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Biology

Entry requirements


A level

A,B,B-B,B,B

120-128 points to include 3 A levels, with Biology at grade B. For A levels which include a separate science practical component, a pass is desirable and may strengthen an application.

122-128 Tariff points from the Access to HE Diploma (Science).

Cambridge Pre-U score of 50-54, to include a Principal Subject in Biology at M2.

GCSE/National 4/National 5

5 GCSEs at grade C or above to include English, Mathematics and Science/5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above to include English, Mathematics and Science.

International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme

27

27 points from the IB Diploma, to include 3 Higher Level subjects, with 6 points from a Higher Level in Biology. 4 points from Standard Level English and Mathematics (if not passed at GCSE grade C or above).

Leaving Certificate - Higher Level (Ireland) (first awarded in 2017)

H3,H3,H3,H3,H3-H2,H2,H3,H3,H3


To include Higher Level Biology at H3.

OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma

DDM

Must be in a Science based subject.

Acceptable when combined with other qualifications.

Acceptable when combined with other qualifications.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (first teaching from September 2016)

DDM

Must be in a Science subject.

120-128 Tariff points, to include Biology at grade C.

Acceptable when combined with other qualifications.

UCAS Tariff

120-128

120-128 points to include 3 A levels, or equivalent, with 40 points from A level Biology. For A levels which include a separate science practical component, a pass is desirable and may strengthen an application.

About this course


This course has alternative study modes. Contact the university to find out how the information below might vary.

Course option

3.0years

Full-time | 2023

Other options

4.0 years | Sandwich | 2023

Subject

Biology

**Overview**
Discover how biology helps safeguard endangered species and fight disease on this BSc (Hons) Biology degree, accredited by the Royal Society of Biology (RSB).

You'll get the skills you need to turn your curiosity and love of nature into a career that matters.

- Put your knowledge to work in our molecular biology labs, using world-class equipment such as our ancient DNA and gene analysis facilities, fluorescence microscopes and research greenhouse

- Get involved with the European Xenopus Resource Centre, one of the largest frog resource facilities in the world

- Explore the diversity of local ecosystems and go on field trips to destinations such as Dorset, Devon and Mexico

- Have the chance to gain valuable work experience on a one-year placement or to spend a year studying abroad to experience a different culture and enhance your CV

- Be eligible to apply for Associate Membership of the Royal Society of Biology when you graduate, which includes access to exclusive grants and awards

**Accredited by:**
This course is accredited by the Royal Society of Biology.

**Careers and opportunities**
As the scientific study of life and living organisms, biology covers a huge variety of sub-disciplines – from ecology to genetics, botany to zoology – and everything in between.

This means that there's a wide range of sectors and industries you can work in with a biology degree, so there will always be a demand for your skills.

On this BSc (Hons) Biology degree, you’ll start the course with key biological theories, before being able to shape it to your interests and choose from specialist areas like animal science, enzymes, hydrology and environmental microbiology.

You'll develop problem-solving, communication and numeracy skills alongside technical skills, and in your final year, you’ll have the opportunity to investigate a research question for your honours project.

Once you graduate, you’ll have the knowledge and practical skills needed to work in areas including research, biotech, consultancy, teaching and journalism. You could also continue your studies to postgraduate level, such as on our MSc Applied Aquatic Biology.

**Graduate roles**
Roles our graduates have taken on include:
- microbiologist

- microbiology laboratory technician

- research scientist

- science technician

- medical laboratory assistant

- grant administrator

- medical writer

- biomedical sales specialist

- ecological surveyor

**Graduate destinations**
They've gone on to work for organisations such as:
- NHS

- Ministry of Defence

- European Xenopus Resource Centre

- MGS Laboratories

**Placement year**
After your second year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in the industry. Placements give you the opportunity to apply what you've learnt so far in a real workplace, boosting your employability and making you attractive to employers after graduation.

You can work for a company or organisation here in the UK or overseas, or you could go independent by setting up and running your own business with other students.

Previous students have completed work placements at organisations including Pfizer and Thermo-Fisher Scientific.

Whichever route you choose, you'll receive support and guidance. Our specialist team of Science and Health Careers advisors can help you with finding a work placement and improving your employability skills. They'll provide you with a database of placement vacancies, support with your job search – including help with applications and interviews – and support throughout your placement year.

**Study abroad**
You'll also have the opportunity to spend a year studying abroad on a conservation or research scheme to experience a different culture and enhance your CV.

Modules

Year 1
Core modules in this year include:
- Biodiversity & Evolution
- Ecology
- Plants and Human Impact
- Experimental Biology
- Introduction to Cell Biology & Biochemistry
- Microbiology & Molecular Biology

Year 2
Core modules in this year include:
- Community Ecology and Residential Field Course

Optional modules in this year include:
- Animal Science
- Business for Biosciences
- Cell Biology
- Comparative and Evolutionary Psychology
- Development; How Form and Function Changes
- Enzymes and Metabolism
- Genetics
- Hydrology and Freshwater Ecosystems
- Introduction to Teaching
- Marine Organisms and Ecosystem
- Microbiology
- Plant Science

Placement year (optional):
On this course, you can do an optional work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in industry. We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Year 3
Core modules in this year include:
- Honours Project

Optional modules in this year include:
- Aspects of Terrestrial Ecology and Evolution
- Biotechnology
- Environmental Microbiology
- Gene Organisation And Expression
- Genes and Development
- Genomics in Molecular Medicine
- Marine Ecology and Conservation

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Assessment methods

You’ll be assessed through written exams, coursework, essays and practical write-ups, presentations, multiple choice tests, a research project.
You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.
You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

The Uni


Course location:

University of Portsmouth

Department:

Faculty of Science and Health

Read full university profile

What students say


We've crunched the numbers to see if overall student satisfaction here is high, medium or low compared to students studying this subject(s) at other universities.

80%
med
Biology

How do students rate their degree experience?

The stats below relate to the general subject area/s at this university, not this specific course. We show this where there isn’t enough data about the course, or where this is the most detailed info available to us.

Biology (non-specific)

Teaching and learning

85%
Staff make the subject interesting
87%
Staff are good at explaining things
83%
Ideas and concepts are explored in-depth
80%
Opportunities to apply what I've learned

Assessment and feedback

Feedback on work has been timely
Feedback on work has been helpful
Staff are contactable when needed
Good advice available when making study choices

Resources and organisation

67%
Library resources
77%
IT resources
74%
Course specific equipment and facilities
64%
Course is well organised and has run smoothly

Student voice

Staff value students' opinions
Feel part of a community on my course

Who studies this subject and how do they get on?

87%
UK students
13%
International students
48%
Male students
52%
Female students
90%
2:1 or above
4%
First year drop out rate

Most popular A-Levels studied (and grade achieved)

C
C
C

After graduation


The stats in this section relate to the general subject area/s at this university – not this specific course. We show this where there isn't enough data about the course, or where this is the most detailed info available to us.

Biology

What are graduates doing after six months?

This is what graduates told us they were doing (and earning), shortly after completing their course. We've crunched the numbers to show you if these immediate prospects are high, medium or low, compared to those studying this subject/s at other universities.

£18,096
med
Average annual salary
98%
high
Employed or in further education
51%
med
Employed in a role where degree was essential or beneficial

Top job areas of graduates

19%
Science, engineering and production technicians
10%
Other elementary services occupations
8%
Public services and other associate professionals

The recession was tough on biology graduates, and although the jobs market has improved for them - a lot - it's still not back to where it was a few years ago. If you want a career in biology research — and a lot of biology students do - you'll need to take a doctorate, so give some thought as to where you might do it and how you might fund it (the government still funds doctorates for good students). A lot of graduates also take 1 year Masters courses to specialise in this wide and deep subject - most students take a standard biology course for their first degree and then specialise in subjects like ecology, conservation or marine biology later. Hospitals, universities, biotech firms, zoos and nature reserves and clinical and scientific testing are common industries of employment for biology graduates.

What about your long term prospects?

Looking further ahead, below is a rough guide for what graduates went on to earn.

Biosciences

The graph shows median earnings of graduates who achieved a degree in this subject area one, three and five years after graduating from here.

£19k

£19k

£23k

£23k

£25k

£25k

Note: this data only looks at employees (and not those who are self-employed or also studying) and covers a broad sample of graduates and the various paths they've taken, which might not always be a direct result of their degree.

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Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF):

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This information comes from the National Student Survey, an annual student survey of final-year students. You can use this to see how satisfied students studying this subject area at this university, are (not the individual course).

This is the percentage of final-year students at this university who were "definitely" or "mostly" satisfied with their course. We've analysed this figure against other universities so you can see whether this is high, medium or low.

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This information is from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), for undergraduate students only.

You can use this to get an idea of who you might share a lecture with and how they progressed in this subject, here. It's also worth comparing typical A-level subjects and grades students achieved with the current course entry requirements; similarities or differences here could indicate how flexible (or not) a university might be.

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Post-six month graduation stats:

This is from the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey, based on responses from graduates who studied the same subject area here.

It offers a snapshot of what grads went on to do six months later, what they were earning on average, and whether they felt their degree helped them obtain a 'graduate role'. We calculate a mean rating to indicate if this is high, medium or low compared to other universities.

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Graduate field commentary:

The Higher Education Careers Services Unit have provided some further context for all graduates in this subject area, including details that numbers alone might not show

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The Longitudinal Educational Outcomes dataset combines HRMC earnings data with student records from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

While there are lots of factors at play when it comes to your future earnings, use this as a rough timeline of what graduates in this subject area were earning on average one, three and five years later. Can you see a steady increase in salary, or did grads need some experience under their belt before seeing a nice bump up in their pay packet?

Have a question about this info? Learn more here