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BSc (Hons) Biotechnology with Foundation Year

Start date:
Study mode:
Course duration:
4 years FullTime, 5 years Placement year
UCAS Code:

Tuition fees

Home full-time per year
International full-time per year
Placement year
Placement year international
All figures are subject to yearly increases. Tuition fees are subject to parliamentary approval.
General 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 work abroad
  • 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 dont 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 years 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.

  • Find out more about studying BSc (Hons) Biotechnology

    Find out more about studying BSc (Hons) Biotechnology

  • Go on a tour of the School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences

    Go on a tour of the School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences

"The BSc Biotechnology course provides a great springboard for a career within the fast-growing Life Sciences sector. The industry-relevant course content, coupled with hands-on lab experience, are great enablers for those wishing to explore industry opportunities. This is a high-quality programme supporting industry, which I would strongly recommend!"
Christopher Sadler, LJMU Graduate. Now works as Director, Process Sciences at Pharmaron Gene Therapy

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.

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

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 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.

Introduction to Molecular Biology and Genetics
20 credits

This module provides an introduction to molecular biology and genetics.

Further Chemistry
20 credits

This module covers fundamental organic chemistry concepts.

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.

Optional Modules

Sandwich Year - Biotechnology
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 - Biotechnology
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 - Biotechnology
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

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 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.

Biochemistry/Biotechnology Research Project
40 credits

You will have the opportunity to undertake some NHS and Pharmaceutical industry-related laboratory research projects or traditional research projects.

Optional Modules

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.

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, that you have acquired personally. You will build links between theory and practice through practical experience of work - reinforcing and complementing formal study.

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 years 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 years 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.

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.

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.