Natural Sciences (Biology) - BSc (Hons)

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Why study this course?

Our Natural Sciences (Biology) degree will equip you with a broad knowledge of science subjects, reflecting the increasingly multidisciplinary nature of scientific research and enterprise. The flexible structure of the Natural Sciences (Biology) BSc allows you to tailor the degree towards your personal interests, whilst providing the core laboratory, IT and performance skills you'll need to succeed in your career.

More about this course

This course will develop your technical and transferable skills across a range of subjects within the natural sciences.

On completion of this degree you'll be fully prepared to pursue postgraduate study or work in several areas of the chemical, biological or pharmaceutical industries. Practicals and projects are conducted in one of the largest and most advanced science teaching facilities in Europe, with access to 280 workstations and specialist laboratory equipment. Our Learning Centre has many areas for group or independent study with Wi-Fi and computer facilities.

Membership of the Life Sciences Society also gives you the opportunity to attend several social and professional events. This welcoming society helps you to build employability skills suitable for careers within life sciences.

Your first year will cover the fundamentals of physical, chemical and biological sciences, both theoretically and practically in the laboratory.

As the course progresses, you’ll have the chance to explore the practical and technical aspects of the natural sciences at a more in-depth level as well as having the opportunity to specialise in areas that interest you such as bioinformatics, medical genetics, toxicology or bioanalytical science.

In your final year, you’ll undertake a year-long research project on a topic of your choosing within the natural sciences. You’ll also have the option to undertake an on-the-job placement as part of your degree, giving you valuable hands-on experience and exposure to the industry.

Assessment

You'll be assessed through mini-tests, practical reports, posters, presentations, essays, short-answer tests and examinations.

Fees and key information

Course type
Undergraduate
UCAS code CF12
Entry requirements View
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Entry requirements

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • A minimum of grades BCC from three A levels including grades CC or above in Biology and another Science (or a minimum of 104 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification eg BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma/Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Progression Diploma or Access to HE Diploma of 60 credits)
  • English Language and Mathematics GCSE at grade C/grade 4 or above (or equivalent)

Applicants with relevant professional qualifications or extensive professional experience will also be considered on a case by case basis.

If you don't have traditional qualifications or can't meet the entry requirements for this undergraduate degree, you may still be able to gain entry by completing our Natural Sciences (Biology) (including foundation year) BSc (Hons).

To study a degree at London Met, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. If you require a Tier 4 student visa you may need to provide the results of a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

If you need (or wish) to improve your English before starting your degree, the University offers a Pre-sessional Academic English course to help you build your confidence and reach the level of English you require.

Accelerated study

If you have relevant qualifications or credit from a similar course it may be possible to enter this course at an advanced stage rather than beginning in the first year. Please note, advanced entry is only available for September start. See our information for students applying for advanced entry.

Modular structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2019/20 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Thursday morning

    Description: The module is concerned with biochemistry focusing on the properties of key biochemical molecules and their role in biochemical function.

    The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. This module is concerned with biochemistry focusing on the properties of key biochemical molecules and their role in biochemical function. This module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon

    Description: This is a module which provides students with an understanding of basic cell structures and an awareness of different cell types and relates the structure and activities of cell components to their functions and to cellular activities as a whole. An overview of the organisation, expression, and replication of genetic information will be provided and the principles of Mendelian inheritance will be investigated. The consequences of mutation on gene expression are examined together with an introduction to techniques of gene analysis and manipulation.
    The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualification. This module aims to expose students to some of the key questions of cell biology concerning cell structure and intracellular activities; provide students with practical experience in a range of laboratory-based biological techniques; enhance students' ability to manage themselves and to develop organisational and analytical skills which are applicable to the workplace; provide an overview of the organisation, expression, and replication of genetic information in prokaryotes and eukaryotes together with principles of Mendelian inheritance; examine the consequences of mutation on gene expression together with an introduction to techniques of gene analysis and manipulation. This module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday morning

    Description: This module is a companion module to CY4002 (General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry). It covers the fundamentals of inorganic and physical chemistry needed for students of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Science. Students will undertake practical exercises and practice problem solving skills based on the material taught.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Thursday morning

