Biological Sciences BSc (Hons) – 2017 entry

Our Biological Sciences programme will give students an exciting opportunity to study biology in its broadest sense. The optional Professional Training year and the final-year project add to students ability to specialise in a range of topics to make their own bespoke degree.

What you'll study

Biological Sciences studies life in all its forms. Our flexible programme, combined with Surrey’s long­standing reputation for excellence in teaching and research in biosciences, will fuel your passion for discovery and allow you to graduate with a bespoke Biological Sciences degree.

Programme overview

Surrey is one of the UK’s leading universities for bioscience degrees, and home to inspiring academics and pioneering research that’s changing our understanding of the world.

A Biological Sciences degree will provide you with an opportunity to study the structure and function of cells, which are fundamental to this science. You will also have an opportunity to apply your knowledge to a number of current areas including environmental impact, health issues and food security.

You will develop lifelong skills, including the ability to solve problems, evaluate evidence and analyse data.

Our Biological Sciences programme will give you a sound and broad background in biological sciences and increase your understanding of the natural world and the impact of changes introduced into this balanced ecosystem.

The programme offers you the flexibility to choose your own modules in the second and final years of study. You will also have the opportunity to follow one of five specialisms:

  • Cancer and molecular biology
  • Systems biology
  • Neuroscience
  • Infection and immunity
  • Drug science (pharmacology and toxicology)

This will allow you to graduate with your chosen specialism named as part of your degree title, for example, BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences (Neuroscience).

The programme benefits from a strong emphasis on field and laboratory­based practical work and includes modules that focus on the cutting­ edge aspects of this area of science.

You will have the opportunity to become familiar with state­of­the­art methodologies and their applications, and will graduate as a versatile and knowledgeable biological scientist with the numerical, analytical and communication skills necessary to meet the changing needs within many key industries.

The modular structure of our programme, with a broad base at the beginning, ample opportunities for specialisation at the end and the optional Professional Training placement, is part of the secret behind the outstanding employability of our graduates.

You will have the chance to choose from a wide variety of specialised subjects across the University, allowing optimum flexibility to create particular module combinations according to your own interests and aspirations.

Read about the experiences of Biological Sciences students Kyle Kapur and Matt Eastland­ Jones.

Programme structure

Year 1 (FHEQ Level 4)

In Year 1, you will develop a broad base of knowledge and skills by studying eight core modules that will further your understanding of our hereditary material and our own evolutionary origins.

You will consider how the molecules of life interact to form cells that then build into organs and whole organisms with elegant physiological processes.

Interactions between organisms, both ecological and medical in nature, will also be considered.

Much of our teaching is practice­based and carried out in our state­of­the­art teaching laboratories; this will enable you to develop the skills of scientific enquiry that will support your theoretical learning.

The first year of the programme is common across all Biosciences degrees offered in the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, and during this period you may opt to continue to study Biological Sciences or change to one of our more specialised programmes.

Compulsory modules:

Optional modules:

Year 2 (FHEQ Level 5)

During Year 2, you will gain more in-­depth knowledge and will apply basic theories to more complex scenarios via problem-­solving exercises.

You will study subjects such as molecular biology, genetics and physiology in greater depth, helping to preparing you for your Professional Training placement.

You will also acquaint yourself with important topics such as plant biology, environmental sciences and zoology.

Finally, you will study numerous aspects of biology, from biochemistry and nutrition to infectious diseases and immunology, neuroscience and pharmacology, which will contribute to your bespoke degree in Biological Sciences.

Compulsory modules:

Optional modules:

Professional Training placement (optional)

The majority of our students choose to undertake a Professional Training placement to gain vital work experience and develop professional skills required by employers.

Our experienced tutors will help you to choose suitable placements from a strictly vetted selection of industrial and academic institutions in the UK and abroad.

Recent placement providers include:

  • University College London
  • Solvay Pharmaceuticals (Netherlands)
  • University of Turku (Finland)
  • GlaxoSmithKline (UK)
  • Cornell University Medical School (USA)

Many of our placements provide a salary and, to ensure their success, students are visited by a tutor during the year. We have placements across the UK, Europe and the world, including major pharmaceutical, food and biotechnology companies, and research institutes.

Year 3 (FHEQ Level 6)

In Year 3, you will have the opportunity to tailor your degree by choosing optional modules from the areas of neuroscience, toxicology, pharmacology and medical biochemistry, all of which are supported by a strong teaching structure and state-­of­-the­-art research.

The largest single component of the year is the research project, carried out as a member of a research group under the supervision of academic staff. This will give you the opportunity to explore a research area of particular interest and develop specialised lab-­based skills and experience.

Compulsory modules:

Optional modules:

Teaching

We offer a modular degree based on a structured programme of advanced study, which allows you to pursue the subjects essential to your particular degree, but at the same time offers you the flexibility to study other subjects of interest.

During your first year, almost a quarter of your time is spent in laboratory or fieldwork classes.

In your second year, the programme becomes more specialised and you will focus on many different aspects of the subject. In your final year, you will be performing your own scientific research project, usually in one of our research laboratories.

On average you will have approximately 20 hours of contact time each week (lectures, practical classes and tutorials), and you will also be expected to undertake private study such as laboratory write­ups, essays and other coursework for a similar amount of time.

Watch a video of a microbial sciences lab session.

Assessment

Each module is assessed individually and credits are awarded for the successful completion of each one. Assessment takes place through a combination of examination and/or coursework, practical examinations and practical reports as appropriate.

Credits are accumulated towards the award of Bachelor of Science (BSc) with honours.

