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Study Biological and Molecular Sciences in the United Kingdom

School of Biological and Molecular Sciences Oxford Brookes University

The School of Life Sciences (formerly School of Biological & Molecular Sciences) is one of the University's smallest yet liveliest Schools. We offer degrees across the human-lifesciences, biosciences, and environmental sciences areas, and have a large and active research community. For full details of our undergraduate and postgraduate courses visit our school website: /schools/bms/

Background information

The school has about 40 academic staff, with a total staffing of about 100. At any one time we will have between 600 - 800 undergraduate students, around 50-100 masters students and around 50 - 80 PhD students.

  • In June 2000, following the Biological Sciences and Environmental Sciences Subject Review, the Quality Assurance Agency awarded the School 23/24 (scores of 22 and above are considered 'excellent')

  • In the last United Kingdom Research Assessment Exercise (2001) conducted by the Higher Education Funding Council, the ranking achieved by our Biology staff was the best in the new university sector.

  • Oxford is a small city with a population of about 140, 000 - 30, 000 of these are students. It is close to London and has bus, rail and air links. Oxford is a vibrant place to study with both its universities, medical school, culture, buzzing nightlife and beautiful countryside. Many who come here to study decide to settle here.

    Studying at Brookes

    Our degree course are genuinely very flexible, we offer both single honours and combined honours degrees. All of our undergraduate degrees are part of the Brookes Modular Degree Programme - the oldest and largest modular programme in the country. This framework allows you to combine many subjects together easily, and as a student here it is easily possible to change your degree subjects (about a third of Brookes students do this during their degrees). All taught material is presented in modules, and these are separately assessed, usually on the basis of examinations and coursework. If you are a full time student, you will find that each module represents about one quarter of a semester's work. There are two semesters in each year - the exact dates vary from year to year. The first runs from about September to December, and the second from about February to May.

    Students from a very wide range of backgrounds and cultures come to study with us, attracted by the reputation of our teaching and the friendliness of our community.

    Our academic staff are highly approachable and will always make themselves available to discuss any issues or difficulties you may have. You will have a Personal Tutor whilst here who has a special responsibility for your welfare and wellbeing. There are also support units staffed by specialist counselling staff which are available to all students to help with any issues that may arise - some of these are run by the Student Union, and others by the University. Visit the University website at: / Your


    Within each subject you have a wide choice of modules; and you also have the option to study some modules from other subjects such as languages. This enables you to create a course that is unique to you.

    In your first year, you will take the compulsory modules in order to progress to more advanced studies: the choice of modules is widest in the second and third years. If you find that you want to change modules, you have the opportunity at the beginning of each term to discuss the changes you would like to make with your tutors, who will do their best to accommodate your wishes. Full details of the undergraduate and postgraduate courses offered by the School, visit our website: /schools/bms/!

    Work experience and exchanges

    Several degrees offer opportunities to gain work experience with commercial companies and consultancies. Some offer sandwich options, and all can be studied on a part time basis, over a maximum of eight years, provided that you pass the minimum number of modules required each year.

    You will have opportunities to study abroad

    Within Europe we have a vigorous exchange programme organised through SOCRATES-ERASMUS and other schemes - through SOCRATES alone we have links with over 250 European universities. Provided you are achieving reasonable marks in your work, you are allowed to spend one semester at a non EU University* and the work you do there counts toward your degree here. Our students have recently been involved in exchanges to Australasian, Asian and American Universities.

    (*) subject to appropriate checks on the receiving University.

    Extended Science Degrees

    We recognise that many people who lack A-levels or equivalent qualifications welcome the opportunity to study for a degree. Our Extended Science Degree programme provides an additional foundation year during which students develop basic mathematical, scientific, communication and learning skills. Students can be accepted onto the programme with as few as five GCSE subjects (including a science subject) and two years of post GCSE study. Extended Science Degrees are available for all subjects taught in the School of Life Sciences.

    We also encourage mature students to apply, many of whom take the additional Extended Science Degree foundation year. We believe they make a vital contribution to the academic community and our experience is that mature students often produce outstanding results.

    Contact and Visits:

    If you want to talk to someone about any of our courses, or arrange a visit, please contact Mrs Helen Cross below by either email or phone (details below). We have regular open days and these provide opportunities to talk to staff and students about what it is like to study here. We strongly recommend that you attend one of these events if you are considering applying to us.

    Mrs Helen Cross


    Phone +44 (0)1865 483600

    School of Biological and Molecular Sciences,

    Oxford Brookes University,

    Headington, Oxford, United Kingdom.

    OX3 0BP

    +01865 483600 (desk, Oxford)

    +01865 483242 (fax, Oxford)

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    Mrs Helen Cross

    School of Biological and Molecular Sciences

    Oxford Brookes University,

    Headington, Oxford, United Kingdom.

    OX3 0BP

    +01865 483600 (desk, Oxford)

    +01865 483242 (fax, Oxford)