    Description: The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s Framework for Higher Education Qualification. The module provides an introduction to core aspects of chemistry - concepts of naming and drawing chemical formulae, organic bonding, differing types of isomerism, moles, reaction processes, states of matter, and interactions between particles are enumerated. Students will undertake regular tests based on the material taught.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    This module will introduce students to safe contemporary (GLP) practice in the laboratory environment, practical bioscience techniques, simple chemical techniques and the discipline of accurate laboratory record keeping. Professional issues, study skills and data analysis will be integrated in the module. In some practical sessions the techniques are related more specifically to the degree area the student is studying.
    The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.
    This module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility. More specifically the module aims to give students an introduction to the laboratory environment by exposing them to simple bioscience and fundamental chemical procedures. Further it aims to: introduce and familiarise the student with/to the laboratory environment, including its capacity to harness cutting edge technology (e.g. laboratory informatics systems, deployment of software for use in virtual experiments). These aspects are intended to enhance both the student experience and pedagogic quality of the provision. The module also aims to develop basic lab practice: personal safety (as expedited by COSHH and Risk Assessments), awareness of others and where appropriate to consider ethical issues that can have an impact on the execution of a given experiment. It is intended that students will become competent in writing laboratory records and scientific reports where emphasis is placed on: contemporary scientific record keeping, style, recording data, interpreting data and drawing a conclusion from results. Students will be introduced to basic lab procedures such as: handling of scientific apparatus, handling, purification and analysis of biological and chemical agents, including their safe handling and an introduction to microbiological and biomedical techniques. The development of study skills and the analysis of data will be a core component of the module. This will be fostered by integrating statistical analysis within practical sessions allowing students to analyse generated data and link theory to practice. Professional issues will also be integrated into the module. The transferable skills that will be developed will not only enable students to derive maximum benefit from their chosen courses of study, but to also allow them to consolidate and inculcate these in preparation for employment and employability.

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Year 2 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start)

    This module will develop problem solving and report writing skills in qualitative analytical chemistry and will enable students to identify analytical substrates on the basis of combined analytical results from a variety of sources.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Thursday morning

    This module will enable students to extend their understanding of the principles of molecular biology in eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms, with emphasis on understanding mechanisms of gene expression, genome structure, variation and replication, and genetic inheritance and genetic causes of disease. The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.
    The module integrates the knowledge and skills acquired from other modules and encourages independent learning through the access of information using appropriate laboratory, primary and secondary sources, and informatics resources. It develops competence in laboratory skills through practical work, and in scientific writing. It aims to develop students’ qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment including developing ability to solve problems and gather and interpret data to inform a focussed theme and writing reports. Moreover students have an opportunity to develop self-management employability skills by engaging fully with the learning material and opportunities made available to them, and by continually reflecting on their progress through the module using the regular feedback opportunities available to them.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday morning

    The module aims to develop an understanding of the relationships between structure, bonding and reactivity of metal compounds and complexes in d- and f- block. The knowledge gained will give students an understanding of the role of metals and metal compounds in disease, diagnosis and treatment. The practical aspects of the module will enable students to acquire skills and experience of preparative, analytical and instrumental methods which are essential to inorganic chemistry. The module offers students from BSc Pharmaceutical Science to increase their knowledge of inorganic chemistry and the role in drug development etc. A key discipline throughout the BSc Chemistry degree it builds and reaffirms whilst allowing students to appreciate the whole of the periodic table.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday morning

    This module will develop the students’ knowledge and understanding of the major areas of physical chemistry and give an appreciation of the importance of modelling physicochemical processes mathematically in order to be able to predict the behaviour of chemical systems. The module will examine key theories and applications of thermodynamics, kinetics, surface chemistry and electrochemistry.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Thursday morning

    This module provides an introduction to physiological, cellular and molecular fundamentals of human immunology. It includes consideration of innate and acquired immune defences, genetic variation and immune defence, and immune responses or involvement in a range of pathological conditions. The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.
    The module integrates the knowledge and skills acquired from other modules, and encourages independent learning through the access of information using appropriate laboratory, primary and secondary sources, and informatics resources. It develops competence in laboratory skills through practical work, and in scientific writing. It aims to develop students’ qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment including developing ability to solve problems, and gather and interpret data to inform a focussed theme and writing reports. Moreover students have an opportunity to develop self-management employability skills by engaging fully with the learning material and opportunities made available to them, and by continually reflecting on their progress through the module using the regular feedback opportunities available to them.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Wednesday morning

    This module focuses on understanding key principles of metabolism. These principles are illustrated through study of the major metabolic pathways. How metabolism interacts with the nutritional environment is discussed throughout the module.
    The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s Framework for Higher Education Qualifications This module aims to provide an understanding of the principles of metabolism encourage an appreciation of the diversity and interconnection of metabolic pathways, and to stimulate an understanding of the applicability of metabolism in a broad range of biological context. This module will also provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility and decision making

