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What makes Biology BSc at the University of Worcester special?

Four pathways are available:

Biology (Biological Science)Biology (Animal Biology)Biology (Human Biology) and Biology (Biochemistry).

Biology is one of the most actively changing subjects in the sciences, with biologists seeking solutions to the many challenges that shape our world. You will engage with the subject at every level, from the molecular level, through whole organisms and beyond to their relationships with each other and the wider environment.

Our BSc Biology degree has a strong practical emphasis, designed to prepare you for an exciting career in this fascinating field.  We have new laboratories equipped with some of the latest technology. Our applied approach is designed to enhance your skills and expertise and boost your graduate employability.

If you choose the Animal Biology pathway, you will have the opportunity to explore the wonders of the animal kingdom and the natural world. You'll learn about the fundamentals of biology, from the functioning of a single cell right up to the processes that control reproduction and survival in complex organisms.

Taking a broad approach to the subject is the strong feature of our Biological Science pathway. You will study all areas of Biology from DNA to physiology, from cells to ecosystems, from genetics to conservation. In this you will have the opportunity to undertake unique research opportunities in a field based on your area of interest. You’ll also get to explore the latest discoveries and their relationship with established biological principles.

Following the Human Biology pathway provides you with insights into an age of unprecedented scientific discovery, with the mapping of the human genome and the potential of stem cell research revolutionising our understanding of how our bodies work.

Opting to follow the Biochemistry pathway will enable you to explore the molecular machinery that lies at the heart of the cell and drives all living organisms. There is emphasis on human health, from the processes that cause cancer to the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

Overview

Overview

Key features

  • Opportunity to explore a range of biological science topics and flexibility to focus on Animal Biology, Biological Science, Biochemistry or Human Biology.
  • Study in a friendly and supportive environment.
  • Opportunity to undertake an optional international field trip on Biological Science and Animal Biology pathways (additional costs apply).
  • Links with local Wildlife Trusts and other environmental and conservations agencies, Sea Life Centres and Safari parks.
  • Volunteer as part of the University’s Environmental Sustainability Eco Campus initiative.
  • Excellent partnerships with many UK and international research institutions, including The Karolinska Institute - home of the Nobel Prize
  • New laboratories and extensive specialist equipment - an inspiring environment for you to develop your ideas
  • Accreditation with the Royal Society of Biology being sought
Biology course structure

What makes the course at the University of Worcester special?

BSc Biology at University of Worcester offers you a unique opportunity to gain core knowledge in a range of biological subjects before deciding which area you wish to specialise in.

You will study core biology in your first year of study, then decide whether to study modules in the Animal Biology/Biological Science or Human Biology/Biochemistry pathway groups alongside core knowledge in your second year.

You will then choose whether to study more advanced modules in Animal Biology, Biological Science, Biochemistry or Human Biology in your final year, and will graduate with BSc Biology annotated with your area of speciality, for instance BSc Biology (Animal Biology).

Register your interest

Enter your details below and we will keep you up to date with useful information about studying at the University of Worcester.


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Join us this September

It's not too late to apply for a September 2021 start. We have places available through clearing on a range of courses.

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Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

96-104
UCAS tariff points

UCAS tariff

96 UCAS Tariff points MUST include A2 Biology and A2 another science, maths or statistics.

104 UCAS Tariff points MUST include A2 Biology.

Other qualifications, such as BTEC in Applied Science or equivalent, and Access to Higher Education (with at least 15 credits of Biological Sciences gained), will also be considered.

Don't quite meet the entry requirements or returning to education? Consider studying Biological Science with Foundation Year.

Other information

The University will consider each application on its individual merits and will recognise a range of qualifications not currently included in the Tariff, including pre-2002 qualifications such as GNVQ. Non-standard entry via the exploratory essay route is also available.

If your qualifications are not listed, please contact the Admissions Office for advice on 01905 855111 or email admissions@worc.ac.uk for advice.

