Human Biology and Psychology BSc (Hons)
About the course
You will study a wide variety of aspects of human biology on this course, from Human Physiology to Biomedical Implications of Exercise. You will spend your time in lectures and seminars as well as underpinning your theoretical knowledge with practical work in the laboratories.
This course will help you to develop key skills for a career in a number of health and pharmacy related sectors. You will also develop personal and professional skills that can be applied to any future role including an ability to learn independently and test out your own theories.
Human Biology can be taken as a joint or major subject in combination with Psychology.
This course gives you an advanced understanding of human psychology, and its application in a wide range of settings. You will also develop core transferable skills highly valued by employers such as time management and effective communication skills.
Your first year of study will provide you with a good foundation in the subject enabling you to progress on to your second year where your module options will depend on the proportion of time you choose to study psychology for. Psychology can be studied as a joint or minor subject within the Joint Honours programme.
The course does not allow graduate membership to the British Psychological Society but this can be obtained through a further year of study on a Psychology Conversion Course
Why choose this course?
- Learn about many exciting and fascinating areas of human biology
- Gain detailed knowledge of the biology of human beings studying aspects of health and disease as well as studies in cell biology, molecular biology, biochemistry and genetics
- Study a practical and relevant curriculum preparing you for a career in a wide range of careers
- Benefit from our psychology department’s exciting multidisciplinary approach to experimental research, world-class facilities and highly respected teaching staff
- Develop an advanced understanding of human psychology
- Learn to critically evaluate and integrate various psychological approaches into everyday situations
280 UCAS points including 180 points from two A Levels including A Level in Biology or Chemistry, GCSE English language, double science and maths at grade C or above (or equivalent). A minimum IELTS score of 6.0, TOEFL 550 (79 IBT) is required for those for whom English is not their first language. Equivalent qualifications welcomed.
- Part Time,
- Sandwich, 4 Years
- Part Time, 6 Years
- Full Time,
- Full Time, 3 Years
- University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield
This programme gives you flexibility in your studies at university resulting in flexibility in your choice of career at the end of your course. You will acquire a much broader base of knowledge and experience that could really widen your employment opportunities. Graduates have found employment in diverse roles such as computer programmers, design engineers, management development specialists, accountants and project managers. Over 72% of our graduates had entered employment six months after graduation, and a further 17% had gone on to further study or training.
You will develop your capacity for independent study and interpersonal skills on this programme. There is an emphasis on structured research, well-prepared written and verbal presentations and computer literacy.
You will experience a wide variety of teaching styles on the programme including:
- standard lectures
- case studies
- individual and group projects
In your final year you will normally have the opportunity to hone your independent study and interpersonal skills by undertaking a major project or dissertation.
You will have the opportunity to take a paid work placement or study abroad for a year between your second and final years, extending your degree from a three year to a four year qualification. You will not be required to pay tuition fees for this year and you will gain excellent experience that sets you apart from the crowd in the graduate jobs market.
You can study in most European countries, USA, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, South Africa, Russia, China, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Australia. You will study a programme of taught modules and/or project work with one of our partner universities, which will complement your studies on the Joint Honours Programme. You may need to study the language of your chosen country in your first and second years. Depending on where you choose to study you may be eligible to apply for certain grants, scholarships and financial support to help finance your study abroad experience.
A work placement provides you with an excellent opportunity to gain valuable experience and put your theoretical knowledge and understanding from your studies in to practice.
Our Careers and Placements service will help you to develop your CV and support you through the application process for a wide range of placement opportunities in a variety of sectors and organisations.
Introduction to Biochemistry and Metabolism (Nutrition and Dietetics)
An introductory module in 'the biochemistry of the cell, covering various aspects of protein structure; enzyme kinetics and methods for determining kinetic parameters; catabolic metabolism - the inter-relationships and control of pathways particularly glycolysis, TCA cycle and the beta-oxidation of fatty acids'. Introductory aspects of bioenergetics including 1) the structure of mitochondria and chloroplasts 2) basic aspects of oxidative and photosynthetic phosphorylation 3) fundamentals of electron transport in both mitochondria and chloroplasts.
