Undergraduate BSc (Hons)

Biological Sciences

School of Science, Engineering and Environment




With placement


Three year

Six year

Four year

Next enrolment

September 2024


In a nutshell

The COVID-19 pandemic highlights how much there is still to learn about how humans interact with and influence the natural environment. Gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around us with our BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences degree. 

Biological Sciences is the study of life. We've shaped our course, which is accredited by the Royal Society of Biology, so you can explore and appreciate the diversity of living organisms, biological principles and processes, but also gain the competencies and employability skills that can help you to secure exciting graduate career opportunities emerging in laboratories and out in the field.

During your studies, you will experience hands-on learning where you apply theory to practice. Along with fieldwork opportunities, you will use our advanced Bodmer laboratories to develop scientific and transferable skills ready for your career.

This programme includes an optional placement year approved by an academic placement coordinator, which offers you the chance to put your studies to use in a real working environment. There may also be the opportunity to spend a year studying in the USA as a part of this programme.

Start your study journey 

Register for our next Open Day to learn more about studying biological sciences, explore our facilities and meet the course team 

You will:

  • Benefit from hands-on experience in our advanced Bodmer laboratories
  • Gain additional workplace skills by choosing to include a placement year
  • Learn from internationally-leading researchers in parasitology, biomedical science and molecular biology

options available


students accepted

Course accreditations

Royal Society of Biology (accredited degree) logo

This is for you if...


you are fascinated by human and natural sciences, and want an opportunity to study a broad range of biological science topics


you want to develop advanced laboratory skills ready to apply in real-world scenarios


you want to enhance your degree with an industry placement or study abroad

Course details

All about the course

Science students

Course delivery

BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences is delivered full-time over three years using a modular structure. You can choose to extend your studies by including an industry placement year between years two and three. You will also have the option to spend your second year studying abroad with our partner University of Toledo in the USA. 

Throughout the course you will build core knowledge within the biological sciences area, while also building practical laboratory and field work skills. You'll have the opportunity to specialise your studies through optional modules in areas such as biotechnology, antimicrobial resistance, evolution and development, and veterinary and zoonotic infectious diseases, as well as by completing a final year project on a topic of your choice. 

Learn more about the course modules in the section below.

Learning experience

Building practical skills alongside your theoretical studies will be at the heart of your learning experience. You'll have plenty of opportunities to take part in lab work in our advanced Bodmer Laboratories, as well as taking part in residential field work courses in locations such as Blencathra in Cumbria and the Isle of Cumbrae in Scotland.

You will also have the chance to take the specialist module 'Tropical Ecology and Conservation' in your final year, where you will travel to a tropical location for fieldwork. In recent years students have been to locations such as Gambia and Brazil.

USA flag

Study in the USA

This course includes the option to spend your second year studying Biological Sciences with our partner University of Toledo in the USA. This exciting opportunity can give you an international perspective, where you can develop specialised science knowledge using Toledo's impressive scientific research facilities.   

Industry placements

On this course, you will have the option to take an industry placement year between years two and three. Although you will be responsible for securing your placement, our tutors will support you in finding a role, and monitor your progress throughout.

Industry placements are an excellent way to enhance your CV, gain hands-on work experience and build industry connections. We often find that placement students achieve higher final year grades.

Year one

Biological Skills

This module will help you develop practical laboratory skills employed in biological laboratory practice and relevant to cell, organismal, micro and molecular biology, which will form a basis for competence in biological and biochemical experimental work.


Life arose on Earth at least 3.5 billion years ago. Today, Earth hosts an extraordinary diversity of organisms, with recent study estimating that there are between 2 and 20 million eukaryote species alive today (the vast majority of which have still not been identified and described by scientists). However, this is a small fraction of all the species that have ever lived, >99.9% of which are extinct. This module will give you an overview of this remarkable biodiversity, focusing on the major groups, their characteristics, their diversity, and their evolutionary relationships.

Cell Biology

This module provides a broad cell biology knowledge base, building a solid foundation of key scientific content relevant to subsequent modules within several bioscience degrees.

Molecules to Microbes

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.


Genetics has become a central topic not only in biological science, but also for topics such as data science, art and culture. Genetics is revolutionising all spheres of life at an unprecedented speed. It is central to all areas of biology, from cellular development and reproduction to conservation and biodiversity. In this core module, we will provide you with the framework of this diverse area, covering areas from DNA fingerprinting and DNA/RNA editing, to ethics and conservation biology. We will expose you to the latest research in the area of molecular genetics and provide the foundation for your future. 

Study Skills

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 one and beyond. You will also gain an appreciation of Personal Development Planning and effective data handling, calculation and numerical skills.

Year two - University of Salford


This highly interactive module enables you to explore methods used in the diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of cardiovascular and respiratory (thoracic) diseases.

You will learn mechanisms of disease, how these relate to clinical outcomes, how patient care plans are developed, and the future approaches of thoracic medicine. Assessment uses real case studies that will help you to develop both analytical and critical narrative skills.

Module features include full CPET testing in the University's human performance lab, and the opportunity to visit to the North West Lung Centre to engage with clinical pulmonary testing.  

Biological Research Skills

This module is designed to help you develop an ability to understand the basics of scientific research in 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

Introduction to Parasitology and Infectious Diseases

This module aims to provide you with a comprehensive 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 life cycles of protozoa and helminths of medical importance; vectors that transmit infectious agents and the internal and external factors that affect transmission of infectious diseases.

Human or Animal Physiology (Select one)

Choose between the animal physiology or human systems physiology module. The Animal Physiology module includes comparative physiology to reflect how different groups have adapted to their environment. The aim of the human systems physiology module is to encourage 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.

Choose one of the following:

Microbial Communities and Interactions

This module will help you to build your knowledge and understanding of fundamental concepts in microbiology. You will learn about the phenomenal diversity of microbial metabolism and genetics and how microorganisms have adapted in communities to survive and thrive in the most extraordinary habitats. You will investigate key examples of microbial interactions with their hosts and with each-other and how this can lead to disease or beneficial relationships. Our field trip provides a first-hand experience of how microorganisms are applied to benefit human populations. You will also refine your skills in practical microbiology, experimental design, data presentation and critical awareness of scientific research.

Ecology in Action

You will study the fundamental principles of population and community ecology, including the impact that factors such as competition, predation and parasitism may have on population size and community structure. This module also has a residential field course where students put theory into practice and conduct their own ecological studies.

University Wide Language Programme

This module provides the opportunity to learn or develop a language with the University-wide language programme.

Plus one of the following:

Molecular Genetics

Molecular Genetics will enable students to gain practical skills in molecular biology and bioinformatics, through linked laboratory and computer sessions. The lecture programme is delivered by three academics, each an expert in their specific area of molecular genetics. Topics covered include, current molecular biology and bioinformatics techniques, the control of bacterial and eukaryotic gene expression, the effect of mutations on gene expression, population genetics and the application of molecular genetics to conservation.

Ocean Challenges

In this module you will learn about the challenges faced by the marine ecosystems and marine organisms. The module provides the you with the opportunity to engage in actual data collection and data analysis during a residential course (compulsory to the module). You will also look at contemporary environmental issues in marine biology. The module encourages you to adopt an investigative approach to ecological studies.

Year two - University of Toledo, USA

Study in the USA

USA flag

This course includes the option to spend your second year studying with our partner University of Toledo in the USA.

This exciting opportunity can give you an international study experience, where you can develop your specialised science knowledge.   

Year three

Biology of Parasites

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.

Antimicrobial Resistance: Threats and Solutions

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is now widely recognised as one of the greatest threats to global health. This module focuses on the reasons underlying the emergence of AMR and investigates diverse often innovative solutions to the crisis.  

Choose one option from:

Final Year Project and Professional Skills (HANS)

This dissertation module allows you to develop independent research skills, including both data collection/generation (for example, via lab-based research or fieldwork) and analysis, while conducting research on a topic in an area relevant to your programme of study. You will also develop your professional skills, with a focus on employability. 

Final Year Project with Science Communication and Professional Skills

This dissertation module allows you to develop independent research skills, including data analysis, while conducting research on a topic in an area relevant to your programme of study. You will learn about science communication and the variety of methods in which science can be disseminated and communicated, and then put these methods into practice. You will also develop your professional skills, with a focus on employability. 

Plus one option from 


This module will help you develop an understanding of molecular techniques underpinning the science associated with the societal grand challenges of feeding the world and antibiotic resistance, and introduce the principles and techniques of genetic modification. On completion you will be able to apply a range of research and presentation techniques to a choice of research projects.

Clinical Immunology

Immunology is the study of the immune system. It is now a well-developed basic science, which is useful for the diagnosis and management of a great number and variety of human diseases. This module is designed to give an in-depth view of the basic components of the immune system and how these influence human diseases. Research-based discussion will be part of this module in understanding immune mechanisms in defense against human diseases and how these mechanisms can be dysregulated. Understanding the immune system leads to better clinical diagnostic and monitoring possibilities. Towards the end of the module you will also be given an overview of how the immune system can protect the body from developing cancers.  

