Why study Biology at Liverpool John Moores University?
- Accredited by the Royal Society of Biology
- Offers a range of optional modules such as Genes and Genomes, Developmental Biology, Immunology and Infection and Neurobiology
- Opportunity for self-funded overseas field expedition - possible destination is Białowieza Forest World Heritage site, Poland*
- Stepping stone to careers in diverse fields such as genetics, microbiology, embryology, clinical science, radiography and environmental sciences
- Option to choose between a year's work placement or a 135 hour work-based learning placement
- £6 million invested in state-of-the-art teaching facilities
- This degree is available to study following a foundation year
- International Foundation Year course available offering direct progression onto this degree programme - visit LJMU's International Study Centre to find out more
About your course
The professionally-accredited BSc (Hons) Biology programme at Liverpool John Moores University opens up the fascinating subject of biology providing a core understanding of biological theory and practical skills, whilst giving you the opportunity to study a variety of specialisms, including genetics, microbiology, neurobiology, development and ecology. There are also exciting opportunities to complete exciting placements and overseas fieldwork.
In the second and third years, you can either continue to keep your degree broad based, or you can specialise by choosing optional modules from a wide range topics, which may include Genes and Genomes, Immunology and Infection, Developmental Biology, Ecology Field Skills, Marine and Freshwater Biology and Applications of Genetics in Health and Disease.
There is a core residential UK field trip in Level 4* and students can also take part in an advanced field skills expedition during Level 6 - the possible destination is the Białowieża Forest World Heritage site in Poland - where you can learn ecological and behavioural field work skills. Additionally, you have the chance to undertake a short 135 hour work-based learning placement or a year-long industrial placement. So, you will have plenty of opportunities to put what you have learnt into practice and acquire the transferable skills that employers look for.
"I enjoy how in-depth the course is. I have always loved Biology and getting to study it at such molecular and cellular levels is very interesting."
This programme has been accredited by the Royal Society of Biology following an independent and rigorous assessment. Accredited degree programmes contain a solid academic foundation in biological knowledge and key skills, and prepare graduates to address the needs of employers. The accreditation criteria require evidence that graduates from accredited programmes meet defined sets of learning outcomes, including subject knowledge, technical ability and transferable skills.
Fees and funding
There are many ways to fund study for home and international students
The fees quoted above cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:
- Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
- Access to programme-appropriate software
- Library and student IT support
- Free on-campus wifi via eduroam
Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:
- accommodation and living expenditure
- books (should you wish to have your own copies)
- printing, photocopying and stationery
- PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
- mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
- field trips (travel and activity costs)
- placements (travel expenses and living costs)
- student visas (international students only)
- study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
- academic conferences (travel costs)
- professional-body membership
- graduation (gown hire etc)
There are many ways to fund study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist funding pages.
* Additional course costs
Practical and field activities underpin all programmes in the School. PPE is provided for all necessary practical work. There are no costs for day field trips for core and optional modules. Residential field trips associated with core modules are subsidised and include travel and half-board accommodation costs. Any residential field trips for optional modules will have costs involved. Locations may be subject to change and also subject to national and international travel restrictions.
Completing this BSc Biology programme will open up a vast range of career opportunities.
Many of our students have gone on to work in a variety of biological areas, such as embryology, clinical science, research and development laboratories and microbiological food and water safety, as well as working for:
- The Hewitt Fertility Centre at Liverpool Women’s Hospital, Unilever, Axion Veterinary Laboratories, Astra Zeneca/MedImmune, Bioquell, Elucigene Diagnostics, The Christie Hospital, Ecus Ltd, Pathology Laboratory Southport NHS Hospital, the NHS Scientific Training Programme and Lighthouse Covid Testing Laboratories
- Conservation organisations, including Chester Zoo, Brecknock Wildlife Trust and Operation Wallace
- Environmental agencies, such as Kingfisher Environmental Services
Some prefer to continue their studies with postgraduate study (PGCE/PGDE, MSc, MPhil, MRes, or PhD) in topics as wide ranging as human nutrition, oncology, molecular medicine, tropical medicine and embryology, and some transfer their enthusiasm for biology to others via careers in teaching and lecturing.
Careers, Employability and Enterprise Service
We are committed to ensuring all of our students experience a transformation in their employability skills and mindset and their career trajectory. A wide range of opportunities and support is available to you, within and beyond your course.
