BSc Biology with a Year Abroad

Biology with a Year Abroad BSc

Biosciences at Sheffield

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You are viewing this course for 2022-23 entry. 2021-22 entry is also available.

Key details

Course description

Our unique three-year BSc allows you to spend your second year studying biology at another top university in the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore or Hong Kong. Whether your interests lie in organisms and the environment, biomedicine, or the molecular biosciences, or span all three, during your time at Sheffield you’ll have the freedom to choose the topics you want to study across the breadth of biology. 

The year abroad 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. You’ll 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. 

From your first year you’ll study topics including:

  • biochemistry
  • microbiology
  • genetics
  • molecular and cell biology
  • physiology and pharmacology
  • neuroscience
  • pathobiology
  • evolution
  • zoology
  • animal behaviour
  • plant science
  • ecology and conservation
  • global change and sustainability

You’ll learn about these subjects in lectures, practicals, workshops and field trips to zoos, aquaria and wildlife reserves.

As you progress through your degree you'll explore your chosen topics in greater depth, specialising in one area or keeping a broad overview across the biosciences. You’ll learn the core practical laboratory skills that are used across biology including microscopy, cell culturing and DNA preparation so no matter what modules you choose to study, you’ll be ready to address your own research questions. You’ll also learn problem solving, communication skills, critical evaluation and data analysis - key transferable skills that make biology graduates very attractive to employers.

We’ll give you plenty of opportunities to apply your new skills and knowledge too. You’ll have the chance to carry out your own research projects in the lab, using the latest cutting-edge equipment to analyse stem cells, sequence DNA and study proteins and enzymes.

You might choose to do field research projects in the Peak District National Park, or to embark on an ecology field course in the UK or abroad. Or you can make the most of our links with the NHS, completing research in conjunction with the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals. You can even choose to combine these areas.

Biology at Sheffield is all about enabling you to study what you’re passionate about. From genes and molecules, to organ systems and behaviour, biodiversity and ecosystems and everything in between, your personal tutor will support you to tailor your degree to your interests and career goals.

If you want to study this course but don't meet the entry requirements our Biosciences with a Foundation Year could be for you. After successfully completing the one year programme, you'll progress onto the first year of one of our bioscience degrees.

Modules

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 directly.

Choose a year to see modules for a level of study:

Title: Biology with a Year Abroad BSc course content
UCAS code: C101
Years: 2021

In your first year you'll spend your first week conducting a biology project, learning how we do science in Sheffield and getting to know your fellow students. Throughout the year, you’ll maintain a broad overview of bioscience whilst studying topics of your choice such as biodiversity, sustainability and climate change, cell and molecular biology, genetics and biochemistry, and biomedicine, human health and disease.

You'll also develop practical skills in the lab, ranging from microscopy, electrophysiology and DNA analyses, to regular field trips to zoos, aquariums and nature reserves, depending on the modules you choose. You'll have lectures and take part in small group tutorials where you'll enhance your writing, data analysis and presentation skills, develop employability skills and learn about the latest research findings from our world-leading academics.

Core modules:

Principles of Evolution

This course is an introduction to evolution as the central unifying theme of modern biology. Students will examine evolutionary patterns from the geological past to the present, and investigate evolutionary mechanisms of selection, adaptation and the origin of species. They will be introduced to the approaches used to study evolution including classical population and quantitative genetics, phylogenetic trees, and the fossil record. Students will learn through lectures, videos, practical sessions, quizzes, and independent study.

20 credits
Skills in Biology

The Skills for Biology module introduces students to the fundamentals of scientific practice: lab practical skills, experimental design, information technology, data visualisation and analysis, writing and presentation skills, skills reflection, professionalism and career development.

30 credits

Optional modules:

Principles of Zoology

This course is an introduction to the scientific study of animals. Students will explore the wonders of the animal kingdom through investigations of the physiology, reproduction, development, form and function of a wide diversity of both invertebrates and vertebrates. Students will learn through lectures and videos, practicals and independent study.

20 credits
Principles in Plant Science

This course is an introduction to the scientific study of plants and associated organisms. Students will explore plant origin, diversity, form, reproduction and development, photosynthesis, nutrient and water acquisition, as well as interactions with symbiotic and pathogenic microbes. Students will learn through lectures and videos, practicals and independent study.

20 credits
Climate Change and Sustainability

This course introduces the core scientific issues required to understand climate change and sustainability. Students will learn the causes of climate change, its impacts in natural and agricultural ecosystems, the influence of biogeochemical cycles in these ecosystems on climate, and strategies for sustainably managing ecosystems in future. Learning will be achieved via lectures and videos, practicals and independent study.

