Biological Sciences

BSc, 3-4 years

This is for you if... you want a flexible programme that gives you the opportunity to study across the breadth of biological sciences but also to take your learning to the forefront of current research.

Course Description

As the knowledge base in the biological sciences grows exponentially and technology becomes ever more sophisticated, the ability to think broadly about biology and to apply your knowledge across the boundaries of traditional disciplines will inevitably become a very valuable and powerful asset both in scientific environments and in many other walks of life.

At the University of Leicester, our Biological Sciences degrees are actually seven degrees in one. You can apply for this general degree in Biological Sciences or any of the six specialist degrees listed below.

Whichever degree you choose, your first year will be the same and you will have the same choice of modules in your second year and again in your final year. Selecting particular modules in your second and final years will steer you towards one of our specialist degrees (which doesn't have to be the one you originally applied for). Or you can make your own selection of modules in those years and graduate with the broad knowledge that comes from this non-specialised degree.

The specialisms available are:

What's the difference?

Our seven Biological Sciences degrees cover major aspects of biology across a wide range of organisms from bacteria and fungi to humans and plants. Our four Medical Sciences degrees focus more closely on the application of those biological principles to medicine, including the social and ethical issues raised by recent advances in medical science.

Key Facts
Typical offer
ABB
UCAS code
C100
Start date
September 2017
Department
Biological Sciences
Contact

Admissions enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 5281
mbspadmissions@le.ac.uk

Course enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 3323 or 2907
bsadmin@le.ac.uk

School of Biological Sciences website



View Key Information Sets

Why Leicester?

Our seven Biological Sciences degrees let you study a broad range of topics in Year 1 before choosing the area that really fascinates you, within a flexible module system that lets you also study topics outside of your main interest.

In your final year you will undertake your own research project, using professional lab-based techniques and academic skills that are crucial for careers in the biosciences.

The technique of ‘DNA fingerprinting’ – used by courts and crime agencies throughout the world – was invented at the University of Leicester in 1984.

Our geneticists were instrumental in identifying the remains of King Richard III, discovered by University of Leicester archaeologists underneath a car park, by comparing skeletal DNA with living relatives of the King.

Course Structure

Year 1

Year 1

Whichever Biological Sciences degree you apply for, your first year will be the same. You will study information transfer in biological systems, macromolecular structures, enzyme kinetics, membrane structure and function, and metabolic pathways. You will be introduced to the cell and developmental biology of plants and animals and their vast diversity, from both evolutionary and environmental perspectives.

Exploring the basic concepts of genetics and genetic analysis will explain the effects of mutations and how they arise. You will investigate physiological processes in whole tissues and body systems. You will also explore the diversity of plants and animals, including the links between environmental and evolutionary biology and how these relate to animal behaviour. You will also be introduced to the structure and function of microorganisms and consider their impact on the biosphere.

Modules

It may be possible to transfer at the end of Year 1 to the first year of our Medical Degree if you achieve a set standard.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year 2

Year 2

In Year 2 you choose five modules. You can steer your degree towards one of our six specialist degrees by picking the designated modules for that subject, or make your own selection and work towards a general degree in Biological Sciences. Most – but not all – second year modules are available across all seven degrees (subject to timetabling).

You will also study a Research Topic module this year.

Modules

Choose five option modules from:

The available specialisms are:

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year in Industry or Abroad (optional)

Year in Industry or Abroad (optional)

If you want to, you can spend your third year studying abroad at one of our partner institutions or working in an industrial placement (eligibility is dependent on your academic performance in Years 1 and 2). Alternatively, you can opt to continue studying at the University and complete your degree in three years.

NB. A year spent abroad or on an industrial placement still incurs a tuition fee, but this is much lower than for a normal year at Leicester. See our Fees and Funding section for details.

