Biological Sciences BSc (Hons)

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Gold award

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Gold award

Our commitment to high quality teaching has been recognised with a TEF Gold rating. The University has received an overall rating of Gold, as well as securing a Gold award in the framework's two new student experience and student outcomes categories.

Why choose this course?

Biological sciences form the basis of many new areas of science and technology. They are the foundation of our understanding of a diverse range of subjects – from evolution, genetics and diversity to medicine, drug and human development.

On this course, you can choose to study human, medical or genetics and molecular biology.

Practical work includes a laboratory and/or field-based project, a data project or a systematic review. Project work might be based in a laboratory or organisation outside the University. You'll gain the knowledge, techniques and skills you need to boost your employability, ready for when you graduate.

Attendance UCAS code/apply Year of entry
3 years full time C111 2024
4 years full time including sandwich year C100 2024
4 years full time including foundation year C118 2024
6 years part time Apply direct to the University 2024
Location Penrhyn Road

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • This degree is accredited by the Royal Society of Biology (RSB). Once you graduate, you'll receive one year's free membership, helping you to network and keep you up to date with developments in life sciences.
  • You can choose to take a four-year sandwich degree, with a year's overseas study or an industrial placement to give you a career head start.
  • 100% of students thought staff were good at explaining things (NSS 2023).
  • Through option modules you can tailor your degree to suit your interests and career goals.

What you will study

Year 1: common to all streams

Year 2: stream-specific modules

Year 3: stream-specific modules

Year 1 is common to all streams of this biological sciences degree - human biology, medical biology, and genetics and molecular biology - as well as a number of other degrees. It has been designed to give you a thorough understanding of the core subjects within life sciences and provides a measure of flexibility between courses.

Core modules

Genes, Cells and Tissues

30 credits

This module introduces you to basic cell biology of prokaryotes and eukaryotes, molecular, organismal and population genetics, germ layers and basic tissue types in the human body, and a variety of microorganisms. Core factual material is provided in keynote lectures and supported via material available via StudySpace. Laboratory practicals give you the opportunity to learn selected current techniques used to study cells, tissues, chromosomes and microbial organisms. The module provides an essential introduction to modules at levels 5 and 6 that develops further knowledge in cell biology, anatomy, physiology, genetics and microbiology.

The Biochemical Foundations of Life

30 credits

Learn how the building blocks of life work together to create complex molecules that sustain us. Explore the role of proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids in our bodies, and how they are broken down and used for energy.

Scientific and Laboratory Skills

30 credits

This first year module provides a firm foundation in general scientific and laboratory skills that students require to successfully complete their programmes of study. Students are introduced to the nature of studying in higher education, the need for effective time management and planning of work, the appropriate use of information sources, and to sources of information relating to careers in the biosciences. Scientific analytical and lab/practical skills are developed, together with essential mathematics and statistical skills for life scientists. A significant component of the module consists of the development of basic research skills such as practical skills in the laboratory, the principles of experimental design and the statistical analysis of data.

Human Physiology

30 credits

Understand how the human body works and how nutrition affects our health. Explore the fundamental physiological concepts behind topics such as homeostasis, cellular communication, and the movement of molecules through body compartments.

You will also cover the main physiological systems of the body, including the nervous, muscle, endocrine, respiratory, cardiovascular, renal, and of course, the digestive, systems.

In Year 2, you will follow the modules within your chosen specialism (Human Biology, Medical Biology or Genetics and Molecular Biology). You will develop your knowledge, techniques and practical skills, as well as additional transferable and employability skills. A course specific core module will integrate subject-specific knowledge and develop your skills in preparation for your final-year research project.

All students are encouraged to identify opportunities for work experience during the course, which may be through an optional sandwich year taken between Years 2 and 3. Alternate opportunities within the University may become available such as acting as a student ambassador.

Human Biology route: Core modules

Health and Exercise Physiology

30 credits

This module covers the acute and chronic physiological changes caused by exercise, giving you an understanding of cardio-respiratory health. You will learn to link exercise physiology to performance. You will understand the role of exercise and physical activity as a prescription therapy to clinical diseases. This module will further develop your understanding by equipping you with the scientific skills to monitor and assess health, fitness and performance.

Proteins and Metabolism

30 credits

Learn about the structure and function of proteins, including enzymes. Explore how organisms obtain and use energy, from a molecular level to how these processes help in the regulation of health and disease.

Research Methods and Concepts in Evolutionary Biology

30 credits

This is a core module for students studying all routes of the Biological Sciences.  It aims to develop the scientific, academic and research skills that were introduced at level 4, and to relate applications of these skills to study and research in evolutionary biology and how this is associated with all elements of biological sciences.  Research methods and employability skills are taught within the context of biology, evolution, genetics and molecular biology and associated employment.  You will be introduced to the fundamental concepts of evolution, the role of molecular biology to investigate natural populations and biodiversity, evolutionary genomics and genetics, molecular basis of speciation, phylogenetics and the application of molecular analytical techniques in the context of environmental and medical problems. These subjects are further examined in terms of the latest knowledge, techniques and research in modern evolutionary theory.  You will gain a range of practical skills including molecular laboratory methods and bioinformatics.

