Applied Molecular Biology - Standalone module

This course is for you if you need to “top-up” your existing degree to become a registered Biomedical Scientist, or if you are looking to take a module on molecular biology to develop your knowledge of molecular techniques used in the research laboratory as part of your continuing professional development.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham


Course type
Part-time, Online / distance learning

Course format

No placements


1 year

UCAS code(s)

Start date

Explore Applied Molecular Biology - Standalone module at Aston University

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    Key information, entry requirements and fees

    Key information

    Credit value: Please note we are moving to a new module structure for 2022/23 entry.

    Specific level: This is a Level 6 module, equivalent to the final year of an undergraduate degree

    Mode of delivery: Distance learning or on campus

    Course type: Standalone module 

    Number of places available: Up to 10

    Applications: all applications are made online using our online application form. You will be required to confirm the name and mode of study (online or on-campus) for each of the Biomedical Science top-up modules you will be applying for by listing them in your personal statement. This is a compulsory part of your application and missing information may result in a prolonged delay in processing your application. Our full list of available modules in this suite of courses includes:

    • Applied Molecular Biology 
    • Cell Biology 
    • Cellular Pathology 
    • Clinical Microbiology 
    • Haematology and Transfusion Science 
    • Human Physiology 
    • Immunology 
    • Medical Biochemistry 
    • Microbiology and Genetics 

    More information on each of these modules can be found here

    For those who are taking this module in order to 'top-up' your existing degree for IBMS registration, please refer to our entry requirements for more details on IMBS set deadlines.

    Start date: September 2023.

    Application deadline: September 1st

    Duration: Registration covers one academic year. Course delivery is scheduled over approximately 10 weeks, with an examination in May. Although this will depend upon the individual, a typical student can expect to spend around five hours a week studying throughout the duration of the course delivery, with an additional 50 hours spent on directed learning and revision prior to the May examination, equivalent to around 100 hours of study in total.

    Entry requirements
    • General entry requirements: In order to study this module you must have a non-accredited undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences or an undergraduate degree in a related field (such as biology or biochemistry). 
    • Taking this module in order to 'top-up' your existing degree for IBMS registration: Prior to registering for a top-up module (or modules) you need to contact the Institute of Biomedical Science. They will assess your degree in order to confirm that it is eligible for 'top-up' and to determine the additional subject areas in which you need further qualifications. We recommend you contact the IBMS by June in the year of application to ensure that you have confirmation of your module requirements in time to register for your modules with Aston University.
    • Degrees not eligible for top-up: If your degree is not eligible for top up but you still wish to become a registered Biomedical Scientist, we recommend that you apply to take our accredited BSc Biomedical Science undergraduate degree.
    • Taking this module for professional development: No additional requirements apply
    • International students: We welcome applications from international students who are already in the UK with a valid visa. Unfortunately we are not able to accept applications from international students who wish to come to the UK solely to take this course. We are also not able to accept international students to take the distance learning route. You will be asked to provide a scanned copy of your UK visa, and of your passport when you submit the online registration form so that we can check you are eligible to take the top up modules.

    September 2023 Start: £700 per 10 credits.


    Professional accreditation

    This course is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS).

    Course outline and what you will study

    Available via distance learning or part-time on campus study, this module allows you to develop your knowledge in molecular biology, exploring topics such as the identity of genes, the nature and properties of nucleic acids and proteins. It is ideal if you wish to “top-up” your existing degree to become a registered Biomedical Scientist, or if you are looking to take a course as part of your continuing professional development.

    You'll develop an in-depth understanding of research methodologies applied in modern molecular biology. It is therefore intended primarily as preparation for postgraduate research, but also serves to highlight and increase understanding of the key processes applied within the biotech industry. Knowledge of techniques for gene cloning, Protein engineering (site-directed mutagenesis, saturation mutagenesis, molecular evolution, phage display), generation/purification of recombinant proteins is given in addition to an understanding of core techniques such as QPCR and next generation DNA sequencing. Module content throughout will be related to both historical and current research.

    Please note, in order to offer you the best possible experience and keep our programmes up to date and relevant, the University is going through a transition period and is reconfiguring a number of our programmes. These improvements will affect applicants from September 2021 onwards. This webpage will be updated with new course information in due course.

    This course is part of the School of Biosciences which sits within the College of Health and Life Sciences.

    Learning, teaching and assessment

    This module is available on campus or via distance learning. We welcome applications from international students who are already in the UK with a valid visa; however we are not able to accept those who wish to come to the UK solely to take this course. Students taking this course by distance learning must be based in the UK.

    For both modes of study, students must attend a BMS Top-up Induction session on campus in week zero (mid-September), at which we will show you how to access your university record and Blackboard (the Virtual Learning Environment). All course material, including recorded lectures, self-assessment quizzes, timetables, and some directed reading will be available on Blackboard online; coursework submission and feedback are also mainly via this route. Blackboard allows you to access a comprehensive range of study materials, scientific journals, e-journals, databases and much more.

    On campus: the module runs over several weeks in Term 1, involving lectures and online quizzes. 

    Distance learning: the study can be spread out over the term and a week-by-week study guide is available. Recorded lectures are made available after they are delivered to attendance students as detailed above.

    All students will be required to attend on campus examinations during the May exam period.

    Our courses are written and delivered by staff at the forefront of life and health sciences teaching and research. Many members of staff currently practise or have practised professionally. In the recent Teaching Excellence Framework assessment, Aston University was awarded Gold, the highest award possible. In addition, our courses are regularly reviewed by relevant professional experts.

    Biomedical Sciences Top Up Modules Course DirectorDr Jonathan Cox

    Module Coordinator: Dr A.V. Hine 

    Career prospects

    Our CPD courses offer you the opportunity to enhance your knowledge and skills in order to develop your career. In addition, our ethos is to equip you to make a real difference in your field.

    These modules will allow you to obtain the academic competences that are required to apply to the Health Professions Council for Registration as a Biomedical Scientist.

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