An excellent route into science for those from a non-scientific background
Ideal if you're returning to education or seeking to develop your career in a new direction
Choice of optional modules
Part-time study option
Overseas study available
Work/industrial placement opportunity
International students can apply
This course will provide you with a strong foundation in biology and chemistry, allowing you to progress onto a BSc (Hons) Biology degree within the School of Environment and Life Sciences.
It is ideal if you want to develop your career along a biological pathway but have a non-scientific background, or you don’t meet the entry requirements for direct entry to an Honours degree. This course may also be attractive if you are returning to education or if you wish to change career direction.
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.
This course will develop your appreciation of the diversity of living organisms and your understanding of biological principles. You will benefit from plenty of hands-on experience in the labs as well as fieldwork opportunities. Practical training in our state of the art Bodmer Laboratories will equip you with many of the subject-specific, personal and practical skills that you will need for your future career.
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. 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. In our experience, final degree results and employability are enhanced for students who undertake a placement year.
*This programme has been accredited by the Royal Society of Biology following an independent 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.
Discover our £3m Bodmer laboratories
This course is designed to offer you plenty of choice so that you can study a broad range of topics or specialise in the areas of biology which you are particularly interested in.
Explore the characteristics of plant and animal cells which are the building blocks of all life forms; their interactions with micro and macro environments, and learn about the diversity of animal and plant life in a range of ecosystems.
Take a hands-on approach to develop biological and chemical laboratory skills, practise environmental and fieldwork techniques, and apply scientific knowledge in the interpretation of results of experiments and surveys.
Evaluate a range of environmental and scientific factors that interact to influence health – e.g. pollution, nutrition, drug development and consider examples of environmental interventions and clinical trials.
Explore the interactions of earth processes, geological structures and environmental functions, the use of resources e.g. fossil fuels including fracking and consider the differential impacts of a range of geological hazards – earthquakes, volcanic activity and rising sea levels.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 dissertation module allows you to develop independent, experimental, investigative and analytical research skills as you conduct a substantial research project based around a specific aspect/topic in your relevant bioscience discipline area.
This dissertation module allows you to develop independent, investigative and analytical research skills while conducting research on topic in an area relevant to your programme of study. It further allows you to learn about science communication and the variety of ways in which science can be disseminated and communicated.
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.
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 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.
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.
Courses are available in: Arabic, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.
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.
Unistats data for Biology
Completion of two full years study and an awarded qualification
GCSE You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
English Language and Maths at grade C or 4 or above
UCAS tariff points
GCE A level
BTEC National Diploma
64 points from Higher Level
Irish Leaving Certificate
64 points from Higher Level
Access to HE
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)
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.
£6,165 for Foundation Year; £9,250 for subsequent years
Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
£14,400 per year
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.
You will learn through a combination of:
Practical classes / lab work
Small group tutorials
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 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.
Biology graduate: first class honours degree
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 and 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.
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.
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.
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.