bsc biology

Undergraduate Available in Clearing

BSc Biology

Explore the diversity of modern biological sciences – from genomes to diving on reefs, pheromones to ocean acidification, micro-organisms to rainforests.

Key information

Study mode

Full-time

Course length

3 years

Typical offer

N/A

See requirements

UCAS code

C100

Choose an option

Start date

Course overview

Biology at Hull is all about ‘hands-on’ learning, with options including genetics, cell biology, physiology, evolution, conservation and environmental change.

You can also take modules from other subject areas, including human biology, biochemistry, geography and environmental science – allowing you to build a course to suit your interests and ambitions. We offer a practical Biology with Education module to final-year students, many of whom go on to postgraduate teacher training. Our research informs our teaching. This course could also see you investigating topics such as the evolution of sex, the genomics of crop pests, or genetic adaptation to environmental stress.

We pride ourselves on our unique blend of laboratory and field-based practical teaching, as we recognise the need to work across disciplinary boundaries to solve global issues. Guided by our award-winning experts, you’ll gain industry-standard lab skills in cutting-edge techniques like genetic analysis, microscopy, DNA sequencing and DNA programming. The field, analytic and lab skills you’ll learn here are much in demand, and you’ll get the chance to engage with employers in a range of local organisations and businesses.

Excellent teaching is highly valued here. We currently have three winners of the Royal Society of Biology’s Higher Education Bioscience Teacher of the Year Award. We are a small, friendly supportive group, which means you will get to know your personal support tutor well over the course of your time at Hull. Our facilities include new genomics laboratories and supercomputer facilities, a 33,000-litre tropical aquarium, helping us research the relationship between genes and behaviour, and flexible teaching labs supported by technicians dedicated to developing your suite of skills. Fieldwork opportunities are exceptional, with recent overseas trips to Mallorca, Brazil and Malaysia.

Learn more about your course in our subject sessions

On-demand session

Biological and Marine Sciences

biology-marine-biology-zoology-subject-session

Six reasons to study Biology at Hull

  1. Specialise in molecular or ecological - or keep options broad
  2. Gain industry-standard lab skills 
  3. Staff include three RSB Teachers of the Year
  4. Fieldwork opportunities overseas and in the UK*
  5. Modern facilities including genomics labs
  6. 96% graduate employability rating

What you'll study

The course consists of 120 credits per year. Most modules are 20 credits, meaning you’ll study six modules each year. Some longer modules, such as a dissertation, are worth more (e.g. 40 credits). In these cases, you’ll study fewer modules - but the number of credits will always add up to 120.

First year modules

The first year is designed to give you a good foundation in all aspects of Biology, from molecular genetics through to ecology. Modules include training in essential skills including fundamental laboratory and field skills, experimental design, scientific writing and data analysis.

  • Compulsory

    Microbiology

    Cells and Organelles

    Explore the fascinating inner workings of cells, giving you a foundation in areas such as cell biology, molecular biology and biochemistry. 

    Evolution

    Why did sex evolve? Why do we die? What is a species? How can evolutionary medicine help us? This module will provide you with an understanding of how life on earth came to be what it is, from genes to species. Without evolution, nothing in Biology makes sense.

    Principles of Genetics

    Explore core genetic concepts leading to an understanding of how genetics underlies the biological and molecular traits observed in organisms. 

    Diversity of Life

    ​Through practical workshops, this module introduces you to the diversity of life and the fascinating adaptations that enable organisms to inhabit nearly all conceivable ecological niches.

  • Optional

    Ecology (with optional Dive Training)

    Ecology is the study of interactions among living organisms and their environment, and is the basis for nature conservation and understanding human impact on the planet. Gain an understanding of ecological theory, applied ecology, and the collection and analysis of ecological data. You can choose to complete integrated PADI Advanced Open Water training, with an opportunity to develop specialist diving skills relevant to ecological science.

