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Biology and Creative Writing

BA/BSc (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - combined honours

Key facts

Award
BA/BSc (Hons) Biology & Creative Writing
School
College of Liberal Arts
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
Three years full-time.
UCAS codes
Institution Code: B20
Course Code: WC91
Campus Code: A,BSU

Entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. Typical offers include A level grades BCC - CCC with Grade C in Biology, Human Biology, Environmental Science or Social Biology preferred and Grade B in English or related subject. Applicants without A Level English may still be considered

View for more information.

A contemporary skills based course producing highly employable professional biologists.

  • Flexible structure of course allowing breadth or specialism.
  • Practical course using contemporary learning methods.
  • High employability of graduates.

This course covers all the core aspects of biology, while allowing you to develop expertise in specialist areas. Biology has a strong practical element and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to study plants and animals in the wild as well as in our laboratories. There is also a strong human biology thread in our degree programme. As well as scheduled practical sessions, day trips and residential field trips provide the opportunity to study topics in greater depth.

“The Bath Spa Biology team gives you the confidence to go on and achieve any aim you set for yourself, and the freedom to explore science in the most incredible environment.”

Liza Stanley, Biology graduate

What you'll learn

Overview

The course covers a broad range of fundamental biology topics such as cell biology and genetics to plant, animal and human biology. In additional to these core topics, you have a wide range of modules to choose from, allowing you to develop a particular theme which interests you.

You’ll develop a broad range of skills; some specific to Biology, while others are useful in many professional environments. The course is ‘real-world’ focussed; you’ll graduate as a professional biologist prepared to solve a range of problems and keep up to date with scientific advances.

Course structure

Year one
The first year focuses on fundamental topics such as cell biology, genetics, anatomy and physiology, evolution, classification, food production and ecosystems. Associated practical classes give you hand-on experience of these concepts. Optional modules allow you to explore themes in more details such as biodiversity, human biology, food production, nutrition and biochemistry.

Year two
The second year covers a range of important human, animal and plant biology. You’ll consider important concepts in biology such as ethics, biosecurity, genetics and technology. Optional themes include ecology, microbiology, human pathophysiology, biodiversity and food product development allowing you to develop your interests at a higher level. You can also select optional modules in business, science publishing and psychology.

There is an optional sandwich year between your second and final year, giving you the opportunity to put your knowledge and skills into practice and experience a relevant job.

Year three
Single honours and major students will carry out a dissertation in the final year. This substantial research project gives you the experience of being responsible for planning, implementing and reporting on a biology topic. In addition you may study topics in medical biology, nature conservation, nutrition, animal behaviour, marine biology, digital imaging and plant biology. Modules in business, psychology and science publishing are also available.

How will I be assessed?

Assessments are varied, designed to be appropriate to the particular skills required for each module. Some modules have coursework and examinations, but many are coursework only. The practical nature of our assessment contributes to our high levels of graduate employment.

Types of assessment include scientific papers, posters, oral presentation, interviews, essays, reports, reviews, leaflets and video presentation. There are also plenty of opportunities to choose the biological theme on which you are assessed, allowing you to have deeper understanding of aspects of biology of interest to you.

How will I be taught?

You’ll be taught using a combination of teaching and learning methods. Interactive lectures provide you with fundamental knowledge which is enhanced by the practical skills you learn in supporting sessions. Around half of your contact time will be in lectures and half in practical or workshop sessions.

Opportunities

Biology with a year in professional practice (UCAS code: S117)

Subject to approval, you can opt to take a year in professional practice ('sandwich year') between your level 5 (year 2) and level 6 (year 3) studies.

This placement will enable you to put theory into practice, build professional networks and meet and work with potential employers. It will also help with work management and give you experience to bring back to your studies in your final year.

Your degree title will include the phrase “with a year in professional practice”, so it is clear to all employers that you have this experience as part of your degree.

Study abroad

You’ll have the opportunity to study in a wide range of locations around the world. Our students have completed Erasmus+ and Exchange programmes in a variety of countries including Spain, Sweden and the USA.

Field trips

From Kew Gardens to Haverfordwest, you’ll have opportunities to participate in field trips across the Biology modules. Please note that you’ll have to pay a contribution towards the cost of some of these study visits.

Work placements, industry links and internships

Our students have worked with clients such as the NHS, Bristol Zoo, Operation Wallacea, English Nature and local authorities.

