School of Biological Sciences

Biology with Biotechnology BSc (Hons)

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Course facts

  • UCAS code: C511
  • Bangor code: BSc/Biot
  • Course length: 3 years

Biotechnology is the application of biology to improve quality of life, and the health of our planet, via the innovative use of cellular and molecular processes to develop beneficial technologies and products.

Historically, biotechnology has had a significant impact upon human life, with the earliest biotechnologists harnessing the fermentative capabilities of microorganisms to produce food products such as bread, cheese, beer and wine. In today’s world, modern biotechnology offers breakthrough products and technologies to combat disease, reduce our impact on the environment, feed the hungry, reduce our energy demands, provide cleaner energy, and produce safer, cleaner and more efficient industrial processes. This degree will empower the next generation of scientists to address global issues in an innovative manner to heal, fuel and feed the world.

You will receive training that covers evolutionary, ecological, environmental, molecular and cellular aspects of biology, and there is opportunity to follow applied aspects of biology as well as learn about fundamental processes and mechanisms. Our teaching is underpinned by internationally recognised research. Academic staff in the School of Biological Sciences have a well-founded expertise in biotechnology research, derived from a number of biological disciplines covering medical and environmental microbiology, plant biology, marine biotechnology, fisheries genetics, and cell and genome biology. We also provide a diversity of practical, laboratory and field biology experience, enabling you to acquire transferable skills (data analysis, group work, writing and presentational skills, IT skills). Extensive use is made of the exceptional range of local terrestrial and aquatic habitats during field courses and practical classes. We are unusual among British Universities in having our own botanical gardens with various habitats for biological studies. We are also part of the Environment Centre Wales, which is a partnership venture between Bangor University and the Natural Environment Research Council’s Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH).

Career Prospects

Graduates in Biology with Biotechnology will possess a wealth of skills and knowledge that will be relevant to many employment sectors including hospital laboratories, research organisations, multidisciplinary consultancies, industrial companies, research charities, government departments, agencies, educational establishments, research councils and the private sector.

For more on studying degree courses see our Study at Bangor section.

Students are required to take 120 credits each year made up of lectures, practicals and interactive exercises, as well as field trips and tutorials. Modules become more specialised as the degree progresses and the number of compulsory modules varies between years. Assessment is by a mixture of formal examination and continuous assessment. Welsh medium modules are also available.

The Master in Biology with Biotechnology is an extended undergraduate programme which allows students to graduate either with BSc (Hons) at the end of the third year or with a Master at the end of the fourth year. If at the end of Year 2 a sufficient standard is achieved, then progression onto the Masters year will be permitted following completion of Year 3. The fourth year offers a unique opportunity to conduct an extended research project either in the laboratory or in the field.

The combination of modules for each year of our Biology with Biotechnology degrees is shown below. The number of credits is given in brackets after the name of each module. Some modules will include lectures, practicals and interactive exercises.

What will I study?

Year 1

The first year is a general year for all of our biology related degrees to provide you with an important grounding in several important aspects of biology. All of the modules in year one are compulsory.

Cellular & Molecular Biology (20): This module will cover the chemistry of life, the molecular basis of inheritance and important aspects of cell biology, such as structure and function.

Biomedical Practicals (20): Students will undertake a range of practicals in molecular and cell biology introducing experimental design and data handling. The practicals will coincide with the appropriate subject area in the lecture modules.

Good Laboratory Practice (10): This hands-on module allows students to become familiar with laboratory equipment and modern research methods.

Introduction to Microbiology (10): The module will introduce students to prokaryotic and eukaryotic micro-organisms by outlining their characteristics and structures.

Research Skills (20): The module is aimed at developing a range of skills commonly used by natural scientists, including basic mathematical manipulation, data interpretation, and presentation, experimental design and statistical analysis, IT skills and effective use of the literature.

Parasites & Pathogens (20): The module introduces the parasites and pathogens of the most important diseases and it analyses how and why the pathogens and parasites cause disease.

Organismal Diversity (20): This module will present an overview of basic classification, form and function of the major groups of living organisms.

Tutorials (degree specific) (10): Tutorials will be held by individual members of staff to groups of 6-7 students and involve discussions that are degree specific. Tutorials will develop communication skills.

Year 2 

Compulsory Modules:

  • Bioscience Skills (20)
  • Human Immunology (20)
  • Medical Microbiology (20)
  • Molecular Biology & Biochemistry (20)
  • Cell Biology (20)

Optional Modules:

Choose 40 credits from:

  • Evolution & Genetics (20)
  • Invertebrates (20)
  • Genomic Instability and Disease (20)

Year 3

The third year includes a major project that may be experimental or take the form of a Literature Review, which is supervised by a member of staff on a subject to suit your interests.

Compulsory Modules:

  • Integrated Resarch Project
  • Environmental Microbiology & Biotechnology (20)

Optional Modules:

Choose 60-80 credits from:

  • Plant Biotechnology (10)
  • Marine Biotechnology (10)
  • Environment & Industrial Biotechnology (10)
  • Bio Enterprise & Employability (20)
  • Molecular Ecology & Evolution (20)
  • Systematics & Diversity (20)
  • Medical Genetics (20)
  • Attack & Defence in Plants (10)
  • Practical Developmental Biology (20)

Further information on each module can be found on our website.

Modules for the 2014–15 academic year:

Year 1 Modules

Compulsory Modules

Semester 1
Semester 2

Year 2 Modules

Year 3 Modules

Programme Specification

  • Cutting-edge science is integral to our research programmes and feeds through into the teaching environment. Our expertise in biology and biotechnology encompasses studies into medical and environmental microbiology, plant biology, marine biotechnology, fisheries genetics, cell and genome biology, neurobiology and development.
  • Our excellent facilities include two well equipped microbiology research laboratories; a Botanical Garden; our own Natural History Museum containing a comprehensive collection of invertebrate and vertebrate material; and extensive marine and freshwater aquaria.
  • Bangor’s location provides a range of soil types, climate and topography, provides numerous diverse habitats, all within easy reach for field-based studies

Entry requirements

  • 260-320 points including A level Biology and preferably at least AS Chemistry. (Please note, we do not consider Psychology as a science subject for the purposes of study in the field of Biological Sciences.)
  • Irish Leaving Certificate including Biology at Higher level and preferably Chemistry
  • Scottish Highers including Biology at Advanced Higher Level and preferably Chemistry at Higher level
  • Access and BTEC qualifications
  • Mature age students with relevant experience
  • 4 Year Master in Biology: students will be assessed for transition onto Masters at the end of Year 2

Contact us:

The Admissions Administrator
School of Biological Sciences
Tel: 01248 382527
E-mail: ucas.enquiries@sbs.bangor.ac.uk
www.bangor.ac.uk/biology

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