School of Biological Sciences
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).
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.
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.
Choose 40 credits from:
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.
Choose 60-80 credits from:
Further information on each module can be found on our website.
Module listings are for guide purposes only and are subject to change annually. Find out what our students are currently studying on the Biology with Biotechnology Modules page.
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 and agencies, educational establishments, research councils and the private sector.
As a graduate with a good degree from the School of Biological Sciences, a variety of careers will be open to you. There are careers for which a Biological Sciences degree is essential, and careers for which Biological Sciences provides a useful base.
In addition, there are careers open to graduates and postgraduates from any discipline. These include, for example, careers in management training, accountancy, teaching, nursing, social work, the police and the armed forces. However, employers are usually looking for general or transferable skills, and a Biological Sciences degree arguably provides a unique combination of these.
Find out more on the School's 'Careers for our graduates' pages.
The University’s Careers and Employability Service provides a wide range of resources to help you achieve your graduate ambitions. Developing your personal skills and enhancing your employability while at university is becoming increasingly important in today’s job market.
Amongst the experiences offered by the Careers and Employability Service to help both your personal and career development are work placements, work taster schemes, part-time work, and volunteering and mentoring opportunities.
The Bangor Employability Award is designed to enhance the immediate and longer-term career prospects of our students. It offers free opportunities to gain the skills and experiences employers need, based on up-to-date research.
BEA graduates get a certificate, a transcript and formal verification of their extracurricular activities from Bangor University. The Award also offers free training courses, interview preparation, access to online careers software and helps develop a skills portfolio of evidence for employers.
Student Voluteering is both worthwile in itself but also improves your employbility and widens your experiences. The Students' Union has a dedicated Student Volunteering Office - Student Volunteering Bangor (SVB) within the Students' Union which has over 1,500 members, 600 of whom volunteer on one or more of our community based projects. SVB volunteers currently contribute a total of 600 hours each week which promotes a close relationship between the university and the local community.
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