Biological Sciences BSc (Hons) – 2020 entry

Key information

Start date: October 2020

BSc (Hons) UCAS: 7C53

3 years

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BSc (Hons) UCAS: 7C54

4 years with professional training

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BSc (Hons) UCAS: 7C55

4 years with foundation year

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BSc (Hons) UCAS: 7C56

5 years with foundation year and professional training

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Why choose this course

Surrey’s biological sciences courses are ranked 8th in the UK (Guardian University Guide 2020).

Our BSc Biological Sciences gives you the exciting opportunity to study biology in its widest sense. As you study, you’ll be able to tailor your course to reflect your emerging interests and prepare you for the career you aspire to.

You’ll also have access to our recently opened £10 million Innovation for Health learning laboratories.

Five reasons to study biosciences

Read more

What you will study

Our BSc Biological Sciences course will give you the opportunity to study biological structure and function at various levels, from molecules to cells, whole organisms, and beyond into communities and ecosystems.

You’ll develop your knowledge in a number of current areas including environmental impact, human and animal health issues, and food security.

You’ll study the topics that are fundamental to biosciences and will have opportunities to specialise and tailor your degree, particularly in your final year, to the areas that interest you.

The skills you will develop include critical thinking, the ability to solve problems, evaluate evidence and analyse data. These skills will be with you for life and prepare you for a wide variety of careers.

Facilities

The University of Surrey is home to our new multimillion pound Innovation for Health building, which has its own biosciences lab. The lab is fully equipped to carry out a full range of biological experiments, including studying the micro-organisms used in biotechnology and that cause human infectious diseases, exploring cell biology to understand the make-up of cells and tissues, and delving into molecular biology to study genes and their regulation, biochemistry and physiology.

Professional recognition

BSc (Hons) - Royal Society of Biology
Accredited by the Royal Society of Biology for the purpose of meeting, in part, the academic and experience requirement of membership and Chartered Biologist (CBiol).

Careers and graduate prospects

We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students whilst studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University.

This course 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 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 BSc Biological Sciences, the nature of your future career is directed by your own interests and the combination of topics you choose to study.

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

  • Microbiology Researcher, Procter & Gamble
  • Analytical Chemist, AstraZeneca
  • Biochemist, GlaxoSmithKline
  • Quality Control Scientist, Genzyme
  • Biochemist, Food Standards Agency
  • Biomedical Scientist, Public Health England
  • Medical Laboratory Assistant, Medway Maritime Hospital.

Academic year structure

The academic year is divided into two semesters of 15 weeks each. Each semester consists of a period of teaching, revision/directed learning and assessment.

The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. Modules can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60 credits.

Modules

Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps.

Please note: If there is an optional Professional Training placement as part of your course you can view the full module listing for this on the relevant programme specification.

The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes:

Optional modules for Year 2 - FHEQ Level 5

To apply to students enrolled from 2018-19 onward.

For Non-specialised programme: Choose 4 from the following 8 options:
Semester 1: Compulsory modules are BMS2035, BMS2036 and BMS2038. Students must choose one option from BMS2037 or BMS2048.
Semester 2: Compulsory modules are BMS2062. Students must choose three options from BMS2043, BMS2044, BMS2045, BMS2046, BMS2047 and BMS2070. BMS2043 and BMS2070 are mutually exclusive. BMS2054 is not available to the unspecialised programme.
For Infection and Immunity specialism:
Semester 1: Compulsory modules are BMS2035, BMS2036, BMS2037 and BMS2038. No options are available. BMS2048 is not available.
Semester 2: Compulsory modules are BMS2044, BMS2045 and BMS2062. Students must choose one option from BMS2046 and BMS2047. BMS2043, BMS2054 and BMS2070 are not available.
For Cellular and Molecular Sciences specialism:
Semester 1: Compulsory modules are BMS2035, BMS2036, BMS2038 and BMS2048. No options are available. BMS2037 is not available.
Semester 2: Compulsory modules are BMS2043, BMS2047 and BMS2062. Students must choose one option from BMS2045 and BMS2046. BMS2044, BMS2054 and BMS2070 are not available.
For Animal Biology and Ecology specialism:
Semester 1: Compulsory modules are BMS2035, BMS2036 and BMS2038. Students must choose one option from BMS2037 and BMS2048.
Semester 2: Compulsory modules are BMS2062 and BMS2070. Students must choose two options from BMS2044, BMS2045 and BMS2054. BMS2043, BMS2046 and BMS2047 are not available.

Optional modules for Year 3 - FHEQ Level 6

To apply to students enrolled in 2017-18 onwards.

For Non-specialised programme:
Semester 1: Compulsory modules is BMS3048. Choose 3 from 9 options: BMS3052, BMS3054, BMS3055, BMS3060, BMS3079, BMS3090, BMS3091, BMS3092 and BMS3095. BMS3060 and BMS3091 are mutually exclusive. BMS3079 and BMS3095 are mutually exclusive.
Semester 2: Compulsory module is BMS3048. Choose 3 from 8 options: BMS3063, BMS3064, BMS3066, BMS3072, BMS3073, BMS3093, BMS3096 and BMS3099. BMS3096 and BMS3099 are mutually exclusive.

For Infection and Immunity specialism:
Semester 1: Compulsory modules are BMS3048, BMS3054 and BMS3079. Choose 1 from 5 options: BMS3055, BMS3060, BMS3090, BMS3091 and BMS3092. BMS3060 and BMS3091 are mutually exclusive.
Semester 2: Compulsory modules are: BMS3048 and BMS3073. Choose 2 from 4 options: BMS3063, BMS3072, BMS3093 and BMS3099.

For Cellular and Molecular Sciences specialism:
Semester 1: Compulsory modules are BMS3048 and BMS3092. Choose 2 from 5 options: BMS3052, BMS3054, BMS3055, BMS3090 and BMS3091.
Semester 2: Compulsory modules are: BMS3048, BMS3063 and BMS3093. Choose 1 from 3 options: BMS3064, BMS3072 and BMS3099.

For Animal Biology and Ecology specialism:
Semester 1: Compulsory modules are BMS3048, BMS3091 and BMS3095. Choose 1 from 2 options: BMS3062 and BMS3090.
Semester 2: Compulsory modules are: BMS3048 and BMS3096. Choose 2 from 5 options: BMS3064, BMS3066, BMS3072, BMS3073 and BMS3074.

Timetables

Timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday–Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the course administrators. View our Timetabling Policy (PDF).

Teaching

We offer a carefully-structured, modular course, meaning you can study fundamental topics within biosciences while also having the opportunity to specialise and tailor your studies, particularly in your final two years, to the areas that interest you.

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

You’ll conduct fieldwork both on our own campus and further afield, and visit a number of places like Marwell Zoo, The Millennium Seedbank at Wakehurst Place and the Surrey Wildlife Trust's Grazing project.

From its second year onwards, the course becomes more specialised, culminating in your final-year scientific research project. These projects will be chosen from a wide range of topics that draw from the full diversity of the course.

Each week, you’ll have an average of 24 hours of contact time (lectures, practical classes and tutorials). You’ll be expected to spend a similar amount of time on private study such as laboratory write-ups, essays and other coursework.

There may be occasions when the delivery of your teaching is supported by postgraduate research students. The University has a set of procedures that govern the use of postgraduate research students in this way.

Assessment

Modules are 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 reports. Check individual module information to see full details at a module level.

Contact hours

Contact hours can vary across our modules. Full details of the contact hours for each module are available from the University of Surrey's module catalogue. See the modules section for more information.

Entry requirements

A-level

Overall: BBB.

Required subjects: Biology or Chemistry and a second science or Mathematics. Applicants taking the Science Practical Endorsement are required to pass.

Please note: A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking are not accepted.

GCSE or equivalent: English Language and Mathematics at Grade C(4) (or equivalent). Applicants must have achieved these grades at the time of making their application.

Foundation year: A-level CCC (or equivalent) to include one Science A-level.

GCSE or equivalent: English Language and Mathematics at grade C(4) (or equivalent).

BTEC (QCF Level 3) Extended Diploma

Overall: DDM in Applied Science or Applied Science (Medical Science) (please contact us if you are taking a different BTEC).

GCSE or equivalent: English Language and Mathematics at Grade C(4) (or equivalent). Applicants must have achieved these grades at the time of making their application.

International Baccalaureate

Overall: 32.

Required subjects: HL5/SL6 in Biology or Chemistry and a second science or Mathematics. 

GCSE or equivalent: English and Maths HL4/SL4. Applicants must have achieved these grades at the time of making their application.

European Baccalaureate

Overall: 75%.

Required subjects: Biology or Chemistry with at least 7.5 and at least 7.5 in a second science or Mathematics.

GCSE or equivalent: English 6 (Language 1/2) or 7 (Language 3), and Mathematics 6. Applicants must have achieved these grades at the time of making their application.

Access to HE Diploma

Overall: 45 Level 3 credits overall including 30 at Distinction and 15 at Merit to 45 Level 3 credits overall including 27 at Distinction and 18 at Merit.

Required subjects: This must include 15 credits in Biology or Chemistry and 15 credits in a second science or Mathematics.

GCSE or equivalent: English Language and Mathematics at Grade C(4) (or equivalent). Applicants must have achieved these grades at the time of making their application.

Scottish Highers

Overall: ABBBB.

Required subjects: Biology or Chemistry and a second science or Mathematics.

GCSE or equivalent: English Language and Maths Scottish National 5 - C. Applicants must have achieved these grades at the time of making their application.

Welsh Baccalaureate

Overall: Pass overall with BBB from a combination of the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate and two A-levels.

Required subjects: Biology or Chemistry and a second science or Mathematics. Applicants taking the Science Practical Endorsement are required to pass.

GCSE or equivalent: English Language and Mathematics ­– Numeracy as part of the Welsh Baccalaureate. Please check the A-level drop down for the required GCSE levels.

Please note: A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking are not accepted.

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

Applicants taking the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) will receive our standard A-level offer, plus an alternate offer of one A-level grade lower, subject to achieving an A grade in the EPQ. The one grade reduction will not apply to any required subjects.

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, run by the Surrey International Study Centre.

English language requirements

IELTS academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in each other element.

View the other English language qualifications that we accept.

If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.

Selection process

We normally make offers in terms of grades.

If you are a suitable candidate you may be invited to an Applicant Day. During your visit to the University you can find out more about the course and meet staff and students.

Recognition of prior learning

The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If this applies to you, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience, or to join the start of a course without the formal entry requirements. This means that you may be exempt from certain elements of study in the course for which you have applied and be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims. 

Please see the code of practice for recognition of prior learning and prior credit: taught programmes (PDF) for further information. Please email Admissions with any queries.

Fees

The annual tuition fees for courses starting in October 2020

BSc (Hons)

UK and EU £9,250

Overseas £21,700

BSc (Hons) (with professional training year)

UK and EU £9,250

Overseas £21,700

Professional training To be confirmed

BSc (Hons) (with foundation year)

UK and EU £9,250

Overseas £21,700

BSc (Hons) (with foundation and professional training year)

UK and EU £9,250

Overseas £21,700

Professional training To be confirmed

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

  • Fees for UK students: The University will apply annual regulated increases in the fee rates as set by Government each year, in order to maintain the same value in real terms. 
  • Fees for EU students: While the UK is part of the EU, the University will apply annual regulated increases in the fee rates as set by the Government each year, in order to maintain the same value in real terms. Once the UK has left the EU, the fees rules may change and the University is bound to comply with applicable legislation.
  • Fees for international students: Annual fees will increase by 4% for each subsequent year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100, subject to any overriding applicable legislative requirements. 
  • Fees for international students with an integrated foundation year: The programme fee for Year 0 will match the lowest Year 1 overseas fee rate from across the substantive programmes for that year of entry. Students subsequently progressing into Year 1 will be liable for the same fee as overseas students joining at Year 1 for the same programme in that year. Annual fees after Year 1 will increase by 4% for each subsequent year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100, subject to any overriding applicable legislative requirements. 

