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Biology and Sociology

BSc (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - combined honours

Key facts

Award
BSc (Hons) Biology and Sociology
School
College of Liberal Arts
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
Three years full-time.
UCAS codes
Institution Code: B20
Course Code: CL13 or SE21
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.

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, from 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 varied professional environments. The course is "real-world" focused; 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
We'll focus on fundamental topics such as cell biology, genetics, anatomy and physiology, evolution, classification, food production and ecosystems. Associated practical classes give you hands-on experience of these concepts, and optional modules allow you to explore themes  - such as biodiversity, microbiology, human biology, food production, nutrition, biochemistry and science communication - in more detail.

Year two
We'll cover a range of concepts including biological systems and the importance of biology in real life. You'll explore themes such as ecology, environmental management, microbiology, human pathophysiology, biodiversity and food analysis, allowing you to develop your interests at a higher level. You can also select optional topics in business, education, science journalism and psychology. 

An optional Professional Placement Year between your second and final years gives you the opportunity to put your knowledge and skills into practice and gain relevant and vlauable experience in the workplace. 

Year three
Single honours and major students will undertake a dissertation in the final year. This substantial research project enables you to experience being responsible for planning, implementing and reporting on a biology topic. 

In addition, you may study topics in medical biology, environmental practice, exercise science, animal behaviour, food safety, epidemiology, marine biology, plant biology and wildlife documentary. Themes in business, education, psychology and science publishing are also available.

How will I be assessed?

Assessments are varied and 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 assessments contributes to our high levels of graduate employment.

Types of assessment include scientific papers, posters, oral presentations, interviews, essays, reports, reviews, leaflets and video presentations. 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 that are 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.

Course modules

This course offers or includes the following modules. The modules you take will depend on your pathway or course combination (if applicable) as well as any optional or open modules chosen. Please check the programme document (below the main image on this page) for more information.

Year one (Level 4) modules

  • Biological Techniques
  • Conservation Biology
  • Human Biology
  • The Microbial World
  • Introduction to Biochemistry
  • Global Food Issues
  • Food Nutrition and Health
  • Communicating Science
  • Sustainability in Life and Work
  • Environment, People and Place

Year two (Level 5) modules

  • Biological Systems
  • Biology in Society
  • Research Skills in Biology
  • Ecology and Biodiversity
  • Applied Microbiology
  • Human Pathophysiology and Nutrition
  • Food Analysis
  • Human Nutrition
  • Biology Work Placement
  • Environmental Management
  • Biological and Cognitive Psychology
  • Abnormal/Clinical Psychology
  • The Marketing Business
  • Environment and Education
  • Science Journalism and Publishing
  • Professional Placement Year

Year three (Level 6) modules

  • Dissertation Planning
  • Dissertation Publication
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Plants and People
  • Environmental Practice
  • Medical Biology
  • Marine Biology
  • Nutrition and Exercise Science
  • Food Safety
  • Epidemiology & Public Health
  • Wildlife Photography
  • Leadership and Management
  • Successful Freelancing
  • Clinical Neuropsychology
  • Learning in Science
  • Publishing Industry Project

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 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:

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

Professional placement year

Overview

This optional placement year provides you with the opportunity to identify, apply for, and secure professional experience, normally comprising one to three placements over a minimum of nine months. Successful completion of this module will demonstrate your ability to secure and sustain graduate-level employment.

By completing the module, you'll be entitled to the addition of “with Professional Placement Year” to your degree title.

Preparation

Before your Professional Placement Year, you'll work to secure your placement, constructing a development plan with your module leader and your placement coordinator from our Careers and Employability team.

How will I be assessed?

On your return to University for your final year, you'll submit your Placement Portfolio, detailing your development on your placement.

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

2018/19 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
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

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2020
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

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

2018/19 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £4,625
Year 2 Published Jan 2019
Year 3 Published Jan 2020

2019/20 Entry

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

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2020
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

International students full time

2018/19 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £13,900
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

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2020
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

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

A course for individuals interested in social issues, who want to help make the world a better place.

  • In our fast-changing world, Sociology is exciting, relevant and provides important skills.
  • Sociology helps you become more informed and to think smarter.
  • You’ll learn how to think creatively, to problems solve and make better decisions.

Do you want to know more about the world we live in? Do you care about the world and want to make a difference? If so, you’re well-suited to this Sociology course.

Sociology is the study of societies, cultures, and groups. We live in complex societies with laws and informal rules that govern how we interact. Sociology helps you to understand more about yourself, others and the way society is organised.

What you'll learn

Overview

You’re taught about society, social groups and social organisation. You’ll learn about social problems and social policies. You’ll be able to make sense of social change and conflict. You’ll have a good understanding of social differences, inequalities and social divisions. You’ll be able to apply your knowledge and skills to specific problems and issues to help you to be good decision-maker.

Course structure

Year one
You’ll be introduced to Sociology as well as to the techniques and philosophies of the social sciences. You will focus on identities – starting out thinking about your own identity then building your knowledge and understanding so that you are more familiar with social divisions, social structures and the influence of culture. You’ll also learn how to visualise the most important components of society.

