Biology and Chemistry 

(2018 Entry)

BSc (Hons)

At Keele, studying a combined honours degree will include some modules from both of the single honours degrees. In this case, your programme will be made up of a combination of modules from both Biology and Chemistry.

Combined Honours

Combined Honours degrees allow you to study two different subjects in one degree. Find out more about Combined Honours degrees.


Study abroad
Learn a language
International year
3 years/ 4 years with international year

UCAS code: CF11

View entry requirements

Course Overview

Biology at Keele focuses on the amazing world of organisms – from how they’ve evolved to their relationships with the environment and each other. Keele takes a broad approach to biology, examining the diversity of life and its evolution from the geological past. You’ll consider the complexity of biological processes and mechanisms at molecular, cellular, organismal and ecosystem levels, exploring related philosophical and ethical issues. You’ll sample, record and analyse data in the field and in our excellent labs, and learn how biology can help to improve the quality and sustainability of life. Complete this course over three years, or it may be possible (subject combination dependant) to add an extra year with an Applied Life Sciences work placement or a one year Study Abroad Placement between the second and third year.

Through the study of Chemistry, you’ll develop a solid foundation of theory and practical skills, building to cover advanced concepts and contemporary issues in chemistry in later years. You can tailor your studies to reflect your interests, and learn how to pursue your own research. You’ll have hands-on experience with state-of-the-art scientific instruments and techniques, and enjoy access to dedicated IT facilities. You’ll learn to use chemistry in problem solving, and to present your theories and findings confidently and imaginatively to your audiences.

What will this mean for my future?

Keele enjoys high rates of graduate employment, where in 2016, were recognised nationally as 1st for employability in the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey. Biology at Keele offers both breadth and depth of knowledge, preparing you for a range of directly or indirectly related careers. You might work as a research scientist, as an environmental consultant, conservationist, in quality control areas of the food industry, in the pharmaceutical industry or as a scientific writer. Graduates of Chemistry might work in industry, research or education; you could choose to become a chemical engineer, research scientist, toxicologist, patent lawyer, analytical chemist or technical writer. Many students go on to higher study after a first degree in chemistry, allowing them to specialise in an area of interest such as analytical, forensic, synthetic or materials chemistry and eventually work in a wide range of other specialist roles.

Course structure

Our degree courses are organised into modules. Each module is usually a self-contained unit of study and each is usually assessed separately with the award of credits on the basis of 1 credit = 10 hours of student effort.  An outline of the structure of the programme is provided in the tables below.

There are three types of module delivered as part of this programme. They are:

  • Compulsory modules – a module that you are required to study on this course;
  • Optional modules – these allow you some limited choice of what to study from a list of modules;
  • Elective modules – a free choice of modules that count towards the overall credit requirement but not the number of subject-related credits.

Modules Summary

Biology - A summary of the total credit requirements per year is as follows, with a minimum of 90 subject credits (compulsory plus optional) required for each year across both of your Principal Subjects. This document has information about Biology modules only; please also see the document for your other subject.

 

Year

Compulsory

Optional

Electives

Min

Max

Min

Max

1

60

0

0

0

0

2

30

30

30

0

30

3*

15 or 30

30 or 45

30 or 45

0

0

* in year 3 there is the option to choose to specialise in one of your subjects, taking a minimum of 90 credits in this subject rather than taking modules from both subjects

 

Students take four Biology modules at Levels 4 and 5, two in each semester. At Level 5, there is also the option of studying abroad for one of the two semesters, or for a whole academic year between levels 5 and 6.  At Level 6, students take four modules in Biology, of which one must be an independent study module: Life Sciences Experimental Project or Work Placement Year. Combined Honours students combining Biology with Biochemistry must take a 30-credit ISP (Independent Study Project), i.e. a Life Sciences Double Experimental Project (with research skills assessment) or a Work Placement Year Project.

 

Chemistry - A summary of the total credit requirements per year is as follows, with a minimum of 90 subject credits (compulsory plus optional) required for each year across both of your Principal Subjects. This document has information about Chemistry modules only; please also see the document for your other subject.

Year

Compulsory

Optional

Electives

Min

Max

Min

Max

1

60

0

0

0

0

2

60

0

0

0

0

3*

15-105

0-45

15-45

0

0-15

* in year 3 there is the option to choose to specialise in one of your subjects, taking a minimum of 105 credits in this subject rather than taking modules from both subjects

 

It is possible to transfer onto the following courses from BSc Chemistry. You may elect to transfer between any of the courses tabulated below according to the deadlines given:

Degree Title

Duration

Transfer Deadline

BSc Chemistry (Single Honours)

3 years

Transfer by week 1 of semester 1 of year 2

BSc Chemistry with International Year (Single Honours)

4 years

Transfer by week 1 of semester 1 of year 2

BSc Medicinal Chemistry (Combined Honours)

3 years

Transfer by week 1 of semester 1 of year 2

MChem Chemistry

4 years

Transfer by week 1 of semester 1 of year 2

 

A summary of the BSc Chemistry with International Year programme is provided in Annex A. Please consult the MChem programme specification for full details. Please consult the BSc Medicinal Chemistry programme specification for full details.

 

 

Modules - Year One

Year 1 (Level 4)

Biology Year 1 (Level 4)

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional Modules

Credits

Biodiversity, Ecology & the Environment

30

   

Cellular Genetics & Evolution

30

   

 

Chemistry Year 1 (Level 4)

There are two compulsory 30-credit modules taken by all chemistry students at Level 4.

