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Biology with Studies in the USA

BSc (Hons)

School - School of Environment & Life Sciences

Subject area - Biology and Zoology

UCAS Code: C102

Start Dates(s): September


Three years full-time
Four years with work placement
Six years part-time


UK - £9250 per year

International - £14,400

In Brief:

  • A wide variety of UK field trips studying marine biology, parasitology, ecology and biodiversity during the degree
  • Extensive opportunities for work placements and overseas study, including a year in the USA
  • Taught by internationally-leading researchers in parasitology, biomedical science and molecular biology
  • Overseas study available
  • Work/industrial placement opportunity
  • International students can apply

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.

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.

You can opt to take this course with a year of study in the USA; an exchange programme with the University of Toledo in Ohio, which has been running for over 30 years. The University of Toledo was named as a top global player when it comes to taking biotechnology research from the laboratory to the world, and has been recognised by the American Society of Landscape Architects as one of the 22 most beautiful landscaped campuses in the United States.

Course Structure

This is a flexible degree course where you will gain both a broad-based and specialist understanding of biology. There is the unique feature of study in the USA during your second year.

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 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

In year 2 at the University of Toledo, you can choose from a range of modules similar to those offered in year 2 of the degree at Salford. You will be supported by a tutor based in Salford whom you will have had as your 1st year tutor. You will also be supported by a local tutor in Toledo.

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 wild-life 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.
This module looks at the way evolution has shaped both the development and adaptation of groups of animals to their environments.
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 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 will provide you with a cohesive lecture programme and directed reading, enabling you to gain a knowledge and understanding of: the human microbiome and its role in human physiology and beyond; pathogen interaction with the human host; antibiotic action and antibiotic resistance; vaccination success and failure: pathogen immune evasion; new/alternative approaches to infectious disease control.

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
GCSE English Language and Maths at grade C or above
UCAS tariff points 104-120 points including A2 Biology
GCE A level 104-120 points including A2 Biology or equivalent. A Pass in the Practical Element of Science A levels must be achieved.
BTEC National Diploma DMM
Scottish Highers 104-120 points from Higher Level to include appropriate science subjects
Irish Leaving Certificate 104-120 points from Higher Level including a science
International Baccalaureate 30-31 points with at least one science subject from Group 4

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We positively welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to successfully pursue a programme of study in higher education. Students who do not have the traditional entry requirements may be able to apply through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme. Support in preparing for the written assessment is available from the University.

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

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this.

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 lab work and in the field. We anticipate that students on this programme will be keen to study overseas and to broaden their horizons.

Fees and Funding


Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9250 per year
Full-time International £14,400

Additional costs

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

The major additional costs (as of 10th Feb 2016) for the year in Toledo are as follows:

(i) Flight – in recent years has been between £900 and £1000 return (travel is during the August peak period and the ticket is a flexi return)
(ii) Visa – currently $340 (approx. £240); in addition all applicants must attend a visa interview in London so travel costs incurred
(iii) Health insurance – will vary from one individual to another but probably averages about £500 if purchased in advance.

Housing expenses whilst students are in the USA is approximately the same as the new apartments on campus at Salford.

Most students are able to claim back a reasonable proportion of i-iii above from Student Finance England as a grant: “You must pay the first £303 of your travel costs - and your travel grant will be reduced by £1 for each £9.27 of household income over £39,796.” See

Almost all the general fees that Toledo students have to pay are waived. However, there is a small admin fee (approx. £50) that our students have to pay to Toledo upon arrival.


You will be taught through a combination of:

  • Lectures
  • Practical Classes
  • Small Group Tutorials
  • Research Projects
  • Guided Reading
  • Residential and Day Field Courses


Your assessment is based on a combination of exams and coursework throughout, about 60% examination and 40% coursework. Continuous assessment includes field and laboratory reports, essays, data analysis, presentations and the research project (and dissertation).


This Biology degree provides an excellent base 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.

Many who spend the second year in the US return stateside to do higher degrees at Toledo or other institutions.  For example, two recent past students returned to Toledo to do PhDs and now have prestigious academic jobs in Harvard and Cornell Universities in the US.

Alumni Profile

Rob Coles

who has just been awarded his PhD

I chose to partake in the exchange programme (during the biology degree) to immerse myself in the American culture, enhance my degree and to develop my academic skills by experiencing the different education system.

Toledo provided just that and also a unique opportunity to travel and befriend a diverse range of people, many of whom I am still in contact with. Currently I have just successfully completed my PhD back at Salford having completed a Masters Degree and I feel that my future prospects were immensely improved by the programme and I recommend it highly.

Placement Opportunities

We encourage all 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), a horticultural establishment, a wildlife trust, or a research organisation such as the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology.

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

Further Study


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

Wolfe Hall, at Toledo, provides dedicated equipment and computer software necessary to perform advanced genomic screens, microscopic imaging studies and quantitative gene expression analyses, to name a few. Also located within this facility is a phosphorimager that allows quantitative detection of radioactively labelled samples, and a fast-performance liquid chromatography (FPLC) for specific protein purification approaches.

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