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Choosing your Minor Subject

Once your Major Subject has been confirmed, the Faculty Office will ask you to state your preferred Minor Subject by 1st Sept. Some Minor Subjects have limited places, and if these are over-subscribed the departments concerned will select their own students.

On this page you will find information to help you choose your Minor Subject:

 Departments offering BBS Minor Subjects

Click on the tiles below to visit corresponding departmental webpages

 

 

Minor Subjects short description

The links below are, when possible, specific to a given Minor subject.

PaperShort Description (see links for more detailed information)
103 - Health and Disease in Anthropological Perspective

This paper selectively explores means to characterize health patterns of different populations, from the ar­chaeologically recovered and historically document­ed past, remote and otherwise, up to the present day. Thus the paper investigates how disease has shaped the way humans have evolved, and how diseases have evolved to exploit humans. Contact hours: 32h

Maximum 20 candidates

104 - Human Evolution

This course provides an in depth exploration of the evolutionary history of humans and hominins. The paper looks at human evolution from ca. 10 million years ago to 10,000 years ago. Contact hours: TBA

Maximum 20 candidates

105 - Human Ecology and Behaviour

This paper examines human and other primate behaviour in a broad comparative perspective. Non-human primate social communication across all sense modalities will be reviewed in the context of the social organization of the various primate species. The paper will also consider what primate and human communication have in common, and will discuss the evolution of human language. Contact hours: 32h

Maximum 20 candidates

106 - Neural Degeneration and Regeneration

Diseases and injuries of the human brain and spinal cord are tragically resistant to treatment. This lecture module investigates the cellular and molecular causes of these conditions, the reasons why regeneration does not take place, and the research now under way to permit regeneration therapies in the future. Contact hours: 24h

Maximum 15 candidates

107 - Philosophy & Ethics of Medicine

Do we have a human right to health? What is it to be healthy anyway, and can good health be measured? How can we know that smoking causes lung cancer, rather than that they are merely correlated? Is it ethical to experiment on humans to gain that knowledge? Is the foetus a person, and does this affect the morality of abortion? How should we decide between funding basic science and applied studies? Medical practice raises significant philosophical, ethical and political questions. This course studies these questions and shows how different answers may influence practice. Contact hours: 27.5h

Maximum 50 candidates

108 - Health, Medicine and Society This paper provides students with a critical survey of principal themes and debates in contemporary medical sociology. It explores the major social causes of health and illness in modern societies, with special reference to such factors as social class, gender, ethnicity, and age; provides students with a sociological grasp of the issues and problems associated with chronic illness; investigates a variety of key topics in the sociology of mental health; and, finally, develops a sociological analysis of the major organisational, professional and technological components of medical practice in contemporary society. Contact hours: 20h
109 - The Family

Psychological and sociological perspectives on family relationships, kinship and child development are examined in relation to specific topics such as motherhood, fatherhood, adolescence, marriage and divorce, single-parent and step-families, lesbian and gay families, and families created by assisted reproduction. Contact hours: 32h

Limited spaces

111 - Central Mechanisms of Reward, Punishment and Emotion

How does the brain process reward and punishment and how does this help us understand emotions and their dysregulation? Themes discussed in this module include: the varied functions of reward, the pathological mechanisms underlying a loss of pleasure, the reward circuitry underlying social behaviour and social cognition, the mechanisms by which punishing stimuli impact on our motivations and emotions, the dysregulation of these circuits in psychiatric disorders, and the interplay between cognition and emotion. Contact hours: 24h

Maximum 15 candidates

113 - Early Medicine

This paper covers medical knowledge and practices in the medieval and early modern periods. Themes include tradition, innovation and the transmission of knowledge; the value of reason and experience; patient-practitioner relationships; gender and medicine; pluralism and the marketplace; understandings of the body and disease; medicine, magic and religion. Contact hours: 27.5h

Maximum 12 candidates

114 - Modern Medicine & Biomedical Sciences

Born in hospitals, vaccinated, X-rayed, taking antibiotics, receiving transplants – medicine sets the parameters of our lives. Since a great deal of biology, chemistry and physics has been and continues to be done as part of medicine, it is also central to HPS. This paper is about how, and with what consequences, a new, scientific medicine was made for the modern world. The Michaelmas Term course surveys the creation since 1750 of new medical institutions, professionals and practices. The Lent Term course explores the 20th-century transformation of medicine into a major object of economic, political and ethical concern. Contact hours: 27.5h

