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Overview

Biological Sciences encompasses many aspects of the biosciences, from molecules to ecosystems and includes exploration of: Biological diversity, systematics and conservation, Cell and tissue structure, function and physiology, Ecology and behaviour, Form and function of microorganisms, protists, fungi, plants and animals, and Genetics and mechanisms and pathways of evolution.

The BSc Biological Sciences with Professional Studies enables students to gain an understanding of Structure, function, and interactions of microorganisms, protists, fungi, plants and animals. Concepts and theories from the molecular and cellular levels through to whole-organism and ecosystems are also taught.

Students will gain practical laboratory skills to help them investigate and manipulate biological material including relevant physical, chemical and biological measurements and their application in a laboratory and research project setting.

Additional skills achieved include; Collation, quantitative analysis and interpretation of experimental data, including problem-solving, communication and application of knowledge, the use of computers for data management and presentations, and intellectual, personal and team skills for employment and further study.

Biological Sciences Degree highlights

Biological Science graduates are employed in areas which have always been important, but have now become increasingly so due to worldwide problems such as climate change, food supply and security, biodiversity loss and global health issues.

Professional Accreditations

  • The Society for Biology provides career advice and support for undergraduate Biological Sciences students, and professional recognition for graduate biologists through externally recognised awards commissioned by the Science Council.

Career Development

  • Students complete a one year work placement following Stage 2. In previous years, students have gained placements with organisations such as Almac Pharma Services, Norbrook Laboratories, Warner Chilcott, Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Belfast Zoo, the National Trust, Atlantic Whale Foundation, and the RSPB. In addition, students can avail of opportunities to undertake short summer placements abroad through programmes such as IAESTE, Operation Wallacea, and Frontier.
‘Studying Biological Sciences (with Professional Studies) at Queen's allowed me to experience several different aspects of Biology and gave me the flexibility to decide which pathway interested me the most, as well as allowing me to gain many different skills in the process. My favourite part of the degree was the final year Honours project: being able to carry out my own unique research project was highly enjoyable, and well worth all the work involved! Studying Biological Sciences inspired me to pursue a career in research and gave me the confidence to begin a PhD project in QUB.’

Fiona McKay, BSc Biological Sciences

Course content

Course Structure

Introduction
Throughout Stages 1 and 2 of the Biological Sciences degrees, practical classes in Biological Sciences reinforce and complement the theory, providing students with the solid foundation on which to build upon for Stage 3 (and Stage 4 as necessary).
Stage 1
• Molecular Basis of Life
• The World of Microorganisms
• Biodiversity

At this stage students enrolled in the Biological Sciences can move into a specialist biological degree option (Environmental Biology, Marine Biology, Zoology), or vice versa.
Stage 2
• Animal Biology and Physiology
• Cell Biology 2
• Ecology and Evolution
• Animal Behaviour
• Microbes in Action
Stage 3
• Parasitology and Zoonoses
• Plant Biology and Rhizosphere Interactions
• Conservation Biology
• Industrial Microbiology
• Immunology and Virology
Year Out
All students will spend a minimum of 46 weeks in a work placement during which they will carry out some project type work. Students will begin preparations for the placement in the first semester of Stage 2 and the placement will be assessed within the module Professional Studies.

People teaching you

Dr Angela Mousley
Senior Lecturer
School of Biological Sciences

Contact Teaching Times

Large Group Teaching
12 (hours maximum)
Typically around 9 hours teaching [3 hours for each module studied – see later information on course content] and 3 hours practical every two weeks for each module.
Personal Study
28 (hours maximum)
For private study and writing assignments each week

Learning and Teaching

During the BSc Biological Sciences with Professional Studies, the school provides a range of learning experiences to enable students to engage with subject experts and develop attributes and perspectives that will equip you for life and work. Students can make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners.

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Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:

E-Learning technologies, lectures, personal tutor, practical classes, research projects, self-directed study, work placement, and Work-Related learning/Field Trips/Industrial Visits.

Assessment

Details of assessments associated with this course are outlined below:

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The way in which you are assessed will vary according to the learning objectives of each module. Most modules are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations. Some modules [e.g. final year Honours Project module] are assessed solely through project work or written assignments. Details of how each module is assessed are outlined in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction, and is available on our School website (http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofBiologicalSciences/).

Feedback

As you progress through your course you will receive general and specific feedback about your work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and your peers.
As a university student, you will be expected to take a greater role in reflecting on this and taking the initiative in continuously improving the quality of your work.

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Feedback may be provided to you in a variety of forms including: formal written comments, face to face comments, placement employer comments or references, online or emailed feedback, pre-submission advice, feedback and outcomes from practical classes, and others.

