South Devon College

FdSc Biosciences

Everything at University Centre South Devon (UCSD) is designed to maximise your employability and future career opportunities. Courses are created with local employers to ensure you learn industry-relevant skills and are delivered in small classes with regular one-to-one support, covering a range of study skills – it’s no wonder we’re recognised as a leading institution in the National Student Survey.

Course details
  • Year 1

  • Core modules

    • Genes, Genetic Analysis and Evolution (SOUD1271)

      This module provides an introduction to genetics and evolution. It includes the Mendelian laws of inheritance through to the molecular basis of inheritance, the structure of DNA, the nature of the gene, the maintenance of the genetic code and the behaviour of genes in populations, natural selection and the formation of species.

    • Laboratory Techniques (SOUD1494)

      This is a practical module providing an introduction to a large range of techniques that may be found in modern laboratories from industrial product testing to research facilities. It provides opportunities to develop skills that will be used in other modules and during work based learning.

    • Cell Biology (SOUD1495)

      This module is designed to link cell structure and ultra-structure to cell function in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. It introduces key processes in cell chemistry, together with the structure of associated molecules and macro-molecules.

    • Professional Practice (SOUD1498)

      This module is designed to allow you to demonstrate the professional skills required for successful employment in the bioscience sector. The module will also provide the opportunity to reflect on and evaluate the development of those professional skills.

  • Year 2

  • Core modules

    • Biochemistry Toolkit (SOUD1496)

      This module examines the chemistry of carbon compounds, especially in relation to the structure and properties of biologically important macro-molecules. Specific examples are taken from metabolic pathways in the liver, from enzyme activity, and from the structure and mutation of DNA.

    • Microbiology (SOUD1497)

      This module will enable the student to demonstrate basic microbiological techniques. It will develop an awareness of the diversity and physiology of microbes. It will give an understanding of their involvement in nature, particularly with respect to human health and natural ecosystems.

    • Cells and Adaptations (SOUD2218)

      This module builds on knowledge gained at Stage 1 by looking in more detail at some essential cell processes, such as membrane transport, cell signalling and synthesis of macro-molecules. The adaptations of cells to perform specific functions are examined, using connective tissues as exemplars. The module introduces aspects of cell differentiation and apoptosis.

    • Human Physiology (SOUD2221)

      This module will introduce students to the major body systems and their integrated functions, with particular emphasis on homeostasis. It covers development from conception to old age.

  • Final year

  • Core modules

    • Biodiversity and Speciation (SOUD2220)

      This module introduces biodiversity. It examines the classification and diversity of the major groups or organisms, examining their varied biology and ecological roles. The module will also examine the distribution and variation of these organisms on a global scale as well as temporal changes in biodiversity. It will look in details at the ecological mechanisms behind speciation.

    • Research Project (SOUD2450)

      This module will enable the student to demonstrate their ability to work independently to source information, formulate a hypothesis, design and carry out a piece of practically based research to test that hypothesis. The output of this research work will be communicated in a written report and oral presentation.

    • Molecular Genetics Biotechnology and Cancer (SOUD2451)

      DNA replication, repair and recombination are considered in great detail in order to facilitate an understanding of modern molecular biological techniques. Key methods in biotechnology are dealt with as well as their implications. Genetic engineering and gene therapy considered along with the impact this technology has/may have on human health. Molecular basis of cancer will be discussed with current and future therapies.

    • Immunology (SOUD2452)

      This module examines the cells, molecules and mechanisms involved in the immune response. It covers responses to a range of pathogens, including immunological memory. It also looks at diseases resulting from unwanted immune reactions. In addition, the module will explore the use of antibodies in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and will develop practical skills in immunological techniques.

    • Work Experience (SOUD2453)

      This module involves a practical approach to employment in the bioscience sector with a requirement for a number of days in employment within the industry to meet Royal Society of Biology accreditation.

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.

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the changeable nature of the situation and any updates to government guidance, we may need to make further, last minute adjustments to how we deliver our teaching and learning on some or all of our programmes, at any time during the academic year. We want to reassure you that even if we do have to adjust the way in which we teach our programmes, we will be working to maintain the quality of the student learning experience and learning outcomes at all times.
Fees, costs and funding

The UK is no longer part of the European Union. EU applicants should refer to our Brexit information to understand the implications.

As this course is delivered by one of our partner colleges, please contact the college directly for information on fees and funding.

How to apply
For further information and to apply for this course, please contact the college's admissions team directly using the contact details below. 
Progression routes

Completing this course enables you to progress onto these related courses and programmes with the University of Plymouth at level 5 or level 6, as specifically defined by this programme’s progression agreement.

For further information, including the progression from foundation degree form, please visit

Our partnership with South Devon College
The University of Plymouth has developed partnerships with institutions around the world with the sole purpose of making higher education more accessible to those people who need something just a little different.

Our Academic Partnerships enable students to enrol for a degree at a partnership institution closer to home, or engage in distance learning – even when they’re in the middle of the ocean. They are there for those people looking to return to education, or enhance their professional development. Full- or part-time; foundation degree to masters-level – we cater for a huge variety of needs and aspirations.

Many of our partners offer specialist degrees, unique facilities, and smaller class sizes at a competitive price. And as a student of two institutions, you get the best of both worlds; a supportive learning environment as part of a close-knit community, and a university-level qualification awarded by the University of Plymouth. You’ll enjoy not only the facilities and services your partnership institution provides, but also all of the additional support and resources you need from us, and you’ll automatically become a member of our Students’ Union, too.

We are continuing to grow the number of partner institutions and expand our academic community to new locations around the UK and overseas. Why not visit the Academic Partnerships page on our website for a full list of partners and for more details on studying with us?

One of our partners delivers this particular course – so please visit their website for full course details, entry requirements, tuition fees and information on what student life is like there. 

Please contact South Devon College to apply for this course:

South Devon College
Vantage Point
Long Road

Tel: +448000380123

Open days

Partner college open days

This course is run at one of our partner colleges. Open days are held at the college and more details of these can be found on the college website. You'll find contact details below, on this page.

University of Plymouth open days

You are also very welcome to attend a University of Plymouth open day, to get a flavour of the courses you can progress to from a partner college. There will however be limited information on this specific course and college.

Studying with South Devon College

At the heart of the sunny English Riviera, we’re an award-winning Beacon status college. Add to that our ‘outstanding’ rating by Ofsted (in 2009), modern facilities and our larger-than-life Students’ Union, and you’re left with the perfect environment.

Find out more about studying at South Devon College
Plymouth students working on a group project