Biosciences with Business Management BSc (Hons)

This course is in international clearing

Life science is one of the strongest economic sectors in the UK, both in terms of annual revenue and in terms of number of employees.

Combining expertise in the biosciences with a solid grasp of how commercial enterprises function prepares you for a sector that has bright growth prospects, and is particularly in need of individuals who understand the science as well as the business. A split of two thirds to one third between biosciences and business management modules ensures an in-depth education in both areas. Moreover, applicants choose between alternative pathways focussing on Molecular or Environmental Biosciences.

Almost 94% of our graduates are in employment or further study 6 months after graduation and we rank 3rd for graduate employability in the Russell Group Universities. Our graduates work in diverse careers such as medicine, conservation, agriculture and more.

2015 National Student Survey "96% of our students said that overall they were satisfied with the quality of our Biological Sciences courses"


Royal Society of Biology - Accredited Degree This programme has been accredited by the Royal Society of Biology. Accredited degree programmes contain a solid academic foundation in biological knowledge and key skills, and prepare graduates to address the needs of employers.

Based on the major/minor model, this single honours course draws on modules taught by the School of Biosciences and the Birmingham Business School. Each year you will follow both Biosciences and Business modules with a weighting of two thirds to one third, where sessions include lectures, tutorials and workshops. Equally, you will get hands-on training in experimental techniques through practical sessions in Biosciences. In addition to subject-specific skills and knowledge, you will be trained in a variety of skills that are in demand in any professional sector, including communication, leadership, teamwork, critical evaluation and academic writing, to name a few. The ‘Modules’ section below has more details on the course content, including a link to brief descriptions of each module.

While you need to decide at the outset which of the two available pathways – Molecular Biosciences or Environmental Biosciences - you wish to pursue, each route offers flexibility in terms of choosing between alternative elective modules, allowing you to follow your curiosity rather than being confined to a set academic syllabus.

Why study this course

We have a large and internationally recognised School of Biosciences offering expertise that is the foundation of our research-led teaching, while the Birmingham Business School enjoys recognition of its academic programmes around the globe.

Biosciences and Business Management is a rather appropriate combination of subjects for the biotechnology and life sciences sector, where small or medium-sized companies are often the drivers of innovation, research and development. Such companies particularly value versatility of employees, even more so, when your skills include a thorough understanding of business and enterprise.

You will encounter a broad range of topics on our courses. Depending on which route you take – Molecular or Environmental Biosciences, you will learn about how proteins interact with pharmaceutical drugs, or about the many ways microbial organisms can cause disease, or how ecosystems change in response to a warmer climate. We pride ourselves in our ‘enquiry-based learning’ strategy that will equip you with the skills to achieve full potential in your future career.

We increasingly incorporate new areas of science relating to biology, such as bioinformatics, and the School has major high-technology facilities for research in genomics, structural biology and optical imaging. 


Below you will find information on the structure of the course and what modules you will study in which year. For short descriptions of each of the modules please download the BSc Biosciences with Business module information (PDF 910Kb).

First year

Business Modules

Four modules form the business component in the first year:

  • Introduction to Financial Analysis
  • Business Organisation and Management
  • Introduction to Economics
  • International Economy

Biosciences Modules

Molecular Biosciences

Environmental Biosciences

Compulsory modules

Cell Biology and Physiology

Introduction to Evolution and Animal Biology

Skills for Biosciences

Skills for Biosciences


Essentials of Cell Biology and Physiology




Choose one from

Choose one from

* We recommend that only students who followed Chemistry to A2 level take this module.

Second year

The second year keeps the same split between Biosciences and Business modules, but offers increased variety among elective modules.

Business Modules

  • Financial Decision Making
  • Introduction to Marketing
  • Human Resource Management
  • Global Marketing

Biosciences Modules

Molecular Biosciences

Environmental Biosciences


Molecular Biology and its Applications

Molecular Biology and its Applications

Communications and Skills in Biosciences

Communications and Skills in Biosciences

Elective 1

Choose one from

  • Membranes, Energy and Metabolism*
  • Topics in Medical Biosciences

Choose one from

Elective 2

Choose two from

  • Genetics II
  • Cell and Development Biology
  • Microbes and Man
  • Proteins and Enzymes*
  • Animal Sensory Systems, Neurobiology and Behaviour

Choose one from

  • Genetics II
  • Animal Sensory Systems, Neurobiology and Behaviour
  • Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Microbes and Man
Field courses


Choose one from:

* We recommend that only students who followed Chemistry to A2 level or equivalent take this module.

