Biology and Drama Studies

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How to Apply

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This course covers all the core aspects of biology while still allowing you to develop expertise in specialist areas. Biology has a strong practical element and you will have plenty of opportunities to study plants and animals in the wild as well as in the laboratory. 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.

It will particularly appeal to students that have studied a biologically orientated subject at A level such as Biology, Environmental Science or Geography. However, if you are considering studying with other qualifications, but have a keen interest in Biology, you are also encouraged to apply.

Our staff are friendly and enthusiastic with expertise in many areas of biology from occupational diseases to plant anatomy and wildlife conservation. By the end of your degree you will be particularly well equipped to be a professional biology but you will also have a broad range of transferable skills and the versatility to succeed in many other careers. There is also the opportunity for you to gain work experience in a relevant organisation as part of your degree programme.

Our campus is particularly suited to the study of biology, boasting many interesting habitats including woodland, farmland, a lake, ponds and a stream. As well as these important natural resources we also have a boat, wildlife video system, walled garden, greenhouses, recently refurbished laboratories and a range of specialist equipment and computer software. In brief, we can provide everything you need to make your biological studies relevant, interesting and applicable to a rewarding career.

Above all we are looking for motivated and committed students who wish to push the boundaries of their academic knowledge and get the best possible preparation for any future career – but also who want to become socially engaged global citizens, ready to make a difference. You will benefit from joining the Bath Spa University community if you are willing to take advantage of the many opportunities that will be available to you outside of your study – such as volunteering, joining clubs and societies, and taking part in extra-curricular activities.

We are ranked 1st of all UK universities for Overall Satisfaction and Assessment & Feedback and ranked 3rd for Teaching and Personal Development. (Source: National Student Survey, 2014). This feedback from our students demonstrates the quality of experience you will receive if you study with us.

There are two additional pathways into Biology, that you may like to consider:

Why study Biology?

This course covers all the core aspects of biology while still allowing you to develop expertise in specialist areas. Biology has a strong practical element and you will have plenty of opportunities to study plants and animals in the wild as well as in the laboratory. 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.

Our staff are friendly and enthusiastic with expertise in many areas of biology from occupational diseases to plant anatomy and wildlife conservation. By the end of your degree you will be particularly well equipped to be a professional biology but you will also have a broad range of transferable skills and the versatility to succeed in many other careers. There is also the opportunity for you to gain work experience in a relevant organisation as part of your degree programme.

Our campus is particularly suited to the study of biology, boasting many interesting habitats including woodland, farmland, a lake, ponds and a stream. As well as these important natural resources we also have a boat, wildlife video system, walled garden, greenhouses, recently refurbished laboratories and a range of specialist equipment and computer software. In brief, we can provide everything you need to make your biological studies relevant, interesting and applicable to a rewarding career.

Course structure

In your first year you will study the core module, Introduction to Biological Sciences. This allows you to develop your understanding of the fundamentals of biology from cell biology and genetics to characteristics of plant and animal communities. You may also choose to study additional modules in human biology, biochemistry, biodiversity and nutrition.

In the second year you will look at the biology of plants, animals and humans in greater depth and be able to study additional topics that particularly interest you, such as ecology, environmental sustainability, biodiversity, microbiology, human pathophysiology, and food product development. A work placement module gives you the opportunity to gain academic credit for relevant voluntary or paid work carried out during your second year. There are also modules in business, science publishing and psychology available to complement your Biology modules.

In your final year of study you will specialise in topics such as animal behaviour, marine biology, nutrition, digital imaging, food safety, nature conservation, medical biology and plant biology. All students also carry out an independent study as part of their dissertation which enables you to pursue an area of biology which is of special interest to you. In addition modules in business, sociology, psychology and publishing are available.

Overall you have the opportunity to study a wide range of topics, but can specialise in areas which are of particular interest to you.

