2024/25 entry

BSc (Hons) Biology

Start date:
September
Study mode:
Full-time
Course duration:
3 years FullTime, 4 years Placement year
Campus:
City
UCAS Code:
C100
Grades/points required:
BBC-ABB (112-128)

Tuition fees

Home full-time per year
£9,250
International full-time per year
£18,250
Placement year
£1,850
Placement year international
£3,830
All figures are subject to yearly increases. Tuition fees are subject to parliamentary approval.
General enquiries:
0151 231 5090
courses@ljmu.ac.uk
International admissions
international@ljmu.ac.uk

Send a message >

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 Medical Microbiology and Neurobiology
  • Opportunity for self-funded overseas field expedition – possible destination is Doñana National Park, Spain*
  • 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.

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 Medical Microbiology, 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 Doñana National Park, Spain, 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.

  • Go on a tour of the School of Biological and Environmental Sciences

    Go on a tour of the School of Biological and Environmental Sciences

  • Find out more about studying BSc (Hons) Biology

    Find out more about studying BSc (Hons) Biology

"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)
  • 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.

* 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 the Level 4 core module include all travel and 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.

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.

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.

Student Futures - Careers, Employability and Enterprise Service

A wide range of opportunities and support is available to you, within and beyond your course, to ensure our students experience a transformation in their career trajectory. 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.

Every student has access to Careers Zone 24/7, LJMU's suite of online Apps, resources and jobs board via the LJMU Student Futures website. There are opportunities for flexible, paid and part-time work through Unitemps, LJMU's in-house recruitment service, and we also offer fully funded Discovery Internships.

One-to-one careers and employability advice is available via our campus-based Careers Zones and we offer a year-round programme of events, including themed careers and employability workshops, employer events and recruitment fairs. 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 Start-up 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 below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.

Further guidance on modules

Modules are designated core or optional in accordance with professional body requirements, as applicable, and LJMU’s Academic Framework Regulations. Whilst you are required to study core modules, optional modules provide you with an element of choice. Their availability may vary and will be subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Where changes to modules are necessary these will be communicated as appropriate.

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 transferable 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 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

Impact of Climate Change On Biological Processes
20 credits

This module enables you to examine the key biological processes that are affected in plants and animals due to climate change driven biotic and abiotic stresses. This will include examining from biochemical to organismal processes and their link to the environment.

Immunology and medical microbiology
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, 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.

Sandwich Year - Biology
120 credits

The aim is to provide students with an extended period of work experience at an approved partner that will complement their programme of study at LJMU. This will give students the opportunity to develop professional skills relevant to their programme of study as well as the attitude and behaviours necessary for employment in a diverse and changing environment. This extended placement forms a key part of a sandwich degree. All placements need to be assessed and approved prior to commencement in line with the LJMU Placement Learning Code of Practice. The Code of Practice requires students to conduct themselves in a professional and responsible manner during the placement - failure to do so may lead to the placement being terminated prematurely. Placements are normally for one calendar year on a full-time basis. Split placements of a shorter duration may be permissible. There is an expectation that a minimum of 1200 hours will be spent in the workplace.

Study Year Abroad - Biology
120 credits

The aim is to provide students with an additional year of study at an approved overseas partner that will complement their programme at LJMU. This is an additional year of full-time study at an approved higher education institution. The modules to be studied must be agreed in advance, and must be appropriate for the student's programme of study. Assuming successful completion of this year, mark-bearing credit will be awarded by the Faculty Recognition Group. The grade conversion scale to be used will be made available in advance of the year abroad.

Study Semester Abroad - Biology
60 credits

The aim is to provide students with a semester of study at an approved overseas partner that will replace one semester of their LJMU programme at level 5.This is a semester of full-time study at an approved higher education institution which will replace one semester of level 5 study at LJMU. The modules to be studied must be agreed in advance, and must be an appropriate substitute for the modules being replaced. Assuming successful completion of this semester, mark-bearing credit will be awarded by the Faculty Recognition Group. The grade conversion scale to be used will be made available in advance of the semester abroad.

Level 6

Core modules

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.

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.

Optional Modules

Clinical immunology and medical microbiology
20 credits

In this module, your education continues in the field of immunology and microbiology as we now focus the knowledge gained at level 4 and 5 onto the clinical aspects of disease.

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.

Neuroendocrinology
20 credits

This comparative module covers how the endocrine and nervous systems work together to control health and disease. Combining problem-based learning and practical sessions, you will cover topics such as sexual differentiation, sleep, stress, depression and the long-term endocrine changes caused by psychoactive substances.

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.

Teaching is mostly via lectures, in-person laboratory practicals and field trips. Additionally, small tutorial sessions provide a forum for discussing course material more informally. You will also have progress review meetings with your personal tutor. 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.

Formal teaching accounts for approximately 14-18 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 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

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.

Course tutors

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

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

Grades/points required from qualifications: BBC-ABB (112-128)

Qualification requirements

GCSEs and equivalents

Grade 4 or grade C or above in English Language and Mathematics/ Numeracy.

GCSE Equivalences accepted:
• 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
• 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

BBC-ABB Minimum Number of A Levels: 2
Maximum AS UCAS Points: 20

Biology or a related science at Grade C or above

BTECs

Extended Diploma: DMM-DDM

Access awards

Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications

Pass overall with a minimum of 112 points

International Baccalaureate

Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications From a relevant subject

OCR Cambridge Technical

Extended Diploma: DMM-DDM

Irish awards

Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications

T levels

Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications.

You need to obtain the required UCAS points from a related subject area.

International requirements

  • IELTS

    6.0 overall with no component below 5.5, taken within two years of the course start date.

    https://www.ljmu.ac.uk/study/courses/international-entry-requirements

International entry requirements

Find your country

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

Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

UCAS is the official application route for our full-time undergraduate courses. Further information on the UCAS application process can be found here https://www.ljmu.ac.uk/study/undergraduate-students/how-to-apply.

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.