Biology and Computer Science 

(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 Computer Science.

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: CG14

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 dependent) 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 your study of Computer Science, you’ll learn the underpinning theories of software, hardware and computing techniques – and how to apply them in the real world. You’ll learn to use technology to create new opportunities and to solve a wide range of problems, benefiting every aspect of society from the home to business, government and beyond. This means your skills are likely to be in high demand when you graduate. Our teaching is informed by our cutting-edge research, and we also reflect what’s happening now in industry. Combined honours students can follow a set of modules providing a specialism in information systems, evolutionary systems, or creative computing, whilst single honours students cover all these strands. There’s a strong emphasis on programming – but don’t worry if you don’t have Maths A-level, because the course covers what you need to know. You’ll have 24/7 access to our own computing labs, based on Microsoft Windows and Linux, plus a wide range of software.

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 Computer Science will build the essential skills which are in demand from employers looking for systems analysts, software engineers and consultants. You’ll graduate with a wide range of computing skills plus a highly developed approach to problem solving. Recent Keele graduates have gone to work for companies as diverse as Apple, BAE Systems, Barclays, Capgemini, EA Games, Experian, Microsoft and the Ministry of Defence. You’ll also have the solid grounding you’ll need to apply for postgraduate study.

Indicative modules

First year

  • Biodiversity, Ecology and Environment 
  • Cellular Genetics and Evolution 
  • Programming 1 (Introductory Programming)
  • Computer Animation and Multimedia
  • Information Systems and Interaction
  • Requirements, Evaluation and Professionalism
  • Natural Computation
  • Fundamentals of Computing

Second year

  • Life at the Extremes (includes a field course)
  • Research and Analytical Skills
  • Animal Adaptations
  • Living Together
  • Current Topics in Biology
  • Web Technologies
  • Programming II (Data Structures and Algorithms)
  • Mobile Application Development
  • Database Systems
  • Advanced Programming Practices
  • System Lifecycles and Design
  • Computational Intelligence I 

Third year

  • Life Sciences Research Project
  • Conservation Biology
  • Trees in Their Environment
  • Applied Fish Biology
  • Applied Insect Ecology
  • Human Evolution
  • Dissertation (Life Sciences)
  • Advanced Databases and Applications
  • Software Engineering Project Management
  • Games Computing
  • Bioinformatics
  • Communications and Networks
  • IT Architectures
  • Third Year Project

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.

 

Computer Science - 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, with at least 60 credits at each level of study (Levels 4, 5 and 6). This document has information about Computer Science modules only; please also see the document for your other subject.

Year

Compulsory

Optional

Electives

Min

Max

Min

Max

1

45

15

15

0

0

2

15

45

45

0

0

3*

30

30

30

0

0

* 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

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

   

 

Computer Science Year 1 (Level 4)

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

Fundamentals of Computing      

15

Natural Computation

15

Programming I - Programming Fundamentals

15

Information Systems and Interaction

15

Requirements, Evaluation and Professionalism

15

Computer Animation and Multimedia

15

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

 

Computer Science Year 2 (Level 5)

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

System Lifecycles and Design

15

Programming II - Data Structures and Algorithms

15

   

Database Systems

15

   

Mobile Application Development

15

   

Computational Intelligence I

15

   

Web Technologies

15

   

Advanced Programming Practices

15

   

Virtual Worlds

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

 

Computer Science Year 3 (Level 6)

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

30-credit Project

30

Software Engineering Project Management

15

   

Advanced Information Systems

15

   

Advanced Databases and Applications

15

   

Games Computing

15

   

Bioinformatics

15

   

Evolution of Complex Systems

15

   

Computational Intelligence II

15

   

Communications and Networks

15

   

IT Architectures

15

 

 

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 Computer Science in your final year you require at least 105 Computer Science credits. These 105 credits must include the compulsory 30-credit Project module.

In choosing options, students should also be mindful that some level 5 modules are required in order to be able to take certain level 6 optional modules.

 

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