Biology and Film and Screen Studies

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How to Apply

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This course covers all the core aspects of biology while still allowing you to develop expertise in specialist areas. Biology has a strong practical element and you will have plenty of opportunities to study plants and animals in the wild as well as in the laboratory. There is also a strong human biology thread in our degree programme. As well as scheduled practical sessions, day trips and residential field trips provide the opportunity to study topics in greater depth.

It will particularly appeal to students that have studied a biologically orientated subject at A level such as Biology, Environmental Science or Geography. However, if you are considering studying with other qualifications, but have a keen interest in Biology, you are also encouraged to apply.

Our staff are friendly and enthusiastic with expertise in many areas of biology from occupational diseases to plant anatomy and wildlife conservation. By the end of your degree you will be particularly well equipped to be a professional biology but you will also have a broad range of transferable skills and the versatility to succeed in many other careers. There is also the opportunity for you to gain work experience in a relevant organisation as part of your degree programme.

Our campus is particularly suited to the study of biology, boasting many interesting habitats including woodland, farmland, a lake, ponds and a stream. As well as these important natural resources we also have a boat, wildlife video system, walled garden, greenhouses, recently refurbished laboratories and a range of specialist equipment and computer software. In brief, we can provide everything you need to make your biological studies relevant, interesting and applicable to a rewarding career.

Above all we are looking for motivated and committed students who wish to push the boundaries of their academic knowledge and get the best possible preparation for any future career – but also who want to become socially engaged global citizens, ready to make a difference. You will benefit from joining the Bath Spa University community if you are willing to take advantage of the many opportunities that will be available to you outside of your study – such as volunteering, joining clubs and societies, and taking part in extra-curricular activities.

We are ranked 1st of all UK universities for Overall Satisfaction and Assessment & Feedback and ranked 3rd for Teaching and Personal Development. (Source: National Student Survey, 2014). This feedback from our students demonstrates the quality of experience you will receive if you study with us.

There are two additional pathways into Biology, that you may like to consider:

Why study Biology?

This course covers all the core aspects of biology while still allowing you to develop expertise in specialist areas. Biology has a strong practical element and you will have plenty of opportunities to study plants and animals in the wild as well as in the laboratory. There is also a strong human biology thread in our degree programme. As well as scheduled practical sessions, day trips and residential field trips provide the opportunity to study topics in greater depth.

Our staff are friendly and enthusiastic with expertise in many areas of biology from occupational diseases to plant anatomy and wildlife conservation. By the end of your degree you will be particularly well equipped to be a professional biology but you will also have a broad range of transferable skills and the versatility to succeed in many other careers. There is also the opportunity for you to gain work experience in a relevant organisation as part of your degree programme.

Our campus is particularly suited to the study of biology, boasting many interesting habitats including woodland, farmland, a lake, ponds and a stream. As well as these important natural resources we also have a boat, wildlife video system, walled garden, greenhouses, recently refurbished laboratories and a range of specialist equipment and computer software. In brief, we can provide everything you need to make your biological studies relevant, interesting and applicable to a rewarding career.

Course structure

In your first year you will study the core module, Introduction to Biological Sciences. This allows you to develop your understanding of the fundamentals of biology from cell biology and genetics to characteristics of plant and animal communities. You may also choose to study additional modules in human biology, biochemistry, biodiversity and nutrition.

In the second year you will look at the biology of plants, animals and humans in greater depth and be able to study additional topics that particularly interest you, such as ecology, environmental sustainability, biodiversity, microbiology, human pathophysiology, and food product development. A work placement module gives you the opportunity to gain academic credit for relevant voluntary or paid work carried out during your second year. There are also modules in business, science publishing and psychology available to complement your Biology modules.

In your final year of study you will specialise in topics such as animal behaviour, marine biology, nutrition, digital imaging, food safety, nature conservation, medical biology and plant biology. All students also carry out an independent study as part of their dissertation which enables you to pursue an area of biology which is of special interest to you. In addition modules in business, sociology, psychology and publishing are available.

Overall you have the opportunity to study a wide range of topics, but can specialise in areas which are of particular interest to you.

Modules

Year 1

  • Introduction to Biological Sciences (compulsory)
  • Biodiversity and Conservation
  • Food Nutrition and Health
  • Fundamentals of Biochemistry
  • Global Food Issues
  • Human Biology
  • Investigating Earth Environments

Year 2

  • Biology: The Science of Life (compulsory)
  • Biological Research Skills (compulsory)
  • Applied Microbiology
  • Biodiversity Tools and Techniques
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Epidemiology and Public Health
  • Food Product Development
  • Human Pathophysiology and Nutrition
  • Work Placement
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Biological and Cognitive Psychology
  • Science Publishing

Year 3

  • Biology Dissertation (compulsory)
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Digital Imaging
  • Environmental Consultancy
  • Food Safety
  • Marine Biology
  • Medical Biology
  • Nature Conservation in Context
  • Nutrition and Exercise Science
  • Plants and People
  • Enterprise: Creating Your Own Business
  • Successful Freelancing
  • Science Publishing Project
  • Neuropsychology
  • Individuals, Health and Society

Course assessment

We use a wide variety of assessment types in our modules, including essays, practical reports, oral presentations, posters and leaflets. Some first and second year modules have an examination component, but all final year modules are coursework only.

