Course details

A Levels AAA Other entry requirements
UCAS code C10C
Duration 4 years
Fees and additional costs Home/EU students International students
Related subjects Biology

Any questions?

Admissions Secretary - Biology
Department of Animal and Plant Sciences
Telephone +44 114 222 0123
Email apsadmissions@sheffield.ac.uk
Website sheffield.ac.uk/biosciences/undergraduate/courses/biology

Department of Animal and Plant Sciences

Top 5 for biological research
Research Excellence Framework 2014

7th in the UK for biological sciences
The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019

Course description

This course allows you to spend your second year studying biology at another top university in the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore or Hong Kong and your fourth year embedded in a research lab within the department. Your year abroad in this unique course counts towards your final grade and allows you to gain international experience without extending your degree. You'll even pay reduced fees for the year you're abroad. Your fourth year will be devoted to a major research project - perfect for students who want to pursue a career in industrial or academic research.

This course covers the full breadth of biological sciences. You'll learn about how cells and genes work, how organisms age, how populations evolve and how organisms and ecosystems function. You'll also discover how we can work towards solving pressing global challenges including antibiotic resistance, ageing, biodiversity, sustainability and climate change.

All of our students study an essential set of core modules that teach you the skills that every professional biologist needs. You'll choose from optional modules that span zoology, ecology and conservation biology and plant sciences. You can mix and match these modules, covering genetics, structure, function, evolution, behaviour and ecology of all organisms, underpinned by the latest research discoveries from our experts across DNA, evolution, biodiversity and beyond.

In your first year, you'll spend your first week on a field trip in Sheffield, collecting data and working on projects throughout the city's green spaces and out to the edge of the Peak District. Throughout the year you'll develop your scientific research skills with practical sessions in the lab and regular field trips to zoos, aquariums and nature reserves. You'll also have lectures and take part in small group tutorials where you'll learn about the latest research findings from our world-leading academics.

Your second year will be spent studying biology at your chosen international institution, gaining an even bigger range of perspectives on the subject, exploring habitats unlike anything here in the UK, and experiencing life in another part of the world.

In your third year, on your return to Sheffield, you'll complete a research project and dissertation in an area of biology that interests you, conducted under the supervision of one of our world experts. You'll work in a small group to define questions, develop experimental protocols, conduct the research, analyse the data and ultimately produce a written report in the form of a scientific publication.

In your fourth year, the majority of our time will be devoted to a major research project designed to equip you with the advanced laboratory skills you'll need for a successful and rewarding career in science. You'll be embedded within one of our specialist research groups, conducting your own independent research and interacting with academics and lab staff as a professional scientist.

If you want to study biology, but don't meet the entry requirements to go straight into the first year, our Biosciences with Foundation Year could be for you. After successfully completing the one-year programme, you'll progress onto the first year of your chosen degree.

Modules: what you study and when

Financial help from the University - bursaries

If you're a UK student, you could be entitled to a University bursary. A bursary is the same as a grant - you don't have to pay it back.

How our bursary scheme works

Entry requirements

Qualification Grades
A Levels AAA, including Biology and a second science
A Levels + additional qualifications AAB, including Biology and a second science + B in the EPQ; AAB, including Biology and a second science + B in Core Maths
International Baccalaureate 36, 6 in Higher Level Biology and a second science
BTEC DD in Applied Science (with Distinctions in all biology units if not offered at A Level) + A in an A Level science
Cambridge Pre-U D3 D3 D3, including Biology and a second science
Scottish Highers + 1 Advanced Higher AAAAB, including a second science + A in Biology
Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels A + AA in Biology and a second science
Access to HE Entry requirements for mature students
Other qualifications Other UK qualifications
Other EU/international qualifications
Other requirements
  • Human Biology is acceptable instead of Biology. Second science from Chemistry, Computer Science, Geology, Mathematics, Statistics, Physics, Geography, Psychology, Economics or Environmental Science/Studies
  • GCSE Maths grade 4 or grade C
  • You must demonstrate that your English is good enough for you to successfully complete your course. For this course we require: GCSE English Language at grade C/4; IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component; or an alternative acceptable English language qualification
  • Equivalent English language qualifications
  • Access Sheffield - find out if you're eligible for additional consideration or an alternative offer
If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department

Modules - what you study and when

The modules listed below are examples from the last academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course. For the very latest module information, check with the department direct.

