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Life sciences

Undergraduate study

Entry 2012

Key facts

Welcome | 1 Life sciences at Hull | 4 Why study at Hull? | 6 The Hull Campus | 8 The Scarborough Campus | 10 Choosing a degree and getting a place | 12 Your questions answered | 13 Employability of our graduates | 14

Hull Campus Single Honours

UCAS code

Aquatic Zoology

C390 BSc/AqZ

Biology Biology with Molecular Biosciences (3 years)


Biology with Molecular Biosciences (4 years)


Biomedical Science (3 years) Human Biology


C300 BSc/Zoo

With a foundation year

Scarborough Campus courses | 24

Biology (4 years)

Staff and their research interests | 32 The Deep | 36 Admissions/enquiries Hull Campus Jon Harvey (Admissions Tutor): Departmental Secretary: 01482 465144 / 465198 Biological Sciences University of Hull Hull, HU6 7RX

Scarborough Campus Sunil Shastri (Admissions Tutor): 01723 357221 Administrator: 01723 357229 Centre for Environmental and Marine Sciences University of Hull Scarborough Campus Scarborough, YO11 3AZ

C102 BSc/HB C163 BSc/MFB

Aquatic Zoology (4 years)

Life sciences modules | 30

BC99 BSc/BiSc3

Marine and Freshwater Biology

Hull Campus courses | 16

The four-year route | 29

C100 BSc/B

Biology with Molecular Biosciences (4 years) Biomedical Science (4 years)* Human Biology (4 years) Marine and Freshwater Biology (4 years) Zoology (4 years)

C350 BSc/AqZ4 C101 BSc/B4 C1CA BSc/BMBs4 BC9Y BSc/BioS4 C103 BSc/HB4 C165 BSc/MFB4 C301 BSc/Zoo4

Scarborough Campus Single Honours Coastal Marine Biology* Ecology* Environmental Science*

UCAS code CD14 S BSc/CMB C180 S BSc/Ec F750 S BSc/Env

With a foundation year † Coastal Marine Biology (4 years)* Ecology (4 years)* Environmental Science (4 years)*

CD1K S BSc/CMB4 C181 S BSc/Ecol4 F754 S BSc/EnvS4

* Also offered for part-time study. † The foundation year is taught at the Hull Campus.

Typical offers • Single Honours, Hull Campus: 280–300 points from three A levels, including A level Biology grade C and preferably another science A level • Single Honours Biomedical Science: BBB–BBC • Scarborough Campus: 260 points, including two science subjects at A level • Four-year BSc programmes with foundation year: contact the relevant Admissions Tutor for more details

Welcome Hello and a very warm welcome to the Departments of Biological Sciences and Environmental and Marine Sciences. We invite you to discover why we pride ourselves on having two of the country’s friendliest departments and why our undergraduates are highly satisfied with their student experience. Whatever your area of interest, we have something for you.

Biological Sciences The Department of Biological Sciences, on the Hull Campus, is a modern and dynamic environment with internationally recognised research activities. It has a long-standing tradition of teaching excellence and offers a wide range of Bachelors degree courses. The superb lab facilities, integral use of IT for teaching and broad variety of expertise within the department mean that choice is rarely an issue. We have a thriving campus community, with an award-winning nightclub and a students’ union that is among the best in England.

Environmental and Marine Sciences The Centre for Environmental and Marine Sciences (CEMS) is a specialist department based at our Scarborough Campus, with particular strengths in marine, ecological and environmental teaching and research. The department’s small size means that students learn in a variety of ways that are not really possible in a larger department. Field and lab work constitute around 40% of our students’ experience while they are here – whether that is sampling organisms on the beach, examining squid in the lab or climbing trees in Dalby Forest. Despite its rural location, state-of-the-art technology means that our wireless Scarborough Campus is superbly well connected, and the online resources are identical to those on the Hull Campus.

A shared ethos Our world-class research, recognised in the recent national Research Assessment Exercise, has attracted a vibrant PhD student population that helps to inspire and inform our teaching. It also means that you may have the opportunity to get involved with staff research projects and develop your skills further. Exotic field courses and training in skills such as diving mean that, in our opinion, our courses offer more added value than other comparable degrees in the UK. A solid reputation and an emphasis on transferable skills are just two of the reasons why some 84% of our life sciences students find employment within six months of graduation. The Sunday Times called Hull ‘the best-kept secret in higher education’. Now the secret is out. Wishing you all the best in your studies, Dr Graham Scott Head of Biological Sciences

Dr Phil Wheeler Head of Environmental and Marine Sciences

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Our inaugural Head of Department was Sir Alister Hardy, FRS, world-famous for his work in oceanography. As Chief Zoologist on Scott of the Antarctic’s famous ship Discovery, he was one of the first marine biologists to explore tropical and Antarctic waters.

Think tank Hull was the first university in the UK to offer dive training as a Year 1 undergraduate option. Successful completion of that module enables you to participate in the final-year field trip – studying coral reefs off the Egyptian coast – and gives you the opportunity to train to European Scientific Diver standard.

Life sciences at the University of Hull A tradition of excellence extending into the 21st century Established in 1928, the Department of Biological Sciences has an excellent tradition in both research and teaching. Our very first Head of Department, Sir Alister Hardy, FRS, is world-famous for his work in oceanography and research into the implications of plankton distribution for fisheries. As Chief Zoologist on Scott’s famous ship the Discovery (1926) he was one of the first marine biologists to explore tropical and Antarctic waters. The department also has a strong tradition in biomedical science, with notable successes such as the discovery of the role of prolactin in vertebrate osmoregulation and the creation of the IVF Unit at Hull Princess Royal Hospital. But the department is not just about great traditions – it is a thriving, dynamic place that provides a vibrant teaching and research environment. Since 2004 the University has invested £3 million in new and improved infrastructure. In particular, our teaching labs have been fully refurbished to provide world-class learning facilities at a cost of more than £700,000. In terms of research, Biological Sciences is an active, focused department that is at the forefront of many exciting fields of biology. Over the last decade it has developed an international reputation not only in biomedical science but also in evolutionary biology and functional ecology. Researchers are interested in projects ranging from the cellular basis of diseases such as cardiovascular disease and sleeping sickness to the ecology and genetics of invasive ladybirds and the evolution of sexual mode in tadpole shrimps. The environmental and marine sciences are a particular area of expertise in CEMS at the Scarborough Campus, where researchers are studying the biology of polar oceans, remediation of mine waste pollution and the ecology of tropical forests. Most importantly, we translate this cutting-edge knowledge into research-driven teaching that benefits students at all levels.

Teaching facilities Practical classes at the Hull Campus take place in two ultra-modern teaching labs, both of which have been completely refurbished in the last few years. In all there are over 160 computer workstations and interactive screens, allowing for computerassisted teaching. Demonstrations by lecturers can be projected on screen, and all information can be accessed directly by every student. Both labs are particularly well suited to cater for disabled students, featuring special wheelchair benching and facilities for visually and hearing impaired students.

Since 2004 the University has invested £3 million in new and improved infrastructure. In particular, our teaching labs have been fully refurbished to provide worldclass learning facilities.


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Teaching facilities at Scarborough also take advantage of the latest technology, and the campus is entirely wireless so that students and staff can be online wherever they are working or learning. Web-assisted learning and assignments are a userfriendly teaching innovation used at both campuses, alongside more traditional techniques.

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Why study at the University of Hull? In short: quality of teaching, friendliness of staff and students, value for money, unrivalled flexibility and added value leading to employment afterwards. This pamphlet explains why we – and our students – love this place, and describes the opportunities that it provides. We will try to help you choose the degree (and campus) most appropriate for you. One of the greatest advantages of studying at Hull is that you will become part of a uniquely interactive department where the breadth of disciplines covered by staff allows for collaborations in both research and teaching. For example, molecular biologists are collaborating with fisheries biologists to look at the genetic structure of fish stocks, and invertebrate physiologists are collaborating with biochemists to study the chemical basis of behaviour and its evolution. Most importantly, this collaborative research will benefit your education. State-ofthe-art knowledge acquired via research is built into the structure and delivery of our degree courses. Once you have gained the basic skills required for biological or environmental sciences during your first year, you can select specific modules to reflect your interests and, in effect, build your own degree. For example, you might wish to study marine and freshwater biology but also specialise in molecular biology. At Hull you can do this, and even have the flexibility of choosing between two campuses. Finally, all students are able to do their own research project and work closely with research scientists in the lab or in the field. In choosing your university you need to consider many factors, including • • • •

teaching quality and the value of the experience graduate employment prospects and the value of the skills taught the quality of the facilities, including student accommodation the content and structure of the course

All of these vary considerably from university to university and from department to department. We believe, however, that life sciences at the University of Hull has much to offer in every important area. Consider the following facts and figures.

Student satisfaction For the sixth year running, the University of Hull has emerged as one of the leading mainstream English universities for overall student satisfaction. This is no flash-inthe-pan result – our students are truly satisfied with their experience at the University of Hull.

Excellent employability

Once you have gained the basic skills required for biological or environmental sciences during your first year, you can select specific modules to reflect your interests and, in effect, build your own degree.


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The University of Hull regularly achieves a high position in league tables recording graduate employability. The most recent Higher Education Statistics Agency figures show that 90% of our students are in employment or further study six months after graduation. Biological and environmental science students frequently match, and sometimes improve on, these figures.

First-class facilities • Both campuses offer a student-friendly environment. • We are a long-established traditional university dedicated to excellence in both teaching and research. But we are also highly innovative, with investment in new teaching labs, new degrees in Human Biology and Zoology, and new teaching initiatives such as the Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme. • University accommodation is excellent, and both Hull and Scarborough benefit from a plentiful supply of inexpensive high-quality private-sector accommodation. See the University’s prospectus or visit

Dynamic degrees • Our degree courses will introduce you to the core subjects but also allow you to develop and pursue your own particular interests. Your progress will be monitored regularly, and you will have the opportunity to transfer between some of our specialist degree courses. • Our teaching and research interests span the breadth of modern-day biology and enviromental sciences, from molecular biology to management of natural resources. • You may attend field courses or undertake field-based projects both in the UK and in exotic locations such as Brazil, Tobago and Mallorca. • At the Hull Campus we run a third-year module called Biology in Education which allows students to spend time in local schools and help teaching biology – an excellent experience for those considering a teaching career. • At our Scarborough Campus, the Work Placement module allows you to develop your employability skills and enhance your employment prospects. • We offer a well-structured and proven foundation year, taught at the Hull Campus, for applicants who do not have appropriate entry qualifications.

We are a longestablished traditional university dedicated to excellence in both teaching and research. But we are also highly innovative, with investment in new labs, new degrees and new teaching initiatives.

Prime prospects • We have excellent links with local industry, hospitals and research units – many of our Biomedical Science students gain employment straight away. • You may continue your studies by working towards a research degree (MSc, MRes, PhD) or one of several taught Masters degrees, all encouraging collaboration with potential employers. • Our courses give you ample opportunity to refine those ‘key skills’ so popular with employers.

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The Hull Campus Biological Sciences occupies most of the Hardy Building and the adjacent Wolfson Building. Within these are teaching and research laboratories, an Electron Microscope Suite, freshwater and marine aquaria, a state-of-the-art Genome Analysis Suite, lecture theatres and staff offices. The department also runs botanic gardens in Cottingham, near Hull, and has very good links with industrial biotechnology companies, local hospitals and NHS research units, not least the world-renowned Magnetic Resonance Imaging Unit at Hull Royal Infirmary.

Our degree portfolio We offer three-year degree courses in Biology, Biomedical Science, Aquatic Zoology, Marine and Freshwater Biology, Human Biology, Zoology, and Biology with Molecular Biosciences. We also offer routes into these for applicants without the normal qualifications (see page 29). We are constantly updating our portfolio, so contact us for the latest information or check our website.

Why choose to study on the Hull Campus? • A department offering the chance to study the most recent developments in a wide range of current biological topics • A compact campus with all facilities close at hand • Top-quality teaching in a supportive and friendly environment • A degree that allows you to choose the modules that most interest you • The chance to travel overseas to conduct field-based work on coral reefs, mangroves and exotic freshwater systems • A wide choice of free elective modules from other departments if you wish to broaden your education • Great links with local industry, hospitals and NHS research units • The chance to learn to dive and move towards a professionally recognised qualification • Close to the centre of one of the UK’s largest cities, with all the social and recreational facilities you would expect

Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme Are you thinking of teaching as a possible career? If so, Hull is the place for you. In a pioneering venture, our department offers an undergraduate module called Biology in Education. Developed under a national initiative called the Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme, the module gives you the chance to visit a school, help in classes and try teaching. In addition, you will devise and develop a biology-based project with your class. This is a great way of gaining some teaching experience and finding out whether it is the right career for you. You gain a range of skills, improve your employability and become a role model inspiring more young people to choose science-based careers or education in the future. A highly rewarding experience!

The department runs botanic gardens and has very good links with industrial biotechnology companies, local hospitals and NHS research units.


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The Scarborough Campus The Centre for Environmental and Marine Sciences (CEMS) is situated in an ideal position on the Scarborough Campus. Just a few hundred yards from the shore of the Yorkshire coast, and a few miles away from the North York Moors National Park, it has incomparable natural facilities for study and research on its doorstep. Situated within the Worsley Building, the centre offers modern laboratory and aquarium facilities and a dedicated microscopy suite. The newly refurbished and extended library and IT facilities are easily accessed, and the halls of residence – providing excellent en-suite accommodation – are also located on campus.

Our degree portfolio At Scarborough we offer three-year degrees in Coastal Marine Biology, Environmental Science and Ecology. We also offer routes into these for applicants without the normal qualifications (see page 29) and opportunities for part-time study.

Why choose to study on the Scarborough Campus? • Degree courses that emphasise the hands-on, applied aspects of biology and environmental science thanks to the easy access to a variety of marine and terrestrial ecosystems • Small, intimate campus that enables you to fulfil your potential as an individual, rather than one among the crowd • Easily accessible staff who will know your name and provide support when you need it • Links with the British Antarctic Survey and the Food and Environment Research Agency, who provide expert input • Surfing opportunities when you need a break from work!

Dive training CEMS has a dedicated dive instructor on its staff. Training to Open Water level is an option in the first year, while those that are committed can progress to European Scientific Diver standard – a professional diving qualification – by the final year. Although many students purchase their own equipment, CEMS has enough to train as many students as wish to learn. A recent development has been the purchase of full-face masks and underwater communication technology that give student divers experience of using commercial dive equipment.

Just a few hundred yards from the shore of the Yorkshire coast, and a few miles away from the North York Moors National Park, the centre has incomparable natural facilities for study and research on its doorstep.


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Dive training not only lets you experience the wonderful underwater world at first hand; it also encourages personal development (confidence, working in groups, planning, safety awareness, self-discipline), and it looks great on your CV – whatever career path you choose.

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Choosing a degree and getting a place Our degrees are listed on the inside front cover. Details of these courses are given on subsequent pages. For up-to-date information call us or check our websites. Before you make your UCAS application, you can call us (01482 465398 or 465198 for Hull-based courses; 01723 356221 for our Scarborough-based courses) for advice. We will help you choose between Hull and Scarborough, and give advice about which degree may suit you best. You may also email either of the following people. We promise a speedy reply. Dr Jon Harvey – Admissions Tutor, Hull Sunil Shastri – Admissions Tutor, CEMS One other piece of advice: if you are thinking of applying for one of our degrees but are not certain whether you should go for a three-year course or a four-year course with a foundation year, please contact the Admissions Tutor for further information.

For the four-year BSc degrees with a foundation year (including Biomedical Science) These degrees are designed for those who in some way do not meet the usual entry requirements of the threeyear courses. (You may, for example, be offering an unusual combination of A level subjects.) See page 29 or contact our admissions officers for more details.

For Biomedical Science We ask for good A level passes (or equivalent) in Biology, Chemistry and one other, preferably science, subject. A typical offer would be 280–300 points.

For all other courses We ask for A level passes (or equivalent qualifications) in Biology and another science subject. In our experience general aptitude and determination to succeed are often more important than A level subjects. If Biology is your only science, we will still give your application serious consideration. We will consider applicants without science A levels as our four-year BSc courses can be used as ‘conversion’ courses. Our typical offer is 280–300 points.