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday morning

    Description: This module investigates the key metabolic pathways in eukaryotes and prokaryotes and investigates how these pathways, in different organisms, satisfy energy requirements for growth and reproduction using the nutrients in their surroundings. This module also examines the intrinsic and extrinsic factors which regulate microbial growth and development. Pre-requisite BC4001
    The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the QAA’s the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. It provides students with the opportunity to study the nutritional requirements for microbial growth and the intrinsic and extrinsic factors which regulate microbial growth and development. This module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making. Students will be encouraged to engage meaningfully with personal development planning (PDP) through the curriculum, to enable them to reflect on, plan and review their own personal and academic skills. PDP will enable students to develop well supported claims to their achievements and be able to articulate these to others. The University will facilitate students in the recognition and recording of their achievements.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Friday afternoon

    The module addresses the major parasites of medical importance. It emphasises those aspects of parasite life-cycles that contribute to disease and pathology, the anti-parasite immune responses they engender, how parasites evade these responses, and alternative control measures.
    The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications
    The aims of this module are to review a range of medically important parasites, investigating the variety of parasite life-cycles as these contribute to disease and pathology. The module aims to advance students’ abilities in parasite recognition and diagnosis and develop students’ understanding of immunological control, evasion of that control, the development of anti-parasite vaccines and alternative methods of control.
    This module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring: the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility; decision making in complex and unpredictable contexts; and, the learning ability needed to undertake appropriate further training of a professional or equivalent nature.

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Year 3 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday afternoon

    This module will enable students to demonstrate the skills necessary to carry out a scientific programme requiring significant research. It will allow students to demonstrate the final development of their subject knowledge, skills and understanding through extended research based on laboratory, literature/meta-analysis of databases or bioinformatics research. This research will lead to the presentation of a detailed written report.
    The research project and laboratory skills sessions will enable students to carry out at least 35 hrs on directed competency skills-based activities and an equal amount of time on independent work-related learning activities on various themes approved in conjuction with the School Employer Liasion Board. In addition students will spend 230 hours on project-related activities

    This module aims to encourage the student to reflect and build upon their subject knowledge and expertise by means of a specific investigation requiring significant research; develop the skills necessary to plan, carry out, analyse and report upon the results of an experimental or analytical programme on a scientific topic; allow the student to demonstrate that s/he has achieved a high level of personal development through working independently with the minimum necessary supervision; allow the student to demonstrate their understanding and application of safe and considerate working practices, particularly within the laboratory.
    In addition the module will also encourage students to develop professional work-related learning skills through the competencies skills sessions which have been developed to map to and are responsive to employers requirements.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Thursday afternoon

    The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.
    This module aims to enable students to develop an understanding of the relation between structure, bonding and reactivity of organometallic and main group compounds. In addition, the module aims to develop students understanding of modern characterisation in solid state chemistry. Allied to this, the module will develop an awareness of the spectroscopic techniques available to an inorganic chemist and provide them with contexts that will allow them to develop problem solving skills in this area. In addition the module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment. They will be required to exercise initiative and personal responsibility, as well as decision-making in complex and unpredictable contexts.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Friday morning

    This module will enhance students’ knowledge and understanding of the major areas of physical chemistry for the life sciences and further develop their ability to model physicochemical processes mathematically in order to be able to predict the behaviour of chemical systems. The module will examine key theories and applications of thermodynamics, the kinetics of life processes, quantum theory, heterogeneous catalysis and molecular spectroscopy.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Friday morning

    The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.
    The module aims to develop students’ understanding of advanced bioanalytical techniques and to enable students to determine which analytical technique is suitable for a particular type of sample. The module will reinforce and build on analysis skills introduced in CH5007 and provide an opportunity for students to interpret more advanced data, particularly spectra and chromatograms and to solve defined problems. The students will gain practical experience in selected analytical techniques.
    This module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility and decision-making in complex and unpredictable contexts. The module should also help students to gain the learning ability needed to undertake appropriate further training of a professional or equivalent nature.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Friday afternoon

    The module uses online public databases and software to extract, analyse and interpret nucleic acid and protein sequences and to model the structures of RNA and protein sequences. Genomics, in particular, with an emphasis on pharmacogenomics and phylogeny are covered.
    The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. The module aims to provide familiarity with the primary and secondary databases used to analyse DNA, RNA and protein sequence, expression and structure, within and across genomes. Students will be given the opportunity to develop informatics skills for extracting, analysing and presenting data to extract biological knowledge. The principles of macromolecular, and in particular protein structure will be applied to the building of molecular models using modelling and graphics software. Applications of modelling will emphasise the importance of protein-protein interactions and protein-drug interactions. This module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring: the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility; decision-making in complex and unpredictable contexts; and, the learning ability needed to undertake appropriate further training of a professional or equivalent nature.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Thursday afternoon