Modules

Year 1

  • Introduction to Biological Sciences (compulsory)
  • Biodiversity and Conservation
  • Food Nutrition and Health
  • Fundamentals of Biochemistry
  • Global Food Issues
  • Human Biology
  • Investigating Earth Environments

Year 2

  • Biology: The Science of Life (compulsory)
  • Biological Research Skills (compulsory)
  • Applied Microbiology
  • Biodiversity Tools and Techniques
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Epidemiology and Public Health
  • Food Product Development
  • Human Pathophysiology and Nutrition
  • Work Placement
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Biological and Cognitive Psychology
  • Science Publishing

Year 3

  • Biology Dissertation (compulsory)
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Digital Imaging
  • Environmental Consultancy
  • Food Safety
  • Marine Biology
  • Medical Biology
  • Nature Conservation in Context
  • Nutrition and Exercise Science
  • Plants and People
  • Enterprise: Creating Your Own Business
  • Successful Freelancing
  • Science Publishing Project
  • Neuropsychology
  • Individuals, Health and Society

Course assessment

We use a wide variety of assessment types in our modules, including essays, practical reports, oral presentations, posters and leaflets. Some first and second year modules have an examination component, but all final year modules are coursework only.

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

Subject to approval, if you join the programme in 2016, 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.

We strongly believe that learning is not a one-way process and our teaching reflects this philosophy. We encourage discussion and participation in our classroom sessions and provide a lot of choice within assessments. This helps you focus on aspects of biology which particularly interest you, whilst ensuring we maintain the highest academic standards. Our range of natural and specialist resources support our wide range of teaching methods.

Teaching methods

The Newton Park campus is an excellent location for the study of Biology. The 'natural laboratory' of our campus provides a rich variety of woodland, grassland and freshwater habitats, which are used extensively in practical work.

Our laboratories, glasshouses and experimental areas provide specialist facilities for a wide range of biological studies including aquatic, ecological, anatomical and soil analysis. Our modern ecological surveying equipment such as bat detectors and night vision wildlife camera enables you to be involved in interesting and contemporary biological research studies.

Application method

All applications are through UCAS.

Course enquiries

The University has a programme of Open Days throughout the year where you can learn more about our courses, see our facilities and talk to some of our current students. See the main University web pages for more information.

If you wish to know more about the content of the Biology degree please contact the Biology Subject Leader, Dr Ian Todd.

Entry requirements

260–300 UCAS Tariff points with minimum 80 points from a relevant science subject such as biology, chemistry, human biology, environmental science or social biology.

Career opportunities

We realise that having a degree relevant to employers is crucial if you are going to find a job at the end of your studies. We are particularly aware of skills employers need and this is reflected in the content and structure of modules. Our assessment is very 'real world' focussed to make assignments more interesting and relevant to biological employment.

Our graduates are successful and many take further qualifications such as PGCE, Masters or doctorates. Others have been employed in both public and private organisations such as ecological consultancies, water companies, wildlife trusts, teaching and government agencies such as the Environment Agency.

Since 2010, employers such as Yeovil Hospital, Hanson, the NHS and Bath Spa University have recruited graduates from this course. Students have also gone into roles including Medical Lab Assistant, Student Cardiac Physiology and Science Technician.

What students say...

James Pymm, Biology, graduated 2012:

“I am currently taking a graduate internship at Bath Spa as a science technician and looking into applying for a course in graduate medicine. 

There is a real focus on quality teaching at Bath Spa. The class sizes are small enough that everyone knows everyone and the staff get to know specifically what you are interested in, which creates a really positive atmosphere and makes Bath Spa a great place to learn in. 

The course is driven towards making you as employable as possible and has proved to be the perfect spring board for me to start doing what I want to do.”

Katie Duke, Biology & Business, graduated 2006:

“I work for the Royal Agricultural College as Enterprise Co-ordinator. It is a great job and every day is very different. My main responsibilities are helping to encourage students to set up their own business and promoting rural entrepreneurship. In addition, I run a small business for the RAC called Muddy Wellies which is a drinks range with the proceeds invested in student enterprise. I also run a national business case study competition for Universities called the Grassroutes Challenge.

I would advise students to get as much work experience/voluntary work, as possible. I really enjoyed working as a Student Ambassador when I was at Bath Spa. I even met my husband Matt when we were both working as Student Ambassadors!”

The Drama programme offers specialised, creative arts and combined study pathways for students who wish to explore the immensity of drama as both a performance medium and an applied subject.

Drama provides you with a range of exciting modules to choose from. These explore drama from the perspectives of making theatre and performance, text study and applied theatre.

Drama is a broad based programme that allows you to identify where your place in the immense world of theatre and performance might be. It is not a vocational training course. Drama will equip you with writing, presentational, communication and collaborative skills invaluable in many professional and vocational areas.