Getting a place If we make you an offer we will invite you to one of our open days, at either the Hull or the Scarborough Campus as appropriate. You will be given a choice of dates and days, usually Wednesdays and Saturdays. Members of your family or partners will also be encouraged to attend. Late applicants or those who cannot attend open days should contact the admissions staff identified above, who will make arrangements for individual visits. We welcome and encourage applications from students with disabilities. Entrance requirements depend on the degree you wish to take. When we make our offer your suitability for the course applied for will be taken into account along with your predicted examination performance. Candidates offering qualifications other than A levels (for example, BTEC, IB, GNVQ, Access courses, etc) will be given careful consideration. Anyone without formal qualifications should contact us to see if their application will be considered.


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Changing your mind A major attraction of a University of Hull degree is that you have the flexibility to change your mind. This means that if you apply for, let’s say, Biology but decide later that your interests really lie in Marine and Freshwater Biology, it will be simple for us to transfer you to your new choice, even after you arrive in Hull. Similarly, if you apply to Hull but later decide that you would be better suited to a Scarborough course, or vice versa, we will probably be able to change your application. Because most degrees share a common first year (the skills year), a change of course is possible after a year of your studies or even later.

Your questions answered Who can I turn to for help and advice? Every student is allocated a personal tutor, a member of staff who will look after you during your time at the University of Hull. Both Biological Sciences in Hull and CEMS in Scarborough have an ‘open-door’ policy, which means that you can call at most times on any member of staff and seek their help. Staff are busy, but you will find that we are approachable and genuinely willing to help. If we can’t help, we usually know someone who can.

How much work do I have to do? Is there any time for sport or leisure activities? As a general rule, the Year 1 timetable has seven or eight one-hour lectures and three practicals, each lasting three to four hours, per week. Wednesday afternoons are free for all students. The compact nature of both campuses means that you will not spend much time travelling around, and if you were feeling energetic you could fit in a game of squash between lectures or go to the superb students’ union just next to Biology at Hull (or even go surfing at Scarborough!).

How do I get to know other people in the department? The induction week features a number of social events to ensure that you meet staff and fellow students, and when teaching starts in a practical or tutorial you will work in small groups and will soon get to know other members of your class.

Can I choose modules from outside the Department of Biological Sciences or CEMS? Yes, in most courses a wide range of free elective modules are available from across the subjects offered at the campus you are attending (see the inner back cover). The department itself offers a number of free elective modules, including Dive Training, Animal Behaviour and Marine Field Studies.

How do I choose a research project? In your second year, and with guidance from advisers, you choose a research supervisor for your final year and choose a project from the range available. This gives undergraduate students the opportunity to join a research group and gain research experience. We offer 20- and 40-credit research projects, including lab-based projects, projects involving field studies abroad, and literature-based projects; there is also the Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme, where you work in local schools. This practical element of your studies can contribute significantly to your final degree assessment. It is also of value in showing prospective employers your commitment to specific fields of biology or

environmental science and your potential as a research scientist, or it can be seen as a stepping stone to a Masters or a PhD. The research interests of our academic staff are listed on pages 32–4.

Are there any field courses? Field courses form an integral part of the Marine and Freshwater Biology, Coastal Marine Biology, Aquatic Zoology, Environmental Science and Ecology degrees. Biology students may also attend (space permitting). Students may attend a residential field course: recent destinations have included North Yorkshire, the Isle of Cumbrae, the Red Sea, Thailand, Brazil and Lake Malawi. The cost of the field course depends on the destination you choose, but all are heavily subsidised by the department and represent excellent value for money.

What will I have to buy? You’ll need a lab coat. You’ll need some books. Our libraries on both campuses do have multiple copies of all-important textbooks, but it will be more convenient to have your own. At the Hull Campus there is also a small one-off charge to help offset the cost of the printed laboratory manuals and guides. Those taking field courses will need wellington boots and/or snorkel and fins, sunglasses and suntan lotion. Those choosing the Dive Training module will be required to contribute to the cost.

Can I transfer from another institution? One benefit of CATS (the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme) is that it facilitates such transfers. Even if your present institution isn’t yet running CATS, you are welcome to contact our admissions officer (see page 12) to see if you can be considered.

Can I gain work experience during my degree? We allow students to suspend their studies for a year between the second and third levels if they wish to gain work experience in a relevant industrial or research environment in the UK or abroad. In addition, a number of institutions offer summer internships to our topperforming students. So you may be offered the chance to work at The Deep, the Hull IVF Unit or the Institute of Estuarine and Coastal Studies during your first summer. Many of our staff also look for students to undertake summer projects and can arrange fellowships from places such as the Nuffield Foundation – just approach staff working on subjects you have a particular interest in and they will be more than happy to help.

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Employability of our graduates The University of Hull is nationally recognised for the success of its graduates. Regularly among the top UK universities in league tables recording graduate employability, 90% of our students are employed or engaged in further study within six months of graduation. Students from Biological Sciences and CEMS usually match, and even improve on, these figures.

Key issues to consider We cannot deal here with all the complexities of graduate employment – some of which are discussed in the Careers Service’s entry in the University’s prospectus – but a few points deserve mention. • Graduates looking for satisfying work always have been and will continue to be at a considerable advantage compared with non-graduates. • Employers today look for ‘transferable skills’ and often provide specialised training ‘in house’. We have therefore built such skills into our degree courses. This ensures that our students are suitably prepared for the work market and especially for the 40% of opportunities that are completely ‘open’. For these the subject of your degree is less important than how your practical, social and intellectual skills have developed under the stimulus of the University’s academic and social life. • The University’s Careers Service has been notably successful in helping our students find jobs that fulfil them. • The Careers Service does not stop providing help when you graduate but will, if you wish, continue to help you throughout your working life.

Opportunities for biology or environmental sciences graduates Many graduates take up careers that draw on the various key skills developed and practised during their time at the University, rather than on their subject-specific training. Many employers recognise that biologists from a good university make excellent employees. This university is at the forefront, for example, of environmental technologies, a job market that has, according to the Natural Environment Research Council, an estimated skills gap of more than 1.5 million jobs in the next 10 years.

Hull is regularly among the top UK universities in league tables recording graduate employability: 90% of our students are employed or engaged in further study within six months of graduation.


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Our degree courses open up many such career possibilities in fields related to biology and environmental science: that is, in industries such as pharmaceuticals, chemicals, paramedical work, hospital services and food production, or in other important areas such as pollution control, exploitation of natural resources and environmental conservation. Typical employers include the water industry, government agencies, industrial concerns, local authorities, nature conservation bodies, research institutions and international agencies. The improved management of fisheries is an important issue for many nations and is recognised as a major concern within the European Common Fisheries Policy. Careers will thus continue to be available for graduates in the fishing industry, aquaculture, national and international government agencies, and the fisheries research institutions. Those who graduate with an upper second or a first class degree may also consider becoming specialist researchers within universities, industry or research institutes supported by the Government. We offer guaranteed places on our Masters courses (depending on performance) for all our graduates.

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Hull Campus courses BSc Aquatic Zoology

Focus on research

The seas cover most of the earth’s surface and are of great significance for reasons that range from harvesting fish to the disposal of waste. Fresh water is a similarly precious commodity that supports a diverse range of organisms, but the resource is under increasing pressure from human use. This course focuses on the land/sea interface – as represented by marine coastal areas, estuaries and associated wetlands – and on freshwater environments.

Impacts of hydropower

In particular, the course explores the fascinating diversity, ecology and physiological adaptations of organisms in the freshwater, estuarine and intertidal environments, emphasising how such scientific knowledge informs the management of these environments. The commercial importance of such resources is another key topic. The course is delivered by our successful research and teaching groups in aquatic ecology and resource management, aquatic ecophysiology, and evolutionary biology. Key modules provide extensive coverage of evolutionary biology, ecophysiology of aquatic organisms, fish ecology, conservation biology, behavioural ecology, biodiversity, oceanography, and freshwater and coastal fisheries. State-of-the-art teaching in modules on molecular ecology and the evolution of aquatic organisms focuses on tropical fishes (cichlids and guppies) that we research in our impressive freshwater aquaria. One or more residential field trips are available. In recent years, students have had the choice of a UK-based trip or one to a more exotic foreign destination. All trips are subsidised heavily, but students have to bear some of the cost. Foreign destinations include Tobago, Brazil and Mallorca.