Careers

Biology graduates have a range of professions including teaching, medical lab assistant, wildlife trust warden and science technician. Graduates have been employed by companies including NHS, New Zealand Department of Conservation and RSPB.

Competitions and awards

We’ll encourage you to participate in local and national science festivals.

Each year we award five prizes to our students. These are:

  • the Bath Spa University Biology Prize for best performance (one per year of study);
  • the OUP Prize;
  • the CIWEM Prize.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

You'll have access to our:

  • Laboratories
    Located in the Gardens area of the Newton Park campus, we have a number of well­-equipped recently refurbished laboratories dedicated to a variety of practical work. Some are used for specialist microbiological culturing and analysis, others for biochemistry and physiology.
  • Low Hazard Laboratory Space
    We have ‘low ­hazard’ laboratory space where you can carry out activities such as the preparation and assessment of food, exercise or psychological studies.
  • Biology Resources Room
  • Commons building
  • Newton Park library
  • Virtual Learning Environment

Resources

Biology students can hire out equipment using SISO, Bath Spa University’s free equipment loan service. We provide a huge variety of equipment from binoculars, to telescopes and video cameras.

Fees

UK and EU students full time

2017/18 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2018
Year 3 Published Jan 2019

2018/19 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2018
Year 2 Published Jan 2019
Year 3 Published Jan 2020

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2019
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

UK and EU students full time - with placement year

During the placement year, the fee is reduced to 20% of the full time fee. Otherwise, fees are the same as for full time study.

UK and EU students part time

2017/18 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £4,625
Year 2 Published Jan 2018
Year 3 Published Jan 2019

2018/19 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2018
Year 2 Published Jan 2019
Year 3 Published Jan 2020

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2019
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

International students full time

2017/18 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £13,500
Year 2 Published Jan 2018
Year 3 Published Jan 2018

2018/19 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2018
Year 2 Published Jan 2019
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2019
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We are looking for motivated, committed students who wish to push the boundaries of their academic knowledge and get the best possible preparation for their future career. You’ll want to become a socially engaged global citizen, ready to make a difference.

You’ll need to have a grade C or above in a science subject.

Typical offers

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:

  • A Level - A level grades  BCC -CCC with Grade C in Biology, Human Biology, Environmental Science or Social Biology minimum.
  • BTEC- Extended Diploma minimum grades Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) accepted in a science or related subject.
  • International Baccalaureate - A minimum score of 26 points with evidence of study in Science accepted.
  • Access to HE courses - Typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, including 30 at merit or higher)  in a science or related subject.

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants
IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the 'apply now' button in the centre of this page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply webpages.

Get ahead

If you'd like to prepare for the course before you arrive there are a number of general biology textbooks that you can read. Contact us for further information on recommended texts.

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Email: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk
Course leader: Ian Todd
Email: i.todd@bathspa.ac.uk

Top UK writing course, taught by award-winning practitioners.

  • More specialist strands than any other course in the UK.
  • Focus on graduate employability, building industry connections.
  • Large and diverse student body – close to 500 students from across the world.

This course is challenging, exciting, and versatile. Here, you can expect a professional level of tuition – and we expect a professional level of commitment and achievement from you in return.

Employability is central to the writing programme. Both individually and in groups you will prepare for the writing / creative-industry career of your choice.

Find out more about our Creative Writing department

“Bath Spa gave me the opportunity to stretch myself academically and creatively, and - above all - it was so encouraging to have my creative writing taken seriously by highly respected tutors.”

Recent Creative Writing graduate

What you'll learn

Overview

Our comprehensive programme includes prose, poetry, scriptwriting for the stage and screen, feature journalism, writing for new media, life writing: in fact, whatever you want to write, you’ll find an opportunity at Bath Spa University. We also work with drama and film students to produce films and podcasts, and encourage you to get involved in a wide range of writing-related areas such as readings, performances and magazines.

Course structure

Year one
Writer’s Workshop One (general workshop), Poetry, Fiction, Scriptwriting.

Year two
Specialist core modules (choose one of five) plus a wide range of specialist modules from journalism and new media, writing for young people, traditional “page” poetry, performance poetry, to genre fiction, short stories, nonfiction and more!

Year three
Creative Enterprise module, dissertation-equivalent modules in poetry, novel writing, nonfiction, and writing for young people. Independent project module, collaborative film module.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment is based on 100% coursework (no exams). Most modules will require you to submit a portfolio of creative writing along with a reflective essay in which you describe what you have learned in class, what you have learned from the set texts and working on your own writing.

How will I be taught?

Creative Writing at Bath Spa University is taught through a mixture of workshops, lectures, presentations and tutorials. Workshops offer you the opportunity to read and discuss each other's work in a supportive, informal and informative atmosphere. Lectures are used to introduce techniques and themes in detail. Tutorials provide you with the opportunity to discuss your work with your tutor on a one-to-one basis. Advanced students may also get the chance to work with industry mentors on project work.

We believe that for you to achieve your maximum potential you have to take yourself and your writing seriously, and that the best way to do this is to develop a professional approach. Therefore, wherever appropriate, our modules run to industry standards and adopt industry practices.

Opportunities

Study abroad

Erasmus and exchange opportunities to some of the world’s leading colleges and universities – for instance Queensland University of Technology, Australia, Stockholm University, Sweden, and Bennington College, USA.

Work placements, industry links and internships

Creative Writing has no work experience or placements embedded within the course, but students often find subject-related placements – for instance, with the Bath Literature Festival, or with production companies such as the BBC. The course team will help you on an individual basis as opportunities present themselves.

For instance, in 2012, one student was able to secure a film production assistant’s position working on the Bourne Ultimatum starring Matt Damon on location in Southeast Asia. The course team was able to help him gain credit for this work through the Creative Enterprise and Independent Project modules. In 2014, another student was able to secure a paid placement at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York. His third year of study was tailored so that he could take advantage of that opportunity and graduate with the rest of his class. Yet another student secured a placement at the Old Vic Theatre where she also researched a project for her second-year independent project module.

Careers

Current graduate careers include:

  • Novelist
  • Children’s Author
  • Playwright
  • Poet
  • Digital Marketing Executive
  • Advertising Copywriter
  • Bookstore Owner
  • University Lecturer
  • Editor (Random House)

Creative Writing prizes

Creative Writing awards almost twenty separate prizes to students each year – for the best short story, best poetry, best group project, best script, along with externally sponsored awards such as the Picador Prize for Fiction – given annually to the most promising work of fiction by an undergraduate – and the Les Arnold Prize for top student in the second year, honouring the memory of poet Les Arnold, who started the writing programme in 1992.

Projects

Students are given numerous opportunities to focus on project work – from the first year core module (Writers Workshop One) to the second year core module and into several project modules in the third year.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

The Creative Writing course is taught at our stunning Newton Park campus.

You'll have access to a range of excellent facilities, including:

Resources

As a Creative Writing student, you'll be able to benefit from:

  • Cameras, audio recording equipment available for students to borrow absolutely free.
  • Full production and post-production facilities, soundstage, screening rooms.
  • Technical staff to help students use hardware and software according to industry standards.

Fees

UK and EU students full time

2017/18 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2018
Year 3 Published Jan 2019

2018/19 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2018
Year 2 Published Jan 2019
Year 3 Published Jan 2020

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2019
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

UK and EU students full time - with placement year

During the placement year, the fee is reduced to 20% of the full time fee. Otherwise, fees are the same as for full time study.

International students full time

2017/18 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £13,500
Year 2 Published Jan 2018
Year 3 Published Jan 2018

2018/19 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2018
Year 2 Published Jan 2019
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2019
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

Most of our applicants will have an A or a B in English Language and / or English Literature at A Level. That said, we do judge each application on its own merit and many of our most successful graduates have not fit neatly into standard criteria. Please write directly to the course leader or the admissions team to discuss yor individual circumstances.

Typical offers

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:

  • A Level - Grades BCC accepted with a minimum of Grade B in English or related subject. Applicants without A Level English will be considered but will be required to submit a piece of your own creative writing as part of the selection process.
  • BTEC-  Extended Diploma grades Distinction. Merit, Merit (DMM) accepted from applicants who demonstrate a strong interest in creative writing. You may be invited to submit a piece of your own creative writing as part of the selection process.
  • International Baccalaureate - A minimum of 27 points are required from applicants who demonstrate a strong interest in creative writing. You may be invited to submit a piece of your own creative writing as part of the selection process.
  • Access to HE courses - Typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, including 30 at merit or higher). You may be invited to submit a piece of your own creative writing as part of the selection process.

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants
IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the 'apply now' button in the centre of this page. Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply pages.

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Email: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk
Course leader: Dr. Paul Meyer
Email: p.meyer@bathspa.ac.uk

Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk