Undergraduate Courses at Bangor University

Biology BSc (Hons)

Course facts

  • UCAS code: C100
  • Bangor code: BSc/B
  • Course length: 3 years

Connect with Bangor

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

Course Overview

Biology covers both the unity and diversity of living organisms. You will be able to develop interests in plant and animal science and receive a thorough grounding in cell and molecular biology, as well as access modules as diverse as marine ecology and medical genetics.

Evolutionary, ecological and environmental aspects are strongly emphasised and there is opportunity to follow applied aspects of biology and to learn about fundamental biological processes and mechanisms. 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).

You will receive training that covers the biology of plants and animals – from their molecular biology to their function in natural communities. We provide a diversity of laboratory and field biology experience, enabling you to acquire transferable skills (data analysis, group work, writing and presentational skills, IT skills). Biologists are able to choose from a variety of modules across the School making it possible to specialise in different aspects of Biology depending on individual preferences. Possibilities range from plant diversity and ecosystem functioning through to whole-organism studies down to molecules and cells, with consideration of animal/plant form and function. We also offer modules on human health and disease and enable students to undertake field work.

Please see the Master in Biology page for information on the 4 year MBiol course.

Why choose Bangor for this course?

  • Cutting-edge science is integral to our research programmes, and feeds through into the teaching environment. Our expertise in biology covers aspects of stress biology, energetics, adaptation to change, population genetics, biogeography, molecular ecology, climate change and carbon stores, cell and genomic biology, environmental micro-biology, neurobiology and development.
  • Our excellent facilities include: a Botanical Garden; our own Natural History Museum containing a comprehensive collection of invertebrate and vertebrate material and extensive marine and freshwater aquaria; and the Robert Edwards Laboratory for teaching cell and molecular biology.
  • Bangor’s location makes it an ideal place to study biology – the range of soil types, climate and topography provides numerous diverse habitats, all within easy reach for field-based studies.
  • Bangor is the home of the Countryside Council for Wales (now part of Natural Resources Wales) as well as the divisional offices of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, both of which have close links to the University and staff associated with this course.
  • As part of the course you may choose to spend 3-6 months in year 2 at a University in either Europe or the United States on a student exchange programme.

Course Content

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

Students on this Biology course are required to take 120 credits each year made up of lectures, practicals and interactive exercises, as well as field  trips and tutorials in years 1 and 2. The final year includes an Integrated Research Project, supervised by a staff member on a subject of interest. 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 number of credits is given in brackets after the name of each module. Some modules will include lectures, practicals and interactive exercises. Students taking the Biology degree have a wide choice of optional modules.

Please see the Master in Biology page for information on the 4 year MBiol course.

What will I study?

Year 1

The first year is a general year for all of our biology related degrees, which will introduce three broad and very important aspects of modern biology. Students are required to take four compulsory lecture modules, one module in key skills and one practical module. In addition there are tutorials with individual members of staff.

Compulsory modules:

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

Ecology & Evolution (20): Ecology is about understanding the dynamic changes in individuals, populations, communities and ecosystems in relation to each other and the physical environment, and understanding their evolutionary processes.

Cellular and 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.

Biology Practical Module (20): Students will undertake a range of practicals from molecular and cell biology, through to animal function and ecology. Field work is included. The practicals will coincide with the appropriate subject area in the lecture modules.

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.

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

In the second year you will extend and deepen your understanding of biology by specialising in animal and plant diversity and function, and learning about the importance of molecular and cellular processes. There are four compulsory modules incorporating both lectures and practicals. You can choose 40 credits of optional modules.

Compulsory modules:

  • Bioscience Skills (20)
  • Evolution & Genetics (20)
  • Molecular Biology & Biochemistry (20)
  • Cell Biology (20)

Optional modules:

Choose 40 credits from:

  • Invertebrates (20)
  • Field Courses (20)
  • Vertebrate Biology (20)
  • Plant Diversity (10)
  • Plant Diversity Practical (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. Students take 60 to 80 credits of optional modules.

Compulsory modules:

20 to 40 credits from:

  • Experimental Project (40)
  • Literature Review Project (20)

Optional modules:

Choose 60 to 80 credits from:

  • Advances in Behaviour (20)
  • Herpetology (20)
  • Animal Survival Strategies (20)
  • Molecular Ecology & Evolution (20)
  • Freshwater Ecosystems 2 (20)
  • Tenerife Field Course (20)
  • Aspects of British Flora 1 (10)
  • Aspects of British Flora 2 (10)
  • Attack and Defence in Plants (10)
  • Medical Genetics (10)
  • Forest Ecosystems (10)
  • Freshwater Ecosystems (10)
  • Practical Developmental
  • Biology (20)

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

Modules for the current academic year

Module listings are for guide purposes only and are subject to change annually. Find out what our students are currently studying on the Biology Modules page.

Programme Specification

Careers & Employability

Biologists pursue a range of careers from being environmental consultants to working in research and development, the health service and further education.

Employability and the School of Biological Sciences

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.

 

Work Experience and Volunteering

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.

Bangor Employability Award

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.

Find out more about how the BEA can help you...

Entry requirements for this course

  • 260-320 points including Biology and usually one other science subject at A2 level. (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
  • Scottish Highers including Biology at Advanced Higher Level
  • Access and BTEC qualifications
  • Mature age students with relevant experience.