Year two
The second year builds on the first and enables you to begin to learn about the history and important ideas in Sociology. You can also specialise in more specific areas of Sociology such as education and crime. You’ll undertake practical training in research skills. This will enable you to complete your final year project as well as preparing you for the kind of employment that you’ll typically undertake as a sociology graduate.

Year three
You’ll concentrate on an aspect of sociology that most interests you in a dissertation, undertaken with the support of a member of staff as a supervisor. You can also focus on more detailed subjects such as globalisation, environment, ethnicity and racism, and gender.

How will I be assessed?

Assessments vary and may include essays, reports, book and article reviews, seen and unseen examinations, web wikis, portfolios, projects, learning journals, individual and group work, videos and screencasts, research projects.

How will I be taught?

You’ll be taught in lectures, seminars individual and group tutorials and through our extensive online learning support environment.

Course modules

This course offers or includes the following modules. The modules you take will depend on your pathway or course combination (if applicable) as well as any optional or open modules chosen. Please check the programme document (below the main image on this page) for more information.

Year one (Level 4) modules

  • Questioning Society
  • Visualising the 21st Century World
  • Power / Resistance
  • Global Development
  • The World in Ten Objects

Year two (Level 5) modules

  • Sociological Debates
  • Social Science Research Methods
  • Migration: Identity, Belonging, Citizenship and Security
  • The Life Course: Ageing and Generation
  • Crime, Law and Society
  • Sociology of Education
  • Future Cities
  • Climate and Society
  • Health: Mind, Body, Society
  • Social Problems, Social Divisions, Social Justice
  • Media, Sociality and Everyday Life
  • Work placement
  • Professional Placement Year

Year three (Level 6) modules

  • Research Design
  • Research Study
  • Dissertation
  • Gender in Society: Critical Perspectives
  • Exploring Violence
  • Culture, Risk and Environmental Justice
  • Community Engagement
  • Work, Identities and Organisations
  • Sociological fieldwork
  • Ethnicity and Society
  • Punishment and Penology in Global Context

“Sociology helps me piece things together and see the world how it really is. The campus at Bath Spa is beautiful! It’s a really peaceful place to think and the lecturers are passionate about what they teach.”

Kirsty Taylor, Sociology student

Opportunities

Study abroad

We have opportunities for you to study abroad through our Erasmus+ Sociology links. We also offer you other overseas learning opportunities including an optional international field trip to India in your second year.

Field trips

We run optional visits to places such as criminal justice institutions and religious places of worship. You can take a dedicated field trip module.

Work placements, industry links and internships

We provide support in obtaining placements, links with professionals and we invite our sociology graduates back to meet with you. Optional modules have links with professionals and visiting speakers built into the teaching and learning. This means you’ll learn about the real-world application of what you're learning and make more informed decisions about your future career.

Careers

A Sociology degree is useful for any career that involves working with people, either in the private, public or 'third' sectors, typically:

  • Management or administration in the public or private sector
  • Human resource management
  • Marketing and public relations
  • Media or journalism
  • Social work
  • Youth and community work
  • Health education or nursing
  • Law
  • Policing
  • Offender management and interventions
  • Work in the voluntary sector and fundraising
  • Social research and analytics

Employers such as the National Osteoporosis Society, the Ministry of Defence, Wiltshire Council and Truro College have recruited graduates from this course. Students have also gone into roles including Assistant Education Officer, Student Services Assistant and Relocation Advisor.

Professional placement year

Overview

This optional placement year provides you with the opportunity to identify, apply for, and secure professional experience, normally comprising one to three placements over a minimum of nine months. Successful completion of this module will demonstrate your ability to secure and sustain graduate-level employment.

By completing the module, you'll be entitled to the addition of “with Professional Placement Year” to your degree title.

Preparation

Before your Professional Placement Year, you'll work to secure your placement, constructing a development plan with your module leader and your placement coordinator from our Careers and Employability team.

How will I be assessed?

On your return to University for your final year, you'll submit your Placement Portfolio, detailing your development on your placement.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

Sociology is taught at our Newton Park campus. You'll have access to a range of excellent facilities, including:

Fees

UK and EU students full time

2018/19 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
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

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2020
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

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

2018/19 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £4,625
Year 2 Published Jan 2019
Year 3 Published Jan 2020

2019/20 Entry

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

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2020
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

International students full time

2018/19 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £13,900
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

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2020
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We’d be interested in you if:

  • you’re concerned about social issues and social problems – maybe you’ve been part of a project group and taken a lead or tried to make a difference;
  • you have a sense of social justice and fairness;
  • you find that you can often see things from different points of view.

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 in a related subject
  • BTEC -  Extended Diploma grades Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) preferred in a related subject.
  • International Baccalaureate - A minimum score of 26 points required
  • 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).

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.

Get ahead

We recommend the following publications:

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

Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk