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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.

If you wish to take the BBS EnterpriseTECH Minor subject, you must register online by 1st Sept on the EnterpriseTECH website.

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

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.

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?

Limited spaces

126 - Exploring Music Psychology

Currently not offered 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.

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.
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.

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.

Maximum 8 candidates

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Minor Subjects Contact Details

PaperDepartmentCourse/Module organiserTeaching administratorContact email
103 - Health and Disease in Anthropological Perspective HSPS Anna O'Mahony
104 - Human Evolution HSPS Anna O'Mahony
105 - Human Ecology and Behaviour HSPS Anna O'Mahony
106 - Neural Degeneration and Regeneration PDN Dr Stewart Sage Vicky Johnson
107 - Philosophy & Ethics of Medicine HPS Dr Stephen John Tamara Hug
David Thompson
108 - Health, Medicine and Society HSPS Dr Darin Weinberg Odette Rogers
109 - The Family Psychology Dr Susan Golombok TBA
111 - Central Mechanisms of Reward, Punishment and Emotion PDN Dr Stewart Sage Vicky Johnson
113 - Early Medicine HPS Dr Lauren Kassell Tamara Hug
David Thompson
114 - Modern Medicine & Biomedical Sciences HSP Dr Nick Hopwood Tamara Hug
David Thompson
115 - Psychology of Education Education Leanne Wilson
116 - Sociology of Education Education Leanne Wilson
117 - Philosophy of Education Education Leanne Wilson
118 - History of Education Education Leanne Wilson
119 - Plant and Microbial Genetics Genetics Dr Christine Farr Roz McKenzie
120 - Human Genetics Genetics Dr Christine Farr Roz McKenzie
121 - Evolutionary Genetics Genetics Dr Christine Farr Roz McKenzie
122 - EnterpriseTECH Judge Business School Dr Rebecca Myers Hannah Tranter
123 - Development and Psychopathology Psychology Prof Claire Hughes TBA
124 - Psychology and Social Issues Psychology Dr Juliet Foster TBA
125 - Gender Development: Biological, Psychological and Clinical Perspectives Psychology Prof Melissa Hines TBA

126 - Exploring Music Psychology

(Currently not offered for 2018-19)

Music Dr Neta Spiro
127 - Conservation Science Zoology Prof Rebecca Kilner George Rutherford
128 - Bioinformatics Bioinformatics Dr Gabriella Rustici Cathy Hemmings
129 - General Practice and Primary Care Research Primary Care Unit Dr John Benson Lynda Haines

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