Introductory Developmental and Language Psychology
The greatest changes in cognitive and social development arguably occur in childhood. This is therefore a period of particular interest in psychology. This module introduces students to topics in child development including language. Consideration will be given to research methods applicable to to working with children. In addition, an applied area of interest (e.g. the classroom, interventions, health care, parenting, advertising) will be presented and discussed with a view to students learning how theory and research can be drawn on to explain and understand contemporary questions.
Foundations of Social and Cognitive Psychology
This module introduces students to: a. theory and research that seeks to understand the way how and why the attitudes and behaviours of individuals may be influenced by other people b. theory and research that seeks to explain the way in which individuals perceive, store and use information to make sense of everyday experiences
Brain & Behaviour
This course will introduce the beginner to the terms and ideas necessary to understand biological psychology. The course will give an appreciation of how neurons and brains work, and, to some extent, why and how, from a biological point of view, we and other animals behave as we do. In addition, the course will consider what psychologists may learn from the effects of brain damage, for example following a stroke or in neurological/mental health disorders.
Principles of Immunology
Anatomy and physiology of the immune system: cells, primary and secondary lymphoid tissues, leukocyte circulation and key phenomena including; chemotaxis, opsonisation, phagocytosis, inflammation, antigen processing and clonal expansion. Natural immunity: role of phagocytic cells, the complement system, cytokines, chemokines and the acute inflammatory response. Hypersensitivity reactions. Adaptive immunity: antigen specificity of B and T cells. Antibody structure and effector functions. T cell subsets; antigen processing and presentation to T cells, the role of the major histocompatibility complex. T-helper cell subpopulations and cytokines in determining the immune response. Immunity to microbial pathogens including bacteria, viruses and selected parasites. Vaccine design strategies. Inflammation: immunology of chronic inflammation; immunopathology of selected chronic inflammatory diseases e.g. rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases . Anti-inflammatory therapies; steroidal and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
This module has been designed to provide students with an understanding of human pathophysiology, enabling them to discuss the biology of disease. Topics covered will include: " Biology of disease " Cell injury and cell death " Cardiovascular disease " Renal dysfunction " Neurological disease " Endocrine disorders " Gastro-intestinal disease " Respiratory disease
Cardiovascular aspects of exercise, blood pressure and haemodynamic response at rest and exercise, exercise and cardiovascular disease. Respiratory aspects of exercise: haemoglobin and respiratory variables, acid balance and asthma. Basic laboratory testing in athletes and metabolic responses to training. The endocrine system during exercise, exercise-induced endocrine secretions/catecholamine response. Endocrinology-fluid balance. The immune system and exercise. Fatigue and exhaustion; de-training and the human body. The effect of exercise in different environmental conditions and on different populations such as ageing; energy supply and systems.
Students will be introduced to age-related development in specific cognitive and social areas in both normal and exceptional populations and to the theories offered to explain such change. This course will also provide students with knowledge of research methods appropriate for investigating age-related change. Where appropriate, the application of research findings to applied settings will be explored.
This course will examine theories, evidence and applications relating to selected areas of cognitive psychology. Topics such as long-term memory, problem solving, judgement and decision making, intelligence, language, perception and action will be addressed.
Psychology of Performing Arts
The module content will include the following topics: The psychology of magic: The manipulation of attention, perception and recall by conjurors. The disruption of problem solving strategies, and the use of framing. The psychology of charisma: Why some communicators are perceived as more charismatic than others, including its relationship to the Affective Communications Test. The psychology of humour: The use of humour by performers, including timing and joke structure. Personality correlates of those involved in humour production and delivery. Theatre and Human Expression: The effects that theatre (broadly defined) has upon individuals and society. It deals with, for example, excitement, vicarious experience, catharsis, audience awareness and censorship. Social Facilitation: The application of theoretical social psychology to the theatrical experience, with particular reference to the social communication facilitated by writers, performers and the audience. The psychology of Role Preparation: This aspect of the module is concerned with role preparation, from an "internal" perspective. It aims to describe role preparation in terms of psychological theories. In addition, this aspect of the course will look at personality types and stress levels. The psychology of Role Delivery: This aspect of the module is concerned with the psychology of performance per se. It examines the use of verbal and non-verbal communication, the body language of dance, and stage fright. Memory and Language: This aspect of the module is concerned with the cognitive aspects of memory and language as they relate to theatre. For example, we will look at look at what cognitive psychology tells us about remembering lines, from the perspective of a performer, and about remembering the message, from the perspective of the audience. Therapeutic use of Drama: This aspect of the module is concerned with the therapeutic use of Drama and music. We will examine Dramatherapy, Music therapy and dance movement therapy as they are applied to a range of psychological conditions and client groups. The Psychology of Role-play: The use of role-play in a wide range of applied settings will be explored.