Final year

A key component of the final year is the dissertation, in which you will systematically review a segment of the biosciences literature, analyse and dissect primary research articles and write a research proposal. Specialist modules in Biosciences and Business complement your programme of study.

Business Management Modules

  • Strategic Management (20 cr)
  • Supply Chain Management (10 cr)
  • Corporate Finance (10 cr)

Biosciences Modules

Molecular Biosciences

Environmental Biosciences




Elective 1

Choose one from

  • Experimental Design, Analysis and Interpretation of Biochemical Data
  • Applied and Environmental Microbiology
  • Cellular Neurobiology Play video Watch video
  • Mechanisms of Toxicity and Disease
  • Eukaryotic Gene Expression
  • Genetic Variation in Humans and other Eukaryotes

Choose one from

  • Applied and Environmental Microbiology
  • Cellular Neurobiology Play video Watch video
  • Conservation Biology
  • Genetic Variation in Humans and other Eukaryotes
  • Integrated Whole Organism Biology
  • Advanced Topics in Animal behaviour
Elective 2

Choose one from

  • Structures of Destruction
  • Bacterial Gene Regulation
  • Cellular Signalling
  • Molecular and Cellular Immunology
  • Molecular Basis of Bacterial Infection

Choose one from

Fees and funding

Standard fees apply 
Learn more about fees and funding

Learn more about our scholarships and awards

Entry requirements

Number of A levels required:
Typical offer:
General Studies:
We do not accept General Studies, Critical Thinking, Citizenship Studies, Applied Science, Communication and Culture, Critical Studies, Global Perspectives, Science in Society and World Development.

  • Required A-levels for Environmental Biosciences route: Biology and one other from Business Studies, Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, Environmental Studies, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology, or Sports Science/PE. Five GCSEs at grade C or above including English, Maths and Double Award Science (or equivalent).  If Chemistry is not offered at AS or A Level, grade B is required.
  • Required A-levels for Molecular Biosciences route:   Chemistry and one other from Business Studies, Biology, Computer Science, Economics, Environmental Studies, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology, or Sports Science/PE. A-level Biology in combination with a second science and AS-level Chemistry (grade B) acceptable. Five GCSEs at grade C or above including English, Maths and Double Award Science (or equivalent).

Additional information:

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (Applied Science) is accepted only in combination with a science subject at GCE A2 level at grade B or better. Other qualifications are considered – learn more about entry requirements.

International students:

International Baccalaureate Diploma: 35-36 points excluding bonus points from TOK and Extended Essay. 6, 6, 5 at HL to include Biology and one other science at HL for Environmental Biosciences or Chemistry and one other science at HL for Molecular Biosciences. HL Biology in combination with a second HL science and SL Chemistry (grade 5) is acceptable for the Molecular Biosciences route.

Standard English language requirements apply
Learn more about international entry requirements

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

How to apply

Apply through UCAS at 
Learn more about applying

Key Information Set (KIS)

Key Information Sets (KIS) are comparable sets of information about full- or part-time undergraduate courses and are designed to meet the information needs of prospective students.

All KIS information has been published on the Unistats website and can also be accessed via the small advert, or ‘widget’, below. On the Unistats website you are able to compare all the KIS data for each course with data for other courses.

The development of Key Information Sets (KIS) formed part of HEFCE’s work to enhance the information that is available about higher education. They give you access to reliable and comparable information in order to help you make informed decisions about what and where to study.

The KIS contains information which prospective students have identified as useful, such as student satisfaction, graduate outcomes, learning and teaching activities, assessment methods, tuition fees and student finance, accommodation and professional accreditation.

