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What makes our Biological Sciences with Foundation Year programmes special?

This range of programmes combines a foundation year with a Biological Sciences degree over a four-year period. These courses are specifically designed for students who have previously studied non-science subjects. If you have academic potential, but lack the requirements to allow direct entry on to one of our degree courses, these programmes can help you to secure a place for undergraduate study.

Our Biological Sciences with Foundation Year programmes are also outstanding choices for students who are returning to education or looking to retrain. All of our Science courses contain a strong practical emphasis, designed to prepare you for an exciting career in the Biological Sciences - from Healthcare Sciences to Forensics.



Key features

  • A friendly supportive learning environment with an open-door policy and support from a personal academic tutor
  • Carefully designed courses to help you make sure you have the right mix of skills and knowledge to progress
  • A strong emphasis on practical and laboratory work
  • Modern laboratories, specialist equipment and an inspiring environment for you to gain practical skills and develop your interests
  • Excellent teaching staff who are committed to helping students achieve their goals
A student is holding a pipette full of red liquid

18th in the UK for Student Satisfaction

Our Biological Science courses are 18th in the UK for Student Satisfaction in the Complete University Guide 2024.

Programmes we offer

You can choose from a range of four-year programmes within the Biological Sciences.

We offer:

  • Biological Sciences (Biology) with Foundation Year
  • Biological Sciences (Biochemistry) with Foundation Year
  • Biological Sciences (Zoology) with Foundation Year
  • Biomedical Science with Foundation Year
  • Environmental Management & Sustainability with Foundation Year
  • Geography following completion of the Foundation Year
  • Forensic and Applied Biology with Foundation Year
  • Medical Sciences with Foundation Year

Register your interest

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Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

You should be at least 18 years old and have GCSE English Language at grade C/4 or above, or the equivalent.

We welcome mature students without the usual formal qualifications. Your application will be considered based your skills, experience and how prepared you are to complete the course.

T Levels may be used to meet the entry tariff requirements for this course. Find out more about T levels as UCAS tariff points here.

Language Requirements

Applicants for these courses must have a good command of reading, writing and spoken English.

Applicants whose first language is not English are required to provide a language test certificate as evidence of their proficiency and must ensure that it is, or is comparable to, Academic IELTs of 6.0 with a score of at least 5.5 in each component.

Other information

International Students – Making an Application

If you are applying as an EU or Non-EU student you are strongly advised to apply online through the Universities & Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

If you are using The Common Application, you can add the University of Worcester to your list of colleges via this link and complete the application there. Further information can be found here “Making an International Application”.

Mature Students

We welcome applicants who hold alternative qualifications/experience and mature students who can demonstrate the ability to benefit from the course and show their potential to complete the course successfully. Students may be considered on the basis of prior evidenced professional/work experience and/or other assessment procedures, and the assessment of personal suitability. University Admissions Office staff can offer information, advice and guidance on this process. The university website also provides information about studying as a mature student.

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Course content

Course content

Our courses are informed by research and current developments in the discipline and feedback from students, external examiners and employers. Modules do therefore change periodically in the interests of keeping the course relevant and reflecting best practice. The most up-to-date information will be available to you once you have accepted a place and registered for the course.

The Foundation Year enables students to complete an extra year of study before starting our Science degree courses. This route is for students that have not previously studied science subjects, or are returning to education, or don't currently meet the requirements for direct entry onto the degree 

The Foundation Year consists of four 30-credit mandatory modules

1. The Chemistry of Life

The module will cover a broad range of topics, from the basic principles of chemistry to more applied aspects of biochemistry. You will learn through a variety of activities, including lectures, workshops, teamwork, and hands-on activities. 

2. Earth, Life and Diversity

You will study biology at a range of levels, from the very big, considering what conditions are needed for life and what makes the Earth a suitable place for it, to the very small, like examining what DNA is and how it works. You will therefore explore some fundamental biological questions.

3. Essential Skills for Scientists

You will be introduced to the key mathematical tools and techniques underpinning study in biological and environmental sciences. You will also have opportunity to develop your communication and critical thinking skills.

4. Science in Practice

The sessions will build upon the ideas introduced in the other three modules, giving you a greater understanding of how science works. You will learn a range of skills, covering a broad range of topics from using keys to identify species, to how to extract and examine DNA. You will develop your team working and professional skills through enquiry-based learning activities both in the field and in the lab. 

Degree level (Years 1, 2 and 3)

After successfully completing the Foundation Year you will progress onto modules from the specific subject you have chosen.

