Biotechnology BSc (Hons) – 2019 entry
Why choose this course
Our biosciences programmes are ranked in the top 10 in the Complete University Guide 2018 and the Guardian University Guide 2018.
In the School of Biosciences and Medicine, we pride ourselves on the amount of practical laboratory experience we provide to our students. As a student of BSc Biotechnology, you will benefit from teaching in state-of-the-art facilities, delivered by committed and passionate academic staff.
You will develop a wide range of scientific, analytic and technological skills that will prepare you for employment in a variety of settings including academia, industry and government.
What you will study
Our BSc Biotechnology course will allow you to gain a solid grounding in all aspects of biotechnology, while also offering the flexibility to study a wide range of related subjects such as medical microbiology, physiology, immunology and cancer pathogenesis.
On this course, you will explore how microbes are manipulated to ‘overproduce’ by-products of their metabolism that can be harvested and purified for a range of important applications.
You will also study how traditional products, such as fermented foods and beverages, have benefitted from high-tech applications developed by biotechnologists and how genome sequencing and in silico approaches, such as those used in systems biology, have allowed significant advances in our knowledge of gene function and gene regulation in microbes.
|Qualification||Course length||Professional Training||UCAS||KIS code|
|BSc (Hons)||48 months||C561||View KIS data set|
|BSc (Hons)||36 months||C560||View KIS data set|
Professional Training placements
As part of this course you have the option to complete a Professional Training placement. These will give you the opportunity to develop your professional, academic and personal potential, equipping you to be adaptable, resilient, globally minded, confident, entrepreneurial and digitally savvy in the workplace. These qualities are widely recognised by employers and 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.
Our experienced tutors help you to select suitable placements from a strictly vetted selection of excellent industrial, hospital and academic institutions, including some that have taken Surrey students regularly for many years.
We have placements across the UK, including major pharmaceutical, food and biotechnology companies and research institutes. We also provide placements outside the UK.
Examples of organisations that have participated in the scheme include:
- University of Gothenburg
- University of Eastern Finland
- Trinity College Dublin
- Sapienza Rome
- Texas A&M
- Nanyang Technological University.
Most of our placements provide a salary, and to ensure their success, students are visited by a tutor twice during the year and have one virtual meeting via Skype.
Applying for placements
Professional Training placements are usually applied for and secured via an open and free-to-all process, within which students can select and apply for numerous opportunities. Placement providers use their own recruitment and selection procedures and the majority of students will secure their placement in this way. However, support is also provided to students wishing to source their own placement, subject to university requirements being met.
Students are generally not placed by the University, however they are given thorough support and guidance alongside access to a vacancy portal representing thousands of placement opportunities each year. Please be aware there may be travel costs incurred when attending interviews and assessment centres at the placement provider’s premises.
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.
University of Surrey microbiology and biotechnology graduates are employed in academic and industrial research laboratories throughout the world.
The majority of our graduates go immediately into the job market and many others choose further study such as postgraduate degrees and PhD studentships.
The many transferable skills that you will gain during your studies ensure that you will be a suitable candidate for a wide variety of careers in science.
Graduates over the last few years have secured roles such as:
- Microbiology Researcher, Procter & Gamble
- Senior Research Officer, Campden and Chorleywood Food Research Association
- Technical Development Executive, Tesco
- Process Development Technologist, Northern Foods (Solway Foods Factory)
- Scientist, TMO Renewals
- Taste and Development Technician, Jordans & Ryvita Company
- Research Assistant, Leatherhead Food Research.
Many students progress to higher degrees at masters and doctorate levels.
Study and work abroad
We give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees 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. Visit our global exchanges pages to check where you can go.
We give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees 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. To check where you can go, visit our Global Exchanges search tool.
You may wish to consider spending your Professional Training placement working in another country. Students have travelled to the US, Australia and many European countries, and typically work 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 undertaking an unpaid research placement in an overseas higher education institution. This is an excellent opportunity not only to acquire valuable work experience but also improve or learn another language.
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. All taught modules are 15 credits. Project modules and dissertation modules can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60 credits.
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.
Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
Optional modules for Year 1 - FHEQ Level 4
Choose either BMS1030 or BMS1041, plus 2 additional modules. A total of 4 modules must be taken each semester.
BMS1030 - Compulsory unless selecting BMS1041
BMS1041 - Compulsory if wanting to take BMS2035/2043
Optional modules for Year 2 - FHEQ Level 5
Choose 5 optional modules. A total of 4 modules must be taken each semester.
BMS2043 - mutually exclusive with BMS2053
BMS2053 - mutually exclusive with BMS2043
Optional modules for Year 3 - FHEQ Level 6
Choose 2 optional modules.
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).
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 third of your time is spent in laboratory classes.
In your second year, the study 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.
Throughout your programme, we provide support to some of the core modules in an electronic format, to complement the excellent facilities offered by the Library and Learning Centre.
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.
This course is taught by academic staff from the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.
COTTELL A Dr (Biosc & Med)
All taught students are assigned a personal tutor before beginning a programme of study. Personal tutors offer support and advice to students in the areas of:
Personal/professional development and employability.
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 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.
Policies and regulations
Learning and disability support
We have two services, the Student Personal Learning and Study Hub (SPLASH) and Additional Learning Support (ALS) which can help develop your learning.
Student Personal Learning and Study Hub
SPLASH is a learning space in the Library where our learning development team is based. It comprises dedicated Student Learning Advisers and Information Skills Librarians who can help you develop your academic and research skills, including writing, presenting, revision and critical thinking.
Find out more about the study support available.
Additional Learning Support
ALS is the University’s disability and neurodiversity service which supports students with disabilities, long-term health conditions, specific learning differences (for example: dyslexia and dyspraxia) and other neurodiverse conditions (for example: autism spectrum and attention deficit disorder).
If you have a disability, we encourage you to disclose your condition and register with the service so you can be appropriately supported during your studies.
The ALS team can arrange exam and learning support adjustments, give advice on applications for the Disabled Students' Allowance and screen students for dyslexia and dyspraxia. Regular study skills and mentoring support is also available.
See the Additional Learning Support website for more information.
What qualifications do you need?
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in each 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. The University of Surrey is also an IELTS test centre.
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.
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.
|Qualification||Course length||Professional Training||UK/EU fees||Overseas fees||Professional Training fees|
|BSc (Hons)||48 months||To be confirmed||To be confirmed||To be confirmed|
|BSc (Hons)||36 months||To be confirmed||To be confirmed||Not applicable|
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.
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
These additional costs are accurate as of September 2017 and apply to the 2018 year of entry. Costs for 2019 entry will be published in September 2018.
How to apply
Learn how to apply for an undergraduate course, see details about the UCAS application process and determine the steps you need to take if you receive an offer to study.
Our undergraduate admissions policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students.
Scholarships and bursaries
We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.