Whilst laying the foundations of the principles and vocabulary of Chemistry, you will be challenged to question knowledge and the nature of knowledge when you start to encounter problems that have more than one answer or interpretation.  You will be exposed to experimental evidence from a variety of sources and start to learn how such evidence supports, undermines or otherwise, the theoretical models and ideas upon which the subject of Chemistry is built. The practical classes emphasise development of core practical skills through hands-on experience of key techniques and procedures, as well as skills in laboratory safety, maintaining a laboratory diary, observation, information retrieval, IT skills, scientific writing and reporting in a variety of formats.

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

Chemical Structure and Reactivity

30

None

 

Practical and Professional Chemistry Skills

30

   

 

Modules - Year Two

Year 2 (Level 5)

Biology Year 2 (Level 5)

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional Modules

NB: students choose 2 modules from:

Credits

Life at the Extremes *

15

Animal Adaptations

15

Research and Analytical Techniques

15

Human Genetics

15

   

Living Together: Behaviour, Cooperation and Conflict

15

   

Nutrition and Energy Balance

15

   

Health and the Environment

15

   

Current Topics in Biology

15

   

Microbes, Viruses and Parasites**

15

   

Study Abroad Modules

30

* This module includes a field course

**This module is a prerequisite for Human Parasitology at Level 6

 

Chemistry Year 2 (Level 5)

Students will take three chemistry modules (one 30-credit module two 15-credit remaining chemistry modules.

In Year 2 the knowledge and skills acquired in Year 1 are developed with an increasing emphasis on the need to integrate knowledge and critically evaluate experimental evidence in solving theoretical and practical problems. In practical classes, new practical skills are developed and an increasing emphasis is placed on critical evaluation of experimental design and the analysis of complex data from multiple sources, including computational theoretical calculations and the scientific peer-reviewed literature. Sophisticated analytical techniques are introduced and applied to the investigation of a variety of problems, whilst communication skills are developed to include skills in oral presentation.

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

Molecular Chemistry and Reactions

30

None

 

Spectroscopy and Analysis

15

   

Physical and Structural Chemistry

15

   

 

 

Modules - Year Three

Year 3 (Level 6)

 

Biology Year 3 (Level 6)

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional Modules

NB: students choose 3 modules from:

Credits

Students taking Biology and Biochemistry:

Life Sciences Double Experimental Project (with research skills assessment)

Or

Double Applied Life Sciences Placement1,2

 

30

 

30

Applied Insect Ecology

15

Conservation Biology

15

Human Parasitology3

15

Applied Fish Biology

15

Students taking Biology and a subject outside the School of Life Sciences:

Life Sciences Single Experimental Project (with research skills assessment)

Or

Life Sciences Dissertation

Or

Single Applied Life Sciences Placement1

 

15

 

15

 

15

Trees in their Environment

15

Developmental Biology

15

Human Evolution

15

Communication Skills for Biologists

15

Life Sciences Dissertation

15

1 The Applied Life Sciences Placement modules may replace Life Sciences Experimental Project (with research skills assessment) modules if the nature of the placement is deemed suitable and the work carried out meets the criteria of the research project module.  

 

2 If a student fails the Life Sciences double experimental project module (or the alternative Double Applied Life Science placement module) but has it condoned, then they will not be eligible for an RSB accredited degree, but shall instead be eligible for the award BSc Studies in Biochemistry

 

3 This option is only available to students who have taken Microbes, Viruses and Parasites at Level 5

 

Chemistry Year 3 (Level 6)

In Year 3, increasingly sophisticated theories and ideas are introduced which require you to draw upon, integrate and extend the fundamental chemical principles introduced during Years 1 and 2. Choice of modules is available to allow you to pursue your specific interests, as well as choice within Topics in Chemistry. Course work is designed to allow you to develop a range of subject specific skills, focusing on engaging with scientific literature and experimental data sets, and working towards the Graduate Attributes through presentation, interviews and various written reports. You will also carry out a 15-credit Dissertation or Project (selected from a wide variety of research projects on offer) which places increased emphasis on your ability to work independently and critically evaluate practical investigations and the peer-reviewed scientific literature.

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules1

Credits

Topics in Chemistry

15

Group 1:

Chemistry/Medicinal Chemistry Research Project

Chemistry/Medicinal Chemistry Dissertation

 

15

 

15

   

Group 2:

Advanced Organic Chemistry

Kinetics, Photochemistry & Inorganic
reaction Mechanisms

Inorganic, Physical & Solid State Chemistry

Materials Chemistry & Catalysis

 

15

15

 

15

15

1 Students must select one module from Optional Core Group 1 and two modules from Optional Core Group 2, to a total of 60 credits in Chemistry.

 

 

Modules - Year Four

If you choose to specialise in Biology in your final year you will study the following modules:

Core modules

Credits

Optional Modules

NB: students choose 6 modules from:

Credits

Life Sciences Double Experimental Project (with research skills assessment)2

Or

Double Applied Life Sciences Placement1

30

 

30

Applied Insect Ecology

15

Conservation Biology

15

Human Parasitology3

15

Applied Fish Biology

15

Trees in their Environment

15

Developmental Biology

15

   

Human Evolution

15

   

Communication Skills for Biologists

15

   

Life Sciences Dissertation

15

If you choose to specialise in Chemistry in your final year you will study the following modules:

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules1

Credits

Chemistry/Medicinal Chemistry Research Project

15

Materials Chemistry & Catalysis

15

Chemistry/Medicinal Chemistry Dissertation

15

   

Advanced Organic Chemistry

15

   

Kinetics, Photochemistry & Inorganic
reaction Mechanisms

15

   

Inorganic, Physical & Solid State Chemistry

15

   

Advanced Chemical Analysis

15

   

Topics in Chemistry

15

   

1 Students may select an alternative level 6 elective module in lieu of Materials Chemistry & Catalysis for a minimum of 105 credits in Chemistry.

 

For further information on the content of modules currently offered, including the list of elective modules, please visit: www.keele.ac.uk/recordsandexams/az