Why study Biotechnology with Foundation Year at Liverpool John Moores University?
- A practical, hands-on course, taught using state-of-the-art teaching laboratories
- Gain an understanding of the principles and applications of biotechnology and practise the latest molecular, bioprocessing and analytical techniques
- Offers fascinating research projects in areas such as synthetic biology, genetic engineering of crop plants, fermentation technology, bioremediation and antimicrobial resistance
- Benefit from strong links with industry for industrial placements
- Excellent spring board into careers as diverse as biopharmaceutical manufacturing, drug discovery and development, food technology and biofuel production
- Opportunities to undertake a year’s industrial placement or Erasmus placement
- Stepping stone to postgraduate study in MSc Industrial Biotechnology
About your course
The BSc (Hons) Biotechnology with Foundation Year at Liverpool John Moores University is the ideal course if you are interested in this subject, but lack the necessary qualifications to study it at degree level.
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 Biotechnology 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) Biotechnology degree
Biotechnology is a fascinating field of study, which has had a positive impact on many aspects of our lives, with applications across medicine, food and the environment. This multidisciplinary science builds on a foundational knowledge of molecular and cell biology, microbiology and biochemistry, using transgenic plants, animals and microbes to develop valuable technologies and products. Early known examples of biotechnology include the use of microorganisms to make cheese, bread and wine, but advances in genetic engineering and recombinant DNA technology have revolutionised the biotechnology industry. Modern biotechnology has enabled production of drugs, vaccines, energy, industrial chemicals and progressed developments in gene therapy, cancer therapy and sustainable agriculture.
This is a practical, hands-on course in which you will spend a large proportion of your time in our excellent teaching labs for cell culture, molecular biology and imaging studies, practising the latest molecular, bioprocessing and analytical techniques. You will gain an understanding of the principles and applications of biotechnology across this broad-based sector. Optional modules and a research project in the final year provide opportunities to specialise in your own particular area of interest. You will have plenty of opportunities to put your skills and knowledge into practice and explore your own interests by completing a research project. The option to do a year’s industrial placement between the second and third year will also help develop transferable skills, valued by employers.
The programme enables you to develop intellectual independence, critical awareness and transferable skills – attributes that are vital for employment. There is an emphasis on career development, with additional input from external speakers from industry, increasing your understanding of the business of biotechnology. As well as exploring a wide range of career options, you will develop commercial awareness and learn how new start-up biotechnology companies are created.
Opportunities for study abroad and placements
The School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences has an excellent track record of providing relevant vocational training for students. Students are supported by Erasmus and Professional Training Tutors who are responsible for advertising placements and promoting vocational training to students.
"Liverpool is home to a rapidly expanding biotechnology community, including one of the leading biopharma clusters in Europe, making it an ideal location to study biotechnology"
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.
Graduates will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to pursue employment opportunities world-wide.
Biotechnology graduates are employable in a wide range of industries and organisations, such as pharmaceutical, healthcare, environmental, food industries or regulatory authorities. Some graduates may prefer to continue their studies with postgraduate study (PGCE/PGDE, MSc, MPhil, MRes or PhD) in topics as wide ranging as industrial biotechnology, biomedical sciences, drug discovery and design, cosmetic science, and medical microbiology. The programme is the ideal stepping stone to the MSc Industrial Biotechnology offered by LJMU.
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.
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)
Introductory Chemistry and Cell Biology
This module aims to provide you with an overview of key concepts in both biology and chemistry in preparation for degree-level study. Atomic theory will be introduced and used to understand concepts of chemical bonding and reactivity. The structure of living systems will be discussed in terms of biologically-relevant molecules, cells and subcellular organelles.
Fundamentals of Physical and Inorganic Chemistry
This module provides an introductory understanding of thermodynamics, kinetics and the states of matter. It also serves to introduce concepts associated with simple molecular orbital theory, radioactivity, oxidation states/redox chemistry and the properties and chemistry of selected main group elements.
Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry
This module is intended to introduce the structure and bonding of simple organic molecules. The properties, preparation, reactivity and reaction mechanisms will be explored for a number of functional groups. The relevance of organic chemistry to everyday life and biological processes will also be developed.
