BSc (Hons) Molecular Biology

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, examinations may be replaced by an alternative form of assessment during the academic year 2020/2021. Please refer to the Programme Specification on these pages for further details.

Experience bioinformatics and lab techniques in modern facilities
Experience bioinformatics and lab techniques in modern facilities
Explore the relationship between genomics and important discoveries
Explore the relationship between genomics and important discoveries
Explore contemporary problems, taught by experienced researchers
Explore contemporary problems, taught by experienced researchers

This course includes the options of:

Work placement*

Study abroad*

*No fees are charged for this year

Why choose this course?

Cancers, muscular atrophy and measles. You want to learn how to find the cure to such diseases. Join our aspiring Geneticists and Molecular Biologists that are investigating mechanisms and treatment of life-threatening genetic and infectious diseases. You’ll use modern facilities in our five-storey science building to learn key molecular biology techniques. You’ll get to do bioinformatics analysis and genetic manipulation in bacteria and cell culture. You’ll even have exclusive access to designated IT rooms to use specialised computing software.  

Learn current developments from experts in the industry. Share your breakthroughs in interpreting complex data. Discuss molecular case studies with peers. The theory we'll teach you is important. But the practical experience you will gain will invaluable. You’ll graduate with all the credentials you need to make you desirable in science industries. You’ll be eligible to apply for membership of the Royal Society of Biology once you complete your degree. The transferable skills you gain will be applicable in a wide range of jobs. Maybe you want to enter the world of business, education, research or even politics. That’s all doable. And to top all of this off, you will get this career stepping-stone from a TEF Gold rated university. One of the best universities for teaching and support. 

You will be exploring many new areas in this degree. Rest assured; we are with you all the way. You’ll have the time of a personal tutor, who can support you in gaining subject-specific exam techniques, scientific writing and data interpretations. We’ll show you how to reference and more importantly, how to avoid plagiarism. 

The more you learn more, the more you’ll form specialist interests. You may find you really enjoy chemistry genetics in biochemistry. Or maybe you prefer pharmacology. That’s why we give you the chance to experience a range of optional modules before committing to the molecular biology pathway. We believe in flexibility. We will guide you to study what you really love. 

Find out more about our teaching staff across the Biosciences

Get in touch 

Follow us on twitter: @UH_AskBIO

What's the course about?

This degree is all about the study of biology at the molecular level, providing novel insights into the nature of genes and proteins and the relationship between them. You might already know that DNA carries all the information that determines the structure of proteins. Nowadays, we can read and re-write its sequences to measure the effects of those changes in living cells. This means, you’ll get the opportunity to be a part of a new era that can investigate organisms at their most fundamental level. Explore how cells take instructions, grow and divide. Learn how specialised cells differentiate and how they make up millions of different life forms. You can gain practical experience in genetic manipulation. These technical skills are highly valued by employers, giving you the tools, you need to succeed in your future career pathway when you leave us. 

In your first year you will gain a solid foundation in areas such as genetics, how drugs work inside our bodies and how viruses and fungi are formed and spread. You will also be able to choose two optional modules. Would you like to explore the chemical principles that underlie biological processes? Or maybe focus on the organic, structural and physical chemistry in biochemical and pharmaceutical sciences? The choice is yours.  

In your second year you’ll specialise even more. You will learn about the different research methods applied to study diseases and drugs. You can even start your medical work experience at this point if you want to.  

Work placement/study abroad option: Between your second and final year, you’ll have the option to study abroad or do a work placement for up to a year. Not only will this give you invaluable experience of a clinical, diagnostic or research workplace, it will also give your CV a boost. If you’d rather go straight to your final year, that’s absolutely fine too. 

In your final year you’ll find that you have grown to love certain topics that you just need to delve deeper into. All modules are optional, whether you’d like to look at disease, blood or medicine. In this year, you will also do a major project or dissertation in your chosen area of research.  

You’ll enjoy 20 hours of contact time, with lectures and workshops taking up about 6-10 hours per week. The remaining time is devoted to practical work. Throughout your degree, you will be assessed in a variety of ways. This will include exams, literature reviews, portfolios, lab reports, practical's and presentations. Coursework assessments account for around 50-100% per module. 

Your main campus is College Lane

This is where the creative arts, science and health related subject are based. This means you’ll share the campus with future nurses, scientists, artists and more. You can use the common rooms to relax with friends, work out in the 24-hour gym or have a drink in on-campus pub or cafes. We also have restaurants for you to eat in or grab something on the go. Want to pop over to the other campus? You can take the free shuttle bus or walk there in just 15 minutes.  