Further information about the UCAS Tariff can be obtained from http://www.ucas.com

If you are an international student who does not have the relevant entry requirements for direct entry onto this course, our pathway courses at University of Worcester International College could be the right option for you and enable you to still graduate with this degree. To find out more visit the Science and Health & Social Science pathways page.

Two students looking into their microscopes whilst the lecturer leans over the lab counter to talk to them.

Biological sciences foundation year

If you don't quite meet the entry requirements or you're returning to education then you might consider studying this degree with a foundation year.

Find out more

"I really enjoyed being at a smaller university with smaller class sizes, getting the attention of the professors and the support of the University and the staff."

Tiffany Slater, Biology graduate, originally from Kentucky.

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Book your place at an Open Day

Want to know why so many students love living and studying in Worcester?

Our Open Days are the perfect way to find out.

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"I arrived at the University of Worcester not too sure about the future direction of my career, but I finished my degree inspired and eager to start my journey into the world of academic research. The support I received throughout my studies was great."

Rebecca Molland

Biomedical Science BSc: a biomedical science student using the lab equipment available on our biomedical science degree.

Introduction to Studying Biological Sciences at University of Worcester

If you are interested in studying Biological Sciences (Animal Biology, Biochemistry, Biology, Biomedical Science, Forensic & Applied Biology, Human Biology, Human Nutrition, Medical Sciences) with us and want to know more, then please join us for this taster event where you can learn about Worcester University and the courses and take part in taster sessions with lecturers who will introduce you to the studying Biological Sciences at University level.

The taster will include mini talks from current students covering their own research projects that they have conducted. There will also be an opportunity to have a Q&A with staff members.

The event will take place on Wednesday 30th June       

Book your place
Course content

What will you study?

Our courses are informed by research and current developments in the discipline and feedback from students, external examiners and employers. Modules do therefore change periodically in the interests of keeping the course relevant and reflecting best practice. The most up-to-date information will be available to you once you have accepted a place and registered for the course. If there are insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this might not be offered, but we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative. 

Year 1

All pathways

Mandatory

  • Biological Diversity
  • Cell Biology
  • Chemistry for the Life Sciences
  • Comparative Physiology
  • Health and Disease

Year 2

Year 2 - Animal Biology/Biological Sciences Pathways

Mandatory

  • Animal Behaviour
  • Surveying Species and Habitats
  • Molecular Genetics and Conservation
  • Plant Biology
  • Project & Career Development

Optional

  • Microbiology
  • Protein Structure and Function
  • Work Experience
  • Language Option

Year 2 - Biochemistry/Human Biology Pathways

Mandatory

  • Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • Immunology
  • Project & Career Development
  • Systems Physiology 1

Optional

  • Microbiology
  • Protein Structure and Function
  • Work Experience
  • Language Option

Year 3

Year 3 - BSc Biology (Animal Biology)

Mandatory

  • Research Project
  • Physiological Ecology
  • Mammalian Reproduction
  • Welfare and Ethics for Biologists
  • Behavioural Ecology
  • Current Topics in Zoology & Conservation

Optional

Choose 1 from:

  • Genomics and Bioinformatics
  • International field trip
  • Parasitology

Year 3 - BSc Biology (Biochemistry)

Mandatory

  • Research Project
  • Metabolic Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry of Cancer
  • Clinical Biochemistry

Optional

Choose 1 from:

  • Genomics and Bioinformatics
  • Parasitology
  • Systems Physiology 2
  • Pharmacology

Year 3 - BSc Biology (Biological Science)

Mandatory

  • Research Project
  • Physiological Ecology
  • Genomics and Bioinformatics
  • Plant Development & Physiology

Optional

Choose 3 from:

  • Behavioural Ecology
  • Biochemistry of Cancer
  • International field trip
  • Mammalian Reproduction
  • Parasitology
  • Pharmacology

Year 3 - BSc Biology (Human Biology)

Mandatory

  • Research Project
  • Mammalian Reproduction
  • Systems Physiology 2
  • Biochemistry of Cancer

Optional

Choose 1 from:

  • Genomics and Bioinformatics
  • Parasitology
  • Pharmacology

Student Views

Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?