Skills and Perspectives in Biomolecular Sciences 1
This module will enable you to develop a range of underpinning skills to aid further study in your chosen academic programme and introduce you to a wide range of topics within the molecular bioscience areas. It also provides a structured tutorial component that will encourage you to engage with personal development planning and employability.
Skills and Perspectives in Biomolecular Science 2
This module will enable you to further develop a range of underpinning skills, especially in data and statistical analysis. It will aid study in your chosen academic programme and provide a structured tutorial component that contains both academic and personal development planning and employability material.
Human Anatomy and Physiology
The aim of this module is to develop your knowledge and understanding of the basic structure and function of key physiological systems and metabolic processes. It will also introduce the concepts of human physiology and their inter-relationships.
Introduction to Structural and Functional Biochemistry
This module enables you to develop a basic fundamental understanding of structural and functional aspects of macromolecules, particularly proteins, in biology. This module will also enable you to demonstrate understanding of how protein structure impacts on protein function.
This module enables you to explore the link between, nutrition, physiology and cellular metabolism in prokaryote and eukaryote cells. In addition, the chemistry which underpins each biochemical process is made clear by making use of worked examples and through practical experiments. This module will also introduce you to the concept of cellular metabolism and how nutrition and physiology impact on both eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells.
Introduction to Biotechnology
This module provides an overview in biotechnology and the main applications including bioprocessing. You will explore how the biotechnology industry has developed in different fields.
Practical Skills in Biotechnology
This module facilitates your effective study of Biotechnology by providing a foundation in basic methodology, data handling, IT, laboratory techniques and skills and study skills via lectures, practicals, workshops (including IT) and tutorials which are a mixture of academic material and transferable skills. This module will also provide you with an opportunity for personal development planning.
Microbial Biotechnology 1
This module provides you with a broad spectrum of knowledge about microorganisms and their activities which will provide a foundation for microbiology modules at Levels 5 and 6. The module will be delivered through a series of lectures, practicals and workshops.
Introduction to Molecular Biology
This module enables you to understand the importance of the molecular mechanisms underpinning molecular biology. This will then introduce you to omics and model organisms which will be further developed at Level 5. Tutorials linked to subject material as well as personal development planning are embedded in this module.
Sterile Pharmaceutical Products
This module enables you to learn about the formulation, preparation, manufacture and quality control of sterile products. You will be able to describe and discuss the principles and practice of sterilisation and the concepts of quality assurance of sterile products.
Structural and Functional Biochemistry
This module enables you to develop a deeper understanding of structural and functional aspects of macromolecules, particularly proteins, in biology. The module provides you with a detailed view of aspects of the structure and function of macromolecules and relationships between the two.
Molecular Biology and Functional Genomics
This module provides you with a detailed understanding of the molecular mechanisms that are applicable to human disease states, development and genetic engineering. The module will empower you to demonstrate a critical understanding of genomic integrity and human disease. Transcriptional control, developmental biology, genetic engineering and bioinformatics will be introduced. You will encounter experimental methods for the investigation of the relevant areas of biochemistry and molecular biology using data from high-throughput techniques.
Research Methods In Biotechnology
This module equips you with essential research skills, knowledge of methods and techniques that are routinely applied in biotechnology research. Through a range of teaching and learning activities this module will provide you with opportunities to learn, develop and demonstrate a range of key biotechnology research skills and knowledge.
Synthetic Biology and Bioengineering 1
This module provides you with the basic concepts of synthetic biology and a good understanding of the foundational science that underpins synthetic biology. It enables you to develop appreciation for the importance of social responsibility in bioengineering. This module will also provide personal development planning support for level 5 students on the Biotechnology programme.
Microbial Biotechnology 2
This module is designed to develop your understanding of the physiology and behaviour of microorganisms populating various habitats with emphasis on their responses to particular physical and chemical conditions. It will also develop a broad understanding of the biotechnological importance of microorganisms.
The Research Project will equip you with the necessary transferable skills to investigate a research topic and present it using appropriate methods of scientific communication.
Current Topics in Biotechnology
This module will enable you to develop an in depth understanding of the principles and applications of the white, red and blue biotechnology and their impact in our society through an integrated knowledge of concepts. The focus is on the delivery of core knowledge through a series of lectures, practical work and workshops.
