Course Overview

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The BSc Biology degree scheme offers an excellent range of laboratory and field-based topics with a strong emphasis on the development of key practical skills.
The BSc Biology course covers a broad range of themes, including animal and marine welfare and conservation, the biological control of invertebrate pests, microbiology and ocean and climate. The course will give you the opportunity to explore a diverse and stimulating range of modules such as molecular and evolutionary biology, animal diversity and behaviour and marine and terrestrial ecology.
Our close proximity to a diverse range of contrasting environments plus our own facilities provides a wide scope for customising your learning experience.

Accreditation

RSB logo smallThis programme has been accredited by the Royal Society of Biology following an idependent and rigorous assessment. Accredited degree programmes contain a solid academic foundation in biological knowledge and key skills, and prepare graduates to address the needs of employers. The accreditation criteria require evidence that graduates from accredited programmes meet defined sets of learning outcomes, including subject knowledge, technical ability and transferable skills. 

Key Features

There are many good reasons to study a Biosciences degree at Swansea University. We are proud to have consistently high student satisfaction scores (Zoology 98%, Biology 97% National Student Survey 2017) and are 16th in the UK for graduate prospects [Complete University Guide 2018]. 

The Biosciences Department has also been recognised for the quality of its research and teaching [Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times & Sunday Times University Guide 2018] and has been recently voted Top in Wales [Times & Sunday Times University Guide 2018].

As a Biosciences student at Swansea, you will benefit from Royal Society of Biology accredited degrees, state-of-the art Science laboratories, a Visualisation Centre which is unique in the world and a purpose-built 18 m catamaran-class survey vessel equipped with state-of-the-art survey and research equipment Spring 2018 launch).

By joining Swansea Biosciences, you will also have access to the expertise of many internationally-renowned academics:

  • Professor Rory Wilson, Rolex Laureate and Chief Scientific Consultant behind National Geographic’s Great Migrations – invented the Daily Diary tag to monitor animal movement/behaviour
  • Professor Tariq Butt, bio-control of crops (fungi) – develops products and strategies for pest control, including plant health, tree health, animal health and human health (mosquitoes, ticks, midges)
  • Dr Richard Unsworth and his team - technical advisor, Blue Planet ll, leading on behavioural and collaborative hunting interactions between Grouper and Octopus
  • Associate Professor Carole Llewellyn – innovative algal research to help provide solutions to global challenges of climate, human health, bioenergy, food security and industrial biotechnology

Modules

Disclaimer: Module selection options may change.

Year 1 (Level 4)

FHEQ 4 Degree / HECert

Students choose 120 credits from the following:

Compulsory Modules
Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule Name
BIO103Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Plants and Algae; Diversity Form and Function
BIO104Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Cellular & Microbial Biology
BIO108Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Molecular and Evolutionary Biology
BIO109Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Core Skills for Biological Sciences
Optional Modules
Biosciences Welsh Options 

Choose Exactly 20 credits from the following Modules:

NOTE : Select Welsh or English versions of the module below

Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule NameGuidance
BIO105Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Animal Diversity, Form and Function
BIO105CSemester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Amrywiaeth a Ffisioleg Anifeiliaid
AND
Biosciences Welsh Options 

Choose Exactly 20 credits from the following Modules:

NOTE : Select Welsh or English versions of the module below

Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule NameGuidance
BIO106Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Marine and terrestrial ecology and animal behaviour
BIO106CSemester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Ecoleg Dyfrol a Daearol ac Ymddygiad

Year 2 (Level 5)

FHEQ 5 Degree / HEDip

Students choose 120 credits from the following:

Compulsory Modules
Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule Name
BIO231Semester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)15Year 2 Biological Sciences Literature Review
BIO232Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)15Plant Ecology
BIO239Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)15Ecological Microbiology and the Cycles of Life
BIO252Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)15Ecological Data Analysis
Optional Modules

Year 3 (Level 6)

FHEQ 6 Degree / Honours

Students choose 120 credits from the following:

Compulsory Modules
Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule Name
BIO350Semester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)30Biosciences Research Project
Optional Modules
Fieldtrip 

Choose Exactly 20 credits from the following Modules:

NOTE : Biologists MUST choose ONE (and only one) of the following.

Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule NameGuidance
BIO327Semester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)20Tropical marine ecology field courseBIO327 If you are unsuccessful in securing a place on this module, you MUST select BIO331 or BIO340.
BIO331Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Professional Techniques in Ecology, conservation and Resource Management
BIO340Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Professional Laboratory Skills
GEB301Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Interdisciplinary Field Course to the Indian Himalayas (Sikkim)GEB301 If you are unsuccessful in securing a place on this module, you MUST select BIO331 or BIO340.
AND
Biology Recommended 

Choose Minimum Of 30 credits from the following Modules:

NOTE : No more than 70 credits can be selected from any one semester.

Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule NameGuidance
BIO319Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)10Biological Control of Invertebrate Pests
BIO325Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)10Physics for Biologists
BIO328Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)10Epidemiology of zoonotic diseases
BIO329Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)10Climate Change Biology
BIO334Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)10Advanced Data Analysis
BIO337Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)10Biodiversity
BIO341Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)10Plant Conservation and Ecology
BIO343Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)10Natural Products Biotechnology
BIO345Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)10Macroevolution and Phylogenies
AND

Description

The BSc Biology degree at Swansea University will provide you with an understanding of a wide range of biological and ecology theoretical and practical skills as well as providing opportunities for you to learn and undertake a range of sampling and survey techniques for both plants and animals. We will equip you with the practical, taxonomic, numerical and computational skills that are valued and required by many employers as well as develop your essential transferable skills, such as team working, communication, presentation, problem solving and analytical skills.

Biology graduates have a wide range of specialist and generic skills that can take you around the world.  Our degrees open up career opportunities in medicine, veterinary science, environmental management and conservation, teaching and many, many more including:

  • Bat Conservation Trust
  • Animal Keeper - All Things Wild
  • Taxonomist - Marine Ecological Surveys Limited
  • Wildlife and Education Officer - Ipswich Borough Council
  • Research Assistant - TRP Research
  • NHS Medical Lab Technician
  • Benthic Taxonomist at Ocean Ecology Ltd.
  • Assistant Aquarist, Brighton Sea Life Centre
  • Senior Conservation Officer for CCW
  • Project Officer - Amphibian & Reptile Conservation Trust
  • Lecturer in Marine Biology, Plymouth University

Entry Requirements

  • A levels: grades ABB-BBB, to include Biology or Human Biology, or equivalent
  • Welsh Baccalaureate:  Requirements are as for A levels where you can substitute the same non-subject specific grade for the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Level Core Grade
  • BTEC Extended Diploma - Grades DDD plus at least one GCSE grade B in Science with GCSE Grades C in English/Welsh and Mathematics. Only science-based BTECs will be considered (excluding Animal Management and Health Science).
  • Scottish Highers: ABBCC to include Biology grade B
  • Access to HE (Science): Pass with Distinction (24 Distinctions to include 3 in Biology, plus 15 Merits). Only science-based Access will be considered (excluding Health Sciences).
  • IB: 33-32 to include 5 in Higher Level Biology or Human Biology
  • IELTS 6.0 (with a minimum of 6.0 in each component) or equivalent English test
  • We may consider other qualifications if they are Science-based, if they are equivalent to A-levels, and if the content of the qualification includes significant amounts of Biology (i.e., equivalent to A-level Biology).
  • All applications will be considered on an individual basis, and we will look at the whole application when deciding whether to make an offer of a place, including: the balance, nature and quality of A-level, AS and GCSE subjects (or equivalent); personal statement and referee’s comments.
  • General Studies and Key Skills qualifications are normally excluded from our offers.

How To Apply

  • All applications for full-time undergraduate degrees must be made through UCAS. Further information is available on the UCAS website.
  • For UK applicants, please apply online at www.ucas.ac.uk
  • For International students, please click here

Tuition Fees

Annual tuition fees for entry in the academic year 2018/19 are as follows:

UK/EU International
BSc (Hons) Full-time £9,000 £16,900

Fees for full time Undergraduate UK/EU students may be increased in subsequent years of study by an inflationary amount determined by Welsh Government.

Fees for full time Undergraduate International students will increase by 3% for each subsequent year of study.

You can find further information on fees and how to pay on our tuition fees page.

You may be eligible for funding to help support your study. To find out about scholarships, bursaries and other funding opportunities that are available please visit the University's scholarships and bursaries page.

Current students: You can find further information of your fee costs on our tuition fees page.

Additional Costs

  • Lab coat and dissection kit (Level 1 for all degree programmes) – approximately £30
  • Tropical Marine Biology field course in Puerto Rico - (costs ~£1200 - £1700 tbc)
  • Sikkim overseas field trip (Biology and Zoology Level 3 - optional) – student contributes £500 towards travel and accommodation

*We also advise all students to have suitable outdoor clothing and sensible footwear (wellington boots)

Teaching and assessment

You will be taught through a combination of  lectures, tutorials, seminars and discussion groups supported by practical classses and field courses.

You will be assessed through a variety of methods, including examinations, coursework and a practical research project.



Student profiles

"I think Swansea has the friendliest bioscience department in the country - it’s not only has world-leading researchers teaching you about discoveries as they are making them, but it felt like everyone genuinely cared about my welfare and wanted to see me succeed. 

Swansea University gave me the best environment to grow into a fully-fledged scientist, but it also allowed me space to decide for myself what it was that I cared about".

Carly Green, BSc Zoology, Propagator at National Botanic Garden of Wales

Read our student profiles

Facilities

The Department of Biosciences provides access to an extensive range of specialist facilities for both undergraduate and postgraduate students. These include: Research and IT laboratories; Constant temperature rooms; Growth rooms; Aquaria; Greenhouses; Zoology Museum; A custom-designed 12.5m coastal research vessel, RV Noctiluca and new for Spring 2018, a purpose-built 18 m catamaran-class survey vessel equipped with state-of-the-art survey and research equipment.

Our new Teaching Laboratory is a significantly upgraded facility to teach a higher level of transferable laboratory techniques and skills, with a capacity to hold 150 students; it includes a full range of AV facilities able to transmit to several plasma screens output from a variety of sources including microscopes, PCs, DVD/Video players and visualise/camera units.

Find out more about the facilities used by Biosciences students at Swansea University.
 
 

Careers

As scientists in training you will be taught a full range of core skills and practises by leading experts that will enable you to successfully pursue a career within biology and ecology.

Every year we survey our recent graduates to ascertain their employment status. The data is more commonly known as the Graduate Destinations Survey and is reported to HESA (the Higher Education Statistics Authority). Here are some examples of job titles from the recent survey:

  • Ecologist (Jacobs Engineering & CSA Environmental)
  • Delivery Officer (Biotechnology & Biological Science Research Council)
  • Project Officer (Amphibian & Reptile Conservation Trust)
  • Hydrometry and Telemetry Officer (Natural Resources Wales)
  • Benthic Taxonomist (Oceanology Ltd)
  • Wildlife and Education Officer (Ipswich Borough Council)
  • Crop Technician (Humber Growers)
  • Animal keeper (All Things Wild)
  • Quality Control Associate (Amgen Biovex Ltd)
  • Royal Navy Officer (Britannia Royal Navy College)
  • Research Assistant (TRP Research)

Find out more about employability

 

Research

All academic staff in Biosciences are active researchers and the department has a thriving research culture. Find out more.

Fieldwork

All biology students carry out a ten week research project module in Year Three. This can either be laboratory or field-based depending on the interests of the student. Some students carry out their projects abroad.

Our field courses include:

Animal Ecology

Tropical Marine Biology

Sikkim, Himalayas

Terrestrial Ecology