    Human Physiology

    Explore topics including the circulatory system, blood and cardiac and skeletal muscles; the nervous system; reproduction; respiration; the gastro-intestinal system; and the endocrine system.

Second year modules

In the second year you can start to tailor your programme to your interests, and will also be introduced to more advanced lab or field techniques. We will also give you training in how to apply for scientific jobs to enhance your employment prospects on graduating. 

  • Compulsory

    Genetic Analysis

    You'll take a  problem-based approach to understanding modern molecular genetics and genomics of eukaryotes. 

    Vertebrate Zoology

    This module provides an integrated view of vertebrate biology by showing how changes over time and geography drive morphology, physiology, behaviour, and ecology in different vertebrates. Structure-function relationships are presented to appreciate how different animals evolve similar solutions and adaptations to the same ecological challenge while closely-related animals diversify in response to different environmental challenges.

    Molecular Evolution and Genomics

    This module will focus on the big topics in molecular evolution. What do genomes contain and why? How do we build trees from DNA sequences? How can recombination or gene duplication or transposons lead to adaptation? How do we detect selection in the human genome? We’ll cover these in theory and in practice with some fascinating examples from nature.

  • Optional

    Metabolic Biochemistry

    This module is an overview of the key principles and pathways found within metabolism. Topics covering energy production through cellular respiration, the importance of vitamins in metabolism and biosynthesis of molecules such as amino acids, lipids and steroids.

    Conservation Biology

    Have we entered a new era of mass extinctions? Examine current threats to biodiversity and the characteristics that make some species more vulnerable than others. Learn to use scientific evidence to support biological conservation strategies.

    Cellular Regulation and Biotechnology

    This module will explore the inner workings of the cell, and how our understanding of cell biology can be used in biotechnology. We will consider a range of human, animal, microbial and plant based signalling systems, as well as core techniques.

    50% of the module will be based around a lab based project using fluorescent reporter proteins (e.g. GFP). The module will also support you in reading and critically evaluating research papers.

    Biological Basis of Disease

    In this module, you will gain an understanding of the biological, biochemical and genetic basis of several diseases including cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

    Ecological Monitoring

    You'll monitor species, habitats and environmental factors. Choose from mammals, birds, herpetofauna, insects, terrestrial vegetation, freshwater and marine communities.​

    Behavioural Ecology

    Develop your understanding of why wild animals behave the way they do. You’ll study the proximate and ultimate causes of behaviour, and the interactions between animals and their environment.

Final year modules

You can select your choice of final year modules from a wide range of options, including residential field courses around the world, Biology in Education or a work placement module.

You can choose modules allowing in-depth study of areas of interest; we regularly review our final year modules to ensure they include cutting edge topics. You will also have the opportunity to undertake a research project within your area of interest, working closely with a member of our academic staff to develop skills to prepare you for employment or post-graduate study.

  • Choose one

    Independent Research Project

    You'll have the opportunity to work on your own lab-based or bioinformatic-based project. For many students, this is the highlight of their degree, as it's a chance to show off their skills in a real-world environment.

    Structured Research Project

    Undertake a collaborative research project, working with a team of other students to investigate research questions relevant to your degree.

  • Optional

    Biology in Education

    Thinking about teaching as a career? Undertake placements in local schools and deliver your own science lesson.

    Human Evolution and Genomics

    Can we sequence the DNA of fossil humans? Are humans still evolving? Did Neanderthals really go extinct? How can a knowledge of human genetics help understand disease?​

    Wildlife Ecology and Management

    Explore issues surrounding wildlife resources with a focus on resolving disagreement between different groups with their own valid objectives (e.g. agriculture, conservation and government). You'll have the opportunity to engage with industry experts and practice industry standard procedures.

    Ecotoxicology

    ​Study the impacts of pollutants and ocean acidification on aquatic organisms at the molecular and cellular level.

