills needed for the coming year. Thereafter, students select options from those listed below. This component of the year is assessed by examination in April/May.

Option B

• Cell Compartmentalisation and Function
• Tissue & Cell Engineering

Option C

• Cancer - Molecular & Cellular Biology
• Molecular Basis of Disease Processes
• Genes & Development
• Biotechnology

Option D

• Cell Signalling and Disease
• Stem Cells
• Bio-imaging in the Life Sciences

Research Project

In semester 1, students will undertake an investigative project in a research laboratory for 10-weeks or dissertation in which they are supervised by an academic drawn from the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences. The project report is assessed in Semester 2.

Advanced Studies

This component of the year comprises:
• Tutorials concerning data analysis and deductive reasoning
• Assessed essays
• A critical review on a topic in Biochemistry of the student’s own choosing


Dr Tom Van Agtmael
tel: +44 (0)141 330 6200

The application of molecular genetics in the fields of medicine and healthcare has been one of the major growth areas of the last decade. It provides new insights into the most fundamental aspects of growth, development, disease and ageing. Already we are seeing tangible rewards through the development of improved diagnostic techniques and novel therapies. Despite the achievements, the advances to date represent only the tip of the iceberg. Not only should medical students be aware of the revolution that is taking place, in the future some are likely to play a significant personal role through research and clinical practice. The intercalated degree course in Genetics provides you with a firm grounding and a critical understanding of likely future developments. 


Dr Olwyn Byron
tel: +44 (0)141 330 3752

Microbiology is the study of all aspects of microorganisms, which include bacteria, viruses, algae, fungi and protozoa. Some of these are agents of infectious disease; others play essential roles in maintenance of the biosphere. Students taking an intercalated BSc (MedSci) or BSc (DentSci) degree in Microbiology develop not only specific knowledge of selected topics in microbiology, but also a liberal appreciation of how science operates and how a biological scientist gains an understanding of nature through thinking, reading, discussion, literature searching, research and data analysis. An important component of the course is the research project which allows the student to develop practical laboratory skills related to medical microbiology and also to experience the workings of a research laboratory.

The BSc Hons final year Microbiology course comprises 6 elements:
• 4 x 5-week lecture-based options courses
• 10-week research project
• Advanced Studies


Students initially join the combined Microbiology, Parasitology and Virology BSc Hons final year class for the first (A) option: Core Skills in Microbiology, Parasitology and Virology. This option is designed to provide students with a firm grounding in the broader scientific skills needed for the coming year and for onwards progression in science. Thereafter, students select options from those listed below. This component of the year is assessed by examination in April/May.

Option B
• Industrial and Environmental Microbiology
• Fundamental Topics in Immunology
• Viruses and Disease
• Parasites, Disease and Immunity

Option C
• Cellular Microbiology
• Biotechnology
• Immunology of Infection
• Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
• Molecular Basis of Disease Processes
• Molecular Virology

Option D
• Vaccine Development Strategies
• Bioethics
• Bio-imaging in the Life Sciences
• Chemotherapy, Resistance and Parasite Control
• Immunological Basis of Inflammatory Disease

Research Project

In the summer prior the intercalated year, students will be offered a choice of 10-week research projects in which they are guided by an academic project supervisor (drawn from the Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, School of Life Science, School of Medicine or the Dental School). The project report is assessed in Semester 2.

Advanced Studies

This component of the year comprises:
• Oral presentation of the Honour Project
• Assessed essay
• Poster presentation
each of which is assessed.

Molecular & Cellular Biology

Dr Mathis Riehle 
tel: +44 (0)141 330 2931

The techniques and concepts of Molecular & Cellular Biology are leading a dramatic acceleration in our understanding of fundamental cellular processes. Including the fruits of the human and other genome projects, the new knowledge gained will revolutionise prevention, diagnosis and therapy in many areas of medicine during the careers of today's students. Central to these spectacular developments are methods of isolating, sequencing and manipulating genes, which in the test-tube provide fast routes to synthesis of proteins and determination of their structures. Expression of the genes, subject to precisely-controlled variation, in animal cells in culture, and in transgenic animals, allows detailed investigation of the roles of specific proteins in normal processes and diseases.


Dr Simon Kennedy
tel: +44 (0)141 330 4763

Students will be introduced to the principles of Pharmacology through in-depth investigation of specific areas of pharmacological interest and a research project assigned within MVLS which can be a practical project within an active research group. The degree will build on the expertise in pharmacology gained within the first years of the MBChB course and extend knowledge in specific areas of pharmacology to the forefront of research thinking. The degree will be based largely on the current Honours course in Pharmacology in the School of Life Sciences and involves 5-week options which can include:

  • Drug discovery and development
  • CNS Neurotransmission & Drug Development
  • Cardiovascular pharmacology and therapeutics
  • Molecular pharmacology

as well as options in

  • Physiology
  • Neuroscience
  • Anatomy
  • Other areas aligned to pharmacology

These options take up ~2 days/ week and the remaining time will be devoted to a research project in the first semester which can be either laboratory- or non-laboratory-based (current non-laboratory-based projects include analysis/interpretation of data, library projects, computer-based and commercial projects).  The second semester includes coursework on data analysis and presentation. 


Dr Ole Kemi
tel: +44 (0)141 330 5962

Physiology is concerned with how living organisms work. Its aim is to understand the underlying processes and mechanisms that operate in structures from single cells to the whole animal.

Physiology is re-emerging as one of the key medical sciences in this post-genomic era. The future of gene therapy depends on our full understanding of the physiological processes where such interventions will be targeted. 'Physiological Genomics' is a newly developing branch of physiology; proof, if any is needed, that physiology is alive and still breathing. Physiologists are now equipping themselves with molecular techniques and studying a host of different transgenic models. This course is ideal for anyone with an interest in understanding how the whole body works, rather than just individual components.

The emphasis in the physiology course is on mammalian and human physiology. The course provides a systematic coverage of the major organ systems of the body: cardiovascular, respiratory, endocrine and other topics such as cellular physiology, mechanisms regulating the internal environment of the body, statistics, molecular techniques and immunology.

Students are introduced to a wide range of experimental techniques, as well as methods for analysing and presenting experimental results. "Several topics in physiology, selected from the School of Life Sciences Honours option scheme are covered in depth." An important component of the degree course is a project carried out under the personal supervision of a member of staff.

Regular seminars are delivered by members of staff in which their own particular research interests are introduced. In addition, undergraduates can join the 'Student Physiological Society' which is directly affiliated to the professional society itself.

Number of students: maximum of 5