2022/23 entry

BSc (Hons) Biology with Foundation Year

Start date:

September 2022

Study mode:

Full time

Course Duration:

4 years, 5 years with placement

UCAS code:

7A24

Points required:

88

Campus:

City

Tuition fees (per year)

Home (full-time):
£9,250
International (full-time):
£16,600
Placement (home student):
£1,850
Placement (international student):
£3,650
All figures are subject to yearly increases.
Tuition fees are subject to parliamentary approval.

General enquiries:

0151 231 5090

Faculty of Science:

0151 231 2888

ScienceAdmissions@ljmu.ac.uk

International enquiries

international@ljmu.ac.uk

Send a message >

About your course

The professionally-accredited BSc (Hons) Biology with foundation Year 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.

  • 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

About the Foundation Year

The Foundation Year is ideal if you have the ability to study for a degree but don’t have the qualifications to enter directly onto the Biology honours degree programme.

Once you pass the Foundation Year you will progress directly onto the first year of the honours degree. If you are a full-time UK student, you will qualify for student financial support for the full duration of your course (subject to eligibility criteria).

About the BSc (Hons) Biology degree

At LJMU we recognise that, because of the vast array of subject areas within the field of biology, you may want to get a feel for which ones interest you most before specialising, which is why we keep the degree broad based in the first year. In the first year, you will typically cover core modules in Genetics and Evolution, Microbiology, Physiology, Ecology, Practical Skills for Biology and Fundamentals of Scientific Research.

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."

Chloe Magee, Graduate

Professional accreditation/links

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

Fees

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

Additional costs

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)

Money

  • 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)

Funding

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.

Employability

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.

A life-changing experience 

There's so much more to university than just studying for a degree.

What you will study on this degree

Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.

Please note that your choice of options may be subject to timetabling constraints.

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)

Level 3

Core modules

Skills and Perspectives in Science 1
20 credits

This module aims to develop your basic knowledge and research skills and covers scientific perspectives, writing, data handling and statistical analysis.

Wildlife Studies
20 credits

This module provides you with a broad overview of the diverse range of disciplines comprising wildlife studies.

Skills and Perspectives in Science 2
20 credits

This module provides you with an appreciation of some modern scientific issues that are commonly discussed in the press. You will also cover a selection of topical subjects in biology, chemistry and related areas, alongside developing a range of academic, research and transferable skills related to your programme of study.

Anatomy and Physiology
20 credits

This module enables you to examine the concepts of homeostasis, communication and transport within organisms. It also provides an introduction to human functional anatomy using a systemic approach to the organisation and function of organs and tissues in the human body.

Understanding the Environment
20 credits

This module provides you with an understanding of the earth’s natural systems. You will study the global environment and characterisation of the Earth’s main biomes, atmosphere and climate, the hydrological cycle, the rock cycle, formation of soils, biodiversity, human environments and human-environment interactions.

Building Blocks of Life
20 credits

This module provides you with an overview of key concepts in cell biology, including the chemical basis of the biosciences. Throughout the module you will gain an understanding of the basic concepts of cell biology and chemistry for the natural sciences, which you will learn through a series of lectures, workshops and practical laboratory sessions.

Level 4

Core modules

Microbiology
20 credits

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
20 credits

This module aims to develop your research skills and covers problem solving, scientific writing, data handling and statistical analysis.

Practical Skills for Biology
20 credits

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
20 credits

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.

Ecology
20 credits

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.

Physiology
20 credits

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.

Level 5

Core modules

Research Skills and Employability
20 credits

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
20 credits

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
20 credits

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.

Optional modules

Immunology and Infection
20 credits

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
20 credits

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
20 credits

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
20 credits

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.

Developmental Biology
20 credits

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.

Level 6

Core modules

Research Project
40 credits

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
20 credits

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. 

Optional modules

Advanced Immunology and Infection
20 credits

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
20 credits

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
20 credits

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
20 credits

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.

Neurobiology
20 credits

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.

Parasitology
20 credits

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
20 credits

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.

Forensic Bioscience
20 credits

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.

Work-Based Learning
20 credits

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.

Work-related Learning

As part of your work-related learning, you have the opportunity to undertake a short 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 at the University, 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

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.

Feedback on coursework assessments is normally provided within three weeks of submission and may be via Canvas, 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.

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning

Craig Wilding

Dr Craig Wilding

Programme Leader

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."

Facilities

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.

Entry requirements

Please choose your qualifications below to view requirements

Minimum points required from qualifications: 88


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

A Levels

  • Minimum number of A Levels required: 1 A2 in a relevant science, preferably Biology.
  • Subject specific requirements: Not Applicable
  • Is general studies acceptable? Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • Average A Level offer: CCD
  • Are AS level awards acceptable? Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • Maximum AS Level points accepted: 20

BTEC qualifications

  • 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: DD in a relevant area if studied on its own or to the total of 88 UCAS points when combined with other qualifications
  • National Extended Diploma (RQF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • National Extended Diploma subjects / grades required: MMM in a relevant area if studied on its own or to the total of 88 UCAS points when combined with other qualifications

Access to Higher Education Diploma

  • Access to Higher Education Diploma acceptability: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Further information: Overall Pass required.

International Baccalaureate

  • International Baccalaureate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Additional information: 24 IB Diploma Points

Welsh awards

  • Welsh Baccalaureate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications

Irish awards

  • Irish Leaving Certificate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Grades / subjects required: 88 UCAS points from a minimum of 5 subjects

NVQ

  • 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.

Will I be interviewed?

No interview required (UCAS application form only)

IELTS

6.0 (minimum of 5.5 in each component) or equivalent English language proficiency test.

Can this course be deferred?

Yes

Is a DBS check required?

No

International requirements

Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check.

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.