Student in science laboratory

MSci

Biological Sciences

This course is open for applications.

About this course

Entry year:
2018/19
Course code:
C11M
Applications:
UCAS
Level:
Undergraduate
Tariff points:
112
Department:
Applied Sciences
Campus:
Frenchay
Duration:
Full-time: four years; sandwich: five years
Delivery:
Full-time; sandwich
Programme leader:
Dr Gareth Robinson
Key fact:
Explore human biology, ecology and molecular biology and tailor your degree to your own areas of interest.

Page last updated 5 October 2017

Introduction

Why study biological sciences?

Exploring the diversity and complexity of living organisms and living systems helps us to understand life in all its forms.

With scientific knowledge and research skills in biological sciences, you can make an important contribution to the welfare of people and the environment.

Biological scientists build strong analytical, problem-solving and communication skills, which employers value highly.

Why UWE Bristol?

MSci Biological Sciences is about the application of biological science to the real world.

This master's-level degree is an ideal platform if you're looking to pursue a research career, develop your communication and presentation skills, or simply delve deeper into the biological sciences.

With a hands-on, practical approach to learning, you'll have lots of opportunities to build your skills in real-world situations.

Study in our microbiology or genetics labs. Go on an expedition to Madagascar or a Cuban island. Learn about primate ecology at Bristol Zoo.

Discover modern methods and technology, and explore life from the molecular level to the scale of ecosystems.

With many opportunities to build essential practical experience, the course offers the chance to undertake placements, internships, fieldwork and residential trips in the UK and abroad.

If you choose the sandwich course option, you can spend your third year on placement with a major employer in the pharmaceutical, healthcare or research sector in this country, Europe or further afield.

Building on the strengths of our BSc, the fourth year of the course focuses on research and the research process. You'll apply your academic knowledge to contemporary issues, delve into the areas that most interest you, and expand your career horizons.

Where can it take me?

After qualifying, you can go into graduate-level jobs in a diverse range of organisations.

You could pursue careers in biological sciences, working in research and development in the pharmaceutical, healthcare and agrochemical sectors.

You could also work in sales, marketing or education, study for a postgraduate qualification or pursue a research career.

Watch: The learning and teaching experience

Structure

Content

The optional modules listed are those that are most likely to be available, but they may be subject to change.

Year one

You will study:

  • Life on Earth
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Cell Biochemistry and Genetics
  • Skills for Biosciences.

Year two

You will study:

  • Research Skills

Plus three optional modules from:

  • Microbial Life
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genes and Biotechnology
  • Human Health and Disease
  • Physiological and Immunological Systems
  • Ecology and Ecosystem Protection
  • Wildlife Ecology.

You'll need to achieve an average grade of 2:1 or above by the end of year two to progress to year three. Students that don't achieve this will transfer to year three of the BSc(Hons) Biological Sciences course.

Placement year (if applicable)

If you study on the five year (sandwich) course, you'll spend a year away from the University on a work or study placement after year two.

Depending on which you choose, you'll either complete a placement learning or learning and development module.

See the Placements and Fees sections for more information.

Year three

You will study:

  • Research Experimental Project OR Research Dissertation Project
  • Scientific Frontiers and Enterprise.

Plus optional modules (the number depending on credit requirements) from:

  • Applied Biotechnology
  • Science Communication
  • Medical Genetics
  • Genomic Technologies
  • Gene Control
  • Medical Microbiology
  • Neuropharmacology
  • Human Nutrition
  • Pathophysiology
  • Primate Ecology and Conservation
  • Sustainable Food Production
  • Global Forest Systems
  • Environmental Microbiology
  • Marine Ecosystems
  • Environmental Forensics
  • Tropical Expedition
  • Professional Practice in Applied Science*.

Final year

You will study:

  • Research in Practice
  • Research with Impact
  • Contemporary Biology.

*Compulsory if you do a placement.

[After module info] The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

The course structure means you can adapt your studies to your own interests. From year two, you can specialise in molecular biology, human biology or ecology, or all three.

You'll get one-to-one guidance and feedback and we'll guide and encourage you to learn independently, using a mix of lectures, seminars and tutorials.

Deepen your learning in practical classes, and laboratory and computer-based sessions.

Learn from experts in this field, involved in the latest research. Our academics are looking at everything from the use of bioluminescent bacteria in cancer therapy, to addressing challenges around sustainable food production.

Develop your practical skills in an independent research project in your third year, which you'll work on with a project supervisor and potentially their research team.

Carry out an extended research project in your final year, taking your practical skills to the next level. You'll learn about research with impact and study advanced contemporary aspects of the biological sciences.

You'll work closely with students in your group and be supported by student advisers, a year tutor and our team of leading biological sciences specialists.

See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Percentage of time spend in different learning activities, per year.

YearScheduled learning and teaching studyIndependent studyPlacement study% check
126%74%0%100%
224%76%0%100%
322%78%0%100%
412%88%0%100%

Assessment

We'll use a range of assessment tools to measure your understanding and skills, including essays, reports, group tasks and presentations. Overall, we'll use a mix of coursework and examinations.

See our full glossary of assessment terms.

Percentage of time spend in different assessment methods, per year.

