Biology BSc (Hons)

biology student removing goggles in lab
UCAS Code
C100
Mode of Study
Full-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
Duration
3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2019
Accredited
Yes

Overview

Are you excited by the natural world and want to be on the frontline of tackling issues like fighting disease, protecting endangered species, and combating food and water shortages?

This accredited BSc (Hons) Biology degree course gives you the knowledge and skills to support your interest in living things.

With it, you can build a career in education, research, scientific journalism or the biotechnology and environmental sectors. You'll also be eligible to apply for Associate Membership of the Society of Biology.

Accredited by

This course is accredited by the Royal Society of Biology, which means your qualification is recognised in the industry. This gives you an edge over those who didn’t do an accredited course when you’re applying for jobs.

98% Graduates in work or further study (DLHE, 2017)

What you'll experience

On this degree course, you'll:

  • Develop your knowledge and abilities by learning from internationally recognised scientists who are leading the way in their respective fields
  • Cover areas at the forefront of scientific endeavour, including biotechnology, ecology, cell biology and molecular biology
  • Put your knowledge to work in the lab, using world-class equipment and the latest technology
  • Specialise in subjects that interest you most, from marine and terrestrial biology, to molecular genetics
  • Develop problem-solving, communication and numeracy skills alongside technical skills
  • Explore the diversity of local ecosystems and go on field trips to UK and tropical destinations such as Lulworth Cove, Devon and Mexico
  • Have the chance to study abroad on a conservation or research scheme

Equipment you can use on this course includes:

  • molecular biology instrumentation
  • chemical analysis facilities for detecting pollutants
  • fluorescence microscopes, scanning and transmission electron microscopes

Facilities you can use include:

  • microbiology and embryology laboratories with high-tech imaging and gene analysis equipment
  • ancient DNA preparation and analysis laboratories
  • water quality laboratory
  • the European Xenopus Resource Centre
  • research greenhouse

Careers and opportunities

Completing this BSc (Hons) Biology degree course will open doors to further study and academic research. As a modern biologist, you can also put your degree to work in areas such as:

  • biotechnology
  • the food industry
  • science administration
  • biomedical research
  • environmental consultancy
  • teaching

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • research scientist
  • science technician
  • grant administrator
  • medical writer
  • biomedical sales specialist
  • ecological surveyor

Our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in the industry. We'll support you for up to 5 years after you graduate.

The research facilities are extensive and I've had the chance to meet some incredible staff who are at the cutting edge of their research, which is really fascinating.

Pooja Verma, BSc (Hons) Biology

​What you'll study

Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study units worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 units worth 20 credits and 1 unit worth 40 credits.

Units currently being studied

Core units in this year include:

  • Biodiversity and Evolution
  • Introduction to Cell Biology and Biochemistry
  • Ecology, Plants and Human Impact
  • Microbiology and Molecular Biology
  • Experimental Biology
  • Graduate Skills

There are no optional units in this year.

Core units in this year include:

  • Community Ecology and Residential Field Course

Optional units in this year currently include:

  • Cell Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Genetics
  • Animal Science
  • Marine Organisms and Ecosystems
  • Business for Biosciences
  • Comparative and Evolutionary Psychology
  • Plant Science
  • Development: How Form and Function Changes
  • Enzymes and Metabolism
  • A foreign language

On this course, you can do an optional work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in industry.

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Core units in this year include:

  • Honours Project

Optional units in this year currently include:

  • Gene Organisation and Expression
  • Coastal Ecosystems
  • Environmental Microbiology
  • Biotechnology
  • Genes and Development
  • Genomics in Molecular Medicine
  • Aspects of Terrestrial Ecology and Evolution

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

Placement year

After your second year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in the industry.

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing a great role, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.

We can help you identify placements, internships and voluntary roles that will complement your studies.

Learning support

As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a mental or physical disability, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) can give you help, support and advice so you can reach your potential.

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • workshops
  • one-on-one and group tutorials
  • lab-based practical work
  • field trips

There's an emphasis on putting what you learn in the classroom into practice. You'll get to go on a week-long field trip, reinforcing the theory you learn in lectures.

How you'll spend your time

Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and an assessment period:

  • Autumn teaching block – September to December
  • Spring teaching block – January to Easter
  • Assessment period – Easter to June

Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

There’s no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • written exams
  • coursework, essays and practical write-ups
  • presentations
  • multiple choice tests
  • a research project

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year 1 students: 52% by written exams, 7% by practical exams and 41% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 70% by written exams, 9% by practical exams and 21% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 42% by written exams, 3% by practical exams and 55% by coursework 
  • Entry requirements​

    Entry Requirements

    • 112 points to include 3 A levels, or equivalent, with 40 points from A level Biology. Applicants will normally need to pass the separate Science Practical Endorsement

      See the other qualifications we accept

    ​Course costs

    Tuition fees (2019 start)

    • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year per year (may be subject to annual increase)
    • International students – £15,900 per year (subject to annual increase)

    Additional course costs

    These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

    Additional costs

    Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

    You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.

    You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

    We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

    If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

    Your course fee includes travel or accommodation for the compulsory fieldwork that you’ll undertake, but you’ll need to pay for meals and other subsistence costs. These costs amount to around £60.

    If you choose to complete optional fieldwork abroad, in locations such as Mexico, you’ll need to contribute to the cost. Depending on the location and duration of the field trip, the costs will be in the region of £1500–£2000.

    Apply

    How to apply

    To start in 2019 you need to apply through UCAS. You’ll need:

    • the UCAS course code – C100
    • our institution code – P80

    You can start your application now and submit it later if you want.

    Not quite ready to apply?

    Come to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

    If you’re new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

    How to apply from outside the UK

    If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

    To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

    Admissions terms and conditions

    When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.