Course details

Study options

Full-time: 4 years

UK fee

£9,250 per year (2021/22)

International/EU fee

£14,045 per year (2021/22)

UCAS points

72 (2022 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BSc (Hons)

Start date



Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

Course description

Put your future as a professional biologist on a firm footing. Starting your studies with a foundation year is ideal if you are thinking about a change of career or exploring your interest in science.

Biology and Zoology - your questions answered

Programme Leader for Biology Dr David Elliott answers your frequently asked questions about Biology and Zoology. You can also watch exclusive subject content by signing up to Derby on Demand.

Dr David Elliot, Programme Leader in Biology.

View Biology and Zoology - your questions answered! video transcript

6thin the UK for teaching quality**The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021, Biological Sciences subject area
5thin the UK for student experience**The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021, Biological Sciences subject area
100%of students agreed that the course is intellectually stimulating**BSc (Hons) Biology - National Student Survey 2021
90% of students agreed that staff are good at explaining things**BSc (Hons) Biology - National Student Survey 2021
Top 15in the UK for student satisfaction with the course**Biosciences subject area - The Guardian University Guide 2022
9thfor student satisfaction**The Complete University Guide 2022, Biological Sciences Subject area

Biology at Derby

Many of the solutions to major challenges facing the world have a biological basis. This course allows you to study across the human, plant and animal elements of biology, with the opportunity to tailor to your career ambitions and interests, so that you graduate with a broad understanding of how biology can be applied to multiple settings in the real world. 

Your first year introduces you to key themes including ecology, evolution, genetics, and anatomy and physiology. As you progress, you’ll develop research skills and can choose optional modules on topics like microbiology, molecular biology and bio-innovation to reflect your career aspirations. You will have opportunities to spend time working in industry to strengthen your CV. You’ll also undertake an independent study into a theme of your choice and could apply on a competitive basis for an internship to contribute to the University’s scientific research.

Biology is a practical subject, so you will learn in the laboratory, field and classroom. Your studies will be enriched with fieldwork and placement opportunities – you could be travelling to Mallorca or the Maldives on study trips, or gaining experience through placements and projects with organisations such as Sea Life, Twycross Zoo, Derby Museums or Derbyshire Wildlife Trust. You’ll also have opportunities to apply for paid internships to add real world experience to your CV. 

When you graduate, you’ll have the skills, knowledge and vision to work as a versatile, resourceful and forward-thinking biologist.

Why you should study Biology at the University of Derby

Expert teaching

You’ll be taught by a highly qualified team, including many international researchers whose work is shaping debates in areas including ecology, entomology and biodiversity. They publish influential papers, speak at global conferences, and serve on the editorial boards of scientific journals. You'll benefit from this research as your lecturers bring the latest thinking to your studies, and in some cases you will have opportunities to get involved in research projects yourself.

Their wide-ranging work includes research into:

Research is carried out within the University's Environmental Sustainability Research Centre which aims to address local, national and global goals for sustainable development, environmental understanding and clean growth.

A diver swimming around corals and fishes

How we're helping corals survive

Our Aquatic Research Facility is carrying out work with organisations across the globe to make coral reefs more resilient in the face of man-made afflictions.

Read more about how we're helping coralsRead more about how we're helping corals

Foundation Year - helping you to achieve more

Including a foundation year as part of your four-year study programme will give you a head start in your academic and professional life. The foundation year offers the chance to strengthen your skills, knowledge and confidence – with extensive support from our expert staff – before you advance to stage one of your honours degree. It could also be beneficial if you are planning a career change and want to get to grips with aspects of subjects which are new to you.

Our degrees with a foundation year are continuous, meaning that you won’t need to apply again once you have successfully completed the first year.

Excellent fieldwork opportunities

Fieldwork is a vital element of our biology courses and so your studies will be enriched with fieldwork opportunities - the cost of mandatory fieldwork is included in your course fee. Through our fieldwork programme, we introduce students to a variety of survey techniques for a wide range of species, such as:

For further practical experience, you'll have plenty of opportunity to apply for work placements and paid internships. All of this means you'll be well placed to launch your career, whether you are looking for a graduate job or are planning to go into further study or research.

"I went to Mallorca and the Maldives. Both were amazing. In Mallorca we surveyed rivers, mountains, forests, bird sanctuaries and nature reserves looking at all manner of species." Sam Lebbon, BSc (Hons) Biology, graduate

A learning environment to inspire you

Our learning facilities have recently been upgraded, so you’ll have an up-to-date setting in which to develop high-level practical skills, including laboratories with modern instrumentation. There is also a student research laboratory where you’ll have a dedicated space for your final-year independent study.

Our Biology students also benefit from working in our glasshouse with plants from diverse habitats, Aquatic Research Facility, and insectary housing many different species.

an iceberg

Environmental Sustainability Research Centre (ESRC)

Specialising in securing clean environments, nature recovery, and resilience to natural hazards, we work collaboratively to safeguard our planet for future generations.

Learn more about our research Learn more about our research

What you will study

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

Kedleston Road, Derby Campus entrance

Undergraduate Open Days

The best way to find out if studying at Derby is right for you is to experience an Open Day. Get a feel for the city and campus, tour our first-class facilities and see where you could be living.

Book your Undergraduate Open DayBook your Undergraduate Open Day

How you will learn

You’ll learn through lectures, seminars, tutorials, e-learning, hands-on laboratory practical work and fieldwork in the UK and overseas. Our varied teaching methods help you show your individual strengths and enhance your understanding.

Work placements 

Placements allow you to develop the skills you learn at University and apply them to real world situations. This is something which potential employers are always looking for. We encourage you to gain experience with potential employers by offering internships and placement opportunities.


You’ll be assessed using a range of written assignments including portfolios, practical and fieldtrip write-ups and data analysis, essays, computer-based assessments, poster presentations and seminar presentations, as well as traditional written examinations.

Personal academic tutoring

Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.

Find out more about personal academic tutoring

Who will teach you

Dr David Elliott sampling soil in central Australia

Dr David Elliott
Programme leader

Dr. David Elliott is a microbial ecologist specialising in the roles of microbes in low productivity soils including drylands and the cryosphere. He leads the BSc (hons) Biology programme and teaches a variety of topics in Human and Environmental Sciences.

View full staff profileView full staff profile

Entry requirements

2022 entry

These are the typical qualification requirements for September 2022 entry.

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points72
GCSEGCSE Maths and English are preferred, however if you don't have these qualifications you will be able to undertake Maths and English at Level 2 as part of your course of study
Access to HEPass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2

English language requirements

IELTS: 6.0 (with at least 5.5 in each skills area)

Fees and funding

2021/22 Fees (August 2021 - July 2022)


£9,250 per year



£14,045 per year


Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

UK students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University


We’re proud of the achievements of our Biology graduates. Many have gone on to work as research scientists, laboratory and pharmacy technicians, healthcare assistants, medical laboratory assistants, wildlife conservation officers and scientific sales professionals. They regularly return to the University to deliver masterclasses and give inspiring talks to current students about life after graduation.

Our graduates have gone on to successful roles in areas such as:

Through our Professional Development Package, you'll gain valuable skills, including:

As well as equipping you for a broad range of scientific careers, our course paves the way to professional, specialist and postgraduate qualifications. Some of our graduates have undertaken further study to pursue a future in veterinary or medical science. Others have progressed to teaching and lecturing roles after completing postgraduate courses. If you are interested in exploring practical solutions to environmental problems, you could also consider our masters degree; MSc Conservation Biology.

Careers and Employment Service

To boost your employment skills, you can access the University's Careers and Employment Service. The team can connect you with employers to help find opportunities for work placements, part-time jobs, and volunteering. Our careers consultants are also on hand to guide you through the career options for your degree, CV writing, or starting your own business - and we commit to helping you for three years after you graduate to find a job. 

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

Contact us Contact us

Additional information about your studies

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

Please also note that due to the current Covid-19 situation, if your course offers fieldtrips, the location of these may change or be cancelled. If this happens, you will be communicated to in advance and we will do our very best to seek out other practical opportunities to ensure your experience is not affected.

The information below is correct for entry in the academic year September 2021 - August 2022 only. Entry for future academic years may be subject to change.

Included in your fees
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
Optional costs not included in your fees

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.

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