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The award
BSc (Hons)

How long you will study
3 years

Domestic course fees
GBP 9250

How you will study
full-time

Course starts
October

International course fees
find out

All study options

About Biology at Bath Spa University

A contemporary skills-based course producing highly employable, professional biologists.

  • Flexible structure of course allowing breadth or specialism.
  • Practical course using contemporary learning methods.
  • High employability of graduates.

This course covers all the core aspects of biology, while allowing you to develop expertise in specialist areas. Biology has a strong practical element and you'll have plenty of opportunities to study plants and animals in the wild as well as in our laboratories. There is also a strong human biology thread in our degree programme. As well as scheduled practical sessions, day trips and residential field trips provide the opportunity to study topics in greater depth.

'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

Overview

The course covers a broad range of fundamental biology topics, from cell biology and genetics to plant, animal and human biology. In additional 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'll 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 vlauable 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 are 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.

Opportunities

Biology with a year in professional practice (UCAS code: S117)

Subject to approval, you can opt to take a year in professional practice ('sandwich year') between your level 5 (year 2) and level 6 (year 3) studies.

This placement will enable you to put theory into practice, build professional networks and meet and work with potential employers. It will also help with work management and give you experience to bring back to your studies in your final year.

Your degree title will include the phrase 'with a year in professional practice', so it is clear to all employers that you have this experience as part of your degree.

Study abroad

You'll have the opportunity to study in a wide range of locations around the world. Our students have completed Erasmus+ and Exchange programmes in a variety of countries including Spain, Sweden and the USA.

Field trips

From Kew Gardens to Haverfordwest, you'll have opportunities to participate in field trips 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.

Careers

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:

  • the Bath Spa University Biology Prize for best performance (one per year of study);
  • the OUP Prize;
  • the CIWEM Prize.

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 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 '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

Resources

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.

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardBSc (Hons)How you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study3 years
    Course startsOctoberDomestic course feesGBP 9250International course fees find out
  • The awardBSc (Hons)How you will studySandwichHow long you will study4 years
    Course startsOctoberDomestic course feesGBP 9250International course fees find out

Notes about fees for this course

Fees

UK and EU students full time

2018/19 Entry

Course fees

Year 1 £9,250 Year 2 Published Jan 2019 Year 3 Published Jan 2020

2019/20 Entry

Course fees

Year 1 Published Jan 2019 Year 2 Published Jan 2020 Year 3 Published Jan 2021

2020/21 Entry

Course fees

Year 1 Published Jan 2020 Year 2 Published Jan 2021 Year 3 Published Jan 2022

UK and EU students full time - with placement year

During the placement year, the fee is reduced to 20% of the full time fee. Otherwise, fees are the same as for full time study.

UK and EU students part time

2018/19 Entry

Course fees

Year 1 £4,625 Year 2 Published Jan 2019 Year 3 Published Jan 2020

2019/20 Entry

Course fees

Year 1 Published Jan 2021 Year 2 Published Jan 2019 Year 3 Published Jan 2021

2020/21 Entry

Course fees

Year 1 Published Jan 2020 Year 2 Published Jan 2021 Year 3 Published Jan 2022

International students full time

2018/19 Entry

Course fees

Year 1 £13,900 Year 2 Published Jan 2019 Year 3 Published Jan 2020

2019/20 Entry

Course fees

Year 1 Published Jan 2019 Year 2 Published Jan 2020 Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2020/21 Entry

Course fees

Year 1 Published Jan 2020 Year 2 Published Jan 2021 Year 3 Published Jan 2022

Entry requirements

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.

You'll need to have a grade C or above in a science subject.

Typical offers

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

  • A Level - A level grades  BCC -CCC with Grade C in Biology, Human Biology, Environmental Science or Social Biology minimum.
  • BTEC- Extended Diploma minimum grades Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) accepted in a science or related subject.
  • International Baccalaureate - A minimum score of 26 points with evidence of study in Science accepted.
  • 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, including 30 at merit or higher)  in a science or related subject.

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.

What students think about Bath Spa University

    Yasmina Van De Peer, BA (Hons) English Literature and Film Studies, Spain

    Where to start with this year? There have been so many new friends, a new life-style with freedom and no muYasmina Van De Peerm bossing me around. My year has not been easy but I would do it all again, life challenges you in many ways and this experience definitively has.