    Sensory Physiology of Animals

    Discover the fascinating world of animal communication to learn how sensory systems control behaviour, and how this is applied to and affected by human activity, including climate change.

    Sex and Social Behaviour

    You'll develop a deeper understanding of fascinating topics such as the evolution of sex, cryptic female choice, sperm competition, sexual conflict, parental care, brood parasitism, co-operative breeding and much more.

    Practical Conservation

    Work in partnership with local environmentally orientated organisations to learn about the day-to-day practicalities of species and habitat management.

    Cancer Biology

    Gain an understanding of the key concepts in cancer biology. You'll learn how current research impacts diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients.

    Molecular and Medical Parasitology

    Explore how medically important parasites have a major impact on populations around the globe. You'll also develop practical skills in parasitology.

    Insect Biology

    Insects are among the most numerous, diverse and awesome creatures on the planet. In a mix of lectures, workshops, practicals and field trips, you'll discover this amazing, crazy little world we’re lucky enough to study.

    Extinction

    Investigate and discuss questions on prehistoric, historical and contemporary extinctions, from genetic, evolutionary, ecological, paleoecological, geographical and geological perspectives.

    Field Studies (Biology)

    Recent students have selected from destinations including a dive-based trip in Malaysia and an exploration of the Atlantic rainforest in Brazil (financial contribution required).

All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.

How you'll study

Throughout your degree, you’re expected to study for 1,200 hours per year. That’s based on 200 hours per 20 credit module. And it includes scheduled hours, time spent on placement and independent study. How this time’s divided among each of these varies each year and depends on the course and modules you study.

We don’t just rely on exams. We have a diverse range of assessments designed to help you develop a range of transferable skills. For example, instead of writing an essay, we might ask you to write a policy brief or a wildlife management plan, like you might be asked to do when you start work.

Overall workload

228 hours

Scheduled study Scheduled hours typically include lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, and supervised laboratory and studio sessions.

972 hours

Independent study Independent study is the time outside your scheduled timetable, where you’ll be expected to study independently.

Indicative assessment proportions

47%
7%
46%
  • Examination

    Written assessment typically includes exams and multiple choice tests.

  • Practical

    Practical is an assessment of your skills and competencies. This could include presentations, school experience, work experience or laboratory work.

  • Coursework

    Coursework typically includes essays, written assignments, dissertations, research projects or producing a portfolio of your work.

Overall workload

216 hours

Scheduled study Scheduled hours typically include lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, and supervised laboratory and studio sessions.

984 hours

Independent study Independent study is the time outside your scheduled timetable, where you’ll be expected to study independently.

Indicative assessment proportions

36%
24%
40%
  • Examination

    Written assessment typically includes exams and multiple choice tests.

  • Practical

    Practical is an assessment of your skills and competencies. This could include presentations, school experience, work experience or laboratory work.

  • Coursework

    Coursework typically includes essays, written assignments, dissertations, research projects or producing a portfolio of your work.

Overall workload

156 hours

Scheduled study Scheduled hours typically include lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, and supervised laboratory and studio sessions.

1,044 hours

Independent study Independent study is the time outside your scheduled timetable, where you’ll be expected to study independently.

Indicative assessment proportions

23%
3%
74%
  • Examination

    Written assessment typically includes exams and multiple choice tests.

  • Practical

    Practical is an assessment of your skills and competencies. This could include presentations, school experience, work experience or laboratory work.

  • Coursework

    Coursework typically includes essays, written assignments, dissertations, research projects or producing a portfolio of your work.

Michael Winter BSc Hons Biology - 0023
Course Close-Up BSc Biology

Biology doesn't just happen in the lecture theatres. Watch our students enjoying a blend of laboratory and field-based teaching.

Watch video

Entry requirements

Typical offer

  • A level grades N/A

  • BTEC grades N/A

  • Points required N/A

Work out your estimated points

Don't meet our requirements?

