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Education Secondary and Biology

BA/BSc (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - combined honours

BA/BSc (Hons) Education Secondary and Biology
School of Education, School of Sciences
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
Three years full-time, or four years with Professional Placement Year.
UCAS codes
Institution Code: B20
Course Code: 39G3 or 39P3
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.

Develop the knowledge, skills and experience you need to become a biology teacher in secondary schools.

  • Benefit from our excellent partnership with local and regional schools, where you can gain experience of Secondary teaching in a supportive environment.
  • Study a broad range of Biology topics, such as microbiology, ecology, animal behaviour, medical biology, plant biology and food studies.
  • Build skills that employers look for, including research, teamwork, and the ability to understand and interpret complex information.

Our Biology and Secondary Education degree builds your knowledge of biology alongside your understanding of education policy, theory and practice.  

You'll gain hands-on experience in Secondary schools through placements in each year of your studies, giving you the chance to apply what you learn at university to real-life settings, and see how schools work day-to-day. 

In Biology, you'll explore themes such as biodiversity, ecology, environmental management, microbiology and nutrition. We use our unique campus, with its rich variety of woodland, grassland and freshwater habitats, extensively in practical work.  

Share your passion for Biology with the next generation 

This course sets you up to progress through teaching qualifications such as our Science PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education), and from there to your future career.   

Many of our graduates choose to become secondary school teachers, but that's not the only path open to you. We'll support you in achieving your aspirations as a professional educator – however they develop during the degree. 

University of the Year for Social Inclusion

Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2024

#7 in the UK

for Student-Staff Ratio in Education (Guardian University Guide, 2024)

What you'll learn


This Secondary Education course is designed to lay the foundations of your teaching career. By experiencing the realities of teaching and learning in several school settings, you’ll be better prepared to enter the profession with confidence and a strong foundation of practical knowledge. 

You’ll cover a broad range of fundamental Biology topics, from cell biology and genetics to plant, animal and human biology. You can also choose from optional modules to develop specialist knowledge in topics that interest you.  

This subject-specific knowledge and experience can also be applied to a range of careers, for example in science communication and education more broadly.

Course structure

Year one

The first year introduces key concepts and skills that underpin the study of education. A placement module provides you with a sound introduction to secondary schools. Interacting with students, teachers, and administrators will give you an insight into the various roles and responsibilities within the school environment.  

In your Biology modules, you’ll explore fundamental biological topics through hands-on classes. Topics include cell biology, genetics, microbiology, anatomy and physiology, evolution, classification, and ecosystems.  

Year two   

In your second year you’ll be introduced to the key ideas and theories needed to understand contemporary educational issues. You’ll undertake a second placement in a secondary school, which this year will focus on developing your professionalism. 

Biology modules cover a range of concepts including biological systems and the importance of Biology in real life. You'll explore the most cutting-edge ideas in Biology and get the chance to choose from a range of topics for your optional module. Themes include ecology, environmental management, microbiology, human pathophysiology, biodiversity and food analysis. You could also develop your research skills to a higher level through a dedicated research module.  

An optional Professional Placement Year between your second and final year gives you the chance to gain extended experience in the workplace.  

Year three   

In your final year Education Secondary modules, we focus on everything you need to prepare for the PGCE. You'll meet PGCE staff and students as we ease your transition into this next phase of your studies. In Biology you can choose two of three modules: Animal Behaviour, Environmental Practice and Medical Biology.  

Your dissertation in either Education or Biology will complete your studies. If you choose to focus on Education, you'll get the chance to explore an issue of your choice and develop a learning resource to address it. If you choose Biology, you'll undertake an independent research project in an area that interests you. 

Some of our students have blended the two disciplines to form their dissertation. For example, you could explore teaching in forest schools, science communication, or the impact of nature on learning. 

How will I be assessed?

Assessment methods vary, depending on the modules you choose.  

You could submit essays, scientific papers, blog posts, reports, posters, video presentations, group presentations, or sit exams. You might take an even more creative approach, such as producing a graphic novel to communicate public health information. 

We’ll provide regular guidance on how to improve your skills, knowledge and understanding so that you can enter the workplace with confidence.

How will I be taught?

You’ll learn through lectures, workshops and seminars. In Biology you’ll engage with many of the topics we cover through practical sessions. These build your lab skills so that you can work to the standards expected by employers.  

Visiting speakers – including previous graduates, headteachers, PGCE staff and researchers – provide insights that can inform your long-term career decisions.  