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The impacts of hydropower schemes on fish populations are well documented. Common examples include changes in fish species composition or population structure, loss of access to spawning grounds, or even loss of spawning grounds themselves because of changes in habitat associated with the engineering works. Nevertheless, such schemes remain a favourable option for power generation since they are ‘renewable’ and do not pollute the environment to the extent that more traditional sources of power generation do. HIFI (the Hull International Fisheries Institute, one of our specialist units) was commissioned to survey the fish populations of a selection of upland streams in Wales, Scotland and Ireland that were under consideration for power generation. The aim was to identify key spawning and nursery areas for salmon and brown trout, so that such areas could be protected when future hydropower schemes were designed. Fisheries data were collected and analysed for age structure, population density, and growth rates. Continuing research provides scientific analysis and resolution of the possible conflict between the need for renewable energy and the conservation of important aquatic species.

Chemical ecology How do animals communicate? This is a question as old as mankind, and it is of both academic and practical interest. We want to understand how animal signals have evolved but also whether they can be disrupted by human influences – for instance, whether pollutants such as fuel oil may alter odour-mediated behaviours. To this end our research has uncovered many aspects of the chemical nature of animal signals. For example, we have induced a male shore crab to attempt to mate with a stone by coating the stone with the sex pheromone from a female crab. This is a dramatic example of how important chemical signals are in controlling behaviour, particularly in aquatic animals. The research feeds into applied projects such as studying the use of chemical signals in aquaculture, their potential use against invasive pest species (crayfish, zebra mussels, American lobster), and how to use signal molecules to monitor/manage otter populations.

BSc Biology Our flagship degree course, Biology provides a broad education for those who choose not to specialise. Depending on your choice of modules, you can incorporate molecular biology, human biology, ecology and biomedical-based subjects in your degree. You can thus keep your degree broadly based or give a particular emphasis to your studies by your choice of optional modules. The list of modules on page 30 shows that you have plenty to choose from. Our modules are usually worth 20 credits, and you are required to take 120 credits each year. You have the option of selecting 20 of these credits each year from a free elective catalogue that lists a range of attractive modules offered by other departments. In this way you could supplement your biological training, if you wished, with, for example, a language module or one in psychology.

Depending on your choice of modules, you can incorporate molecular biology, human biology, ecology and biomedical-based subjects in your degree.

Learning takes place in lectures, practical classes and tutorials. You will also have tutorials – small-group sessions involving other students and your personal tutor. In your second year you will meet with other staff and have the chance to explore contemporary issues in biology at a scientific and an ethical level, and in your final year you will receive close personal tuition from your research project supervisor. Assessment takes a number of forms. Lectures are normally assessed by written examination at the end of the module, but multiple-choice tests and essays written during the teaching period are also used. All laboratory-based work is continuously assessed by means of lab books, assignments or short tests. For most modules the split between continuous assessment and written exam is 50:50. If you fail a module you will be reassessed at a later date. Our overall failure rate is low, and we encourage and expect all our students to perform at their highest possible standard. Normally more than half the class graduate with degrees classified at the top two levels (first and upper second).

Focus on research Cell biology of trypanosomes The parasite Trypanosoma brucei causes African sleeping sickness, a disease that claims more than 50,000 lives per year in sub-Saharan Africa. Klaus Ersfeld’s lab is working on aspects of the cell biology of T brucei using molecular cell biology techniques to identify molecules involved in the pathogenesis of this organism, with the aim of exploiting them as potential drug targets. Specific topics of research include mechanisms of cell division and chromosome segregation during mitosis. This research integrates well with modules taught by Dr Ersfeld in modular cell biology and in molecular and medical parasitology.

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BSc/MBiol Biology with Molecular Biosciences These new courses fit closely with the existing and successful BSc Biology degree but will especially appeal to students wanting to learn more molecular genetic techniques and understand how to take molecular approaches to a range of modern biological questions. Molecular genetic techniques are now widespread in all areas of biology, being commonly used by researchers in disciplines such as parasitology, microbiology, ecology, evolutionary biology, fisheries, conservation biology and biomedical science. Yet many universities have molecular biology degrees that are restricted to ‘classical’ molecular biosystems like bacteria and viruses. By contrast we have designed a broad-based course with a modern curriculum where you will be able to choose options to match your interests across the breadth of biology. The MBiol degree allows you to progress to an advanced fourth year in which you can choose to work in the research laboratories of members of staff, and also take both practical and lecture courses on molecular techniques. One example might be ‘Practical DNA Sequencing and Bioinformatics’, in which students will prepare and sequence DNA using a variety of techniques and interpret the data by working in the department’s Genome Analysis Suite and Bioinformatics Laboratory.

Focus on research Molecular genetic approaches to biodiversity Approximately half of the Earth’s surface is deep ocean. In these depths 50–90% of all animals are nematode worms. Although they dominate the abyssal community, little has been known about their biology or diversity. Are these species unique to the ocean depths or are they much the same as those on the continental shelf? By DNA sequencing and bioinformatics Dr David Lunt, working with the Natural History Museum and other institutions, has been able to show extensive new diversity in the ocean abyss. Molecular genetic approaches like these are becoming more and more important in biodiversity research, and students in the department have worked on projects investigating many animals including owls, sea cucumbers and iguanas.

We have designed a broad-based course with a modern curriculum where you will be able to choose options to match your interests across the breadth of biology.


Life sciences

Life sciences


BSc Biomedical Science Biomedical sciences are among the fastest-growing areas of knowledge, and all aspects of biomedical science and research are increasingly sophisticated. Graduates are needed to cope with this complexity and to develop and implement new fundamental knowledge in the clinical environment. Many of our graduates are employed as biomedical scientists or researchers in the NHS* and in research laboratories, universities or the private sector. Our degrees are designed to equip you with the skills to follow a career in the health services, including biomedical scientist roles, research and development, clinical trials, education, and sales and marketing. This course has been designed in partnership with the Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust and embodies a multidisciplinary laboratory-based approach, encouraging flexibility in professional outlook while still allowing specialisation. It is accredited by the IBMS (Institute of Biomedical Science). Year 1 consists of core modules introducing the fundamentals of biochemistry, microbiology, physiology and cell biology. In Year 2 you study the biological basis of disease and fundamental concepts underlying the clinical disciplines: clinical biochemistry, haematology and transfusion science, cellular pathology, medical microbiology and immunology. These modules include contributions by senior staff from hospital laboratories in Yorkshire. In your third year you follow in-depth modules in two clinical specialties as well as the importance of quality assurance, gaining a broader perspective. You also gain experience in research through a laboratory-based project in the final year and by choosing optional modules designed to develop your breadth of knowledge (including modules on cardiac and skeletal muscle disorders, control of infection and drug discovery).

Focus on research Biomedical science Heart and vascular diseases are one of the major causes of death in the Western world. The teams around Dr Anne-Marie Seymour and Dr Sandra Jones investigate changes in heart tissue metabolism underlying the development of heart failure. Approaches involve the use of molecular and cellular imaging together with magnetic resonance techniques. The groups have close collaborative links with the Academic Department of Cardiology and the Department of Nephrology at Hull Royal Infirmary. Dr Camille Ettelaie and her research group are investigating the role of cell surface receptors and associated signal transduction processes in cardiovascular disease. This research is relevant to the mechanisms of atherosclerosis and thrombosis.

* The Department of Health is currently reviewing the training for health care scientists nationally, which may allow for work-based placements as part of the BSc degree from 2012. Please contact us for an update on this provision.


Life sciences

BSc Human Biology This degree course has been developed to meet the growing need for scientists who are able to understand and solve problems at the interface of bioscience and medicine. Its content reflects the interdisciplinary nature of biomedical sciences and offers excellent job prospects in academic research, industry, medical institutions and education. The degree has a flexible modular structure which allows students to define their own emphasis on particular areas of human biology. Some of the modules are shared with the department’s highly successful Biomedical Science degrees.

Year 2 contains modules specific to human biology, covering topics such as molecular cell biology, pathology, immunology, the biological basis of disease and human evolution.

During the first year you will study core disciplines of biology, such as physiology, molecular biology and genetics, and biochemistry. In the second year these foundations are expanded in modules specific to human biology, covering topics such as molecular cell biology, pathology, immunology, the biological basis of disease and human evolution. You will also be able to do a literature study on a topic of your choice. The third year offers opportunities to specialise in areas that particularly interest you. Examples are infectious diseases and molecular parasitology, cellular pathology, applied molecular biology, sports physiology and drug discovery. You will have the opportunity to undertake a two-semester research project in an area relevant to human biology. Students’ research projects are closely linked with ongoing research in our department. Also, for students interested in getting a job in teaching and education, we offer a secondary school placement module that will allow you to develop teaching skills.

