Undergraduate BSc (Hons)

Biology with Foundation Year

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Attendance

Full-time

Part-time

With placement

Course

Four year

Eight year

Five year

Next enrolment

September 2021

Introduction

In a nutshell

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 provide you with a strong foundation in biology and chemistry, allowing you to progress onto the BSc (Hons) Biology degree, which is accredited by the Royal Society of Biology.

This pathway 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. On successful completion of the foundation year, you will progress on to the full honours degree, where you will continue to build more advanced scientific knowledge.

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.

You will:
  • 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
Placement

options available

Course accreditations
Royal Society of Biology accreditation logo

This is for you if...

1.

You have a non-scientific background and would like to pursue a career in science

2.

You are returning to education or seeking to develop your career in a new direction

3.

You did not obtain the entry requirements for the BSc (Hons) Biology

Course details

All about the course

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.

Foundation Year

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.

If you successfully complete and pass the foundation year, you will automatically progress on to the full BSc (Hons) Biology honours degree.

BSc Degree

For a further three years of study - or four, if you choose an industry placement, you will develop and advance your biology knowledge and laboratory skills.

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

  • In year one, you will build knowledge across the breadth of the subject. Core modules focus on biodiversity, genetics, cell biology and study skills. You will also experience field and laboratory work.
  • As you progress into year two, you will expand your subject knowledge and specialise in areas such as human or animal physiology, parasitology and infectious diseases, and molecular genetics. 
  • In your final year you will undertake a research project based on a subject topic of your choice and choose optional modules focus your knowledge in areas such as biotechnology, antimicrobial resistance, evolution and development, and veterinary and zoonotic infectious diseases. 
Industry Placements

On this course, you'll have the option to take an industry placement year between years two and three. Although you'll be responsible for securing your placement, a tutor will support you, monitor your progress and assess your final placement report.

Foundation year

Data Handling

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.

Professional Communications

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.

Biological Principles

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.

Scientific Methods

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.

Environmental Conservation

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.

Year one

Genetics

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. 

Biodiversity

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Year two

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

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.

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.

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.

Conservation Biology

This module will introduce you to the modern concepts of conservation biology at the level of species and populations, the existing tensions between theory and practice in species conservation planning, and an overview of the interdisciplinary toolbox used by conservation biologists (for example IT packages and DNA fingerprints). You will also be given the chance to design an appropriate conservation programme for a species or population, including the projection of future survival under varying scenarios.

Animal Evolution

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.

University Wide Language

Courses are available in: Arabic, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.

Choose one option from the following 

New

Educational Principles and Practice in STEM

The module will provide you with an introduction to teaching and learning at key stage 4 (level 2 GCSE qualifications) through the application of core educational concepts. You will design and deliver an educational activity for a laboratory, workshop or through an online interactive system. The module will provide a taster for students considering teaching as a career.

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.

Pathophysiology

This module will provide students the opportunity to gain an understanding of the wide range and inter-related nature of disease and major diagnostic approaches. Students will use a range of primary and secondary information sources and group-based discussions to develop a transferable understanding of pathophysiology. This module is delivered into different programme pathways including campus based full-time and part-time studies, and work-based part-time studies, eg apprenticeship. The precise mode of delivery, and support for module content and its assessment will depend on the pathway being taken. Your learning will be supported by lectures, workshops and online material, alongside guided independent reading. On completion you will be sufficiently informed about the multidisciplinary aspect of laboratory investigations in achieving a complete diagnosis, across a range of diseases from different physiological systems. 

Genomics and Proteomics

This module provides an appreciation of topics in biochemistry with an emphasis on genomics, proteomics, structural biology and their application in research and industry.

University Wide Language

Courses are available in: Arabic, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.

And choose one of the following physiology modules

Animal Physiology

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.  

Year three
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 two options from

Biotechnology

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.

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.

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.  

Advances In Pathophysiology

This highly interactive optional final year module allows students to explore methods used in the diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of cardiovascular and respiratory (thoracic) diseases. Assessment of the module uses real case studies to enable students to develop both their analytical and critical narrative skills. Students will learn mechanisms of disease, how these relate to clinical outcomes, how patient care plans are developed, and the future approaches of thoracic medicine. Special features of the module include full CPET testing in the Health School human performance lab and the opportunity to visit to the North West Lung Centre to engage with clinical pulmonary testing.  

University Wide Language

Courses are available in: Arabic, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.

And two options from 

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.

Evolution, Development and Adaptation

This module looks at the way evolution has shaped both the development and adaptation of groups of animals to their environments.

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. 

Human Microbiology and Infection Control

The first part of this module is a series of lectures covering microbiomes and how technological advances have allowed for the study of microbial communities. We will then explore subjects such as public health, pathogenicity, virulence, viruses and vaccination, as well as one of the key challenges facing society: antimicrobials and the development of antibiotic resistance. 

University Wide Language

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.

What will I be doing?

40%

Coursework

60%

Examination

TEACHING

You will learn through a combination of,

  • Lectures
  • Practical classes
  • Lab work
  • Small group tutorialS
  • Research projects
  • Guided reading
  • Residential and day field courses

ASSESSMENT

Assessment is through a combination of coursework and examination, which varies from module to module. Coursework accounts for around one third of the marks in years one and two and up to half in year three. Continuous assessment includes:

  • Research project
  • Laboratory reports
  • Essays
  • Data analysis
  • Presentations

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 and industry leaders. 

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

Facilities

You will experience a modern learning environment, enriched with accessible lecture theatres and AV-equipped classrooms, computing suites and multimedia libraries, with access to industry journals, databases, and simulation software. 

As a biology student, you will have access to our state-of-the-art, integrated teaching laboratory known as the Bodmer Lab. The Bodmer Lab is a specialist, purpose-built facility and ensures our students benefit from the latest technologies to support their learning and remain on the cutting edge of innovation and discovery.

 

 

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

EMPLOYMENT

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 biology 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.

FURTHER STUDY

You might find you want to learn more about biology through further study. We offer a range of bioscience postgraduate courses where you can build specialist knowledge and take your subject interest even further. Salford graduates and alumni also receive a significant fees discount. 

A taste of what you could become

A biotechnologist

A higher education lecturer

A marine biologist

A microbiologist

A nanotechnologist

And more...

Career Links

INDUSTRY PLACEMENTS

We encourage all of our students to take up an additional industrial placement year, which we will help to arrange, between years two and three 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 on to do overseas placements in environmental areas. In our experience, final degree results and employability are enhanced for students who undertake a placement year.

Requirements

What you need to know

INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS

This course is not suitable for international students.

If you are an international student, and interested in a foundation year study pathway, please visit our International Foundation Year course page.

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.

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. 

Standard entry requirements

GCSE

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

64 points

A level

64 points

BTEC National Diploma

MPP

Access to Higher Education

64 points from QAA approved course

Scottish Highers

64 points from Higher Level

Irish Leaving Certificate

64 points from Higher Level

European Baccalaureate

Completion of two full years study and an awarded qualification

International Baccalaureate

26 points

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 2021/22 £8,250 for Foundation Year and £9,250 for subsequent years.
Part-time 2021/22 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 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.
Additional costs

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.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2021

September 2022

UCAS information

Course ID C104

Institution S03

Clearing 2021

Start this course in September 2021. Apply through Clearing to secure your place.