Maximum 12 candidates

115 - Psychology of Education

You will be encouraged to gain a critical understanding of cognitive, social, emotional and sociocultural psychology, from the perspectives of human development, social relationships, classroom learning and wider educational systems. We focus on areas that are debated within psychology itself as well as presenting challenges for education and for society at large. Contact hours: 32h

Maximum 10 candidates

116 - Sociology of Education The lectures will examine the intersectional politics of difference, and the spatial and family dimensions of educational inequalities. Students taking this paper will gain an informed sociological understanding of national and international developments in key areas of educational politics, policy and public debate. Contact hours: 32h
117 - Philosophy of Education The Philosophy of Education course develops those areas of philosophy that are crucially relevant to our understanding of education. It is split into five areas: Conservatism and Education, Epistemology and Education, Liberalism and Liberal Education, Pragmatism and Education, Postmodernism and Education. Contact hours: 32h
118 - History of Education Images, texts and Identities: Education and Social Changes 1914-1991. This paper is divided into four sections: Context and Approaches; 1919-1959: The Age of Extremes; Oral History, Memory and Educational Lives; and Cultural Histories: Representing the Body of the School Teacher and the School Child. Contact hours: 32h
119 - Plant and Microbial Genetics The course will provide an introduction to microbial pathogenesis; topics will include a description of approaches used to identify virulence factors, discussion of bacterial genome dynamics and classification of the virulence factors of pathogenic bacteria. We then move on to the genetics of higher plants, including conventional, molecular plant genetics. Contact hours: 26h
120 - Human Genetics, Genomics & Systems Biology Human genetics has always had to exploit technology to obtain answers to the problems it poses. The module explores how we can use information from the Human Genome Project, together with methods for analysing gene expression and function at the whole-genome scale (Systems Biology) to improve our understanding of human biology. Contact hours: 26h
121 - Evolutionary Genetics This module will consider the process of evolution, by looking at studies on genetic variation in populations, together with theoretical examinations of the way that genes behave in populations. Contact hours: 26h
122 - EnterpriseTECH

Students work in teams to prepare a commercial feasibility report and present the findings to the inventors. Supervision and support is provided which covers topics such as opportunity evaluation, developing business concepts and making presentations. Contact hours: 27h

If you wish to take the BBS EnterpriseTECH Minor subject, you must register online by 1st Sept on the EnterpriseTECH website and please make sure you select "EnterpriseTECH UG|Deadline: 23 Nov 2018" even though, as a BBS student, you need to apply by 1st Sept.

General information about EnterpriseTECH

Maximum 25 candidates

123 - Development and Psychopathology

This paper provides an overview of common problems of psychopathology in childhood, including pre and postnatal influences on child development, internalizing problems and externalizing problems, and the influence of children's close relationships on the development of problems. Contact hours: 32h

Limited spaces

124 - Psychology and Social Issues

This paper explores a range of issues that are of considerable social consequence from a social and developmental psychological perspective, such as policy issues concerning children, mental health problems, learning difficulties and the transition to parenthood. Contact hours: 32h

Limited spaces

125 - Gender Development: Biological, Psychological and Clinical Perspectives

This paper examines a range of perspectives on the causes and consequences of sex differences in human behaviour, as well as of within sex variability in gender-related behaviour. That is, not only why do males and females differ in some respects, but also why is the behaviour of some individuals more sex-typical than that of others? Contact hours: 32h

Limited spaces

126 - Exploring Music Psychology

Now available for 2018-19

What are the factors that affect our perception and production of music and how can these be studied? What is music’s role in health and therapy? These questions are at the heart of the wide-ranging field of music psychology and form the basis of this course. Contact hours: 16h

Maximum 3 candidates - candidates must demonstrate some musical knowledge to be permitted to study this option

127 - Conservation Science This interdepartmental course, taught by the Departments of Zoology and Plant Sciences, aims to provide an understanding of why wild nature is currently in decline, why this matters, and how biology coupled with other disciplines can be harnessed to identify potential solutions. Contact hours: 27h
128 - Bioinformatics