Focus on research Human biology Infectious diseases are one of the most important causes of mortality and disability worldwide, particularly in developing countries. The groups led by Dr Frank Voncken are working on the parasite Trypanosoma brucei, the causative agent of sleeping sickness in sub-Saharan Africa. Using molecular cell biology and imaging techniques, they are investigating how the parasite multiplies and persists inside the human host.

Life sciences


BSc Marine and Freshwater Biology This course covers many aspects of marine and freshwater animals and plants and their relation to the environment, giving particular emphasis to the effects of human activities. In order to prepare students for careers in the field, due weight is given to environmental management. The course focuses on marine and freshwater zoology, and to that extent shares many modules with Aquatic Zoology, but also covers microscopic and macroscopic plants and microbial organisms. We start by giving you a general biological background, but from the outset we take you into the field to allow you to experience a range of habitats and techniques. Many of our students now broaden their experience and skills by taking our free elective module in Dive Training. Such skills can then be employed in the field courses that come later. The final year includes a research project based in the field or laboratory and supervised by a member of academic staff. Students can also take the opportunity to work with the research teams in our Institute of Estuarine and Coastal Studies (IECS) and the Hull International Fisheries Institute (HIFI) or at The Deep. Reseach topics range from fundamental physiological studies to impacts of pollution, species conservation and behavioural studies. Some students take the opportunity to mix marine biology with molecular genetics and issues relating to natural selection and evolution. The course builds on a long tradition of marine and freshwater biology at Hull. The department and its institutes (IECS and HIFI) have many members of staff who specialise in marine, freshwater and estuarine biology. The course also prepares students to enter taught MSc courses at Hull and elsewhere. Those who take this route gain a further qualification which increases their employability and breadth of expertise.


Life sciences

Focus on field work Our Marine and Freshwater Biology students are exposed to field work through a residential course at Whitby, North Yorkshire, in their very first semester and then through courses in such locations as Arran, Mallorca, the Red Sea and Brazil. During these international field courses, which usually occur during the vacation between the second and third years, our students acquire many skills that are highly relevant to their future careers as well as seeing other habitats and species. They survey marine and freshwater systems and carry out research which allows them to explore and understand these ecosystems.

Focus on research Physical ecology All animals and plants live in a world defined by physical laws. Through natural selection, organisms are constantly bumping up against the physical limits of their environment, but they can also take advantage of these limits in interesting ways. For instance, many aquatic organisms take advantage of the way in which water flows over their bodies to enhance their respiration, photosynthetic or feeding rates. By using simple ideas from engineering and physics, we can increase our understanding of the biology and ecology of living systems. Our research spans a wide range of biology, from the dynamics of particle capture by filter feeders, through swimming by microscopic organisms, to using knowledge of physical laws in the present to predict the behaviour of extinct animals. We apply these concepts to organisms as diverse as fish and plankton and to environments ranging from coral reefs to the open ocean. While our biological work draws on engineering and physics, it also has the potential to provide insights from biology that can lead to solutions to engineering problems.

BSc Zoology This course combines elements of traditional zoology with contemporary biology to create a zoology programme for 21st-century scientists. It includes analyses of animal biology from cellular to population level, and covers molecular, neuronal, morphological and behavioural approaches. During the first year of study you will cover the basic building blocks of zoology – organism diversity, evolution, ecology, genetics and biochemistry – and will have the option to widen your experience through the study of physiology or chemistry or by taking part in a field trip to learn about intertidal organisms. Some students will even learn to dive by following one of our credit-bearing free elective modules.

During the first year of study you will cover the basic building blocks of zoology – organism diversity, evolution, ecology, genetics and biochemistry.

For second- and third-year students, options broaden to include animal behaviour, aspects of vertebrate biology and ecology, molecular genetics, evolutionary biology, ecophysiology, human/animal interactions, conservation biology and environmental management. The highlights of your degree may be our final-year practical modules, which offer you opportunities to work as a member of one of the research groups in the department on an original research project. If your heart is set on teaching as a career but your head tells you to try it first, we can even arrange for you to take a credit-bearing module, Biology in Education, that will allow you to develop your subject knowledge in the school classroom (see pages 8 and 30). Learning and assessment styles are varied in all courses offered by the department, and BSc Zoology is no different. You will be exposed to classroom-based learning in small seminar groups or traditional lecture situations. You will take part in laboratory practicals and have the opportunity to experience field work; you will learn independently and as a member of a group; and you will benefit from excellent IT and literature resources in a friendly and supportive setting.

Focus on research Evolutionary causes and consequences of dispersal and colonisation Dispersal and colonisation of new habitats are among the most important events in an organism’s life. Dr Lori Lawson Handley is interested in the evolutionary causes and consequences of dispersal: for example, how does geography influence dispersal, and what makes certain species so successful at colonising new areas? Recent work has focused on global colonisation and local dispersal in humans and the harlequin ladybird – species that have more in common than you might think! Dr Lawson Handley and colleagues’ recent research has shown that genetic diversity declines smoothly with distance from East Africa, the cradle of modern humans. These simple patterns tell us that anatomically modern humans evolved in Africa and that from there they colonised the world, beginning approximately 60,000 years ago. We are now trying to improve our understanding of the role of natural selection in shaping human populations: for example, we have established that adaptation to colder climates has left a footprint on our genomes. Another very successful global coloniser is the harlequin ladybird, Harmonia axyridis. Native to Asia, it is currently invading the British Isles, continental Europe, the USA and several other parts of the world. We are investigating the spread of this invasive species using molecular genetic techniques, and trying to understand why it is so invasive. Members of the public have made a fantastic contribution to our work by reporting sightings and sending samples to the Harlequin Ladybird Survey.

Life sciences


Scarborough Campus courses BSc Coastal Marine Biology

Focus on research

Students spend 40% of their time in the lab or in the field. Field work is easy when the beach is 10 minutes’ walk from the campus. Our emphasis on developing real skills and learning through action rather than by rote makes our students stand out from the crowd.

Life in the deep freeze

It is estimated that almost half the world’s population (more than 3 billion people) live or work within 200 km of the coast. Coastal waters and the estuarine systems within them form an important link between terrestrial and marine environments, exhibiting complex interfaces in terms of energy and material movements. In addition, they represent an environment that is essential to the global economy and significantly disturbed by human activities. Organisms that live in the intertidal zone need to be adapted to deal with a narrow corridor of available habitat that constantly changes character over distances of centimetres and minute by minute. The Coastal Marine Biology degree has a core of fieldbased modules. You are required to undertake field work in all three years of the course, some of it residential. In your first year, you carry out a range of field-based activities such as sampling organisms from intertidal sediments, beach profiling, and identifying a range of organisms found on the beach and in scientific trawls. Many Coastal Marine Biology students opt for the Dive Training module and spend a significant amount of time in the pool and our freshwater training facility at Wykeham Lakes. During Year 3, you can participate in the optional Field Studies module and take the skills that you have learned in the UK to a more exotic location such as Egypt, Mallorca or Brazil. Students on the course take six modules per year. Typically these involve 10–15 hours of lectures supported by about 30 hours of lab study, field work, tutorials and seminars. Depending on your choice of optional modules over the three years, modules are assessed by a variety of means (examination, coursework, practical exams, oral presentations, web pages, posters or reports).


Life sciences

Two staff members and two honorary fellows at CEMS have particular interests in the biology and ecology of the Antarctic. Dr Magnus Johnson studies the ecology and behaviour of krill (whale food), while Dr Cath Waller is interested in the ecology and physiology of organisms throughout the Antarctic intertidal. Both bring their research into the classroom and use data and anecdotes from their antipodean adventures to enthuse students. Krill (Euphausia superba) are regarded as the Duracell batteries of the Antarctic ocean, and there are enough of them to cover Scotland in a one-krill-deep blanket. They are the main food source for many of the ‘charismatic megafauna’ (whales, dolphins and penguins) that are found in the region. Like most plankton, they migrate to the surface to feed and sink to depth to escape predation. Until recently, it was considered that they fed at night and hid during the day – making only a single migration every 24 hours. Working with Dr Geraint Tarling from the British Antarctic Survey, Dr Johnson found that they may actually migrate 3–4 times every 24-hour period as they tend to snooze after eating, drift down to depth, defecate and then return to the surface to feed. This has interesting implications for the global carbon cycle as each time they sink they take captured carbon to depth so that it can become locked up in deep-sea sediments. The Antarctic intertidal zone has always been thought of as an environment that is too extreme for anything to live in permanently. Dr Waller’s research has shown that this is not always the case and that – at many sites on the Antarctic Peninsula – a wide range of invertebrates can survive even in the harsh winter conditions, where temperatures can fall to −25o C. Dr Waller studies how these animals are able to survive there and how they respond to environmental changes. This is especially important as the surface waters around the Antarctic Peninsula are one of the fastestwarming areas anywhere in the world, and many Antarctic invertebrates may take a long time to adapt to these changing conditions.

