BSc (Hons) Biology
Why choose this course?
- This course is recognised by the Society of Biology. This means that on graduation you'll meet the requirements for Associate Membership of the Society of Biology (AMSB) and can apply for full membership following appropriate professional experience.
- In the 2012 National Student Survey, 90% of our graduates were in work or study after six months.
- You'll be taught by a teaching team who are recognised nationally and internationally for their high quality research and teaching. This means that you'll be taught about the latest developments in biology.
- We work closely with the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, and they provide access to their reserves which you'll use as part of field trips. You will also be able to undertake projects with the trust for your independent study module and on a voluntary basis if you wish to.
- You'll be able to tailor this course to your own interests in biology by specialising in areas of your own choice.
- Our teaching has been rated as 'excellent' in recent quality inspections, so you can be sure you'll receive a high standard of teaching.
- You'll get the chance to participate in lots of practical work in our laboratories, and also enjoy fieldtrips in the UK and abroad. This will help you to put the theory you learn into practice.
- You'll undertake a major research project in your final year to develop your practical knowledge and skills further in an area of your choice.
UCAS code: C100
Start date: September full time or September or January part time
Course length: full time: three years, part time: up to six years.
Campus: Kedleston Road site, Derby Campus
This course is available to international students
Biology is constantly evolving. You'll learn about the traditional biological topics, such as human biology, genetics, the evolution of life and ecology, and we'll also teach you about current issues including the human genome and how it is making an impact in drug development and cancer therapies.
You can tailor your degree to your own interests by choosing a range of modules in specialist areas. You'll have the opportunity to look at sex and violence in crickets, the conservation of highly endangered plants and the causes of cancer. During stage three you'll complete an independent study giving you the opportunity to personalise your degree further.
Most of our teaching team are active members of our Biological Sciences Research Group, so you'll be studying an up to date course that is informed by research.
You'll be taught through lectures and tutorials, which are supported by hands on laboratory practicals. There will also be opportunities to go on fieldtrips, from days out in Derbyshire, Kew Gardens and Twycross Zoo to a residential in the Mediterranean.
Between stages two and three you can apply to work in industry. This will really enhance your CV and boost your employability skills. You'll develop the relevant professional skills that employers are looking for and you'll also be able to apply your experience to your final stage studies.
BSc (Hons) Biology is recognised by the Society of Biology, which means that on graduation you'll meet the requirements for Associate Membership of the Society of Biology and can apply for full membership following appropriate professional experience.
Programme Leader Graham Rowe talks about studying Biology at Derby
We offer a wide range of optional modules to allow you to tailor your degree to your own interests and career aspirations. Our programmes have been designed to meet subject standards, student interests and the needs of employers.
Visit our Biological Sciences website
Biology, Zoology and Forensics masterclass
We invited back some of successful graduates, including BBC Producer Kathryn Jeffs to talk to our current biology, zoology and forensics students about life after graduation. View more on the masterclass.
We're very proud to announce our successful submission to the Biological Sciences Unit into the UK Government's Research Assessment Exercise 2008.
The results show that, although The Biological Sciences Research Group is relatively small, our research work is of significant quality. It should also be noted that Derby was the only post 1992 University in this region which made a successful submission Biological Sciences Unit of Assessment.
For more information see RAE 2008.
You'll study these modules:
- Molecular and Cellular Biology
- Human Biology
- Evolution of Life
- Invasion of the Land
You'll study these modules:
And you'll choose two from these modules:
- Human Physiology and Disease
- Biological Basis of Animal Behaviour
- Field Biology
- Developmental Biology
You'll study these modules:
And you'll choose three from these modules:
Our entry requirements are usually 260 UCAS points, of which at least 220 will be from your core A2s (full A levels), including Biology or equivalent qualifications such as BTEC Diploma, International Baccalaureate, Scottish Highers etc.
We'll accept up to 40 points towards the total from level 3 qualifications such as AS levels (where those AS levels are not taken on to A2 level), the Extended Project or Music qualifications.
We don't accept points from Key Skills Level 3. If you have any questions about what is or isn't accepted, please contact our Admissions team.
We also accept the Access to HE Diploma.
Your points at level 3 will be in addition to 5 GCSEs at grade C or equivalent level 2 qualifications.
The UCAS tariff points are a guide - we'll also consider all the information that you've included in your application. We'll also want to see that you're enthusiastic and motivated to take this course and that you have the potential to benefit from coming to university.
- Full time students should apply for this course through UCAS.
- Part time students should apply directly to the University.
- If you want to start in September, you usually need to apply online through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
Information for international applicants
Fees for 2013/14
This is a resource intensive course.
- Full time: £8,250 (each year)
- £1,030 per module (you usually take 18 of these modules in total)
- Full time: £10,225 (per year)
*These fees apply if you're starting this course between September 2013 and August 2014. We recommend you check fee details with us though, as they can change. Costs can increase each year.
How you'll learn
- Formal lectures
- Computer aided study
- Practical work in laboratory and field
How you're assessed
Every module has a slightly different form of assessment including practical or fieldwork, computer based assessments in the first year as well as the traditional written exam. You could also be assessed through portfolios, poster presentations and seminar presentations.
You'll take part in a broad range of fieldtrips throughout this course, whether it's day trips to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew to investigate plant adaptation or a week long residential trip to study biology in the Mediterranean. We feel that fieldwork is essential to the study of Biology especially as it enables you to explore things first hand in their environment and not just in a laboratory.
Placements allow you to develop the skills you have learnt in the University and apply them to real situations outside. This is something which potential employers are always looking for. We encourage you to gain experience with potential employers as part of a dedicated vocational module which you can choose to take.
Our graduates go into careers such as applied research, medical laboratory work, wildlife conservation, industry, scientific sales, local government, the media or management, while others have become teachers after completing a postgraduate teaching course.
You'll also develop your critical thinking skills, which are crucial when moving on to further study, such as veterinary and medical qualifications, or a masters degree such as our MSc Conservation Biology.
Mark Weston graduated in 2012 and collected the Society of Biology prize in recognition of his academic achievements. Mark now works as a freelance ecologist specialising in bat ecology.
Recent graduate Kimran Hayer is now studying for a PhD in Microbiology. She says "Without the degree in Biology and the skills I have developed as a person along the way, I don't think I would have predicted a couple of years ago that this is what I'd be doing." Read her full story.
Graduate Kathryn Jeffs for example has done really well since graduating. She always knew she wanted a career in the media and has now reached the top of her profession. She was Assistant Producer for Life of Mammals TV series and her work has now been seen by millions around the world. More recently she is a producer on one of BBC TV's most ambitious projects to date - the Frozen Planet series.
Kathryn added: "My course at the University of Derby was a niche one enabling me to be a stronger candidate amongst my peer competitors. I chose science because I wanted to continue engaging with wildlife, exploring the natural world and communicating the knowledge I gained. Frozen Planet has been four years in the making. It took 2,356 days to shoot in the Polar regions where the temperature at times plummeted to minus 50 degrees Celsius. It enabled me to travel to some incredible places but what I valued most was the opportunity to speak to the scientists - their work is the lifeblood of our films."