20 credits
Principles of Ecology and Conservation

This course is an introduction to the principles of ecology and conservation. It covers ecological concepts about the abundance and distribution of species and key ideas about conserving populations, communities and habitats.

20 credits
Animal Behaviour

This unit will provide an introduction to behaviour, focussing on the four fundamental questions: (i) the evolution of behaviour; (ii) the function of behaviour, (iii) the ontogeny of behaviour and (iv) the causation (or mechanisms) of behaviour. The course will introduce the major concepts and information on specific topics, including sexual behaviour, foraging behaviour and social behaviour in humans and non-humans. A central theme will be the extent to which animal behaviour can inform us about human behaviour and in particular the similarities and differences between the evolutionary approach to animal behaviour and evolutionary psychology.

10 credits
Pathobiology

This module introduces students to the key mechanisms underlying the disease process. Students will learn about pathogens that cause infection, the inflammatory response and the role of the immune system. Students will gain insight into the genetic and environmental basis of disease. The module will discuss how epidemics and pandemics (e.g. AIDS and COVID-19) can have a profound effect on society as well as on the individual. Teaching and learning will take place in a formal lecture environment, supported by online tutorials and web-based materials. Assessment will be by formal examination.

10 credits
Introductory Developmental, Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology

This module aims to provide students with a general introduction to Developmental, Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology. The approach will be concept-based, with an emphasis on the importance of techniques and the interpretation of experimental data. Topics covered include life cycles of the main animal model systems, how cell differences are generated during development, the basic principles of regenerative biology and wound healing as well as stem cell biology. Teaching will take place in a formal lecture environment, supplemented by online tutorials. Assessment will be by formal examination.

10 credits
Maths for Molecular Bioscience

Proficiency in basic calculations is essential for all scientists. In this module, designed for first-year students who have not studied maths to A-level (or equivalent) we will develop the mathematical skills needed to excel as a molecular bioscientist. Using video tutorials, problems classes, and worksheets, we will give students plenty of practice performing calculations, building their skills and confidence. Topics covered include arithmetic, exponential numbers and logarithms, mathematical and statistical notation, probability, functions, precision and accuracy of measurements, and the graphical presentation of data.

10 credits
Biochemistry 1

This module provides a broad introduction to Biochemistry and examines the molecules that carry out and control all the chemical reactions in biological cells. The basic chemical concepts underlying the structures, functions and mechanisms of action of biomolecules.

20 credits
Molecular & Cell Biology

This module considers the fundamental processes at the heart of all life on this planet. Students will learn about the basic molecular processes that enable cells to store and use genetic information to make proteins, as well as the mechanisms that allow cell growth, division, and ultimately cell death. Learning materials will be delivered through a combination of lectures, videos, practical classes and independent study.

20 credits
Introduction to Neuroscience

This module aims to provide students with an introduction to neuroscience. It will introduce the fundamental principles of cellular and molecular neuroscience that govern neuronal excitability and neurotransmission. Building on these principles, it will introduce theories relating to how sensory information is processed, and how motor output and aspects of behaviour are controlled by the central nervous system. How the normal functioning of the nervous system is affected by disease and drugs will be examined. It will also provide an opportunity to perform neuroscience experiments and interpret the data. Although focussed on the understanding of human neuroscience, the module will demonstrate how the study of model organisms has contributed to this understanding.

20 credits
Microbiology 1

This course is an introduction to the field of microbiology. Students will explore the diversity of microorganisms including Bacteria, Archaea, unicellular Eukaryotes and viruses. They will examine the diversity of the structure and the function of these microorganisms, emphasising the fundamental role that they play in our everyday lives by using examples in medicine and biotechnology.

20 credits
Genetics 1

This course is an introduction to the principles of genetics. Students will explore the genetics of pro- and eukaryotes by studying the mechanisms of gene transmission, genetic exchange, mutations and gene mapping. Additional topics are the genetic basis of diseases, prenatal diagnosis, genetic counselling, gene therapy and genetic basis of antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Students will learn through lectures and videos and independent study.

10 credits
Ecological identification skills

This module is aimed at providing an initial training in the identification and research skills needed for ecological fieldwork. It involves a structured prgramme of online identification and research assignments over the academic year, with practical examination at the end of the semester. The course will develop familiarity with using identification guides, with a range of plant and invertebrate groups and the ecological issues associated with them. It will prepare students for fieldcourses and other practical work.