Life sciences


BSc Ecology Ecologists are by nature ‘hard-core’ field biologists, exploring the physical and biological links between organisms and environments using data collected in the field. Scarborough’s unique position between the sea and the moors provides a wide range of habitats and an excellent field environment for the study of ecology. The degree offers the excitement of 40% field work within the robust framework of a rigorous academic course. From day one, students are immersed in an academic environment designed to provide them with the field-based skills and knowledge to pursue their chosen careers. There are residential and local field-trip opportunities in all three years of the degree course. Local field work might involve groundtruthing maps for a geographic information systems (GIS) module or climbing trees as part of the Canopy Science module. Destinations for the final-year residential field trips currently include Egypt, Brazil, Mallorca and the west coast of Scotland. Many of the other modules – such as Conservation Biology, Upland Ecology, Ecological Monitoring and Environmental Ecology – have interesting day trips associated with them. In second- and third-year modules, students use the trips to gather data for assessed projects of their own design. In recent years, students have occasionally assisted the centre’s research postgraduates in studying the ecologies of hares, adders or intertidal fish. We aim to produce graduates who hit the ground running and are equipped to carry out high-quality ecological investigations, either at postgraduate level or within the private or public sector. As with all of the courses at the Centre for Environmental and Marine Sciences, some Ecology students choose to remain at university for a further year to study for an MSc by research, under the guidance of tutors that they have known during their undergraduate years.

Focus on research Ecological studies Staff and students at all levels get involved in research at Scarborough, much of it coming from strong links with local and national organisations. Researchers at Scarborough work in a range of environments, exploring how organisms and ecosystems function and putting this knowledge to practical use. Staff are currently investigating a wide variety of topics from coastal fisheries to seaweed communities, coral reefs and upland mammals.

From day one, students are immersed in an academic environment designed to provide them with the fieldbased skills and knowledge to pursue their chosen careers.


Life sciences

The anoa is a dwarf buffalo found only in rainforest on the islands of Indonesia. It is one of South-East Asia’s least known large mammals and is declining rapidly owing to hunting and habitat loss. Phil Wheeler has been spending his summers on Buton living in makeshift camps, sleeping in a hammock and walking line transects through mountainous rainforest to survey the distribution and abundance of this rare species. His field work aims to improve our knowledge of this rare and charismatic animal, the threats it is currently facing and its general ecology. During his field work Phil often encountered hunters carrying dead anoas and, through interviewing them, found that large adults of this species – the population of which is estimated at around 3,000 – will sell for no more than £30. Research in ecology at Scarborough is expanding our knowledge of species and their environments in a way that will help safeguard their future.

‘I’m in Year 3 and have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Scarborough. The size of the place makes it easy to get to know like-minded people, and the course provides lots of interesting opportunities. The teaching is excellent, and the lecturers really do follow the ‘open-door policy’. The week-long field trip to Scotland in Year 1 allowed us all to get to know each other really well, then at the end of Year 2 we travelled to Indonesia. Here we investigated rainforest and coral reef ecology – a highlight of the course and an experience I’ll never forget. Last year a group of students, including myself, set up SHrUBS (the Scarborough and Hull University Biological Society), and this year I took over as Chairman. The aim was to enhance our field-work skills and our CVs, allowing everyone’s interests to be catered for. Whale and dolphin watches, marine mammal rescue courses and bird surveys were a few of the activities organised this year. I’ve also taken up scuba diving and am currently working towards my PADI Divemaster qualification. Being able to explore the underwater world is fantastic, and this is a skill that I’ll continue to use in the future.’ Peter Robinson BSc Ecology

Life sciences


BSc Environmental Science

Focus on research

This degree explores the wide range of environmental issues and processes that underpin the link between humankind and the natural environment. Our emphasis on developing practical skills and learning through field-based teaching will see students spend 40% of their time in the lab or in the field and leave them well equipped for a flying start in the job market.

Post-industrial pollution: extent and treatment

Environmental Science is a broad-based, holistic course which not only draws on physical sciences such as biology, geography, geology, chemistry, ecology and anthropology but also deals with topics relating to recreational management and to legal, economic and ethical issues. The teaching team reflects this diversity of topics and consists of a terrestrial ecologist, an economist, environmental chemists, a geomorphologist and marine biologists. The degree has a core of field-based modules. You will undertake field work in all three years of the course, some of it residential. Proximity to the North York Moors National Park, the Yorkshire Wolds and Britain’s ‘dinosaur coast’ provides ample opportunities for fieldbased study. In Year 1 this encompasses ecological sampling, water quality analysis, stratigraphy, and coastal and fluvial geomorphology monitoring techniques. For the core final-year residential field trip, many of our students opt for Mallorca – where they apply what they have learned in north-east England to the wide range of habitats and environments available there. Students on the course take six modules per year. Typically these involve 10–15 hours of lectures supported by about 30 hours of lab study, field work, tutorials and seminars. Depending on your choice of optional modules over the three years, modules are assessed by a variety of means (examination, coursework, practical exams, oral presentations, web pages, posters or reports). The course has a strong applied component, and associations with environmental practitioners and managers (e.g. North York Moors National Park, Forestry Commission, environmental consultants) provide our students with exceptional resources and exposure to future career opportunities. Our students have gone on to study for PhDs or Masters degrees in specialist areas such as archaeology, environmental management and environmental law, and have found employment as environmental planners, teachers, environmental consultants and field scientists, among other roles.


Life sciences

Staff and students at all levels get involved in research at Scarborough, much of it coming from strong links with local and national organisations. Researchers in the Centre for Environmental and Marine Sciences are currently investigating a wide variety of topics. These range through coastal fisheries, the impacts of modern agriculture on mammal populations, issues surrounding the effects of environmental pollution and the development of green technologies to mitigate environmental impacts from industry. Pollution arising from abandoned industrial sites can cause long-lasting and severe impacts on river systems. Mine sites and steelworks, for example, can generate effluents with extreme chemistry, often rich in ecotoxic metals that can persist for decades. One problematic issue surrounding such pollution is that often there is no single body with legal liability for clean-up costs. Therefore low-cost, environmentally sensitive treatment technologies such as treatment wetlands have been developed for site clean-up where suitable. Recent research has also shown that the extent of pollution arising from our abandoned metal mines is likely to have been severely underestimated previously. The pollution burden for some toxic metals arising from these is of an equivalent size to that arising from all licensed industrial premises (e.g. factories, sewage treatment works) nationally. Highlighting the enduring effect that industrial activity can have on the movement of pollutants in our environment, this research is being used by environmental regulators and managers to determine which sites should have priority when deciding how to spend limited remediation funds.

The four-year route The four-year BSc degree courses are designed for students who do not meet the normal entry requirements of our three-year degrees. The first year provides a firm foundation and is taught at the Hull Campus by staff from the Biological Sciences Department and the University’s Faculty of Education. From the very start you will be a full member of the University, with access to all our facilities. The areas covered by the foundation year include biology, chemistry, IT and study skills. You may then stay at the Hull Campus or transfer to Scarborough (according to which course you have chosen) to begin your degree studies. For a list of available courses, see the inner front cover.

We have improved and refined the fouryear route’s structure and content until it perfectly matches the requirements of applicants unsuited for direct entry to the three-year degrees.

