Biological Sciences BSc (Hons) – 2021 entry
Start date: October 2021
Why choose this course
Our BSc (Hons) 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 £10m Innovation for Health learning laboratories.
What you will study
Our BSc (Hons) 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 two years, 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.
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. This includes 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.
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 complete 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 (Hons) Biological Sciences degree, 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.
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.
Important: In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the University has had to change the delivery (and in some cases the content) of its programmes, together with certain University services and facilities for the 2020/21 academic year. These changes include the implementation of a hybrid teaching approach. View detailed information on the changes.
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, 75 and 120 credits, and additionally for some masters dissertations, 90 credits.
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:
Course 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. View our Timetabling Policy (PDF).
We offer a carefully-structured, modular course. This means 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.
You’ll conduct fieldwork both on campus and further afield, and visit a number of places like Merristwood College, The Millennium Seedbank at Wakehurst Place, the Surrey Wildlife Trust's Grazing project, Birdworld and the London Natural History Museum.
During your first year, almost a quarter of your time will be spent in laboratory or fieldwork classes.
From your second year onwards, you can choose to stay in the general Biological Sciences pathway, or to specialise in Animal and Ecology, Infection and Immunity, or Cellular and Molecular Sciences.
In your third year you can choose from a number of optional modules and further specialise your skill during the final year project.
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 graduate teaching assistants. The University has a set of procedures that govern the use of postgraduate research students in this way.
We assess modules individually and award credits 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 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.
As a student at Surrey, you can also sign up to our free courses in the following areas:
Living in student accommodation is a great way to meet new people and spark friendships.
Do I meet the requirements for this course?
We require you to submit a full application so that we can formally assess whether you meet the criteria published. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide an outcome based on an enquiry (via email, webform enquiry, phone or live chat).
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.
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.
If you don’t meet our entry requirements, you might still be able to apply for this course with a foundation year. A course with a foundation year includes an extra year of study to prepare you for a full degree course. Find out more about our degrees with foundation year.
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 contact Admissions on +44 (0)1483 682222 with any queries.
The annual tuition fees for courses starting in October 2021
BSc (Hons) (with professional training year)
Professional training £1,850
BSc (Hons) (with foundation year)
BSc (Hons) (with foundation and professional training year)
Professional training £1,850
- 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: The UK is now no longer part of the EU, we are awaiting further instruction from the UK government and we will publish this as soon as it is provided. Find out more information about Studying in the UK and the Scholarships for EU students.
- 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.
- 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 2020/21 academic year Professional Training placement fee.
There are associated costs with this course:
Safety equipment and/or uniform: £20 – equipment pack (includes laboratory coat, laboratory glasses, laboratory book, pen and padlock). You are responsible for the costs associated with maintaining/washing/replacing any equipment.
Grand total: £20
Scholarships and bursaries
We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.
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:
- Environmental research
- Animal welfare
- Molecular research
- Neuroscience research
- Cancer research
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 Europe, the rest of the world (US, China, Brazil, Singapore, Malaysia 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.
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.
Want to study at an overseas institution as part of your degree or work abroad during your Professional Training year? Perhaps you would like to volunteer in India or learn about Brazilian business and culture in São Paulo during your summer holidays? With more than 200 partnerships, from 50 different countries worldwide, there is something for everyone.
Not only is the opportunity to go abroad a hugely enjoyable experience, you will develop key skills and knowledge that will strengthen your CV and increase your employability.
View our study and work abroad exchange information to find out more and see where you can go.
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.
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 spend your Professional Training placement working in another country. We offer more than 150 placements in many European countries and all over the world, typically working in a research laboratory at a partner institution.
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 procedures, the student 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 an example of our offer terms and conditions and our registration terms and conditions (PDF) from the 2020/2021 academic year as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: our offer terms and conditions will generally 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 and changes for the specific academic year.
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 and before you accept an offer. Read more.
In particular we wish to draw your intention to the following matters affecting the academic year 2021/2022:
- Covid-19 - In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University has had to change the delivery (and in some cases the content) of its programmes, together with certain University services and facilities for the 2020/2021 academic year. These changes include the implementation of a hybrid teaching approach, details of which can be found here [link]. It is anticipated that these programme changes and the hybrid learning approach will be adopted throughout the academic year 2021/2022, however, given the changing nature of the pandemic, this is being kept under continuous review. Detailed information on all changes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is available at the coronavirus course changes page. The linked pages set out information relating to general University changes and will also direct you to consider additional information relating to specific programmes.
- Brexit - The UK is now no longer part of the EU. We are awaiting further information and instruction from the UK government and we will publish this as soon as it is provided. EU students applying for programmes in the academic year 2021/2022 and students applying for courses with placements abroad should visit our dedicated webpages for the latest information on how the UK’s departure from the EU will affect their courses.
Campus locationStag Hill
Stag Hill is the University's main campus and where the majority of our courses are taught.
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.