biology student removing goggles in lab
UCAS Code
C100
Mode of Study
Full-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
Duration
3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2019, September 2020
Accredited
Yes

Apply through Clearing

To start this course in 2019 call us on +44 (0)23 9284 8090 or go to our Clearing section to chat with us online.

Entry requirements for this course may be more flexible during Clearing.

Our Clearing hotline is open until 7.00pm on Friday 16 August, 9.00am–3.00pm on Saturday 17 August and 8.30am–5.15pm from Monday 19 August.

Overview

Are you excited by the natural world and want to be on the frontline of tackling issues like fighting disease, protecting endangered species, and combating food and water shortages?

This accredited BSc (Hons) Biology degree course gives you the knowledge and skills to support your interest in living things.

With it, you can build a career in education, research, scientific journalism or the biotechnology and environmental sectors. You'll also be eligible to apply for Associate Membership of the Society of Biology.

Accredited by

This course is accredited by the Royal Society of Biology, which means your qualification is recognised in the industry. This gives you an edge over those who didn’t do an accredited course when you’re applying for jobs.

98% Graduates in work or further study (DLHE, 2017)

What you'll experience

On this degree course, you'll:

  • Develop your knowledge and abilities by learning from internationally recognised scientists who are leading the way in their respective fields
  • Cover areas at the forefront of scientific endeavour, including biotechnology, ecology, cell biology and molecular biology
  • Put your knowledge to work in the lab, using world-class equipment and the latest technology
  • Specialise in subjects that interest you most, from marine and terrestrial biology, to molecular genetics
  • Develop problem-solving, communication and numeracy skills alongside technical skills
  • Explore the diversity of local ecosystems and go on field trips to UK and tropical destinations such as Lulworth Cove, Devon and Mexico
  • Have the chance to study abroad on a conservation or research scheme

Equipment you can use on this course includes:

  • molecular biology instrumentation
  • chemical analysis facilities for detecting pollutants
  • fluorescence microscopes, scanning and transmission electron microscopes

Facilities you can use include:

  • microbiology and embryology laboratories with high-tech imaging and gene analysis equipment
  • ancient DNA preparation and analysis laboratories
  • water quality laboratory
  • the European Xenopus Resource Centre
  • research greenhouse

Careers and opportunities

What can you do with a Biology degree?

Completing this BSc (Hons) Biology degree course will open doors to further study and academic research. As a modern biologist, you can also put your degree to work in areas such as:

  • biotechnology
  • the food industry
  • science administration
  • biomedical research
  • environmental consultancy
  • teaching

What jobs can you do with a Biology degree?

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • research scientist
  • science technician
  • grant administrator
  • medical writer
  • biomedical sales specialist
  • ecological surveyor

Our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in the industry. We'll support you for up to 5 years after you graduate.

The research facilities are extensive and I've had the chance to meet some incredible staff who are at the cutting edge of their research, which is really fascinating.

Pooja Verma, BSc (Hons) Biology

What you'll study on this BSc (Hons) Biology degree

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 20 credits and 1 module worth 40 credits.

Modules

Core modules in this year include:

  • Biodiversity & Evolution
  • Ecology, Plants and Human Impact
  • Experimental Biology
  • Introduction to Cell Biology & Biochemistry
  • Microbiology & Molecular Biology

There are no optional modules in this year.

Core modules in this year include:

  •  Community Ecology and Residential Field Course

Optional modules in this year currently include:

  • Animal Science
  • Business for Biosciences
  • Cell Biology
  • Comparative and Evolutionary Psychology
  • Development; How Form and Function Changes
  • Enzymes and Metabolism
  • Genetics
  • Hydrology and Freshwater Ecosystems
  • Introduction to Teaching
  • Marine Organisms and Ecosystems
  • Microbiology
  • Plant Science

On this course, you can do an optional work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in industry.

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Core modules in this year include:

  • Honours Project

Optional modules in this year currently include:

  • Aspects of Terrestrial Ecology and Evolution
  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Microbiology
  • Gene Organisation And Expression
  • Genes and Development
  • Genomics in Molecular Medicine
  • Marine Ecology and Conservation

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • written exams
  • coursework, essays and practical write-ups
  • presentations
  • multiple choice tests
  • a research project

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

Placement year

After your second year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in the industry.

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing a great role, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.

We can help you identify placements, internships and voluntary roles that will complement your studies.

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • workshops
  • one-on-one and group tutorials
  • lab-based practical work
  • field trips

There's an emphasis on putting what you learn in the classroom into practice. You'll get to go on a week-long field trip, reinforcing the theory you learn in lectures.

You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.

How you'll spend your time

One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.

At university, as well as spending time in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and tutorials, you’ll do lots of independent study with support from our staff when you need it.

A typical week

We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your Biology degree. In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars, practical classes and workshops, guided independent study sessions and fieldwork for about 14 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in years 2 and 3, but this depends on which modules you choose.

Most timetabled teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

Term times

The academic year runs from September to early June with breaks at Christmas and Easter. It's divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:

  • September to December – teaching block 1
  • January – assessment period 1
  • January to May – teaching block 2 (includes Easter break)
  • May to June – assessment period 2

Extra learning support

The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get face-to-face support from teaching and support staff when you need it. These include the following people and services:

Personal tutor

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.

Learning support tutors

You'll have help from a team of faculty learning support tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • understanding and using assignment feedback
  • managing your time and workload
  • revision and exam techniques

Academic skills support

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Library support

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from the faculty librarian for science.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

Support with English

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free English for Academic Purposes programme to improve your English further.

Entry requirements​

Entry requirements for this course may be more flexible during Clearing.

BSc (Hons) Biology degree entry requirements

Qualifications or experience
  • 112 points to include 3 A levels, or equivalent, with 40 points from A level Biology. Applicants will normally need to pass the separate Science Practical Endorsement

See the other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

Qualifications or experience
  • 112 points to include 3 A levels, or equivalent, with 40 points from A level Biology. Applicants will normally need to pass the separate Science Practical Endorsement

See the other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2019 start)

  • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £15,900 per year (subject to annual increase)

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

Travel or accommodation associated with compulsory fieldwork is included in the course fee, but you will be expected to pay for meals and other subsistence costs. These costs will be in the region of £60.

There are optional field work opportunities to locations such as Mexico, where you are asked to make a contribution to the cost. These costs will be in the region of £1500–£2000 depending on the duration and location of the field trip.

If you take any marine biology modules, you may need to pay for travel to the Institute of Marine Sciences. This is around 3.5 miles from the main University campus and 2 miles from popular student housing areas.

Apply

How to apply

To start this course in 2019, call our Clearing hotline on +44 (0)23 9284 8090 or go to our Clearing section to chat with us online.

To start in 2020 you need to apply through UCAS. You can start your application now and submit it from 4 September 2019.

In the meantime, sign up to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

If you’re new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

When you apply, you'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – C100
  • our institution code – P80

How to apply from outside the UK

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

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