    When I arrived in September, I felt like a lost girl trying to find something that I could grasp and change my life forever. My first year in a foreign country was fantastic and thanks to the creative writing department, I will never forget my second year as I have the privilege of studying in Chicago for a full academic year! However, this has no real connection with why I chose Bath Spa University.

    I worked as an ambassador for this University and a lot parents have asked the same question, why did I choose it? After 50 parents it gets tiring- especially when I was unsure. As everyone else I want to succeed in life. I have dreamt about going to Oxford, Harvard or any well known University. But the one thing that I have learnt in life is that you can be successful and come from the smallest place in the world. The key to success requires determination to reach your goal.

    Bath Spa just felt right and it allowed me to combine my subjects [English Literature and Film Studies], be myself and it also has an inspiring and picturesque scenery. For me it was perfect.

    Johannes Gerdes, BA Business and Management, Germany

    I chose BA Business and Management as I have always been inspired by my dad who runs a world leading business. The opportunity to work for him during holidays gave me a chance to look inside a company and to experience what management, leadership and communication is all about. I wanted to widen my knowledge and hence started my Business & Management career here at Bath Spa.
    My parents always wanted to give me the opportunity to study abroad. My old school, near Bristol, where I stayed as a boarding student for the last two years, helped me to discover where most of my interests lie. In addition, friends of mine started studying here at Bath Spa.

    I would describe Bath Spa in three words as: Cultural, Wonderful, Friendly.

    In the future I hope I will be working together with my dad and widen the market to countries which haven't been discovered yet.


    Don't be afraid of university life. University is the best time in your life. You meet so many new people from different nationalities and all come together! You will settle down easily. You make friends so fast and there is always someone around to help you! Even language barriers can be fixed with a perfect Writing and Learning Centre [the English Language Unit (ELU) is also available for all international students to access where English is not their first language] here at Bath Spa. Come to Bath and experience the whole range of activities they offer and be open to new things!

    Nassos Polyzoidis, MMus Songwriting, Greece

    Even though I live in Greece, I'm familiar with many British Universities, as I work for some English Examination Boards for Music and I've attended some Summer Schools in UK over the years. Bath Spa University's reputation in Songwriting and Commercial Music was known to me for a long time. Being a guitarist and working for the RGT at the same time, I have heard stories about Bath being the birthplace of guitar magazines and other music and artistic events. I was accepted to study Commercial Music as an undergraduate student about 4 years ago, but due to some sudden accidents I have to decline my offer. After this unfortunate event, I decided to become better Musician and Songwriter, so that I can return as a postgraduate applicant. When I noticed that there was a distance learning degree, MMus Songwriting, I knew I had to do this. Meanwhile, I did my research, which only lead me to ensure my initial decision to study at Bath Spa University.


    I was attracted to this course as I was already familiar with Bath Spa University's reputation in this field. In addition to that, Songwriting isn't taught in my home county at all. I knew that only few Institutes offer Songwriting as a postgraduate degree, so I did my research over the last 3 years. During this time, I was only ensuring myself that I have to apply for this course. I really want to become a successful songwriter, and also, probably one of the first songwriting teachers in Greece, so I know that this course is best for me. I knew that the course will help me become more confident and enhance my professional skills in the field. Finally, being mainly inspired by British Songwriters, it was really important that my songwriting skills would develop a lot lyrically, which can help me open the door to an international market.


    I would describe Bath Spa University in three words as: Innovative, modern, artistic.


    Once I have my degree, I am really hoping to become a successful songwriter. Being inspired mainly by British Songwriters, I would really like to write songs for the UK and international market. In addition, I will probably become one of the first songwriting teachers in Greece. Last, but not least, as I'm already collaborating with several English musicians, I'm considering in my future plans to apply for a PhD and probably seek for more collaborations in UK, which might extend my visits there.


    My advice I would you give to other international students who want to study in the UK would depend on the ethics and societal context of each county. So, a general advice I would give is "Do not be afraid of failure, do your best and apply to the courses that you really like!"

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