2023/24 entry

BSc (Hons) Biotechnology with Foundation Year

Start date:
September 2023
Study mode:
Full time
Course Duration:
4 years, 5 years with placement
UCAS code:
Points required:

Tuition fees (per year)

Home (full-time):
International (full-time):
Placement (home student):
Placement (international student):
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
International enquiries

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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.

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 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"

Katie Evans, Programme Leader

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

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)


  • 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

A DBS check is not required for your application, however a DBS may be required for modules where there is a work based learning placement option. Work based learning placements that do not require a DBS check are available.


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.

Student Futures - Careers, Employability and Enterprise Service

We are committed to ensuring all 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 during Level 4, an e-learning resource and workshop designed to help you to develop your talents, passion and purpose. It will enable you to become more proactive, adaptable and resilient in your awareness and approach to career possibilities.

Every student has access to Careers Zone 24/7, LJMU’s state-of-the-art suite of online tools, resources and jobs board. There are opportunities for flexible, paid and part-time work through Unitemps, LJMU’s in-house recruitment service, ensuring students can build experience whilst they study.

One-to-one careers and employability advice is available via our campus-based Careers Zones to accelerate your job search and applications, CV and interview technique. Themed careers and employability workshops, a programme of employer events and recruitment fairs run throughout the year and students have the opportunity to hear from a range of alumni who openly share their own onward experience.

Student Futures work with businesses to create opportunities for fully funded internships which help students increase their network within the Liverpool City Region and beyond. Our Start-Up Hub can help you to grow your enterprise skills and to research, plan and start your own business or become a freelancer.

A suite of learning experiences, services and opportunities is available to final year students to help ensure you leave with a great onward plan. You can access LJMU’s Careers, Employability and Enterprise Services after you graduate and return for one-to-one support for life.

Go abroad

LJMU aims to make international opportunities available to every student. You may be able to study abroad as part of your degree at one of our 100+ partner universities across the world. You could also complete a work placement or apply for one of our prestigious worldwide internship programmes. If you wanted to go abroad for a shorter amount of time, you could attend one of our 1-4 week long summer schools.

Our Go Citizen Scheme can help with costs towards volunteering, individual projects or unpaid placements anywhere in the world. With all of these opportunities at your feet, why wouldn’t you take up the chance to go abroad?

Find out more about the opportunities we have available via our Instagram @ljmuglobalopps or email us at: goabroad@ljmu.ac.uk.

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 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 may also be 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.

Level 3

Core modules

Human Anatomy and Physiology
20 credits

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.

Fundamental Science Skills
20 credits

This module aims to provide and develop the basic skills required to successfully study a programme in the molecular bioscience areas.

Introduction to Chemistry
20 credits

This module covers introductory laboratory skills and fundamental physical and inorganic chemistry concepts, alongside a brief introduction to organic chemistry.

Introduction to Biochemistry and Cell Biology
20 credits

This module provides an introduction to cell structure and biochemistry.

Further Chemistry
20 credits

This module covers fundamental organic chemistry concepts.

Introduction to Molecular Biology and Genetics
20 credits

This module provides an introduction to molecular biology and genetics.

Level 4

Core modules

Introduction to Structural and Functional Biochemistry
20 credits

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.

Physiological Biochemistry
20 credits

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
20 credits

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
20 credits

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
20 credits

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
20 credits

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.

Level 5

Core modules

Sterile Pharmaceutical Products
20 credits

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
20 credits

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
20 credits

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
20 credits

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
20 credits

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
20 credits

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.

Level 6

Core modules

Research Project
40 credits

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
20 credits

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.

Biotechnology Entrepreneurship
20 credits

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
20 credits

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.

Optional modules

Microbial Technology
20 credits

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.

Work-Based Learning
20 credits

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. 

Industrial Product Development
20 credits

Within this module, you will gain information relating to pharmaceutical manufacturing processes and the associated regulatory controls to ensure consistency of patient safety.

Recombinant Proteins
20 credits

This module aims to provide in-depth knowledge of current approaches used in recombinant protein production and their applications in different biotechnology sectors.

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.

Work-related Learning

​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

F​eedback 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. ​

Course tutors

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

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.

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
  • 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

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 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

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

Welsh awards

  • Welsh Baccalaureate: Acceptable on its own and 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 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

Reduced Offer Scheme

As part of LJMU’s commitment to widening access we offer eligible students entry to their chosen course at a reduced threshold of up to 16/8 UCAS points. This applies if you are a student who has been in local authority care or if you have participated in one of LJMU’s sustained outreach initiatives, e.g. Summer University. Please contact the admission office for further details.
Will I be interviewed?

No interview required


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

International entry requirements

Find your country

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

Can this course be deferred?


Is 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.