Our BSc Genetics (including foundation year) will be suitable for you if your academic qualifications do not yet meet our entrance requirements for the three-year version of this course and you want a programme that increases your subject knowledge as well as improves your academic skills to support your academic performance.
This four-year course includes a foundation year (Year Zero), followed by a further three years of study. During your Year Zero, you study three academic subjects relevant to your chosen course as well as a compulsory academic skills module, with additional English language for non-English speakers.
After successful completion of Year Zero in our Essex Pathways Department, you progress to complete your course with our School of Life Sciences. On our BSc Genetics course you focus on real-world biomedical applications, including how cells differentiate to form the specialised tissues present in complex organisms, and how the delicate regulation of cell growth can be disrupted and lead to cancer. The study of genetics includes understanding how genes are passed from one generation to the next, how DNA works and the effects of variation and natural selection.
As one of the largest schools at our University, we offer a lively, friendly and supportive environment with research-led study and high-quality teaching at its heart. You will learn modern lab techniques and play your own part in adding to the ever-growing knowledge within genetics.
Visit our genetics subject page for more information and content.
Our expert staff
Two-thirds of our research is rated as “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” (REF 2014), and you learn from and work alongside our expert staff.
Our research covers a wide spectrum of genetics. Key academic staff for this course includes Professor Leo Schalkwyk, who is researching the genes involved in depression, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease, Dr Toni Marco, who specialises in evolutionary genomics, and Dr Greg Brooke, who is working on tumour growth and therapy resistance in prostate and breast cancer.
The University of Essex has a Women’s Network to support female staff and students, and our School was awarded the Athena Swan Silver Award in October 2020, which reflects the work carried out by staff in our School to continue to improve equality, including a mentorship scheme, support for postdoctoral research staff, and financial help towards childcare costs for academics who wish to attend conferences.
By studying within our Essex Pathways Department for your foundation year, you will have access to of the facilities that the University of Essex has to offer, as well as those provided by our department to support you:
- We provide computer labs for internet research; classrooms with access to PowerPoint facilities for student presentations; AV facilities for teaching and access to web-based learning materials
- Our new Student Services Hub will support you and provide information for all your needs as a student
- Our social space is stocked with magazines and newspaper, and provides an informal setting to meet your lecturers, tutors and friends
Recent spending by our University has allowed for major refurbishment and expansion of our School of Life Sciences facilities, including:
- Work in an open and friendly department, with shared staff-student social spaces
- Conduct your final-year research alongside academics and PhD students in shared labs
- State-of-the-art research facilities, including confocal microscopy imaging systems, proteomic mass spectroscopy, next-generation sequencing facilities and a high-performance computing cluster.
- Teaching facilities including new undergraduate laboratories
- Practical work in your final year using the latest molecular genetic methods, including gene cloning, PCR, cell culture, bioinformatics and advanced microscopy
- Receive training in your first year on using the Oxford Nanopore MinION, a portable handheld device that can sequence genomes in real time
As the world’s environmental problems increase, the demand for qualified biologists and geneticists continues to grow.
Our recent graduates have taken up a wide range of careers in research laboratories, consultancies, business and industry, conservation practice and environmental assessment. Others have gone on to work in sales, publishing and management, while others still have chosen to enhance their career opportunities by studying for MSc or PhD degrees.
We also work with our University’s Student Development Team to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.
Why we’re great
- You study advanced, medically important topics including cancer biology and immunology
- You develop essential lab skills in gene manipulation, cloning and microscopy
- You gain valuable research experience by being involved in cutting-edge project work
We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of core/compulsory modules, and optional modules chosen from lists.
Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore all modules listed as subject to change. To view the compulsory modules and full list of optional modules currently on offer, please view the programme specification via the link below.
Teaching and learning disclaimer
Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.
The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently approved for 2022 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.