Medical Biology route: Core modules

Proteins and Metabolism

30 credits

This module is core in the Biochemistry, Biological Sciences (Human Biology, Medical Biology, Genetics and Molecular Biology routes) and Nutrition (Human Nutrition). It is also an option module for Biomedical Science. The module provides students with knowledge of the structure and methods of analysis of proteins, with particular emphasis on enzymes. This is followed by the study of the major catabolic and anabolic pathways and investigates how organisms obtain and use energy. These processes, and their regulation in health and disease, are considered at the molecular level, which involves many proteins including enzymes.

Infection and Immunity

30 credits

Discover how the human body fights infection. Learn about the different types of microorganisms that can cause disease and how our immune system works and protects us from disease. This knowledge will help prepare you for topics covered in more detail in your final year such as food microbiology, food allergy, and probiotics and to discuss the proposed role of specific nutrients, such as vitamin D, on the immune system (e.g., in respiratory disease and COVID-19).

Pathobiology

30 credits

This module discusses cellular mechanisms of disease. In addition it considers the role of cellular pathology in the context of other pathology disciplines such as Clinical Pathology. Particular emphasis is given to laboratory aspects of cellular injury and their application in routine diagnosis. The module is delivered through lectures, tutorials, poster presentation, practicals and demonstrations. Core factual material is provided via Canvas with keynote lectures used to explain concepts. Teaching and practical session are supported by online pathology material.

Research Methods and Concepts in Evolutionary Biology

30 credits

This is a core module for students studying all routes of the Biological Sciences.  It aims to develop the scientific, academic and research skills that were introduced at level 4, and to relate applications of these skills to study and research in evolutionary biology and how this is associated with all elements of biological sciences.  Research methods and employability skills are taught within the context of biology, evolution, genetics and molecular biology and associated employment.  You will be introduced to the fundamental concepts of evolution, the role of molecular biology to investigate natural populations and biodiversity, evolutionary genomics and genetics, molecular basis of speciation, phylogenetics and the application of molecular analytical techniques in the context of environmental and medical problems. These subjects are further examined in terms of the latest knowledge, techniques and research in modern evolutionary theory.  You will gain a range of practical skills including molecular laboratory methods and bioinformatics.

Genetics and Molecular Biology route: Core modules

Proteins and Metabolism

30 credits

Learn about the structure and function of proteins, including enzymes. Explore how organisms obtain and use energy, from a molecular level to how these processes help in the regulation of health and disease.

Pathobiology

30 credits

This module discusses cellular mechanisms of disease. In addition it considers the role of cellular pathology in the context of other pathology disciplines such as Clinical Pathology. Particular emphasis is given to laboratory aspects of cellular injury and their application in routine diagnosis. The module is delivered through lectures, tutorials, poster presentation, practicals and demonstrations. Core factual material is provided via Canvas with keynote lectures used to explain concepts. Teaching and practical session are supported by online pathology material.

Molecular Biology of the Cell

30 credits

This is a core module taken by student in the fields of Biochemistry, Biological Sciences (Genetics and Molecular Biology route), Pharmacology, and is an option module taken by Biomedical Science and Biological Sciences (General route)

The module builds on topics covered in LS4001 (Genes, Cells and Tissues) and explores more advanced concepts in cell and molecular biology. The module provides insight into the structure and function of cells, and takes an integrated approach to looking at how cells respond to changes in their environment - from receptor interactions and intracellular signalling pathways through to the regulation of gene expression and changes in cellular processes.

Formal lectures are supported by laboratory classes, tutorials, workshops, independent study and further resources available on Canvas. The module also includes opportunities to develop both data-handling and written skills.

Research Methods and Concepts in Evolutionary Biology

30 credits

This is a core module for students studying all routes of the Biological Sciences.  It aims to develop the scientific, academic and research skills that were introduced at level 4, and to relate applications of these skills to study and research in evolutionary biology and how this is associated with all elements of biological sciences.  Research methods and employability skills are taught within the context of biology, evolution, genetics and molecular biology and associated employment.  You will be introduced to the fundamental concepts of evolution, the role of molecular biology to investigate natural populations and biodiversity, evolutionary genomics and genetics, molecular basis of speciation, phylogenetics and the application of molecular analytical techniques in the context of environmental and medical problems. These subjects are further examined in terms of the latest knowledge, techniques and research in modern evolutionary theory.  You will gain a range of practical skills including molecular laboratory methods and bioinformatics.

Human Biology route: Optional modules

Sport and Exercise Psychology

30 credits

Infection and Immunity

30 credits

Discover how the human body fights infection. Learn about the different types of microorganisms that can cause disease and how our immune system works and protects us from disease. This knowledge will help prepare you for topics covered in more detail in your final year such as food microbiology, food allergy, and probiotics and to discuss the proposed role of specific nutrients, such as vitamin D, on the immune system (e.g., in respiratory disease and COVID-19).