Contact hours

The following represents an indicative estimate of how you can expect your time to be split on this programme, based on the information available at the time of publication (February 2016):

  • 1.54 per cent personal tutorial/small group teaching
  • 0.65 per cent medium group teaching
  • 19.81 per cent large group teaching
  • 78 per cent studying and revising in your own time

Facilities

Extensive teaching laboratories with modern equipment and networked computer suites with 24-­hour access are available to all undergraduate students in the School of Biosciences and Medicine.

For your research project in Year 3, you will work within our research laboratories alongside active and internationally recognised researchers in the fields of infectious diseases, pharmacology, cancer biology, sleep and chronobiology, nutrition and food science.

Your choice of project will reflect the interests that you develop throughout your degree.

Academic support

You will be allocated a personal tutor to guide you through the programme and to advise on option and career choices, helping you to get the most from your studies with us.

As a student at Surrey, you will be treated as an individual. You will feel welcome from your very first day and our low student­to­tutor ratio ensures that you will get to know your personal tutor and other academic staff members well during your years with us.

Global opportunities

Our international exchange programme offers you the opportunity to study abroad at a partner university for either one semester or a full academic year as part of your degree.

For Biosciences students, this might be possible for one or two semesters in your second year at one of our partner institutions in the USA (for example, Texas, North Carolina, Cincinnati or Florida) or in Singapore.

The exchange programme enables you to study and live in another country and earn credits that contribute towards your Surrey degree, without paying additional tuition fees.

In doing so you will  broaden your horizons, meet other exchange students from around the world and experience student life in some of the most prestigious universities in the world.

Studying abroad also enables you to become more independent, teaching you how to adapt and adjust to the culture and climate of another country.

In addition, or alternatively, you may wish to consider spending your Professional Training year working in another country. Students have travelled to the USA, Canada, Australia, Brazil and many European countries, and typically work in a research laboratory at a partner institution.

If you work in another part of Europe you will be eligible for an Erasmus+ grant, as well as your full student loan if undertaking an unpaid research placement. This is an excellent opportunity not only to acquire valuable work experience but also improve or learn another language.

Learn more about the Erasmus programme or discover where our global opportunities can take you.

Career opportunities

A degree in Biological Sciences will prepare you for a wide range of careers, from scientific and technical roles in specialised areas, through to those which draw upon the breadth of Biological Sciences, such as teaching and science journalism.

While many of our Biosciences students go immediately into the scientific job market, others choose to undertake further study, such as Masters degrees or PhD studentships.

The scientific problem solving-skills you will develop may be put to good use within the industrial or finance sector, while Biological Sciences graduates professional and communication skills make them ideal candidates for managerial roles.

With a degree in Biological Sciences, the nature of your future career is directed by your own interests and the combination of topics you choose to study.

Graduate prospects

Our recent Biosciences graduates have gone on to roles such as:

  • Procter & Gamble, Microbiology Researcher
  • AstraZeneca, Analytical Chemist
  • GlaxoSmithKline,  Biochemist
  • Teaching within the FE and HE sectors
  • Genzyme, Quality Control Scientist
  • Food Standards Agency, Biochemist
  • Public Health England, Biomedical Scientist
  • ICON, Clinical Project Administrator
  • NHS, Manager
  • Journalism

2017 Entry requirements

What qualifications do you need?

A-level

AAB-ABB

We do not include General Studies or Critical Thinking in our offers.

Applicants taking either Physics, Biology, Chemistry or Psychology, a pass in the Science Practical Certificate is desirable.

BTEC (QCF Level 3) Extended Diploma

DDD

European Baccalaureate

75 per cent-74 per cent

International Baccalaureate

35-34 points

Scottish Highers

Scottish Advanced Highers AAB/Scottish Highers AAABB-Scottish Advanced Highers ABB/Scottish Highers AABBB

Welsh Baccalaureate

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma and A-level AA-Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma and A-level AB

Other international qualifications

If you are an international student and you don’t meet the entry requirements to this degree, we offer the International Foundation Year.

Select your country:

Required subjects

GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade C/4 or above.

Two science/mathematics A-levels, one of which must be either Chemistry or Biology.

Selection process

Offers are normally made in terms of grades.

Suitable candidates may be invited to an Applicant Day. During the visit to the University the candidate can find out more about the programme and meet staff and students.

English language requirements

6.5 IELTS minimum overall (or equivalent)

6.0 IELTS minimum in each sub-skill (or equivalent)

If you are an international student and you are concerned that your English is not to the required standard, you may benefit from the International Foundation Year, run by the Surrey International Study Centre.

Please note that the University of Surrey offers English language programmes and is also an IELTS Test Centre.

Course Options

Qualification Course Length Professional Training UCAS code KIS code
BSc (Hons) 3 years 7C53 View KIS data set
BSc (Hons) 4 years 7C54 View KIS data set

Tuition fees

View a complete listing of all ongoing fees for our undergraduate programmes.

The University will assess your fee status. If you are unsure whether you are likely to be considered a home, EU or overseas student for fees purposes, the UKCISA website offers more information.

Professional Training placement fees

Programmes marked with a tick in the table above include a Professional Training placement.

A reduced fee is charged for Professional Training placements.

Fees will not have to be paid up front for those eligible students who decide to take up the Government's loan for higher education fees. The Professional Training placement is a key factor in the high employability rates achieved by students with Surrey degrees.

Bursaries and scholarships

We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.

Find out more

International students

Experienced staff in our International Student Office are available to help from the moment you consider studying at the University. We offer professional advice on immigration, visa issues, entry qualifications, pre-departure information, employment regulations and international student welfare.

How to apply

Find out how and when to apply to study at Surrey.

More info

Disclaimer

Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

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