Biological Sciences (with Foundation Year)
This course is open for applications.
About this course
- Entry year:
- Course code:
- Tariff points:
- Applied Sciences
- Four years full-time; five years sandwich
- 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 29 August 2018
Why study biological sciences?
Exploring the diversity and complexity of living organisms and living systems helps us to understand life in all its forms.
Biological scientists can make an important contribution to the welfare of people and the environment.
It's a discipline that builds strong analytical, problem-solving and communication skills providing a good springboard into many careers.
Why UWE Bristol?
BSc(Hons) Biological Sciences is about the application of biological science to the real world.
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.
Learn the methods and technology at the cutting edge of the field, 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.
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?
Once qualified, you'll be in a strong position to work in graduate-level jobs in biological sciences.
You could work in research and development for companies in the pharmaceutical, healthcare or agrochemical sectors.
You could also go into sales, marketing or education, or study for a postgraduate qualification.
Watch: The learning and teaching experience
The optional modules listed are those that are most likely to be available, but they may be subject to change.
Year zero (foundation year)
You will study:
- Biology in Practice
- Chemistry in Practice
- Skills for Science
- People and Science.
You normally need to pass your foundation year before going into Year one.
You will study:
- Life on Earth
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Skills for the Biosciences
- Cell Biochemistry and Genetics.
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.
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 placement after Year two.
You'll complete a placement learning module during this time.
See the Placements and Fees sections for more information.
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
- Human Nutrition
- Primate Ecology and Conservation
- Forests and Agricultural Systems
- Marine Ecosystems
- Environmental Forensics
- Tropical Expedition
- Professional Practice in Applied Science.
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.
This structure is for full-time students only. Part-time students study the same modules but the delivery pattern will be different.
Learning and Teaching
The course structure means you can adapt your studies to your 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 involved in the latest research. Our academics are looking at everything from the use of bioluminescent bacteria in cancer therapy, to how we can use microbial fuel cells to combat a disease that threatens our supplies of chocolate.
Your practical learning will culminate in an independent research project in Final year, which you'll work on with a project supervisor and potentially their research team.
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.
The Higher Education Council for England (HEFCE) awarded us top marks when they assessed the quality of our education in biological and biomedical sciences.
See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.
Approximate percentage of time you'll spend in different learning activities*:
|Year||Scheduled learning and teaching study||Independent study||Placement study|
*Calculated from compulsory and optional modules (where applicable) each year
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.
Approximate percentage of marks awarded by each assessment method*:
|Year||Written exam assessment||Coursework assessment||Practical exam assessment|
*Calculated from compulsory and optional modules (where applicable) each year
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.
You'll get 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.
If you choose the four year (sandwich) course, you'll spend a year away from the University on a work placement after Year two.You'll spend up to 40 weeks in work-based training in a specialised area of biological sciences.
You could 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 is an essential part of studying and understanding the natural world. This includes short local trips in and around Bristol and optional UK and international residential visits to destinations 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.
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 / 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 or Masters courses.
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.
There is currently no published fee data for this course.
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.
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.
- Tariff points: 48
- 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: Science AS or A2. 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 one A-Level.
- Specific subjects: Science at GCSE, A or AS level
- Relevant subjects: Maths
- EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: To include six units in a science subject.
- Access: Achievement of the Access to HE Diploma, to include level 3 credits in Science.
- Baccalaureate IB: A pass in a higher level science subject.
This course is designed to accept a wide range of people with different educational backgrounds. You will be considered on an individual basis.
If you expect to achieve a higher tariff score, you may also be interested in our BSc(Hons) Biological Sciences course.
UWE Bristol's International College
If you are an international student your recommended route of study for this degree is through UWE Bristol's International College which, upon successful completion to the required level and with good attendance, guarantees entry to Year 1 of the degree.
If you have not received your exam results, your offer from UWE Bristol will be conditional and will be subject to you achieving the tariff points/grades required for your course.
If you have already satisfied the academic entry requirements of your chosen course, you are likely to be made an unconditional offer. Please note that UWE Bristol will only make unconditional offers if you have already achieved your qualifications.
To make sure our applicants are academically prepared for when they start their studies at UWE Bristol, we do not make unconditional offers to those that are still studying their Level 3 qualifications (such as A levels, BTEC, Access or equivalent). We hope that this will encourage our applicants to value their academic achievements as much as we do.
How to apply
For further information
- Email: Admissions@uwe.ac.uk
- Telephone: +44 (0)117 32 83333