As a Birmingham student you are part of an academic research elite and will learn from world-leading experts. From the outset you will be encouraged to become an independent thinker, however you will have plenty of contact with the staff who teach you.

What can you expect?

Throughout your Biological Sciences degree you can expect an average of about 11 hours of contact time per week over the 11 weeks of the teaching semester. This will be made up of lectures, practical laboratory workshops and seminars. The proportion of time spent in each will vary depending on which year you are in and the optional modules you choose.

You will be taught by a mixture of professors, doctors and doctoral researchers, thereby receiving a rich diversity of academic knowledge and experience. You can find out more about the members of academic staff in the School of Biosciences here where you can read about their qualifications, publication history and specific areas of interest.

  • Lectures - Your learning will take place in a range of different settings, from scheduled teaching in lectures and small group tutorials, to self-study and peer group learning. As well as traditional whiteboard and pen, our lecture theatres are equipped with the latest techology including movies and animations, molecular graphics and 'ask the audience' style electronic voting systems. Student interaction using various social media is encouraged before, during and after lectures.
  • Practical classes - Laboratory-based practical work is an integral part of our degree. A typical practical session will last 3 hours  delivering important transferable skills, experience of practical work is essential if you wish to move into a research career and is valued by a wide range of employers. You will be able to engage with academic and post graduate researchers who will help you during these practical sessions.
  • Field courses - Biological Sciences students have the opportunity to develop their field skills on a wide range of field courses in different environments. See the Course Modules tab for details.
  • Tutorials - A personal tutorial system is an essential feature of our degree programme and your tutors will help you in three important areas: supporting your academic progress, developing transferable skills and helping with any welfare issues. From the outset, you will be assigned your own Personal Tutor who will get to know you as you progress through your studies, providing academic and welfare advice, encouraging you and offering assistance in any areas you may feel you need extra support to make the most of your potential and your time here at Birmingham.

You will be assigned your own personal tutor who will get to know you as you progress through your studies. They will provide academic support and advice to enable you to make the most of your time here at Birmingham. We also have dedicated welfare tutors who provide professional support, advice and guidance to students across a range of issues. They can meet with you to discuss extensions, disabilities, reasonable adjustments, extenuating circumstances, or talk through any problems you might be experiencing, and help you access wider support on campus and beyond. During your first year it is important that you have a smooth transition into University.  You will be able to talk to your tutors about this and discuss if there are particular areas where you need support.

Clinical anatomist, author and broadcaster Alice Roberts is the University's Professor of Public Engagement in Science. You can watch Alice's lecture Origins of us: Human Anatomy and Evolution above.  

Alice carries out a range of academic duties which include teaching second year Biosciences students.

Our Academic Skills Centre also offers you support with your learning. The centre is a place where you can develop your mathematical, academic writing and general academic skills. It is the centre's aim to help you to become a more effective and independent learner through the use of a range of high-quality and appropriate learning support services. These range from one-to-one support with mathematics and statistics based problems from experienced mathematicians, to workshops on a range of topics including note talking, reading, writing and presentation skills.

Assessment methods

Studying at degree-level is likely to be very different from your previous experience of learning and teaching. You will be assessed in a variety of ways and each module is assessed independently. All modules contain some components of continuous assessment, that is, assessment taking place during the teaching terms. Continuous assessment generally accounts for over one-third of the mark for a given module, while two thirds are contributed by the end-of-year examination in the summer term. A subset of modules is assessed through course work, without an end-of-year examination.

At the beginning of each module, you'll be given information on how and when you'll be assessed for that particular programme of study. You'll receive feedback on each assessment within four weeks, so that you can learn from and build on what you have done. You'll be given feedback on any exams that you take; if you should fail an exam we will ensure that particularly detailed feedback is made available to enable you to learn for the future.

More information about assessment methods and feedback is given below:

  • Feedback - You will be able to track your development by making use of a wide range of types of feedback, such as: written feedback on your assessments, class feedback and questions sessions and discussions with your tutor.
  • Examinations - The formal end-of-year examinations (in May/June of each year) are complemented by course work in the form of essays or reports, data handling or interpretation exercises, poster presentations, seminar presentations, group work and lab reports.
  • Projects and dissertations - You will choose the topic of your project from a wide range of titles. We offer a range of projects including practical work in the laboratory, field work, computer based projects, or literature reviews to give you the chance to demonstrate the full range of academic and transferable skills.