In Year 3, you will examine more advanced and applied aspects within your subject area. You will also undertake an independent project - this provides an opportunity to research a topic of your choice within your specialism as either a laboratory-based project or a library-based dissertation.

Medical Biology route: Core modules

Current Concepts in Biomolecular Science

30 credits

This module is a core requirement for students taking Biochemistry, Biological Sciences (Environmental Biology; Medical Biology; Genetics and Molecular Biology), Medical Biochemistry, and Pharmacology.

This module will provide you with insights into the scientific basis of recent technological advances in biomolecular science through selected examples of contemporary scientific research and their impact on society. It will build on key knowledge, consolidated at Levels 5 and 6, to demonstrate the application of theory to current research, developments in bioindustry and the effect of advancements on society. The scientific areas selected are designed to stimulate topical debate and are blended as a series of lectures, seminars, tutorials and practicals. The interaction of science and the media, public engagement, and how these can guide scientific policy will also be discussed together with the challenges facing today's bioindustry, including the role of intellectual property rights, bioethics and enterprise. Employability and enterprise are embedded to develop your scientific and professional skills.

Project (Bioscience)

30 credits

You will complete your own independent research project, with the guidance of an academic supervisor. There are several types of projects you can choose from, such as a laboratory or field-based project, data projects involving acquisition of data and information from surveys, questionnaires, computer simulations or bioinformatics, or a systematic review of research literature that includes the collection, comparison and original presentation of reported research data.

You will review and critically evaluate qualitative and quantitative data to predict and answer a research question, and produce a written report.

Medical Parasitology

30 credits

This module is a core module for students studying Biological Sciences (Medical Biology) and is an option for those studying Biological Sciences (Human Biology). The module is also an option for Forensic Biology and Medical Biochemistry. The module provides contemporary insight into human parasites of global importance, the diseases that they cause, and the role of vectors in transmission. Arthropod borne viruses (arboviruses) are also considered, particularly in the context of co-infection with human parasites. The epidemiology of parasitic disease, morbidity, mortality and socioeconomic impacts are discussed, with an emphasis on recent advances in control measures. The module is delivered through research-informed teaching; practical laboratory sessions form an essential compliment to lectures and tutorials, demonstrating methods of diagnosis of parasitic disease and identification of vectors.

Human Biology route: Core modules

Drugs, Brain and Behaviour

30 credits

This research-driven module will provide a thorough background in the fields of neurophysiology and neuropharmacology and introduce a range of current topics in neuroscience, selected from such areas as cellular and molecular neurobiology, sensory and motor systems, cognitive neuroscience and degenerative neuropathologies. You will experience current research techniques and learn to critically evaluate and discuss different ways of studying the brain.

Project (Bioscience)

30 credits

You will complete your own independent research project, with the guidance of an academic supervisor. There are several types of projects you can choose from, such as a laboratory or field-based project, data projects involving acquisition of data and information from surveys, questionnaires, computer simulations or bioinformatics, or a systematic review of research literature that includes the collection, comparison and original presentation of reported research data.

You will review and critically evaluate qualitative and quantitative data to predict and answer a research question, and produce a written report.

Genetics and Molecular Biology route: Core modules

Molecular Genetics and Bioinformatics

30 credits

This module is a core requirement for students taking Biochemistry and Biological Sciences (Genetics & Molecular Biology route), and may be taken as an option by Forensic Biology and Pharmacology students.

This module introduces you to the processes involved in maintaining genome stability, causing genome variability and controlling the coding potential of the genome. Mutation, recombination and transposition, and the interplay between them, are examined as causes of genome instability. The impact of genome instability/change upon gene expression, and its control, links these two main themes of the module. The module also introduces you to bioinformatics and sequence analysis. The use of sequence databases and analysis tools permits the analysis of gene/genome variability, along with the patterns of variability and conservation of sequences. This strand of the module gives an introduction to an area of increasing importance in many areas of bioscience research, including molecular diagnostics and drug development.

Core factual material is provided via lectures, including demonstrations of the databases and analysis tools in the case of the bioinformatics elements, with additional resources being placed on Canvas. Over 50% of the teaching time in the module is spent on computer and laboratory practical work.

Project (Bioscience)

30 credits

You will complete your own independent research project, with the guidance of an academic supervisor. There are several types of projects you can choose from, such as a laboratory or field-based project, data projects involving acquisition of data and information from surveys, questionnaires, computer simulations or bioinformatics, or a systematic review of research literature that includes the collection, comparison and original presentation of reported research data.

You will review and critically evaluate qualitative and quantitative data to predict and answer a research question, and produce a written report.