Year Abroad

Studying abroad is not just for people who are interested in travelling and meeting new people. It is about acquiring life skills that are becoming increasingly significant for a wide range of jobs in our modern globalised society. Whether you go on to work in the private sector, the state sector, a non-governmental organisation or become self-employed you will find the experience invaluable. Find out more from our International Office.

The School of Biological Sciences at Leicester has links with several European universities, administered through the European Erasmus scheme. If you attend one of these, you may be eligible for an Erasmus grant if you comply with European Commission rules and regulations. If you are eligible for a loan from Student Finance you can apply for a travel grant from them. During your second year at Leicester you will receive appropriate language training. 

  • For the latest information on the future of the Erasmus scheme at UK universities please see our Brexit microsite 

We have links with the following universities:

We also have links with some universities outside Europe. There is no monthly grant when you attend one of these universities, however if you are receiving financial assistance from Student Finance your support will continue and you may also be eligible to apply for additional travel grants or scholarships. We have links with the following universities:

Year in Industry

An industrial placement is a fantastic opportunity to gain experience of laboratory work - and will normally be a paid position, more than offsetting the additional cost of the extra year. What is more, if you take a year in industry your degree will be accredited by the Royal Society of Biology.

Industrial placements are limited and are awarded through a competitive selection process, based on your performance in your first year. Previous students have worked for pharmaceutical companies such as AstraZeneca, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline, and in research institutions such as the Animal Health Institute and Kew Gardens.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Final Year

Final Year

In your final year of a general Biological Sciences degree, you will pick your modules from the list below.

You will also undertake a lab-based, field-based or library-based research project - an in-depth study of a specific topic that interests you, under the supervision of an acknowledged expert in the field.

Modules

Choose five option modules from:

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Additional Information

Accreditation

If you choose to spend a year working in industry, your degree will be accredited by the Royal Society of Biology.

The final year module in 'Plant Identification Skills' leads to a professional qualification in plant identification validated by the Botanical Society of the British Isles.

Teaching and Assessment

Most of your teaching will be delivered through lectures, which may include practical demonstrations. Individual lecture styles vary considerably, depending on the topic – and the lecturer! In tutorials, a small group of students meets with a member of staff for an hour to discuss and explore topics, or solve problems as a group. Some tutorials will require you to research a particular topic beforehand.

All of our Biological Sciences courses are practical degrees with strong emphasis on lab work and fieldwork.

Your first year exams will mostly be multiple choice and short answer papers, with longer essay-style questions in your second and final year exams. Coursework may include practical lab work, a lab write-up or report, a practical skills test, essays, online multiple choice assessments, a data handling exercise, solo or group presentations, a field journal or critical evaluation of a scientific paper. At the end of each semester in Years 1 and 2 you will be able to judge your overall performance, enabling you to closely monitor your progress and, if necessary, adjust your work pattern.

A significant part of your final year will be spent on an individual research study which will form the basis of your dissertation.

You will have regular meetings with your personal tutor to discuss progress in your studies. Your personal tutor will also provide a sympathetic ear for all matters of personal concern, whether they are academic, financial, housing, career or social issues.

Research Stories

Entry Requirements

  • A-levels: typical offer AAB/ABB, normally including at least two relevant science subjects from Biology (preferred), Chemistry, Physics or Maths. We may consider two AS-levels in place of one A2-level. General Studies not accepted.
  • EPQ with A-levels: typical offer BBB + EPQ at grade B. A-level subjects to include two relevant science subjects from Biology (preferred), Chemistry, Physics or Maths. General Studies not accepted.
  • GCSE: At least Grade C in both English Language and Maths (if not held at A-level)
  • Access to HE Diploma: Pass relevant diploma with 45 credits at level three, with distinctions in some subjects.
  • International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma with 32/30 points, including at least two relevant science subjects at Grade 6 at higher level.
  • BTEC Nationals: Pass relevant Diploma with DDD plus five GCSEs at B or above including two relevant sciences. Please contact Admissions before applying.
Other national and international qualifications considered. If you do not meet the entry requirements for this course, you can apply for the International Foundation Year run by our dedicated International Study Centre. The ISC provides academic and English language support to help you progress to your chosen undergraduate degree at the University of Leicester.