Entry Requirements

Entrance requirements

A level requirements
BBB including Biology and at least one from Chemistry (preferred), Geography, Mathematics or Physics + GCSE Chemistry grade C or GCSE Double Award Science grades CC + GCSE Mathematics grade C
OR
BBB including Double Award Applied Science + GCSE Biology and Chemistry grade C or GCSE Double Award Science grades CC + GCSE Mathematics grade C
OR
ABB including Biology + GCSE Chemistry grade C or GCSE Double Award Science grades CC + GCSE Mathematics grade C.

It would be an advantage to have studied Chemistry beyond GCSE level.

Irish leaving certificate requirements
H3H3H3H3H4H4/H3H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H3 in Biology and at least one from Chemistry (preferred), Geography, Mathematics or Physics + if not offered at Higher Level then Ordinary Level grade O4 in Chemistry and Mathematics
OR
H3H3H3H3H3H3/H2H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H3 in Biology + Ordinary Level grade O4 in Chemistry and Mathematics.

It would be an advantage to have studied Higher Level Chemistry.

Access/Foundation Course
Successful completion of Access Course with an average of 80% with no less than 70% in any module including sufficient relevant modules in Biology and Chemistry. GCSE Mathematics grade C or equivalent in Access Course.

Option to transfer
Transfers between BSc and MSci may be possible at the end of Stage 2.

Selection Criteria

In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance notes on 'How we choose our students' prior to submitting your UCAS application. The information relates to 2017 entry and will be updated for 2018 entry as soon as possible.

How we choose our students

Applications are dealt with centrally by the Admissions and Access Service rather than by the School of Biological Sciences. Once your on-line form has been processed by UCAS and forwarded to Queen's, an acknowledgement is normally sent within two weeks of its receipt at the University.

Selection is on the basis of the information provided on your UCAS form, which is considered by the Selector for the School of Biological Sciences along with a member of administrative staff from the Admissions and Access Service. Decisions are made on an ongoing basis and will be notified to you via UCAS.

For entry last year, applicants for programmes in the School of Biological Sciences must have had, or been able to achieve, a minimum of five GCSE passes at grade C or better (to include English Language and Mathematics), though this profile may change from year to year depending on the demand for places. The Selector also checks that any specific entry requirements in terms of GCSE and/or A-level subjects can be fulfilled.

Offers are normally made on the basis of three A-levels. Two subjects at A-level plus two at AS would also be considered. The minimum acceptable is two subjects at A-level plus one at AS though candidates offering this combination will be considered on an individual basis depending on the degree for which they have applied. The offer for repeat candidates may be one grade higher than for first time applicants. Grades may be held from the previous year.

Applicants offering other qualifications, such as BTEC Extended Diplomas, Higher National Certificates and Diplomas, the International Baccalaureate, Irish Leaving Certificate or an Access course, will also be considered.

The current entrance requirements for applicants offering a relevant BTEC Extended Diploma are successful completion of the BTEC Extended Diploma (180 credits at Level 3) with 100 credits at Distinction grade and 80 credits at Merit grade. The same GCSE profile is usually expected of those candidates taking an Extended Diploma qualification.

For applicants offering a relevant HNC, the current requirements are successful completion of the HNC with 1 Distinction and remainder Merits.

For those offering a Higher National Diploma, there may be the possibility of advanced entry to Stage 2 depending on relevance of the HND and first year results (at least half of the first year units must be at Merit grade). Where offers are made for entry to Stage 2 students would be required to achieve 2 Distinctions and remainder Merits in all units assessed in final year. Those not eligible for entry to Stage 2 would be considered for entry to Stage 1 provided at least one first year unit is at Merit grade. Students would be required to achieve Merits in all units assessed in final year.

For those offering a HNC or HND, some flexibility may be allowed in terms of GCSE profile.

Candidates offering Access/Certificate in Foundation Studies courses will be considered individually on their own merits.

The information provided in the personal statement section and the academic reference together with predicted grades are noted but, in the case of degree courses in the School of Biological Sciences, these are not the final deciding factors in whether or not a conditional offer can be made. However, they may be reconsidered in a tie break situation in August.

A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking would not normally be considered as part of a three A-level offer and, although they may be excluded where an applicant is taking four A-level subjects, the grade achieved could be taken into account if necessary in August/September.

Candidates are not normally asked to attend for interview.

If you are made an offer then you may be invited to a School Visit Day, which is usually held in the second semester. This will allow you the opportunity to visit the University and to find out more about the degree programme of your choice and the facilities on offer. It also gives you a flavour of the academic and social life at Queen's.

