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FD | Undergraduate

Biological Sciences

Entry year
Entry requirements
2 years (Full Time)
UCAS code
  • Overview

    This programme aims to provide students with knowledge and understanding of scientific methods of enquiry and theoretical principles of biological sciences, including, where appropriate, the application of those principles in an employment context.

    Students studying the FdSci in Biological Sciences will develop understanding of:

    1. the relevance of biological sciences in the current economic environment
    2. the hierarchical nature of biological sciences ranging from molecular level to whole organism and species interactions
    3. the need for competence and dexterity in contemporary biological practical techniques and cognate disciplines
    4. a professional approach to work, study and lifelong learning

    This course is taught at Belfast Metropolitan College, Belfast.

    Biological Sciences Degree highlights

    This course is taught at Belfast Metropolitan College.

    Professional Accreditations

    • Graduates of the FdSci are eligible for Registered Science Technician (RSciTech) status, conferred by the Science Council and with appropriate CPD would be eligible for Registered Scientist status (RSci). The Society of Biology also confers varying levels of membership depending on qualifications and experience.

    Career Development

    • The FdSc is a new programme with the first graduates expected in July 2018. Our graduates in similar programmes 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.

    Brexit Advice

    Information on the implications of Brexit for prospective students.

  • Course content

    Course Structure

    Work PlacementBetween Year 1 and Year 2 there is a compulsory work-based placement for a duration of ten weeks. This will provide students with opportunities to apply the knowledge and skills acquired from Year 1 content; to develop important employability skills required for the employment market; and to benefit from being exposed to biological science practices.
    Year 1• Fundamentals of Science
    • Mathematical and Study Skills in Science
    • General Chemistry
    • Biochemistry
    • Biology
    Year 2• Biological Diversity and Evolution
    • Bioscience Practical and Analytical Skills
    • Food Biochemistry
    • Ecology and Environmental Biology
    • Molecular Biology and Genetics
    • Microbiology

    In addition to subject knowledge, modules aim to develop skills in critical, independent thought and management and decision making. Year 2 modules include applied topics which will allow students the opportunity to consider progression into a range of Honours degree courses.

    The modules introduce a wide range of up-to-date biological techniques including genetic manipulation, electron microscopy, physiological studies of living organisms and modern approaches to ecology and evolution.

    Learning and Teaching

    During the FD Biological Sciences, we provide 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.

    • Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:
      E-Learning technologies, lectures, practical classes, self-directed study, and work placement.


    The way in which you are assessed will vary according to the learning outcomes of each module. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction, and is available on our School website (

    • Most modules are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations.


    As students progress through the FdSc in Biological Sciences they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers. Students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work.

    • Feedback may be provided 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
    CC including Biology or Double Award Applied Science + GCSE Chemistry grade C/4 or GCSE Double Award Science grades CC/4,4 + GCSE Mathematics grade C/4.

    Note: It would be an advantage to have studied Chemistry beyond GCSE level.
    Irish leaving certificate requirements
    H3H4H4H4H4/H3H3H4H4 including grade H3 in Biology and H4 in Chemistry + if not offered at Higher Level then Ordinary Level grade O4 in Mathematics.

    If not offered at Higher Level then Ordinary Level Chemistry grade O4 would be considered.
    Access Course
    Successful completion of Access Course with an average of 65%. Must be a relevant Access Course normally including two Biology modules (Level 3) and one Chemistry module (Level 3). GCSE Mathematics grade C/4 or equivalent in Access Course.
    International Baccalaureate Diploma
    26-27 points overall including 5,4,4 at Higher Level including Biology + GCSE Chemistry grade C/4 or GCSE Double Award Science grades CC/4,4 + GCSE Mathematics grade C/4

    If not offered at Higher Level/GCSE then Standard Level grade 4 in Chemistry, English and Mathematics would be accepted.
    BTEC Level 3 Extended/National Extended Diploma
    QCF Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Applied Science (180 credits) with 9 Merits and 9 Passes (a minimum grade may be stipulated in relevant units) + GCSE Biology and Chemistry grade C/4 or GCSE Double Award Science grades CC/4,4 + GCSE Mathematics grade C/4.

    RQF Level 3 BTEC National Extended Diploma in Applied Science (1080 Guided Learning Hours (GLH)), with 540 GLH at Merit (a minimum of 240 GLH in externally assessed units) and 540 GLH at Pass (a minimum grade may be stipulated in relevant units) + GCSE Biology and Chemistry grade C/4 or GCSE Double Award Science grades CC/4,4 + GCSE Mathematics grade C/4.

    Selection Criteria

    In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance below on 'How we choose our students' prior to submitting your UCAS application.

    Applications are dealt with centrally by the Admissions and Access Service rather than by 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. Decisions are made on an ongoing basis and will be notified to you via UCAS.

    A minimum of five GCSE passes at grade C/4 or better (to include English Language and Mathematics) would be required, 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 two A-levels. The offer for repeat applicants is the same standard as for first time applicants. Grades may be held from the previous year.

    Applicants offering other qualifications will also be considered. The same GCSE profile is usually expected of those applicants offering other qualifications.

    The information provided in the personal statement section and the academic reference together with predicted grades are noted but, in the case of the Foundation Degree in 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. However, the grade achieved could be taken into account if necessary in August/September.

    Applicants are not normally asked to attend for interview.

    If you are made an offer then you may be invited to a Faculty/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 (, 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:

    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.

    As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be offering Academic English and Pre-sessional courses online only from June to September 2020.

    • Academic English: 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

    The FdSc is a new programme with the first graduates expected in July 2018. Our graduates in similar programmes 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.

    Successful students will be eligible to apply for Year 2 (Stage 2) of the BSc (Hons) in Biological Sciences provided they meet certain academic criteria. Students who have successfully completed the Foundation Degree may also have the opportunity to study different (full) degrees.

    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

    Northern Ireland (NI) £3,020
    England, Scotland or Wales (GB) £6,167
    Other (non-UK) EU * TBC
    International £11,600

    The undergraduate fees for 2021 entry are set out above.

    * The tuition fees that EU students starting courses at UK universities following the agreed transition period are required to pay will depend on what is agreed as part of the UK's exit negotiations. Please refer to It is however expected that there will be a specific arrangements put in place for RoI nationals living in the UK and Ireland and those with pre-settled and settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

    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.

    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

    There are no specific additional course costs associated with this programme.

    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


    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



  • Apply

    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:

    When to Apply
    UCAS will start processing applications for entry in autumn 2021 from 1 September 2020.

    Advisory closing date: 15 January 2021 (18:00). This is the 'equal consideration' deadline for this course.

    Applications from UK and EU students after this date are, in practice, considered by Queen’s for entry to this course throughout the remainder of the application cycle (30 June 2021) subject to the availability of places.

    Applications from International (non-UK/EU) students are normally considered by Queen’s for entry to this course until 30 June 2021. If you apply for 2021 entry after this deadline, you will automatically be entered into Clearing.

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

    Further information on applying to study at Queen's is available at:

    Apply via UCAS

    Terms and Conditions

    The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study. Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions.

    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 2021.
    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


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Biological Sciences

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