BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences

Are you passionate about biology in all of its forms? Do you want to study a broad biology degree without the constraints of choosing a specialism too soon, with equal emphasis on lab and field skills?

Course details

You will build an understanding of biology from viruses to mammals and from freshwater to rocky shores, gaining state-of-the-art practical and transferable skills highly sought by employers, graduating ready to shape the future of fields from ecosystem management to laboratory research.
  • Mode of study: 3-4 days  a week
  • Intake: Intakes: September
  • Course length: 3-4 years
  • Course fee: 9250 per year
  • Location: Plymouth campus

Plymouth University

Course overview

In the 2020 National Student Survey, 92% of students felt staff on this course were good at explaining things and 96% found the course intellectually stimulating.* This programme focuses on biology of a wide range of environments from soils and the oceans to hydrothermal vents and forests.


Entry requirements

  • UCAS tariff
  • 112 – 128
  • To include A level Biology and a second relevant subject (Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Geography, Geology, Environmental Science or Environmental Studies, Applied Science, Marine Science) at grade C.
  • BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma/RQF National Extended Diploma in Science
  • International Baccalaureate 30 diploma points overall, to include 5 diploma points in Biology (Higher Level) plus 5 diploma points in second science at Higher Level. English and Mathematics must be included.
  • Access To Higher Education Science-based diplomas, 33 credits in science-based units at merit including a minimum of 12 credits in biology units.
  • We would usually expect GCSE English and Mathematics at grade C / 4, or equivalent.


Our biological science students have tremendous opportunities to gain the knowledge and skills necessary for employment in a variety of work settings. Our hands-on approach to teaching and learning throughout the course will provide you with the topical skills and experience that you can apply to the wide range of career options as graduates.


In your first year, you will obtain a strong foundation across the spectrum of the biological sciences. You will begin with an intensive 4 week induction module through which you will obtain key skills in use of the scientific literature, data analysis and interpretation, academic writing and presenting and communicating your findings in both written and oral formats. You will then study cell biology, microbiology and the physiology of animals and plants, whilst furthering your transferable skills. You will undertake laboratory based practicals in a range of different areas that underpin and complement your lecture-based learning.  You will have the opportunity to undertake a residential field course or alternative. Recently this has been to Slapton in South Devon, where we studied natural history and taxonomy of wild animals and plants, whilst learning to design and carry out experimental work in the field.

  • Introduction to Biology (BIOL119Z)
  • Professional Development in Biological Sciences 1 (BIOL129Z)
  • Biological Sciences Field Biology (BIOL130Z)
  • Cells: The Building Blocks of Life (BIOL131Z)
  • Ecology and the Diversity of Life (BIOL132Z)
  • Principles of Physiology (BIOL133Z)
  • Evolution and Behaviour (MBIO161Z)
  • Microbial Physiology and Biochemistry (BIOL211Z)
  • Molecular Biology (BIOL220Z)
  • Professional Development in Biological Sciences 2 (BIOL225Z)
  • Biological Sciences Field Course (BIOL233Z)
  • Methods in Biology (BIOL234Z)
  • Plant Ecophysiology (BIOL235Z)


Optional modules


  • Systems Physiology: Function and Dysfunction (BHCS2018Z).
  • Ecology (BIOL214Z)
  • Ecotoxicology (BIOL311Z)
  • Personal Research (BIOL315Z)

Optional modules


  • Plant Biotechnology (BIOL301Z)
  • Global Change Biology (BIOL310Z)
  • Animal Nutrition (BIOL320Z)
  • Pharmacology and Natural Products (BIOL321Z)
  • Aquatic Microbial Ecology (BIOL322Z)
  • Advanced Behaviour Analysis Techniques (BIOL323Z)
  • Advanced Bioinformatics and Phylogenetics (BIOL324Z)