Biotechnology BSc (Hons) – 2018 entry

I chose Surrey for the modular programme, which provides the flexibility to choose subjects you’re particularly interested in, and because I was keen to participate in the Professional Training scheme.

Why Surrey?

Our Bioscience programmes are ranked in the top ten in the Complete University Guide 2018, and the Guardian University Guide 2018 . This modular programme allows 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.

Programme overview

On this programme you will study how microbes are manipulated to ‘overproduce’ by-products of their metabolism that can be harvested and purified for a range of important applications. Microbial ‘cell factories’ are used to produce drugs for conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, haemophilia, cancer, and infections.

You will study how traditional products such as fermented foods and beverages have benefited from high­tech 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.

The wide range of teaching and assessment methods on this programme allow you to develop a range of skills that will prepare you for employment in a variety of settings including academia, industry and government.

Programme structure

The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specification documents which include further details such as the learning outcomes. Please be aware that these specifications are applicable to the current academic year.

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.

Year 1 (FHEQ Level 4)

Year 2 (FHEQ Level 5)

Professional Training placement (optional)

Many of our students opt to do a Professional Training placement. These normally begin at the end of the second academic year and finish in time for you to begin the third year of study.

Professional Training placements offer students the opportunity to gain access to the world of work, including meeting employers, developing job search skills and acquiring the employability skills that employers look for. Find out more about Professional Training placements.

Year 3 (FHEQ Level 6)

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 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 degree, 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.

Discover more about our academic staff in the Faculty of Health and Medical Science.

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.

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 programme structure section for more information.

Facilities

Our degree programmes are enhanced through the use of state­-of­-the-­art laboratory facilities.

Our commitment to the development of your practical skills means that you will use equipment allowing you to analyse the genetic make­up of different types of microbes, and specialist computer software enabling the modelling of microbiological systems and metabolic pathways.

For your research project in year 3, you will work within our research laboratories alongside active researchers, and will have the opportunity to contribute to established research projects being undertaken by the Department of Microbial and Cellular Sciences.

Academic support

You are allocated a personal tutor to guide you through the programme and advise on your option choices and future career, helping you to get the most out of your time at Surrey.

They will advise you on personal and academic matters, including reviewing your progress on the programme, advising on module, placement and career options and providing information about wider support services at the University.

Global opportunities

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 pages.

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, Cincinnati or Florida) or in Australia (Swinburne University of Technology).

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, 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 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. 

Careers and Professional Training 

We are very proud of our track record for graduate employability. One of the main reasons for our graduate employability success is our Professional Training placement programme which is one of the largest in the World, with over 2,300 partner organisations in the UK and overseas. To find out more visit our Careers and Professional Training pages.

Our Professional Training programme is one of the very best available, and the majority of our students choose to undertake a placement year.

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:

  • New Zealand Food Safety Authority
  • Solvay Pharmaceuticals
  • University of Turku
  • Okayama University
  • Cornell 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.

Graduate prospects

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 Masters 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 science careers, whether you want to be a laboratory-­based research scientist or a science journalist.

Graduates over the last few years have secured roles such as:

  • Procter & Gamble, Microbiology Researcher
  • Campden and Chorleywood Food Research Association, Senior Research Officer and PhD
  • Tesco, Technical Development Executive
  • Northern Foods (Solway Foods Factory), Process Development Technologist
  • TMO Renewals, Scientist
  • Jordans & Ryvita Company, Taste and Development Technician
  • Leatherhead Food Research, Research Assistant
  • Sanofi Aventis, Microbiology Analyst
  • University of Eastern Finland, Researcher

Many students progress to higher degrees at Masters and doctorate levels.

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

2018 Entry requirements

What qualifications do you need?

A-level

Overall: ABB.

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

GCSE or Equivalent: English and Mathematics grade C (4).

Access to HE Diploma

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

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

GCSE or Equivalent: English and Mathematics grade C (4).

BTEC (QCF Level 3) Extended Diploma

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

GCSE or Equivalent: English and Maths grade C (4).

European Baccalaureate

Overall: 78%.

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

GCSE or Equivalent: English 6 (Language 1/2) or 7 (Language 3), and Mathematics 6.

International Baccalaureate

Overall: 32.

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

GCSE or Equivalent: English and Maths HL4/SL4.

Science Practical Certificate

Applicants taking the Science Practical Endorsement are required to pass.

Scottish Highers

Overall: AABBB.

Required Subjects: Biology and a second science or Mathematics.

GCSE or Equivalent: English Language and Maths Scottish National 5,C.

Welsh Baccalaureate

Overall: Pass overall with ABB from the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate and two A-levels.

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

GCSE or Equivalent: English and Mathematics grade C (4).

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.

Select your country:

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

IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in each element.

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 C560 View KIS data set
BSc (Hons) 4 years C561 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.

Additional costs

There are additional costs associated with this programme – view the additional costs section for full details.

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

The Full Surrey Award 2018 entry

The University will identify eligible students, so there is no application form for this scheme.

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 modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Our graduates