Course information on Department of Animal and Plant Sciences website

First year

Core modules:

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

Optional modules:

Animal Behaviour
Animal Physiology, Reproduction and Development
Ecological identification skills
Ecosystems, Climate and Environmental Change
How Plants Work: Physiology, Reproduction & Development
Population and Community Ecology 1

Second year

Core modules:

Year Abroad

Third year

Core modules:

Research Project
Dissertation
Data Analysis

Optional modules:

Biological Field Research
Biological Laboratory Research
Conservation Issues and Management
Biology and Ethics
Biology and Ethics
Cooperation and Conflict
Evolution of Terrestrial Ecosystems
Evolution of Terrestrial Ecosystems
Evolutionary Ecology
Future Plants: From Laboratory to Field
Global Change
Human Evolutionary Genetics
Sustainable Agro-Ecosystems
The Ecology of Landscapes
Topics in Evolutionary Genetics
Topics in Modern Ecology
Topics in Modern Zoology

Fourth year

Core modules:

Research Project
Research Dissertation
Research and Communication Skills in Biology
Advanced Biological Analysis

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.

Learning and assessment

These figures give an indication of how you'll learn and be assessed. They're a combined average of all the years of the course. The learning and assessment percentages could vary depending on the modules you choose.

Learning
Scheduled teaching 27%
Independent study 73%
Placement 0%

Assessment
Exams/tests 48%
Coursework 46%
Practical 6%

Department of Animal and Plant Sciences

The Times Good University Guide 2019 puts Sheffield in the UK top 10 for biosciences. We think this means we're doing something right.

We combine lectures with small group tutorials. You'll also take part in cutting-edge field and lab research, giving you an exceptional breadth of experience. We're a close knit community where every student gets the support and encouragement needed to achieve their best work. Our staff are world leaders in their fields and much of what we teach is based on our own world-leading research.

Our state-of-the-art facilities include controlled environment chambers that simulate natural climates around the world. We also have experimental gardens and glasshouses, artificial stream and pond systems, leading equipment for DNA analysis, biomolecular and elemental analyses, and extensive computing resources.

Department of Animal and Plant Sciences website

What our graduates do

Wherever you choose to start your career, you'll be in demand. Each year our graduates join conservation and environmental consultancies, wildlife trusts, museums, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and local, national and international government. They use their transferable skills - in data analysis, project management and teamwork - and their specialist knowledge and skills to thrive in a range of organisations.

Here are some examples of what graduates in each area are doing now:

Biology
Our graduates work in business, IT, consulting, sustainability, museums, banking, agriculture and health. They also work in biodiversity conservation for local and national governments, charities, wildlife trusts and other non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Many go on to do PhDs.

Ecology and conservation
Ecology graduates are well qualified for careers in government, charity and industry sectors that focus on environmental management and consulting, sustainable forestry, agriculture and conservation. You could go into research, education, journalism, finance, law or a technical profession. Many of our MBiolSci students go on to PhDs.

Plant sciences
Our graduates have an understanding of ideas and techniques that are in demand, particularly in agriculture, biotechnology, crop protection, environmental management and climate change mitigation.

There are excellent career opportunities in government, academic and industrial research institutes focused on science and policy, as well as in teaching and consulting. Plant scientists are also needed in biotechnology companies and administration, including areas that require scientific training, such as computing, research and management skills.

Zoology
Our students graduate with a deep knowledge of zoology as well as core transferable skills in data analysis, presentation and writing. They're well equipped for positions in environmental consulting, wildlife trusts, and international conservation organisations. Some choose to work in business, IT and consulting linked to sustainability, museums, banking, agriculture and health. Many go on to do PhDs.

Student profile


"One of the big assets of coming to Sheffield was the field courses on offer...being able to come out to the Peak District regularly with my tutor or my lecturer, or going on field courses further afield, even internationally. I'm now an environmental photojournalist."

Ben Cherry
Animal and Plant Sciences


All you need to know about undergraduate study in the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences at Sheffield.

Apply for this course

Make sure you've done everything you need to do before you apply:

How to apply >

When you're ready to apply, see the UCAS website:

ucas.com >

Contact us

Admissions Secretary - Biology
Department of Animal and Plant Sciences
Telephone +44 114 222 0123
Email apsadmissions@sheffield.ac.uk

Department website >

Visit us

University open days
There are four open days every year, usually in June, July, September and October. You can talk to staff and students, tour the campus and see inside the accommodation.

Book your place >

Applicant days
If you've received an offer to study with us, we'll invite you to one of our applicant days, which take place between November and April. These applicant days have a strong department focus and give you the chance to really explore student life here, even if you've visited us before.

Campus tours
Campus tours run regularly throughout the year, at 1pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Find out more and book a place online >