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Life Sciences BSc

Join Brunel in September 2019

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Placement Offered This course has a Professional Placement option


Learn more about the course from our Programme Director, Dr David Tree by viewing our online presentation and Q&A

Our students will graduate with a unique mix of skills giving them a competitive advantage in the employment market.

Brunel University London’s impact on the future wages of its graduates is among the best in the country compared to other universities, according to a new analysis of government data by The Economist (2017).

This is a new course with the first intake in September 2018.

About the course

The ability to work in an interdisciplinary manner solving problems using the latest analytical and computational techniques has been identified by several Research Councils and independent reviews as an essential attribute for graduates entering the world of employment in the 21st century. Our new Life Sciences BSc has been designed to fulfil this need. Graduates of this programme will be equipped to work in a variety of professions requiring an understanding of Life Sciences, as well as other professions that value analytical skills and logical thinking.


The Life Sciences BSc programme is flexible, allowing students to draw together specific elements from the biological, environmental, psychological and sports sciences in a dynamic but structured interdisciplinary degree, with a strong emphasis on the analytical skills needed in the today’s careers marketplace. Students are able to choose their areas of specialisation while the degree is structured to ensure multidisciplinary breadth, with synoptic study bringing the areas of specialization together to develop interdisciplinary knowledge. Students may also broaden their knowledge by selecting optional modules from a wide range of non-science subjects. This allows students to be able to gain unique perspectives, and to graduate with wide-ranging and distinctive combinations of knowledge and skills that will help them to explore new and emerging career paths.


Contact our Enquiries team.
Course Enquiries: +44 (0)1895 265599 (before you submit an application)
Admissions Office: +44 (0)1895 265265 (after you submit an application)

Course content

Level 1

There is a common programme of study at Level 1 that will give a firm foundation for later specialisation. We aim to give students a broad, core foundation of knowledge across the life sciences, in biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology, anatomy and physiology, biomechanics, biological psychology and environmental sciences. A comprehensive practical and analytical skills programme supports the development of the student’s laboratory and statistical analysis skills.

Level 2

In the second year students choose two streams of specialisation, giving a broad and interdisciplinary scientific education. Students select from a range of recommended stream pairings from: biochemistry, cell biology, cognitive neuroscience, computational data analytics, environmental health, evolution and behaviour, genetics, infection and immunity and sport and exercise sciences (details of allowed stream combinations can be found here). Since so many problems in the life sciences require knowledge of computer programming, all students undertake a module in introductory bioinformatics. Students are also able to broaden their knowledge further by selecting elective study blocks in non-science subjects, such as languages, management studies, computing or creative writing from outside the Department of Life Sciences.

Level 3

At the end of the second year, students choose one of their Level 2 streams as a major Stream for their final year of study and maintain the other as their minor stream. We will give students in-depth knowledge of the cutting edge of current research and research in their streams of study while also allowing them to further widen their study with another elective module from outside the Department of Life Sciences. Students will therefore gain both depth and breadth of knowledge. Students will develop a research project in their major stream. This will develop confident graduates who are able to critically analyse, evaluate, interpret and communicate science in an interdisciplinary manner across the life sciences.

Level 1

Anatomy, Physiology and Biomechanics
Foundations of Psychology: Brain and Cognition
Molecular and Cellular Biology
Practical Research Skills
Quantitative Research Skills
Synoptic Assessment in Life Sciences 1: Teamwork and Presentation 

Level 2

Career Skills in Life Sciences
Introduction to Bioinformatics
Synoptic Assessment in Life Sciences 2: Interdisciplinary Literature Interrogation and Synthesis

Optional streams (students choose two from the allowed combinations)