The NST Part II BBS Bioinformatics will provide an introduction to the field of bioinformatics, focusing on bioinformatics applications related to the study of complex disease genetics and the recent advances made in this field since the introduction of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies. Contact hours: 32h

Bioinformatics flyer 2018-19

Maximum 46 candidates

129 - General Practice and Primary Care Research

The aim of this module is to provide students with knowledge, skills and practical experience to understand the importance and challenges of GP and Primary Care research and to offer a platform for developing further expertise in it during their clinical studies and beyond. Contact hours: 34.5h

Maximum 8 candidates - Selection criteria

130 - Vertebrate Evolution

New for 2018-19

This course introduces the history and evolution of non-mammalian vertebrates, emphasising questions that are the subject of current debate and controversy. We integrate studies of fossil and living vertebrates to examine major events in evolution. An important component of the course is the demonstration practicals, which give "hands-on" experience of actual fossil material, including some type and figured specimens. Contact hours 48h

131 – Neuroethology

New for 2018-19

These lectures place a strong emphasis on understanding the neural mechanisms underlying behaviour. Within this module we explore how nervous systems are organised, how animals gather and process information about the environment, and how they generate the motor activity underlying their behaviour. Contact hours: 24h

132 - Mammalian Evolution and Faunal History

New for 2018-19
This course is similar in approach to the Michaelmas Term 'Topics in Vertebrate Evolution', but we make sure that it is possible to take 'Mammalian Evolution' without having done its Michaelmas Term relative.  The course aims to familiarise you with the comparative morphology and functional biology, modes of life, distribution, evolutionary relationships and systematics of living and fossil mammals and their antecedents. Throughout, we attempt a synthesis of group-based and topic-based treatments. Lectures are backed-up by demonstration practical classes, which reinforce and illustrate topics of central importance in the lectures. Contact hours: 40h

133 - Genetics, Development and Animal Diversity

New for 2018-19

This course lies at the interface of whole organism biology and molecular genetics.  We look at how genomes themselves evolve, and also at how genome can inform whole organism biology. Recent advances in sequencing technology mean that genomic approaches are no longer limited to a few model species, but instead can be applied in many organisms of evolutionary or ecological interest. Contact hours: 24h

134 – From Genome to Proteome

New for 2018-19

This BBS minor subject comprises Module B from the Part II Biochemistry course. This course examines all steps in eukaryotic gene expression, from chromatin accessibility through to translation and mRNA turnover. Particular emphasis is paid to: regulation of gene expression, the co-transcriptional nature of RNA processing, functional coupling between different steps in gene expression, the impact of global and “systems” level approaches to understanding gene expression.
The course consists of 24 hours of core lectures. Q+A sessions as offered by some lecturers in addition.  Specialized supervisions in small groups are available for any student who requests them. These are student organized with guidance for the Department of Biochemistry. Contact hours: 24h
Maximum 10 candidates – Selection criteria

135 – Cell Cycle, Signalling and Cancer

New for 2018-19

This BBS minor subject comprises Module D from the Part II Biochemistry course. The themes of this course draw on most modern biological techniques and impinge on core cell and molecular biology topics of cellular signalling, DNA replication, DNA repair, cell cycle and apoptosis amongst others. There is a particular emphasis on cancer biology and therapeutic intervention with lectures on oncogenes and tumour suppressors, experimental systems, tumour metabolism and imaging, virology and therapeutic strategies.
The course consists of 24 hours of core lectures. Q+A sessions as offered by some lecturers in addition.  Specialized supervisions in small groups are available for any student who requests them. These are student organized with guidance for the Department of Biochemistry. Contact hours: 24h
Maximum 10 candidates – Selection criteria

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Minor Subjects Contact Details

