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Biology and Music

BA/BSc (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - combined honours

Key facts

Award
BA/BSc (Hons) Biology and Music
School
College of Liberal Arts
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
Three years full-time.
UCAS codes
Institution Code: B20
Course Code: CW13
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 with Grade C in Biology, Human Biology, Environmental Science or Social Biology and Music Grade B or related subject 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

Do and make in this practical course, concentrating on performance and composition.

  • Great performance opportunities, from jazz to opera, on this ‘conservatoire in a university’ course.
  • Varied and busy programme in classical, jazz, musical theatre, opera and world music.
  • 97% overall student satisfaction, National Student Survey 2015.

This is a practical and creative Music course. You’ll benefit from: dynamic staff, with national and international reputations; great facilities; and opportunities to participate in a wide range of ensembles. You’ll study performance as well as composition, with opportunities to give regular performances in Bath and beyond.

You’ll compose work in a wide variety of styles and have the opportunity to work with film, new media and dance. Work is performed either by our ensembles and soloists or by the numerous visiting professional groups.

“Every year the music department stages Opera and Music Theatre productions to a very high standard, which is something that really interests me. There are a large number of ensembles to take part in, and also the support and facilities to start your own if you wanted to.”

Joe Gatley, Music graduate

What you'll learn

Overview

Through the course you’ll study practical areas (such as classical or jazz performance on an instrument or voice and composition) and academic content (such as musicology relating to styles and genres from medieval through to pop, jazz and contemporary world music).

You can also study areas such as empirical music psychology, community music, opera and musical theatre, and issues within the music industry.

You’ll play to your strengths, with the opportunity to specialise in areas including music psychology, community music skills, world music and field studies, opera and musical theatre.

We currently have over 30 ensembles open to all students, including: numerous choirs; symphony and chamber orchestra; wind band and jazz big band; jazz small groups; our own Javanese Gamelan; brass, wind and string ensembles; folk; and experimental music groups.

Course structure

Year one
You’ll study performance, including weekly one-to-one instrumental/vocal lessons, composition in a wide range of styles and genres, music technology in our industry standard labs, world music lectures and practical workshops, musicology lectures and seminars, research and study skills.

Year two
You’ll develop skills in teaching and in the area of music management and promotion through the Professional Musician module. This offers you the opportunity to undertake a placement in an organisation of your choice.

In addition to the Professional Musician module (which is core) there are a number of optional modules. You continue to develop your musical skills, and increasingly you will specialise in areas of particular strength and interest – for example in performance, composition or musicology in classical or jazz styles.

Year three
You’ll have the freedom for creative output in specialisms such as performance or composition together with the choice of a wide range of supporting modules, from the Opera Project to Music Psychology and Music in Action (which is a community music module).

How will I be assessed?

You’ll be assessed through coursework, including compositions and essays; spoken presentations; and through practical assessments such as recitals, technicals and rehearsals.

How will I be taught?

The course is taught through workshops, masterclasses, lectures, seminars, individual tutorials and instrumental/vocal lessons. Teaching sessions are highly interactive, whether face-to-face or online (for example, through wikis or discussion boards).

You’ll be taught by, and work alongside, a creative community of experts. Full-time staff are all practicing performers, composers and musicologists. You’ll also be taught by visiting staff, many with international reputations.

Opportunities

Study abroad

There are opportunities through the Erasmus scheme to study abroad for a term or longer in year 2 – we have links with university music departments and schools in Europe, particularly Germany, and the USA.

Performances

We give regular performances throughout the year in Bath as well as beyond. Each year we fully stage opera and musical theatre productions, ranging from Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro and Puccini's Il Trittico, to Philip Glass's Satyagraha and Sondheim's Into the Woods and Company to Seussical.

Field trips

In year 2 and 3, particularly the modules ‘Music in its Cultural Contexts’ and ‘Music in Action’, students have the opportunity to engage with music projects in the community.

Work placements, industry links and internships

During the course you’ll explore the constantly changing needs of the employment market, and you’ll undertake a placement in Year 2. Recent placements have included the Bath International Music Festival, Bath Philharmonia, the BBC Proms, Welsh National Opera, Glyndebourne, Royal Opera, BBC Music Magazine, Dorling Kindersley and Real World.

You’ll benefit from masterclass sessions from industry experts. Recent visitors include: Peter Donohoe, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Jason Rebello, Joanna MacGregor, Graham Fitkin, Iain Ballamy and Rosa Mannion.

Student prizes

We offer three student prizes to students in Year 3:

  • Performance Prize
  • Composition Prize for the best Year 3 composition portfolio
  • Ensemble Prize for outstanding contributions to ensembles in Year 3

Careers

Graduates from BA Music at Bath Spa University have careers in:

  • Performing
  • Teaching
  • Music in the community
  • Composing for concert, screen, stage and education
  • Music and arts management
  • Music promotion and publishing

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

Based at the Michael Tippett Centre, we have excellent facilities including:

  • A purpose-built concert hall with superb acoustics;
  • 17 practice rooms, three with electronically variable acoustic;
  • A wide range of medieval, renaissance and baroque instruments, and a large collection of percussion and orchestral instruments;
  • A Javanese Gamelan;
  • A high spec music technology laboratory;
  • Five recording studios;
  • Two band rehearsal rooms;
  • Large well-stocked Music Library and a wide range of online musical resources.

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

We’re looking for creativity, whether as a performer or composer. You’ll have an energy and passion for music in all its styles and genres and in its uses in industry, education, therapy and everyday life.

Applicants must have, or be working towards Grade 8 Music Practical in first instrument study and expect to achieve a minimum of Grade 5 Music Theory before joining our undergraduate programme.

Eligible applicants will be auditioned at our Newton Park campus between December and March where you'll be invited by email to:

  • Perform two contrasting items of repertoire at Grade 7/8 level.
  • Sight read a short piece or song at approximately Grade 6 standard.
  • Bring examples of original compositions or theory work.
  • Bring an example of a written essay in music.
  • More details will be provided on invitation.

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 including Music Grade B or related subject.
  • BTEC -  Extended Diploma in Music or related subject accepted at grade Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM) accepted.
  • International Baccalaureate - A minimum of 27 points required in addition to evidence of Music ability and/or other graded Music qualifications.
  • 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)  accepted in addition to evidence of Music ability and/or other graded Music qualifications.

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.

Interview and portfolio guidance

We interview all prospective students at interview days from December onwards. You’ll meet staff and see our facilities, as well as having the chance to discuss the course with students and staff.

Applicants must have, or be working towards Grade 8 Music Practical in first instrument study and expect to achieve a minimum of Grade 5 Music Theory before joining our undergraduate programme.

 

Eligible applicants will be auditioned at our Newton Park campus between December and March where you'll be invited by email to:

 

  • Perform two contrasting items of repertoire at ABRSM Grade 7/8 standard or equivalent.
  • Sight read a short piece or song at approximately Grade 6 standard.
  • Bring examples of original compositions or theory work.
  • Bring an example of a written essay in music.
  • More details will be provided on invitation.

We do not charge an audition fee.

For international students or students unable to come to Bath we also accept an online portfolio in the form of video/PDF examples of your performance and work.

 

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Email: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk
Course leader: Roger Heaton

Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk