Biological Sciences (BSc)
Life Sciences provides a wide range of biology-focused degree courses. Advances in new technologies, including genomics and integrative biology, have made this varied discipline more exciting than ever. We teach and research the processes of life from the molecular, right through to whole animal and the environment, to understand the cellular, molecular and physiological interactions that are fundamental to biology and medicine.
Our Biological Sciences course spans the entire scale of biological systems, from molecules to ecosystems. Our exceptionally wide range of options allows you to choose modules that are best suited to your interests and career ambitions. You will be exposed to cutting-edge research in molecular, cellular and whole organism biology, while covering applications of science to major global challenges such as environmental management, food security and human health.
A core syllabus is offered in the first year for all degree courses providing the essential foundations in biology, biochemistry, genetics and chemistry. The same content in the first year means that it is often possible to transfer between the different degrees at the end of the first year. Core and optional modules in the second and third years allow students to tailor their degree.
All modules are core in the first year with optional modules in year two and three.
Students learn through a combination of tutorials, lectures, laboratory work, and independent and group research.
In your first year, lecture sizes are typically 290 students. The modules you take in years two and three will vary in class size. The maximum number is typically 100 and the minimum 10 students.
12 - 16 hours per week over 25 weeks. In your first year you should expect around 10 lectures a week, a full day in the laboratory and a taught tutorial with your personal tutor and 6-7 of your peers. Independent learning, reading and preparing for lectures and preparing assessments will occupy the rest of your study time.
Approximately 35% of marks will be assessed by course work throughout the degree. The final degree classification is determined by Year One (10%), Year Two (30%) and your final year (60%).
A level: AAB to include Biology or ABB to include Biology and one of the following: Chemistry, Maths, Physics, Applied Science, Environmental Science, Statistics, Geology or Geography.
You must also achieve a pass in the science practical assessment (if applicable).
IB: 36 to include 5 in Higher Level Biology or 34 to include 5 in Higher Level Biology and 5 in Higher Level Chemistry/Physics/Maths/Geography.
Our standard GCSE requirements
All applicants must possess a minimum level of competence in the English Language and in Mathematics/Science. A pass at Grade C or above, or Grade 4 or above in GCSE English Language and in Mathematics or a Science, or an equivalent qualification, satisfies this University requirement.
Additional requirements: 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).
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.
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.
Molecules, Cells and Organisms
You'll study this module as the essential foundation for most other modules taught in the School of Life Sciences. You'll 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'll 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'll be able to integrate your organismal and molecular knowledge in a broad, evolutionary context. You'll 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.
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.
Tutorials and Laboratories
Chemistry for Biologists - compulsory for entrants without A2 level Chemistry
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tutorials and Laboratories
Tutorials and 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
Graduates on our courses have gone on to work for employers including: Astra Zeneca, NHS, Civil Service, KPMG, Johnson & Johnson, Tesla, ALS: Sarstedt Ltd, Novartis, universities and schools.
They have pursued roles such as: graduate-entry medicine students; NHS scientists; biomedical research and development scientists; scientific publishing professionals; laboratory technicians; teachers; business, marketing and accountancy professionals; or have gone on to complete postgraduate study or research.
Helping you find the right career
Our department has a dedicated professionally qualified Senior Careers Consultant who works within Student Careers and Skills to help you as an individual. Additionally your Senior Careers Consultant offers impartial advice and guidance together with workshops and events, tailored to our department, throughout the year. Previous examples of workshops and events include:
- Careers in Life Sciences Networking Event
- Careers in Science
- Warwick careers fairs throughout the year
- Mock Interviews for Life Sciences students
- Interested in Careers in Scientific Publishing
Find out more about our Careers & Skills Services here.
Bachelor of Science (BSc)
3 years full-time
28 September 2020
Location of study
University of Warwick, Coventry
Find out more about fees and funding
Additional course costs
There may be costs associated with other items or services such as academic texts, course notes, and trips associated with your course. Students who choose to complete a work placement will pay reduced tuition fees for their third year.
This information is applicable for 2020 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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