10 credits
Introduction to Physiology with Pharmacology

This module aims to provide students with an introduction to human physiology and pharmacology. It will introduce the fundamental physiological principles that govern the functioning of all cells and tissues within the body. The physiology of normal bodily functions will be explained using a systems-based approach which encourages students’ to integrate their understanding of events at a molecular and cellular level with the structure and function of tissues and whole organs. It will examine how these normal bodily functions are affected by disease and drugs, with examples of how model organisms can inform this understanding. It will also provide an opportunity to perform and interpret physiological measurements, giving students hands-on experience of the experimental methods that they will be learning about in lectures.

20 credits

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. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.

Learning and assessment

Learning

Our research-embedded teaching comes from the forefront of the full breadth of biology. You’ll learn from top scientists who are working on challenges from antibiotic resistance to food security, and from climate change to cancer and Covid-19. This breadth of expertise means we can offer a wide range of modules for you to choose from across organisms and the environment, biomedicine and the molecular biosciences.

You’ll learn through lectures, small group tutorials and workshops, field courses, research projects and practical sessions in the lab and field.

To support your learning, you’ll have access to a virtual learning environment with interactive course materials. You'll also have a personal tutor throughout your course, to give you advice and guidance on both academic and pastoral issues.

We invest to create the right environment for you. That means outstanding facilities, study spaces and support, including 24/7 online access to our online library service.

Study spaces and computers are available to offer you choice and flexibility for your study. Our five library sites give you access to over 1.3 million books and periodicals. You can access your library account and our rich digital collections from anywhere on or off campus. Other library services include study skills training to improve your grades, and tailored advice from experts in your subject.

Learning support facilities and library opening hours

Assessment

Throughout the course you will be assessed through a variety of methods, including exams, tests, presentations, coursework and practical work.

Programme specification

This tells you the aims and learning outcomes of this course and how these will be achieved and assessed.

Find programme specification for this course

Entry requirements

With Access Sheffield, you could qualify for additional consideration or an alternative offer - find out if you're eligible

Standard offer
Access Sheffield offer

The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
AAA
including Biology and a second science

The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
AAB
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 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, with 6 in Higher Level Biology and a second science 34, with 6, 5 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 subject DD in Applied Science (with Distinctions in all Biology units if not offered at A Level) + B in an A Level science subject

Scottish Highers + 1 Advanced Higher | AAAAB including a science subject + A in Biology AAABB including a science subject + B in Biology

Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels | A + AA in Biology and a second science B + AA in Biology and a second science

Access to HE Diploma | 60 credits overall in science, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 39 credits at Distinction (to include Biology and a second science) and 6 credits at Merit. Applicants are considered individually 60 credits overall in science, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 36 credits at Distinction (to include Biology and a second science) and 9 credits at Merit. Applicants are considered individually

Mature students - explore other routes for mature students

English language requirements

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 4/C; 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

Visa and immigration requirements

Other requirements
  • Human Biology is acceptable instead of Biology. Second science from Chemistry, Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Physics, Psychology, Environmental Science, or Geography

  • GCSE Maths grade 4/C

We also accept a range of other UK qualifications and other EU/international qualifications.

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

Biosciences at Sheffield

Arthur Willis Environment Centre

Biosciences at Sheffield is home to over 120 lecturers who are actively involved in research at the cutting edge of their field. You'll learn from scientists who are helping to solve some of the biggest global challenges, from understanding the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on our food systems and discovering how to absorb up to 2 billion tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere, to combating the biodiversity and climate crises.

Our staff are drawn from across the biosciences and are engaged in research in a wide range of areas, from molecular biology, human health and disease, to evolution, biodiversity, conservation, genetics and sustainability.

We’re a close-knit community where every student gets the support and encouragement needed to achieve their best work. Whether it’s joining one of our student-led societies and taking part in nights out, trips abroad and quizzes with lecturers, or volunteering, fundraising and organising your own events, there are lots of opportunities to get involved.

Biosciences students are based across Firth Court, the Alfred Denny, Florey and Addison buildings. We are at the heart of the University campus, adjacent to the Students' Union and just a 15-minute walk from the city centre.

Facilities

Our students have access to world-class laboratory and computing resources for biological research and are trained in specialist teaching laboratories, supported by teaching assistants and our technician team.

Biosciences at Sheffield is home to state-of-the-art facilities, including super resolution light, cryo-electron and atomic force microscopy, NMR and X-ray facilities, a Biological Mass Spectrometry facility and the NERC Biomolecular Analysis Facility, which provides molecular genetics facilities and training to the UK science community.

