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Undergraduate Course

Applied Biosciences: Cancer Biology BSc (Hons)

Specialise in the molecular mechanisms involved in cancer progression as you explore human disease and its effects on the body.

Student holding a Petri dish

On this degree you will specialise in the metabolic and cellular changes associated with cancer at a molecular level. You will explore tumour formation and disease progression and analyse contemporary treatment strategies. We will give you the scientific knowledge and laboratory skills needed to investigate, diagnose, monitor and treat diseases.

  • HUBS logo for biosciences
  • Biomedical science logo
  • HUCBMS logo for biosciences

York campus

  • UCAS Code – 7Y69
  • Duration – 3 years full time, 4 years full time with placement, 6 years part time
  • Start date – September 2022
  • School – School of Science, Technology and Health

Minimum Entry Requirements

    104 UCAS Tariff points

    4 GCSEs at grade C/4 including English Language, Maths and Double Integrated Science (or equivalent).

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2022 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2022 entry £12,750 per year full time

Discover Biosciences at York St John University

Course overview

At the start of your course you will study normal human biology and explore microbiology and immunology. This will give you detailed knowledge of what causes disease and how it affects us. Your first year modules are the same as our Biomedical Science course, giving you a broad scientific foundation.

In your second and third year, you will build on this knowledge and specialise in cancer biology. You will study:

  • The metabolic and cellular changes associated with cancer
  • Contemporary treatment options
  • Cellular signalling pathways both within and between cells
  • Pathogenic mechanisms (endogenous and exogenous).

Our practical course gives you extensive laboratory experience. You will have practical teaching sessions and can access our laboratories in your own time too. Academic and technical staff will supervise these sessions and support you. We also offer the opportunity for mentorships from students in their second year.

Use our network to build your own. We can help you find a year long placement in an industry laboratory. This extends the length of your course to 4 years and your award will change to Applied Biosciences: Cancer Biology (with placement). This is completed between year 2 and 3 and you will complete a poster presentation assessment while you are working in industry. It's a brilliant chance to gain laboratory experience and apply your scientific skills and knowledge.

Course structure

Year 1

Our academic year is split into 2 semesters. How many modules you take each semester will depend on whether you are studying full time or part time. 

In your first year, if you are studying full time, you will take:

  • 2 compulsory modules across semesters 1 and 2
  • 2 compulsory modules in semester 1
  • 2 compulsory modules in semester 2

If you are studying part time, the modules above will be split over 2 years.

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

Modules

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will gain the skills that underpin the scientific methods and practice of bio sciences. You will develop the mathematical and statistical skills, scientific writing and comprehension, IT and study skills needed for laboratory work. You will also build transferable skills relevant to any future job, including team work, organisation and self-reflection.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will develop an understanding of the normal organ systems. You can then compare with disease states on other modules. You will study:

  • The digestive system and nutritional requirements
  • The nervous system
  • The cardiovascular and respiratory systems
  • The anatomy and function of the renal system
  • The endocrine system in relation to developmental biology.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module we will introduce you to the molecular structure of the main macromolecules in the body. You will learn to analyse how their structure affects their function. On the module you will:

  • Investigate the effect of solution conditions on reactions
  • Explore the molecular structure of carbohydrates, nucleic acids, amino acids and lipids
  • Articulate the effect of PH changes on biological molecules.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will learn about cell structure and sub-structure, including the control of cell function. We will focus on mammalian cells during this module. You will study the cell cycle and cell division, as well as cell specialisation and cooperation. On this module you will:

  • Study the intra and inter-cellular structures of eukaryotic cells
  • Determine the role of the cell cycle and associated common diseases
  • Investigate cell differentiation and tissue specialisation
  • Analyse and identify the structure of common tissues.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will further develop your knowledge of how the classes of biomolecules store and derive energy. We will also examine the main metabolic pathways and how these pathways function in an integrated manner in the living body. You will study:

  • The normal metabolic pathways of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins
  • Enzyme kinetics and inhibition
  • The removal of toxins from the body
  • The role of disruption of metabolic pathways in disease.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module we will introduce you to microbiology by studying the structure, physiology, diversity and genetics of bacteria and viruses. There is an emphasis on the classification of medically important organisms. You will study elementary concepts of immunology by exploring the structure and function of the immune system and the nature of antigens and antibodies. On this module you will:

  • Examine the fundamental concepts of bacterial growth and metabolism
  • Consider prokaryotic DNA replication, transcription and translation
  • Explore epidemiology and prevention of disease
  • Investigate the response of the immune system to infection.

Year 2

In your second year, if you are studying full time, you will take:

  • 2 compulsory modules across semesters 1 and 2
  • 2 compulsory modules in semester 1
  • 2 compulsory modules in semester 2

If you are studying part time, the modules above will be split over 2 years.