Teaching

You are taught through a combination of lectures, practical work, field work, video presentations, group tutorials, discussions, directed reading, and formative assessments. The first year also includes study skills sessions. The course is very practical and offers you the opportunity to undertake an independent research project in your third year. The emphasis on the development of 'hands on' practical skills will provide you with useful skills for your future career.

In addition, meetings with personal academic tutors are scheduled on at least 4 occasions in the first year and three occasions in each of the other years of a course.

You have an opportunity to take a work experience module in your second year and spend a semester abroad, or to become involved in staff research through the Students as Academic Partners Scheme.

In addition, meetings with personal academic tutors are scheduled on at least 4 occasions in the first year and three occasions in each of the other years of a course.

Location of teaching

Most teaching will be at the University of Worcester.  However, students may have work experience in different organisations, or may be involved in field or lab work outside the University.

Contact time

In a typical week you will have around 16 contact hours of teaching. The precise contact hours will depend on the optional modules selected and in the final year you will normally have slightly less contact time in order to do more independent study.

Typically, class contact time will be structured around:

  • 4 to 6 hours of lectures
  • 2 to 4 hours of interactive workshops or seminars
  • Around 8 hours of laboratory or field-based practical

Class sizes will vary depending on the module from over 100 in Cell Biology theory sessions (though practical sessions are smaller and have significant staff support) to smaller numbers of around 20 for some of the final year modules

Independent self study

In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake around 27 hours of personal self-study per week. Typically, this will involve going over your lecture notes and reading around the topic in order to reinforce the content, completing online activities, reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library and online, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations.

Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including The Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources.

Duration

  • 3 years full-time
  • 4-6 years part-time

Timetables

Timetables are normally available one month before registration. Please note that whilst we try to be as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week; and some classes can be scheduled in the evenings.

Teaching staff

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. You will mainly be taught by senior academics, but visiting speakers with specialised expertise may deliver some sessions. Technicians support practical sessions.

Teaching is informed by our research, and (as at December 2020) 93 per cent of course lecturers in the Biological Sciences have a higher education teaching qualification or are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy. Twenty per cent also have Teaching Fellowships from the University of Worcester. You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles.

Assessment

The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or 'formative' assignments. Each module has one or more formal or 'summative' assessments which are graded and count towards the overall module grade.

You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate. We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.  

Assessment methods include practical reports, presentations, posters, on-line activities, essays and examinations (which may be practical, written, data analysis, seen exams or open book exams).

The precise assessment requirements for an individual student in an academic year will vary according to the mandatory and optional modules taken, but a typical formal summative assessment pattern for each year of the course is:

Year 1

  • 4 practical reports
  • 3 practical files
  • 6 exams of 1.5 or 2 hours’ duration
  • 1 practical test
  • 1 presentation
  • 1 poster

Year 2

  • 2 practical reports
  • 5 exams of 1.5 or 2 hours’ duration
  • 2 poster presentations
  • 1 presentation
  • 1 practical test
  • 1 practical handbook
  • 1 bioinformatics handbook
  • 1 data exercise
  • 1 lay summary
  • 1 literature portfolio
  • 1 research proposal
  • 1 CV and practice job interview

Year 3

  • 1 Research Project dissertation
  • 2 poster presentation
  • 2 presentations
  • 4 examinations of 1.5 or 2 hours’ duration
  • 1 on-line activity
  • 1 essay
  • 1 practical test
  • 2 practical reports
  • 1 scientific review article
  • 1 summary and critical discussion of academic papers

Meet the team

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course.

Here are a few members of the department who currently teach on this course:

Peter

Professor Peter Seville

In 2019, Peter joined University of Worcester as Professor and Head of the School of Science and the Environment, where he manages staff delivering a range of courses including Biology, Biomedical Science, Forensic and Applied Biology and Medical Science.  In this role Peter is also supporting the establishment of a new Medical School at the University.

