School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

BSc (Hons) Biology with Foundation Year

Are you looking for an alternative route into our biology degrees? Whether you’re returning to study or your results weren't what you’d hoped for, this year zero foundation course prepares you to enter any biology degree from biological sciences to environmental biotechnology. You will be taught at the University by the same academics as on our degrees and will gain the understanding and confidence needed for your degree, plus the study skills needed to succeed.

Key features

  • This course is an integrated part of a biology degree at Plymouth University. Successful completion of the foundation year (Year 0) provides progression onto Year 1 from a choice of biology degrees. With historical pass rates in excess of 85 per cent, you have an excellent chance of progression onto Year 1. You can progress onto BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences, BSc (Hons) Conservation Biology, BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour and Welfare or BSc (Hons) Environmental Biotechnology from this course.
  • You will benefit from over 25 years of expertise in science foundation courses at Plymouth University, which continue to produce excellent degree candidates.
  • You will be prepared to study at degree level during the course, so unlike A levels or Access Courses, you will actually learn how to study at degree level, giving you a significant advantage once you move onto the degree itself.
  • Your studies can be funded through standard tuition fee loans – it does not require an upfront investment.
  • You will benefit from enthusiastic, supportive academic staff that have substantial experience in helping students realise their potential and who are active researchers in their fields.
  • You will be taught at the University itself – not on a satellite campus or in a tertiary college – and you will be taught by the same academic staff that teach on our other degrees.
  • You will benefit from the full University experience from day one – Fresher’s Week, a full university Library and IT provision and so on to fully support your studies. 
  • The foundation year is an integral part of the extended degree. Completion of the foundation year will not lead to a separate award or qualification its own right but will provide access to Year 1 of your degree.

Course details

  • Foundation year
  • You will study biology alongside the core skills in mathematics, statistics and physics or chemistry needed to study biology in higher education. You will study two core modules of biology and a third covering contemporary issues in biology. A fourth core module covers the study skills and core mathematics that underpin study of biology. You will take optional modules in either chemistry or physics, plus a final module covering statistical skills needed to analyse and understand data. 

    You will be supported through your studies and will have full access support from both the academic staff and wider University support services, such as the Sum Up service for mathematics and statistics support, our Library and our Learning Development team. We understand that not all students need the same levels or types of support and our support services are primed to assist students in a flexible way. 

    Core modules
    • BIO012 Biology 1

      This module introduces students to the study of biology and its fundamental importance as a cornerstone of modern science. No prior knowledge is required or assumed. The emphasis is on understanding some of the core principles of biology, and applying these across the breadth of the subject. To ensure that key practical skills are developed, the module will incorporate many hands-on learning experiences.

    • BIO013 Biology 2

      This module builds on the core ideas introduced in BIO012, introducing a range of additional biological concepts. There will be a strong emphasis on applying scientific principles to a wide range of topics in biology, including many hands-on learning experiences to ensure that key practical skills are developed.

    • BIO014 Issues in Biology

      This module addresses key contemporary issues in the biological sciences, introducing students to the breadth of topics and research methods in modern biology. The module will take an investigative approach, allowing students to develop their own understanding of how problems in biology are addressed and resolved, and fostering an appreciation of the scope of subjects encompassed by the biological sciences.

    • GEES001 Study and Mathematical Skills for Science

      This module is designed to enable learners to adapt to the Higher Education Learning Environment by the development of a more independent, reflective and self-managed approach to study, learning, scientific writing, time management and mathematical skills for the study of science.

    Optional modules
    • CHM009 Chemistry 1

      This module introduces students into the world of chemistry and its fundamental importance as a cornerstone of science. No prior knowledge of science is required and the emphasis is on applying the principals of chemistry across a wide subject area, with many hands-on learning experiences.

    • CHM010 Chemistry 2

      This module is designed to build on the knowledge, understanding and skills inculcated in CHM009 and to provide an introduction to the fundamentals of organic Chemistry at a level sufficient for entry to the degree programmes offered by the Faculty of Science and Environment, including the Chemistry Degree programmes.

    • MATH019 Mathematics and Statistics for Science

      This module provides the basic mathematical background to enable learners to progress to honours degree programmes in science.

    • PHY009 Physics 1

      This module introduces students into the world of physics and its fundamental importance as the cornerstone of science. Little prior knowledge of science is required and the emphasis is on applying the principals of physics in all areas of science with many hands-on learning experiences.

    • PHY010 Physics 2

      This module is designed to build on the knowledge, understanding and skills inculcated in PHY009 and to provide an introduction to the fundamentals of thermodynamics, environmental physics, nuclear physics, AC Theory and magnetics, at a level sufficient for entry to the degree programmes offered by the Faculty of Science and Engineering.

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

56

Candidates with formal qualifications awarded in the last three years:

For candidates with science-based Access to Higher Education diplomas: a pass in the diploma overall, with passes in the science based units therein.

For candidates with A levels: 56 points from 2 A-levels include at least one pass in a science subject.

For candidates with Baccalaureate qualifications, Scottish and Irish Highers: passes in a science subject. 

For candidates with other post-GCSE qualifications such as NVQ, Level 3 is usually required. If you have GNVQ or AGNVQ, passes in science subjects are generally required.

For international applicants, we require an IELTS 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each element.


Candidates without formal qualifications awarded in the last three years:

We particularly welcome applications from candidates returning to study, who can offer work or other related experience in lieu of formal qualifications. Therefore candidates without formal science qualifications or with non-standard qualifications are assessed on an individual basis, usually via interview. We encourage any candidate who is unsure regarding the suitability of their qualifications or experience to contact Admissions in the first instance, who will then liaise with the Admissions Tutor and Programme Lead.

For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2017 2018
Home/EU £9,250 To be confirmed
International £12,500 To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) Check with School To be confirmed
Part time (International) Check with School To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Fees are correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change.

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.