Second year entry may be possible with suitable qualifications.

Selection Process

Applicants are not normally interviewed. If you receive an offer you will be invited to visit the School of Biological Sciences.


English Language Requirements

IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. If you do not yet meet our requirements, our English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) offers a range of courses to help you to improve your English to the necessary standard.

International Qualifications

Find your country in this list to check equivalent qualifications, scholarships and additional requirements.

Countries list

Fees and Funding

  • Starting in 2017

    An inflationary increase (2.8% based on RPIX*) in tuition fees and student support loans have been announced by the Government for 2017. This is still subject to formal parliamentary approval however, if approved, fees for 2017/18 entry could rise to £9,250 in 2017/18.

    After 2017/18, the tuition fee you pay may increase annually in line with inflation (RPIX) and is subject to government regulations.

    (*RPIX is a measure of inflation in the UK, equivalent to all items in the Retail Price Index (RPI) excluding mortgage interest payments.)

    • Year Abroad: your fee will be £1,250 for that year.
    • Year in Industry: your fee will be 15% of the full-time tuition fee that applies in that year. 

    Find out more about scholarships and funding.

    Additional costs

    The third year option module Microbial Biotechnology includes a field trip. The cost of this field trip is included in your tuition fee.

    You will be travelling between the University and hospitals in Leicester. The cost of a Hospital Hopper bus card is included in your tuition fee. 

    The third year option module Suptropical Physiology and Ecology includes an optional field trip. The cost of this field trip is £1,500 and is not included in your tuition fee.

    The third year option module Behavioural Ecology includes an optional field trip. The cost of this field trip is £450 and is not included in your tuition fee.

  • Starting in 2017

    • £18,855 per year

    Year Abroad: your fee will be £4,713.75 which is 25% of the full-time tuition fee.

    Year in Industry: your fee will be £2,828.25 which is 15% of the full-time tuition fee. 

    Additional costs

    The third year option module Microbial Biotechnology includes a field trip. The cost of this field trip is included in your tuition fee.

    You will be travelling between the University and hospitals in Leicester. The cost of a Hospital Hopper bus card is included in your tuition fee. 

    The third year option module Suptropical Physiology and Ecology includes an optional field trip. The cost of this field trip is £1,500 and is not included in your tuition fee.

    The third year option module Behavioural Ecology includes an optional field trip. The cost of this field trip is £450 and is not included in your tuition fee.

Career Opportunities

Our ‘Careers After Biological Sciences’ series of lectures features Leicester graduates giving insights into their career experiences and good advice for finding jobs.

In the summer vacation between Years 2 and 3, a range of internal research placements are available in research labs, giving you the chance to develop your scientific skills.

We run bespoke bioscience careers events in the summer term each year, based on what our students tell us about their career intentions.

As a student in the School of Biological Sciences, you are welcome to attend seminars in any department, presented by national and international experts in the biosciences. This allows you to enhance your knowledge and get useful insights into current topics.

Careers

Our Career Development Service is here to support you, with advice on interviews, CVs, work experience, volunteering and more. From Freshers’ Week to Graduation and beyond, they are here to help you reach your professional goals.

Course Qualification Duration UCAS Code Availability
Biological Sciences BSc 3 years full-time C100 Apply Now
Biological Sciences with Year Abroad BSc 4 years full-time C100 Apply Now
Biological Sciences with Year in Industry BSc 4 years full-time C100 Apply Now
Course
Biological Sciences
Qualification
BSc
Duration
3 years full-time
UCAS Code
C100
Availability
Course
Biological Sciences with Year Abroad
Qualification
BSc
Duration
4 years full-time
UCAS Code
C100
Availability
Course
Biological Sciences with Year in Industry
Qualification
BSc
Duration
4 years full-time
UCAS Code
C100
Availability

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