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BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences (with Foundation Year)

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Four years full-time.

Seven years part-time.

Typical Offer: 

2023-24 and 2024-25 entry; 80 UCAS tariff points (or above), CDD (A-Level), MMP (BTEC), Pass A*-C (T Level).


This exciting degree course aims for students to develop an understanding of the complexity and diversity of life processes through the study of a range of modules including molecular biotechnology, immunology, cell biology and biochemistry, and developmental biology. It explores cutting edge developments including stem cell research and regenerative medicine. Modules such as science communication and ethics and bioentrepreneurship and business bring a strong vocational focus to the degree. The course therefore provides an excellent background for further study and will be particularly suited to those who are interested in an interdisciplinary approach to biology.

The Foundation year provides a route for those who lack the required qualifications for the three year programme. The aim of the Foundation Year is to provide students with the subject knowledge, study skills and personal confidence to succeed at degree level in a bioscience subject. This year provides a supportive route to degree level study for students from a wide variety of educational and working backgrounds.

A Biological Sciences degree prepares graduates for many and varied career options.

Course modules

The Foundation year consists of six modules delivered over two semesters and is assessed at the end of each semester. The course is delivered over three days each week. Modules studied include: Foundations of Anatomy and Physiology, Fundamentals of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Introduction to Health Sciences, Mathematics for Science, Principles of Biology and Scientific Study Skills.

Modules on the Honours degree include: 

First Year: Scientific Skills,  Human Physiology, Diversity of Life, Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Introduction to the Genome.

Second Year: Research Methods and Scientific Communication, Data Analysis and Statistics, Molecular Biotechnology, Immunology, Microbial Organisms, Biology of Disease (optional), Work-Based Experience (optional).

The optional Work-Based Experience module in the second year enables students to utilise and develop their skills within a relevant work environment. This is an excellent opportunity for students to enhance their employability skills and career prospects.

Third Year: Dissertation (40), Regenerative Medicine, Professional Development for the Life Sciences, Developmental Biology, Clinical Nutrition (optional), Pharmacology and Toxicology (optional)

Most modules are 20 credits apart from Dissertation module which is 40 credits, as indicated in brackets. You will study modules up to the value of 120 credits each year if studying full-time, or 80 credits if part-time.

Full downloadable information regarding all University of Suffolk courses, including Key Facts, Course Aims, Course Structure and Assessment, is available in the Definitive Course Record.

Foundations of Anatomy and Physiology

This module will enable students to develop the knowledge and practical skills that will prepare them for undergraduate studies in biological sciences. This module considers the structure and function of major physiological systems within the human body. Topics covered include the digestive, cardiovascular, respiratory, excretory, endocrine, nervous, musculo-skeletal and reproductive systems, and basic genetics. Theory will be supported by practical laboratory work.

Fundamentals of Biochemistry and Biophysics

Study of the biological sciences is often supported by a range of techniques developed through the use of physics and chemistry. Furthermore, there is much evidence of interaction between the physical and chemical sciences with that of biology, much of which would benefit from a greater fundamental understanding. Therefore this module is intended to give students a broad understanding of some of the chemical and physical principles that underpin much of biology.

Investigative Project

This module will introduce you to autonomous learning, investigation, problem solving and the use of logic, to help a smooth transition from Foundation Year to Year One. This module will encourage more scientific investigation and practice of scientific skills.

Mathematics for Science

Mathematics is the language of science. The study of any science requires some degree of mathematical understanding. Mathematics is not necessarily difficult, but requires a supportive learning environment where key concepts are demystified and applied in a logical and orderly fashion. Aimed at those without an ‘A-Level’ Mathematics and/or 'return to learning' students, this module aims to develop the students’ skills and increase their confidence in using mathematics in general; and in particular in the application of mathematics to health and life sciences.

Principles of Biology

This module will enable students to develop the knowledge and practical skills that will prepare them for undergraduate studies in biological sciences and related subjects. This module considers the structure and function of major biological molecules and biochemical systems.

Scientific Study Skills

The purpose of this module is to develop student’s skills in written and oral communication and develop the study skills needed for undergraduate work. The module will explore essay writing, academic referencing, avoiding plagiarism, organising, planning and editing written work, and improving technical writing style. Students will also consider time management, meeting deadlines, developing personal awareness and confidence by class presentations. The module will also utilise on-line delivery of material via the virtual learning environment thus providing an impetus to cultivate IT skills.

Biochemistry (Mandatory)

This module is designed to give a solid foundation on which to build further study in biological science.  It will investigate the fundamentals of biochemistry starting from basic atomic structure and bonding to then focus on the structure, function and metabolism of macromolecules. Students with differing levels of previous knowledge of chemistry and biology will be introduced to the range of processes taking place within the body at a molecular level.

Cell Biology (Mandatory)

Cells are the basic unit of all living organisms.  In this module, students will examine the structure and function of cells, and the signals that control eukaryotic cell division, adhesion, migration, and programmed cell death.  Students will analyse how cells contribute to animal physiology and disease, and be introduced to the techniques used to study cells in the laboratory.

