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Biological Sciences (MBiol)


Key facts

UCAS code


Start dates

September 2019 / September 2020

Course length

Full time: 4 years, 5 years sandwich

Part time: part-time study is possible


Department of Biological and Medical Sciences

UCAS Tariff Points



If you want a career as a professional scientist our MBiol (Biological Sciences) course is for you.
You will develop in-depth understanding of a specific area of biology, including;

  • Environmental Biology and Conservation
  • Evolution
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Ecology
  • Genetics
  • Botany
  • Zoology.

Our staff are experts with international reputations. Our department’s research expertise includes;

  • Environmental Biology
  • Taxonomy
  • Genomics 
  • Cell and Molecular Biology.

You can shape your course to suit your interests by choosing a broad approach based on different aspects of biology. Or you can focus on a narrower range of module with a view to becoming a specialist.

You will also develop invaluable skills for the workplace, including communication, leadership and teamwork. 

Biological Sciences (MBiol)

How to apply

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff Points: 112

A Level: BBC

IB Points: 30


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

GCSE: 5 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


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

Home/EU part time
£750 per single module

International full time

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

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

Home/EU full time

Home/EU part time
£750 per single module

International full time

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

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

In Year 1 you will develop basic science skills and learn core topics such as;

  • biodiversity
  • cell biology
  • genetics.

In Years 1 and 2 you will develop your studies. You can choose modules on diverse topics, such as;

  • genetics
  • interrogating genomes
  • the molecular biology of cancer and conservation.

We will support your learning through practicals. You can also undertake a research project with a staff member, which will develop your scientific skills.

In Year 3 you will undertake a detailed research project. This takes place in a research group at the university or an external organisation. You will gain essential career experience in bioscience and development. 

Biological Sciences (MBiol)

Study modules

Year 1

Compulsory modules


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


Professional skills and techniques

Optional modules

Data carpentry

Animal behaviour

Animal developmental biology


The green planet


Biochemistry of cell function

Special study in life sciences

Advanced genetics and genomics

Advanced cell biology and bio-imaging

Advanced topics in wildlife conservation

Animal neurobiology and behaviour

Evolution and animal development

Molecular biology of cancer

Science and humanity

Work experience

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.

Work experience module

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. There may be some costs such as travel associated with work experience and these are not included in the course tuition fees.

Year 4 (or year 3 if no placement)

Compulsory modules

Research Practice

Optional modules

Advanced Molecular Techniques

Advances in Medical Genomics

Ecology for Conservation

Independent Study

Taxonomy & Identification

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

You will learn through applying theory in practical settings, either in the lab or the field. This develops your research and employment skills.

We teach you a wide range of skills, including;

  • molecular techniques for studying DNA, RNA and proteins
  • advanced light and electron microscopy
  • field-based methods for species and landscape assessment
  • key methodologies for studying evolution and developmental biology. 

You will also apply fundamental biology to real life issues.

Field trips

There is the opportunity to go on a one week residential field course in the Cevennes (France) at the end of your first year (Field course: Identification and Methods). This is often a highlight of the first year. The cost of the Field trip is included in your course fees.  Depending on your choice of modules there are many other day trips with no extra costs.


Assessment methods used on this course

Our assessment methods include;

  • reviews of relevant literature
  • laboratory and field notebooks
  • scientific reports
  • posters 
  • oral presentations. 

These activities develop your digital and information literacy.

We design our assessments to shape and develop your learning. We use formative feedback to support your learning. This means we may or may not associate your feedback with a grade.

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

The employment market for graduates in the biosciences is buoyant. The MBiol Biological Sciences offers a solid foundation for postgraduate entry to a scientific career. Industries and organisations seeking bioscientists for research and development careers include:

  • Biopharmaceuticals
  • Bioscience, biotechnology and healthcare industries
  • Chemical
  • Environmental agencies
  • Agri-environment industries
  • Food and drink
  • Horticulture
  • Hospitals and public health laboratories
  • Government or charity-funded research laboratories and institutes
  • Universities and research institutes

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

Professor John Runions

John is a cell biologist who uses microscopy to study living cells. This type of research helps to answer questions about the ways in which cells and organisms grow and develop.

Read more about John

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.

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.