Many students discover a particular passion for areas of science that they were previously unaware of, so on successful completion of your Foundation Year, you may choose to transfer to another of our science degrees if you wish.

Laura hughes

Laura Hughes

"Wanting to retrain following redundancy, I enrolled on the Biological Sciences with Foundation Year programme as I had no prior experience, or education, relating to any of the sciences, but thought the course looked ‘interesting’.

The foundation year gave a good all round understanding of the fundamental principles of the Biological Sciences and prevented me from feeling disadvantaged by not having the relevant A levels. It was a great introduction to the wide variety of pathways I could choose to continue on to in my future degree. I decided I wanted to study the whole subject so chose to follow my foundation year with the  Biology pathway. This has allowed me to combine modules covering plants, invertebrates, mammals, ecology, conservation, genetics and human anatomy to name but a few.

I have enjoyed the diversity of the course, particularly the mixture of practical lab-based lessons and classroom-based lectures. We have had some fantastic guest speakers who are passionate about their area of expertise and I have been able to attend numerous field trips allowing me to get 'hands on' with sampling and surveying. This course has given me a new appreciation for the world around me and will enable me to pass on that appreciation to others when I qualify as a secondary school teacher following completion of my degree, together with a PGCE qualification, that I intend to gain at Worcester due to my positive experience here."

Lewis Bond

"I came to do the foundation year with the initial thought that I was a year behind everyone else and that I wasn't good enough, but I was taught the exact opposite. I developed a plethora of skills that have benefitted me throughout the duration of my studies.

The content of the Foundation Year was a helpful reworking of my previous years in education and gave a fresh feel to learning that I thought I'd lost, whilst also introducing new topics and theories to expand my knowledge."

Richard Gibbs

Richard Gibbs

As a mature student, the prospect of Higher Education, and being back in a classroom with a cohort of bright young people, was certainly a daunting one. It had been over 16 years since I’d been in any educational environment and I was incredibly nervous, but it was the greatest decision I have ever made. I was fortunate enough to be a part of the Biological Sciences with Foundation Year at Worcester and had a Biochemistry degree in my sights. The educational level of the Foundation Year was perfectly placed for someone who had been absent from learning for so long and, as well as covering the basics, it was informative and engaging.

The practical nature of the course teaches you the real-life skills of being a scientist, how a real working lab will act and behave, and how they expect you to act in return. The tutors are some of the most passionate, engaging, and underappreciated people I have had the privilege to learn from, everyone was happy to guide me. After experiencing the teaching method at the University of Worcester, I really couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.

Science at Worcester

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and Assessment

You will learn through a wide range of activities including:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Workshops
  • Group projects
  • Laboratory practicals
  • Computer-based activities
  • Field trips and visits

Our highly experienced lecturers and laboratory staff will be there to help you at every step throughout the course.

For more details about teaching and assessment in years 1, 2 and 3 see the degree course pages for Biological Sciences (Biology), Biological Sciences (Biochemistry), Biological Sciences (Zoology), Biomedical Science, Environmental Management & Sustainability, Forensic and Applied Biology and Medical Sciences.

Programme specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document.

Meet the team

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course.

Here are a few members of the department who currently teach on this course:

mike wheeler

Dr Mike Wheeler

Dr Mike Wheeler is Course Leader for Medical Sciences and joined the University of Worcester in 2010 after researching in the area of plant molecular genetics. Mike developed a strong background in the biology of cell signalling in plants, with specific research into the mechanisms of self-incompatibility in poppy and the control of polarity in pollen tubes of tobacco.

In addition to his research into plant molecular genetics Mike is also developing means of using molecular biology to solve problems in conservation biology which is a longstanding passion of his. In this area Mike is currently developing eDNA (environmental DNA) techniques to assess the effect of invasive and non-native species on species of conservation concern. Mike is also concerned with projects to help people engage with nature as a means to combatting poor mental health. He leads bird walks around the campus and is involved with projects aimed at increasing birdlife around campus to enrich the environment. He is currently involved in a scheme to improve winter feeding for farmland birds at Lakeside campus in partnership with the local RSPB group. He is a member of the Sustainable Environments Research Group.


Dr Emma Edwards

Dr Emma Edwards is a lecturer and admissions tutor for Biomedical Science.  She has an interest in virology and immunology, but also teaches extensively on the foundation year for biological science.  She has significant experience in community engagement, she has spoken at many public events about viruses and their impact and co-authored a book about the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic.

