FdSc Human Biosciences

Petroc is one of the largest colleges in Devon and is committed to driving forward educational success in further and higher education. 

We are passionate about raising the aspirations, knowledge and skills of individuals, and year after year our students produce exceptional results, enabling them to progress further in training or employment. 

Petroc has been delivering a range of degree-level courses for over 30 years and is proud to be able to provide a wide variety of programmes (from HNCs and Foundation Degrees to Higher Apprenticeships and Honours Degrees) in subject areas including education, computing, science, engineering, and health and care. 

Petroc has three campuses situated across North and Mid Devon with modern and stimulating learning environments. We also offer small classes, extensive student support and exceptional links to local industry. 

Visit the Petroc website to find out how we can help you go further in life.

Course details

  • Year 1

  • Core modules

    • Foundation In Biochemistry (HB101)

      This module examines, at the molecular level, the essential features of living organisms starting with the chemical and biological properties of biological molecules and the assembly of supra-molecular biological structures. The catalysis and control of biochemical reactions are dealt with as are some energy transduction systems. Finally, the Central Dogma of molecular biology is discussed along with the biochemistry of genetic information flow and repair.

    • Microbiology (HB102)

      This module provides an opportunity to extend knowledge of basic microbiology, with an emphasis on the background and practice of laboratory techniques.

    • Introduction to Statistics (HB106)

      This module applies previously learned mathematical skills within a scientific context as well as building on these skills to allow students to apply statistics to testing scientific data.

    • Human Life Cycle (HB107)

      This module traces the biological changes and processes involved in the human life cycle including reproduction, development and ageing.

    • Genes, Organisms and Populations (HB108)

      The module considers several aspects of genetics to give a coherent approach. It will develop an understanding of variation at gene, individual and population level.

    • Developing Graduate Skills (HB110B)

      This module is designed to enable students to demonstrate that they have all the qualities and transferable skills necessary for appropriate academic work and employment requiring the exercise of responsibility and decision making, including the ability to relate their professional practice to underlying theory and principles.

    • Introduction to Anatomy (HB112)

      This module introduces the student to the fundamentals of anatomy and histology, underpinning the physiology module in the second year. Students explore current and future research into a range of prostheses, including dentures, hearing aids, artificial eyes and even gastric bands. Tissue engineering research and its current abilities and failings will be discussed.

    • Foundation in Biochemistry and Cell Biology (NDCY0B1)

    • Foundation in Genetics and Cellular Metabolism (NDCY0B2)

    • Foundation in Inheritance and Human Physiology (NDCY0B3)

    • Individual Study (NDCY0IS)

    • Basic Mathematics (NDCY0M1)

    • Mathematics (NDCY0M2)

    • Introduction to Study Skills 1 Independent Learning (NDCY0SS6)

    • Introduction to Study Skills 2 Interpersonal Skills (NDCY0SS7)

    Optional modules

    • Structure and Bonding - The Building Blocks of Chemistry (NDCY0C1)

    • Organic Chemistry - The Chemistry of Carbon Compounds (NDCY0C2)

    • Analytical Chemistry (NDCY0C3)

    • What is English Literature? (NDCY0E1)

    • The Language of Literature (NDCY0E2)

    • An Introduction to History (NDCY0H1)

    • Women's Emancipation 1830-1930 (NDCY0H2)

    • Social Impacts of Industrialisation in Nineteenth Century England (NDCY0H3)

    • Social Psychology and Developmental Psychology (NDCY0P2)

    • Psychology: Introduction to Key Perspectives and Research Methods (NDCY0P3)

    • What is Sociology? (NDCY0S1)

    • Social Difference and Stratification (NDCY0S2)

    • Social Structure, Change and Policy (NDCY0S3)

  • Final year

  • Core modules

    • Biochemistry: Molecules, cells and the body (HB209)

      The module illustrates how the complex collection of chemical reactions required for human life is co-ordinated on a range of levels: control of pathways; compartmentation of metabolic processes between organelles and between tissues and the sharing of metabolic load between tissues.

    • Microbial World (HB210)

      The module reviews the diversity of the microbial work including bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses. It emphasises their importance in the natural environment and in human affairs.

    • Genetic Continuity and Diversity (HB211)

      This module considers the processes which maintain genetic stability and promote genetic diversity at different levels of biological organisation. It then develops a broad range of applications which have resulted from increasing awareness of the genome, its structure, and interaction with the environment.

    • Human Physiology (HB213)

      This module describes and explains the physiological processes involved in human respiration, circulation, osmoregulation and excretion and digestion. It provides experience of physiological measurement data acquisition and analysis. It describes and explains the mechanisms involved in controlling and co-ordinating human functions including human movement, and develops practical skills in experimental investigation and interpretation.

    • Human Bioscience Research (HB214)

      This module focuses on core skills and techniques in laboratory studies and data analysis essential to Human Biosciences. Practical work needs to be performed safely and efficiently within an appropriate experimental design, results described and analysed competently, and outcomes effectively presented. Students complete a chosen research project and a literature review of a topic addressing wider issues.

    • Immunology and Cell Biology (PETR2121)

      This module covers the basic structures and functions of eukaryotic cells together with the principles underlying the major techniques used in modern studies of cellular biology. It contains a comprehensive introduction to fundamental immunology with particular reference to cellular and humoral responses

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Fees, costs and funding

As this course is delivered by one of our partner colleges, please contact the college directly for information on fees and funding.

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).
UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code.
To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Progression routes

Completing this course enables you to progress onto these related courses and programmes with the University of Plymouth at level 5 or level 6, as specifically defined by this programme’s progression agreement.

For further information, including the progression from foundation degree form, please visit

Our partnership with Petroc

The University of Plymouth has developed partnerships with institutions around the world with the sole purpose of making higher education more accessible to those people who need something just a little different.

Our Academic Partnerships enable students to enrol for a degree at a partnership institution closer to home, or engage in distance learning – even when they’re in the middle of the ocean. They are there for those people looking to return to education, or enhance their professional development. Full- or part-time; foundation degree to masters-level – we cater for a huge variety of needs and aspirations.

Many of our partners offer specialist degrees, unique facilities, and smaller class sizes at a competitive price. And as a student of two institutions, you get the best of both worlds; a supportive learning environment as part of a close-knit community, and a university-level qualification awarded by the University of Plymouth. You’ll enjoy not only the facilities and services your partnership institution provides, but also all of the additional support and resources you need from us, and you’ll automatically become a member of our Students’ Union, too.

We are continuing to grow the number of partner institutions and expand our academic community to new locations around the UK and overseas. Why not visit the Academic Partnerships page on our website for a full list of partners and for more details on studying with us?

One of our partners delivers this particular course – so please visit their website for full course details, entry requirements, tuition fees and information on what student life is like there. 

Open days

Partner college open days

This course is run at one of our partner colleges. Open days are held at the college and more details of these can be found on the college website. You'll find contact details below, on this page.

University of Plymouth open days

You are also very welcome to attend a University of Plymouth open day, to get a flavour of the courses you can progress to from a partner college. There will however be limited information on this specific course and college.

Studying with Petroc

With main campuses in Barnstaple, Tiverton and Brannams, if you decide to study at the combined college, you’ll be able to take advantage of increased resources and the plethora of learning opportunities associated with them.
Plymouth students working on a group project