facebook BSc (Hons) Biology – Bath Spa University

Biology

BSc (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - single or combined honours

Key facts

Award
BSc (Hons) Biology
School
School of Science
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
Three years full time, or four years full time with professional placement year.
UCAS codes
Institution Code: B20
Course Code: C100 or S117
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 CCC with grade C in Biology, Human Biology, Environmental Science or Social Biology minimum.

View "typical offers" for more information.

A contemporary, skills-based Biology degree that produces highly employable biology professionals.

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

Biology at Bath Spa is deeply practical, with a real-world focus.

You'll explore themes such as ecology, environmental management, microbiology, human pathophysiology, biodiversity and food analysis. You’ll be able to take advantage of our unique campus with its rich variety of woodland, grassland and freshwater habitats, which are used extensively in practical work.

This is also an academically rigorous course, designed to keep you up-to-date with the latest advances in the field.

3, 2, 1, Go!

Exams? Money worries? Accommodation? We’ve launched 3, 2, 1, Go! – three ways to help you take that important first step to who you want to be.

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“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

You could study Biology alongside another subject as part of a combined course.

We also offer specialist pathways in:

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 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're 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

Year two (Level 5) modules

  • Biological Systems
  • Biology in Society
  • Research Skills for Biology
  • Ecology and Biodiversity
  • Applied Microbiology
  • Human Pathophysiology and Nutrition
  • Food Analysis
  • Human Nutrition
  • Biology Work Placement
  • Environmental Management
  • Biotechnology
  • Biological and Cognitive Psychology
  • Abnormal / Clinical Psychology
  • 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
  • Nutrition and Exercise Science
  • Food Safety
  • Epidemiology and Public Health
  • Wildlife Photography
  • Investigations in Microbiology
  • Evolutionary Neuroscience and the Origin of the Human Mind
  • Applied Behavioural Psychology
  • 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 and 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 a ‘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

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
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

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

UK and EU students part time

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £4,625
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2022
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2022
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2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

International students full time

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £14,300
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

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

All students full time - with professional 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. This applies to UK, EU and International students.

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 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 required with grade 5 in Biology, Human Biology, Environmental Science or Social Biology at Higher Level
  • 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: Samantha Lane
Email: s.lane@bathspa.ac.uk

Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk