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Biology and Geography

BSc (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - combined honours

Key facts

Award
BSc (Hons) Biology & Geography
School
College of Liberal Arts
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
Three years full-time.
UCAS codes
Institution Code: B20
Course Code: CF18
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 and a Grade C in Geography, Sociology, Economics preferred.

View typical offers 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

Expand your understanding of the relationship between people and places.

  • Friendly, supportive team of lecturers, who are excellent teachers and active researchers.
  • Specialisms include river and coastal processes, poverty and development, environmental hazards, sustainability and climate change, culture and identities, geotechnologies and more.
  • Field trips currently include residential trips to Barcelona, the Lake District and Northern India.

Geography is about places and people. It is about understanding why 'here' differs from 'there', how people's lives vary in these different places, and how our own lives are dependent on people and places, near and far.

An ability to link environmental processes and social and spatial behaviours is a defining feature of geographical practice. As a result, Geography is clearly important in understanding today’s pressing global and local issues from climate change to sustainable development.

Studying Geography at Bath Spa University, you’ll learn geographical concepts, theories and knowledge, while gaining skills that can improve your career prospects. Geography graduates are valued by employers for this unique combination.

Our students consistently rate the course very highly, with over 90% overall satisfaction in the National Student Survey every year for the past three years

National Student Survey

What you'll learn

Overview

We take an integrated approach to Geography; you’ll gain an understanding of both the human and physical aspects of the subject. However, a key feature of our course is that you can specialise more in the physical or human side as your interests, abilities and career plans evolve.

You’ll graduate with a range of skills that are highly valued by employers. These include scientific techniques and computer skills, as well as people skills like communication, team-work and critical thinking.

Course structure

Year one
The first year of this course introduces you to the exciting world of Geography at university. You’ll acquire foundational geographical knowledge, understanding and skills.  You’ll get a taste of a variety of geographies, and there are plenty of opportunities to do fieldwork, visiting local places such as the Mendip, Somerset Levels and Bristol.

Topics you’ll study include:

  • examining contemporary geographical issues;
  • learning about unfamiliar physical environments and different societies and cultures;
  • exploring key issues such as development and sustainability;
  • how to use the technologies, methods, techniques and equipment that geographers need to use.

Year two
This year you start to specialise in your geographical interests. Greater emphasis is placed on research methods; you’ll learn a wide range of useful geographical methods and techniques, both in the classroom and in fieldwork settings where you’ll apply your growing mastery of your subject to real-world problems and issues. We also give you the chance to engage with the Royal Geographical Society and other professional bodies as we begin to help you map out potential career paths.

Optional topics include:

  • climate change
  • geomorphology
  • river management
  • environmental hazards
  • exciting new geotechnologies
  • urban geographies of global cities
  • work placement or volunteering overseas
  • field trip to India

Year three
This year you’ll further specialise your geographical interests. You’ll develop your skills as an independent scholar by undertaking primary research that will enable you to demonstrate the theoretical and practical aspects of your geographical interests. Alternatively, you can undertake an extended work placement with a relevant research report. There’s a huge variety in choice in what you do for a dissertation and throughout the study you’ll benefit from one-to-one tuition and expert guidance.

The rest of the third year is made up of more specialised topics, including:

  • climatology
  • coastal management
  • development and disasters
  • identities and inequalities in society
  • Globalisation
  • environmental justice
  • field trip to Lake District or Barcelona
  • community placement

How will I be assessed?

You’ll experience a variety of different assessment methods throughout your degree. These include essays, project reports, presentations, posters, video clips, fieldcraft assessments, reflective items, time-constrained tests and examinations. These will give you a rich and diverse skills learning experience, be of real benefit in the search for a good career, and be useful in your professional activities.

How will I be taught?

Good teaching is important to us; our graduates highly rate the quality of teaching on the course. In our friendly department you’ll benefit from small classes, specialist expertise, and up-to-date technologies, including ArcGIS, GPS survey instruments, campus river gauging and digital ‘met’ stations.

Our rural site is a superb natural laboratory where you’ll learn a range of scientific techniques including field sampling and the use of laboratory instruments for sediment and water analysis. You’ll experience lectures and workshop or seminar-based teaching, with small groups to enable discussion about specific topics.

Opportunities

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 Australia, Finland and the USA.

Field trips

“Field trip opportunities have been brilliant and a really valuable experience”
–Geography graduate, 2015

We’re committed to giving you a relevant, interesting and useful degree; fieldwork is integral to this. There are various field days during modules, as well as residential fieldwork options in the UK and overseas in Years 2 and 3.

You’ll visit places and landscapes such as Avebury, Mendip, the Somerset Levels, the Welsh National History Museum, the Royal Geographical Society in London, and the Jurassic Coast of Dorset. Residential trips currently go to Spain, the Lake District and Northern India. Please note that you’ll have to make a financial contribution towards some of these residential study visits.

Work placements, industry links and internships

There are opportunities to undertake work placements in your second and third year – this is an excellent way to gain experience in the workplace.

Guest speakers from industry contribute to the learning experience throughout the course. This engagement with potential employers will help you make those all-important career decisions when you graduate.

Competitions and awards

There are prizes awarded each year in recognition of excellence in the core modules. This culminates with the Geography Project of the Year Award, for the best dissertation.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

You'll be taught on Newton Park campus, with access to a range of facilities including:

Resources

We have all the latest technologies and learning resources. You’ll have access to IT laboratories with geographical software such as ArcGIS and Idrisi. In addition we have a comprehensive stock of field and laboratory equipment.

Other resources available include Leica Smart Rovers and Laser Scanner, handheld Global Positioning System devices, survey seismograph, Russian and standard sediment corers, teaching microscopes, stream flow meters, particle size analysis kits, digital Schmidt hammers, digital weather station, campus stream gauging station, digital dictaphones, digital video cameras, tablets and laptops.

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’re looking for interested and motivated students who understand the importance of a geographical perspective on the issues facing society today.

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 - CCC preferred with Grade C in Geography, Sociology Economics or Science
  • BTEC - Extended Diploma grades Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) preferred in a related subject.
  • International Baccalaureate - A minimum score of 26 points required.
  • 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).

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

Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk