BSc (Hons)

Part-time study available
Overseas study available
Work placement opportunity
International Students can apply

3 good reasons to study Biology at Salford


Overall satisfaction with this course was 100% (Source: NSS 2015)


Extensive opportunities for work placements and overseas study


Taught by internationally-leading researchers in parasitology, biomedical science and molecular biology

Course Summary

Biology is the science of living things and is also used to explain how humans interact with and influence the natural environment. Furthering our knowledge in biology has led to new technological advances and a deeper understanding of the world around us. Our Biology course is  a broad based programme allowing you to select from a wide range of modules from molecular genetics to population ecology.

This course will develop your appreciation of the diversity of living organisms and your understanding of biological principles.

You will get plenty of hands-on experience in the labs as well as many fieldwork opportunities. Practical training will equip you with many of the subject-specific, personal and practical skills you will need for your future career.

Course Details

This course will provide you with a sound training and equip you with many of the personal and practical skills you will need for your future career.

It is a flexible course designed to offer you plenty of choice so that you can either study a broad range of topics or specialise in areas of biochemistry in which you are particularly interested.

Course Structure

Year 1

In year 1 you will study a range of topics in six modules covering both theory and practice across the biological sciences.

This module focuses on the basic principles involved in the build-up of molecules from atoms: the formation, properties and importance of bio-organic molecules, the diverse nature of micro-organisms and their structure, function and importance.
This module will help you develop an understanding of genes and genetics, and their influence on evolution and development. It looks at the basic principles of molecular genetics, and the function and evolution of genes in organisms.
This module will look at the multidisciplinary nature of cell biology and the basic structure of cells, focusing on animal cells. It will help you develop a theoretical knowledge of the fundamental physiological and biochemical functions carried out by cells.
This module focuses on the origins and diversity of living organisms (including humans), the environmental processes and their role in the generation of biodiversity.
This module will help you develop practical laboratory skills relevant to cell, organismal, micro- and molecular biology which will form a basis for competence in biological and biochemical experimental work.
In this module you will learn by observation, investigation, comparison and engagement and will develop practical learning and presentation methods which can be applied generically during year 1 and beyond. You will also gain an appreciation of Personal Development Planning and effective data handling, calculation and numerical skills.

Year 2

The highlight of year 2 is an excellent opportunity to go on a residential field trip at Dale Fort in Pembrokeshire in May for the Marine Biology module which includes studies of the zonation and ecology of animals and plants on various rocky sea shores.

The aim of this module is to provide you with a cohesive lecture and laboratory programme to enable you to become aware of mammalian molecular biology and genetics and to develop an understanding of theoretical and practical knowledge in the application of clinical laboratory techniques used for diagnosis.
The aim of this module is to encourage an awareness of the physiological nature of life in humans and develop an understanding of form, function and adaptation in organ systems central to the maintenance of life and interaction with the environment.
This module aims to provide you with a cohesive lecture programme and directed reading, enabling you to gain knowledge and understanding of: the range of infectious diseases that impact on humans; the basic biology and lifecycles of protozoa and helminths of medical importance; vectors that transmit infectious agents and the internal and external factors that affect transmission of infectious diseases.
This module is to help you develop an ability to understand the basics of scientific research under the following areas in order to prepare you for future research based activity:
  • critical evaluation of research-based literature
  • understanding experimental techniques and design
  • data interpretation, analysis and presentation
  • dissertation writing and presentation.

You will also choose two from below:

This module provides awareness of the biology and ecology of marine environments as well as providing you with the opportunity to undertake field work and encouraging you to adopt an investigative approach to ecological studies.
Study the consequence of human actions on the environment from prehistoric times to the present day, the appropriate ecological principles involved in population biology and in the autecology of selected dominant species.
This module provides a structured approach to evolution and covers the evolution of animal body plans with a focus on vertebrates as well as covering the mechanisms that drive evolution.
This module introduces the concepts of biological conservation and covers the consideration of different habitats and the way they influence ecosystems. The module also includes practical information of benefit to those who may consider careers in this area.
This module will provide you with a cohesive lecture and practical course to emphasise the importance of microbial metabolic and genetic diversity.You will be able to describe the different ways in which microorganisms communicate and respond to their environments and will be introduced to concepts of pathogenicity and symbiosis and the virulence factors that contribute to disease.

Year 3

In year 3 a wide range of optional modules and project possibilities allows you to specialise in your areas of interest.  You can undertake a lab-based research project for 40 credits and choose four modules from the following list or take a literature/data analysis project worth 20 credits plus five modules from the following. A key feature of this year is the inclusion of tutorial based Professional Skills within the project to enhance your employability.

This module looks at the importance of human and animal parasites, in relation to medical, veterinary or wildlife aspects, life-cycle biology, host response and the principles of parasite epidemiology and transmission. You will also study strategies for parasite detection, diagnosis and control. The module includes a unique field course to enable you to see parasites living in their natural environment.
The aim of this module is to develop an advanced understanding of selected human physiological systems and to gain an understanding of how failure of these systems can contribute to disease.
This module encourages an awareness of the importance of biotechnology in industry, and develops your knowledge of a variety of biochemical processes in a range of important industrial applications.
The module focuses on biology relevant to the water industry and organisations which regulate and control the aquatic environment; for example the Environment Agency. The major themes are biology associated with water resources and water pollution. The module will be enhanced by field studies and external visits.
This module looks at the way evolution has shaped both the development and adaptation of groups of animals to their environments.
This module looks at mammalian immunological mechanisms and the roles played by T and B cells/Lymphokines in generating an immune response. It helps you develop an understanding of the genetics of antibody diversity, HIV pathogensis and the current immunodiagnostic assays for infectious and non-infectious diseases.
In this module you will develop a knowledge and understanding of the human microbiome and its role in human physiology and beyond, pathogen interaction with the human host and antibiotic action and resistance. Additionally you will study vaccination success and failure, as well as new/alternative approaches to infectious disease control.

Part-time structure

If you are studying part-time you select two to four modules from each year of study, completing the rest of the modules for the year in the following year.  This leads to a maximum six-year duration for a part-time degree.  If studying part-time you do not have the placement option.


Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

Entry Requirements

Qualification Entry requirements
European Baccalaureate Pass in Diploma of at least 60% including at least one science subject
GCSE English Language and Maths at grade C or above
UCAS tariff points 240-280 points including A2 Biology
GCE A level 240-280 points including A2 Biology or equivalent
BTEC National Diploma MMM-DMM
BTEC Higher National Diploma Possible entry to year 3
Foundation Degree Possible entry to year 3
Scottish Highers 240-280 points from Higher Level including appropriate science subjects
Irish Leaving Certificate 240-280 points from Higher Level including a science subject
International Baccalaureate 28 points with at least one science subject from Group 4

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

Please note that you should discuss the possibility of being considered for the scheme with the Admissions Tutor for this course before making an application. Please contact the Environment and Life Sciences School Office on: +44 (0)161 295 4656

English Language Requirements

English Language Requirements

  • IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any one component
  • ESOL Skills for Life Level 2/Certificate in Advanced English/Certificate of Proficiency in English

University of Salford English Language Test with an overall score equivalent to IELTS 6.0 (70 – 79)

Applicant profile

We are looking for applicants with a keen interest in the living world and a desire to develop their skills and career aspirations through labwork and in the field.


You will learn through a combination of:

  • Lectures
  • Practical classes
  • Small group tutorials
  • Research Projects
  • Guided reading
  • Residential and day field courses


Assessment throughout is by a combination of coursework and examination, with coursework accounting for around one third of the marks in years 1 and 2 and up to a half in year 3. Continuous assessment includes the research project, laboratory reports, essays, data analysis, and presentations. The final degree award is weighted to reflect year 2 (25%) and year 3 (75%) performances.


Career Prospects

This biology degree provides an excellent basis for careers in biomedicine, biotechnology, conservation, the pharmaceutical or food industries, research or teaching. Prospective employers include pharmaceutical companies, environment agencies, hospitals, forensic laboratories, clinical trials companies, medical writing companies, scientific sales and general management jobs.

A number of students continue on to postgraduate study, either taught science masters’ courses, research degrees or teaching qualifications.

Alumni Profile

Dave Greenwood - graduate: first class

As a mature student I had spent a number of years out of education and was anxious about my ability to complete what had always been to me, a fairly intimidating degree subject. On arrival I found the staff to be both welcoming and supportive and they provided all the encouragement I needed for success. The course included a range of practical assessments and field studies. I decided on biological sciences as I was unsure of which career direction to take but I wanted to create the widest possible choice of career options.

After completing a Masters Degree an opportunity arose to re-join Salford University for a GSK funded PhD in Molecular-Microbiology.

My four years as a Salford University undergraduate were challenging, stimulating, and on more than a few occasions, difficult. However, there are numerous resources within the school to assist with problems, academic or otherwise. I was given the opportunity to peruse a thrilling and invigorating career, one that I would never have dreamed of 10 years ago. More importantly however, it has provided me with the confidence and ability to pursue my own interests, to make my own career choices and reach a potential that I had not considered possible.

Links with Industry

We encourage all of our students to take up an additional industrial placement year, which we will help to arrange, between years 2 and 3 of the full-time course, making a four-year course overall. In many cases this can be a salaried position with a major company or have financial support linked to a public health laboratory or hospital (such as the Respiratory Physiology Unit at the Royal Aintree Hospital in Liverpool or Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester). In our experience, final degree results and employability are enhanced for students who undertake a placement year. The placement also counts towards the final degree classification as part of the year 2 mark.

Placement Opportunities

Recent biology placement students have been based at APEM Ltd, Manchester Royal Infirmary and the lung physiology units at Aintree and Wythenshawe Hospitals. Some students have gone to do overseas placements in environmental areas. You will arrange the placement with our support. 

In our experience, final degree results and employability are enhanced for students who undertake a placement year.

Further Study

Fees and Funding

Fees 2016-17

Type of StudyFee
Part-timeYour annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying
Full-time International£11,500

Additional costs

  • Field courses - a non refundable deposit of £25 is charged for all residential field courses 
  • Field trips - students will not be charged for field (day) trips but are expected to provide their own refreshments.

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Financial support for this course



We have newly refurbished and well-equipped teaching and research laboratories for practical work in biology.