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.

Payment schedule

  • Students in receipt of a Tuition Fee Loan: will have their fees paid by the Student Loans Company in line with their schedule.
  • International students, or UK/EU students who have not taken out a Tuition Fee Loan: are required to pay their fees either in full at the beginning of the programme or in two instalments as follows:
    • 50% payable 10 days after the invoice date (expected to be early October of each academic year)
    • 50% in January of the same academic year.

The exact date(s) will be detailed on invoices. Students on certain part-time programmes, where fees are paid on a modular or stage basis, are not eligible to pay their fees by instalment.

If you are sponsored: you will provide us with valid sponsorship information that covers the period of your study.

Professional Training placement fees

If you are studying on a programme which contains a Professional Training placement year there will be a reduced fee for the academic year in which you undertake your placement. This is normally confirmed 12 to 18 months in advance, or once Government policy is determined.

See the information about 2019/20 academic year Professional Training placement fee.

Additional costs

There are associated costs with this programme:

  • Safety equipment and/or uniform: £20 - The equipment pack includes a laboratory coat, laboratory glasses, laboratory book, pen and padlock. Students are responsible for the costs associated with maintaining/washing/replacing any equipment.

Grand total: £20

Placements

You have the option to complete a Professional Training placement as part of this course. This will give you the opportunity to develop your professional, academic and personal potential, helping to prepare you for your future career.

A significant proportion of placement students at Surrey are offered graduate-level jobs or go onto postgraduate study.

Find out more about Professional Training placements and discover how these have transformed our students’ lives and career choices.

Biological Sciences placements

Surrey students have access to a wealth of Professional Training placement opportunities. Our experienced tutors will help you to choose suitable placements from a well-vetted selection of industrial and academic institutions in the UK and abroad.

Previous students have taken placements in genetics, environmental research, animal welfare, molecular research, pharmaceuticals, neuroscience research, cancer research and microbiology. 

Many of our placements provide a salary and you’ll be visited by a tutor during your placement to ensure your success. We offer placements across the world (US, Brazil, Singapore and Japan) and throughout the UK, including major pharmaceutical, food and biotechnology companies and research institutes.

Applying for placements

You can apply for numerous opportunities via an open and free-to-all process. Placement providers use their own recruitment and selection procedures and the majority of students will secure their placement in this way.

Students are generally not placed by the University, however we offer support and guidance throughout the process alongside access to a vacancy portal representing thousands of placement opportunities each year. We also provide support if you wish to source your own placement.

Find out about more about the application process.

Please be aware there may be travel costs incurred when attending interviews and assessment centres at the placement provider’s premises.

Find out how students at Surrey developed their skills in industry by undertaking a placement year.

Study and work abroad

We give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their studies by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities or by completing a Professional Training placement abroad.

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.

View our study and work abroad exchange information to find out more and see where you can go.

Please note: the status of the Erasmus+ scheme is dependent on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.

On this course, you might be able to study abroad (subject to availability) at one of our partner institutions in the US (Texas, North Carolina, Cincinnati or Florida) or in Singapore. This would normally be for one or two semesters in your second year. 

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

In doing so, you’ll 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 placement working in another country. Students have travelled to the US, Canada, Australia, Brazil and many European countries, typically working in a research laboratory at a partner institution.

If you work in another part of Europe you may be eligible for an Erasmus+ grant as well as your full student loan if taking an unpaid research placement in an overseas higher education institution.

This is an excellent opportunity not only to gain valuable work experience but also to improve or learn another language.

Terms and conditions

When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and regulations, and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View our offer terms and conditions and our generic registration terms and conditions (PDF) as a guide as to what to expect.
 
Please note: our offer terms and conditions will be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will vary to take into account specifics of your course.

Disclaimer

This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read more.

Course location and contact details

Campus location

Stag Hill

Stag Hill is the University's main campus and where the majority of our courses are taught. 

Placement location

As part of this course you have the option to complete a Professional Training placement which would require attendance off campus, depending on where you secure your placement.

University of Surrey
Address

University of Surrey
Guildford
Surrey GU2 7XH