General entry requirements

Here at Bangor we accept students with a wide range of qualifications and backgrounds. We consider each application individually.

All students need to have good basic skills and the University also values IT and communication skills.

As part of the University’s policy we consider applications from prospective disabled students on the same grounds as all other students.

To study a degree, diploma or certificate course you’ll be asked for a minimum of UCAS Tariff points . Normally, all GCE A and AS levels VCEs and Key Skills can be used to calculate your overall points.

For a fuller explanation of the UCAS Tariff Points, please see www.ucas.com/candq/tariff/index.html

Qualifications currently not in the Tariff Framework:

  • International Baccalaureate:
    You will usually need to have been awarded the full diploma and offers may vary according to the course you are applying for.
  • Welsh Baccalaureate:
    We accept a Pass in the Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification Advanced Diploma that is equivalent to 120 UCAS Tariff points.
  • Access courses and mature entry:
    We welcome your application if you’re taking a recognised Access course. We also consider applications from other older students who can demonstrate the motivation and commitment to study a university programme. Each year we enrol a significant number of mature students.

International Students

If you are an international student please see our International Student pages for application information. If you want advice or a general chat about what’s available contact the International Office on 01248 382028 or email international@bangor.ac.uk

IELTS Courses and Accreditation

Bangor University also has an IELTS Test Centre and we can help you put together a package of study in which you can:

We can also help you arrange further English Language development programmes in parallel with your academic courses of studies.

More information

  • E-mail for General Admissions: admissions@bangor.ac.uk
  • Or write to:
    Admissions Office
    Bangor University
    Gwynedd
    LL57 2DG
  • Tel: 01248 382017

How to apply through UCAS

Apply online via UCAS

UCAS stands for Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. All university applications are processed through UCAS and then passed on to the universities listed.

Students may apply for a maximum of five courses. For Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary courses students are only allowed to apply for four courses.

The application form is found on the UCAS website, under ‘Apply’.

The early closing date is October 15 for all Oxbridge, Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary students. The main closing date for all applications is January 15.

Your Personal Statement

Writing your Personal Statement is the part of the application form that requires most work. You are only allowed 47 lines or 500–550 words to explain why you wish to study the course and the skills you have that are essential for university study.

To write a successful personal statement for your UCAS application you must have a good understanding about the course and its content. Remember that you write only one personal statement for your five choices. Make sure that the courses are similar, if not the same, and make sure that you do not mention a specific course or university.

Read our advice on how to draft a winning personal statement or watch our video guide.

After you’ve applied

You can keep an eye on your application on UCAS ‘Track’. Offers from universities will appear on track and you will be able to accept or decline offers.

You can only reply when you have received all your decisions. The types of reply you can make are firm acceptance and insurance acceptance. Usually students reply in early May.

International Student?

If you are an international student please see our International Student pages for further information on applications.

Confused about how to apply?

If you’re not quite sure how to proceed and would like to find out a little more then perhaps our Going to University site will help.

Why study with the School of Biological Sciences?

  • Bangor has a long tradition in teaching and research in the Biological Sciences.
  • We were awarded a "4A" rating in the UK wide Research Assessment Exercise, demonstrating the national and international calibre of both teaching and research.
  • Our students enjoy being here and expressed their praise for the quality of the teaching and pastoral care provided by the School of Biological Sciences
  • The staff have a strong commitment to providing excellent teaching and care for their students.
  • We have excellent facilities for the study of both flora and fauna - these include snake, lizard and fish collections a Botanic Garden and a Natural History Museum.
  • We offer a wide range of degrees in the Biological Sciences encompassing "traditional" disciplines such as Zoology and Biology to Biomedical Science, Medical Biology and Biology with Biotechnology.
  • We offer the opportunity to study at a university in the U.S. for all or part of the second year.
  • Bangor is an ancient, historic Cathedral and University city, and our unique location provides access to a wide range of superb natural environments from the beaches of Anglesey to the mountain ranges of Snowdonia.
  • Many of our students enthusiastically participate in outdoor activities, and sailing, hillwalking, rock climbing, paragliding, canoeing, scuba diving and surfing are extremely popular.
  • We have a sports centre with excellent indoor sports facilities of all sorts, including a climbing wall.

Studying at Bangor

A top 10 university

The National Student Survey (NSS) results place Bangor amongst the UK’s top 10 universities (excluding specialist institutions) and top in Wales for student satisfaction. This reflects the University’s focus on overall student experience.

Enjoy a university experience that’s amongst the best in the UK

The guaranteed accommodation, student support, low cost of living and stunning location all contribute towards this.

Take advantage of the Bangor Student Experience (ranked in the top 20 in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey) with free membership of student clubs and societies, a new international experience programme and employability award scheme.

Unrivalled location

Choose to study in one of the best places in the UK to be a student. Bangor’s location – close to the mountains and the sea -has been described as ‘the best university setting in the UK’.

Investment in facilities

Benefit from continued investment in facilities and services – with an exciting new Arts and Innovation Centre, new halls of residence, and improved sports facilities amongst recent developments.

Guaranteed accommodation

We guarantee accommodation for first year students – in university accommodation that’s rated within the top 10 in the UK (What Uni Student Choice Awards).

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