BSc (Hons)

Biological Sciences

Students in lab
  • UCAS code(s): 350B (full-time) / C110 (with placement)
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time / Sandwich
  • Location: Clifton Campus
  • Starting: September 2019
  • Course duration: Three years full-time/ four years with a placement

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.

You might also be interested in BSc (Hons) Ecology and Conservation.

Why choose this course?

  • Our Environmental Biology pathway is accredited by The Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management.
  • 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 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.

  • Year One

    Living Systems

    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.

    Human Physiology

    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.

    Natural Ecosystems

    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.

  • Year Two

    Depending on your pathway, you will complete compulsory and optional modules relevant to your area of interest.

  • Year Three

    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.

  • Final year

    You can choose between the following:

    • a research project
    • Communicating Science and Technology and a short dissertation.

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

How you’re taught

You will be taught through a variety of teaching and learning experiences which will include:

  • lectures
  • workshops
  • seminars
  • visits
  • group projects
  • case studies
  • oral presentations
  • laboratory assessments and reports.

Assessment methods

Year 1 - coursework (24%), written (56%), and practical (20%)

Year 2 - coursework (49%), written (33%), and practical (18%)

Year 3 - coursework (66%), written (27%), and practical (7%)

A placement year may be taken between year 2 and year 3 of study

Contact hours

A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:

Year 1 - lectures/seminars/workshops (28%) and independent study (72%)

Year 2 -  lectures/seminars/workshops (25%) and independent study (75%)

Year 3 - lectures/seminars/workshops (34%) and independent study (66%)

A placement year may be taken between year 2 and year 3 of study

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
  • RSPB
  • Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital
  • Givaudan
  • John van Geest Cancer Research Centre
  • HPA.

Find out more about placements.

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

  • A-levels – BCC, including Biology grade C; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DMM, including relevant Biology modules; or
  • 104 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications, including an A-level grade C equivalent in Biology; and
  • GCSEs – English and Maths grade C / 4

Applicants without A-levels will have their qualifications assessed for subject compatibility. We also consider equivalent qualifications and combinations. Please see UCAS Course Search for more details.

Graduates passing FdSc Healthcare Sciences at Central College Nottingham can progress directly onto Year Two of this course.

What are we looking for?

  • A-levels – BCC, including Biology grade C; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DMM, including relevant Biology modules; or
  • 104 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications, including an A-level grade C equivalent in Biology; and
  • GCSEs – English and Maths grade C/4

Applicants without A-levels will have their qualifications assessed for subject compatibility. We also consider equivalent qualifications and combinations. Please see our website or UCAS Course Search for more details.

How to apply

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow the instructions for applying. Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. So include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades.

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application. It’s your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place! You’ve got 4,000 characters to impress us. Make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you’re applying for. For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good personal statement.

Keeping up-to-date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page. Good luck with your application!

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

  • You can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.  If you are applying to more than one UK university you must apply through UCAS.

Apply as early as you can so that you have time to prepare for your studies. If you need a visa to study here you need to plan this into your application.

Keeping up-to-date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Good luck with your application!

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there’s no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

What do the course fees cover?

All mandatory costs for the course are covered in the course fee. In addition, most study modules will recommend one or more core textbooks, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary between courses and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. A good supply of these essential textbooks are available in the University libraries which students can easily borrow or access directly whilst studying in the library.

Students may choose to apply for a placement option during their course. If successful, students will be expected to pay for accommodation, travel and living costs whilst on placement.

Students will also be required to pay additional costs for printing, poster preparation and final dissertation copies in their final year - estimated costs approximately £20 - £50.

A deposit is required for laboratory lockers (approximately £5)

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

We offer prestigious scholarships to new international students holding offers to study at the University.

What do the course fees cover?

All mandatory costs for the course are covered in the course fee. In addition, most study modules will recommend one or more core textbooks, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary between courses and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. A good supply of these essential textbooks are available in the University libraries which students can easily borrow or access directly whilst studying in the library.

Students may choose to apply for a placement option during their course. If successful, students will be expected to pay for accommodation, travel and living costs whilst on placement.

Students will also be required to pay additional costs for printing, poster preparation and final dissertation copies in their final year - estimated costs approximately £20 - £50.

A deposit is required for laboratory lockers (approximately £5)

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Still need help?

Science and Technology degree enquiries
+44 (0)115 848 8351