Peter's interests and experiences cover a diverse range, including: human health in his role as a pharmacist; animal health through his education in veterinary pharmacy; pharmaceutical science particularly the aerosolisation of medicines into the lung arising from his research; and law both in his role as a Justice of the Peace and as the law relates to health care.

mike wheeler

Dr Mike Wheeler

Dr Mike Wheeler is Head of Biological Sciences.

Mike joined the University of Worcester in 2010 after researching in the area of plant molecular genetics. Mike developed a strong background in the biology of cell signalling in plants, with specific research into the mechanisms of self-incompatibility in poppy and the control of polarity in pollen tubes of tobacco. He is currently investigating the function of a large family of secreted proteins likely to be involved in cell-cell communication in the model plants, Arabidopsis thaliana and Physcomitrella patens.

In addition to his research into plant molecular genetics Mike is also developing means of using molecular biology to solve problems in conservation biology which is a longstanding passion of his. In this area Mike is currently developing eDNA (environmental DNA) techniques to assess the effect of invasive and non-native species on species of conservation concern. Mike is also currently involved in a scheme to improve winter feeding for farmland birds at Lakeside campus in partnership with the local RSPB group.

Mike is a member of the Sustainable Environments Research Group.

dr-allain-bueno

Dr Allain Bueno

Dr Allain Bueno is Course Leader and Admissions Tutor for the BSc Medical Sciences course

Dr Bueno joined the University of Worcester in January 2012, after 4 years of Post-doctoral experience at the Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition in London, working with Prof Michael Angus Crawford, one of the pioneers in fatty acid metabolism and brain composition.

Dr Bueno investigated in his PhD the effects of dietary fats on adipose tissue metabolism, and how different types of fat can influence disorders such as inflammation and diabetes. In his MPhil Dr Bueno investigated the impact of surgical removal of fat pads on metabolic adaptations in obesity induced by diet and by neurochemical malfunctioning.

Dr Bueno graduated as a Biomedical Scientist – Medical Modality – from Paulista School of Medicine, Sao Paulo Federal University in Brazil. He has extensive experience in clinical sciences, having worked and taught in a leading Tertiary Referral Hospital. His current area of research includes the biochemistry of dietary fats and their role in oxidative stress, brain metabolism and function.

Dr Bueno is a Scientific Advisor of the Food Standards Agency.

 

ray-camilleri

Dr Ray Camilleri

Ray joined the academic staff at the University of Worcester in September 2017 as a Senior Lecturer, Course Leader and Admissions Tutor of our biomedical course.

He is also a member of the Worcester Biomedical Research Group and Health, Life and Environment Research Ethics Committee.

Ray’s research has been focused on the genetic and phenotypic links between von Willebrand factor-cleaving protease and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura.

 

dr-amy-cherry

Dr Amy Cherry

Dr Amy Cherry joined the University of Worcester following postdoctoral positions at the National Institute of Medical Research and the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm. Her research focuses on understanding how proteins work at the molecular level and on how one can use knowledge of protein structure to tackle disease.

dr-steven-j-coles

Dr Steven J Coles

Steve joined the University of Worcester in 2013, following 5 years post-doctoral experience at Cardiff University, School of Medicine (Section of Haematology), working with Professors Tonks and Darley. During his time at Cardiff, Steve investigated the role of the immune checkpoint molecule, CD200, in a type of blood cancer known as acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).

Since joining us, Steve has introduced several new modules to the Biological and Biomedical Sciences curriculum that align with his expertise, including: Immunology and  Biochemistry of Cancer.

Steve has also helped to establish and lead the Worcester Biomedical Research Group, where the research focusses on Cancer, Neurodegeneration and Cardiovascular Disease.

dr-rob-herbert

Dr Rob Herbert

Dr Rob Herbert is the Programme Leader for Biological Sciences

dr-kate-ashbrook

Dr Kate Ashbrook

Kate's background includes four years of post-doctoral studies at the University of Bath and a period as a field researcher for the Canadian Wildlife Service where she contributed to long-term monitoring of a seabird colony in Nunavut, Canada.

