Bsc Hons Biological Sciences

Biological Sciences

BSc (Hons)

Develop your scientific knowledge with this BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences degree. You’ll expand your skills inside the laboratory and outside in the field, to prepare for an exciting career in biology.

If you want to advance your understanding of living systems, from the smallest microbes up to large-scale ecosystems, this degree is for you. You’ll develop your expertise in everything from anatomy and physiology through to plant science and epidemiology.


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Key Information

Course Duration: 3 or 4 years full time; part-time available
UC UCAS Code: C100
Part or Full Time: Full Time / Part Time
Level of Study: Undergraduate Degrees
Placement Year: Optional
Typical Offer: 112-128 UCAS tariff points or equivalent

Course information

You’ll benefit from access to diverse facilities, including professional-standard laboratories, a 70-species animal collection with domestic and non-domestic species, 380-hectares of commercial farmland across five sites, and a large equine centre.

Apply theory to practice as you get hands-on in our dissection and microbiology laboratories, learning more about a range of species. You’ll also investigate ecological principles and apply them to the real world on our expansive 360-hectare estate that boasts rare plant and animal species. It’s an ideal setting for observing and conserving British wildlife.

In addition to studying core topics including genetics and cell biology, you’ll have the opportunity to undertake a field course either in the UK or abroad. Experience real-world applications of biology on our commercial farm and equine and canine therapy and hydrotherapy centres, and be well-prepared to launch a career within research, clinical laboratories, or a range of related industries.

  • UCAS tariff points | A typical offer for this course is 144-128 UCAS tariff points or equivalent including a biological science.


  • GCSE | A minimum of five GCSEs at grade 9 to 4, (or A* to C grades if relevant) or equivalent, to include Science (Biology or Chemistry or combined science), English Language and Mathematics.

  • A-level | Typical offer is BBB or equivalent. This must include a minimum of two A Levels including one in Biology at grade C or above.


  • Vocational Award | Typical offer is a DDD in an Extended Diploma in a relevant subject.


  • Access | Typical offer is 128 UCAS tariff points in an Access to Higher Education Diploma to include a minimum of a pass in a Biology module at Level 3.


  • IB | Typical offer is 128 UCAS tariff points in an IB Diploma, to include Biology at H5 and at least one additional Higher at H3 or above. This must also include Maths and English Language at a minimum of Standard Level S3 if equivalent GCSEs have not been obtained.


  • Scottish Highers | Typical offer is 128 UCAS tariff points in Scottish Highers. This must include Advanced Higher Biology at C and at least one additional higher.


  • Irish leaving Certificate | Typical offer is 128 UCAS tariff points in the Irish Leaving Certificate. This must include a minimum of two Highers including one in Biology at H4 or above. This must also include Maths and English Language at a minimum of Ordinary Level.


  • OCR Cambridge Technical | Typical offer is a DDD in a Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma in a relevant subject.


  • T Level | Typical offer is Merit in your overall grade in a relevant science-based subject and a C or above in the core component grade.


  • The minimum academic entry requirement for this programme is 96 UCAS tariff or equivalent providing this is combined with relevant experience.


We welcome students with equivalent qualifications. Please contact us to discuss.

We may interview mature applicants and those with non-traditional qualifications to ensure this is the right course for you.

Previous learning towards a university-level qualification or relevant work experience may count as credit for this course.

Please contact us for further information.

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Your career

Benefit from a diverse range of industry opportunities that will support you to develop the skills, experience, and connections for your graduate career. Many of our students get their graduate roles with their work placement employers.

Work placements and experience

These form part of your optional modules, alongside an optional integrated placement year between the second and final years. We’ll support you to secure a placement with a UK-based or international employer, to match your interests and career goals – during which you’ll complete coursework. Placements can be paid or unpaid, and can be anywhere in the world.

Students have completed placements at a range of zoos, wildlife charities and conservation organisations, farms, and diagnostic labs.

You could also gain valuable work experience and applied skills using our on-site facilities, including our commercial canine and equine therapy and hydrotherapy centres as well as our on-site farm. These roles often proved opportunities to work with real clients, supervise others, or participate in special events, such as the world-class equestrian events that take place at Hartpury every year.

Field trips and guest lecturers

Field trips and industry professionals in lectures form an important part of your learning, enabling you to experience different businesses, careers, and best practices.

Recent trips on our related animal degrees have included Three Counties Equine Hospital, Crufts, and The Royal Veterinary College. Additional costs apply. Please see the fees tab for details.

Students on our animal degrees have also heard from conservationists, sustainability experts, plant breeders, and veterinarians, in addition to academic researchers from a range of subject areas.

Graduate destinations

As a BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences graduate, you could progress onto a career in research, clinical laboratories, pharmaceuticals, environmental science, science communication, teaching, or various related animal health professions. You’ll also develop key transferable skills that you can apply in a range of other graduate careers.