Current Concepts in Biomolecular Science

30 credits

This module is a core requirement for students taking Biochemistry, Biological Sciences (Environmental Biology; Medical Biology; Genetics and Molecular Biology), Medical Biochemistry, and Pharmacology.

This module will provide you with insights into the scientific basis of recent technological advances in biomolecular science through selected examples of contemporary scientific research and their impact on society. It will build on key knowledge, consolidated at Levels 5 and 6, to demonstrate the application of theory to current research, developments in bioindustry and the effect of advancements on society. The scientific areas selected are designed to stimulate topical debate and are blended as a series of lectures, seminars, tutorials and practicals. The interaction of science and the media, public engagement, and how these can guide scientific policy will also be discussed together with the challenges facing today's bioindustry, including the role of intellectual property rights, bioethics and enterprise. Employability and enterprise are embedded to develop your scientific and professional skills.

Medical Biology route: Optional modules

Chemotherapy of Infectious and Neoplastic Diseases

30 credits

This is a core module for Pharmacology and an option for other Life Science degree courses, namely Biological Sciences (Medical Biology route) and Biochemistry.

This module provides an opportunity to learn about the various chemotherapeutic agents used in the treatment of both infectious and neoplastic disease. Treatments for infectious diseases will cover drugs that have actions on bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites, while the neoplastic disease therapy will include a range of different cancers, including both solid and blood cancers. The lectures will focus on the mode of action, side effects and mechanisms of resistance of both antimicrobials and anti-cancer drugs.

Clinical Chemistry and Haematology (Blood Sciences)

30 credits

You will evaluate the contribution of laboratory investigations to the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease in key areas such as renal disease, diabetes, anaemia, and haematological malignancies. Topics are introduced through a structured lecture series and further explored in practical laboratory sessions. Case histories are used to illustrate current best practice, reinforced by keynote lectures from expert practitioners in the field.

Clinical Immunology and Medical Microbiology

30 credits

This module expands your knowledge gained from the second year module Infection and Immunity. You will learn about diseases caused by overactive immunity (e.g. autoimmune disease and hypersensitivity), immune deficiency (e.g. AIDS), cancer immunology, monoclonal antibodies, and laboratory diagnostics. You will also study selected infectious diseases and their laboratory diagnosis in-depth, using an organ system approach, e.g., infections of the respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract, and urinary tract.

Human Biology route: Optional modules

Medical Parasitology

30 credits

This module is a core module for students studying Biological Sciences (Medical Biology) and is an option for those studying Biological Sciences (Human Biology). The module is also an option for Forensic Biology and Medical Biochemistry. The module provides contemporary insight into human parasites of global importance, the diseases that they cause, and the role of vectors in transmission. Arthropod borne viruses (arboviruses) are also considered, particularly in the context of co-infection with human parasites. The epidemiology of parasitic disease, morbidity, mortality and socioeconomic impacts are discussed, with an emphasis on recent advances in control measures. The module is delivered through research-informed teaching; practical laboratory sessions form an essential compliment to lectures and tutorials, demonstrating methods of diagnosis of parasitic disease and identification of vectors.

Contemporary Issues in Food and Nutrition

30 credits

Extreme Environments and Ergogenic Aids

30 credits

Explore the wide range of environmental influences that impact on humans when exercising or competing in sport.

You will learn and experience the physiological reactions to environmental stresses such as heat and altitude, and understand methods of acclimatisation or coping.

This module also examines nutritional supplementation and prohibited methods to enhance physical performance, including a focus on current regulation and policies and the attitudes, values and behaviours that may precipitate doping and the consequences of doping in sport.

Genetics and Molecular Biology route: Optional modules

Drugs, Brain and Behaviour

30 credits

This research-driven module will provide a thorough background in the fields of neurophysiology and neuropharmacology and introduce a range of current topics in neuroscience, selected from such areas as cellular and molecular neurobiology, sensory and motor systems, cognitive neuroscience and degenerative neuropathologies. You will experience current research techniques and learn to critically evaluate and discuss different ways of studying the brain.

Current Concepts in Biomolecular Science

30 credits

This module is a core requirement for students taking Biochemistry, Biological Sciences (Environmental Biology; Medical Biology; Genetics and Molecular Biology), Medical Biochemistry, and Pharmacology.

This module will provide you with insights into the scientific basis of recent technological advances in biomolecular science through selected examples of contemporary scientific research and their impact on society. It will build on key knowledge, consolidated at Levels 5 and 6, to demonstrate the application of theory to current research, developments in bioindustry and the effect of advancements on society. The scientific areas selected are designed to stimulate topical debate and are blended as a series of lectures, seminars, tutorials and practicals. The interaction of science and the media, public engagement, and how these can guide scientific policy will also be discussed together with the challenges facing today's bioindustry, including the role of intellectual property rights, bioethics and enterprise. Employability and enterprise are embedded to develop your scientific and professional skills.

Please note

Optional modules only run if there is enough demand. If we have an insufficient number of students interested in an optional module, that module will not be offered for this course.