Metabolic Regulation
Analytical Biochemistry

Cell Biology

Molecular and Cellular Biology
Animal Development
Principles of Human Disease

Cognitive Neuroscience

Biological Psychology
Cognitive Psychology
Developmental Psychology

Computational Data Analytics

Introductory Programming
Logic and Computation

Environmental Health

Ecosystem Stressors
Environmental Health

Evolution & Behaviour

Biological Psychology
Cognitive Psychology
Social Psychology


Genetic Engineering
Molecular and Cellular Biology
History of Genetics

Infection and Immunity

Medical Microbiology
Principles of Human Disease

Sport and Exercise Sciences

Theory and Application in Sport and Exercise Psychology
Biomechanics of Human Movement
Applying Sport Sciences to Practice
Applied Sport and Exercise Physiology 

Level 3

Final year research project
Synoptic Assessment in Life Sciences 3: Research Methods, Culture and Communication

Students take all study listed for their major stream and half of the study listed for their minor stream.


Medical Biochemistry
Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology

Cell Biology (only available as a minor at L3)

Cellular Pathologies

Cognitive Neuroscience (any two from)

Practical Investigations of Mind and Brain
The Cognitive Neuroscience of Consciousness
Drugs, Hormones & the Brain

Computational Data Analytics

Algorithms and their Applications
Software Development and Management

Environmental Health

Genetics, Evolution and Biodiversity
Health and Society

Evolution & Behaviour

Animal Behaviour
Evolutionary Psychology


Gene Therapy
Genomic Medicine

Infection and Immunity

Medical Immunology
Microbial Pathogenesis

Sport and Exercise Sciences

Biomechanical Analysis Techniques
Physiology of the High Performance Athlete
Applied Sport and Exercise Psychology
Applying Sport Sciences to Practice

Final year project

In your final year students will conduct an independent empirical research project under the supervision of an academic in the Department of Life Sciences. Final year projects are often the most fulfilling aspect of the course.

Projects may take a variety of forms (from lab-based research to complex data analysis), but will be related to the area of specialisation of a student’s Major Stream, and potentially also related to their future career plans. Your project experience is often what sets you apart as an individual and employers usually ask about your project in interviews.

Read more about the structure of undergraduate degrees at Brunel and what you will learn on the course.


Careers and your future

On completion of the degree, students should have the ability to see science in a modern, interdisciplinary context having cultivated transferable skills and a broad range of problem solving abilities. A strong emphasis is placed on employability and professional skills with students being encouraged to appreciate the unique qualities of their degree that set them apart in the marketplace. The programme will enhance employability by equipping graduates with skills in communication, critical thinking, data analysis, experimental techniques, information technology, team working and time management which are highly valued in the job market . Many careers in the Life Sciences are open to our graduates in the public and the private sector. These include the life science industries, clinical genetics laboratories, clinical trials and the regulatory sector, in sales and marketing related to healthcare and diagnostic products, in diagnostic pathology and clinical laboratories, human performance laboratories, forensic laboratories, government or charity-funded research laboratories and institutes, in research and development for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, diagnostics, medical devices and laboratory instrumentation industries, and research laboratories in universities.

Further opportunities will exist in areas such as environmental regulation and monitoring, conservation, animal welfare. Alternatively, our graduates would also be well equipped to pursue many career options outside of science in business, finance and information technology, for example, in scientific journalism, in business administration as a management consultant or in finance and banking. Careers in the Public Sector would also be open to such graduates, such as in science teaching or in the civil service. Students who have specialised in a defined, interdisciplinary, scientific field may proceed to study at postgraduate level (Master’s and PhD).  



At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.

» More about Employability

Entry criteria 2019/20

  • GCE A-level BBB, including a grade B in Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Applied Science, Maths, or Physics.

  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma DDD in Applied Science.

  • BTEC Level 3 Diploma DD (all subjects accepted) with an A-level at grade B in either: Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Applied Science, Maths or Physics.

  • BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma D in a related subject withA-levels at grade B, to include either: Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Applied Science, Maths or Physics.

  • International Baccalaureate Diploma 30 points, including 5 in Higher Level Biology, Chemistry or Physics.

  • Access to Higher Education Diploma Complete and pass an Access to Science, Biomedical Science, Medicine or Health and Human Science course, with 45 credits at Level 3 with Merit or above in all units. All Biology and Chemistry units must be Distinctions at level 3.