The aim of this module is to introduce you to the concept of entrepreneurship and commercialisation of biotechnology. The module will explore a range of activities, processes and concepts that are needed for new venture creation. It will equip you with the knowledge and skills vital for communicating ideas and generating value in a knowledge based economy.
Synthetic Biology and Bioengineering 2
This module provides in-depth knowledge of current concepts and applications of synthetic biology and bioengineering with emphasis on tackling specific industrial, biomedical and environmental challenges.
This module will build upon core knowledge in microbiology covered in levels 4 and 5. It will provide you with training and assessment in areas including bioinformatics, new generation sequencing and its applications, antibiotic production, imaging technology, antibiotic resistance, phage therapy and will include the application of microbial processes to bioremediation and also product formation.
The aim of this module is to facilitate you in examining in detail the importance of biomaterials in contemporary biomedicine. You will discover how your analysis in vitro predicts success in vivo. Through a series of lectures detailing the importance of various properties of biomaterials and how their properties are evaluated you will develop a detailed comprehension of how these substances are continually revolutionising medicine.
The aim of this module is to provide an opportunity to spend time in a workplace environment relevant to your subject discipline. You will build links between theory and practice through practical experience of work - reinforcing and complementing formal study.
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.
The amount of time you spend in each varies according to the module and the level of study. Laboratory sessions give you a chance to develop your practical skills, while workshops and tutorials provide opportunities to discuss course material more informally. All lecture material will be available on our virtual learning environment, Canvas.
You will also be expected to do additional research around lecture subjects in your own time using the University Libraries. As the course progresses, the amount of practical and independent work increases, allowing you to develop research techniques and complete a research project.
As part of your work-related learning, we highly recommend that you opt to undertake a year’s work placement after your second year. This will not only give you a chance to put into practice what you have learnt in the first two years, but it will also help you develop your personal skills, earn a salary while taking a year’s break from formal study and give you a competitive edge when you enter the graduate job market.
If you opt to take a year out on work placement, our Placement Learning and Support Unit will guide you in finding, applying for and securing a placement. During the year, you will have ongoing support from a member of staff, which will include visits to your workplace.
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 on a one-to-one basis. In your final year, you will also have a dedicated supervisor who will 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 through a combination of exam and coursework and some via coursework only. Exams are normally held at the end of each semester.
- Exams may include a range of question types e.g. multiple choice, short answer, interpretative, problem-based learning and essay questions
- Coursework assessment could be in the form of phase tests, practical reports, data handling, oral presentations, poster presentations, group discussions, essays or demonstrating competence in core practical skills. Most coursework assessments 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 can improve your work.
Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning
Dr Katie Evans
Katie Dr Evans is a senior lecturer in Microbiology and joined LJMU’s School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences in 2009. Her interests focus on diagnosis and treatment of infectious disease. After completing her PhD, Katie worked as a post-doctoral scientist in the USA, studying the pathogenesis of tuberculosis. Upon returning to the UK, she worked in both the pharmaceutical and diagnostics industry. She has successful research collaborations with national and international colleagues, developing novel and rapid diagnostics platforms. Katie is also passionate about working with graduate employers to increase student employability, fostering a more collaborative approach to higher skills development, to meet the demands of the life science workforce.
"It is a privilege to be able to support students’ academic journey, and helping them to achieve their goals is the best part of my job. It is particularly rewarding to see students develop their confidence and skills when working in the laboratory, practicing the latest biotechnology techniques"
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. Our state-of-the-art laboratories and teaching spaces will ensure you enjoy a first-class study environment. 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: 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
- Minimum number of A Levels required: 1
- Subject specific requirements: A2 Level in a relevant science subject
- Is general studies acceptable? No
- Average A Level offer: CCD
- 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: DD in a relevant science 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 science 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
- International Baccalaureate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- Additional information: 24 IB Diploma Points
- Welsh Baccalaureate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- Irish Leaving Certificate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- Grades / subjects required: 88 UCAS Points from a minimum of 5 subjects including a relevant science.
OCR National acceptability
- National Certificate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
- National Diploma: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
- National Extended Diploma: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
- Are Level 3 NVQs acceptable? Acceptable when combined with other qualifications
No interview requiredIELTS
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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