Every undergraduate curriculum includes Future Focus, an e-learning resource and workshop designed to help you to develop personal insight into your talents, passion and purpose. It will enable you to become more proactive, adaptable and resilient in your awareness and approach to career possibilities. You’ll be encouraged to engage with personal and professional development opportunities.
A suite of learning experiences, services and opportunities is available to final year students to help ensure you leave with a great onward plan and the means to make it a reality.
Our Centre for Entrepreneurship can help you to grow your enterprise skills and to research, plan and start your own business. You also have access to Careers Zone 24/7, LJMU’s state-of-the-art suite of online tools and resources; opportunities for flexible, paid and part-time work through Unitemps, themed webinars; an annual programme of employer events; funded extracurricular internships and one-to-one advice to accelerate your job search, CV and interview technique.
Applicant key information
Course review and revalidation.
This course is currently undergoing its scheduled programme review, which may impact the advertised modules. Programme review is a standard part of the University’s approach to quality assurance and enhancement, enabling us to ensure that our courses remain up to date and maintain their high standard and relevancy.
Once the review is completed, this course website page will be updated to reflect any approved changes to the advertised course. These approved changes will also be communicated to those who apply for the course to ensure they wish to proceed with their application.
What you will study on this degree
Please see guidance on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.
Further guidance on modules
Modules are designated core or option in accordance with professional body requirements, as applicable, and LJMU’s Academic Framework Regulations.
Whilst you are required to study core modules, optional modules are also included to provide you with an element of choice within the programme. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to meeting minimum student numbers.
This course is currently undergoing its scheduled programme review, which may impact the advertised modules. Programme review is a standard part of the University’s approach to quality assurance and enhancement, enabling us to ensure that our courses remain up to date and maintain their high standard and relevancy. Once the review is completed, this course website page will be updated to reflect any approved changes to the advertised course. These approved changes will also be communicated to those who apply for the course to ensure they wish to proceed with their application.
Where changes to modules are necessary these will be communicated as appropriate.
Please see the programme specification document for further details on this course:Programme specification document (PDF)
This module aims to provide a broad spectrum of knowledge about microorganisms and their activities, which will provide a foundation for microbiology-related modules at levels 5 and 6.
Fundamentals of Scientific Research
This module aims to develop your research skills and covers problem solving, scientific writing, data handling and statistical analysis.
Practical Skills for Biology
The aim of this module is to acquire and demonstrate theoretical and practical knowledge of laboratory and field-based methods in modern biology, with particular emphasis on familiarisation with basic laboratory techniques and equipment, ethics and safe working practices. You will acquire and develop fundamental research and transversal skills, which you will apply and train further throughout the degree and in your future career.
Genetics and Evolution
This module explains fundamental principles in genetics and genomics and describes the evolutionary processes from a genetics/genomics perspective in order to explain the origins of genetic and species diversity.
This module provides you with a basic understanding of ecology and ecological characteristics of a range of habitats. You will study basic concepts, such as species and succession, communities and ecosystems, biotic and abiotic elements, nutrient cycling, populations and diversity and adaptations of organisms to their environment. Part of this will be achieved through field visits to a range of habitats.
This module will provide an introduction to the major physiological processes and the concepts of homeostasis in a variety of organisms. It will also provide an introduction to a number of physiological processes in living organisms.
Research Skills and Employability
This module covers all aspects of handling and analysing scientific data and the development of employability/graduate skills. You will consider the fundamentals of analysing and interpreting scientific data using examples relevant to all biosciences. Additionally, it will allow you to prepare a better career plan in science, as well as becoming self-aware of your employability skills.
Diversity and Evolution of Life
The aim of this module is to provide an introduction to the diversity of life on Earth and explain origin and evolution of major taxonomic groups including prokaryotes and eukaryotes. The module will explain key evolutionary events such as transition from anaerobic to aerobic life, symbiosis and evolution of the eukaryotic cell, origin of multicellularity, colonization of land and air.
Physiology of Life
This module will provide a deeper knowledge of physiology, building upon the concepts introduced at level 4, and apply that knowledge in a health-related setting. This module builds upon the concepts learnt in level 4, developing knowledge of physiology, with special emphasis on mammalian and human physiology.
Immunology and Infection
This module provides an introduction to the practical and theoretical concepts of medical microbiology and immunology. It will also provide an understanding of the principles and practices involved in the laboratory diagnosis, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases in humans.