Diversity of Life (Requisite)

This module is intended to give students a broad overview of life on earth. It follows chronologically the development from biomolecules and the first basic cells through to the more complex organisms such as hominids and modern plants. Students will gain an appreciation of the process of evolution through natural selection which will furnish them with knowledge to underpin much of their further studies. Consideration will be given to organization and classification of life along with the shortcomings of this process.

Human Physiology (Optional – Human Biology - Blue Stream)

A thorough understanding of human physiology and the maintenance of homeostasis are key facets in a range of scientific disciplines. In this module, students will study the way in which different cells, tissues, organs and organ systems contribute to homeostasis from a theoretical perspective.

Introduction to the Genome (Requisite)

DNA is arguably the most important macromolecule in life and this module is designed to provide a solid foundation of knowledge on which the student can build throughout the Bioscience degree programme. Beginning with the fundamental concepts of DNA and its role in heredity and the genetic code, the module will build up through expression of genotype to phenotype and the control of gene expression. 

Scientific Skills (Mandatory)

This module will provide students with the core skills required to carry out basic scientific procedures and communicate their research in an appropriate scientific format.  The module is based on a series of practical sessions and is designed to develop the skills required for subsequent advanced modules on the course.

Data Analysis and Statistics (Mandatory)

Effective scientists need to understand how experimentation, qualitative and quantitative analysis drives science forward via the process of attempted falsification and how this is quantified and presented. This module prepares students for further study and employment by providing an understanding of inferential statistical analysis of scientific data; it prepares them for the Dissertation module at Level 6. It will enable students to understand, interpret and apply most of the statistical techniques that they will see in published articles and allow them to emulate such analysis in their own work.

Research Methods and Scientific Communication (Mandatory)

Effective scientists need to understand how experimentation and research drives science forward and how this is communicated. This module prepares students for further study and employment by providing an understanding of what science is and how it works; it also prepares them for the Dissertation module at Level 6.  It introduces students to the principles of scientific research and the planning and design of experiments.  Students will learn how to effectively analyse literature and communicate science in a variety of methods. Students will also study the detailed aspects of research design and planning.

Immunology (Optional – Human Biology - Blue Stream)

An understanding of the immunological process has been fundamental to many of the advances made in science and medicine.  In this module students will explore the cellular basis of infection via pathogens and the immunological defence system the body deploys in order to prevent the development of infectious disease.  The module will deal with the structure and function of the human immune system in terms of the innate and adaptive immune responses focusing on the cells and molecules involved. 

Microbial organisms (Requisite)

The aim of this Module is to provide the students with an introduction to the biology of microorganisms. Furthermore, learners will be equipped with knowledge and practical skills currently used in the field of microbiology. The Module aims also to set an introduction to some key properties and applications of selected microbial organisms, particularly bacteria and viruses, which will be further investigated in the Molecular Biotechnology Module. Students will learn about the structural, biological and molecular characteristics of major microorganisms, to include bacteria, viruses, fungi and protists. In addition, the significance of microbes in health and disease will be investigated, also with the support of current research literature.

Molecular Biotechnology (Requisite)

This module is designed to introduce students to the principles of nucleic acids manipulation and cloning. The introduction of the module will include a thorough background on DNA handling, manipulation and analysis. The module will then detail the standard techniques by which DNA can be differently inserted into prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, and its expression monitored. The solid theoretical knowledge will be accompanied by an intensive series of practical activities, where the students will be challenged through a series of cloning experiments, which will put into practice the previously learned theory. Classic techniques will be presented together with the more advanced, cutting-edge technologies and approaches, applied to research, medicine and industry The module content will represent the ideal continuity between the basics of genetics and cell biology learned during level four and the advanced modules presented at level six. Moreover, the techniques and methodology described in this module will be an essential stepping-stone for the progression in a life science career, being fundamental tools used within research, biomedicine and industry.

Biology of Disease (Optional – Human Biology - Blue Stream)

Health and disease may be considered two extremes of a continuum. This module will explore the factors that set the graduations between the two extremes. This module is designed to review the nature of and causation of diseases, by considering environmental, genetic, and biologic factors and link the characteristics of disease to the signs and symptoms utilised in diagnosis. The module enables the students to consider the scientific methods involved in the investigation of disease and the application of these methods in the clinical environment. Particular emphasis is given to elucidating the pathophysiological and molecular/biomolecular aspects behind each disease presented. The module will also give the students the opportunity to investigate the positive and negative effects of diet on health and disease.

Work-Based Experience (optional)

This module has been conceived to provide students with the opportunity to enhance their employability skills and experience through undertaking a 100 hour period of work-based experience in a field related to their degree programme. This will enable students to develop work related skills, enhance and apply the knowledge and skills gained during their studies to the workplace, and reflect on their career and personal development. Additionally, students can continue to develop their graduate key skills including problem solving, communication and working with others, within the work environment. This module can also be undertaken by students who are already in relevant employment, thereby enhancing their career development. The choice and nature of work placement will be carefully negotiated between student, work place provider and module leader, to ensure that the learning opportunities are appropriate and of sufficient rigour for a Level 5 undergraduate degree programme. Consequently, the work experience would involve activities where students can be given (supervised) responsibility for a task and to be able to exercise a degree of decision-making and personal responsibility.