We offer a Foundation Year to boost your skills and knowledge – it’s a great way to make your way into higher education.

Switch to the foundation year

At Hull, you’re a name not a number. During Clearing, we look at all of your qualifications and experience, not just your academic grades. We may be able to offer you a place whatever your situation.

Some courses still do have requirements such as previous study in your subject area, or specific GCSE grades. Others have additional requirements such as an interview or a satisfactory DBS check.

Please call us now on 01482 466100 or complete our online form to find out if we have a course that’s suitable for you.

Don't meet our requirements?

We offer a Foundation Year to boost your skills and knowledge – it’s a great way to make your way into higher education.

Switch to the foundation year

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study or if your first language is not English you will be required to provide acceptable evidence of your English language proficiency level.

This course requires academic IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in each skill. See other English language proficiency qualifications accepted by this University.

If your English currently does not reach the University's required standard for this programme, you may be interested in one of our English language courses.

Visit your country page to find out more about our entry requirements.

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Take a tour of the facilities

Our specialist facilities include the molecular laboratory and the flume lab - a device for studying bodies of water.

Fees and funding

UK

£9,250 per year*

EU/International

£17,550 per year

International applicants may need to pay a tuition fee deposit before the start of the course. Visit our tuition fee deposit page for more information.

*The amount you pay may increase each year, in line with inflation - but capped to the Retail Price Index (RPI).

The fees shown are for 2021 entry. The fees for 2022 have not yet been confirmed and may increase.

UK students can take out a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of their course and a maintenance loan of up to £9,488 to cover living costs.

Substantial discounts are available for International students.  

More information on fees can be found in the Money section of our website.

Your tuition fees will cover most costs associated with your programme (including registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examination).

There are some extra costs that you might have to pay, or choose to pay, depending on your programme of study and the decisions you make. The list below has some examples, and any extra costs will vary.

  • Books (you’ll have access to books from your module reading lists in the library, but you may want to buy your own copies)
  • Optional field trips
  • Study abroad (including travel costs, accommodation, visas, immunisation)
  • Placement costs (including travel costs and accommodation)
  • Student visas (international students)
  • Laptop (you’ll have access to laptops and PC’s on campus, but you may want to buy your own)
  • Printing and photocopying
  • Professional-body membership
  • Graduation (gown hire and photography)

Remember, you’ll still need to take into account your living costs. This could include accommodation, travel and food – to name just a few. 

An affordable city for students

From bills, to meals, to pints – you’ll find that your money goes a lot further in Hull.

Your future prospects

  • Biologist
  • Laboratory scientist
  • Postgraduate researcher (MSc or PhD)
  • NHS research assistant
  • Biotechnologist
  • Biology teacher
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Science Communicator / Broadcast journalist
  • Conservationist

The field, analytic and lab skills you’ll learn here are much in demand, and you’ll get the chance to engage with potential employers in a range of local organisations and businesses.

Our team gives you expert advice and training. We’ll help you explore your options and progress into a career you’ll love. You’ll learn how to apply for jobs and prepare for interviews and meet employers at on-campus events.

Sectors like environmental consultancy are growing. We have excellent links with organisations such as the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and the RSPB, allowing you to develop practical skills and links with employers.

Graduate Q&A

Biology graduate Grace Marner chose to pursue a career in broadcast journalism. Here she explains how her course helped to prepare her for work and offers some tips on how to follow in her footsteps.

Read Grace's story.

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A place where we stand up to kings, do deals with the world and take a wrecking ball to the slave trade. A place where culture stands out and the phone boxes are a different colour. A place where we're free-thinking, independent and proud of it.

* Previous destinations include Brazil, Malaysia and Majorca (extra fees may be payable)

†Percentage of students from biological sciences subject area in work or further study within 15 months of graduating: UK domicile full-time first degree leavers, Graduate Outcomes survey for the academic year 2017/18, published by HESA 2020.