This flexible course enables you to sample different subject areas before selecting your field of interest. It is therefore ideal if you have a passion for Biological Sciences, but are unsure of which area of study to specialise in.
This course gives a sound grounding in biology. It will enable you to specialise in your chosen field of interest for the remainder of the course. After a common first term of study you can choose one of the following pathways and tailor your degree accordingly.
- Biomedical Sciences
- Biochemistry and Microbiology
- Environmental Biology
- Physiology and Pharmacology.
Why choose this course?
- Our Environmental Biology pathway is accredited by The Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management.
- Our Biology courses scored an impressive 96% student satisfaction in the latest National Student Survey 2016.
- The amount of practical work is very high and includes regular field trips for environmental biology.
- You will have the option to take a work placement after year two. This is facilitated by our dedicated Placement Office.
- You will benefit from our excellent links with industry, which include companies such as GlaxoSmithKline and the NHS.
What you'll study
When does the course start?
Your course induction will take place in the last week of September and your course will start in October. For more information take a look at our academic calendar for details of term start and end dates.
Where will I study?
Teaching events are held across Clifton Campus, and include interactive workshops in spaces specifically designed for collaborative, hands-on learning.
Learn from our experts
Dr Peter Redfern
Peter is a Principal Lecturer in Environmental Science at NTU. He has over 20 years' experience as a lecturer at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
He is the Managing Director of Loreus Limited, Director of EcoCampus, and a former director of the BEST Network. Since 1989, he has been a director of several environmental management consultancy companies. He has 10 years' experience of designing and developing sustainability software solutions for organisations, managing large-scale environmental projects in both the public and private sectors and writing environmental e-learning courses.
Dr Rachel Stubbington
Rachel is the Course Leader for BSc (Hons) in Biological Sciences and MRes in Environmental Management and is a Senior Lecturer in Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
A freshwater ecologist whose research considers the ecohydrology of river ecosystems, in particular temporary streams, she is research active and since 2008 has published 18 articles in peer-reviewed journals and presented at 12 national and international conferences. She is a senior member of the EU COST Action CA15113 on the Science and Management of Intermittent Rivers and Ephemeral Streams. Previously, she worked for the Environment Agency as a freshwater ecologist, then as a Research Assistant on an interdisciplinary NERC-funded project at Loughborough University.
Dr Chris Terrell-Nield
Chris is a Principal Lecturer and Undergraduate Courses Manager for the Biosciences cluster.
He chairs the Biosciences Course Leaders' Group and the Exceptional Circumstances panel for Computing and Technology and co-ordinates Biosciences Peer Observation of Teaching. He has been involved in the supervision and assessment of many PhD students in subjects as varied as decomposition of remains in caves, the impacts of saline mining pollution, and habitat modelling of water shrews. Chris is also a Training Provider for the Field Studies Council.
Dr Adam Bates
Adam has ten years' postdoctoral research experience and took up a lecturer position on the BSc (Hons) in Biological Sciences, mainly teaching on the Ecology and Environmental Management pathway, at the beginning of 2015.
An ecologist with a diverse focus on urban ecology, green roofs, riparian systems, orchards and citizen science, he is research active and since 2008 has published 15 papers or book chapters on these subject areas. He has had the pleasure of studying environmental science at Aberystwyth and Lancaster universities, and conducting primary research at the University of Birmingham.
Visit our academic team pages to find out more about our approach to teaching, our partners and research interests.
Learn a new language
Alongside your study you also have the opportunity to learn a new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students and gives you the option of learning a totally new language or improving the skills you already have.
Learning a new language can:
- enhance your communication skills
- enrich your experience when travelling abroad
- boost your career prospects.
Find out more about the ULP.
Introduces levels of biological organisation from molecules to cells and ecosystems, providing a platform of knowledge and skills upon which other modules are developed.
Practical Techniques for Biology
Considers the principles of experimental design, data collection and analysis, including techniques in centrifugation, chromatography, electrophoresis, microscopy and radiobiology.
Core modules based on your chosen pathway:
Introduction to Microbiology
Study various groups of microbes, their function and roles, and consider the importance of the microbial world, the biology of micro-organisms, and medical, environmental and industrial microbiology.
Introduction to Pharmacology
Considers the principles of how drugs work, including factors that affect the magnitude of the response to drugs, specificity of drug action, drug interactions and side effects of drugs.
Introduction to Biochemistry
Study the key aspects of macromolecules, cell structure and function, and interrelationships in both practical and theoretical contexts.
People and the Environment
By collecting information from current land use and field visits you will explore how human activity leads to habitat modification, destruction and creation.
Introduces the physiology of human organ systems (respiratory, nervous, cardiovascular, urinary, endocrine and muscular) and examines the process of homeostasis
Genetics and Immunology
Develops genetic concepts and introduces basic aspects of the immune system, including the molecules, cells and interactions involved.
Life on Earth
Taking examples ranging from protists to primates, you will be introduced to the structure, life histories and identification of living organisms that have given rise to Earth's biodiversity.
An introduction to fundamental concepts relating to organisms and ecosystems. You will examine a range of natural ecosystems and relate habitat characteristics to species distributions.
Depending on your pathway, you will complete compulsory and optional modules relevant to your area of interest.
You have the option to undertake a one year work placement in industry. On successful completion you will gain an additional award - the Placement Diploma in Professional Practice.
You can choose between the following:
- a research project
- Communicating Science and Technology and a short dissertation.
View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change
Careers and employability
Your career development
Our graduates are highly sought after by employers because they leave the course with:
- extensive practical experience
- a strong background in scientific investigation and analysis.
Recent graduate salaries range from £16,000 - £30,000 per year in the following roles and companies:
- Queens Medical Centre - technical officer (apprentice)
- Nottingham City Hospital - biomedical scientist
- IMF - lab technician
- South East Water (Scientific Services) - cryptosporidium analyst
- Alere - research microbiology
- Chesterfield Royal Hospital - biomedical scientist
- Scientech Analytical Service - microbiology lab technician
- University Hospitals of Leicester - research laboratory technician
- Astra Zeneca - integrated pharmacologist
- Sterigenics - lab technician
- Loughborough University - research assistant in ecology.
Many graduates choose to undertake further study on one of our courses or MPhil and PhD research degrees.
Excellent placement opportunities
You will have the opportunity to undertake a year's work placement in industry after the second year. This will give you the chance to gain vital experience. You will also be able to put your knowledge into practice.
Recent Bioscience students have secured placements in the following companies:
- Eurofins / Agrisearch
- Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital
- John van Geest Cancer Research Centre
Find out more about placements.