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Biological Sciences with Placement Year (BSc) (Full-Time, 2019 Entry)



Full-time 2019 entry

Providing a firm grounding in the entire scale of biological systems, this flexible course covers topics from molecules to ecosystems. You’ll be able to tailor modules to your career ambitions and interests by specialising in areas including genetics, microbiology, ecology, virology, physiology and infection. It forms the ideal platform for a career in many areas related to biology, such as research or science publishing.

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You will learn in a supportive environment, maintaining regular contact with a personal academic tutor. The course will enrich your understanding of the health and wellbeing of humans and animals, the biology of molecules and cellular systems, and the biological challenges facing us in a changing world. You will develop the research and analysis, presentation, communication, problem-solving and writing skills that are essential in all employment sectors.

Following an in-depth foundation in biology, biochemistry and genetics in your first year, the course allows you to focus on specialist fields with more project-oriented lab work covering areas such as cell biology, genetics and ecology in your second year. You can also attend an optional field course subsidised by the School (a financial contribution is required), with recent destinations including Pembrokeshire (Wales) and the CEBIMar, São Sebastiãn (Brazil).
You will spend your third year on a work placement, either in the UK or abroad, or on a study abroad programme.

In your fourth year you’ll study a core module in Dynamics of Biological Systems and complete a challenging full-time research project on an area of particular academic interest. This may be lab-based or involve data analysis and will give you invaluable experience of applying your subject knowledge to real-life workplace challenges.

You will have weekly (first year) and fortnightly (second and third years) taught tutorials, which are in small groups to ensure that you are able to develop, and receive regular feedback on assessment. Purpose-built teaching facilities are fully integrated with research laboratories, meaning you will be learning alongside teaching and research staff who are at the cutting edge of their fields. You will spend one or two days a week undertaking lab work. This becomes more project-oriented in your second year, culminating in a six-week individual research project in your third year.

You will be assessed through tutorials, laboratory practicals, oral presentations, written assignments and exam-based questions. Approximately 35% of your marks will be assessed by coursework throughout your degree.

As an alternative to a work placement we support student mobility with the opportunity to apply for a year abroad at one of our partner universities all over the world. The Study Abroad Team based in the International Student Office supports these activities, and the School’s dedicated Study Abroad Co-ordinator will provide more specific information and assistance.

You can take a year in industry after your second year to gain industrial experience. Work placements cover a wide range of work experience types and destinations, both laboratory and non-laboratory. You will have both an academic and placement site supervisor. Your placement will allow you to improve personal and transferable skills, make new contacts and will enhance your employability. Whilst we do not guarantee you a placement, you will be given extensive support to secure one. Recent placements have included GSK, The Binding Site, Micropathology and The Body Shop. Many of our BSc students also choose to undertake work placements during vacations. We actively promote these placements and will support you with applications and interview skills.

A level: AAB, including Biology or ABB including Biology and a second science (such as Chemistry, Maths, Physics, Applied Science, Environmental Science, Statistics, Geology).
You must also achieve a pass in the science practical if your science A level includes a separate practical assessment.

  • IB: 36 points, to include 5 in Higher Level Biology or 34 points including 5 in Higher Level Biology and 5 in Higher Level Chemistry/Physics/Maths.

You will also need to meet our English Language requirements.

  • Contextual data and differential offers: Warwick may make differential offers to students in a number of circumstances. These include students participating in the Realising Opportunities programme, or who meet two of the contextual data criteria. Differential offers will be one or two grades below Warwick’s standard offer (to a minimum of BBB).

  • Access Courses: Access to HE Diploma (QAA recognised) including appropriate subjects with distinction grades in level 3 units. Candidates must meet essential subject requirements.
  • Warwick International Foundation Programme (IFP) All students who successfully complete the Warwick IFP and apply to Warwick through UCAS will receive a guaranteed conditional offer for a related undergraduate programme (selected courses only). For full details of standard offers and conditions visit the IFP website.
  • We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications. For more information please visit the international entry requirements page.
  • Taking a gap year Applications for deferred entry welcomed.

    Interviews We do not typically interview applicants. Offers are made based on your UCAS form which includes predicted and actual grades, your personal statement and school reference.

    Open Days All students who have been offered a place are invited to visit. Find out more about our main University Open Days and other opportunities to visit us.

Year 1

Laboratories and Tutorials

Molecules, Cells and Organisms

You will study this module as the essential foundation for most other modules taught in the School of Life Sciences. You will gain the basic knowledge you need of molecular and cellular aspects of biology, and also become familiar with whole-organism and developmental biology, in the context of evolution.

Animal and Plant Biology

Drawing on zoology and botany, on this module you will broaden your biological knowledge to support your learning on second-year modules. By analysing and studying our current understanding of animal and plant evolution, diversity and physiological activities, you will be able to integrate your organismal and molecular knowledge in a broad, evolutionary context. You will also have opportunities to practise your skills in presentation and communication.