University Wide Language Programme

This module provides the opportunity to learn or develop a language with the University-wide language programme.

And one option from 

Practical Ecology and Conservation

This module aims to equip you with the basic knowledge and skills needed for ecological consultancy. It is designed to promote employability and apply academic qualifications to a growing sector that seeks to provide expertise on ecological and environmental issues to industry, governmental agencies and other organisations. You will be given an overview of consultancy and the ecology of survey methods used for protected species and habitats. The main assessment will involve you proposing surveys for a client wanting to build on a specified site, in addition to carrying out surveys in practical sessions.

Veterinary and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases

This module looks at the maintenance and transmission of infectious diseases of veterinary or zoonotic interest. Particular interest is focused on the role of wildlife species in the ecology and epidemiology of infectious diseases. The role of arthropod-vectors in transmitting infections, and how this influences the ecology of such infections, is also studied. 

Applied Freshwater Biology

This module aims to enable you to gain a knowledge and critical understanding of the biology and ecology of freshwater systems relevant to the water industry and related organisations which regulate and control pollution of the aquatic environment.

It also provides you with the necessary skills and techniques to undertake biological and chemical evaluation of water quality ecology, fish population and condition to apply these in novel situations to generate data for interpretation. In particular, you will be provided with the necessary laboratory skills to test water quality to the standards of the Water Framework Directive UK.

University Wide Language Programme

This module provides the opportunity to learn or develop a language with the University-wide language programme.

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.

What will I be doing?






The co-creation of knowledge is an overarching learning and teaching strategy at Salford. We encourage you to see yourself as a producer of knowledge and a collaborator in your learning experience.

Learning methods are designed to train you to assess real-life situations and provide measures that would lead to improved professional practice.Typical methods include:

  • Lectures which will introduce you to core biology topics 
  • Seminars and tutorials where you can discuss topics in more detail with your tutors and other students in smaller groups 
  • Laboratory practicals delivered in our Bodmer Laboratories where you can test and apply your knowledge and build proficiency using scientific equipment


Assessment strategies are designed to develop your skills for future employability and assessment success. We regularly provide you with feedback via written communication, online notes, and group activities.

Typical assessment combines coursework and examination, and this will vary depending on your level of study. We also use other formal, informal and continuous assessment methods that could include:

  • Research projects
  • Laboratory reports
  • Essays
  • Literature reviews
  • Data analysis
  • Presentations 
What you want to know

Frequently asked questions

What does biological sciences mean? 

Biological Sciences is the study of life. It explores the diversity of living organisms as well as key biological principles and processes. 

Is biological sciences a good degree? 

By studying biological sciences with us, you will gain the competencies and employability skills that can help you to secure exciting graduate career opportunities within laboratories and out in the field. It is a degree that sets you up for a wide range of job prospects. 

How hard is a degree in biological sciences? 

Studying biological science can be challenging yet offers many rewarding benefits. At the University of Salford, you will be at the cutting-edge of research and the projects you will undertake will be exciting and inspiring.    

Despite the challenging and busy nature of the programme, it can be very rewarding as you’ll be building your knowledge and making an impact in such an important field. By the end of your degree, you will have developed many key skills including teamwork, communication, numerical and data analysis and independent thinking. There are methods to ensure you’re getting the best of your degree, including practicing good time management and making time for yourself to recharge. If you find your studies overwhelming, there will be support available from your lecturers and university support staff. 

What’s the difference between biology and biological sciences? 

Biology is a broad field covering a wide range of areas studying living organisms. Biological science, on the other hand, is more specialised and carries out the study of life with a more scientific, rigorous and systematic approach.

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Rising to the challenge of a changing world, our degree courses are designed to shape the next generation of urbanists, scientists, engineers, consultants and leaders. 

Driven by industry, and delivered by supportive programme teams, you can develop the knowledge and skills to become unstoppable in your career.


As a biological sciences student, you will be based in our advanced, integrated teaching laboratory known as the Bodmer Lab. This specialist, purpose-built facility ensures that you benefit from the latest technologies to keep teaching and learning apace with cutting-edge innovation and discovery.

Industry collaboration and research

When you start this degree with Salford, you are also joining a community making a difference in industry, our local region and in our wider society.

Many of our academics and technicians who support your course also deliver collaborative, interdisciplinary, high-impact work in a range of bioscience issues and challenges.

Discover how you are part of something bigger.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

A bioscientist looking through a microscope


We have shaped this courses so you can develop a range of personal and professional skills which will make you highly-employable. Alongside scientific skills in laboratory, field work, report writing, you also develop transferable skills in communication, data interpretation, teamwork and project management.