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

Modules

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module, you will focus on improving your employability. You will have sessions with the careers team and will meet bioscience professionals and graduates. We will introduce you to the methodologies used in biosciences research, helping you develop a range of analytical methods necessary to support your research project. 

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module we will introduce you to blood group antigens and antibodies, considering the important issues involved in the safe supply and testing of blood and its components. This module has a focus on disease, particularly around analysis and ethical consideration of immune-compromised patients. While on this module you will:

  • Examine the structure and function of the main components of the blood
  • Explore the causes of blood based disorders, their diagnosis, monitoring and treatment
  • Investigate the response of the immune system to infectious disease
  • Study allergy and auto-immune diseases
  • Investigate the genetic basis of blood groups
  • Consider the ethics and appropriate selection of transfusion products.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will address common biochemical disorders and their effect on the body at the molecular, cellular and organ level. You will examine the nature of the clinical biochemistry laboratory and the importance of the discipline in diagnosing and monitoring disease, including major biochemical tests. You will develop an understanding of the techniques used to analyse patient samples. On this module you will:

  • Examine the importance of internal and external standardisation of laboratory practice
  • Consider the use of biochemical markers in cancer and routine organ function tests 
  • Study the causes, monitoring and treatment of diabetes
  • Analyse the role of lipoproteins in health and disease
  • Explore the role of the renal system in fluid and acid/base balance.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will consider the structure and function of prokaryotic and eukaryotic genomes at the molecular level. You will gain theoretical and practical experience of molecular biology laboratory techniques and clinical applications of modern molecular tools.  You all also:

  • Study the replication, transcription and translation of DNA
  • Examine the role of mutation and genetic recombination
  • Explore the use of molecular biology cloning techniques.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will explore how cells communicate intra and inter-cellularly. This will include looking at the major classes of signalling molecules and their receptors. Together we will investigate the composition and classification of G-proteins, second messengers and protein phosphorylation. You will examine their activation and modulation by toxins and disease.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

This module provides an overview of normal histology and cytology of the major organs and systems of the human body. You will develop the skills you need to collect, process, prepare and interpret samples from diseased tissue. You will learn about commonly used laboratory techniques that provide evidence to help clinicians with the diagnosis of disease.  This will include:

  • Investigating the responses of inflammation, tissue repair and wound healing
  • Assessing techniques in sample preparation and staining of histological samples
  • Exploring the normal pathology of the major organs 
  • Considering the pathological changes associated with tumourigenesis.

Year 3

In your third year, if you are studying full time, you will take:

  • 1 compulsory Research Project module across semesters 1 and 2
  • 2 compulsory modules in semester 1
  • 2 compulsory modules in semester 2

If you are studying part time, the modules above will be split over 2 years.

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

Modules

Credits: 40

Compulsory module

On this module you will investigate a specific area of novel scientific research. You will work independently on a research project with the support of your academic supervisor. They will meet with you on a 1 to 1 basis and codesign the experimental procedures for investigating your hypothesis. You will start by reading and reviewing relevant literature to generate hypotheses and research questions. You will then collect your data in our bioscience laboratories using contemporary research methods. Once you have generated the data, you will analyse and interpret your complex data and write up your findings.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

This module provides a detailed consideration of cancer biology, focusing on the basis of carcinogenesis and the molecular, cellular and physiological signs of cancer. While on this module you will:

  • Explore specific causes of cancer
  • Review the scientific discoveries that have informed our understanding of the signs of cancer
  • Investigate oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes and their effects
  • Analyse the basis and scope of current cancer treatments
  • Use bioinformatics to monitor response to treatment and development of resistance.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will build your knowledge of the structural properties of immune receptors, antigen interactions and signal transduction. You will also explore the causes of reactive immunology, autoimmune diseases and allergies, along with treatment strategies. We will evaluate the importance of ethical issues and immunotherapy approaches to disease. We will investigate the breadth of testing and screening tools for molecular immunology.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will draw together many of the pathology disciplines studied previously. You will study organ, cellular, molecular and clinical aspects of important human diseases. This includes neurodegenerative disorders, sepsis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  As you explore these disorders, you will:

  • Analyse the biological basis, clinical presentation and treatment of important diseases
  • Evaluate the aetiology, diagnosis and treatment of several serious medical conditions.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will explore the underlying principles of pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and toxicology. You will look at this in terms of the targets and mechanisms of drug action. You will also interpret molecular and cellular interactions related to the pharmacological and toxicological effects on patients. As part of the module you will:

  • Analyse the biological basis of drug delivery, metabolism and elimination from the body
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of drug treatments, including personalised medicine
  • Investigate the biotransformation of substances and toxicology.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and learning

Your modules will increase in complexity as you progress through your degree. We deliver your modules through:

  • Lectures
  • Workshops
  • Practical classes in our labs
  • Participation in research studies.

