Teaching and learning

All of our courses are taught by specialist academic staff who are experts in their field.

We have more than 200 members of staff involved in teaching biological and biomedical sciences. These range from principal investigators who are actively undertaking research to academic members of staff who have chosen to specialise in teaching and learning at higher education level.


Undergraduates have around 17 hours contact time per week and are expected to spend at least an equal amount of time in private study.

Your week will be made up of:

  • Lectures – delivered to audiences ranging from 20 to 500 students using presentations, video and interactive voting. Our virtual learning environment provides learning resources on demand (discussion boards, lecture podcasts, quizzes) to enhance and support your lecture-based units.
  • Frontiers of Science lecture – a seminar series is aimed at introducing undergraduate students to the world-class biological research that is being carried out in the faculty.
  • Tutorials - you will have regular tutorial sessions with an adviser and a small group of students to develop your oral and written communication, IT, team working and problem solving skills, whilst exploring topics related to your degree discipline.
  • PASS session – student-led peer-assisted study sessions where second and third year students help you to develop learning strategies and techniques.
  • Data handling clinic – learn the skills to understand and manipulate scientific data and literature at your own pace through a series of activities in our online learning environment.
  • Practicals – undertake modern experimental techniques to develop laboratory, experimental design and data analysis skills.

Depending on the course units you choose, other undergraduate teaching and learning methods might include seminars, fieldwork and independent research projects.

“During my time at Manchester, I have been able to approach my personal tutor with any problems I have encountered, both during and out of term time. It's nice to know that there's always a member of staff who cares about your problems.”

Jessica Lee / Cell Biology

Typical first year timetable

09:00 - 10:00   Frontiers of Science lecture Lecture Lecture  
10:00 - 11:00 Lecture Lecture   Lecture Lecture
11:00 - 12:00     Lecture   Lecture
12:00 - 13:00   Practical Data handling clinic    
13:00 - 14:00 PASS session Practical No teaching scheduled   Lecture
14:00 - 15:00 Tutorial Practical No teaching scheduled    
15:00 - 16:00   Practical No teaching scheduled    
16:00 - 17:00   Practical No teaching scheduled    


Our postgraduate taught courses in biological and biomedical sciences are delivered through an interactive approach where you learn through seminars, workshops, small group tutorials and placements.

Many of our taught master’s courses are very research focused, with the opportunity to spend the majority of your time working on original research projects.

Please refer to the individual course listings for more information about the units available for each course.