UCAS Code: C100
Typical offer:
Three years

BSc + Placement Year

UCAS Code: C105
Typical offer:
Four years

BSc + Year Abroad

UCAS Code: C101
Typical offer: 
Three years


UCAS Code: C109
Typical offer: AAA
Four years

MBiolSci + Placement Year

UCAS Code: C104
Typical offer:
Five years

MBiolSci + Year Abroad

UCAS Code: C10C
Typical offer: AAA
Four years

Don't meet our entry requirements?
International students: Pathway programme
UK students: Biosciences with Foundation Year

This video was made by students on our second year module, Talking The Talk: Getting Science on Film

Added value options – with reduced fees:

How to apply and other entry requirements

Other Animal and Plant Sciences degrees:

About the course

Breadth, depth and freedom – that’s what makes our Biology courses unique. Our huge range of modules, taught by world experts in their fields, means you can specialise as much or as little as you like. All of our students take compulsory modules designed to give you the essential skills that every professional scientist needs, plus a range of optional modules from across our specialist degree programmes in Zoology, Ecology and Conservation Biology, and Plant Sciences. You can study:

  • how evolution by natural selection works in animals, plants and humans
  • which forces control organisms' behaviour
  • why it's important to preserve biodiversity
  • how DNA technologies have revolutionised biology
  • the threats that ecosystems around the world face

You'll spend the first week of your first term on a field trip in Sheffield, working on projects throughout the city's green spaces and out to the edge of the Peak District. You'll continue to develop your scientific research skills with practical sessions in our specialist teaching laboratories throughout your first and second year. We also run regular field trips to zoos, aquariums and nature reserves, and in our second year module, Talking the Talk: Getting Science on Film, students get to make their own wildlife documentaries.


Between second and third year, you'll go on a field course, either overseas or here in the UK. We give you a choice of fascinating habitats to explore, from dramatic landscapes in remote corners of the globe, to complex ecosystems operating right under our noses.

Field courses

In third year, you'll tie your scientific skills together with an in-depth research project and dissertation. If you do one of our four-year research-intensive MBiolSci degrees, you'll get to do an even bigger project in fourth year.

Research projects

Course structure

Below are some examples of topics covered in this degree from the current academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course.

First year

Compulsory subjects:

  • Biodiversity
  • Evolution
  • Genes in Populations
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Skills for Biologists 1

Optional subjects:

  • Animal Physiology, Reproduction and Development
  • Animal and Plant Physiology
  • Behaviour of Humans and Other Animals
  • Ecological Identification Skills
  • Ecosystems, Climate and Environmental Change
  • Plant Physiology, Reproduction and Development
  • Population and Community Ecology 1
  • Reproduction, Development and Growth

Second year

Compulsory subjects:

  • Animal and Plant Science Tutorials
  • Careers for Biologists
  • Data Analysis

Optional subjects:

  • Animal Diversity
  • Population and Community Ecology 2
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Animal Diversity Practicals
  • Applied Molecular Biology
  • Biology Projects
  • Biotechnology and Food Security
  • Conservation Principles
  • Ecosystems in a Changing Global Environment
  • Environmental Biology Practicals
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Genomics and Wildlife Forensics
  • Insect Biology
  • Inside Animals
  • Molecular Evolutionary Genetics
  • Palaeobiology
  • Plant Habitat and Distribution
  • Plant, Cell and Environment
  • Symbiosis
  • Tropical Forest Ecology and Conservation

Third year

Research project: You'll choose a topic and be allocated a supervisor who will help you decide what you're going to investigate, design your experiments, write up your findings and draw your conclusions.

Students also write a dissertation or take part in the Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme:

  • Dissertation – Write up a critical review on a topic of your choosing, under the supervision of an academic who is an expert on the subject
  • Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme – Gain experience of teaching biology in local schools

Optional subjects:

Human Evolutionary Genetics
  • Conflict and Cooperation
  • Conservation Issues and Management
  • Biology and Ethics
  • Evolution of Terrestrial Ecosystems
  • Evolutionary Ecology
  • Future Plants: From Laboratory to Field
  • Global Change
  • Life in Extreme Environments
  • Phylogenetic Approaches to Evolution
  • Sustainable Agro-Ecosystems
  • The Ecology of Landscapes
  • Topics in Evolutionary Genetics
  • Trends in Biology

Fourth year

If you do one of our MBiolSci courses, you'll do a more advanced research project in your fourth year. You'll be based in one of our research laboratories, working alongside professional scientists and with access to state-of-the-art equipment. You'll get extra training for a career in research, including data analysis, applying for grants and publishing your findings. Some students' research has appeared in peer-reviewed academic journals before they've graduated.

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Biology with Placement Year

Our BSc and MBiolSci Biology with Placement Year degrees allow you to do a year long, paid work placement between your second and third year. You'll pay reduced fees for the year you're on placement and you'll still have access to your tutor and the support you need from the university. Most students earn salaries during their placements too.

Placements aren't guaranteed – it’s your responsibility to secure one but we’ll do everything we can to help. We have a dedicated tutor in the department to provide advice and the university’s Careers Service runs workshops on CV and application writing, job hunting and preparing for interviews. In your first and second year at Sheffield you’ll also have opportunities to meet with a range of employers, chat to recent Biology graduates about how they're applying their degrees to the workplace, and hear from current placement students about their experiences.

Our students have done their placements at organisations that include:

  • Atkins Environmental Consulting
  • Proctor and Gamble
  • Cadbury (Mondelēz International)
  • Food and Environment Research Agency
  • Kew Gardens
  • Newquay Zoo
  • Transport for London
  • West Yorkshire Police (Forensics)
  • Centre for Integrated Research, Conservation and Learning (Flamingo Land and the University of York)
  • EMEC Ecology

Abigail Collard

I was developing new chocolate products and improving products for the gifting and seasonal market within Europe... My experience has resulted in me accepting a graduate job offer to work within chocolate research.

Abigail Collard, BSc Biology with placement year who worked at Mondelēz International.  READ MORE

Biology with a Year Abroad

If you take a Year Abroad course, you'll spend your second year studying biology at another top university in the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore or Hong Kong. It's a great way to get an even bigger range of perspectives on the subject, explore habitats unlike anything here in the UK, and experience life in another part of the world. You'll pay reduced fees for the year you're abroad. Your place at another university isn't guaranteed – it’s your responsibility to secure one but we’ll do everything we can to help.

I was interested in studying abroad predominately as I thought that it would be beneficial for my Biology degree by extending my first-hand knowledge of different natural environments and adaptations. I also liked the idea of being able to travel whilst studying - which I have managed to do a lot of here in Australia.

Inge-Maj Saccheri, MBiolSci Biology with a Year Abroad at the University of Western Australia, Perth  READ MORE

 Inge YA photo