Biological Sciences with Foundation Year
School of Science, Engineering and Environment
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 an international understanding of ourselves and the world around us with our BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences with Foundation Year degree.
This pathway is recommended if you want to study the full honours degree, but don’t meet the direct entry requirements. On successful completion of the foundation year, you will have the knowledge, practical and analytical skills required to confidently and effectively progress to study the BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences degree.
This course will develop your appreciation of the diversity of living organisms and your understanding of biological principles. You will benefit from hands-on experience in the labs as well as fieldwork opportunities. Practical training in our advanced Bodmer Laboratories, will equip you with many of the subject-specific, personal and practical skills that you will need for your future career.
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
- Get a strong foundation in biology to prepare you for more advanced study
- Benefit from hands-on experience in the labs and fieldwork opportunities
- Be taught by internationally-leading researchers in parasitology, biomedical science and molecular biology
This is for you if...
You have a non-scientific background and would like to pursue a career in science
You are returning to education or seeking to develop your career in a new direction
You did not obtain the entry requirements for the BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences degree
All about the course
The introductory foundation year is designed to increase your knowledge and understanding of the natural sciences, with modules on biological principles, data handling and scientific methods.
With a focus on your progression, you will build knowledge across the breadth of the subject. You will also experience field and laboratory work, develop your study skills and learn to manage field data
Once you successfully complete and pass the foundation year, you will progress on to our full BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences honours degree.
BSc (Hons) Degree
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.
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.
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.
Develop skills for the application of statistical and mathematical methods and practise using Information Technology for effective the presentation and communication of data and ideas.
This module will provide students with a structured and supportive environment in which to develop their academic practice and professionalism. This will be achieved through a series of lectures and tutor-led seminars that will equip students with the skills required for successful study in Higher Education.
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.
This module will help you develop practical skills in the fields of biological, chemical and environmental science. It includes the use of glassware and instrumentation, developing data recording and analysis skills, and foundational laboratory-training. It also aims to train all students on how to write-up experimental work via an interactive learning platform, which includes pre- and post- laboratory training exercises.
Science for Health
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.
The Environmental Conservation module provides fundamental introductions to ecology, sustainability, environmental management, ecosystem functions and ecosystem services. It also teaches practical approaches to sustainable resource development, conservation techniques and priorities in habitat and wildlife management. Thirdly, it provides essential skills in literature review and report writing that are extremely useful for a career in the environmental sciences.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Choose one option from 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.
And choose one of the following physiology modules
Physiology is the science of life! During the Animal Physiology module, you will discover that all animals share the same basic requirements for life. By applying fundamental physiological principles, you will discover how the organs of different animals have adapted to specific environmental and metabolic demands. In other words, how their physiology has evolved in very different ways to meet the same basic requirements for life. Laboratory classes use cutting-edge equipment that allow you to see “physiology in action” and develop competence in the techniques used by physiologists to advance the field.
Human Systems Physiology
Physiology is the science of life. During the Human Systems Physiology module, you will explore the function of each major organ system. You will discover the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlay this function, and how organ systems are integrated and regulated to maintain homeostasis, while allowing the human body to adapt to changing metabolic and environmental demands. Laboratory classes use cutting-edge equipment that allow you to see “physiology in action” and develop competence in the techniques used by physiologists to advance the field.
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.
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.
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.
And one option from
Educational Principles and Practices in STEM
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.
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
- Literature reviews
- Data analysis
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 biology 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.
What about after uni?
The course is designed to help you to develop a range of personal and professional skills which will make you highly-employable. These include laboratory, field work, report writing and presentation skills, data interpretation and IT skills, and team work and project management skills.
There is growing demand for professionals with biology knowledge and laboratory skills. The global COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates how vulnerable we all are to the emergence of infectious diseases. With a world brought closer together, we can no longer respond in isolation. Collectively, we need more scientists to help fight these pandemics, develop treatments and better understand global health challenges.
A Biological Sciences degree provides an excellent basis for careers in a wide range of areas including 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.
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.
- Biomedical Science (MSc)
- Biotechnology (MSc)
- Drug Design and Discovery (MSc)
- Wildlife Conservation (MSc)
Biological Sciences 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. Some of our graduates have completed PhD research studying orangutans in Borneo, large animals in Tanzania.
Learn more about postgraduate research opportunities available through our Doctoral School.
What you need to know
This course is not suitable for international students.
If you are an international student, and interested in a foundation year study pathway, please consider our International Foundation Year.
Along with a passion for science, we are looking for applicants with a keen interest in the living world and a desire to develop their skills and career aspirations through laboratory work and in the field.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS
All of our courses are taught and assessed in English. If English is not your first language, you must meet our minimum English language entry requirements. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this, and we also accept a range of equivalent qualifications.
Read more about our English language requirements, including information about pathways that can help you gain entry on to our degree courses.
English language and mathematics at grade C or 4 or above. Equivalents are accepted.
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
UCAS tariff points
BTEC National Diploma
Access to Higher Education
64 points from QAA approved course
64 points from Higher Level
Irish Leaving Certificate
64 points from Higher Level
Completion of two full years study and an awarded qualification
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.
|Type of study||Year||Fees|
|Full-time home||2022/23||£8,250 for Foundation Year and £9,250 for subsequent years.|
|Part-time||2022/23||Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.|
|Full-time home||2023/24||£8,250 for Foundation Year and £9,250 for subsequent years.|
|Part-time||2023/24||Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.|
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.
You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.
All set? Let's apply
Course ID C100