The course will introduce students to a variety of recent theoretical developments in Cyberpsychology and how these may be relevant in various applied settings. Topic areas to be studied will typically include online behaviour, (e.g. consumer, gambling, addiction), online education and health, online impression formation, social-networking, online relationships, online security, cyber-ethics, general principles of human computer interaction.
Understanding Individuals: Personal Construct Psychology
This module introduces the student to Personal Construct Psychology (PCP). PCP is a particular psychology based on George Kelly's personal construct theory. PCP offers a means of understanding both the behaviour of other people and one's own behaviour. PCP has a wide range of applications in both clinical and non-clinical settings and because it is rarely considered in any detail within undergraduate degrees in Psychology, this module offers students an unusual opportunity to discover an alternative way of thinking about how to make sense of why people behave in the ways they do and how attempts at behaviour change might be undertaken. Practical methods of applying PCP will be taught in the module.
This module examines the nonverbal behaviour of individuals (including facial expression, eye gaze, posture) with a focus on hand gestures. Over the course of this module, students will gain insight into the social, cognitive and developmental aspects of gestures and understand the wider, real world implications of nonverbal behaviour. Specific topics include: the formation and interpretation of facial expressions, the communicative and cognitive functions of gestures, the role of gestures in development and the implications of nonverbal psychology in the real world. Students will be asked to review and critically evaluate current published research in this area.
Schools of Psychotherapy
The module begins with an overview of the main schools of psychology over the last century and a multidimensional discussion of the practical constraints within which psychotherapy takes place. Various schools of psychotherapy and their founders are discussed. Clinical methods and their weaknesses are considered, as are ways to improve the validity of clinical assessments. The design and use of the clinical interview is covered, as are psychometric measures (ability and personality). Students are made aware of legal and broader clinical issues relevant to psychotherapy practice. Evaluation of psychotherapy procedures is also addressed. The module will also focus on practical, methodological and ethical issues that are likely to affect the efficiency of psychotherapy in the different clinical workplaces.
Sandwich Placement: Biosciences
The sandwich placement will provide students with the opportunity to expand, develop and apply the knowledge, understanding and skills learnt in the taught years of the degree in a work-based situation. The establishment will appoint a work-place supervisor, and the student will also have a University supervisor. During the placement the student will return to the University to a one day Symposium which all placement students attend. During this day they present a poster about their placement and attend talks on future employment. In particular, Applied Biomedical Students will spend 48 weeks on a training placement in an approved diagnostic laboratory performing routine diagnostic tests. In the process they will: gain an understanding of the workings of a professional, clinical laboratory; develop the skills necessary to be an independent and safe practitioner; perform various analyses in order to demonstrate competence in use of specialist laboratory equipment.
Year Abroad - BIO
Learning and teaching methods may include taught courses, a research project, field studies or a mixture of these components. The Year Abroad will be for two academic semesters or their equivalent. The students will therefore follow a programme negotiated by the Associate Head of School or nominee and an equivalent representative of the host institution. Prior to commencement of the Year Abroad, the student, the programme officers from the University of Hertfordshire and from the host institution will agree a learning agreement and mode of attendance.