Our careers team can support you to find and prepare to secure your perfect role. Recent graduate destinations on related animal degrees at Hartpury University have included:

  • Laboratory Technician
  • Research Assistant, Animal and Plant Health Agency
  • Scientific Editor, BSAVA
  • Masters and PhD programmes
Success Stories

Your support network

You'll benefit from a strong support network from day one to be the best you can be. This will range from your personal tutor and specialist academic support team (our Achievement and Success Centre) to dedicated wellbeing and employability (Innovation, Careers and Enterprise) centres.

Academic support

You’ll have your own personal tutor while you’re here who will support you to succeed in your studies. You’ll also have access to our academic and wellbeing support teams who run regular workshops and one-to-one sessions on campus and online.

Alongside this, we have a comprehensive bank of online study skills resources to help you make the most of your qualification.

Your learning experiences

You'll experience a range of teaching methods to strengthen your digestion of topics, including lectures, workshops and practical sessions, as well as supported work placement learning as part of many courses.

Your career

Each year of your course will be made up of two semesters, within which you’ll study compulsory and optional modules on different industry-focused topics, enabling you to develop your own unique portfolio of knowledge, skills and experience, ready for your career. The course is taught in English.


What you'll study

Your degree will explore the many levels of life, from microbiological organisms through plants and animals to whole ecosystems.

You’ll gain an in depth understanding of essential biological topics as you study topics such as anatomy, physiology, genetics, biochemistry, behavioural ecology, and plant science.

In your second year, you’ll have the option to undertake a field course, gain professional experience, or develop your laboratory skills, to suit your interests and career goals.

Module credits

On successful completion of your modules, you’ll gain academic credit that accumulates towards your award. The marks you gain in your second and final year contribute towards your final degree classification.

Develop your knowledge of key underpinning subjects, such as anatomy and physiology, genetics and evolution, cell biology, biochemistry, and ecology, to gain the fundamental skills required for your course. You’ll gain practical and transferable skills, alongside essential knowledge of a wide range of integral topics integral, ready to progress onto the higher levels of your degree.

Compulsory Modules 

Genetics, Biodiversity and Evolution

Understand genetic and evolutionary principles and explore how they generate the diversity of life we see in the natural world.

Comparative Animal Physiology

Learn about the structure and function of animals, including how they have adapted to their natural environments, and consider how they may be affected by changing climates. Anatomy, physiology, nutrition, and evolution are brought together in a comparative way.

Cell Biology

Explore the structure and function of a wide range of cell types, from single celled organisms up to multicellular systems.

Introduction to Biochemistry

Examine the molecular and chemical processes that underpin normal physiology.

Principles of Ecology

Develop an understanding of how populations, communities, and ecosystems function, with a focus on establishing practical wildlife surveying skills and collaborative teamworking.

Professional and Academic Skills in Animal Biology

Develop key academic and professional skills as well as the personal attributes required to successfully launch and progress your career within the animal industry.

Delve deeper into biological systems and how they function, exploring areas such as behavioural ecology, animal disease and plant science. Learn how to use a range of research methods, ready to apply these in scientific research projects. You’ll choose where to go on one of the three exciting field trips, gain industry experience, or expand your laboratories skills.

Compulsory Modules 

Research Methods for Agricultural and Animal Scientists

An introduction to the academic research process, methods of research and analysis, ready to read research literature and conduct research projects in the future.

Behavioural Ecology

Explore the ecological and evolutionary basis for animal behaviour and the role of behaviour in enabling an animal to adapt to its environment.

Animal Disease and Parasitology

Develop your knowledge of advanced disease diagnosis, treatment, and key pathogenic causes of disease in both companion and production animals.

Animal Microbiology

Discover a variety of disease-causing microorganisms in animals. Examine the interactions between infectious agents and the host, considering the determinations for disease exposure and control.

Plant Science

Learn about the structure of plants, including how they use the resources around them and colonise a variety of different habitats.

Optional Modules 

Biochemistry and Toxicology

Explore how biochemicals are fundamental to processes of cell signalling and key determinants of toxicological effects.

Field Course

Learn a variety of field techniques to collect data about a range of taxa including plants, invertebrates, birds, and mammals. This module includes a residential trip. In previous years, students have travelled to South Africa and Devon, UK.

Professional Experience in the Animal Sector 1

Reflect on and evaluate a period of industry experience within the animal sector.

An optional integrated placement year between your third and final years gives you the opportunity to put your knowledge and skills into practice and gain valuable industry experience.

During your final year, you’ll focus on subject areas linked to your career interests and develop a skill set that supports your aspirations. You’ll complete a substantial research project as part of your dissertation module, which will give you experience of planning, implementing, and reporting on a specialist topic. In addition, you’ll explore the more complex interplays between biological systems under challenge, such as disease at a population level and the impacts of climate change.

Compulsory Modules

Animal and Agriculture Dissertation

Carry out independent research and analysis in an animal or agriculture‐related field with individual support from an academic.


Study how diseases are transmitted and spread through populations and understand how the dynamics of this spread can be studied and monitored. Use this knowledge to analyse appropriate methods to help avoid, track, and control disease epidemics.