Agents of Infectious Disease

You will start by gaining a thorough foundation in microbiology and virology, using infectious diseases as a common link to promote your understanding. Through your study of epidemiology, you will learn to appreciate the way that diseases spread and the methods used to investigate this spread. On completion, you can expect to understand the role of various structures associated with the bacterial cell in causing a range of diseases, and appreciate the structure of viruses and how this relates to their capacity to cause disease and the host response to viral challenge. This will equip you with the necessary theoretical foundations to underpin your future studies.

Physiology and Metabolism

On this module, you will learn how parts of the body function and work together in the whole organism. You will study the physiology of the nervous system, cardiovascular system, respiratory system and special senses. Your study of metabolism will help you to understand the generation of energy within the body, anabolism, the role of enzymes, and specific functions such as glycolysis, the citric acid cycle, pentose phosphate pathway and photosynthesis. You will then combine your learning to gain a thorough understanding of the way the body adapts to environmental conditions such as altitude, depth, cold and heat.

Environmental Biology

On this module, you will gain foundational knowledge in the study of the natural and managed environment and start to understand the pressures on the planet that result from anthropogenic activities. You will also look in more depth at how society responds to the challenges posed by environmental change.

Quantitative Skills for Biology

All biological scientists need to understand and analyse quantitative data. So, this module will see you learning to use statistical methods for analysing and summarising experimental data (for example, from your lab classes), and learning the basic principles for modelling biological populations.

Year 2



Multicellular Systems

On this module, you will gain an overview of neurobiology and the molecular genetic analysis of plant development. You will study the physiology of the nervous system and conduct a detailed analysis of the cellular and molecular biology underlying the development and functions of the nervous system. By combining your analysis of plants and animal systems, you will find that you gain a deeper understanding of eukaryotic developmental biology.

Molecular Cell Biology

On this module, you will gain a sound knowledge of the organisation, complexity and essential processes that occur in the genomes and information-processing mechanisms in all three domains of life. You will study the molecular biology that underlies fundamental cellular processes, including the cytoskeleton in cellular structure, function and motility, the mechanisms that control cell proliferation and genome stability, protein processing in secretory pathway organelles, and programmed cell death in eukaryotic cells.

Ecology and Environment

On this module, you will gain an overview of the ecological principles and processes that underpin our understanding of the natural world, with particular attention given to major marine habitats, ecologically significant organisms and biological processes in the oceans.

Genetics and Evolution

On this module, you will begin your introductory study of the concepts and techniques of genetics and genomics that are used to understand and manipulate complex traits. As well as studying contemporary evolutionary theory, population and evolutionary genetics, you will take part in practical workshops to promote your understanding. By the time you finish the module, you can expect to understand these fundamental processes and the genetic make-up of populations.

Year 3

Placement Year or Study Abroad Year

Year 4

Research Project

Dynamics of Biological Systems

The study of non-autonomous dynamical systems can shed new light on biological systems. On this module, you will learn how our understanding of cells and cellular pathways can be enhanced by considering them as entities that can change their behaviour both in space and time.

Selection of optional modules that current students are studying:

  • Extreme Environment Biology
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology
  • Oncology
  • Biological Clocks
  • Integrative Neuroscience
  • Interdisciplinary and Business modules
  • One World Health and Neglected Tropical Diseases
  • Introduction to Secondary Teaching in Biology

Your placement year will provide the valuable work experience and transferable skills, essential in today’s competitive jobs market. It will help you shape your career destination.

Our graduates have gone on to work for organisations including: NHS, AstraZeneca, KPMG, Taylor and Francis Scientific Publishing, Diabetes UK.

Examples of our graduates’ job roles include: Seed Pathology Technician, Research & Development Scientist, Management Development Associate, Medical Public, Relations Consultant. Others have pursued PG study.


"A year out in industry opened up further career options."

"I was attracted by the good reviews Warwick received from previous students. Warwick also offered the opportunity to do a year in industry, which I wanted to complete in order to open up options for my future career. There was also a wide range of modules available so I could focus on the subject areas I most enjoyed.

The extensive lab work we completed was very thorough and this has helped me in my current role as a PhD student. The organisation skills I gained from my extra-curricular activities are also very invaluable. "

Katie Anders - PhD Student

Studied 'Biological Sciences (MBio) - Graduated 2015

A level AAB, including Biology or ABB including Biology and a second science (such as Chemistry, Maths, Physics, Applied Science, Environmental Science, Statistics, Geology).
You must also achieve a pass in the science practical if your science A level includes a separate practical assessment.

IB 36 points, to include 5 in Higher Level Biology or 34 points including 5 in Higher Level Biology and 5 in Higher Level Chemistry/Physics/Maths.


Degree of Bachelor of Science (BSc)

4 years full time

Start Date

24 September 2019

Location of study
University of Warwick, Coventry

Tuition fees
Find out more about fees and funding

Additional costs

All students in Life Sciences are strongly encouraged to buy a computer, at an approximately cost of £600. Students are expected to have suitable clothing for field trips, including waterproof footwear. Recommended text books are estimated to cost a total of £250. There is a mandatory trip to Wales in year 2, at a cost of £175. Non-compulstory field trips cost approximately £50.

This information is applicable for 2019 entry.

Given the interval between the publication of courses and enrolment, some of the information may change. It is important to check our website before you apply. Please read our terms and conditions to find out more.

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