Overview

Are you excited by the natural world and want to be on the frontline of tackling issues like fighting disease, protecting endangered species, and combating food and water shortages?

This accredited BSc (Hons) Biology degree course gives you the knowledge and skills to support your interest in living things.

With it, you can build a career in education, research, scientific journalism or the biotechnology and environmental sectors. You'll also be eligible to apply for Associate Membership of the Society of Biology.

What you'll experience

On this degree course, you'll:

  • Develop your knowledge and abilities by learning from internationally recognised scientists who are leading the way in their respective fields
  • Cover areas at the forefront of scientific endeavour, including biotechnology, ecology, cell biology and molecular biology
  • Put your knowledge to work in the lab, using world-class equipment and the latest technology
  • Specialise in subjects that interest you most, from marine and terrestrial biology, to molecular genetics
  • Develop problem-solving, communication and numeracy skills alongside technical skills
  • Explore the diversity of local ecosystems and go on field trips to UK and tropical destinations such as Lulworth Cove, Devon and Mexico
  • Have the chance to study abroad on a conservation or research scheme

Equipment you can use includes:

  • molecular biology instrumentation
  • chemical analysis facilities for detecting pollutants
  • fluorescence microscopes, scanning and transmission electron microscopes

Facilities you can use include:

  • microbiology and embryology laboratories with high-tech imaging and gene analysis equipment
  • ancient DNA preparation and analysis laboratories
  • water quality laboratory
  • the European Xenopus Resource Centre
  • research greenhouse

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing a great role, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.

We can help you identify placements, internships and voluntary roles that will complement your studies.

What you'll study 

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 20 credits and 1 module worth 40 credits.

Year 1

Core modules

Biodiversity and Evolution – 20 credits - This module introduces you to the basic theories and principles of evolutionary biology, including its mechanisms and how they work. 

Ecology, Plants and Human Impact – 20 credits - Using a combination of lectures and fieldwork study, this module introduces you to the fundamental principles of ecology. 

Experimental Biology – 20 credits - In this module, you'll experience experimental biological research through a lengthy period of hands-on lab work, lectures, and computer sessions on experimental design and statistics.

Introduction to Cell Biology and Biochemistry – 20 credits - This module covers the basic understanding of cell biology and biochemistry. 

Microbiology and Molecular Biology  – 20 credits - On this module, you'll learn the basic concepts of microbiology and molecular biology. 

Year 2

Core modules

Community Ecology and Residential Field Course – 20 credits - In this module, you’ll explore the theoretical aspects of macroecology, community ecology and species interactions, using terrestrial and marine organisms as model systems. 

Optional modules

Animal Science – 20 credits - The module will develop your knowledge and understanding of basic physiological processes that underlie homoeostasis in animals.

Business for Biosciences – 20 credits - This module will introduce you to the combined world of bioscience and business. You’ll benefit from business insight and how it relates to the bioscience sector.

Cell Biology – 20 credits - This module will further develop your understanding of cellular biology, and introduce ideas which you'll develop further as your knowledge becomes more specialised.

Comparative and Evolutionary Psychology – 20 credits - In this module, you’ll examine and critique comparative and evolutionary approaches to the study of psychology in humans and other animals.

Development: How Form and Function Changes – 20 credits - This module develops your understanding of how vertebrates, including humans, develop. 

Enzymes and Metabolism – 20 credits - This module will develop your critical understanding of enzymes, and the role they play in chemical reactions that make life possible. 

Genetics – 20 credits - Introducing you to genetics, this module will examine mendelian genetics, cytogenetics, molecular genetics, and evolutionary genetics through a series of lectures, workshops and practical classes.

Hydrology and Freshwater Ecosystems – 20 credits - This module introduces you to concepts of hydrology and freshwater ecosystems. 

Introduction to Teaching – 20 credits - The module will introduce you to the role and expectations of a teacher.

Marine Organisms and Ecosystems – 20 credits - This module extends and deepens your knowledge of the diversity of ecosystems throughout the marine realm.

Microbiology  – 20 credits - In this module, you’ll expand your critical understanding of microbiology at a cellular level.

Plant Science – 20 credits - This module introduces you to the fundamental aspects of general plant biology, ecology, physiology, energy production and reproduction.

Year 3

Core modules

Honours Project – 40 credits - On this module,  you'll work on your honours project. You'll design and run a lab, field, computer or literature-based investigation to get significant results or findings.

Optional modulesClose allAspects of Terrestrial Ecology and Evolution – 20 credits - In this module, you’ll examine selected aspects of ecology and evolution. You'll specifically draw upon some of the research, scholarly interests and expertise of the staff involved.

Biotechnology ­– 20 credits - In this module you'll build upon the foundations in microbiology, biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, and systems biology that you covered earlier in your course.

Environmental Microbiology – 20 credits - In this module, you’ll focus on the role and activity of microorganisms in the environment. 

Gene Organisation and Expression – 20 credits - This module will develop your understanding of eukaryotic gene expression and its regulation.

Genes and Development – 20 credits - This module takes a cellular, molecular and genetic approach to the analysis of embryonic development.

Genomics in Molecular Medicine – 20 credits - This module focuses on two main areas of genomics in molecular medicine.

Marine Ecology and Conservation – 20 credits - In this module, you’ll examine marine ecosystems and species to illustrate general principles of marine ecology and the consequences of human activity on marine biodiversity and its ecosystem services.

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • workshops
  • one-on-one and group tutorials
  • lab-based practical work
  • field trips

There's an emphasis on putting what you learn in the classroom into practice. You'll get to go on a week-long field trip, reinforcing the theory you learn in lectures.

You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • written exams
  • coursework, essays and practical write-ups
  • presentations
  • multiple choice tests
  • a research project

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

Careers and opportunities

Completing this BSc (Hons) Biology degree course will open doors to further study and academic research. As a modern biologist, you can also put your degree to work in areas such as:

  • biotechnology
  • the food industry
  • science administration
  • biomedical research
  • environmental consultancy
  • teaching

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • research scientist
  • science technician
  • grant administrator
  • medical writer
  • biomedical sales specialist
  • ecological surveyor

Our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in the industry. We'll support you for up to 5 years after you graduate.

BSc (Hons), BSc (Hons) Award
September Start
Full-time, Sandwich Study Mode
3 years Duration

Entry Requirements For This Course

112 points to include 3 A levels, or equivalent, with 40 points from A level Biology. Applicants will normally need to pass the separate Science Practical Endorsement.

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

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