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BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences

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UCAS code: 
Institution code: 


Three years full-time.

Five years part-time.

Course Options: 
Professional Placement
Typical Offer: 

2023-24 and 2024-25 entry; 112 UCAS tariff points (or above), BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC), Merit (T Level).




  • Accredited by the Royal Society of Biology, the leading professional body for the biological sciences in the United Kingdom. 
  • Explore cutting edge developments such as stem cell biology and regenerative medicine.
  • Benefit from close working relationships with a highly qualified and research-active international teaching team.
  • Graduates will be equipped with solid knowledge of theoretical principles and wide range of practical skills sought by employers.
  • Develop a wide range of soft skills, which can be implemented not only in further study but also in a range of careers.


The BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences degree at the University of Suffolk is now accredited by the Royal Society of Biology, the leading professional body for the biological sciences in the United Kingdom. 

This programme has been accredited by the Royal Society of Biology following an independent and rigorous assessment. Accredited degree programmes contain a solid academic foundation in biological knowledge and key skills, and prepare graduates to address the needs of employers.

The accreditation criteria require evidence that graduates from accredited programmes meet defined sets of learning outcomes, including subject knowledge, technical ability and transferable skills.

This course is a well-rounded programme in the field of biological sciences; The course contains a number of options across the years that allow you to select pathways and specialisms matched to your interest and career aspirations. We have built “streams” into the degree course.

The Blue stream is a collection of optional modules that are characterised by human biology and lead to potential careers in human based biology such as medical research, pharmacology, regenerative medicine and clinical sciences.

And the Green stream is a collection of optional modules that are characterised by animal and plant biology and lead to potential careers in biological aspects of global climate change, sustainability, biotechnology and Agri-Tech.

Irrespective of the stream, core competences necessary to become a biological scientist are covered in the programme.  There is also progression from one level to another. This begins with descriptions and explanations at levels there and four, moving on to the application of knowledge and some evaluation at level five. By level six you will be interpreting information and using this in an applied way to solve problems through synthesis of new views and ideas.

The course covers life from viruses and microbes through to plants, animals and humans; and discusses how each of these co-exists and can be utilised and managed for the greater good. We believe that this programme generates skilled graduates that would be comfortable and competent in a wide range of jobs in the growing life science sector.

Our students benefit from close working relationships with a highly qualified and research-active teaching team, drawn from UK and International universities.

The academic staff at the University of Suffolk aim to get to know every student as an individual. This may occur through the interactive process of teaching and learning, through tutorials and focussed academic support.

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Further information about the University's relationship with the Royal Society of Biology is available in the PSRB register.

Course modules

The curriculum has been developed to produce students with a wide range of knowledge and skills that enhance employability and stimulate an interest in the subject that will facilitate the drive for life-long career in the biosciences.

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.

Biochemistry (Mandatory)

This module 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. 

Introduction to the Genome (Mandatory)

DNA is arguably the most important macromolecule in life and this module is designed to provide a solid foundation of knowledge on which students can build throughout the Bioscience degree programme. Beginning with the fundamental concepts of DNA and it’s 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.

Diversity of Life (Requisite)

This module 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. 

Human Physiology (Optional – Human Biology - Blue Stream)

A thorough understanding of human physiology and 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.

Ecology and Ecosystems (Animal & Plant Biology - Green Stream)

In this module, we will examine what controls the distribution and abundance of organisms, how energy is transferred through ecosystems and explore how the principles of ecology underpin effective conservation practice. The module will include field trips to a diverse range of habitats and introduce key surveying and ecological assessment skills. 

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 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)

This module prepares students for further study and employment by providing an understanding of what science is and how it works.  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. 

Microbial Organisms

The module aims to set an introduction to some key properties and applications of selected microbial organisms. 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 introduces students to the principles of nucleic acids manipulation and cloning. 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. Classic techniques will be presented together with the more advanced, cutting-edge technologies and approaches.

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 module can also be undertaken by students who are already in relevant employment, thereby enhancing their career development. 

Biology of Disease (Human Biology - Blue Stream)

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 will also give the students the opportunity to investigate the positive and negative effects of diet on health and disease.

Immunology (Human Biology - Blue Stream)

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. 

Marine and Fresh Water Biology (Animal & Plant Biology - Green Stream)

Freshwater and marine ecosystems cover more than three-quarters of the Earth’s surface, however the world’s aquatic environments are increasingly under threat. In this module we will study the diverse range of life that inhabit aquatic environments and explore the issues involved in the management, conservation, and restoration of aquatic resources.

Plant Biology (Animal & Plant Biology - Green Stream)

In this module you will explore the biodiversity of plants and the contribution that they make to life on Earth. You will develop knowledge of the biochemistry, cell biology and genetics of plants as well as examine the interaction between plants and species. You will develop an appreciation of the role of plants in food production and supply and how they may be managed and manipulated to do so. You will review the role of plants in mitigating climate change and maintaining sustainability.

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. 

Professional Development for the Life Sciences (Mandatory)

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. 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.

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. 

Regenerative Medicine (Human Biology - Blue Stream)

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. 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 (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. 

Ecotoxicology (Animal & Plant Biology - Green Stream)

During this module you will study the molecular, cellular, and physiological effects of common inorganic and organic pollutants and gain experience of a range of laboratory-based toxicity tests. 