Dissertation (Mandatory)

The dissertation will provide an opportunity for individuals to develop an area of scientific interest arising from either course-based or work-based experience. The focus of the dissertation will be a research-based study, central to which will be some form of hypothesis testing or problem solving.  It will enable students to utilise practical, intellectual and decision making skills in novel situations. The dissertation will provide a mechanism for the development of autonomy and self-direction whilst undertaking a problem solving approach to a research topic.

Developmental Biology (Requisite)

This module is designed to give students an overview of developmental processes that lead to formation of a multicellular organism from a single zygote. The module will consider the cellular and molecular events which underpin development, including cell specification and cell differentiation. It will look at the mechanisms that lead to precise arrangement of the different cell types within multicellular organisms and animals.  In addition, the students will be introduced to a range of model organisms and techniques used in the study of development.

Professional Development for the Life Sciences (Mandatory)

This module will develop the necessary skills required to maximise students’ success following graduation in the Life Sciences.  In this module students will explore the numerous career paths available for life science graduates, will gain experience of graduate recruitment processes, and will critically analyse their own skills and capabilities to develop, reflect and improve their professional career prospects.  In addition, the students will be introduced to elements of bioentrepreneurship and ethics. In particular, areas such as outlining a business plan, patent application, intellectual property, clinical trials and policy making will be explored.

Regenerative Medicine (Optional – Human Biology - Blue Stream)

Virtually any disease that results from malfunctioning, damaged, aged, or failing tissues may be potentially treated through regenerative medicine therapies. This may be achieved by either regenerating the damaged tissues in vivo, or by growing the tissues and organs in vitro and implanting them into the patient, with the aid of selected techniques of tissue engineering. This Module is designed to provide students with an overview of the rapidly evolving field of regenerative medicine. The Module will begin by presenting different types of stem cells and their properties, then it will outline various cell-based and tissue engineering approaches to regenerate damaged tissues. Using key examples, debates and seminars students will explore diseases and the approaches used to try and regenerate affected tissues. Moreover, throughout the Module the students will be challenged to critically evaluate the potential of tissues of being rebuilt and will appraise current and developing techniques in the field.

Pharmacology and Toxicology (Optional – Human Biology - Blue Stream)

This module is intended to allow the student to draw together a wide range of topics covered at levels 4 and 5 into the applied area of pharmacology and toxicology. This module utilizes understanding and application of biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, genetics and physiology to solve problems. The interdisciplinary nature of the field provides an ideal opportunity for students to contextualise their studies within an important progressive science. Much research and employment of bioscience graduates is in the field of medical research and business; this module provides a broad understanding of pharmacology, toxicology and how they are linked.

Clinical Nutrition (optional)

This module uses knowledge gained at levels four and five to further develop skills in analysis and evaluation. The module will examine nutrition as it relates to the prevention and treatment of disease and deals with the nutritional aspects of diseases and clinical disorders by integrating students' existing knowledge of physiology, biochemistry and food science. In this module students will also consider the nutritional requirements of humans throughout the lifespan; the changing physiological status and subsequent changes in nutritional requirements will be studied along with a critical appraisal of how this is met with respect to diet, sociological status, geography and education. The module will also examine the communication of dietary recommendations to user groups and assess its effectiveness.


Student profiles

The University offered an environment providing state of the art facilities, a variety of resources, and subject experts within the scientific field, which is why I chose to study there. Suffolk is a thriving area, full of beautiful scenery, lively towns and great restaurants. The ...

Fees and finance


  • UK full-time tuition fee: £9,250 p.a
  • UK part-time tuition fee: £1,454 per 20 credits (please contact the Student Centre for further information)
  • International full-time tuition fee:  £14,598 p.a (inclusive of lab-based fee)

Further Information

At University of Suffolk, your tuition fees provide access to all the usual teaching and learning facilities that you would expect. However, there may be additional costs associated with you course that you will need to budget for. 

Entry requirements


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Facilities and Resources

Teaching takes place in the purpose-built James Hehir Building which boasts modern teaching and research laboratory facilities. Other spaces include the Waterfront Building and the IT facilities and classrooms in the recently refurbished Atrium building.

Our modern laboratory facilities facilitate high quality practical skills teaching and give you access to a range of industry standard equipment. 

You will have access to glassware, pipettes, centrifuges, low temperature and ultra-low temperature storage, analytical balances, there is a range of key specialist equipment to support the practical elements of the modules including chromatography, protein analysis, histology, microscopes, 3D productivity suite, cell biology equipment and molecular biology equipment.

We organise a number of field trips and visits for our students. During level 5 students visit the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons as part of the Biology of Disease module.