Microbiology

Biology - BSc (Hons)
with a Year Abroad

Open Days 2022

Join us for an Open Day in 2022. Discover more about our courses, explore our facilities and discover why you belong at Kent.

Biology is the science of life and is at the forefront of social change, from the use of genetically-modified organisms to humanity’s effect on the environment, sustainable energy and food production. At Kent you'll gain the skills, knowledge and support to help build a better tomorrow.

Overview

As a biology student at Kent you study living organisms and their interactions with the environment, investigating life forms ranging from viruses and bacteria to complex animals and plants. You’ll learn from inspirational academics working at the cutting-edge of research with access to fantastic facilities.

Our Biology degree is accredited by the Royal Society of Biology (RBS).

Reasons to study Biology at Kent

  • Study a wide range of modules and build your degree around your interests.
  • Our lecturers are both innovative teachers and active researchers. Two of our academic staff have been awarded National Teaching Fellowships.
  • You'll get hands-on practical experiences in our fantastic laboratories - take a look around with current student Georgia.
  • Focus on your future with expert careers advice and the opportunity to take a paid Summer Studentship, giving you valuable hands-on experience in our research labs.
  • We collaborate with research groups in industry and academia and have excellent links with local employers, including the NHS, Lonza and Sekisui Diagnostics, Roche, Sanofi and Pfizer.
  • Get involved with science outside of the lab by joining Kent BioSoc.This student-run society holds a seminar series, academic talks, trips and social events.

What you'll learn

You’ll start by gaining an insight into key biological disciplines, including anthropology, biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, evolution, genetics, infection and immunity, microbiology, and the physiology of animals and plants. You’ll gain expertise in laboratory practical work and the analysis and presentation of biological data. Next you’ll build on this knowledge and develop your skills as a bioscientist, covering areas such as animal form and function, plant physiology and adaptation, gene expression, infection and immunity, and microbial physiology.

In your third year, you will study at one of our partner institutions abroad where, as well as Biology modules, you'll get the chance to study other topics that you may be interested in discovering.

In your final year, you will tailor your degree to your interests through optional modules and a research project of your choice, which may be laboratory, business, computing or communication based.

See the modules you'll study

Year abroad

Expand your horizons and tailor your degree to suit you with a year abroad, where you'll study at one of our partner institutions for a year. Studying abroad can help you grow in confidence, enhance your employability, plus you'll make friends in the country you're studying in and meet other adventurous students from around the world.

Alternatively, it's possible to work for a year in industry on our Biology with a Sandwich Year course, or you can take our three-year Biology degree, without a year abroad or a sandwich year.

Featured video

Watch to find out why you should study at Kent.

I’d love to be able to do a PhD at some point, I know I’ve still got a long way to go but my studies at Kent have given me a great start.

Emilio Aldorino - Biology with a Year Abroad

Entry requirements

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications, typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact the Admissions Office for further advice. It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

  • medal-empty

    A level

    BBC including Biology grade B or Double Award Applied Science at grade BB including the practical endorsement of any science qualifications taken

  • medal-empty GCSE

    Mathematics grade C

  • medal-empty Access to HE Diploma

    The University welcomes applications from Access to Higher Education Diploma candidates for consideration. A typical offer may require you to obtain a proportion of Level 3 credits in relevant science subjects at merit grade or above.

  • medal-empty BTEC Nationals

    The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF;OCR) on a case by case basis. Subjects likely to be acceptable are Applied Science, Biomedical Science and Medical Science. Typical offers when made are Distinction, Distinction, Merit. Please contact us via the enquiries tab for further advice on your individual circumstances.

  • medal-empty International Baccalaureate

    30 points overall or 15 points at HL including Biology 5 at HL or 6 at SL and Mathematics 4 at HL or SL

  • medal-empty International Foundation Programme

    Pass all components of the University of Kent International Foundation Programme with a 60% overall average including 60% in Skills for Bioscientists, Fundamentals of Human Biology and Life Sciences (plus 50% in LZ013 Maths and Statistics if you do not hold GCSE Maths at 4/C or equivalent).