We also have controlled environment facilities that can simulate any past, present and future climate, entomology resources, experimental gardens, leading equipment for DNA analysis, and the Alfred Denny Museum of Zoology on campus.

Biosciences at Sheffield

Why choose Sheffield?

The University of Sheffield

  A Top 100 university 2021
QS World University Rankings

  Top 10% of all UK universities
Research Excellence Framework 2014

  No 1 Students' Union in the UK
Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2019, 2018, 2017


Biosciences at Sheffield

Top 10 in the UK for Biological Sciences

The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021

Top 5 for Biological Sciences Research

Research Excellence Framework 2014

Top 20 in the world for Ecology

Shanghai Ranking

Our graduates are among the UK's top ten most targeted by leading employers

High Fliers Research 2020


Student profiles

Alice - How I chose my course at Sheffield

Sarah Swann

Spending a year studying in Oregon, USA taught me so much and it really started to feel like home in no time

Sarah Swann BSc Biology with a Year Abroad

Sarah chose to spend the second year of her Biology degree studying at Oregon State University in the USA. From carrying out fieldwork in local rainforests and mountain ranges, to getting immersed in American culture during national holidays and events, Sarah loved her time abroad so much she's now considering postgraduate study overseas in the future.

Photo of Chris Buckley

My year abroad in Melbourne brought with it amazing opportunities, for both my academic and personal growth

Chris Buckley MBiolSci Biology with a Year Abroad

Chris spent a year of his biology degree at Monash University in Melbourne. While there, he got first-hand experience studying the Australian ecosystem, travelled up Australia’s east coast, and spent his free time doing bungee jumps and skydives.

Dina-Leigh Simons - Biology student

Spending a year studying in Singapore made me feel confident about working abroad after I graduate

Dina-Leigh Simons MBiolSci Biology with a Year Abroad

Dina-Leigh chose to spend a year abroad studying in Singapore as part of her Biology degree in order to challenge and improve herself whilst making connections all around the world. The experience allowed Dina-Leigh to study organisms on tropical islands off the coast of Singapore and gave her a better understanding of important local issues such as the urbanisation effects on coral reefs and mudflats.

Graduate careers

Biosciences at Sheffield

Our courses equip students for varied careers, from scientific roles to graduate schemes with top employers. Whether you want to pursue a career in industry or continue your studies, bioscience graduates are highly sought after due to their specialist laboratory and field skills, ability to solve problems, handle and analyse data and effectively communicate complex ideas to a range of audiences.

As well as progressing onto a masters programme or PhD, our students have secured roles in leading scientific organisations like GSK, AstraZeneca, Cancer Research, RB and Mondelez and organisations linked to ecology and conservation such as the Environment Agency, Mott McDonald, RSPB, Wildlife Trusts, Kew Gardens and the Natural History Museum.

Transferable skills are embedded and developed throughout our degrees, which means year on year many of our graduates join top 100 employers like Google, PwC, the BBC, Deloitte, the Civil Service, Aldi and the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme. You can also apply your degree to other varied careers including bioinformatics, marketing and science communication, teaching and science policy.

Jennie Smith

My course helped me secure a PhD scholarship to study marine biology in Australia!

Jennie Smith MBiolSci Biology

From gaining field experience through her field course in Borneo, to studying Heliconius butterflies as a research assistant in Ecuador, Jennie made the most of her time at Sheffield.

Work experience

Each year undergraduate students can apply to join the Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) scheme. This gives you the chance to spend around six weeks working in one of our research groups over the summer. It's a unique opportunity to pursue research in an area that you’re excited about and can help inform your future career aspirations.

Fees and funding

Fees

Additional costs

The annual fee for your course includes a number of items in addition to your tuition. If an item or activity is classed as a compulsory element for your course, it will normally be included in your tuition fee. There are also other costs which you may need to consider.

Examples of what’s included and excluded

Funding your study

Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for a bursary, scholarship or loan to help fund your study and enhance your learning experience.

Use our Student Funding Calculator to work out what you’re eligible for.

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.

Open days: book your place

Taster days

At various times in the year we run online taster sessions to help Year 12 students experience what it is like to study at the University of Sheffield.

Upcoming taster sessions

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.

Book your place on a campus tour

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:
www.ucas.com

The awarding body for this course is the University of Sheffield.

Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

Our student protection plan

Terms and Conditions upon Acceptance of an Offer

Explore this course:

    2022-2023