Each module runs on the same day each week. You will study 1 subject each day. Your contact hours will vary each week but each module you study usually has 2 to 4 hours of contact time each week. We schedule our taught sessions between 9:00am and 5:00pm, Monday to Friday.

You will need to conduct independent study outside of this time. This might include reading, research and coursework preparation. You will have supervised access to the laboratories outside of your contact time. Our technicians will support these sessions. You will also have regular academic tutorials to receive feedback on your work and discuss the course content.

Our teaching draws on both our research and professional experience. This means your learning is informed by the most current thinking in the subject area. You can find out more about our research and backgrounds by visiting our staff pages.

Assessment

Assessment types vary from module to module. Some of your assessments might include:

  • Report writing
  • Practical competency test
  • Written and oral exams
  • Scientific writing
  • Presentations
  • Data analysis and interpretation.

For each assessment you will have a practice assignment before your formal submission. Each assessment is marked and returned with feedback so you can improve your academic and technical skills.

Career outcomes

Your future with a degree in Applied Biosciences: Cancer Biology

This course will give you the experience and scientific knowledge you need for a variety of careers. The transferrable skills you gain in data analysis, communication and problem solving will also prepare you for a range of other roles in related industries.

This degree could be the first step toward your career as a:

  • Biotechnologist
  • Research associate
  • Immunotoxicologist
  • Quality control scientist
  • Research scientist.

Discover more career options on Prospects careers advice pages.

You could also progress onto a postgraduate degree and take your learning even further.

Postgraduate courses

Whatever your ambitions, we can help you get there.

Our careers service, LaunchPad provides career support tailored to your ambitions. Through this service you can access:

  • Employer events
  • LinkedIn, CV and cover letter sessions
  • Workshops on application writing and interview skills
  • Work experience and volunteering opportunities
  • Personalised career advice.

This support doesn't end when you graduate. You can access our expert career advice for the rest of your life. We will help you gain experience and confidence to succeed. It's your career, your way.

Entry requirements

Qualifications

Minimum Entry Requirements

    104 UCAS Tariff points

    4 GCSEs at grade C/4 including English Language, Maths and Double Integrated Science (or equivalent).

Calculate your UCAS Tariff points

Qualifications accepted

Minimum Grade

Minimum Science requirements

A level (A2)

BCC (excluding General Studies)

B in Biology. An AS or A2 in Chemistry is desirable. If you have CCC in all science subjects, we will consider your application.

BTEC Extended Diploma

Distinction, Merit, Merit

A science based BTEC or 3 biology specific modules.

International Baccalaureate

30 points

A grade 5 in Higher Level Biology.

Access to Higher Education Diploma

45 credits at level 3 and completed within 2 years

Access to Science, Medicine or Health Diplomas are preferable. Broader Diplomas must include, 3 modules in Biology.

We do not accept Adult Numeracy or Key Skills instead of GCSE Maths.

 

International Students

If you are an international student you will need to show that your qualifications match our entry requirements.

Information about international qualifications and entry requirements can be found on our International pages.

If English is not your first language you will need to show that you have English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

International entry requirements

Mature Learners

If you do not have standard academic qualifications, you will need to demonstrate an equivalent level of knowledge. You can show this through continued professional development (CPD) certificates or work based portfolios. You will also need to attend an interview as part of the recruitment process.

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. You can read them on our Admissions page.

Fees and Funding

To study for an undergraduate degree with us, you will need to pay tuition fees for your course. How much you pay depends on whether you live inside the UK or EU, or internationally (outside the UK/EU). Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

UK and EU 2022 entry

The tuition fee for 2022 entry onto this course is

  • £9,250 per year for full time study
  • £6,935 per year for the first 4 years if you study part time.

These prices apply to all UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

You can find out more about funding your degree by visiting our funding opportunities page.

Funding Opportunities

Placement year funding

If you choose to take a placement year, and your course offers it, you can apply for the Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loan for your placement year. How much you are awarded is based on the type of placement being undertaken and whether it is a paid or unpaid placement. The tuition fee for your placement year will be reduced.

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2022 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2022 entry £12,750 per year full time

International 2022 entry

The tuition fee for 2022 entry to this course is £12,750 per year for full time study.

This price applies to all students living outside the UK/EU.

Due to immigration laws, if you are an international student on a Student Visa, you must study full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

Find out more about funding your degree.

International Fees and Funding

Additional costs and financial support

There may also be some additional costs to take into account throughout your studies, including the cost of accommodation.

Course-related costs

While studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

Study Abroad

For more information on tuition fee reductions and additional costs for studying abroad, please visit our study abroad pages.

Accommodation and living costs

For detailed information on accommodation and living costs, visit our Accommodation pages.

Financial help and support

Our Funding Advice team are here to help you with your finances throughout your degree. They offer a personal service that can help you with funding your studies and budgeting for living expenses. 

For advice on everything from applying for scholarships to finding additional financial support email fundingadvice@yorksj.ac.uk

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