Biology BSc (Hons)
Biology covers both the unity and diversity of living organisms. During this biology degree 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 in our biology degree, 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).
During our biology degree 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). Whilst studying for this biology degree you 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 University 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 home to the divisional offices of Natural Resources Wales and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, both of which have close links to the University and staff associated with this course.
- Exchange programmes and opportunities for studying abroad available – see introductory pages of this prospectus for details.
Key Facts from UniStats
For more on studying degree courses see our Study at Bangor section.
Students on this 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 a dissertation 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 you study on this course?
Information on each module can be found in the link below.
Modules for the current academic year
Module listings are for guide purposes only and are subject to change. Find out what our students are currently studying on the Biology Modules page.
Course content is for guidance purposes only and may be subject to change.
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 Natural Sciences
As a graduate with a good degree from the School of Natural 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.
Opportunities at Bangor
The University’s Skills 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.
The Bangor Employability Award (BEA) and Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR)
The Bangor Employability Award enables students to build on their transferable skills through the recognition of activities they become involved in during their university life. Students can gain points towards the award through extra-curricular activities such as volunteering, attending workshops or actively participating in the Students’ Union’s clubs and societies.
The HEAR is a final graduation report that all undergraduates receive. The report itemises all academic achievements and additional extra and co-curricular achievements. Academic achievements appear on the report automatically and students are able to note their eligible activities by using the online platform ‘My Employability Hub’. This ensures that future employers are made aware of the additional skills the student has gained outside of the curriculum.
The Award is open to everyone and taking part in the scheme can make a major difference to your performance in the graduate job market.
Bangor University runs undergraduate and postgraduate internship schemes twice a year, which allow students to work in a professional environment while learning relevant skills and earning money.
Internships offer valuable experience in a professional workplace and there are a range of internships you can get involved in.
Not only is volunteering worthwhile – it also improves your employability and widens your experience.
The Students’ Union has a dedicated Student Volunteering Office (SVB) which currently contributes a total of 600 hours each week, promoting a close relationship between the university and the local community. Find out more on the Student Volunteering pages of the Bangor Student’s Union website.
TARGETconnect - Working while you StudyThe Skills and Employability Service offers support to students searching for employment during and after their studies.
- Graduate jobs – Local, National and International
- Full-time, part time, permanent and temporary jobs
- Work experience / internships
- Voluntary opportunities
TARGETconnect advertises the following opportunities:
For 2020 entry:
GCSE: grade C/4 in English, Maths and and Double Award Science. Typical offer is based on a minimum 112 tariff points from a Level 3 qualification e.g.:
- A Levels. For BSc - including grade C in Biology if studying 1 other science subject - Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Psychology, Environment Science, Geography, Geology; or grade B in Biology if not studying another science subject.
- International Baccalaureate Diploma: Including H5 in Biology.
- BTEC National/Extended Diploma: DMM including Merits in 4 Biology modules. Modules accepted: Animal Biology; Animal Anatomy and Physiology; Animal Behaviour and Communication; Animal Breeding and Genetics; Biochemistry and Biochemical Techniques; Biochemistry and Microbiology; Fundamentals of Science; Genetics and Genetic Engineering; Inheritance and Genetic Manipulation; Physiology of Human Body systems; Physiology of Human Regulation and Reproduction; Wildlife Populations, Ecology and Conservation. Other Biology-related modules considered case by case.
- City & Guilds Advanced Technical (1080) / Extended Diploma: Distinction overall including 4 Biology modules from the following: Animal Behaviour and Communication, Biological Systems of Animals, Wildlife and Ecology Conservation, Inheritance and Genetics, Ecological Concepts and Application, Population Surveys, Ecology and Conservation. Other Biology-related modules considered case by case.
- Access to HE in the Sciences: Pass
- Welsh Baccalaureate is accepted
- Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma is not accepted.
International Candidates: school leaving qualifications and college diplomas are accepted from countries worldwide (subject to minimum English Language requirements). More information here.
We also welcome applications from mature applicants.
*For a full list of accepted Level 3 qualifications, go to www.ucas.com
For 2019 entry:
- 136-112 tariff points including a level 3 qualification* in Biology and usually one other science subject. Second science subjects we consider include Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Psychology, Environment Science etc. Please contact us for advice. *Level 3 qualifications include A levels, Irish Highers, International Baccalaureate, Welsh Baccalaureate, Scottish Advanced Highers and others – for a full list, please refer to the new UCAS tariff at www.ucas.com.
- Due to the academic requirements for this programme, BTECs, City & Guilds and Access courses are considered on a case by case basis.
- We also welcome applications from mature applicants, individuals with European qualifications and international applicants (subject to minimum English language requirements).
General University entry requirements
We accept students with a wide range of qualifications and backgrounds and 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. For a fuller explanation of the UCAS Tariff Points, please see www.ucas.com
We also consider applications from mature students who can demonstrate the motivation and commitment to study a university programme. Each year we enrol a significant number of mature students. For more help and advice about being a mature student at Bangor, please visit the Study at Bangor site.
Specific entry requirements can be seen on the individual course pages.
EU and International students' entry requirements
For information and further detailed guidance on entry requirements for EU and International Students, including the minimum English Language entry requirement, please visit the Entry Requirements by Country pages. International applicants can also visit the International Education Centre section of our website for further details.
Home/EU students and International UCAS applicants
E-mail for General Admissions: firstname.lastname@example.org or write to:
Telephone: +44 (0)1248 383717
International students (non-UCAS applicants)
Email to International Admissions: email@example.com or write to
Telephone: +44 (0) 1248 382028
- Full time: £9,000 per year
- Part time: £750 per 10 credits
When coming to University, you will have two main costs, Tuition Fees and Living Costs.