    This module introduces different normative philosophical bases for ethical decision-making, and gives opportunities for critically applying these principles and approaches to a range of contemporary moral issues in the human sciences.
    This module aims to introduce underlying concepts of normative ethics and processes of ethical decision-making, and to offer the opportunity for in-depth critical examination of specific ethical issues and dilemmas in the human sciences. It will enable the exploration of different approaches to ethical issues in scientific research and practice, and will provide students with an awareness of the scope of the field of bioethics. In addition, it aims to facilitate the development of moral reasoning skills that may be applied in practical contexts, and to provide a supportive environment for the development of competence in written and oral presentation. Finally, the module will introduce students to professional ethics and codes of conduct in the human sciences.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Thursday morning

    The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality
    Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.
    This module aims to enable students to develop an understanding of the chemical components of a range of natural products (e.g. terpenes, plant glycosides, alkaloids, carbohydrates, peptides/proteins and nucleic acids), as well as the methods used for their appropriate extraction and quantitation. It will also show students how to deploy a range of spectroscopic techniques for structure elucidation of some of these vitally important molecules. In addition, the module aims to develop students understanding of both the biosyntheses, and synthetic methodologies, involved in deriving the active constituents of drug-like molecules found in nature (e.g. in pharmacognosy) and provide them with contexts that will allow them to develop problem solving skills in this area. Contemporary topics of importance in natural products such as applications of combinatorial chemistry, photochemistry (industrial-scale) and semi-synthetic drug development will also be introduced via lectures, tutorials and workshops and the
    students’ practical skills will be enhanced by exposure to specific techniques from
    modern natural product isolation protocols. In addition, the module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment. They will be required to exercise initiative and personal responsibility, as well as decision-making
    in complex and unpredictable contexts. Finally, the module aims to provide students with the learning ability needed to undertake appropriate further training of a professional or equivalent nature.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Monday morning

    The aim of this module is to provide students with an appreciation of neurotransmitter receptor physiology, with the aim of using this to gain understanding of the mechanism of action of drugs which are used to treat key neurological disorders of the central nervous system including depression, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease. Students will also gain experience at generating, handling and analysing neuropharmacological data. The module provides students with fundamental pharmacological knowledge and skills.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Monday morning

    The aim of this module is to provide students with an understanding of how drugs are used to treat key diseases, including cardiovascular conditions, cancer, and infection, and gives students experience at generating and handling pharmacological data. The module provides students with fundamental pharmacological knowledge and skills.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Thursday afternoon

    This module will enable students to extend their understanding of disease and toxicity. They will study the influences of endogenous and foreign compound metabolism on pathology. Students will learn how these pathological processes can be modulated in the treatment of disease and poisonings.
    The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. This module aims to provide students with the opportunity to understand the principles and practices of biochemical pathology . This will be by expanding a student's knowledge and understanding of human biotransformations (metabolism) particularly as they influence the nature of disease(pathology) and toxic states (toxicology). Students will engage with problems in toxicology and pathology and study a range of topics including forensic, regulatory and environmental toxicology and metabolic pathology. They will be provided with an understanding of the key role of foreign compound (xenobiotic) metabolism in biochemical toxicology and given the opportunity to study the aetiology and treatment of disease and poisonings.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester
    • autumn semester - Thursday morning

    This module provides the student with the opportunity to consolidate and complement their academic learning with vocational experience in medical or related laboratories or within a field related to studies. The placement provides supervised training and work experience in a relevant field. Placements should give students the opportunity to gain skills specific to their subject or industry of choice as well as the employability skills required for real-life work. It also increases their knowledge of an industry or sector, allowing them to make better informed decisions about future career choices.

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After the course

You’ll leave this course equipped for a career in biological research, in hospital and public health laboratories or in the pharmaceutical, food, water and agricultural industries.

You could choose to work in sectors such as education or bioanalytics, with roles such as developer or laboratory technician. You’ll also develop the IT, research and analytical skills that are valued by employers in many different industries such as accountancy, journalism and marketing.

Additional costs

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

Discover Uni – key statistics about this course

Discover Uni is an official source of information about university and college courses across the UK. The widget below draws data from the corresponding course on the Discover Uni website, which is compiled from national surveys and data collected from universities and colleges. If a course is taught both full-time and part-time, information for each mode of study will be displayed here.

How to apply

If you’re a UK/EU applicant applying for full-time study you must apply via UCAS unless otherwise specified.

UK/EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University.

Non-EU applicants for full-time study may choose to apply via UCAS or apply direct to the University. Non-EU applicants looking to study part-time should apply direct to the University. If you require a Tier 4 (General) student visa, please be aware that you will not be able to study as a part-time student at undergraduate level.

When to apply

The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) accepts applications for full-time courses starting in September from one year before the start of the course. Our UCAS institution code is L68.

If you will be applying direct to the University you are advised to apply as early as possible as we will only be able to consider your application if there are places available on the course.

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