What will I study?

Degree programmes are structured into levels, 4, 5 and 6.  These correspond to your first, second and third/final year of study.  Below you can see what modules you’ll be studying in each.   

Part-time study

If you are studying part-time you will have up to 7 years to complete your course from registration. You will complete 60 credits per year (2-4 modules). The modules you will study each year will depend on how they fit together on the timetable.  For some modules, there are several sessions running for each workshop and practical.  As a part-time student you will be able to choose the workshop slots that best fit your schedule, though there might be some timetabling restrictions.  


Alumni Stories

Nikunj Thakrar

Meet Nikunj Thakrar who has built a successful career as a Pharmacist since graduating in 2009. He currently works for Tesco as a Pharmacy Manager and has returned to the University as a visiting lecturer.

Current job rolePharmacy Manager
Year of graduation2009
Course of studyMPharm Pharmacy

Nikunj Thakrar

University experience

Nikunj has been working at Tesco since he was a pre-reg Pharmacist and has worked his way up to the position he is now in. He speaks highly of the University, crediting us with helping him succeed in his career. Through the University's resources, facilities and exceptional Pharmacy degree, Nikunj had the opportunity to train three pharmacists as a pre-reg tutor. This hands-on practical experience helped him when entering employment and gave him tangible skills to take into his career.

He says, 'The University had, and still has, a massive impact on how my career has progressed. The teaching, support and resources were excellent and helped me  develop into the pharmacist I am today. I count my time at university as one of the main contributing factors to my success.'

Real world skills

Nikunj's experience and career demonstrates how the University gives students the skills to succeed, delivering fully skilled, work ready graduates to the professional world, equipped with unique experience and knowledge. Nikunj says, 'I feel that the preparation we were given for the real world was extremely useful in helping me settle as a pharmacist. We spent a lot of time in the mock pharmacy and dispensing suites which were the closest thing to an actual pharmacy. And although daunting, OSCE examinations were an extremely effective way of mimicking real-life scenarios a pharmacist may encounter, ultimately testing our knowledge.'

Aspirations for the future

As a visting lecturer, the University recognised Nikunj's talent and was able to facilitate his passion for the subject. He is continually developing new skills that he can incorporate into his professional role, in addition to help nurture the pharmacists of tomorrow. He encourages prospective pharmacists to gain experience alongside their degree as it will be invaluable when qualified. He adds, 'Set yourself goals to work towards and never lose sight of them.'

Looking ahead to the future, Nikunj says, 'I am currently very happy with my roles at Tesco and the University of Hertfordshire. However, in the future, I plan on helping out with more central and operational projects within the company and to increase my time spent in academia.'

I made great friends on my degree and through the Students' Union, and I've now got friends around the world, because of the wider Alumni community.

Alumni Stories

Chika Madubuko

Meet Chika Madubuko who has used her business knowledge to help others. She is currently the CEO of Greymate Care, Africa's pioneer AI-Powered, home-care platform that connects the elderly to a vetted caregiver.

Current job roleCEO of Greymate Care
Year of graduation2014
Course of studyMSc Biotechnology

Chika Madubuko

University life and experience

Chika initially decided to study at the University of Hertfordshire based on our impressive Learning Resource Centre’s ranking and our close proximity to London. As an international student, these factors were extremely important to ensure she had the tools and support to succeed in her course.

Her course, MSc Biotechnology, enabled Chika to push herself and provide a comprehensive and practical approach to the industry she wanted to pursue a career in.

‘Our course was delivered using a problem based learning approach where we tried to solve problems using real life scenarios as case studies.’

Similarly, Chika goes on to add that the composition of the modules on her course was completely different to other universities as the variety on offer ‘covered all areas within the sector.’ She firmly believes that as a University of Hertfordshire alumna, she has ‘the best recipe for success’ and ‘the world is [her] oyster.’.

The future

Since graduating in 2014, Chika’s career has spanned across three continents and several multinational companies. She is currently the CEO of Greymate Care in Africa but has set her sights even higher. In the future, she would like to become a renowned business mogul and take the world by storm.

In June 2020 we were delighted to announce Chika as our AInternational Alumnus/Alumna of the year for 2020.

‘Our course was delivered using a problem based learning approach where we tried to solve problems using real-life scenarios as case studies.’

Please note that some of the images and videos on our course pages may have been taken before social distancing rules in the UK came into force.