Biology with a year in professional practice (UCAS code: S117)

Subject to approval, if you join the programme in 2016, you can opt to take a year in professional practice ('sandwich year') between your level 5 (year 2) and level 6 (year 3) studies.

This placement will enable you to put theory into practice, build professional networks and meet and work with potential employers. It will also help with work management and give you experience to bring back to your studies in your final year.

Your degree title will include the phrase “with a year in professional practice”, so it is clear to all employers that you have this experience as part of your degree.

We strongly believe that learning is not a one-way process and our teaching reflects this philosophy. We encourage discussion and participation in our classroom sessions and provide a lot of choice within assessments. This helps you focus on aspects of biology which particularly interest you, whilst ensuring we maintain the highest academic standards. Our range of natural and specialist resources support our wide range of teaching methods.

Teaching methods

The Newton Park campus is an excellent location for the study of Biology. The 'natural laboratory' of our campus provides a rich variety of woodland, grassland and freshwater habitats, which are used extensively in practical work.

Our laboratories, glasshouses and experimental areas provide specialist facilities for a wide range of biological studies including aquatic, ecological, anatomical and soil analysis. Our modern ecological surveying equipment such as bat detectors and night vision wildlife camera enables you to be involved in interesting and contemporary biological research studies.

Application method

All applications are through UCAS.

Course enquiries

The University has a programme of Open Days throughout the year where you can learn more about our courses, see our facilities and talk to some of our current students. See the main University web pages for more information.

If you wish to know more about the content of the Biology degree please contact the Biology Subject Leader, Dr Ian Todd.

Entry requirements

260–300 UCAS Tariff points with minimum 80 points from a relevant science subject such as biology, chemistry, human biology, environmental science or social biology.

Career opportunities

We realise that having a degree relevant to employers is crucial if you are going to find a job at the end of your studies. We are particularly aware of skills employers need and this is reflected in the content and structure of modules. Our assessment is very 'real world' focussed to make assignments more interesting and relevant to biological employment.

Our graduates are successful and many take further qualifications such as PGCE, Masters or doctorates. Others have been employed in both public and private organisations such as ecological consultancies, water companies, wildlife trusts, teaching and government agencies such as the Environment Agency.

Since 2010, employers such as Yeovil Hospital, Hanson, the NHS and Bath Spa University have recruited graduates from this course. Students have also gone into roles including Medical Lab Assistant, Student Cardiac Physiology and Science Technician.

What students say...

James Pymm, Biology, graduated 2012:

“I am currently taking a graduate internship at Bath Spa as a science technician and looking into applying for a course in graduate medicine. 

There is a real focus on quality teaching at Bath Spa. The class sizes are small enough that everyone knows everyone and the staff get to know specifically what you are interested in, which creates a really positive atmosphere and makes Bath Spa a great place to learn in. 

The course is driven towards making you as employable as possible and has proved to be the perfect spring board for me to start doing what I want to do.”

Katie Duke, Biology & Business, graduated 2006:

“I work for the Royal Agricultural College as Enterprise Co-ordinator. It is a great job and every day is very different. My main responsibilities are helping to encourage students to set up their own business and promoting rural entrepreneurship. In addition, I run a small business for the RAC called Muddy Wellies which is a drinks range with the proceeds invested in student enterprise. I also run a national business case study competition for Universities called the Grassroutes Challenge.

I would advise students to get as much work experience/voluntary work, as possible. I really enjoyed working as a Student Ambassador when I was at Bath Spa. I even met my husband Matt when we were both working as Student Ambassadors!”

 

 

Supported by Pinewood Studios Group

This course offers an exciting route into the study and appreciation of film and screen and their industries together with the opportunity for some practical and creative work in filmmaking.

Why study Film and Screen Studies?

We want to enable you to develop a critical understanding of film and screen theory and criticism and to appreciate the relationship between film, media and culture. But we also want to provide you with the conceptual tools for understanding how society and culture is mediated by cinematic, televisual and electronic images. In choosing this course you will be starting on a journey of critical understanding of the institutions of film and screen production, distribution and exhibition. As part of this we will develop your understanding of reception and consumption practices in film and screen.

Course structure

In the first year there are two cores modules. The first is Introduction to Film in which you will investigate film as a specific academic discipline and how meaning is conveyed through film form and content. As part of your work you will analyse how films are constructed and be introduced to ways of writing effectively about film. The second core module is Understanding Hollywood, which offers an advanced investigation of key theoretical and methodological issues involved in the study of cinema, and explores film as a commercial, cultural and aesthetic institution.

