Life Sciences for Subjects Allied to Medicine (Certificate in Higher Education): 1-year, part-time

Year of entry

2018

Start date

October 2018

Location

Central London

Status

Fully Approved

Duration

One year part-time

Attendance

Two evenings or afternoons a week, and some Saturdays for selected modules

This intensive programme will help you gain the knowledge and skills you need to progress to degree study in the life sciences and subjects allied to medicine. It also includes modules to help develop your study and research skills and to assist with your personal development and planning of applications for further study. You will gain an overview of the biological, cellular and molecular worlds, raising fascinating questions about their underlying chemical functions.

This programme is also available for part-time evening study over two years.

Highlights

  • Birkbeck's School of Science 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, with a research environment supporting world-leading and internationally excellent research.
  • You will be taught by internationally distinguished experts, who work with governments and institutions around the globe to extend the boundaries of knowledge.
  • You'll be part of a community of learners who are focused on learning and determined to succeed.
  • On successful completion, you may progress to the first year of a variety of degrees, including biology, chemistry, environmental science, geology and all health-related areas, such as radiography (requires biology with physics), pharmacy, osteopathic medicine, nutrition and dietetics, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, herbal medicine, clinical sciences, biomedicine and biomedical sciences. Students who already have a good first degree in another area and achieve high marks in their Certificate in Higher Education studies may also be accepted by some medical schools.
  • Students who are awarded the Certificate in Higher Education are guaranteed an interview for related part-time BSc degrees at Birkbeck.

Course structure

To gain the Certificate in Higher Education, you must successfully complete the following eight 15-credit modules, worth a total of 120 credit points.

 

    Module groups

    • Entry Requirements

      Entry requirements

      We welcome applicants without traditional entry qualifications as we base decisions on our own assessment of qualifications, knowledge and previous work experience as presented in your application, and on interview.

      You will need to demonstrate a good level of numeracy and English language skills, as well as a keen interest in the life sciences. Applicants are advised that this is a very intensive course, which requires a high level of commitment.

      International entry requirements

      If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

      If you don’t meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

      Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.

      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.

      Find out more about credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL).

    • Fees

      Fees

      Part-time home/EU students: £ 5150 pa
      Part-time international students: £5150 pa

      Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases. For more information, please see the College Fees Policy.

    • Teaching and assessment

      Teaching

      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

      Our team of lecturers, demonstrators and technicians are dedicated to providing a wide range of opportunities for adult learners interested in the life sciences and their application to subjects allied to medicine. A variety of teaching methods are used in class, including lectures, presentations, demonstrations, discussions, group work and problem-solving. The biology and chemistry modules also involve carrying out a number of laboratory experiments, either individually or in small groups. All modules are supported by online learning material. You will also need to do about 12 hours of home study a week.

      Timetables

      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.

      Academic support

      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

      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.

      Find out more about assessment at Birkbeck, including guidance on assessment, feedback and our assessment offences policy.

      Methods of assessment on this course

      Parts 1 and 2 of each subject are assessed by coursework and tests only, with some assignments completed in class and some at home. Part 3 includes both coursework and a final examination (in early June). The Saturday modules are assessed by coursework (Pass/Fail) only.

      Feedback

      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

      Careers and employability

      Graduates can pursue careers in research, education or medicine. This degree can also be useful in becoming a microbiologist, research scientist, analytical chemist or healthcare scientist.

      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

      How to apply

      Programme application: you apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application link. You can only apply for the whole programme. Please note that online application will open in October 2017.

      Birkbeck offers a range of free face-to-face advice and support to help you make a successful application.

      Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.

      Application deadlines and interviews

      You are advised to apply early, as demand for places is high.

      You may be asked to attend an interview, where you will receive guidance from our lecturers on your chosen subject areas and how you can plan your study and career progression effectively. Before attending the interview, you will need to complete a supplementary exercise pack to bring with you.

      You may be advised to attend our preparation weeks, which are taught in July and prior to the start of the programme in October.