If you cannot find the information you need here, please contact the University Admissions and Access Service (admissions@qub.ac.uk), giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.

English Language Requirements

An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

  • English for University Study: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS - FOUNDATION AND INTERNATIONAL YEAR ONE PROGRAMMES

INTO Queen's offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare international students for undergraduate study at Queen's University. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre on campus, and will have full access to the University's world-class facilities.

These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry.

INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

Careers

Career Prospects

Introduction
A degree in biosciences opens the door to a wide range of careers. Our graduates are employed in organisations working within environmental monitoring and management, water quality management, animal welfare, academic research, the agri-food industries, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, teaching and education, and science communication.

These employment areas have always been important, but have now become increasingly so due to worldwide problems such as climate change, food supply and security, biodiversity loss and global health issues.

Alternatively, the transferable skills you will obtain during completion of a biosciences degree will place you in excellent standing for specific graduate programmes to enter professions such as accountancy, management or journalism. Many of our graduates undertake the postgraduate teacher training programme (PGCE) for entry into the teaching profession.

Completion of the final year research project inspires many of our graduates to progress to postgraduate study, eg Master’s (MSc) or Doctorate (PhD), with the goal of pursuing a career as a research scientist or academic.

Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

Prizes and Awards(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

Degree plus award for extra-curricular skills

In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.

Fees and Funding

Tuition Fees

The tuition fee rates for undergraduate students who first enrol at the University in the academic year 2018-19 have not been agreed. Tuition fees for 2018-19 will be based on 2017-18 levels, normally increased by inflation and these are set out below.

Northern Ireland (NI) £4,030
England, Scotland or Wales (GB) £9,250
Other (non-UK) EU £4,030
International £18,800

Tuition fee rates are calculated based on a student’s tuition fee status and generally increase annually by inflation. How tuition fees are determined is set out in the Student Finance Framework.

Additional course costs

All Students

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

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Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library.

If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. A programme may have up to 6 modules per year, each with a recommended text.  

Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.  

Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.

If a final year includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.

Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.

There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

Biological Sciences costs

Year 1 students are required to buy a laboratory coat at a cost of £10 and an E-Book at a cost of £25. The following modules have a compulsory field trip: Compulsory module: Year 1 Biological Diversity Module has a field trip costing £80. Optional module: Year 2 Applied Ecology Module has a field trip costing £125. Year 2 Marine Ecology Module has a field trip costing £90. All students may apply to go on a School Workplace Tour at a cost of £100. Students undertake a placement in year 3 and are responsible for funding the costs of travel, accommodation and subsistence, associated with the placement. These costs vary depending on the location of the placement provider. Students may receive payment from their placement provider during their placement year.

How do I fund my study?

There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union.

Information on funding options and financial assistance for undergraduate students is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/Fees-and-scholarships/.

Scholarships

Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students. Information on scholarships available.

International Scholarships

Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.

* information shown is for 2017-18 and should be used as a guide until 2018-19 scholarships are confirmed.

How and When to Apply

How to Apply

Application for admission to full-time undergraduate and sandwich courses at the University should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).  Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at: www.ucas.com/apply.

When to Apply
UCAS will start processing applications for entry in autumn 2018 from 1 September 2017.

Advisory closing date: 15 January 2018 (18:00).

Late applications are, in practice, accepted by UCAS throughout the remainder of the application cycle, but you should understand that they are considered by institutions at their discretion, and there can be no guarantee that they will be given the same full level of consideration as applications received by the advisory closing date.

Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.

The Institution code for Queen's is QBELF and the institution code is Q75.

Further information on applying to study at Queen's is available at: http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/How-to-apply/

Apply via UCAS
After an offer is made this will be notified to applicants through UCAS. Confirmation will be emailed by the Admissions and Access Service and this communication will also include Terms and Conditions (www.qub.ac.uk/Study/TermsandConditions) which applicants should read carefully in advance of replying to their offer(s) on UCAS Track.

Additional Information for International (non-EU) Students

  1. Applying through UCAS
    Most students make their applications through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for full-time undergraduate degree programmes at Queen's. The UCAS application deadline for international students is 30 June 2018.
  2. Applying direct
    The Direct Entry Application form is to be used by international applicants who wish to apply directly, and only, to Queen's or who have been asked to provide information in advance of submitting a formal UCAS application. Find out more.
  3. Applying through agents and partners
    The University’s in-country representatives can assist you to submit a UCAS application or a direct application. Please consult the Agent List to find an agent in your country who will help you with your application to Queen’s University.

Download a prospectus

Keywords

BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

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