The global COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates how vulnerable we all are to the emergence of infectious diseases, and it is likely to lead to huge investment in healthcare and scientific research. With a world brought closer together, we can no longer respond in isolation. With the skills you develop on this course, you will be well-placed to apply for roles that require laboratory skills, develop treatments and better understand global health challenges. 

Biology graduate typically find roles 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.

Further study

You might find you want to learn more about biosciences. Building on our scientific expertise, we offer a range of postgraduate courses that can take your interests and career opportunities further. Salford graduates and alumni also receive a generous fees discount. 

Biological Science graduates can also choose to follow a research programme with our Biomedical Research Centre or our Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre to further their knowledge in topics such as microbiology, parasitology and conservation. Learn more about postgraduate research opportunities available through our Doctoral School.

Some course alumni have also returned to Toledo to complete a PhD, and now have prestigious academic roles at Harvard University and Cornell University in the USA.

A taste of what you could become

A biotechnologist

A higher education lecturer

A marine biologist

A microbiologist

A nanotechnologist

And more...


What you need to know

Applicant profile 

Along with a passion for science, we are looking for applicants with a keen interest in the living world and a desire to develop fieldwork and laboratory skills.

English language requirements

If you are an international student and not from a majority English speaking country, you will need an IELTS score of 6.0 with no element below 5.5. We also accept a range of other English language qualifications.

If you do not have the English language requirements, you could take the Pre-Sessional English course, or the International Foundation Year to gain entry onto this degree.


This course is accredited by the Royal Society of Biology, which means that it meets their requirements for receiving up-to-date knowledge in the right learning, support and teaching environment. Studying an accredited course is one way of showing employers you have the knowledge and skills that they are looking for in graduates and has the potential benefits of greater employability prospects and enhanced competitiveness in a crowded global jobs market.

Standard entry requirements


English language and mathematics at grade C or 4 or above. 

You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below

UCAS tariff points

104 - 112 points

A level

104 - 112 points including a C grade in A2 biology. A pass in the practical element of science A level must be achieved

BTEC National Diploma

DMM in a suitable science subject, which must include biology

BTEC Higher National Diploma

Possible entry to year three

Foundation degree

Possible entry to year three

Scottish Highers

104 -112 points from Higher Level, including Higher Level Biology

Irish Leaving Certificate

104 -112 points from Higher Level, including Higher Level Biology

International Baccalaureate

30 points including grade 4 in Higher Level Biology

European Baccalaureate

Pass in Diploma of at least 60% including at least one science subject


Access to HE

112 UCAS points from QAA-approved Science access course, must include Biology. 

International students

We accept qualifications from all around the world. Find your country to see a full list of entry requirements.

If you do not meet the entry requirements, you could take the International Foundation Year to gain entry onto this degree.

Alternative entry requirements

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.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2024/25 £9,250.00per year
Full-time international 2024/25 £17,040.00per year
Part-time 2024/25 Part-time costs will be calculated on a pro rata basis
Full-time home 2025/26 £9,250.00per year
Full-time international 2025/26 £17,650.00per year

Additional costs

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

Field trips

All field trips are funded by the school but you may need to consider additional costs such as food and spending money. 

International field trips that are part of core modules are also funded by the school but you will need to pay towards international field trips that are part of optional modules (although these are subsidised by the school) and you will be made aware of these costs before selecting the module. 

Year in the USA Option

The major additional costs (as of June 2023) for the year in Toledo are as follows:

  • Flights – in recent years the cost for a return flight has been approximately £1,200 - £1,500.
  • Visa – currently $340; in addition all applicants must attend a visa interview in London, so will need to cover the travel costs incurred.
  • Health insurance – this will vary from one individual to another, but it will cost approximately $1,500 if obtained in the USA. There are also options to purchase a plan from the UK prior to departure.
  • Living costs - approximately $10,000 for 9 months.
  • Students pay only a reduced tuition fee to Salford while undertaking their studies in the USA and all tuition fees to the University of Toledo are waived. However students will have to pay approximately $200 on arrival to cover various services.

Most students are able to claim back a reasonable proportion of the above costs 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 £8.73 of household income over £39,796.” See Travel grants for students studying abroad or on placements (Gov.uk)  for more information. 

All registered Salford students are eligible to apply for funding under the Turing scheme, which is a UK government programme providing funding for International Opportunities. For more information on the Turing Scheme, please contact salford-iot@salford.ac.uk.

Scholarships for international students

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships. Explore our international scholarships.

Apply now

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Enrolment dates

September 2024

September 2025

UCAS information

Course ID C200

Institution S03