The first students taking the four-year route graduated in 1997, and we are confident that over the following years we have improved and refined its structure and content until it perfectly matches the requirements of applicants unsuited for direct entry to the three-year degrees. This route is ideal for • overseas students who may require time to adjust to study in the UK (in some circumstances modules in English language can be included in the course) • mature students without recent formal qualifications (we will be looking for evidence of a continuing interest in learning) • applicants who may have made a choice of A levels inappropriate for the threeyear route

Life sciences


Life sciences modules Hull Campus Details of which modules make up which courses are available on our undergraduate pages at We cannot guarantee that a particular module will be available, but you can rest assured that our courses always provide diversity and stimulation and are always current. Assessment methods vary, but will usually comprise 50% coursework and 50% written exam. * ** E 1, 2, 3

free elective module Biomedical Science only module taught wholly or in part on the web level (year) of study

Modules Chemistry for Biologists 1 Dive Training* 1 Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 1 Ecology and Evolutionary Biology with Marine Field Work 1 Field Studies in Marine Biology* 1 Genetics and Molecular Biology 1 Human Physiology* 1 Human Physiology and Metabolism A 1 Human Physiology and Metabolism B 1 Introductory Biochemistry and Microbiology E1 Laboratory Based Skills 1 1 Laboratory Based Skills 2 1 Plant and Animal Diversity 1 Skills for Biologists 1 Animal Behaviour* 2 Animal Ecophysiology 2 Biological Basis of Disease 2 Clinical Disciplines I** 2 Clinical Disciplines II** 2 Conservation Biology 2 Contemporary Issues in Biology 2 Evolutionary Biology 2 Fish Ecology 2 Human Pathology 2 Immunology and Proteomics 2 Laboratory Based Skills 3 2 Molecular Genetics 2 Molecular Cell Biology 2 Physical, Chemical and Biological Oceanography 2 Vertebrate Zoology 2 Applied Molecular Biology and Regulation of Gene Expression 3 Behavioural Ecology and Physiology of Aquatic Animals 3


Life sciences

Biology in Education Biomedical Science Research Project** Cellular Pathology Clinical Chemistry Current Ornithology Drug Discovery Field Studies Fisheries Resource Management Freshwater Fisheries and Conservation Haematology Human Evolution and Genomics Infection Control Introduction to Drug Discovery Laboratory Based Skills 4 Marine Eco-Mechanics Medical Microbiology Molecular and Medical Parasitology Muscle – Fitness and Failure Placement 1** Placement 2** Plant Identification and Distribution Pre-Placement Studies** Professional Studies** Research Project Reviews in Biology and Biomedical Science Threats and Remedies in Aquatic Environments Topics in Biodiversity and Evolution Whales, Dolphins and Sharks

3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

Focus on teaching innovation We pride ourselves on our ground-breaking provision of new and exciting initiatives for our students. We were the first biological sciences department in the UK to offer Dive Training as a Year 1 free elective module. It is taught in collaboration with Above and Below, a 5* PADI Dive Training Facility, and students are trained up to PADI Advanced Open Water. While a fee is payable to attend the module, this is heavily subsidised by the department. Training includes lectures, self-study periods, pool training and your first open-water dives. This module has proved hugely popular. We are also justifiably proud of being the first biological sciences department in the country to pioneer the Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme. Under this scheme (a national initiative) we offer an undergraduate module called Biology in Education. This gives participating students the chance to visit a school, help in classes and try some teaching, in addition to devising and developing a biology-based project with their class.

Scarborough Campus

Teaching innovations at Scarborough

Details of which modules make up which courses are available on our website ( Please note that the list below is subject to change, depending on staff expertise and student interest. If you have a question about a programme or module, please email and the relevant tutor will do their best to respond: our open-door policy starts right here. * 1, 2, 3

free elective module level (year of study)

Modules Diversity of Life Dive Training Earth and Environmental Systems Global Environmental Issues* Introductory Research Skills Physical Sciences Practical Ecology Aquatic Zoology Canopy Science Conservation Biology* Environmental Ecology Environmental Pollution and Toxicology Environmental Resource Management Integrated Coastal Management Intertidal Ecology Oceanography Remote Sensing and GIS River Basin Management Work Experience Animal Behaviour Ecological Monitoring Environmental Impact Assessment Environmental Law Environmental Monitoring and Analysis Evolutionary Ecology Field Studies Fish and Fisheries Independent Research Project / Independent Library Project Polar Systems Tropical Marine Systems Upland Systems

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

As at the Hull Campus, we pride ourselves on innovative approaches to teaching and are always looking for new ways of getting students enthused about their chosen topic. One of the latest is a collaboration between the Centre for Environmental and Marine Sciences and the Department of Computer Science. Eco-Sub allows students to experience a virtual marine world where they can explore the ecology of deep-sea organisms by piloting a scientific submarine. Doing this exercise gives students a realistic feel for the difficulties involved in exploring the ocean depths. For many students the virtual marine world is not enough. Fortunately, dive training is also available at Scarborough. For some students, this is actually essential preparation for the final-year field trip to Egypt. During the first year you can train to Open Water standard, and if you wish you can go on to achieve a professional standard (Divemaster or Scientific Diver). If the deep sea doesn’t offer enough of a challenge, then you can always try your hand at teaching. As in Hull, there are opportunities to get practically involved with local schools through the Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme, and even have a go at teaching a class.

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Staff and their research interests All staff are active in research areas which complement our degree courses. Postgraduate training is also given, leading to the degrees of MSc and PhD by thesis; and we offer one-year MSc taught courses. There is considerable overlap and interaction between the various research groups, but the research interests of the individual members of staff will give you an idea of the range of projects available in the final year.

Biological Sciences Department, Hull Campus Alistair Anderson, Lecturer Production of biodegradable plastics using microorganisms. Aziz Asghar, Lecturer Use of electrophysiological and immunocytochemical methods to investigate spinal cord function; spinal neuronal networks in chronic pain; comparison of dorsal horn neurotransmission in normal and arthritic states. Thomas Breithaupt, Lecturer Sensory ecology of aquatic animals (crustaceans and fish) – mechanism of chemical signalling and odour orientation; behavioural strategies in dominance and mate choice; the nature of chemical signals. Ian Cowx, Professor and Director of HIFI, Director of Research Impact of man’s activities on freshwater fisheries, particularly with reference to river regulation, land drainage engineering works and stock manipulation; freshwater fisheries stock assessment; tropical fisheries. Mike Elliott, Professor, Director of Institute of Estuarine and Coastal Studies Biology of estuarine and coastal fish and benthic organisms; ecotoxicology at the individual-organism, population and community level. Camille Ettelaie, Lecturer Blood coagulation, thrombosis and haemostasis, mainly concerning cardiovascular disease. Darren Evans, Lecturer Ecology; the impacts of environmental change on the structure and dynamics of ecological networks and the consequences for plant and animal populations. Africa Gómez, NERC Advanced Research Fellow Ecological genetics of rotifers; phylogeography; cryptic species; evolutionary genetics of asexual reproduction. John Greenman, Professor Tumour immunology; cancer genetics; prognostic and diagnostic factors. Bernd Hänfling, Research Fellow Ecology and evolution of aquatic organisms. Specific areas of interest: phylogeography; gene flow in riverine ecosystems; use of molecular markers and adaptive traits in conservation genetics; evolutionary consequences of biological invasions. Jörg Hardege, Reader Reproductive biology and chemical ecology of marine invertebrates; ecology of invasive species; animal behaviour and evolution. Jon Harvey, Lecturer, Admissions Tutor Electric fishing and fish stock assessment; impact of fish-eating birds; recruitment in fish populations; conservation of freshwater species; impacts of hydropower schemes; impacts of flow regulation on fisheries. Rebecca Hill, Lecturer Connective tissue changes in diabetic nerves; barrier function within the peripheral nerve; the effect of growth hormone on skeletal muscle mitochondrial function in growth hormone deficient adults.