Why study Drama?

Why study drama?

  • To prepare for careers where drama-based skills are in demand and for further studies in drama, including drama teaching
  • To make theatre and performance with others
  • To watch, think and write about drama

Course structure

Year one. You will study processes involved in taking text from page to stage. You will explore the relationship between theatre and society through the ages, examining ideas underlying dramatic texts, performance conventions and scenography. And you will attend and critique plays and other kinds of performance as well as undertake skills classes (specialised students).

Drama session

Year two. In theatre companies, inspired by your studies of key directors and companies, you will create your own work. You may also lead workshops and otherwise apply drama in community settings. And you may choose from a range of studies within Exploration modules. These studies may include musical theatre, physical theatre, stand-up comedy, American acting and so on.

Year three. You will research and write a dissertation on a drama topic of your choice and undertake a performance project (specialised students). Again, you may choose from a range of studies within specialised study modules, for instance experimental performance, staging Shakespeare and site-specific performance. 

Modules

Year one modules are:

  • From Page to Stage
  • Introduction to Theatre History
  • Contemporary Performance
  • Drama Skills
  • Musical Theatre Practice 1

Year two modules are:

  • Making Performance
  • Theatre History 2
  • Exploring Drama 1 and 2
  • Creative Entrepreneurship
  • Creative Activism

Year three modules are:

  • Dissertation
  • Performance Project
  • Specialised Studies 1 and 2
  • Drama as Protest

Course assessment

Assessment methods include essays, dissertations and other written assignments, seminar presentations, performances, group work, and professional development portfolios.

You can choose from a wide range of offerings incorporating content ranging from theatre history to physical theatre and extending to encompass such areas as experimental theatre and site-specific performance.

The approach to teaching Drama  at Bath Spa combines academic study with practical workshop-based classes which bring theoretical ideas to life. Facilities include the purpose-built University Theatre building, which incorporates a fully equipped theatre and three studios. You’ll be taught by distinguished staff who are practising theatre and performance artists.

Drama performance 

Teaching methods

Academic study combines with practical, workshop-based sessions that help bring theoretical ideas to life.

Our purpose-built University Theatre building houses rehearsal studios and a full working theatre that stages a wide range of performances.  

Bath Spa Live, the production arm of the School of Music and Performing Arts, provides a lively milieu of performance on and off campus. There are also active links with Bath Theatre Royal and the Ustinov studio.

Application method

All full time applications are through UCAS.

Course enquiries

Please contact our Admissions team (see above)

Entry requirements

280–320 UCAS Tariff points including A-Level Drama, Performance Studies or Theatre Studies at min grade B.

Career opportunities

Drama will equip you with writing, presentational, communication, and collaborative skills invaluable in many professional and vocational areas. Often, after undertaking a PGCE, graduates become drama or primary teachers. Following graduation, some students choose to pursue their interests further through postgraduate study in theatre-making, applied drama, acting or directing. Others use the knowledge gained to launch careers working with theatre companies or venues, or go on to find employment in the charity, media, business and government sectors. Drama graduates have gone on to work for such theatre companies as The Naturals, The Wardrobe Ensemble and The Plymouth Theatre Royal.

What students say...

Drama at Bath Spa provided me a world of knowledge, confidence and new friends. The diverse nature of the course acted as platform for countless ways to express myself and to learn from my tutors and peers.

2012 Drama Graduate Katy Muir

I absolutely loved my time at Bath Spa on the Drama course. I made so many friends and had so much fun…the highlight for me was getting the chance to direct a full scale production. Also, the staff are friendly and approachable. I was very sad to leave. 

2012 Drama Graduate Lucy Plant

The variety given in the second and third year of drama studies really helped me to create a course that I could take ownership of. The knowledge and support from all lecturers and fellow students encouraged me to develop both the skills I already had and those I gained during my time at Bath Spa. I would recommend this course to anyone interested in Drama. 

2012 Drama Graduate Natasha Cook

Bath Spa has got it right with this course, as it offers a comprehensive exploration of a wide range of theatrical styles and genres. The knowledge and expertise that Drama allows you to develop makes you stand out in the jobs market. 

2012 Drama Graduate Luke Davies

Drama student