BSc in Biological Sciences / Human Biology / Microbiology and Immunology

These modern degree programmes are specifically designed to promote an awareness of the application of biological knowledge to human health and welfare and to equip students with the skills necessary to succeed in a continually changing dynamic subject. 

Why choose this course?

  • Our students are happy: Ranked 6th in the UK for overall student satisfaction and for satisfaction with teaching (Guardian University League tables 2017)
  • Benefit from internationally recognised research excellence
    • 94% of research in the School was rated as being internationally excellent or world leading in the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014)
  • Biological Sciences are in the Top 10 for research quality (Complete University Guide 2017).
  • Enjoy a programme with top employability prospects: Integrated placement year opportunities in a wide range of health, medical and commercial settings

Entry requirements & fees

4 years full-time with integrated placement year or 3 years full-time

UCAS Codes: Biological Sciences (C112)

Human Biology (B150)

Microbiology and Immunology (C550)

Please note you do not need to apply for more than one route through UCAS. The entry requirements are the same for all the routes.

Typical offers

 A Levels: ABB-BBB including Biology or Human Biology. 

IB: 33 points (Biology Higher Level 6 points)

Access to Science for mature students (21+) considered on an individual basis.


  • BTEC Subsidiary Diploma: D plus two A Levels including Biology at grade AB    
  • BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Applied Science: DD plus A level Biology at grade B
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Applied Science: D*DD.
  • We welcome applications from students who have taken BTEC qualifications as a first option and who achieved five or more GCSEs (including Maths and English) at grade C or above.You must also meet the additional A-Level requirements listed above.
  • We do not consider applications from students who are unsuccessful in obtaining the required number and/or standard of A-levels for admission to our programmes and subsequently embark on a BTEC as a second option. Instead we would encourage you to resit your A-levels (see our resit policy below).
International Foundation Programme in Science (Aston University)
We also welcome international students with equivalent qualifications to apply for our programmes. For international students without equivalent qualifications, it is also possible to gain entry to this undergraduate degree programme by completing an International Foundation Programme  at Aston University, although please note the progression requirements to our programmes.
   International applicants expected to gain foundation diplomas from other providers are welcomed and will be considered on a case by case basis.

Foundation Programme in Science (Aston University)
For students with good A-level (or equivalent) grades, but who narrowly miss our standard requirements, it is also possible to gain entry to this programme by completing a
Foundation Year, although please note the progression requirements to our programmes. The minimum A level grades we consider for entry to Biology programmes via the Foundation Programme in Science are CCC, including a C in A level Biology.

Specific subject requirements

  • A level: Biology / Human Biology at A level grade B or above. Chemistry at A/AS level welcomed but not essential.
  • GCSE: Five GCSEs at grade C including English and Maths

Whilst the grades listed here are our entry requirements, we understand that predicted grades are only an estimate. We will therefore consider applicants with predicted grades of CCC If the application is of a high standard. However, any offer made will not be lower than stated above.

Resit Students

  • We welcome applications from students who have tried to improve their examination grades by taking a maximum of one set of resits. We treat these applications in exactly the same way as other applications. However, if you have had more than one attempt at improving your grades, your application will be considered on an individual basis and we reserve to make an amended (higher) offer, or not make an offer.

Please note, your full educational background is taken into account and all qualifications are considered when we make a decision on your application.

Applicants receiving offers are invited to an open day.

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. Find out more about our English language requirements

Tuition fees

£9,000 (£1,000 during placement year) for UK/EU students (2016). More on fees

£16,850 for International students (2016)

There are currently four biology programmes available at Aston University as well as the Biomedical Science programme. These modern degree programmes are specifically designed to promote an awareness of the application of biological knowledge to human health and welfare and to equip students with the skills necessary to succeed in a continually changing dynamic subject.  

After a common and broadly based first and second year you will choose topics for specialisation in your final year.  The combination of options chosen will determine the degree title as given above.

Download the course flyer PDF >

The titles of the first and second year modules are listed below. Each one of these modules typically comprises approximately 100 learning hours which include lectures, tutorials, practical classes, directed student-centred learning and preparation for coursework assignments and examinations.

In the first term of the final year you will choose five modules to study in depth.

  • Students of Biological Sciences will have a wide choice from amongst the final year modules listed below 
  • Human Biologists will concentrate on modules such as Human Physiology, Stem Cell Biology and Cancer Biology
  • Students of Microbiology and Immunology will focus on Immunology, Food Microbiology and Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease
The second term is devoted to a research project which is supervised by an individual member of the academic staff. 

Year 1

  • Microbiology I - provides the student with an introduction to bacterial physiology, pathogenicity, infectious diseases and clinical microbiology.
  • Biochemistry - provides the student with an overview of the structure of biological macromolecules and the small molecules from which they are assembled.
  • Physiology - provides students with a theoretical and practical approach to the physiology of nerves and the nervous system, muscle, brain, endocrine glands, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, blood, kidneys, gastro-intestinal tract and digestion.
  • Inheritance and Population Genetics - examines the modes of inheritance of the gene. This module also introduces students to some of the underlying principles of population genetics.
  • Development and Human Anatomy - reviews the principles and foundation elements of embryology and the study of human anatomy.
  • Cell Biology - provides a basic introduction to cellular components and processes involved in the birth, life and death of cells.
  • Molecular Biology - provides students with a basic introduction to the nature, properties, structure, function and replication of genes.
  • Introductory Immunology - provides the student with an understanding of the immune system as an integrated system of tissues, cells and molecules.  This module also explores the cellular and molecular basis of immunity and examines how these may be controlled.
  • Key Skills - comprises a series of academic tutorials with a personal tutor and a series of workshops on career management and IT skills.

Year 2

  • Microbiology II - covers microorganisms of medical importance including Gram-positive, Gram-negative and intracellular bacteria from the perspective of clinical manifestations, microbial pathogenesis; infection control and prevention.
  • Metabolism - provides the student with an understanding of major pathways of intermediary metabolism and their integration and regulation.
  • Molecular Genetics - describes the molecular basis for the regulation of gene transcription and presents the key techniques in gene manipulation. 
  • Biotechnology - provides an insight into the importance of biotechnology and commercial biology including fermentation, large scale microbial culture, antibiotic production and tissue culture.
  • Endocrinology - provides a detailed study of the endocrine system, extending and developing information covered in earlier parts of the course.
  • Molecular Pathology - examines some of the molecular mechanisms involved in cell growth, differentiation, maturation and senescence.
  • Immunology II: provides the student with an understanding of the immune system as an integrated system of tissues, cells and molecules.
  • Key Skills II: focuses on personal and professional development, group work, scientific communication and preparation for the placement year.

Year 3 - Optional placement year

See placement year section or find out more about the Aston placement year.

Final Year

  • Human Physiology: provides a detailed study of the mechanisms and processes through which the body achieves and maintains homeostasis.
  • Immunology: explores the cellular and molecular basis of immunity and examines how these may be controlled.
  • Food Microbiology: provides a study of the relationship between food and health including the scientific, technical and manufacturing factors which influence food quality and safety.
  • Applied Molecular Biology: provides in-depth explanation of genetic engineering techniques and their applications.
  • Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease: provides an overview of microbiology and infectious diseases within the community and hospital setting and methods of diagnosing infection.
  • Cell Biology: investigates current models of how proteins regulate and execute the cellular process of differentiation, migration, protein trafficking, synapse formation and vesicle release.
  • Medical Biochemistry: provides a detailed study of the application of chemical and biochemical methods to the study of disease.
  • Toxicology: informs the student of the basis of the toxicity of xenobiotic compounds including drugs and environmental toxins.
  • Cell Biology of Cancer Metastasis: provides an insight into the organisation of the cell cytoskeleton and how modification of this structure leads to changes in migratory properties that occur when cells become malignant.
  • Bioethics: considers ethical issues related to social factors, healthcare and research in the biological arena.
  • Biological Basis of Human Disease: considers the basic biological principals underlying the development of diseases in man.
  • Cancer Biology: considers the causes of cancer, its detection, prevention and treatment from the perspective of a Human Biologist.
  • Stem Cell Biology: develops a basic understanding of what a stem cell is and of how stem cells are being developed as research tools and medicines.

We use a range of assessment methods, although the typical methods are coursework and an end of year examination.  Exams generally take the form of unseen essay, short answer and multiple choice questions.  Coursework assessments take many forms and could include essays, reports of individual and group practical assignments, oral presentations and laboratory reports.  We specifically encourage team working in some assignments in which there will be peer assessments where you will assess the contribution of your colleagues and vice-versa.

The year involves a twelve-month professional work placement (sandwich course) between the second and final years of the degree.  This offers students the opportunity to gain valuable experience and set their studies in the context of a working environment alongside professional biologists.  

Our recent placements have been with: 

  • Research institutes
  • Breweries
  • The food industry
  • Pharmaceutical companies (e.g. AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline)
  • Clinical trials
  • Medical sales
  • Biotechnology companies.

Find out more about placement years in the Life & Health Sciences. 

Graduate employment for Biology students mirrors the outstanding success of Aston University as a whole.  30-40% of our graduates go into research, while others enter a wide range of careers in health, welfare and the biological industries.  In addition to scientific positions, some graduates take on general management, product development, teaching or marketing roles. 


If you are interested in becoming a teacher after your degree, Newman University have partnered with Aston University to offer a guaranteed interview to Aston Biology graduates (meeting the specified criteria) who want to study for a PGCE.

Graduates in Biological Sciences will leave university equipped with key skills including:

  • Fundamental laboratory techniques
  • Record keeping
  • Project development
  • Management
  • Critical analysis
  • Communication (written/oral)
  • Presentation
  • Team working
  • Report development
  • IT
  • Problem solving
  • Debating.
  • Modern lecture and tutorial rooms equipped with full interactive AV facilities
  • Modern laboratories with up-to-date equipment and projection facilities for demonstration purposes
  • 130-seater computer laboratory equipped with Pentium workstations and linked to key networks 
  • Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) using Blackboard 9 software to support learning
  • Wide range of learning resources – such as up to date key texts, scientific journals and e-journals and databases, CD-ROMs and media publications.
  • newly refurbished and extended Aston University Library open 7 days a week all year round and 24 hours a day, 6 days a week at key times of the academic year.
Teaching Lab
Biology at Aston University is part of the School of Life and Health Sciences (LHS), which also includes The Pharmacy School, Optometry, Biomedical Science and Psychology undergraduate programmes and a thriving research culture. There are over 30 teaching and research staff in Biology with other LHS staff also undertaking Biology related teaching.
Feel free to tweet Dr Tony Worthington, Admissions Tutor, if you have any questions.

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Student Profile

Student Profile

Luke Aston-Abbott
I chose the human biology programme as it covered all of the modules which I developed an interest in at school such as; immunology, cancer biology and stem cell biology. I also liked that you had the option of taking a year in industry, something that many other universities do not offer.

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