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Stuart Humphries, Lecturer Biological fluid dynamics; the biology of suspension feeders; coral reef biology; comparative biomechanics of marine organisms. Bill Hutchinson, Research Fellow Genetic analysis of ecological and behavioural processes; environmental/anthropogenic influences on population dynamics and genetic structure; genetic approaches to fishery management; non-invasive genetic applications in conservation. Sandra Jones, Lecturer Changes in ion channel expression, the regulation of cell signalling and the intervention of exercise in the ageing heart. Domino Joyce, Lecturer Sexual selection and behaviour of African cichlid fish; speciation; biodiversity. Lori Lawson Handley, Lecturer Evolutionary biology of invasive species (particularly the harlequin ladybird); human migration and settlement history; evolutionary causes and consequences of dispersal; sex chromosome evolution. David Lunt, Senior Lecturer Evolutionary genetics; genome biology; bioinformatics; molecular systematics. Lesley Morrell, Lecturer Behavioural ecology; evolution of animal aggregation; anti-predator behaviour; colour and behaviour; early experience and phenotypic plasticity. Chris Murphy, Senior Teaching Fellow The use of novel antimicrobial compounds for resistant microorganisms. Mark Osborn, Professor Microbial ecology; microbial biodiversity and adaptation, biogeochemical (nitrogen) cycling, impacts of ocean acidification on marine sediment ecosystems, microbial interactions with plastic pollutants in aquatic environments, pollution microbiology, microbiology of urban water systems. Jeanette Rotchell, Professor Aquatic toxicology; comparative biology; molecular biomarkers of pollution-induced damage. Graham Scott, Senior Lecturer and Head of Department Animal behaviour; intertidal ecology; biological education. Heather Sealy-Lewis, Lecturer Regulation of gene expression in Aspergillus nidulans with special interest in the ethanol utilisation regulon, and carbon catabolite repression. Anne-Marie Seymour, Reader and Deputy Head of Department Biochemical adaptation in heart failure; the relationship between heart metabolism and abnormal physiological function and dietary therapeutic treatments; biochemical changes in the ageing heart. Chris Venditti, Lecturer Phylogenetics; phenotypic evolution; comparative methods; molecular and genetic evolution; tempo and mode of speciation; macroevolution. Frank Voncken, Lecturer Host–pathogen interactions in trypanosomes. Jenny Waby, Lecturer The important roles of the Sp transcription factors in cell cycle regulation, apoptosis and lipid neogenesis. Particular focus on their role in cancer development and how their activity may be regulated.

Life sciences


University of Hull International Fisheries Institute HIFI, as it is known, was incorporated into the department in 2001. It is a specialist unit which undertakes a wide range of education, training, consultancy and research work both within the UK and internationally. HIFI staff are widely experienced in fisheries planning and management, fish marketing, fisheries economics, post-harvest operations, fishing-systems technology, fish biology and aquaculture.

Institute for Estuarine and Coastal Studies The IECS is a multidisciplinary research and consultancy organisation employing the facilities and expertise in coastal science and management within the University. The IECS covers a wide range of specialisms within the coastal environment, ranging from the biological and physical environments (topography, vegetation, ornithology, benthic and pelagic fauna) to coastal planning, marine law and environmental impact assessment. Its Director, Professor Mike Elliott, is based at the Hull Campus.

Centre for Environmental and Marine Sciences, Scarborough Campus Ralph Bublitz, Lecturer and Dive Instructor Chemical ecology; crustacean biology. Sue Hull, Lecturer The evolutionary ecology and population genetics of intertidal invertebrates (especially ostracods and littorinid snails) and fucoid algae; the composition and dynamics of intertidal communities. Alex Ibhadon, Senior Lecturer Environmental chemistry; heavy metal analysis; speciation of metals; effluent and waste treatment; advanced materials and polymer processing and application; process engineering and environmental applications. Magnus Johnson, Lecturer The ecophysiology of crustaceans; fisheries bioanthropology; mimicry; diving. Will Mayes, Lecturer Monitoring and remediation of aquatic pollutants; hydrology; land-use change and flooding. Gilbert Morrey, Visiting Lecturer Statistics; environmental issues. Pete Rawson, Honorary Professor Biodiversity and biogeography of ammonites. Sunil Shastri, Lecturer Ocean governance; marine and environmental law and policy. Cath Waller, Lecturer Antarctic ecology; intertidal ecological processes; nudibranchs; ecophysiology. Phil Wheeler, Head of CEMS Ecology and conservation of mammals and birds in British uplands and tropical rainforests; canopy science.

All staff are active in research areas which complement our degree courses.


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Life sciences


The Deep

Strong links The Department of Biological Sciences has very close links with this world-class facility. As a visitor centre, describing itself as the world’s only submarium, The Deep offers a unique insight into the oceans – their structure as well as their inhabitants. This £45 million investment has provided Hull with a major tourist attraction (there have been more than two million visitors since its opening in 2002) and the department with a valuable teaching resource.

Research project opportunities Several undergraduate students are currently completing their final-year research projects at The Deep. These studies range from attempts to propagate and grow soft and hard coral, for potential display and for coral reef restoration projects, to observational analyses of the behaviour of sand tiger sharks, particularly their interand intra-specific interactions.

Shark conservation research The Deep is strongly supportive of research which assists in the conservation of endangered marine species. This has led to the participation of student volunteers and final-year project students in shark health and behavioural studies. Dr Thomas Breithaupt’s students investigate whether sharks use acoustic communication by exposing sharks to noise and using hydrophones to detect their responses.

Focus on research Cichlids The cichlid fishes of the African Rift Lakes are of great interest to biologists. Each lake contains hundreds of species of fish which are found nowhere else in the world. Dr Domino Joyce and her co-workers have been studying the fascinating behaviour and ecology of cichlid fishes from Lake Malawi, in an effort to understand how so many species evolved. In the clear shallow waters of the lake, it is possible to use scuba equipment to observe these fishes in their natural environment; we have also brought some back to the purpose-built tropical aquarium facility at the University for further study.

As a visitor centre, describing itself as the world’s only submarium, The Deep offers a unique insight into the oceans – their structure as well as their inhabitants.


Life sciences

We use DNA sequence analysis to try to reconstruct the evolutionary history of species and their ancestors. In one particular group of cichlid species that we study, the males build large sand structures (bowers) under water, which they use to attract females. Different species build different-shaped bowers, and it may be that female preference for different bowers has been the driving force behind increasing variation in the population, eventually leading to the evolution of new species. It is possible to test this theory in large tanks and pools, by giving males artificial bowers of various shapes to defend and letting the females choose which male and bower they prefer. We then use DNA paternity testing in the Genome Analysis Suite to identify which male has fathered a female’s offspring. Understanding mate choice and female preference in this way aids the identification of species, which may look very similar in all other aspects but bower shape. Understanding how species evolve will enable us to conserve the processes which lead to the generation of biodiversity and to help design strategies for the management of the lakes in Africa, where the needs of an impoverished and rapidly expanding human population may be in conflict with the conservation of the unique fish species.

Free Elective Scheme Studying for a degree at the University of Hull is a unique experience. We aim to provide you with an education that offers both depth and breadth of knowledge. To meet these ends the University has developed an optional Free Elective Scheme. This scheme enables the majority of undergraduate students to take one module a year from outside their main course of study.

Admissions policy Admissions information provided in this pamphlet is intended as a general guide and cannot cover all possibilities. Entry requirements are generally stated in terms of A

So, how does it work?

level grades and/or UCAS points,

Each year you take 120 credits’ worth of modules.

but we encourage applications from people with a wide range of



other qualifications and/or

20 credits

20 credits

the various entry routes are

20 credits

20 credits

experience. Some further details of

included in our general prospectus. Please contact the Admissions Service (see below) with any

20 credits

specific queries about admissions.

20 credits


Here you take modules from your main course of study.

Here you have the option to take a free elective or another module from your main course of study.

This publication is intended principally as a guide for prospective students. The matters covered by it – academic and

What sort of subjects can I take? You can take almost any free elective module from outside your main course of study, usually at your home campus. You can even take a module from another faculty. The catalogue of free electives might include

Hull • • • •

Human Physiology Field Studies in Marine Biology Chemical Methods and Ideas Animal Behaviour

Scarborough • • • •

Outdoor Recreation and Education Management Passport languages Introduction to Poetry Event Management

otherwise – are subject to change from time to time, both before and after students are admitted, and the information contained in it does not form part of any contract. While every reasonable precaution was taken in the production of this brochure, the University does not accept liability for any inaccuracies.

Address For general enquiries, please write to Admissions Service University of Hull Hull, HU6 7RX

Or you might choose to take a module in one of a wide range of other subjects from across the University. Guidance about your choice of free electives will be available in your department.

What are the main reasons for participating? • The scheme gives you the opportunity to study a subject without having to commit yourself to taking further modules in that subject area. • By taking a free elective you are able to follow up your interests as part of your degree. • With a broader education you may acquire extra skills that will help you when you enter the employment market.

T 01482 466100 F 01482 442290 E

Since arriving on British shores in 2004, the harlequin ladybird has become the fastest-spreading ‘alien’ species on record. Our researchers are investigating this invasion using the latest molecular genetic techniques.

Change the way you think.

UG Life Sciences 12  

Entry2012 Undergraduate study

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