Our graduates are ranked 3rd in graduate prospects - Complete University Guide 2016.

Graduates of the University of Birmingham are highly regarded among employers in the UK, and a Biological Sciences degree from Birmingham is an excellent qualification for securing your future career in a diverse range of industries and employment sectors. Our graduates have done consistently well over the last several years, ranking in the top 5 of the Complete University Guide in terms of Graduate Prospects. Whether you have a clear idea of where your future aspirations lie or want to consider the broad range of opportunities available once you have a Birmingham degree, our Careers Network can help you achieve your goal.

Almost 94% of our graduates are in employment or further study within six months of graduating  2014/15 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey

Advances in the biosciences are having a profound impact on our daily lives in areas from human health to conservation. Biotechnology, biological pharmaceuticals, and personalised medicine are key growth areas in the health sector. Environmental remediation, climate change and related themes pose multi-faceted challenges for the coming decades. Expert knowledge in biology and the life sciences will be in high demand for the foreseeable future, with bright prospects for exciting and rewarding careers in research, teaching, industry, the NHS and the public sector.

A substantial part of our graduates choose to take a further degree, a postgraduate Masters or PhD. For many career paths, a further degree is an essential stepping-stone, including (but not limited to) careers in research. Our graduates are highly sought after by universities around the world, many stay in Birmingham and join one of our prestigious research groups. Did you know that PhDs are fully funded and that postgraduate students receive a tax free stipend equivalent to a salary?

In order to help you build an attractive CV, bursaries from the University can help fund a summer internship in a research laboratory or in a company. Also, you can apply for one of the highly prestigious (and competitive) Alumni Leadership Mentoring or Global Challenge programmes of the University, which provide unique opportunities to see top notch organisation from an insider perspective. Furthermore, the Personal Skills Award (PSA) scheme gives formal recognition to skills you acquired outside the course, for instance when volunteering for a charity or taking on responsibility within the Guild of Students. Last but not least, our 4-year course options (MSci, Professional Placement, Year Abroad) are key to giving you an edge in a competitive job market.

Helping you find the right career

The University and the School of Biosciences provide a range of services to support you in finding a career you might enjoy and to build a CV that stands out from the crowd. During term time, professional career advisers hold weekly drop-in sessions, discussing with you how to prepare a CV and cover letters, the graduate application process and how to explore possible career paths. An annual Biosciences Careers Fair brings employers from the life sciences sector to our School for networking and discussions, while in the Biosciences Insight series, professionals highlight the diverse employment opportunities in the life sciences in weekly sessions throughout the term.

Our unique careers guidance service is tailored to your academic subject area. Our team source exclusive work experience opportunities to help you stand out amongst the competition, with mentoring, global internships and placements available to you.  Once you have a career in your sights, one-to-one support with CVs and job applications will help give you the edge. In addition, our employer-endorsed award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.

Professional accreditation

Royal Society of Biology - Accredited Degree This programme has been accredited by the Royal Society of Biology following an independent and rigorous assessment. Accredited degree programmes contain a solid academic foundation in biological knowledge and key skills, and prepare graduates to address the needs of employers. The accreditation criteria require evidence that graduates from accredited programmes meet defined sets of learning outcomes, including subject knowledge, technical ability and transferable skills.

Birmingham has transformed into one of Europe's most exciting cities. It is more than somewhere to study; it is somewhere to build a successful future.

Clubs and societies

The Guild has over 200 Societies, community volunteering groups and associations for you to join; they cover every topic and activity that you can think of - there really is something for everyone.


Coming to Birmingham might be your first time living away from home. Our student accommodation will allow you to enjoy your new-found independence in safe, welcoming and sociable surroundings.

The City of Birmingham

One of Europe's most exciting destinations, Birmingham is brimming with life and culture, making it a wonderful place to live, study and work.

Our students fall in love with the city - around 40% of our graduates choose to make Birmingham their home.