Her research interests focus on using modelling to understand the dynamics of ecological systems and inform conservation management.

Careers

Where could it take you?

Employability

Our BSc Biology degree prepares you for a number of degree paths including scientific researcher within government, industry or medical institutions, nature conservation, a range of public sector work and a teaching career. Many of our graduates go on to further study through masters and PhD degrees.

 

Our Biology degree has a strong applied component. We have retained a great deal of practical and field work, both of which have been greatly reduced in many universities; these give you an advantage when seeking employment or continuing your studies through a higher degree. The skills achieved are recorded throughout the course in a Technical Skills Passport which allows employers to see the wide range of skills developed. This has suited students well for careers in the laboratory or the field. Some are engaged in research or education and some undertake medical qualifications or complete higher degrees.

There are many opportunities to extend your experience and enhance your CV by carrying out voluntary work. Staff members in the Institute have links with several Wild Life Trusts (including Worcestershire Wildlife Trust) and other environmental and conservation agencies, Sea Life Centres, Safari Parks etc. and can help organise voluntary work (which can feed into Research Projects in the final year of study). There has also been the possibility for students to gain experience by volunteering to work within the Environmental Sustainability Eco Campus initiative.

80% of our 2017/18 graduates were in employment and 20% in further study six months after graduation. 

Shannon Bolton

Shannon Bolton

Having achieved a First Class degree in Animal Biology, Shannon has gained a coveted place at Bristol Veterinary School to study Veterinary Science. “The lecturers at Worcester were fantastic. They really get to know their students and support them with their aspirations and are always there when you need them.”

During her studies, Shannon spent one day a week at Lowesmoor House Vets gaining veterinary work experience.  Through this she conducted her final year research project on canine mitral valve disease, looking at whether a particular drug used for managing clinical signs was effective and whether there were mutations along a small section of DNA in dogs with the disease compared to dogs without the disease.  This is an area of research she hopes to continue with in future. Once qualified, Shannon plans to start off in mixed practice before eventually specialising in small animal cardiology.

Ebowles

Elisabeth Bowles - PhD Student - IBERS, Aberystwyth University

One of the biggest reasons I was accepted onto the PhD course was due to the Research Project, which is completed in the final year of my undergraduate degree. Unlike most universities, Worcester allows students to design and undertake their investigations completely self-driven, with the supervisors acting in a supportive role rather than as a leader. The freedom and responsibility given to us has been hugely transferable not just for my current course but also in getting part-time jobs by being able to prove time management and independence.

I love what I’m doing now and I don’t think I would have been able to achieve what I have had I studied at another university. Worcester helped me go from disappointing A levels, to starting my PhD straight from my Bachelors.

Cover of the 2020 University of Worcester prospectus

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Costs

How much will it cost?

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fee for full-time UK and EU students registering in the academic year 2021/22 is £9,250 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international students registering in the academic year 2021/22 is £13,100 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Part-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fees for part-time UK and EU students registering on this course in the academic year 2021/22 are £1,156 per 15-credit module, £1,542 per 20 credit module, £2,313 per 30-credit module, £3,083 per 40-credit module, £3,469 per 45-credit module and £4,625 per 60 credit module.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Additional costs

The courses involves day-to-day costs for printing, stationery, books etc. A lab coat (which can be bought for about £13) is also required and a scientific calculator is useful.

Any mandatory field trips are paid for by the University but optional residential trips such as the International Biology field trip incur additional costs.

Accommodation

Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience. Our halls of residence are home to friendly student communities, making them great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our range of student halls. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £108 per week to 'En-suite Extra' at £184 per week (2021/22 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

How to apply

How do you apply?

Applying through UCAS

Single Honours:
Biology BSc (Hons) - C100

UCAS is the central organisation through which applications are processed for entry onto full-time undergraduate courses in Higher Education in the UK.

Read our How to apply pages for more information on applying and to find out what happens to your application.

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.

Dr Mike Wheeler

Head of Biological Sciences

SSE Academic Support Unit