School of Biosciences

We are a close-knit community undertaking excellent teaching and cutting-edge research. Our focus is on providing services and knowledge to our beneficiaries including our students, the NHS, and the wider health and life sciences industry.


The School of Biosciences within Aston University’s College of Health and Life Sciences, offers a unique learning experience. Research-led teaching gives our students access to the latest trends, thinking, and issues in the field, which is combined with the development of hands-on skills, and access to research projects addressing real-world questions. This mix of theoretical and practical education ensures our students graduate with the knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to succeed.  

Much like our teaching, research within the School takes a distinctive approach with an integrated mix of fundamental and translational programmes. Our work provides real world relevance and a breadth of focus from model organisms (bacteria, worms, flies), through animal models, to humans, with a focus on fundamental processes driving health and disease. The collaboration and interaction of these areas internally, along with our strong links into the NHS and industry provides a hotbed of innovative research activity.  

All activities undertaken in the School are driven, and supported by our team of expert staff. From teaching and research teams, to our support structures, we champion inclusivity and multi-disciplinary thinking to produce exploitable research and high achieving graduates.  

Research

Staff within the School conduct research in a multitude of areas, from our overarching Biosciences Research Group, to the Centres of Excellence; Aston Research Centre for Healthy Ageing (ARCHA) and Aston Centre for Membrane Protein and Lipid Research (AMPL). In addition, we contribute to research in the multi-disciplinary Aston Institute of Health and Neurodevelopment

We are also a partner institution with several leading research training programmes BBSRC: Midlands Integrative Biosciences Training Partnership, and EPSRC-SFI Joint Centre for Doctoral Training in Engineered Tissues for Discovery, Industry and Medicine.

Rankings

World rankings
  • Top 400 in the world overall for Life Sciences (The Times Higher Education, World Subject Rankings, 2021) 
  • Top 200 in the world for international outlook in Life Sciences (The Times Higher Education, World Subject Rankings, 2021) 
Research
  • Top 10 in the UK for research quality in Biological Sciences (Complete University Guide, 2021)
Teaching and satisfaction
  • Top 30 in the UK overall for Biological Sciences (The Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2021) 
  • 93.3 per cent of students found the course intellectually stimulating (BSc Biomedical Science, National Student Survey, 2020)  
  • 94.7 per cent overall student satisfaction (BSc Biological Sciences, National Student Survey, 2020) 
Graduate prospects
  • 10th in the UK for graduate prospects in Biological Sciences (Complete University Guide, 2021)

Accreditation and links to industry

Accreditation

Several flagship courses within our portfolio offer accreditation to leading professional bodies. This seal of approval ensures that our programmes contain a solid academic foundation in subject knowledge and skills to help prepare our graduates to address the needs of employers.  

Accreditation also means that students on our BSc Biomedical Science/Applied Biomedical Science and Biomedical Science top-up modules, have the requisite qualifications to go onto work in the NHS in a professional role as a biomedical scientist. In addition, our MBiol exit programme holds Advanced Degree Accreditation with the Royal Society of Biology.  

Accrediting bodies include: 

Royal Society of Biology (RSB)  Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) 

RSB                                IBMS

Full details on accreditation can be found on our course pages.

 

Links to industry and expertise

We’re proud of the strong links we’ve forged within the sector and our local community. We work closely with colleagues in the NHS, industry, and charitable sectors on a variety of projects, from research, to ‘train the trainers’ sessions, in addition to having clinical staff in the School who work within local hospitals.   

Within the School of biosciences, our staff are members of a number of important funding body committees. In 2020, two out of the five Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) funding panels were chaired by staff from the School: Professor Andrew Devitt, and Professor Roslyn Bill.  We also give regular talks at charitable and support groups, provide expert commentary for print and broadcast media, and take part in a wide range of public engagement activities at a local and national level.

Facilities

Teaching and research within the School is conducted in our on-site biosciences facilities, including a variety of laboratories such as the Mass Spectrometry and Lipidomics Laboratory and ARCHA Advanced Imaging Facility. 

In 2020 we invested around half a million pounds to develop two new labs, a new state-of-the-art cell culture laboratory and a molecular biology/biochemistry lab, to support student practical classes, projects and professional lab competency. This has been further supported through new equipment purchases including dedicated flow cytometry for teaching, 20 cell culture cabinets with incubators fridges and freezers, new microscopy equipment and new equipment for the analysis of proteins through electrophoresis. We have a constant program of renewal and improvement of our facilities.