Biological Sciences (with Foundation Year)
This course is open for applications.
About this course
- Entry year:
- Course code:
- Tariff points:
- Applied Sciences
- Five years full-time; six years sandwich
- Full-time; sandwich
- Programme leader:
- Gareth Robinson
- Key fact:
- Explore human biology, ecology and molecular biology and tailor your degree to your own areas of interest.
Page last updated 3 December 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.
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 Masters-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.
Learn 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 Biological Sciences, 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
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'll usually need to pass your foundation year before going into Year one.
You will study:
- Life on Earth
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Cell Biochemistry and Genetics
- Skills for Biosciences.
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. If you don't achieve this you will transfer to Year three of BSc(Hons) Biological Sciences.
Placement year (if applicable)
If you study on the six 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.
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 from (the number depending on credit requirements):
- Applied Biotechnology
- Science Communication
- Medical Genetics
- Genomic Technologies
- Gene Control
- Medical Microbiology
- Human Nutrition
- Primate Ecology and Conservation
- Sustainable Food Production
- Global Forest Systems
- Environmental Microbiology
- Marine Ecosystems
- Environmental Forensics
- Tropical Expedition
- Professional Practice in Applied Science.
You will study:
- Research in Practice
- Research with Impact
- Contemporary Biology.
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 Year three, which you'll work on with a project supervisor and potentially their research team.
Carry out an extended research project in 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.
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.
If you choose the six 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.
The sandwich course option involves up to 40 weeks of work-based training in a specialised area of biological sciences.
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 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.
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.
Full Time Course
|Home/EU-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee||9250|
|Home/EU-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)||1156|
|International-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee||13500|
|International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)||1688|
Full Time Course with Placement
|Home/EU-Sandwich-Annual (Per Year) Fee||9250|
|Home/EU-Sandwich-Full Annual Fee Following Placement Year||9250|
|Home/EU-Sandwich-Module Fee (15 Credit)||1156|
|Home/EU-Sandwich-Placement Year Fee||1156|
|Home/EU-Sandwich-Reduced Annual Fee Following Placement Year||8094|
|International-Sandwich-Annual (Per Year) Fee||13500|
|International-Sandwich-Full Annual Fee Following Placement Year||13500|
|International-Sandwich-Module Fee (15 Credit)||1688|
|International-Sandwich-Placement Year Fee||1688|
|International-Sandwich-Reduced Annual Fee Following Placement Year||11812|
Indicative Additional Costs
|Additional Course Costs - Full Time - Home/EU - Indicative Maximum Cost Per year||473|
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 six year course and then transfer to the five 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
- 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.
We recognise the individual nature of each application and our typical offer should be viewed as a guide. UWE Bristol welcomes interest from applicants who may not have the standard entry requirements. We will consider evidence of your relevant personal, professional or educational experience where it demonstrates an ability and potential to succeed on the course. Please include details of any relevant experience in your application.
If you expect to achieve a higher tariff score, you may also be interested in our MSci Biological Science course.
You will be required to achieve an average grade of 2:1 or above by the end of Year two in order to progress to Year three of the course. If you don't achieve this you will transfer to Year three of BSc(Hons) Biological Sciences.
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.
If you receive an offer for this course, you may be invited to attend an Offer Holder Day in February or March. These are a great opportunity to find out what it's really like to study here. You'll experience taster lectures or workshops, meet your course tutors, current students and other offer holders.
How to apply
For further information
- Email: Admissions@uwe.ac.uk
- Telephone: +44 (0)117 32 83333