Ecology Field Skills
In this module you will examine different standardised methods used for ecological censuses and surveys in the UK. Field experience is provided and different sampling techniques are dealt with in depth during lectures and during fieldwork abroad, with the aim of explaining the quantitative framework on which they are based in addition to providing practical experience of their execution in the field. You will also learn how to digitise spatial data and produce maps using GIS which you will then use to analyse spatial data on habitat and vegetation features.
Genes and Genomes
This module enables you to study how state-of-the-art genetic and genomic tools are used to understand how genes combine with the environment to control organismal phenotypes and disease states. It covers methodologies, practical applications and recent examples of the application of genetics and genomics in the fields of biology, medicine and evolution.
Marine and Freshwater Biology
This module provides a broad introduction to fundamental aspects of marine and freshwater biology, including basic oceanography, limnology and productivity in the marine and freshwater environment. Different marine and freshwater habitat types found in various parts of the world are introduced, and their biological (e.g. ecology, animal behaviour) and physical characteristics are discussed. The exploitation and conservation of these ecosystems are also considered.
This module enables you to learn how state-of-the-art molecular and genetic tools are used to understand mechanisms that regulate the growth and development of organisms. It covers methodology and practical experiments that illuminate the molecular mechanisms that underpin developmental processes.
The research project will be in any area appropriate to your programme of study on a topic of your choice. The module provides an opportunity for you to independently develop and demonstrate project planning, time-management and organisational inter-personal skills, along with scientific and practical working methods in a research or applied context.
Health and Disease
The aim of this module is to provide an understanding of a range of health and disease states at the cellular, molecular and organismal level.
Advanced Immunology and Infection
This module will enable you to develop an in-depth understanding of the origins, functions and aberrations of the immune system, microbial interactions with the immune system and infectious diseases and the strategies employed for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and research of immune and infectious diseases
Applications of Genetics in Health and Disease
This module provides you with an appreciation of some modern genetic and genomic techniques that are regularly used in studies of health and disease. It is recommended that students complete the level 5 module Genes and Genomes before taking this module.
Frontiers of Ecology
This module enables you to examine a diverse range of important contemporary research topics linked to ecology. These will be placed in a broader context by examining conflicting issues and ideas arising from ecological considerations.
Advanced Field Skills Expedition
This module provides an introduction to biological issues in ecosystems during a residential field trip abroad. You will critically evaluate biological issues in selected habitats and design and carry out field-based studies to investigate biological questions.
This module builds on neurobiology-related concepts taught during the level 5 Physiology of Life module. The module provides you with an insight into how molecular, cellular and organ components contribute to form the body's most complex system and how different factors can produce dysregulation of the nervous system.
This module enables you to study the biology, diagnosis, treatment and control of some of the most important protozoan, helminth and arthropod parasites of humans and domestic livestock.
Applied Marine Biology
This module enables you to form an advanced understanding of major biological features of the marine environment, the impacts of man and the exploitation of marine resources. You will develop an understanding of many practical skills required within the marine science sector and develop an understanding of the physiology, ecology, genetics and behaviour of marine organisms in a number of taxonomic groups.
Within this module, you will learn about the applications of biological techniques in forensic science and be able to review how biological evidence can contribute to a wide range of forensic investigations.
This module provides relevant, stimulating and career-orientated experiential learning to encourage you to develop transferable skills relevant to the work environment and to foster initiative and independence of thought.
Teaching and work-related learning
Excellent facilities and learning resources
We adopt an active blended learning approach, meaning you will experience a combination of face-to-face and online learning during your time at LJMU. This enables you to experience a rich and diverse learning experience and engage fully with your studies. Our approach ensures that you can easily access support from your personal tutor, either by meeting them on-campus or via a video call to suit your needs.
Teaching is mostly via lectures with interactive workshops in the form of group discussions, worked examples or practical demonstrations, and online. Lecture material can also be found in our library and on our virtual learning environment, Canvas.
In addition, fieldwork and laboratory sessions give you a chance to observe animals and plants first-hand and develop your practical skills, while small tutorial groups provide a forum for discussing course material more informally. You will also have progress review meetings with your personal tutor. Formal teaching accounts for approximately 14-16 hours of your study time each week; you will be expected to spend the rest of your time in private study.
As part of your work-related learning, you have the opportunity to undertake a 135 hour work-based placement or a 12-month placement with a relevant organisation in the UK or abroad. This work experience will not only give you a chance to put into practice what you have learnt in the first two years, it will also help you develop your personal skills and add real value to your CV. Many students who undertake placements have gone on to work for the same organisation once they have graduated.
