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Biological Sciences

BSc (Hons)

Key facts


UCAS code

C900

Start dates

September 2019 / September 2020

Course length

Full time: 3 years, 4 years sandwich

Part time: part-time study is possible

Department

Department of Biological and Medical Sciences

UCAS Tariff Points

112

Overview


Our Biological Sciences degree provides you with the flexibility to tailor the course to suit you. You can choose from an extensive range of modules or opt to move to one of our specialist degrees:

  • Biological Sciences (Genetics and Genomics)
  • Biological Sciences (Human Biosciences)
  • Biological Sciences (Zoology)

In year 1 you’ll study a diverse range of topics. In years 2 and 3 you can continue with a broad approach or choose a range of modules to become a specialist. In your final year you can join a research group as part of a research project.

Through extensive practical experience you’ll gain the skills employers look for, including:

  • laboratory techniques
  • data handling
  • computing
  • report writing
  • oral presentations
  • teamwork.

The Oxford area is an important centre for the bioscience industry. We are surrounded by world class research centres like the Nuffield and Churchill hospitals. You can access the UK's largest science collection at the Radcliffe Science Library.

Students in a lab

How to apply


Typical offers

UCAS Tariff Points: 112

A Level: BBC

IB Points: 30

BTEC: DMM

Wherever possible we make our conditional offers using the UCAS Tariff. This combination of A-level grades would be just one way of achieving the UCAS Tariff points for this course.

Preferred subjects include: Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Human Biology and Physics.

Students studying more than one science subject may receive a lower offer.

We seek to admit students who have the potential to make good scientists and accept that qualifications are not the only indicator of future potential. Typical offers also include:

  • A-level grades BB plus 2 AS-levels at grade C (equivalent to 112 UCAS Tariff points)
  • 1 12-unit vocational A-level at grade BB plus 1 A-level or 2 AS-levels at grade C
  • other recognised qualifications, eg BTEC Nationals or Scottish qualifications (equivalent to 112 UCAS Tariff points).

If your combination of qualifications doesn't match our typical offer, please contact our admissions tutor.

Entry requirements

Specific entry requirements

GCSE: 4 GCSEs at Grade 4 (C), or above, including Mathematics, English Language and 2 Sciences

You must have studied science post-16, either at A-level or equivalent. If you do not have a background in science, we encourage you to consider our Life Sciences foundation year taught at Abingdon and Witney College.

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

Please see the University's standard English language requirements.

International qualifications and equivalences

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English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

Pathways courses for international and EU students

If you do not meet the entry requirements for this degree, or if you would like more preparation before you start, you can take an international foundation course. Once you enrol, you will have a guaranteed pathway to this degree if you pass your foundation course with the required grades.

If you only need to meet the language requirements, you can take our pre-sessional English course. You will develop key language and study skills for academic success and you will not need to take an external language test to progress to your degree.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Credit transfer

Many of our courses consider applications for entry with credit for prior learning. Each application is individually assessed by our credit entry tutors. 

If you would like more information about whether or not you may be eligible for the award of credit, for example from an HND, partly-completed degree or foundation degree, please contact our Admissions team.

We operate the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). All undergraduate single modules are equivalent to 7.5 ECTS credits and double modules to 15 ECTS credits. More about ECTS credits.

Application process

Full time Home / EU applicants

Apply through UCAS

Part time Home / EU applicants

Apply direct to the University

International applicants

Apply direct to the University

Full time applicants can also apply through UCAS

Tuition fees


Please see the fees note
Home/EU full time
£9,250

Home/EU part time
£750 per single module

International full time
£14,280

Home/EU full time
£9,250 (subject to agreement by Office for Students)

Home/EU part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time
£14,800

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees


2019/20
Home/EU full time
£9,250

Home/EU part time
£750 per single module

International full time
£14,280

2020/21
Home/EU full time
£9,250 (subject to agreement by Office for Students)

Home/EU part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time
£14,800

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Please note tuition fees for Home/EU students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students.

Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning home and EU students at the maximum permitted level.

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed below.

Financial support and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see our Fees and funding pages.

Additional costs

You will need to buy some basic personal protection equipment for laboratory practicals (lab coat, safety glasses), at a cost of around £25.

Learning and assessment


Year 1 compulsory modules are:

  • Biodiversity
  • Cell Biology and Genetics
  • The Practising Scientist

Optional modules (Alternative Compulsory Modules)

  • Introduction to Biochemistry A
  • Introduction to Biochemistry B
  • Field course: Identification and methods

Year 2 and Final Year compulsory modules are:

  • Molecular biology
  • Cell biology
  • Career development
  • Interrogating genomes
  • Research Project
  • Professional skills and techniques

Optional modules

  • Data carpentry
  • Animal behaviour
  • Animal developmental biology
  • Microbiology
  • The green planet
  • Genetics
  • Biochemistry of cell function
  • Special study in life sciences
  • Advanced genetics and genomics
  • Advanced cell biology and bio-imaging
  • Animal neurobiology and behaviour
  • Evolution and animal development
  • Molecular biology of cancer
  • Science and humanity
  • Work experience
  • Independent study in life sciences
Two students listening intently

Study modules

Year 1

Compulsory modules

Biodiversity

Cell Biology and Genetics

The Practising Scientist

Optional modules

Introduction to Biochemistry A

Introduction to Biochemistry B

Field course: Identification and methods

Year 2

Compulsory modules

Molecular biology

Cell biology

Career development

Interrogating genomes

Research Project

Professional skills and techniques

Optional modules

Data carpentry

Animal behaviour

Animal developmental biology

Microbiology

The green planet

Genetics

Biochemistry of cell function

Special study in life sciences

Advanced genetics and genomics

Advanced cell biology and bio-imaging

Animal neurobiology and behaviour

Evolution and animal development

Molecular biology of cancer

Science and humanity

Work experience

On the 'Work Experience' module you will spend at least 115 hours in a working environment relevant to your subject. This is equal to 3 weeks full time work. The module involves reflecting on your interests and career aspirations. By approaching potential employers about opportunities in their organisations you can enhance your employability. Although it is your responsibility to secure your work experience there's lots of support available. Your subject lead, academic advisor or dissertation supervisor all have a wide range of contacts with a range of suitable organisations.

Independent study in life sciences

Year 3 (optional placement year)

Optional modules

Industrial placement

An Industrial Placement helps you get experience of applying science in a practical environment. You will develop practical skills that enhance your employability. On placement you gain an insight into various aspects of working in a scientific environment. Although it is your responsibility to secure your placement our team will do everything we can to assist you. We can suggest suitable employers through our network of industry contacts. You should look carefully into the financing of placements but this is something we will guide you through every step of the way.

Year 4 (or year 3 if no placement)

Optional modules

Modules are the same as those in year 2.

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from that shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Learning and teaching

Throughout the course we focus on applying fundamental biology to real life issues. You will focus on applying your knowledge in practical settings, either in the lab or out in the field.

You have the opportunity to gain a wide range of skills. These include:

  • molecular techniques
  • bioinformatics
  • advanced light and electron microscopy
  • field-based methods for species and landscape assessment
  • cutting edge methodologies for the study of evolution and developmental biology.

Our teaching methods include:

  • lectures
  • practicals
  • tutorials
  • seminars
  • surgeries.
  • Lectures and seminars
  • Placement
  • Other learning activities (including group work, research, conferences etc.)

Year 1

  • Lectures and seminars - 27%
  • Placement - 0%
  • Other learning activities (including group work, research, conferences etc.) - 73%

Year 2

  • Lectures and seminars - 27%
  • Placement - 0%
  • Other learning activities (including group work, research, conferences etc.) - 73%

Year 3 (optional placement year)

  • Lectures and seminars - 0%
  • Placement - 100%
  • Other learning activities (including group work, research, conferences etc.) - 0%

Year 4 (or year 3 if no placement)

  • Lectures and seminars - 18%
  • Placement - 0%
  • Other learning activities (including group work, research, conferences etc.) - 82%

Learning and teaching percentages are indicative. There may be slight year-on-year variations.

Field trips

At the end of your first year there is a field course module in southern France. You can experience one week of field study in the Cevennes region. This area is known for its rich natural history, habitat and landscape diversity. The field work allows you to broaden your UK experiences by encountering unfamiliar plants and animals. As the field trip is an alternative compulsory module the cost is covered within the course fees. Depending on your choice of modules there will be other half-day visits and these are at no extra cost. 

Assessment

Assessment methods used on this course

Assessment is designed to shape and develop learning, not simply measure it.

Our assessment methods include:

  • essays
  • reviews
  • examinations
  • laboratory or field notebooks
  • scientific reports
  • posters
  • oral presentations.

You’ll reflect on your progress with assignment feedback together with your diaries.

  • Written exams
  • Coursework
  • Practical exams

Year 1

  • Written exams - 45%
  • Coursework - 55%
  • Practical exams - 0%

Year 2

  • Written exams - 45%
  • Coursework - 55%
  • Practical exams - 0%

Year 3 (optional placement year)

  • Written exams - 0%
  • Coursework - 0%
  • Practical exams - 100%

Year 4 (or year 3 if no placement)

  • Written exams - 42%
  • Coursework - 58%
  • Practical exams - 0%

Assessment method percentages are indicative. There may be slight year-on-year variations.

Study Abroad


You may be able to go on a European or international study exchange while you are at Brookes. Most exchanges take place in the second year. Although we will help as much as we can with your plans, ultimately you are responsible for organising and funding this study abroad.

After you graduate


Career prospects

Our graduates enjoy good career prospects working with many diverse organisations. These are some of the destinations of our recent graduates:

  • medical school
  • teaching
  • working in local authorities
  • working in research laboratories

As many as 50% of our graduates each year are appointed to research posts. These are within universities, research institutes or biotechnology companies. Many others pursue careers allied to medicine. 

Our courses are designed to equip you with the skills you need for employment. The university places a strong emphasis on developing its students to be equipped for a rapidly changing workplace.

Further study

About a quarter of our graduates go on to further study, such as MSc courses, PhDs or PGCEs. One option for future study is the MSc in Medical Genetics and Genomics at Oxford Brookes.

Our Staff


Dr Anne Osterrieder

"My main research interests are the formation and structural maintenance of the plant Golgi apparatus; and the role of Golgi body dynamics, at single stack and population level, in intracellular protein trafficking and plant homeostasis."

Read more about Anne

Dr Casper Breuker

"My teaching strongly reflects both my multidisciplinary research interests as well as my commitment to shaping and influencing curriculum development within the department."

Read more about Casper

Free language courses


Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Information from Unistats


Programme Changes: On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website.

For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.