Introduction

We offer Integrated Masters programmes for Biology (and its specialist degrees), Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences. These are available as four year programmes, where study is at York for all four years, or five year programmes (integrated masters with a year in Industry / Europe) where year 3 is a placement in Industry or at a University / Research institute in mainland Europe.

These undergraduate masters programmes are available for current students (currently in stages 1 or 2), and applicants may apply for entry on to these programmes as of 2015/16 for Biology and Biochemistry and as of 2016/17 for Biomedical Sciences. Graduates from these programmes will receive an M. Biol (Biology + specialist degrees in Molecular Cell Biology, Genetics, Biotechnology & Microbiology, Ecology), M. Biochem. (Biochemistry) or M. Biomed. Sci (Biomedical Sciences) rather than a BSc.

Aims

The aim of the integrated Masters programmes is to equip Masters level graduates with the skills to succeed in the data-rich and dynamic world of contemporary biological science, or in other graduate careers that also require critical thinking and complex data analysis.

Our graduates need to be confident with databases and contemporary data analysis methods.

Our graduates should be able to integrate experimental and observational skills with analysis of and engagement with the scientific literature and databases. Over the progamme students should develop skills as both individual creative thinkers and through collaborative work. We aim to produce graduates who are comfortable working with methodologically complex problems, and are able to deal with new problems in creative ways. This is grounded in their ability to probe the literature and analyse data, and to engage with the wider scientific community through excellent communication skills.

Progession onto the programme

• Applicants can apply to join the integrated masters programmes through UCAS.

• For students currently on the BSc programme, it is possible to change course on to the integrated masters by completing a change of course form. Ask the undergraduate office

for a change of course form, and then submit the form via email, and they will process the course change for you. Change of course form should be completed before the end of Week

6 of Spring term in stage 2.

• Progression from stage 2 to stage 3 requires a mark of > 55 % at the end of stage 2.

• Progression from stage 3 to stage 4 requires a mark of > 50 % at the end of stage 3.

Structure

(i) Stages 1 and 2 of the programme are identical to our 3-year and 4-year BSc programmes. (The placement in Industry / Europe is an additional year, but is formally part of stage 2).

(ii) In stage 3, students will choose 8 x 10 credit option modules from the current stage 3 offering.

Students will also take a compulsory module “Research skills and Project” (40 credits). This module consists of analysis of research papers (25 %; taught element journal clubs, assessed element Comprehension and Criticism paper), preparation of a research-inspired Open Essay (25 %), and a research project (50 %). The project will be conducted in groups of 6-10 students, working in a general topic area under the supervision of an academic member of staff. There will be an opportunity for group training and team working. Assessment will be by individual written report.

(iii) Stage 4 will consist of:

(a) 80-credit Research project, which consists of two thirds of the student work effort in stage 4.

(b) 20-credit Critical analysis. Within this module academic leads will take groups of c. 12 students. The students within each group will undertake two types of activities: (i) Critical

review of recent literature, a student-led seminar setting, and (ii) Structured grant proposal writing. As groups (of c. 6), students will liaise with an academic convener to develop ideas

for a research proposal.

(c) 20-credit of options from modules in the general area of “Data analysis”. The aim of this part of stage 4 is to fulfil the programme Aims relating to “graduates need to be confident

with databases and contemporary data analysis methods”. A provisional set of modules is as follows:

• Protein structure visualisation (producing movie and static representations of macromolecules to show structural and functional properties)

• Introduction to programming (getting familiar with a progamming language in order to address biological problems of a text, mathematical or graphical nature)

• Statistical modelling (using and being able to find and apply statistical methods in the stats portal “R”, in order to understand and show biological data)

• Computational systems biology (using mathematical tools to model biological processes at all levels from molecular to population)

• Sequence analysis (getting confidence with making prediction s about structure, function and phylogeny using DNA databases and software)

Year / Stage weightings

For the four year masters, the weighting of the integrated masters is a ratio of 2:3:3 for stages 2, 3 and 4:

Year 2 - 25%

Year 3 - 37.5%

Year 4 - 37.5%

 

For the five year masters the placement year industry or europe contributes 25% to stage (year) 2 so the weightings are:

Year 2 (York) - 18.75%

Year 2 (placement) - 6.25%

Year 3 - 37.5%

Year 4 - 37.5%