Foundation year

If you would like to study one of our science degrees at Kingston University but are not yet ready to join the first year of a BSc (Hons) course, you can include an extra foundation year within your chosen degree. Please see the science foundation year course page for details of modules.

Future Skills

Knowledge to give you the edge

Embedded within every course curriculum and throughout the whole Kingston experience, Future Skills will play a role in shaping you to become a future-proof graduate, providing you with the skills most valued by employers such as problem-solving, digital competency, and adaptability.

As you progress through your degree, you'll learn to navigate, explore and apply these graduate skills, learning to demonstrate and articulate to employers how future skills give you the edge.

At Kingston University, we're not just keeping up with change, we're creating it.

A female engineering student, in the engineering lab.

Entry requirements

Typical offer 2024

  • 112–128 UCAS points from a minimum of two A-levels or equivalent Level 3 qualifications; Degree with foundation year 64.
  • A-levels to include Biology/Applied Biology at grade C or above; two science A-levels are desirable which include Mathematics, Physics, Psychology, Geography, Sociology or Statistics. However, those completing A-level Biology and A-levels in non-science subjects will still be considered. We also count Bioscience Extended Project towards your UCAS points total. General Studies not accepted.

Alternatively, BTEC Extended Diploma in appropriate Science subject with grades DMM - DDM.

Additional requirements

Entry on to this course does not require an interview, entrance test, audition or portfolio.

Alternative routes

We will consider a range of alternative Level 3 qualifications such as an Access Course in a relevant science subject, e.g. Biology, Science, Medicine and Medical and Biosciences, which has been passed with 112 UCAS points with a minimum of 21 Level 3 credits in Biology and/or Chemistry at a Merit grade.

Applications from those that have taken a Science foundation year will also be considered.

International

We welcome applications from International Applicants. View our standard entry requirements from your country.

All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirements. For this course it is Academic IELTS of 6.0, with no element below 5.5.

Country-specific information

You will find more information on country specific entry requirements in the International section of our website.

Find your country:

Typical offer and UCAS points explained

Like most universities, we use the UCAS Tariff point system for our course entry requirements.

Find out more about UCAS Tariff points and see how A-level, AS level, BTEC Diploma and T-level qualifications translate to the points system.

Teaching and assessment

Guided independent study (self-managed time)

When not attending timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for final assignments. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Academic support

Our academic support team here at Kingston University provides help in a range of areas.

Dedicated personal tutor

When you arrive, we'll introduce you to your personal tutor. This is the member of academic staff who will provide academic guidance, be a support throughout your time at Kingston and show you how to make the best use of all the help and resources that we offer at Kingston University.

Your workload: Human Biology route

Type of learning and teaching Human Biology

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 1
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 313 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 887 hours
Year 2
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 236 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 664 hours
Year 3
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 96 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 504 hours

Please note: the above breakdowns are a guide calculated on core modules only. Depending on optional modules chosen, this breakdown may change.

Your workload: Medical Biology route

Type of learning and teaching Medical Biology

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 1
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 313 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 887 hours
Year 2
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 298 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 902 hours
Year 3
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 170 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 730 hours

Please note: the above breakdowns are a guide calculated on core modules only. Depending on optional modules chosen, this breakdown may change.

Your workload: Genetics and Molecular Biology route

Type of learning and teaching Genetics and Molecular Biology

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 1
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 313 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 887 hours
Year 2
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 299 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 901 hours
Year 3
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 180 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 720 hours

Please note: the above breakdowns are a guide calculated on core modules only. Depending on optional modules chosen, this breakdown may change.

How you will be assessed: Human Biology route

Type of assessment

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 1
  • Coursework: 30%
  • Practical: 28%
  • Exams: 42%
Year 2
  • Coursework: 47%
  • Practical: 36%
  • Exams: 17%
Year 3
  • Coursework: 30%
  • Practical: 20%
  • Exams: 50%

Please note: the above breakdowns are a guide calculated on core modules only. Depending on optional modules chosen, this breakdown may change.

How you will be assessed: Medical Biology route

Type of assessment

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 1
  • Coursework: 30%
  • Practical: 28%
  • Exams: 42%
Year 2
  • Coursework: 41%
  • Practical: 19%
  • Exams: 40%
Year 3
  • Coursework: 35%
  • Practical: 10%
  • Exams: 55%

Please note: the above breakdowns are a guide calculated on core modules only. Depending on optional modules chosen, this breakdown may change.

How you will be assessed: Genetics and Molecular Biology route

Type of assessment

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 1
  • Coursework: 30%
  • Practical: 28%
  • Exams: 42%
Year 2
  • Coursework: 49%
  • Practical: 13%
  • Exams: 38%
Year 3
  • Coursework: 28%
  • Practical: 22%
  • Exams: 50%

Please note: the above breakdowns are a guide calculated on core modules only. Depending on optional modules chosen, this breakdown may change.