There are also some common additional costs that are likely to arise for students on all courses, for example:
- If you choose to study abroad or take the International Experience Year as part of your course.
- If you attend your Graduation Ceremony, there will be a cost for gown hire (£25-£75) and cost for guest tickets (£12 each).
Course-specific additional costs
Depending on the course you are studying, there may be additional course-specific costs that you will be required to meet. These fall into three categories:
- Mandatory Costs: these are related to a particular core or compulsory module that you’ll be required to complete to achieve your qualification e.g. compulsory field trips, uniforms for students on placement, DBS Check.
- Necessarily Incurred Costs: these may not be experienced by all students, and will vary depending on the course e.g. professional body membership, travel to placements, specialist software, personal safety equipment.
- Optional Costs: these depend on your choice of modules or activity and they are shown to give you an indication of the optional costs that may arise to make sure your choice is as informed as possible. These can include graduation events for your course, optional field trips, Welcome Week trips.
Suitable clothing and equipment for fieldwork will be required e.g. walking boots and waterproofs, rucksack. The cost for these will vary. Approximate cost: £50-£80.
Appropriate stationary for note-taking during classes, e.g. notepad, pens and pencils. The cost for these will vary. Approximate cost: £5-£15.
Necessarily Incurred Costs:
Students may be required to provide their own food on the Year 2 fieldcourses. The cost for these will vary. Materials for the preparation of assessments: the cost and number of these will vary. Approximate cost: £10-£15.
Travel costs to undertake any fieldwork as part of Year 3 Honours Project research. The cost will vary by project (and may not even be incurred). Approximate cost for a UK-based project in a student’s home area: £15-£20.
Cost for optional residential Year 2 fieldcourse. The cost will vary by trip. Approximate cost £600.
Purchase of Wellington Boots for fieldwork. The cost for these will vary. Approximate cost: £10-£20.
Costs of any visas and vaccinations required if the student opts to undertake project work overseas. The cost for these will vary.
How to apply through UCASApply 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’.
When to apply?
We advise you to apply as early as you can as we will start considering applications and making offers straight away. The initial UCAS deadline for UK and EU students is 15 January, however we welcome applications after this date. Those received between 15 January and 30 June will continue to be forwarded to universities by UCAS and will receive consideration where places are still available.
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 should 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.
If you are an international student, our International Student pages offer further information on applying.
As an international student applying to study one of our undergraduate programmes you can:
- apply via UCAS,
- or apply direct to Bangor through our online direct application system
- or apply with the help of one of our recruitment agents
We receive around 350 exchange students every year from all over the world. 45% of these students come from Europe and the remainder from as far as Singapore, South Korea and Australia.
The University’s International Exchanges Office is responsible for welcoming these students.
Confused about your next steps?
Take a look at our Going to University website for information and advice on getting ready for university.
Why study a Biological Sciences degree?
- Bangor University has a long tradition in teaching and research in the Biological Sciences.
- Research submitted by Biological Sciences has been recognised as being within the top 20 in the UK in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014).
- Our students enjoy being here and expressed their praise for the quality of the teaching and pastoral care provided by Biological Sciences
- Our 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 Biology with Biotechnology.
- We offer the opportunity to study at a university in the United States for all or part of the second year.
Studying at Bangor
Rated Gold for teaching
We have been awarded a Gold rating, the highest rating possible, for the standarad of our teaching in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) assessment. The TEF assessment took into account teaching quality, learning environment and student outcomes and learning gain. We were judged to deliver consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for our students and our teaching is of the highest quality found in the UK.
A top 10 university
The National Student Survey (NSS) results place Bangor amongst the UK’s top 10 universities (excluding specialist institutions) 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
Take advantage of the Bangor Student Experience with free membership of student clubs and societies, a new international experience programme and employability award scheme.
Award-winning clubs and societies!
Our clubs and societies have been named the best in the UK at the WhatUni Student Choice Awards 2019.
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’.
Bangor is the most affordable place in the UK to be a student (TotalMoney 2019).
Investment in facilities
Benefit from continued investment in facilities and services – with Pontio Arts and Innovation Centre, Halls of Residence, and improved sports facilities amongst recent developments.
Guaranteed accommodation in award-winning halls of residence
We guarantee accommodation for first year students who apply within the deadline and hold Bangor as their Firm Choice. Our accommodation has been named the best in the UK at the 2018 WhatUni Student Choice Awards.
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- Biology with Biotechnology MBiol (4 years)
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- Marine Biology and Oceanography MSci (4 years)
- Wildlife Conservation BSc (Hons) (3 years)
- Wildlife Conservation (with placement year) BSc (Hons) (4 years)
- Zoology BSc (Hons) (3 years)
- Zoology MZool (4 years)
- Zoology with Animal Behaviour BSc (Hons) (3 years)
- Zoology with Animal Behaviour MZool (Animal Behaviour) (4 years)
- Zoology with Climate Change Studies BSc (Hons) (3 years)
- Zoology with Climate Change Studies MZool (Climate Change Studies) (4 years)
- Zoology with Conservation BSc (Hons) (3 years)
- Zoology with Conservation MZool (Conservation) (4 years)
- Zoology with Conservation (with Placement Year) BSc (Hons) (4 years)
- Zoology with Foundation Year BSc (Hons) (4 years)
- Zoology with Herpetology BSc (Hons) (3 years)
- Zoology with Herpetology MZool (Herpetology) (4 years)
- Zoology with Marine Zoology BSc (Hons) (3 years)
- Zoology with Marine Zoology MZool (Marine Zoology) (4 years)
- Zoology with Ornithology BSc (3 years)
- Zoology with Ornithology MZool (Ornithology) (4 years)
- Zoology with Primatology BSc (Hons) (3 years)
- Zoology with Primatology MZool (Primatology) (4 years)