Biology BSc (Hons)

If you are interested in a broad range of biology topics from microbes to humans, including the biology of disease, the natural world, evolution, genetics and how humans and organisms interact with their environment, this is the course for you. You will develop the breadth of understanding and hands-on practical skills that enable you to apply your expertise to the many challenges we face in the world today, such as microbial resistance, climate change, safe and sustainable food production and the conservation of endangered species. All teaching in biology at UCLan is research-informed, and underpinned by practical classes where you will develop the technical and analytical skills valued by employers in the scientific, environmental and biotechnology industries. Fieldwork features throughout your course, with topical biological case-studies and teamwork to help build key transferable skills and enhance your employability.

Why study this course?

UCLan Biology students can enhance their employability in areas such as science communication and education by gaining work experience at the Young Scientist Centre (YSC). This is a unique collaboration between UCLan and the Royal Institution, and is the only purpose-built facility of its kind in a UK university to offers young people from schools in deprived areas the chance to get involved in exciting hands-on science activities. In addition, in your final year there are opportunities to carry out a science-education themed dissertation, where you will design and evaluate a novel teaching resource at the YSC.

Our UCLan Biology Facebook page makes regular posts about local, regional and national opportunities to gain work experience in all areas related to biology. These can give you a flexible way to build up your experience, skills and contacts in the employment sectors that most interest you.  You also have the opportunity to apply for the Undergraduate Research Internship Scheme run by the University and based with one the biology teaching team over the summer vacation, and you can take an optional work-based module in your final year.


The School of Forensic and Applied Sciences encourages and supports its students to undertake exchange and study abroad opportunities, and has excellent links in USA and Australia as well as across Europe Erasmus exchanges. We also run an annual overseas field trip in collaboration with Geography and Environmental Management. Past students of in the School have had the opportunity to travel and work on projects in tropical ecology and conservation biology in Guyana, Kenya, China and the West Coast of USA and Canada.


Post-Molecular Biology Laboratory

Biology Laboratory

Microbiology Laboratory

Kevin Butt (Course Leader)
Kevin has extensive experience of ecology and field biology with research interests in earthworm ecology and their contribution to below-ground ecosystem services in restored soils, including soil remediation. He is head of the Earthworm Research Group and has carried out research in the UK, Finland, Poland, Germany, Spain and the USA.

Athanasios Rizoulis
Thanos is an environmental microbiologist with extensive experience of the microbial ecology of polluted environments, including bioremediation of organic contaminants, biotransformations of metals and radionuclides, and mobilisation of arsenic. He has experience with culture-based and molecular microbiology techniques, including high throughput DNA sequencing and metagenomics.

Barbara Tigar
Barbara is an applied ecologist interested in finding sustainable solutions for invertebrate pests, the conservation of endangered species and the management of invasive species. Her current research focuses on using intrinsic geospatial markers to trace animals, and collaborations with Mexican researchers into the role of secondary tropical forest in carbon sequestration, and as a habitat for endangered big cats. She has lived and worked as an ecologist in the UK, Lesotho, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates.

Chris Lowe
Chris is an ecologist with a range of research interests including biological land remediation, environmental monitoring, composting, and waste management. He co-founded the Earthworm Research Group and his main interest is in the ecology and applications of earthworms with current research investigating ecotoxicology, ecosystem services and organic waste management.

Claire Mellor
Claire is a pharmacologist with a specific interest in understanding the mechanisms of drug toxicity in humans and the environment. Her research involves the use of in silico toxicology methods in order to develop screening tools to aid in drug development and hazard assessment strategies.

Phil Roberts
Phil is a pharmacologist with an interest in the role of drug metabolism in toxicological events and factors involved in their modulation. He is also involved in the development of in vitro testing of novel chemotherapeutic agents at the preclinical stage.

Sibte Hadi
Sibte is a reader in Forensic Medicine & Genetics and a forensic pathologist with an interest in forensic genetics. His current research interests include post-mortem interval estimation and forensic DNA profiling. He has lived and worked in the UK and USA.

Rachel Cunliffe 
Rachel trained as a molecular and cell biologist and then worked in cereal genetics. She has an MSc in Forensic and Biological Anthropology and her current research interests include understanding how things decompose and using anthropometry to identify human remains.

Will Goodwin
Will is a molecular biologist and geneticist with research interests in forensic science including methods for improving the recovery of DNA from compromised samples. His specialist expertise is in relationship testing and the identification of human remains. In addition to his research and teaching Will acts as an advisor to the International Committee of the Red Cross and a technical assessor for the United Kingdom Accreditation Service.

Key Information

  • Duration:

    Full time; Three Years

  • Level:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time

  • Award Type:

    BSc (Hons)

  • UCAS Code:


  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:


  • Fees 2019/20

    Full-time: £9,250* per year (UK/EU)

Scholarships and Bursaries

The University offers a range of scholarships and bursaries to support you through your studies.

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Entry Requirements

Our typical offer is 104-112 UCAS Points including Chemistry/Biology/Environmental Science/Applied Science.  We operate a flexible admissions policy and treat everyone as an individual. This means that we will take into consideration your educational achievements and predicted grades (where applicable) together with your application as a whole, including work experience and personal statement. 