Chris Brown is standing next to a car holding a cup of tea

Dr Chris Brown

Chris studied at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Following completion of his Honours degree, he joined the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology where he worked on their sub-Antarctic programme for several years, which included over two years carrying out research on the energetics and ecology of penguins, albatrosses and petrels on Marion Island in the sub-Antarctic.

Mathieu photo

Dr. Mathieu Di Miceli

Mathieu joined the University of Worcester in 2021 after a long background in neuroscience. Mathieu has developed his skills in electrophysiology in Dr Gronier’s (De Montfort University) and Dr Layé’s (University of Bordeaux) laboratories, studying the neurophysiological mechanisms following psychostimulant exposure, as well as the link between dietary lipid intake and synaptic plasticity. He is currently investigating the pathological alterations that can lead to neurophysiological dysfunctions in the brain, using in silico models.


Kate Unwin

Kate has been a Forensic Biologist since February 2002 and has worked in this area and role since that time, first with the Forensic Science Service as a Reporting Officer and then with Cellmark Forensic Services (to date). She has worked on hundreds of criminal cases, including offences such as sexual offences, serious assaults, murder, burglary, fraud and hit and run. Throughout Kate's time as a Forensic Scientist she has examined evidence, both within a laboratory environment and at scenes of crimes. Kate has been classified as an expert witness and her areas of expertise include body fluid evidence, damage assessment and DNA profiling. Kate has given evidence in both Crown and Magistrates courts (her first court appearance being at the Old Bailey!).

Kate has worked alongside the Police, the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service), Defence Scientists, CSI (Crime Scene Investigators) and a wide range of specialists and world leaders in the field of Forensic Science. She is currently involved in training and awareness sessions for three local police forces and has used her extensive case work experience to develop a course which gives students a true insight into the world of Forensic Science. Furthermore, the course is enhanced by the use of real case examples and Kate has a passion for enabling students to carry out as much practical work as possible to enhance the theory delivered on the course and maximize their employability opportunities.

Dr Amy Cherry

Dr Amy Cherry

Amy’s research focuses on understanding how proteins work at the molecular level and on how one can use knowledge of protein structure to tackle disease. Her PhD was sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline and investigated the molecular mechanism of Hepatitis C virus replication and possible inhibition strategies which can be used in drug development. Following this, she was awarded a Career Development Fellowship from the Medical Research Council to study proteins involved in DNA repair. She then moved to the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm where she studied molecular details of the Hedgehog signalling pathway.

Since joining us, Amy has continued her research as part of the Worcester Biomedical Research Group, studying proteins involved in leukaemia and neurophysiology.

Dr John Dutton

Dr John Dutton

Dr John Dutton joined the University of Worcester in May 2009 with a strong and extensive lecturing background having lectured at the Associate Faculty of UWE, Hartpury College and at Otley College, Suffolk. He has eclectic research experience, which includes investigating the role of rabbits in sand-dune conservation, small mammal habitat use, restoration ecology and the reintroduction of European beavers, wild boar in the Forest of Dean and expedition-based ecological research.




Biological Sciences graduates go on to have careers in a very wide range of fields. These include: 

  • Working in high-tech research laboratories in academia and the bioscience industries
  • Teaching and lecturing
  • Postgraduate study
  • A variety of roles within the NHS
  • Healthcare and veterinary services
  • Science writing
  • Medical sales
  • Environmental modelling and policymaking
Two students are walking next to each other and smiling

Careers and Employability

Our Graduates pursue exciting and diverse careers in a wide variety of employment sectors.

Find out how we can support you to achieve your potential

Fees and funding

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard fee for full-time home and EU undergraduate students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the 2024/25 academic year is £9,250 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the 2024/25 academic year is £16,200 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Part-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fees for part-time UK and EU students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the academic year 2024/25 are £1,156 per 15-credit module, £1,542 per 20-credit module, £2,312 per 30-credit module, £3,083 per 40-credit module, £3,469 per 45-credit module and £4,625 per 60 credit module.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Additional costs

Every course has day-to-day costs for basic books, stationery, printing and photocopying. The amounts vary between courses.

If your course offers a placement opportunity, you may need to pay for an Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check.


Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience. Our halls of residence are home to friendly student communities, making them great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our range of student halls. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Chestnut Halls' at £131 per week to 'Oak Halls' at £221 per week (2024/25 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

How to apply

How to apply

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.

Dr Emma Edwards

Course Leader