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Your timetable

Your individualised timetable is normally available to students within 48 hours of enrolment. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled learning and teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9am and 6pm. For undergraduate students, Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities, but there may be occasions when this is not possible. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.

Class sizes

To give you an indication of class sizes, this course normally enrols 30 students and lecture sizes are normally 30­-325­.  However this can vary by module and academic year.

Who teaches this course?

This course is delivered by the School of Life Sciences, Pharmacy and Chemistry.

The School of Life Sciences, Pharmacy and Chemistry offers an outstanding and diverse portfolio of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in biological and biomedical sciences, chemistry, forensic science, pharmacy, pharmacological and pharmaceutical sciences, and sport science and nutrition.

We've invested heavily in the development of new facilities including laboratories for teaching and research to provide students with access to ultra-modern equipment in a wide range of teaching facilities.

Postgraduate students may run or assist in lab sessions and may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader.

Facilities

There is a wide range of facilities for practical work at our Penrhyn Road campus, where this course is based. You will have access to a modern environment with the latest equipment, including:

  • the £9.8 million Eadweard Muybridge building with state-of the art laboratories;
  • an exercise physiology and biomechanics lab;
  • modern applied biology and chemistry laboratories
  • specialist equipment, such as electron microscopes and spectrometers;
  • computing laboratories and a team of IT technicians to offer assistance; and
  • a newly refurbished state-of-the-art nutrition kitchen.

The Library offers:

  • subject libraries, plus a free inter-library loan scheme to other libraries in the Greater London area;
  • online database subscriptions; and
  • a growing selection of resource material.

Accreditation

This course has been accredited by the Royal Society of Biology for 2019 entry. Kingston University graduates from this programme will receive one year's free membership of the Royal Society of Biology.

The Royal Society of Biology is the leading professional body for the biological sciences in the United Kingdom. The Society represents more than 16,000 biologists from all areas of the life sciences, as well as more than 100 organisations which make up the diverse landscape of biology in the UK and overseas. The Royal Society of Biology offers members unique opportunities to engage with the life sciences and share their passion for biology.

Whichever area of biology you wish to gain a career in, membership will help you:

  • stay up to date with what is happening across the life sciences;
  • gain additional recognition for your skills and experience;
  • develop your professional network; and
  • demonstrate your support for the future of biology.

Course fees and funding

2024/25 fees for this course

The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a 'Home' (UK), 'Islands' or 'International' student. In 2024/25 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category Amount
Home (UK students) £9,250*
Foundation Year: £9,250
International

Year 1 (2024/25): £17,800
Year 2 (2025/26): £18,500
Year 3 (2026/27): £19,200
Year 4 (2027/28): £20,100

For courses with a sandwich year, the fee for the placement year can be viewed on the undergraduate fees table. The placement fee published is for the relevant academic year stated in the table. This fee is subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body.

* For full-time programmes of a duration of more than one academic year, the published fee is an annual fee, payable each year, for the duration of the programme. Your annual tuition fees cover your first attempt at all of the modules necessary to complete that academic year. A re-study of any modules will incur additional charges calculated by the number of credits. Home tuition fees may be subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body. Full-time taught International fees are subject to an annual increase and are published in advance for the full duration of the programme.

Eligible UK students can apply to the Government for a tuition loan, which is paid direct to the University. This has a low interest-rate which is charged from the time the first part of the loan is paid to the University until you have repaid it.

2023/24 fees for this course

The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a 'Home' (UK), 'Islands' or 'International' student. In 2023/24 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category Amount
Home (UK students) £9,250*
Foundation Year: £9,250
International

Year 1 (2023/24): £15,800
Year 2 (2024/25): £16,200
Year 3 (2025/26): £16,600
Year 4 (2026/27): £17,000

For courses with a sandwich year, the fee for the placement year can be viewed on the undergraduate fees table. The placement fee published is for the relevant academic year stated in the table. This fee is subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body.

* For full-time programmes of a duration of more than one academic year, the published fee is an annual fee, payable each year, for the duration of the programme. Your annual tuition fees cover your first attempt at all of the modules necessary to complete that academic year. A re-study of any modules will incur additional charges calculated by the number of credits. Home tuition fees may be subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body. Full-time taught International fees are subject to an annual increase and are published in advance for the full duration of the programme.

Eligible UK students can apply to the Government for a tuition loan, which is paid direct to the University. This has a low interest-rate which is charged from the time the first part of the loan is paid to the University until you have repaid it.

Note for EU students: UK withdrawal from the European Union

The Government has recently announced that new students from the European Union and Swiss Nationals starting their course after August 2021 will no longer be eligible for a student loan in England for Undergraduate or Postgraduate studies from the 2021/22 academic year. This decision only applies to new EU students starting after 2021/22. If you are an existing/continuing EU student, you will continue to be funded until you graduate or withdraw from your course.

Need to know more?

Our undergraduate fees and funding section provides information and advice on money matters.

