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BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences (with Foundation Year option)

Develop biological knowledge and practical skills to tackle some of the world’s greatest challenges. From genes to ecosystems, explore the fundamentals of life on Earth and how to make positive changes to individuals, societies and global environments.

  • UCAS Code:
    C100
  • Institution:
    B50
  • Delivery:
    Full time according to Funding Council definitions

With foundation year: C105

Why study BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences at BU?

  • Consolidate and progress your core knowledge and understanding of biological chemistry, cell biology, human physiology and evolutionary biology
  • Develop important practical laboratory and scientific skills that will form the basis of future successes in academic writing and experimental design
  • Define your pathway though the degree, with options to explore your chosen subjects in greater depth, developing your own project ideas and considering potential career paths 
  • Opt to complete a 30-week placement to gain experience and insights for your future career
  • You’ll develop and complete a defining dissertation project that will highlight your abilities and interests – ending the degree as an enthusiastic, knowledgeable and skilled biological scientist     
  • We often collaborate with professional practitioners so that your work has immediate practical benefits as well as being an inspiring way to learn. 

Find out more about the content of this course.

Foundation year: We have a foundation year option for UK students who do not meet the entry requirements for the degree course. This additional year of study will give you a grounding in the scientific skills required for Biological Sciences, building your confidence, knowledge and skills for further study. After successful completion of the foundation year, you will progress to the full degree.  

Why study a degree in Biological Sciences?

Your degree will be centred around developing the skills you need to work in professional practice, as well as equipping you with a variety of transferable skills that will give you a range of career options in Biotechnology, Environmental science, Forensic and biomedical research, and Education.

Key information

Next start date:

September 2022, September 2023

Location:

Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus

Duration:

3 years with a 5-week placement, or 4 years with a minimum 30-week placement. Foundation year: 4 years full-time with a 5-week placement or 5 years with a 30-week minimum placement

Required subjects:

All subjects considered

Entry requirements:

For September 2022 ​entry: 104 - 120 UCAS tariff points including a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM. If you do not meet the entry requirements for the course, you can opt to take a foundation year before progressing on to the full degree. Foundation year: 48-72 UCAS tariff points. For more information check out our full entry requirements

International entry requirements:

For September 2022 entry: If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS (Academic) 6.0 with minimum 5.5 in each component, or equivalent

Course details

On this course, you will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops and practical sessions. In addition to teaching delivered by BU staff, you will benefit from regular guest lectures from industry.

Please see ‘Scheduled learning and teaching activities’ within this section for an approximate breakdown of contact hours for each year of the degree.

How you will be assessed

You will be assessed by coursework culminating in your final year research project, and you will also undertake group work and written exams. The assessment methods for each unit can be found in the programme specification for your course.

Placements

At BU, we recognise that placements are extremely valuable and can give you a head start when it comes to your future career. That’s why we offer every student the opportunity to undertake a work placement as part of their course.

You could even choose to take your placement abroad, giving you the opportunity to develop yourself personally, academically, and professionally and gain transferable skills to help you stand out in the job market. 

Find out about BU students’ experiences on placements

Entry requirements

This course requires 104–120 UCAS tariff points including a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent. We are happy to consider a combination of qualifications and grades to meet the overall tariff, for example A-levels A*CC, ABC, BBB or BCC, BTECs DDM or DMM. You can use the UCAS calculator to see how your qualifications equate to UCAS tariff points.

Calculate your UCAS tariff points

2022 entry

Numeracy and literacy requirements (e.g. GCSEs)

GCSE English Language or English Literature and Mathematics grade 4 (or grade C in the old grading system). We also accept iGCSEs, Key Skills and Functional Skills and other qualifications at Level 2 of the National Qualifications Framework. See all of the equivalencies.

A-level and AS levels 104–120 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of two A-levels.
Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate – Skills Challenge Certificate

We accept this qualification, but it must be accompanied by an A-level sized qualification to meet the overall UCAS tariff.