Immunology and Animal Disease

Address the immunological basis of disease, disease transmission, and how animal disease can impact on public health.

Environment Health and Climate Change

Expand your knowledge of how biotic factors and abiotic factors combine to play a role in the health of the environment, as well as the challenges that climate change poses to life.

The modules contain a mixture of scheduled learning – lectures, workshops and practical sessions – alongside independent learning. Students are expected to dedicate at least two to three hours of independent study per contact hour. Your course may also include work placement learning as part of some modules.

Year Contact learning Placement learning Independent learning
Level four (year one) 29% 0% 71%
Level five (year two) 24% 0% 76%
Placement year - optional 1% 80% 19%
Level six (final year) 16% 0% 84%

You will be assessed through a mixture of written exams, practical exams and written assignments. Many of the modules will be marked based on a mixture of assessment types, whilst others will be based solely on one type of assessment. Feedback will be given via a mixture of written bullet point-style feedback and/or oral feedback.

Year Written exam Practical exam Coursework
Level four (year one) 25% 61% 14%
Level five (year two) 34% 16% 50%
Placement year - optional 0% 0% 100%
Level six (final year) 29% 4% 67%

Each year of this course is taught over two semesters, normally consisting of 12 weeks of scheduled teaching and then assessment weeks, with an overview below:

  • Scheduled teaching takes place between 8:30 to 20:30 Monday to Friday
  • Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities
  • Work placements may entail different days and hours
  • Part-time students may need to attend learning activities five days each week, depending on modules selected
  • Timetables are available during enrolment week.
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Please visit our student finance page for information on tuition fees and student loans, as well as non-repayable grants, bursaries and scholarships, eligible to different groups, to support with study costs.

Clothing and footwear

There is no need to purchase your own clothing for laboratory work but if you wish to you can purchase a lab coat from our supplier’s online shop for an affordable price.

Optional field trips (up to circa £2000)

You’re encouraged to engage in various trips and visits as part of the programme, these may involve a small fee to cover transport and or entry to the location.

During your second year, you could choose to select the Field Course optional module. This involves one of three field trip options. The first two are residential trips to Mankwe Wildlife Reserve in South Africa and Slapton Ley in Devon, respectively. The third option consists of day visits to sites more locally around Gloucestershire. On each of these trips the students will study the ecology and ethology of the local area. The South Africa trip is popular, and places are limited and costs in the region of £2000, the trip to Devon costs around £600 while the trips around Gloucestershire will be free to those students who choose this option.

Accommodation and living costs

Please visit our student accommodation page for details.

Fees & Finance

For further details about this course, including the programme specification and module descriptions, please visit our document library.

Resource library


Settle into an accommodation option to suit your taste and budget – at Hartpury University, undergraduate students can choose to live on-campus surrounded by Gloucestershire’s beautiful countryside or off-campus in the heart of Gloucester City centre. Enjoy the best of both worlds.

Hartpury University Accommodation


We can help you understand how it all works, and what you need to do next. Find out everything you need to know about tuition fees, student loans and bursaries and scholarships. In 2021/22, we provided assistance to over 1/3 of our students through bursaries, scholarships and grants, totalling a little under £1million.

Hartpury University Finance


When you become a student at Hartpury, you become part of our community. As a small university, we provide personalised support based on your individual requirements and aspirations. Our teams cover wellbeing, achievement and success, learning support, careers, and more. From wellbeing, safety and employability, to finance, accommodation and IT, our staff will answer your questions or get you set up with someone who can.

Hartpury University Student Support
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TEF Gold

Our undergraduate provision has been awarded Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Gold in all aspects - Overall, Student Experience, and Student Outcomes.

GUG 2024 Top 10 Teaching Quality Landscape

Teaching quality

Ranked in the top 10 universities for teaching quality (The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2024).

Graduate Outcomes 2023 97Pc

Graduate employability

97% of our graduates are in employment, further study or other purposeful activity (Graduate Outcomes, 2023). 

NSS 2023 Academic Support

Academic support

We’ve been named as the top university in England for academic support (National Student Survey, 2023).

Skai Walker
“It's amazing that Hartpury offers the opportunity to work with different species as part of the degree. As part of the course, I did a 40-hour internship in the Animal Collection. I’ve been getting hands on with exotic animals – meerkats, skunks and prairie dogs. ”
Skai Walker
BSc (Hons) Human-Animal Interaction

Turn your passion into your career

The physical and emotional needs of animals is at the heart of everything we do. Working with research-active staff, our students contribute to studies that are helping us understand animals like never before.

Put theory into practice and boost your CV with access to over 70 species, laboratories, animal therapy and hydrotherapy centres, a new Equine and Animal Assisted Activities Area on a 360-hectare campus that provides an ideal environment.

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Important information

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our published course information, however our programmes are reviewed and developed regularly. Changes or cancellation of courses may be necessary to ensure alignment with emerging employment areas, to comply with accrediting body requirements, revisions to subject benchmark statements or as a result of student feedback. We reserve the right to make necessary changes and will notify all offer-holders of changes as and when they occur.