In Years 2 and 3 you can design your programme from a range of exciting modules including film theory, Hollywood cinema, video games, film and national identity, stardom and celebrity, Asian cinema, European cinema, film genres such as westerns and horror, young people and the new media, planning a film and making a film, and documentary filmmaking. You can also take part in organising LineUP, the annual Student Film Festival at Bath Spa University.

Film and Screen Studies aims to produce graduates who have an informed, critical and creative approach to both understanding film and screen in contemporary society and to their own forms of critical, reflective and communicative practice. You will develop intellectual, analytical, research and creative skills that will help you to prepare for employment and have the opportunity to engage in practical filmmaking projects if you wish.

Modules

In the first year you are introduced to the methods and methodologies of film as an object of critical investigation, with special emphasis upon the relationship between film and contemporary popular culture. In Years 2 and 3 you will take one core module and select from a range of module options. There are also some opportunities to engage in film planning and production.

Year 1

  • Introduction to Film*;
  • Single Camera Production
  • Introduction to Television;
  • Framing Film: From Silent Screen to World Cinema;
  • Media/Screen Project
  • Digital Practice.

Year 2

  • Film Theory and Practice: Understanding Hollywood*;
  • Short Film Production
  • Film and British National Identity;
  • Television, Representation and Gender;
  • Stardom and Celebrity;
  • Popular Cinema and Culture;
  • Film and Philosophy;
  • Film Noir: The Dark side of the Screen;
  • Key Movements in World Cinema
  • Film Cultures Project;
  • Asian Film National Cinemas and Global Impacts;
  • Work Placement

Year 3

  • Dissertation;
  • Film Audiences and Cultures of Spectatorship;
  • Wired Up: Computer and Videogames;
  • European Cinema;
  • Power, Pleasure and Feminist Film Criticism;
  • Rock n Reel: Popular Music on Screen;
  • Cartoon Time: Thinking Through Animation;
  • Psychos, Killers and Voyeurs: The Films of Alfred Hitchcock;
  • Media Technologies and Change;
  • Short Form Documentary Filmmaking;
  • LineUp: Student Film Festival;
  • Indian Cinema: From Arthouse to Bollywood;
  • Creative Enterprises Project.

* Compulsory modules.

Course assessment

Assessment includes essays, research reports, journals and group presentations and examinations.

Film and Screen Studies at Bath Spa University comprises an exciting opportunity for you to study film and screen alongside aspects of the new media, together with some optional practical work in film planning and production.

Dr Rebecca Feasey, Senior Lecturer in Film and Media Communication:

“Film and Screen Studies is a wonderfully diverse programme that gives students the flexibility and choice to look at a wide range of cinematic genres, from a number of fascinating theories, perspectives and historical periods.

I am passionate about teaching at Bath Spa because the students are always curious, motivated and interested to learn. Furthermore, because of the small scale of the campus, it is possible to foster genuinely supportive relationships with students.”

Teaching methods

Our modules have well-defined teaching structures consisting of lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials, which give you wide opportunities to learn progressively, stretch your capabilities, test your ideas and methods and interact positively with staff and other students in the Department.

As you would expect, Film and Screen Studies modules also use parts of the new media in their teaching practice. Students are encouraged to make use of the University's virtual learning environment, 'Minerva' and of the worldwide web in seminars and workshops.

Teaching quality excellence

In the National Student Survey of 2011:

93% of students said that staff were good at explaining things

92% of students said that staff have made the subject interesting

99% of students said that staff are enthusiastic about what they are teaching

Application method

All full time applications are through UCAS

Course enquiries

Please contact our Admissions team (see above)

Entry requirements

280–320 UCAS Tariff points.

Career opportunities

Employers welcome the high level of subject-based, generic and personal skills which are embedded in our programmes. The main focus of interest for our Film and Screen Studies graduates is the creative and cultural industries in the UK. These industries include advertising, journalism, publishing, film and film-related employments, television, radio and the heritage sector. However, there are also employment opportunities in local and central government and the voluntary sector.

Since 2011, employers such as BBC Bristol, Argonon and The Sheffield International Documentary Festival have recruited graduates from this course. Students have also gone into roles including Unit Assistant, Festival Assistant and Film Location Manager.

What students say...

Claire Reynolds, Film and Screen, graduate 2012:

"The course turned my interest into a passion, with the subject covering extensive and wide-ranging areas of film and television. The tutors support you throughout, bringing their own specialist knowledge in various subjects to the course to make it interesting and engaging."

Student statement in the National Student Survey 2012:

“The academic support from tutors has been very good and the enthusiasm of tutors is really great. The willingness and friendliness of the staff are such a benefit.”

Here is what more our students think:

"All aspects of the course have been interesting and useful."

"The lectures are very informative."

"Awesome lecturers."