Access to HE Diploma 102–118 UCAS tariff points with any combination of Distinction, Merit, Pass grades.
BTEC National
  • Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit (112 UCAS tariff points)
  • Diploma: Distinction*, Distinction (104 UCAS tariff points)
  • Foundation Diploma/90-credit Diploma: We accept this qualification, but it must be accompanied by an A-level sized qualification to meet the overall UCAS tariff
  • Extended Certificate/Subsidiary Diploma: We accept this qualification, but it must be accompanied by an A-level sized qualification to meet the overall UCAS tariff.
Cambridge International Pre-U Diploma 104–120 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of two principal subjects.
Cambridge Technical
  • Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit (112 UCAS tariff points)
  • Diploma: Distinction*, Distinction (104 UCAS tariff points)
  • Subsidiary Diploma: We accept this qualification, but it must be accompanied by an A-level sized qualification to meet the overall UCAS tariff
  • Introductory Diploma: We accept this qualification, but it must be accompanied by an A-level sized qualification to meet the overall UCAS tariff.
Extended Project Qualification We accept this qualification, but it must be accompanied by two A-level sized qualifications to meet the overall UCAS tariff.
International Baccalaureate Certificates 104–120 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of two Higher Level certificates.
International Baccalaureate (Diploma) An overall score of 28–31 points.
Scottish Highers 104–120 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of four Scottish Highers.
Scottish Advanced Highers 104–120 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of two Scottish Advanced Highers.
T Levels We will recognise T Level qualifications at a suitable level (and in a suitable subject, if applicable). 

Foundation year entry requirements

Numeracy and literacy requirements There are no GCSE requirements. The foundation year will cover these skills in preparation for degree study.
For September 2022 entry 48–72 UCAS tariff points.

International entry requirements

You can find details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our entry requirements for non-UK students' page.

Please see below some examples of the qualifications for entry onto Year 1 for September 2022 entry:

  • Chinese Senior High School Graduation Certificate (Huikao) average 80%, or Gaokao 61-71%. Grade depends on the course
  • Hong Kong HKDSE Diploma (4,4,3 to 4,4,4 from three subjects). Grade depends on the course
  • All India Senior School Certificate Examination (Standard XII) 60-70%
  • Italian Esame di Stato with 60-70%. Grade depends on the course
  • Titulo de Bachillerato with 6 or 7. Grade depends on the course

We offer a number of preparatory programmes through Bournemouth University International College. These courses offer you progression from High School in your home country to a Bachelor’s degree at BU.

Options include:

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:

For September 2022 entry: IELTS (Academic) 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component, or equivalent.

View further information about our English language requirements.

If you do not meet the English language requirement for your degree then why not join our Pre-Sessional English course? Successful completion of our Pre-Sessional English course will meet your English language requirement.

Your application

For this course we are looking for applicants who:

  • Can demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of chemistry and biology
  • Have basic laboratory skills
  • Can demonstrate good written and oral communication skills.

How to apply

Careers

Our graduates work for a range of organisations, including the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, NHS, Sigma Aldrich and the Pacific Islands Conservation Initiative.

Costs and fees

All fees are quoted in pounds sterling and are per year. Your tuition fees will be the same for each year of your course. You can find full information about funding your studies and paying your fees in our undergraduate fees and funding section. That’s also where you’ll find information about the scholarships and bursaries on offer.

Fees quoted are for tuition only unless stated otherwise, and we’re committed to ensuring there are no hidden extra costs while you’re at university – that’s why we’re clear about what you can expect us to cover, and what your cost of living will be. You’ll also find you could benefit from a range of discounts as a student.

Find out more about budgeting and living expenses

Our staff

Visit our department pages to read more about the specialist interests of our Life & Environmental Sciences staff, or register for an Open Day to meet us.

On this course you will be taught by staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This could include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners and research students, many of whom are actively engaged in research and/or professional practice which is integrated into the teaching of this course. Please note that staff can change.

Course changes

Hear from our staff

Kevin McGhee

One of my 3rd year students organised a 6 week placement at a Molecular Genetics laborotory in the US.

Hear from our staff

Dr Wei-Jun Liang

We help students’ capacity-building through learning and applying knowledge, concepts, academic and transferable skills for brighter future careers.

Hear from our alumni

Sophie Billington

I became interested in genetics whilst studying at BU and this gave me the motivation and confidence to pursue my placement in the USA, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Statistics shown throughout this page are taken from Unistats and BU institutional data unless otherwise stated.