Five GCSEs at grade C or grade 4 or above are also required, including English Language, Maths and one science subject.

Please check our Admissions pages for more information on other factors we use to assess applicants as well as our full GCSE requirements and accepted equivalencies in place of GCSEs.

Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.

International and EU entry requirements

If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions

This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6 (min 5.5 in all areas)
  • Pearson: 51 (51 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 60% (min 55% in all areas)

You can find out more about the qualifications we accept on our English Language Requirements page.

If you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, you must prove knowledge of the English language so that we can issue you a Certificate of Acceptance for Study (CAS). To do this, you will need an IELTS for UKVI or Trinity SELT test pass gained from a test centre approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and on the Secure English Language Testing (SELT) list. This must have been taken and passed within two years from the date the CAS is made.

Should you wish to take a pre-sessional English course to improve your English prior to starting your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider for the same reason.

We offer our own BrunELT English Test and have pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet requirements or who wish to improve their English. You can find out more information on English courses and test options at the Brunel Language Centre.

Teaching and learning

This programmes focuses on developing graduates who have a range of professional (including practical) and generic skills; who are capable of independent and life-long learning; who are able to apply their knowledge to unfamiliar problems and situations; who can critically analyse and interpret data and information; and who can communicate complex information with clarity.

We pursue excellence in both teaching and research, and believe that by linking the two we can provide the best education and experience for our students. Our degree programmes combine innovative and classical teaching methods with leading-edge research, and we recognise the value of practical experience in the learning process. Teaching methods include tutorials, seminars, laboratory classes, team-based learning and problem based learning seminars along with formal lectures.

As new technologies emerge, across the Life Sciences, knowledge is advancing faster than ever, so we ensure that text book information is supplemented with the latest scientific discoveries to give you a topical, up-to-date education.

How many hours of study are involved?

Each subject will involve two to four hours of contact time per week. Students will also be expected to spend around 20 hours a week in private study and preparing assignments.

Assessment and feedback

Students are assessed using a range of methods, including coursework assignments, poster presentations, oral presentations and examinations.

Special features

Interdisciplinary study has long been recognized as vital in pushing fields forward and accelerating discovery. An effective approach to interdisciplinary study is enabling students to direct their learning by choosing subjects that interest them and for which they have an aptitude. The BSc Life Sciences programme is designed so that in their second year students can pick two streams of study from nine possible streams and also take optional studies from outside the Department of Life Sciences to make their own unique degree.

Students on our new BSc in Life Sciences will become interdisciplinary thinkers who analytically and creatively embrace new ideas, are able to develop collaborative skills working with others from different backgrounds and are prepared for careers in new and emerging fields. Students learning in an interdisciplinary way are able to apply the knowledge gained in one discipline to another different discipline to deepen their learning experience.

Much data analysis in modern life sciences, and other subject areas, involves computer programming to analyse large data sets. Computational and statistical data analysis is embedded in the programme in level 1 in quantitative research skills and in level 2 in Introduction to Bioinformatics. Students have the option to further their skills in these areas by taking the Computational Data Analytics stream in levels 2 and 3, and may be able to take computer science options that further their studies in this area.

Fees and funding

Fees for 2019/20 entry



UK/EU students: £9,250 full-time; £1,000 placement year

International students: £18,720 full-time

Some courses incur additional course related costs. You can also check our on-campus accommodation costs for more information on living expenses.

UK/EU students can opt to pay in six equal monthly instalments: the first instalment is payable on enrolment and the remaining five by Direct Debit or credit/debit card.

Overseas students can opt to pay in two instalments: 60% on enrolment, and 40% in January for students who commence their course in September (or the remaining 40% in March for selected courses that start in January).

Fees quoted are per year and may be subject to an annual increase. Home/EU undergraduate student fees are regulated and are currently capped at £9,250 per year; any changes will be subject to changes in government policy. International fees will increase annually, by no more than 5% or RPI (Retail Price Index), whichever is the greater.

There is a range of financial support available to help you fund your studies. Find out about undergraduate student funding options.