  • medal-empty T level

    The University will consider applicants holding T level qualifications in subjects closely aligned to the course.

Please contact the School for more information at study-bio@kent.ac.uk.

If you are an international student, visit our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country, including details of the International Foundation Programmes. Please note that international fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

Please note that meeting the typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee that you will receive an offer.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you do not meet our English language requirements, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.

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Course structure

Duration: 4 years full-time

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  

On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘elective’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

Fees

The 2023/24 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  • Home full-time £9250
  • EU full-time £16400
  • International full-time £21900

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* 

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Fees for Year in Industry

Fees for Home undergraduates are £1,385.

Fees for Year Abroad

Fees for Home undergraduates are £1,385.

Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status.

Additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Funding

We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

Search scholarships

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. 

The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of A*AA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching includes lectures, laboratory classes, workshops, problem-solving sessions and tutorials. You have an Academic Adviser who you meet with at regular intervals to discuss your progress, and most importantly, to identify ways in which you can improve your work further so that you reach your full potential.

Most modules are assessed by a combination of continuous assessment and end-of-year exams. Exams take place at the end of the academic year and count for 50% or more of the module mark. Stage 1 assessments do not contribute to the final degree classification, but all stage 2 and 3 assessments do, meaning that your final degree award is an average of many different components. On average, 29% of your time is spent in an activity lead by an academic; the rest of your time is for independent study.

Contact hours

For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours.  The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • instil a sense of enthusiasm for the application of different methods and disciplines to biology, confront the scientific, moral and ethical issues raised and engage in critical assessment of the subject material covered
  • provide a broad and balanced foundation of the science that underpins general biology and methodology in a modern society. This includes a detailed knowledge of the biological techniques and methods of assay, analysis and examination used by biologists, together with the biomolecular and organismal knowledge required to understand life at all levels of complexity
  • provide a stimulating, research-active environment in which you are supported and motivated to achieve your academic and personal potential
  • educate you in the theoretical and practical aspects of biology
  • facilitate learning through a variety of teaching and assessment methods
  • give you the ability to undertake an independent research project
  • prepare you for further study, or training, and employment in biology and non-biology based careers, by developing your transferable and cognitive skills
  • develop the qualities needed for employment in situations requiring the exercise of professionalism, independent thought, personal responsibility and decision making in complex and unpredictable circumstances
  • allow you to study biology at a university abroad
  • experience and gain knowledge of the scientific working practices and culture of another country
  • provide access to as wide a range of students as practicable.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the chemistry that underlies biochemical reactions and the techniques used to investigate them
  • the principles that determine the three-dimensional structure of biological macromolecules and be able to explain detailed examples of how structure enables function
  • the molecular basis of genetics, and be able to explain some detailed examples
  • gene expression, with a detailed knowledge of specific examples: the structure, arrangement, expression, and regulation of genes and relevant experimental methods
  • a wide range of cells (prokaryotic and eukaryotic) and be able to explain critically how they develop, how their properties suit them for their biological function, and how they could be investigated experimentally
  • experimental methods for the investigation of relevant areas of biochemistry, organismal biology, ecology and molecular biology
  • the chemical and thermodynamic principles underlying biological catalysis and the role of enzymes and other proteins in determining the function and fate of cells and organisms
  • the analysis of the impact of external influences on growth, development and reproduction, and explain reproductive strategies
  • the interactions of structure and metabolic function at cellular and organismal levels
  • the significance of internal and external influences on the integration of metabolism for survival and health
  • the methods and principles underlying taxonomy and classification
  • the principles and processes governing interactions of organisms and their environment.

Intellectual skills

You gain the following intellectual abilities:

  • recognise and apply subject-specific theories, paradigms, concepts or principles. For example, the relationship between genes and proteins, or the nature of essential nutrients in microbes, cells, plants and animals
  • analyse, synthesise and summarise information critically, including published research or reports
  • obtain and integrate several lines of subject-specific evidence to formulate and test hypotheses
  • apply subject knowledge and understanding to address familiar and unfamiliar problems
  • recognise the moral and ethical issues of investigations and appreciate the need for ethical standards and professional codes of conduct.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in the following:

  • designing, planning, conducting and reporting on investigations, which may involve primary or secondary data such as from a survey database. Data may be obtained through individual or group projects; obtaining, recording, collating and analysing data using appropriate techniques in the field and/or laboratory, working independently or in a group in a responsible, safe and ethical manner. For example, students must pay due attention to risk assessment and procedures for obtaining informed consent
  • an appreciation of the complexity and diversity of life processes through the study of organisms, their molecular, cellular and physiological processes, their genetics and evolution, and the interrelationships between them and their environment
  • the ability to handle biological material and chemicals in a safe way, thus being able to assess any potential hazards associated with biological experimentation
  • to perform risk assessments prior to the execution of an experimental protocol
  • to be able to use basic and advanced experimental equipment in executing the core practical techniques used by biologists
  • to find information on biological topics from a wide range of information sources and maintain an effective information retrieval strategy
  • to plan, execute and assess the results from experiments
  • to identify the best method for presenting and reporting on biological investigations using written, data manipulation/presentation and computer skills
  • to be aware of the employment opportunities for biology graduates who have experience of a year abroad.

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in the following:

  • identifying individual and collective goals and responsibilities and performing in a manner appropriate to these roles
  • recognising and respecting the views and opinions of other team members and negotiating skills
  • evaluating performance as an individual and a team member, and evaluating the performance of others
  • receiving and responding to a variety of sources of information: textual, numerical, verbal and graphical
  • communicating to a variety of audiences using a range of formats and approaches
  • citing and referencing work in an appropriate manner
  • sample selection, recording and analysing data in the field and/or the laboratory; validity, accuracy, calibration, precision, replicability and uncertainty during collection
  • preparing, processing, interpreting and presenting data, using appropriate qualitative and quantitative techniques, statistical programmes, spreadsheets and programs for presenting data visually
  • solving problems by a variety of methods including the use of computers
  • using the internet and other electronic sources critically as a means of communication and a source of information
  • the ability to work independently, time management and organisation skills
  • identifying and working towards targets for personal, academic and career development
  • developing an adaptable, flexible, and effective approach to study and work
  • be able to work and  communicate effectively within a different cultural setting.

Careers

Graduate destinations

Our graduates have gone on to work in:

  • commercial, government and hospital laboratories
  • scientific publishing
  • science writing
  • event management
  • science communication.

Recent graduates have also worked in a wide range of non-scientific careers including teaching, marketing, sales, banking, accountancy, the police force and social work.

Help finding a job

The School of Biosciences runs employability events with talks from alumni outlining their career paths since graduation.

The University has a friendly Careers and Employability Service, which can give you advice on how to:

  • apply for jobs
  • write a good CV
  • perform well in interviews.

Career-enhancing skills

You graduate with an excellent grounding in scientific knowledge and extensive laboratory experience. In addition, you also develop the key transferable skills sought by employers, such as:

  • excellent communication skills
  • work independently or as part of a team
  • the ability to solve problems and think analytically
  • time management.

You can also gain new skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.

Professional recognition

All of our Biology degrees are accredited by the Royal Society of Biology (RSB), and our four-year Biology with a Sandwich Year programme has Advanced Accreditation. Students graduating from Society of Biology recognised courses are eligible for Associate Membership and are entitled to two years’ Associate Membership at half price.

Apply for Biology with a Year Abroad - BSc (Hons)

If you are from the UK or Ireland, you must apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not from the UK or Ireland, you can choose to apply through UCAS or directly on our website.

Find out more about how to apply

All applicants

International applicants

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