Support and guidance
Dedicated personal tutor, plus study skills support
Throughout your course you will have the support of a personal tutor who will be available to discuss course-related matters in both tutorial sessions and one-to-one progress review meetings. These meetings are to monitor your performance and identify action plans for improvement. A dedicated supervisor will also provide support during your research project.
The school is fully committed to promoting a learning environment that supports a culture of equality, diversity and inclusivity (EDI) and has a Disability Support Coordinator, an EDI Coordinator and a School EDI Working Group. Personal Tutors also play a vital role in promoting awareness of support services for students.
Assessment varies depending on the modules you choose, but will usually include a combination of exams and coursework.
Most modules are assessed by exam and coursework, and some via coursework only. All students perform differently depending on how they are assessed, which is why we use a combination of assessment methods. Exams may therefore include a range of question types e.g. multiple choice, short answer, interpretative, problem-based learning and essay. Coursework assessment could be in the form of phase tests, fieldwork/practical reports, data handling, oral presentations, poster presentations, group discussions, essays or the evaluation of your practical skills. These are based on individual assignments but some require group work.
Feedback on coursework assessments is normally provided within three weeks of submission and may be via Canvas (our virtual learning environment), face-to-face or in writing. We believe that constructive feedback is vital in helping you identify your strengths as well as the areas where you may need to put in more work.
Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning
Dr Craig Wilding
Craig graduated with a degree in Marine Biology and then completed a PhD on the Population genetics of the scallop Pecten maximus at the University of Wales, Bangor. He worked on the evolutionary genetics of periwinkle snails at the University of Leeds for 7 years, before moving to Westlakes Research Institute in Cumbria where he spent 4 years investigating human radiobiological genetics and genetic biomarkers of radiation exposure. In 2006, he moved to the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine to investigate the genetic mechanisms of insecticide resistance in mosquitoes, before joining LJMU as a Lecturer in 2013.
"I am currently interested in evaluating the extent of reproductive isolation between colour morphs of the beadlet anemone Actinia equina. My research informs my teaching and I really enjoy sharing these experiences with our Biology students"
What you can expect from your School
You will study at the Byrom Street site in the university’s City Campus in the heart of Liverpool. You will have access to first class teaching facilities, laboratories and study areas. The Avril Robarts library is within easy walking distance and here you'll find all the information you need to support your studies.
Please choose your qualifications below to view requirements
Minimum points required from qualifications: 112
GCSE and equivalents
Prior to starting the programme applicants must have obtained Grade C or Grade 4 or above in English Language and Mathematics GCSE or an approved alternative qualification below:
- Key Skills Level 2 in English/ Maths
- NVQ Level 2 Functional skills in Maths and English Writing and or Reading
- Skills for Life Level 2 in Numeracy/English
- Higher Diploma in Maths/ English
- Functional Skills Level 2 in Maths/ English
- Northern Ireland Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number
- Wales Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number
- Minimum number of A Levels required: 2
- Subject specific requirements: Biology or a related science at Grade C or above
- Is general studies acceptable? No
- Average A Level offer: BBC
- Are AS level awards acceptable? Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
- Maximum AS Level points accepted: 20
- National Certificate (RQF): Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
- National Extended Certificate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
- National Diploma (RQF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- National Diploma subjects / grades required: D*D* if studied on its own or to the total of 112 UCAS points if combined with other qualifications
- National Extended Diploma (RQF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- National Extended Diploma subjects / grades required: DMM. Must include a significant number of science-based modules, usually a minimum of six.
Access to Higher Education Diploma
- Access to Higher Education Diploma acceptability: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- Further information: Access programme must have been taken in a relevant subject area. Overall Merit required.
- International Baccalaureate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- Additional information: 26 IB Diploma Points - specific grades are required from Science
- Welsh Baccalaureate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
- Irish Leaving Certificate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- Grades / subjects required: 112 UCAS points from a minimum of 5 subjects
- Are Level 3 NVQs acceptable? Acceptable when combined with other qualifications
Alternative qualifications considered
Please contact the University if you have any questions regarding the relevance of your qualifications.
No interview required (UCAS application form only)IELTS
6.0 (minimum of 5.5 in each component) or equivalent English language proficiency test.International entry requirements
Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check.Can this course be deferred?
YesIs a DBS check required?
The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.
Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.
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