PaperDepartmentCourse/Module organiserTeaching administratorContact email
103 - Health and Disease in Anthropological Perspective HSPS Dr Robert Attenborough James Walpole undergraduate-secretary@bioanth.cam.ac.uk
104 - Human Evolution HSPS Prof Robert Foley James Walpole undergraduate-secretary@bioanth.cam.ac.uk
105 - Human Ecology and Behaviour HSPS Dr Robert Attenborough James Walpole undergraduate-secretary@bioanth.cam.ac.uk
106 - Neural Degeneration and Regeneration PDN Dr Stewart Sage Vicky Johnson part2-admin@pdn.cam.ac.uk
107 - Philosophy & Ethics of Medicine HPS Dr Stephen John Tamara Hug
David Thompson
hsp-admin@lists.cam.ac.uk
108 - Health, Medicine and Society HSPS Dr Darin Weinberg Odette Rogers ohmr3@cam.ac.uk
109 - The Family Psychology Dr Susan Golombok Sarah Dunk teaching@psychol.cam.ac.uk
111 - Central Mechanisms of Reward, Punishment and Emotion PDN Dr Stewart Sage Vicky Johnson part2-admin@pdn.cam.ac.uk
113 - Early Medicine HPS

Dr Daniel Margocsy

Dr Emma Spary

Tamara Hug
David Thompson
hsp-admin@lists.cam.ac.uk
114 - Modern Medicine & Biomedical Sciences HSP Prof Nick Hopwood Tamara Hug
David Thompson
hsp-admin@lists.cam.ac.uk
115 - Psychology of Education Education Anna Constantas ugrad@educ.cam.ac.uk
116 - Sociology of Education Education Anna Constantas ugrad@educ.cam.ac.uk
117 - Philosophy of Education Education Anna Constantas ugrad@educ.cam.ac.uk
118 - History of Education Education Anna Constantas ugrad@educ.cam.ac.uk
119 - Plant and Microbial Genetics Genetics

Dr Marissa Segal

Dr Marco Geymonat

Roz McKenzie partII.info@gen.cam.ac.uk
120 - Human Genetics Genetics

Dr Marissa Segal

Dr Marco Geymonat
Roz McKenzie partII.info@gen.cam.ac.uk
121 - Evolutionary Genetics Genetics

Dr Marissa Segal

Dr Marco Geymonat
Roz McKenzie partII.info@gen.cam.ac.uk
122 - EnterpriseTECH Entrepreneurship module CJBS Entrepreneurship Centre Dr Rebecca Myers Hannah Tranter enterprisetech@jbs.cam.ac.uk
123 - Development and Psychopathology Psychology Prof Claire Hughes Sarah Dunk teaching@psychol.cam.ac.uk
124 - Psychology and Social Issues Psychology Dr Sophie Vadeh Sarah Dunk teaching@psychol.cam.ac.uk
125 - Gender Development: Biological, Psychological and Clinical Perspectives Psychology Prof Melissa Hines Sarah Dunk teaching@psychol.cam.ac.uk

126 - Exploring Music Psychology

Music Dr Neta Spiro Libby Jones lj316cam.ac.uk
127 - Conservation Science Zoology

Prof Rebecca Kilner

Prof Andrew Balmford

George Rutherford teaching@zoo.cam.ac.uk
128 - Bioinformatics Bioinformatics Dr Gabriella Rustici Cathy Hemmings cgh32@cam.ac.uk
129 - General Practice and Primary Care Research Primary Care Unit Dr Yasar Khan Lynda Haines ldh31@medschl.cam.ac.uk
130 - Vertebrate Evolution Zoology

Prof Rebecca Kilner

Prof Andrew Balmford
George Rutherford teaching@zoo.cam.ac.uk
131 – Neuroethology Zoology

Prof Rebecca Kilner

Prof Andrew Balmford
George Rutherford teaching@zoo.cam.ac.uk
132 - Mammalian Evolution and Faunal History Zoology

Prof Rebecca Kilner

Prof Andrew Balmford
George Rutherford teaching@zoo.cam.ac.uk
133 - Genetics, Development and Animal Diversity Zoology

Prof Rebecca Kilner

Prof Andrew Balmford
George Rutherford teaching@zoo.cam.ac.uk
134 – From Genome to Proteome Biochemistry

Dr Nancy Standart

Dr Juan Mata

Christine Thulborn examtchg@bioc.cam.ac.uk
135 – Cell Cycle, Signalling and Cancer Biochemistry

Dr Nancy Standart

Dr Juan Mata
Christine Thulborn examtchg@bioc.cam.ac.uk

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