Evolution, adaptive and conservation physiology (Animal & Plant Biology - Green Stream)

The basis of the module is to understand comparative physiology and morphology and how unique traits allow for adaptation to specific niches. Specific convergent evolutionary examples will identify key physiological and morphological processes using examples across the animal kingdom.

Career opportunities

Our graduates will be well placed to secure jobs as researchers working in universities, pharmaceutical and bioscience companies and institutes. Some graduates may progress into laboratory-based careers in clinical or technical roles which do not involve research, for example within NHS setting.

The transferable skills developed during the course will equip graduates for a wide range of careers outside the laboratory such as within scientific publication, quality control, scientific advisory bodies and scientific sales. 

Additionally, the course prepares students for higher level study such as PGCE (e.g. science teacher training), Masters degree or PhD

Erasmus Plus Opportunities

We are pleased to be able to offer our students an opportunity to engage in the Erasmus Plus Program. This involves conducting their final year Dissertation projects abroad at the University of Palermo, Italy. At the University of Suffolk we believe in building a positive, collaborative, international environment and our involvement in Erasmus Plus Program help us in establishing these goals.


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 ...

I have always been a daydreamer with a contemplative outlook on life. If someone had told me a while ago that I will end up doing a Bioscience degree, I would have probably laughed in their face. Somehow I made the decision to study science and it was the most eye opening experience...

I am currently studying the BSc (Hons) Bioscience degree and I decided to do this course as I really like to be involved in genetics and in biotechnological research. This has always been a dream of mine since leaving high school and this course is a great way of getting into it. H...

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

Course options

During your studies, you have the option to include a professional placement year UCAS code C762.

You can opt to include a professional placement year during your course. This would mean your course length would change from three years full-time to four years full-time. 

The professional placement year will give you the opportunity to gain professional experience and relevant practical skills to enhance your prospects of securing graduate employment. 


Career Background Cátia was awarded her first degree in Biotechnological Engineering from Universidade Lusofóna de Humanidades e Tecnologias (Lisbon, PT).  Alongside this Cátia holds an MSc in Regenerative Medicine and a PgC in Academic Practice; she is also a Fellow of the ...

Dr. Federica Masieri was born in Rovigo (Italy) and spent the majority of her life in Ferrara (Italy), still travelling frequently across Europe and outside. Her academic background is in Bioscience, with a specialist bio-molecular and biotechnological-molecular curriculum. She grad...

Dr Christopher Turner is the Head of Life Science.  His research studies animals at all levels, from their molecular and cell biology to their behaviour and ecology. ...

Suha is an MB ChB, MSc, PhD qualified professional in the fields Chemical Pathology and Metabolic Medicine. With a broad based experience in both national and international environments. Previously she worked as a Clinical Research Fellow at the Biomedical Research Centre (BMRC), Un...

Associate Professor Rob Ellis has been working in Higher Education since 2001. His current role is as Associate Dean for Learning, Teaching and the Student Experience as well as the Director of Life Sciences. Rob’s passion is to see the next generation of scientists entering emplo...

Richard is a part-time Lecturer in Life Sciences in the School of Engineering, Arts, Science and Technology at the University of Suffolk. He teaches and leads a number of modules on the School’s undergraduate programmes including BSc Nutrition and Human Health and BSc Bioscience,...

Andres is interested in the ecology and evolution of adaptation to harmful or stressful environments, largely using social insects as model organisms. His recent research focuses on the effects of anthropogenic changes on wild pollinator communities, primarily on British bumblebee...

Mark works on the anthropogenic impacts on wildlife distributions in Amazonia, and has a strong focus on fieldwork, applied spatial ecology, and practical conservation.  ...

Facilities and Resources

Taught lessons can be delivered online via Virtual Classroom, on Brightspace. Presential sessions can be based at the Ipswich Campus in the Atrium, Waterfront or James Hehir Buildings.  For practical sessions, students will get to access to fantastic, modern, scientific facilities in the University’s laboratories. These are generously equipped, with suites of instruments such as mass spectrometer, gas/liquid chromatography, tissue section/cryosection, flow cytometer, nanodrop, plate readers and PCR/RT-PCR machines, 3D printing to name just a few.

We also have excellent microscope facilities including Dissection, Fluorescent Zeiss microscopes capable of imaging live cells through time-lapse photography. In addition, we have laboratories dedicated to fish, mouse and human cell/tissue culture and the tools for analysis of these.

Alongside the state of art laboratory facilities, students have access to a range of online virtual practical simulations specific to the course to enhance the learning experience.

We pride ourselves on this programme by giving undergraduate students full access to these research quality tools and encourage practical exploration using them. As such, our BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences degree focusses on practical work throughout to learn alongside the theoretical concepts. We believe that this approach is what gives our graduates the key to the successes we have seen year after year.


Field trips and visits

The programme also includes a range of national and international field trips. These visits expose our students to a wider scientific community and open up opportunities for postgraduate studies and employment. 

In previous years we had the opportunity to visit during Level 4 the Angela Marmont Centre for UK Biodiversity at the Natural History Museum and the Linnean Society in London. We have also visit Kew Gardens and their Fungarium and research facilities.

During level 5 students visited the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons as part of the Biology of Disease module.

During level 6, the students had the opportunity to visit a number of excellent national and international scientific facilities. These included the MRC Centre for Developmental Neurobiology at King’s College London, CovanceInstitute for Biology at Leipzig University, Germany and Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden Germany, to name the few.