Biomedical Implications of Exercise
Exercise and the disease state: the role of exercise both as a prophylactic and causative factor in various cardiovascular, respiratory, and metabolic diseases. More specifically, topics such as the coronary heart disease, haemostasis, dyslipidaemia, sudden cardiac death, obesity, metabolic syndrome diabetes. Furthermore, the role of rehabilitation, regular exercise and increased activity will be addressed with particular emphasis on the above related disease. The role of activity and exercise in the promoting health in diverse groups and conditions such as the elderly, mental health, pregnancy and HIV/AIDS will be covered. In addition, the implementation of exercise prescription in the general population will be examined in the context of health initiatives.
Neurophysiology is concerned with how a powerful armory of experimental methods can reveal brain mechanisms involved in visual perception, movement, motivation and emotion, learning and memory, feeding, sleep and wakefulness. Neuroanatomy; major neurotransmitter pathways in the brain. Sensory coding. Processing of sensory input as exemplified by the visual system. Neural control of movement and posture by cerebral cortex, basal ganglia and cerebellum. States of conciousness, sleep and wakefulness, motivation and affect. Neurophysiological substrates of feeding. Control of autonomic and endocrine function. Plasticity; learning and memory as exemplified in the hippocampus; neural network models.
Personality: Past and Present Debates
This module introduces students to a critical analysis of personality theory and measurement, with particular reference to historical background and conceptual debates. Approaches typically included are: - Psychodynamic - Humanistic - Trait - Biological - Interactionism
Occupational and Work Psychology
This module will provide an introduction to some of the key topics relating to people’s behaviour in the workplace. Topics will include stress; relationships in the workplace; error and accidents; leadership; and career development as well as other relevant aspects of organisational behaviour.
Topics in Psychopathology
The course addresses substantive and methodological issues relating to mental illness from a cognitive perspective.
Topics in Forensic and Criminal Psychology
Forensic Psychology concerns the application of psychological theory and principles to the understanding of crime, crime control and the legal process. This module is designed to equip students with an overview of current psychological theory as applied to forensic topics. Particular attention will be paid to the psychology of judicial proceedings, eyewitness testimony, false confessions, offender profiling, investigation of the causes of offending behaviour and methods of tackling crime and offender behaviour. In addition, students will study the role the media play in the construction of ideas about crime, fear of crime and policy in relation to crime.
Advanced Topics in Memory
This module examines contemporary research into the structures and representations of memory and the roles of memory in broader cognitive functions. Laboratory and naturalistic approaches will be compared. Specific topics may include working memory, autobiographical memory, prospective memory. Students will be asked to review and evaluate current published research.
Health psychology is the practice and application of psychological research into: the promotion and maintenance of health; prevention and treatment of illness; the analysis and improvement of the health care system and health policy formation. This module introduces some of the key theories and principles of health psychology in relation to the maintenance of health, the adoption of healthy behaviours as well as the development of, recovery from and adaptation to illness. In particular the emphasis will be on health in its broadest sense, i.e. a state of social, physical and mental well-being, rather than simply the absence of illness.
Advanced Topics in Thinking
This module presents and examines recent research into how knowledge of things in the world may be organised and how basic mental abilities such as the evaluation of similarity and difference may affect a number of cognitive processes. Students will be asked to review and evaluate current published research in these areas.
Development and Self
This course examines research on how cultural events contribute to the development of the self. In particular, it focuses on the nature of the relationship between bodies, intersubjectivity, language and our grasp of who we are. The interaction between learning to talk and using language for planning and moral judgements will also be covered. In reviewing this evidence, we will examine research from within the domains of first (child) language learning, cognitive science, anthropology, developmental science and the study of language impairment.
Fees & funding
Full time: £9,000 for the 2014 academic year
Part time: If you decide to study this course on a part time basis you will be charged on a modular basis. The cost is £1,125 for each 15-credit module
Full time: £10,100 for the 2014 academic year
Other financial support
Living costs / accommodation
The University of Hertfordshire offers a great choice of student accommodation, on campus or nearby in the local area, to suit every student budget.
Key course information
- Institution code: H36
- UCAS code: B1C8BSc (Hons) Human Biology and Psychology (University Joint Honours),
- Course code: APJHHBPSY
- Course length:
- Part Time,
- Sandwich, 4 Years
- Part Time, 6 Years
- Full Time,
- Full Time, 3 Years