YearWritten exam assessmentCoursework assessmentPractical exam assessment% check
140%50%10%100%
250%50%0%100%
336%54%10%100%
40%100%0%100%

Features

Placements

Students who go on work experience tend to graduate with better degrees. Experience also hones your skills, industry knowledge and professional network, making you a sought after graduate.

If you study on the five year (sandwich) course, you'll spend a year away from the University on a work or study placement after year two.

You'll have the opportunity to work with major employers in the pharmaceutical or healthcare industry, with opportunities for placements, internships and volunteering.

We have links with lots of employers, including GlaxoSmithKline, ICI and Novartis, government laboratories, hospital pathology and university research centres.

You could choose to spend a year working overseas in destinations such as the USA, Malaysia, Germany or Switzerland.

You'll get help to find a placement and support throughout from department staff and our award-winning careers service.

Fieldwork

Fieldwork is an essential part of studying and understanding the natural world, so you will have the opportunity to spend a significant proportion of your time working in the field. Fieldwork will range from short local trips in and around Bristol, other UK destinations and international residential visits to pleaces ranging from Cornwall to Cuba.

Watch Richard, Emiko and Chris in our short film about their field trip to study the ecosystems of a tropical island near Cuba.

Study facilities

Benefit from our well-equipped, modern science laboratories, with specialist apparatus for molecular biology and cell culture suites to support immunology, virology and microbiology.

Use the latest instrumentation to measure human performance physiology.

Carry out microscopy work in our electron microscopy suite, with the latest biosensing and biotechnology for molecular biology.

Carry out plant science experiments in our large greenhouse, used for teaching and research, and our controlled environment cabinets.

There's also a dedicated field centre to support ecology teaching.

Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.

Careers

Careers / Further study

You'll graduate with the insight, tools and practical experience to make a valuable contribution to the health of the community and the wellbeing of the environment.

Most graduates follow careers in biological sciences, particularly research and development work in the pharmaceutical, healthcare, education and agrochemical sectors.

As well as preparing you for a laboratory-based job, the course will give you the transferable skills employers value in a wide variety of roles, from sales and marketing to consultancy and conservation.

Many graduates choose to continue their studies with MPhil/PhD research degrees.

Get inspired

Our award-winning careers service will develop your employment potential through career coaching and find you graduate jobs, placements and global opportunities.

We can also help find local volunteering and community opportunities, provide support for entrepreneurial activity and get you access to employer events.

Visit our employability pages to learn more about careers, employers and what our students are doing six months after graduating.

See also:

The Guardian - what to do with a degree in biosciences

Fees

Full Time Course

FeesAmount (£)
International-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee12750
International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1594

Full Time Course with Placement

FeesAmount (£)
International-Sandwich-Annual (Per Year) Fee12750
International-Sandwich-Full Annual Fee Following Placement Year12750
International-Sandwich-Module Fee (15 Credit)1594
International-Sandwich-Placement Year Fee1594
International-Sandwich-Reduced Annual Fee Following Placement Year11156

Indicative Additional Costs

FeesAmount (£)
Additional Course Costs - Full Time - Home/EU - Indicative Maximum Cost Per year450

Supplementary fee information

Your overall entitlement to funding is based on how long the course is that you're registered on. Standard funding is allocated based on the standard number of years that your course lasts, plus one additional year.

You'll apply for funding each year that you study and Student Finance will take into account how long the course is in each year that you apply. So if you register for the five year course and then transfer to the four year course, the number of years you can apply for funding will change. Student Finance will reassess your funding based on how many years you have been in study, not just those years for which you received student finance.

Always seek advice before taking any action that may have implications for your funding.

Learn more about funding.

Additional costs

Additional costs are for items you could need during your studies that aren't covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, textbooks, travel, clothing, software or printing.

Learn more about costs.

Entry

Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 112
  • GCSE: For all applicants, Grade C/4 or above in English Language, Mathematics and Double Science, or equivalent. Please note the University does not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificates in Adult Numeracy and Literacy as suitable alternatives to GCSEs.
  • A-level subjects: Grade C or above in a science subject. Points from A-Level General Studies and AS-Level subjects (not taken onto full A-Level) can be included towards overall tariff. You must have a minimum of two A-Levels.
  • Relevant subjects: Subjects that meet the science requirement for this course: Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry and PE. For further information and advice please contact Admissions.
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: To include six units in a science subject.
  • Access: Achievement of the Access to HE Diploma; to include 15 level 3 credits at merit in a Science subject and an additional 15 credits at merit in another subject.
  • Baccalaureate IB: A minimum grade of 5 in a higher level science subject.

Entry requirements

If you do not meet the entry requirements of this course, you may be eligible for Foundation Year entry into this or other related degree courses.

Please read the general information about entry requirements.

You will be required to achieve an average grade of 2:1 or above by the end of your second year in order to progress to the third year of the course. Students that do not achieve this will transfer to the third year of BSc(Hons) qualification.

UWE Bristol's International College
If you are an international student who does not meet the academic or English language requirements to study this course, you can qualify by completing preparatory study at our International College.

How to apply

Read more about undergraduate applications.

For further information

Unistats

UWE Main Campus

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