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs that are not covered by tuition fees which students will need to consider when planning their studies. Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, access to shared IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.

Textbooks

Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to buy your own copy of key textbooks; this can cost between £50 and £250 per year.

Computer equipment

There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in halls of residence. Free WiFi is available on each campus. You may wish to purchase your own computer, which can cost between £100 and £3,000 depending on your course requirements.

Photocopying and printing

In the majority of cases, written coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing, binding and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees, this may cost up to £100 per year.

Travel

Travel costs are not included in your tuition fees but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses, Surbiton train station, Kingston upon Thames train station, Norbiton train station and halls of residence.

Placements

If the placement year option is chosen, during this year travel costs will vary according to the location of the placement, and could be from £0 to £2,000.

Field trips

All field trips that are compulsory to attend to complete your course are paid for by the University. There may be small fees incurred for optional field trips such as travel costs and refreshments.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Kingston University will supply you with a lab coat and safety goggles at the start of the year.

After you graduate

This degree can lead to careers in the pharmaceutical, medical, food, biotech and veterinary industries, as well as teaching and research.

Examples of graduate destinations

Types of jobs

  • Bio technician
  • Scientific officer
  • Account manager
  • Quality control technician
  • Research assistant

Employers

  • Institute of Cancer Research
  • Cancer Research UK
  • Isologen
  • Kingston Hospital NHS Trust
  • Wellcome Trust
  • Natural History Museum
  • Kew Gardens

Employability preparation at Kingston University

In addition to building expertise in your own discipline, our courses will also help you to develop key transferable skills that you'll need for professional life or further study once you graduate.

As well as a range of careers and employability activities at Kingston, we also offer you the chance to apply and develop your skills in live contexts as an integral part of your course. Opportunities include:

  • placements;
  • working or studying abroad;
  • volunteering;
  • peer mentoring roles; and
  • internship opportunities within and outside the University.

In your final year, you'll get the opportunity to complete a major 'capstone' project where you can apply the knowledge and skills you have acquired to a range of real issues in different contexts. This is a great way to learn and is a valuable bridge to employment or further research at masters level.

Courses available after you graduate

If you decide that you would like to go on to postgraduate study after your undergraduate course, we offer a 10% discount on our postgraduate course tuition fees to our alumni.

What our students say

My first year included a broad study of biological sciences that helped lay the foundation of biology for everyone, regardless of educational background. There were areas I was secure with and others I gave more attention to (chemistry is not my forte). However, alongside studies there was plenty of time to socialise and explore university culture. I would definitely recommend engaging with as much as possible and with as many people as possible. I became an active member of the drama society; I was content to find like-minded people at the weekly sessions.

Second year modules contained some difficult material and I wish I had asked more questions. I found lecturers actually enjoyed answering questions especially in relation to student assignments and I'd urge everyone to talk to them, email them, and even fax them in a timely manner if needed. I also started to read papers to get into the scientific atmosphere and delve deeper into neuroscience, a topic I was passionate about. I became treasurer and then president of the drama society I'd joined in the first year and although it may have taken a little too much of my time, it was a responsibility I took up with pleasure.

Choosing my third year modules let me follow my specialised interest of neuroscience (I loved the brain and behaviour module). I learned to start early with everything, especially the dissertation, reviewing my writing to ensure it was closer to material I'd like to read myself. I learned a valuable lesson in reprioritising my time and when I could do that I felt I had deserved time with my friends during my final year."

Rahul Batra, Biological Sciences BSc(Hons) (Human Biology)

I am from Germany and decided to work in England and study the language for a year before starting university in Germany. However, I really enjoyed being here so decided to stay.

I chose this joint honours combination because I have had a passion for biology since I was little. But these days, science is not just about research - it's also about applying business knowledge. The business modules enable me to focus my research on areas of demand.

I chose to study at Kingston because I really enjoyed its open day; everyone was very helpful and friendly. In addition, the University has one of the best ratings for teaching life science modules. I've since found that I really enjoy living in Kingston. It is a very nice place to study, especially since the river is only a few minutes' walk from the University.

Studying so many different subjects makes the course very exciting. It never gets boring. In general I like the style of teaching, especially since I am now in my final year and everyone seems very familiar. I really enjoy the laboratory work - even though I am not very practical and a couple of things have gone wrong! The business course is a challenge because I am more scientific so I need to work harder at these modules. However, I have always managed to get good grades.

For my placement year, I worked in the clinical dictionary department of a pharmaceutical company. I learnt how to code medical and drug terminology, and about different diseases, drugs and chemicals, which will definitely benefit me. It was a fantastic experience.

I am no longer scared of getting a job after university - instead I am now really looking forward to graduating. I think the placement has opened a lot of opportunities for me and I feel really motivated to finish my degree successfully."

Sandra Machlitt, Biology with Business BSc(Hons) sandwich course

How we work with industry partners

St George's, University of London

There is the possibility of visiting St George's, University of London for Year 3 project work during your degree.