BTEC Extended Diploma: Distinction, Distinction, Merit
International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma with 104-112 UCAS points from Higher Level Subjects including HL Biology or Chemistry.
IELTS: 6.0
GCSE: 5 at grade C/4 including Maths & English or equivalent

Not got the grades?

If you do not meet the formal entry requirements specified, Foundation Entry offers an alternative route to study for this degree

Foundation Entry Route

Check your points

Not sure how many points you have? Use our handy calculator and find out.

Points calculator

Course Overview

Year 1

  • Introduction to Cell Biology
  • Introduction to Biological Research
  • Science and Society
  • Introduction to Fields Biology
  • Ecology

Year 2

  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Research Theory and Practice

Plus at LEAST THREE from the following:

  • Applied Molecular Biology
  • Biodiversity and Conservation
  • Human Physiology and Disease
  • Applied Microbiology
  • Introduction to Pharmacology and Cell Culture

Plus and ELECTIVE if required

Year 3

  • Research Project
  • Fieldwork

Plus at LEAST TWO from the following:

  • Biotechnology and Bioinformatics
  • Ecotoxicology
  • Advanced Approaches to Understanding Behaviour

Plus (IF REQUIRED) ONE from the following

  • Applied Ecology
  • Forensic Genetics
  • Work Based Learning Module
  • Elective

Apply now for September 2019 Apply now for September 2019

Learning Environment and Assessment

A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises 360 credits and each 20 credit (a standard module) equates to 200 hours of study, which comprises of a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical sessions and independent study. Independent study is an important aspect of your degree course. The exact combination of study time will be detailed within your module descriptors, and will depend on your option choices.

Biology is taught within the School of Forensic and Applied Sciences enabling you to benefit from its excellent teaching facilities and approachable staff. This includes extensive teaching laboratories and access to specialist research equipment such as electron microscopes and the analytical suite in the JB Firth Building, as well as cell culture, microbiology and molecular biology facilities in the Darwin Building.

UK-based field work is covered by your fees and embedded throughout your course enabling you to gain key practical skills, with additional options to carry out international field studies. As part of our strong commitment to employability on many of our modules, you will meet and work with role models who are professional biologists in government and non-governmental organisations.

We use a diverse range of teaching methods including lectures, small-group tutorials, seminars, computer-based learning, debates, case-studies, laboratory practical classes, fieldwork and off-campus studies. You will be assessed using a mixture of coursework styles designed to develop your transferrable skills, such as practical and fieldwork reports, case-studies, research posters, oral presentations and examinations. You will undertake a dissertation research project in your on a topic of your choice with guidance from one of the biology teaching team. This can be a field or laboratory investigation, a desk-based study, or developing and evaluating a biology-based educational resource.

Find out more about our activities on our subject page.

Exciting Opportunities

As a biology graduate you can follow a wide range of careers related to the biosciences such as working as a research scientist or technician in biology-related employment sectors including the health and pharmaceutical industries, or on conservation and endangered species management, as well as in science writing, education, outreach and communication. In addition, biology graduates are in demand in many other employment sectors in the UK and overseas including graduate entry level into the civil service, business, accounting, sales and marketing. Many biology undergraduates will develop an interest in a specialist area of their discipline and will continue to study at postgraduate level for a Master of Science (MSc) or Research (MRes) or a doctoral degree (PhD or DPhil), whilst others choose to take a postgraduate teaching qualification or graduate entry level into medicine.

Course Highlights

  • Experienced and approachable research-active teaching team
  • Excellent teaching and research laboratories
  • High practical element
  • High employability skills
  • Diverse coursework and assessment styles
  • UK and overseas fieldwork
  • Work-experience opportunities at the Young Scientist Centre


The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) Biology team have awarded its first ever Oxford University Press (OUP) Achievement in Biosciences Prize, which is worth £150 of OUP books.

Second year BSc (Hons) Biology student Sara Sheikh scooped the prize, after she achieved excellent results across the board in her first year, with outstanding marks in cell biology.

The UCLan Biology teaching team were unanimous in their decision about who to nominate as the best performing student in 2017-18 (chosen from across all three academic years of study).

Read more

Important Information

Contact Us

This course is based in the School of Forensic and Applied Sciences
Telephone us for further information +44(0)1772 892400
or email us at: | Book a visit

Course Handbook

For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry: 2018 Entry | 2019 Entry
For information on possible changes to course information, see our Essential and Important Course Information.

Tuition Fees & Finance

*Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated.
For 2018/19 fees please refer to our fees page.

Further Information for students

You can find regulations and policies relating to student life at The University of Central Lancashire on our Student Contract page.

Entry Requirements

For changes to 2017 UCAS tariff entry requirements please see our Essential and Important Course Information. UCLan requires all undergraduate applicants to have a minimum attainment of five GCSEs at grade C and above, or equivalent, (including Maths and English). In 2017 and beyond we will view the new Grade 4 as being equivalent to a C grade and will therefore require students to achieve GCSE Grade 4 or above. However, if the subject is relevant to our degree programme and requires a higher GCSE grade (e.g. GCSE B grade), and/or includes a Professional body that governs the entry requirements, Grade 5 or above may be required.