School of Biological and Marine Sciences

BSc (Hons) Biosciences

Have you successfully completed a foundation degree in biology and want to continue your studies to degree level? This broad-base biosciences course covers subjects including science communication, ecotoxicology, microbiology, plant sciences, animal/human health and genetics. You’ll also undertake a specialised research project where you can explore your own interests in-depth. By the end of the year you’ll be well-equipped for a career in human health, biotechnology or related industries.

You will expand your learning through practical classes in the laboratory and in the field. You’ll draw on a strong system of student support and tracking through personal tutors. You’ll take part in an optional work placement year before starting the course and gain invaluable insights into the practical aspects of working in biosciences. As this is a 'top-up' programme for FdSc graduates only, it is not available during Clearing.

Other courses like BSc (Hons) Biosciences...

Key features

  • Develop a range of knowledge, skills and practical experience in biosciences, that will equip you for a wide variety of careers. Biosciences students go on to careers including biomedical and human health sciences, biotechnology or environmental biology.
  • Benefit from a dedicated research project module catering for the needs of incoming foundation degree students.
  • Expand your learning through practical classes in the laboratory and in the field.  
  • Draw on a strong system of student support and tracking through personal tutors.
  • Take part in an optional work placement year before starting the course and gain invaluable insights into the practical aspects of working in biosciences.
  • Study up to four topic areas in depth including plant biotechnology, global change biology, ecotoxicology, environmental microbiology and biotechnology, medical genetics, animals and human health and science centres communication.

Course details

  • Course overview
  • You'll carry out an in-depth research project specifically designed for the needs of incoming foundation degree students, using a range of practical skills, data gathering and interpretation, scientific literature synthesis and communication skills. You'll also be able to develop your knowledge and practical experience from a range of option modules.
    Core modules
    • APIE303 Biology:Placement

      All students on our degrees have the option of undertaking a (minimum of 6 month) work placement at a company or university anywhere in the world undertaking some kind of work (usually research-based) relating to their programme of study.

  • Year 2
  • Core modules
    • BIOL307 Advanced Skills and Concepts

      You will select 3 'podules' - short courses of study that revolve around a particular set of advanced skills or concepts not typically found in undergraduate programmes but often highly desired by employers. In each 'podule', you will be assessed both in the form of coursework (usually addressing the conceptual basis) and in a practical assessment of your ability to carry out a particular method.

    • BIOL314 Research Project

      The largest component of the module comprises a research study element that incorporates the design, collection, analysis and interpretation of data. Other elements include a conduct of study component and a communicating science element. Students will also complete a comprehensive introduction to the research report that incorporates a brief literature review of the topic that addresses wider issues of relevance to their field of research study.

    Optional modules
    • BIOL301 Plant Biotechnology

      You will understand the role of plant biotechnology in food security with consideration of both scientific and social matters, such as ethics.

    • BIOL310 Global Change Biology

      You will gain an overview of the state of the art understanding of the consequences of climate change across all three domains of life. From this, you will understand how climate change biology is essential in conservation theory and practice and the impacts of climate change and both local and global scales.

    • BIOL311 Ecotoxicology

      You will gain a detailed understanding of concepts and principles of environmental hazard and risk assessment with an emphasis on the evaluation of the ecotoxicological methods used in the assessment of pollutants on the aquatic environment.

    • BIOL319 Animals and Society

      You will explore and understand human perceptions of animals and their worth. You will understand the sociological development of obligations and ideologies, and how they relate to animal protection and use, alongside wider global issues that impact on our abilities to manage such notions.

    • BIOL320 Animal Nutrition

      You will understand the principles and practice of animal nutrition for a range of species. You will understand feeds and their evaluation, diet formulation and feeding methods. You will examine the impact of ingredient, physical, manufacturing and legal constraints on the production of feeds.

    • BIOL321 Pharmacology and Natural Products

      You will understand the diverse range of useful compounds and materials produced by living organisms that can be harnessed by humans. You will understand the chemical and biological diversity of natural products along with strategies for identification, characterisation and extraction.

    • BIOL3313 Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology

      You will understand the environmental microbiology that underpins biotechnologies relating to biofuels, fermented foods and beverages, mining, bioremediation, nuclear waste processing, commodity production, waste treatment and antibiotic production. You will undertake coursework to evaluate the commercialisation potential of a given biotechnology.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BScBiosciences ProgrammeSpecification September2017 4673

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

A foundation degree (FdSc), Higher National Diploma (HND) or other equivalent qualification in a biological subject. You will be advised on appropriate module choices based on your specific foundation degree or diploma content on enrolment at the University.

Admissions depends on foundation programme studied and all applications will be referred to the Admissions Tutor. Please contact our Undergraduate Admissions team on email: ug-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk or by phone: +44 (0)1752 585858.

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 £9,250
International £12,500 £13,000
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Part time (International) To be confirmed 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.



Undergraduate study in the School of Biological Sciences

Watch and find out more about studying in the School of Biological Sciences at Plymouth.