Year of entry2017
Start dateOctober 2017
Three years part-time
One to three evenings a week
Other entry years for this course2018
This Foundation Degree in Laboratory Science is available only to candidates working towards the Higher Apprenticeship for Laboratory Scientists (Analytical Science or Life Sciences specialisms). It will provide you with the to gain the technical skills, academic knowledge and transferable skills to meet Apprenticeship Standard.
The programme consists of modules from the BSc Biomedicine and/or BSc Structural Molecular Biology, covering molecular cell biology, biological chemistry, human genetics and laboratory training in a variety of modern molecular biology techniques. You will also complete a work-based module and options that will develop skills and competencies related to your employment.
- Birkbeck's Department of Biological Sciences provides state-of-the-art, specialist laboratories and facilities at the heart of academic London.
- In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), in a joint submission with UCL, Biological Sciences at Birkbeck were ranked 11th in the UK.
- You will be taught by internationally distinguished experts who work with governments and institutions around the globe to extend the boundaries of knowledge.
- Working in close collaboration with the Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology, a joint institute between Birkbeck and UCL, our Department is recognised for the excellence and international impact of its research.
- You will be part of a community of learners who are focused on learning and determined to succeed.
- We provide a wide range of help and support.
You complete six compulsory modules in Year 1, a compulsory work-based learning module and an option related to your employment in Year 2, and a core module in Year 3.
- Chemistry for the Biosciences I
- Chemistry for the Biosciences II
- Molecular Cell Biology I
- Molecular Cell Biology II
- Practical Skills for the Biosciences I
- Practical Skills for the Biosciences II
Year 2 compulsory modules
Year 2 option modules (choose 1)
We welcome a wide range of qualifications, from the UK and abroad, and we will also consider your non-academic achievements.
This course is available only to candidates working towards the Higher Apprenticeship for Laboratory Scientists (Analytical Science or Life Sciences specialisms). Individual employers will set the selection criteria for their apprentices.
Most candidates will have achieved GSCE grade C or above in English and mathematics, or equivalent, and will also hold A-levels or other relevant Level 3 qualifications, or equivalent, prior to undertaking the apprenticeship.
Relevant or prior experience may also be considered as an alternative.
Credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL)
If you have studied at university previously, you may have accumulated credits through the modules you studied. It may be possible to transfer these credits from your previous study to Birkbeck or another institution. You should discuss this with the Programme Director when you are making your application.
We are committed to doing everything we can to help you finance your studies.
FeesPart-time home/EU students: £ 8000 pa
Part-time overseas students: £ 8000 pa
Teaching and assessment
Our innovative, engaging teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments.
At Birkbeck, almost all of our courses are taught in the evening and our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience. In the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the government’s system for rating university teaching, Birkbeck was allocated a Silver award.
Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading.
Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.
In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your Personal Tutor.
Methods of teaching on this course
Lectures and smaller-group sessions.
Timetables are usually available from September onwards and you can access your personalised timetable via your My Birkbeck Profile online (if you have been invited to enrol).
Indicative class size
Class sizes vary, depending on your course, the module you are undertaking, and the method of teaching. For example, lectures are presented to large groups, with 30 to 100+ students in attendance, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups of 10 to 30 students, led by an academic.
Birkbeck offers study and learning support to undergraduate and postgraduate students to help them succeed. Our Learning Development Service can help you in the following areas:
- academic skills (including planning your workload, research, writing, exam preparation and writing a dissertation)
- written English (including structure, punctuation and grammar)
- numerical skills (basic mathematics and statistics).
Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can support you if you have additional learning needs resulting from a disability or from dyslexia.
Our Counselling Service can support you if you are struggling with emotional or psychological difficulties during your studies.
Our Mental Health Advisory Service can support you if you are experiencing short– or long-term mental health difficulties during your studies.
Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations. You will be given time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.
Unseen written examinations are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June, and, in most cases, are held during the day on a weekday – if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance. Exam timetables are published online in March each year.
Methods of assessment on this course
Assessment methods include tests (in-class, accessed remotely, or laboratory), practical reports, essays, problem-solving and data analysis assignments, oral communication and poster presentations, internet surveys and examinations.
As well as a mark for your coursework and exams, you will also receive feedback from your marker(s) to help you learn, improve and succeed. We encourage you to discuss feedback with your module tutor.
Feedback can come in different forms: notes via Moodle (our online learning environment); a paper copy of a completed feedback form; or in-class or face-to-face feedback. The College Policy on Feedback on Assessment sets out what you can expect from your feedback.
Your department will usually provide you with your marked coursework within four weeks of submission. Your initial mark is provisional until the relevant Board of Examiners has confirmed it.
Your official coursework and exam results will be made available to you via your My Birkbeck Profile online.
Careers and employability
To help you get ahead in your career, we offer free advice and training and our recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, can connect you with employers.
Careers and employability
This programme is available for apprentice laboratory scientists working towards the Higher Apprenticeship for Laboratory Scientists (Analytical Science or Life Sciences specialisms).
Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject.
We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.
How to apply
Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck.
How to apply
You will need your employer's consent before applying for this course or your employer will refer you to us as they will be part funding your studies. For more information and to apply, please contact us.
From May 2017 levy-paying employers will fund their apprentices' studies via their digital account from the Digital Apprenticeship Service.
Please note: students on this programme are funded by their employer so not eligible for a student loan.
Employers wishing to refer apprentices to this programme should contact us.
Application deadlines and interviews
To be arranged with employers who select Birkbeck as the higher education provider for their apprentices.
Life at Birkbeck
Birkbeck offers a unique combination of evening study and a matchless central London location, right in the geographic and academic centre of the city, giving you exceptional opportunities.
Accommodation and living costs
Most of our students live in private accommodation, but we also offer student accommodation and access to the professional services of the University of London Housing Services.
The Birkbeck experience
Birkbeck is different: our classes are held in the evening, so your days are free - to study, work, volunteer or just do your own thing.
Birkbeck is committed to doing everything we can to help you finance your studies. Find out about what is available, how to apply and the advice and support we provide.
How to apply
Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck. We can give you the advice and support you need.
Discover more about our comprehensive range of student services, which offer all the support and assistance you need.
Boost your career
Discover how Birkbeck's unique evening teaching, coupled with our comprehensive careers and employability services, can help you get ahead in a highly competitive job market.
Fees and payment
With government loans for undergraduate and postgraduate study, fantastic financial support packages and flexible payment options, there’s never been a better time to study at Birkbeck.
There are lots of ways to come and visit us and meet our staff and former students, including Open Evenings, Open Days and guided campus tours. Discover more here.
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