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

Open Days

Get a taste of life at BSU – come to an Open Day.

Book your place


Schools and placements

You’ll attend an 8-day placement during each year of your studies, usually for one day a week to fit around your university studies. We’ll arrange each placement for you. You should expect to travel, however we'll do our best to make sure the placement is a reasonable distance from you.  

Before you get started in schools, you’ll be required to apply for a Bath Spa University DBS (Disclosure and Barring Services). You'll get more details once you've accepted your place with us.

Field work

From Kew Gardens to Haverfordwest, you’ll have opportunities to participate in fieldwork opportunities across your Biology modules. Please note that you’ll have to pay a contribution towards the cost of some of these study visits.

Competitions and awards

We’ll encourage you to participate in local and national science festivals. We also award prizes to our highest achieving Biology students in both the dissertation and the degree overall.


This course is ideal for students who are interested in a career in teaching. When you successfully complete this course, we guarantee to interview you for our Secondary PGCE. 

This course can also prepare you for careers that combine science education, communication and outreach. You could lean on the practical lab skills you’ve developed to become a science technician or researcher. You may be interested in changing education policy. You could also progress to postgraduate study in a range of related courses. 

We'll support you in achieving your aspirations as a professional science educator – however they develop during the degree.

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.

Study abroad

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

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 be taught at our Newton Park campus. Nestled in the countryside at the edge of Bath, the campus offers a blend of modern and eighteenth-century buildings and good access to the city. 

From your lectures, you’ll be able to visit the library, the Students’ Union, and access our student information and support teams, as well as many of our facilities.

ASk (Academic Skills)

Available both in-person and online, this dedicated team can help with essay writing, referencing, maths skills and statistics.


The team runs networking events and advisory workshops that explore your future options and the essentials of the job application process. They help you get experience by assisting with your search for work placements and paid part-time jobs while you're studying.

When you're ready to progress into your chosen career, they can help you secure graduate-level employment, freelance opportunities, and funding for your own business ideas. Career support continues for years after you graduate with the dedicated Grad Support Unit.

English Language Unit

If English isn't your first language, the ELU can help you improve your English, reach your full potential and boost your confidence.

Expert speakers

Guest speakers share their expertise and experience across many aspects of your subjects. In Biology, visiting lecturers may be from healthcare and public health organisations, small independent companies, charities, or work in conservation.  

You'll meet our PGCE tutors, particularly in your final year as you get ready for the next phase of your teacher training. You can also get involved with our research centres to stay up to date with the latest in teaching research.


Field studies are a key part of the course. Newton Park campus is a beautiful 'natural laboratory' where you can study natural processes while being in nature. Endangered species such as bats and newts have made their home here, and there's also a wealth of plant, tree, fungi, microbial and other species.

Our recently renovated labs are used for specialist microbiological culturing and analysis, biochemistry and physiology. We also have a ‘low ­hazard’ laboratory space where you can prepare and assess food, study the effects of exercise on the body, or dig into psychological processes.

Online resources

You can access thousands of specialist Library resources digitally. Don't forget to contact your dedicated subject Librarian for help with your research. Tutors will post helpful resources to the Virtual Learning Environment.

You’ll have free access to thousands of business, design, and tech courses online via LinkedIn Learning.

Student Wellbeing Services

SWS (Student Wellbeing Services) is available to support you throughout your learning.


2024 entry
Student Annual tuition fee
UK full time £9,250
International full time £16,675

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We’re looking for individuals who are curious, reflective, and interested in their subject areas. You'll have a strong sense of motivation, dedication, and want to expand your knowledge. You'll be determined to get the best possible preparation for your future career.

Typical offers

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below. All applicants will also be required to hold a grade 4 or equivalent in GCSE English, Maths and Science.

  • A Level – grades BBB-BCC preferred
  • BTEC – Extended Diploma grades from Distinction Distinction Merit (DDM) to Distinction Merit Merit (DMM) accepted in any subject.
  • T Levels – grade Merit preferred.
  • International Baccalaureate – a minimum of 32 points are 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, at Merit or higher).

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.

Entry requirements for PGCE courses

The entry requirements for subsequent interview to the PGCE programme may alter (for example if the DfE changes entry requirements for PGCE courses). You’ll be advised of any changes during the degree.

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 pages.

Course contact (Education Secondary): Eleanor West
Course contact (Biology): Dr Matthew Baker

Three year course

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