What our graduates say

I initially embarked upon a pharmacy degree, but decided I preferred biology. I chose to transfer to Kingston as I was impressed with the facilities available. Before enrolling, I had a discussion with the course director who showed me around. His enthusiasm for both biology and Kingston University aided my decision. In addition, I knew other people who had attended the University and spoke very highly of it.

I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of my studies. The degree was hard work and I did dedicate a lot of my time to it, but it always felt worthwhile. As the course was modular, I was able to study the subjects that I found interesting. The final year project takes a lot of motivation as you are required to study and research a topic on your own. But, as well as learning very valuable skills and discovering how to research, I was extremely pleased with the result I achieved.

Other highlights of my time at Kingston include helping to organise the end of degree party, which was an immense amount of fun. Also, I was a Peer Assisted Learning Leader (helping first year students academically), which made me feel like I was contributing to the University.

Following Kingston, I completed a Management of Intellectual Property MSc*. I had aspirations of becoming a patent attorney. However, once I embarked on the course, I realised I preferred trademark law. I am now a part-qualified trade mark attorney working in central London.

Charlotte Duly – Graduated 2003

Kingston offered a non-restrictive biology degree, which lets you choose to study the topics you are most interested in, but also gives you guidance so you don't select incompatible subjects. The open day I attended at the University made me feel welcome, and the town and train station were really convenient for student life and for going into London for those all-important shopping sprees!

I really enjoyed the course. The lecturers were fantastic and I made some wonderful friends. The lab work built my confidence and allowed me to become familiar with a variety of techniques. I enjoyed the modules I had chosen and they gave me a basic background in the area I went on to study and now work in. Although you don't really notice it, you also pick up a lot of practical skills, such as time management, organisation, punctuality and presentation skills.

My most memorable time was the final year summer project. I worked at the hospital at St George's, University of London. It was great fun. I had a really good supervisor, made some really good friends and it gave me an idea of what it would be like to work in a lab full-time.

The degree enabled me to progress onto a masters in immunology of infectious diseases and this helped me step into my first 'real' job. I am currently a researcher at Imperial College London for the Department of Immunology. I work for an Immunology group that looks at the immune response within leishmania, a parasitic disease. I'm really enjoying being here - the working environment is brilliant and the work is so interesting.

Beak-San Choi – Graduated 2004

Work placement year

How you can work in industry during your course

Placements:

  • provide work experience that is relevant to your course and future career
  • improve your chances of graduating with a higher-grade degree
  • enhance your CV
  • lead to a graduate job
  • enable you to earn a year's salary whilst studying (the vast majority of placements are paid)
  • help you to select your final-year project.

"To be successful, tomorrow's leaders will need to be far more rounded individuals than ever before. They will collaborate in pursuit of shared goals. They will guide, challenge and support...They will have an appetite for change and a hunger for continuous improvement, and they will have an ethos of learning and development..." Jeremy Darroch, Former Chief Executive, Sky.

"Doing a placement year effectively gives you one foot in the door of a future job and to stand out from the crowd... as well as enhancing my CV... and future interviews. It's a great motivator to be successful in my studies as it only serves to open even more doors and gain more skills." Placement student at Jagex Games Studios Ltd.

There is a lot of support available for students looking to secure a placement (e.g. a jobs board with placement vacancies, help with writing CVs and mock interviews). Getting a placement and passing the placement year are ultimately the student's responsibility.

Examples of placements

Placements can be with large multinational companies, international companies, local companies and small start-ups; offering a diverse range of posts. Here are some examples of employers and roles:

Construction-based placement employersConstruction-based placement roles 
RG Group
Multiplex
Costain
Willmott Dixon
Fluor
Assistant site manager
Assistant trades package manager
Assistant logistics manager
Health and safety officer
Construction engineer
Science-based placement employers Science-based placement roles
Reckitt and Benckiser
GSK
Drug Control Centre
Minton Treharne and Davies Ltd
Various local and international hospitals
Bioanalytical sciences
Lab assistant
Pharmacy assistant
Sports coach
Engineering-based placement employers Engineering-based placement roles
Airbus
BAM Nuttall
Nissan
Bosch
Wozair
Analysis of aircraft structure
Construction resources specialist
Site engineer assistant
Computing and IS-based placement employersComputing and IS-based placement roles
Disney
Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe
IBM
McKinsey
Intel
Database coordinator
Software developer
Website developer
App developer
Mathematics-based placement employersMathematics-based placement roles
Lloyds Banking Group
AXA
Allianz
PAU Education, Spain
Analyst
Investment solutions
Research analyst
Accounts assistant

Key information set

The scrolling banner(s) below display some key factual data about this course (including different course combinations or delivery modes of this course where relevant).

Course changes and regulations

The information on this page reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. To improve your student experience and the quality of your degree, we may review and change the material information of this course. Course changes explained.

Programme Specifications for the course are published ahead of each academic year.

Regulations governing this course can be found on our website.

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