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BSc (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - single or combined honours

BSc (Hons) Biology
School of Sciences
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
Three years full time, or four years full time with professional placement year. Part time available.
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. The main ones are listed under 'Typical offers' in the main column below. For combined courses, please check both subjects. If your qualification is not listed, please email with your specific details.

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.

University of the Year for Social Inclusion

Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2024

#10 in UK

For Graduate Prospects – Outcomes in Biological Sciences (Complete University Guide 2024)

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.

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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

What you'll learn


The course covers a broad range of fundamental biology topics, from cell biology and genetics to plant, animal and human biology. In addition 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 valuable 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.

To find out more about how we teach and how you'll learn, please read our Learning and Teaching Delivery Statement.

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 for more information.

Year one (Level 4) modules
  • Biological Techniques
  • Ecology and the Diversity of Life
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • The Microbial World
  • Introduction to Biochemistry
  • Communicating Science
Year two (Level 5) modules
  • Biological Systems
  • Biology in Society
  • Research Skills for Biology
  • Conservation Ecology
  • Human Pathophysiology and Nutrition
  • Food Analysis
  • Human Nutrition
  • Biology Work Placement
  • Environmental Management
  • Microbial Applications and Biotech
  • 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
  • Nutrition and Exercise Science
  • Food Safety
  • Epidemiology and Public Health
  • Wildlife Photography
  • Investigations in Microbiology
  • Marine Biology and Conservation
  • Learning in Science
  • Publishing Industry Project
  • Advanced Topics in Psychology


Study abroad

As part of your degree, you could study abroad on a placement at one of Bath Spa’s partner universities.


From Kew Gardens to Haverfordwest, you’ll have opportunities to participate in fieldwork opportunities 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.


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.
Global Citizenship

If you’re a full-time undergraduate student starting your first year at Bath Spa University, you can apply for the Certificate in Global Citizenship, which you’ll study alongside your degree.

You’ll gain global awareness and add an international dimension to your student experience, and funding is available. On successful completion of the programme, you’ll be awarded a Certificate in Global Citizenship. This is in addition to your degree; it doesn’t change your degree title or results.

Adobe Creative Campus

Develop a wealth of indispensable digital skills that you can take into your future career. One of only three Adobe Creative Campuses in the UK, we provide all Bath Spa students with access to the full Adobe Creative Suite, giving you the tools to communicate creatively, whatever your course or chosen professional field.   

Professional placement year


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.


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

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.


2024 entry
Student Annual tuition fee
UK full time £9,250
UK part time £4,625
International full time £16,905

Professional Placement Year

During the placement year, the fee is reduced to 20% of the full time fee. This applies to UK and EU/International students.

  • UK: £1,850
  • International: £3,381

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.

Typical offers

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:

  • A Level - grades BBB-BCC including a Grade B in Biology, Human Biology, Biological Sciences or Social Biology.
  • BTEC - Extended Diploma grades from Distinction Distinction Merit (DDM) to Distinction Merit Merit (DMM) in a related subject.
  • T Levels – grade Merit preferred in a relevant subject.
  • International Baccalaureate - a minimum of 32 points are required with a minimum of Grade 5 in Biology or a related subject 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, at Merit or higher) in a science or related subject.

If you don’t meet the entry requirements above, we may be able to accept your prior learning or experience from outside of formal education. See our Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) page to learn more.

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.

Course enquiries

For further information about the programme or entry requirements, please email us at

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.

Course leader: Dr Matt Baker

Three year course
With placement year

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