BSc

Life Sciences

If you’re interested in the study of living organisms such as plants, animals and humans, are keen to enter onto a degree programme but lack the necessary qualifications, the BSc Life Sciences foundation year at Aberystwyth University is an excellent choice and provides an alternative route into higher education. Our BSc Life Sciences programme is a one-year course that will give you a solid grounding in biology and associated subjects. It will give you an opportunity to think about which branch of the biological sciences is of particular interest to you. On successful completion of the foundation year, you will be able to transfer onto any of our three-year biological sciences degrees.

Course Overview

The Life Sciences with foundation year course is taught by expert staff and consists of a fully integrated programme of lectures, practicals, workshops and tutorials. You will receive a solid foundation in a range of scientific disciplines including biochemistry, botany, cell biology, ecology, evolution, genetics, microbiology, zoology, study skills, and biological field and laboratory techniques. 

You will be taught in our state-of-the-art teaching facilities by passionate, engaged, and friendly staff who have expertise across the full range of biological science subjects. Our modern facilities include aquaria for marine and freshwater organisms, a mass spectrometry and analytical unit, high-throughput DNA sequencing equipment, a bio-imaging laboratory, growth rooms and glasshouses, the National Plant Phenomics Centre, university farms and an equine centre. 

You will learn and live in an exceptional environment where you will be surrounded by many internationally recognised habitats that include the UNESCO Dyfi Biosphere, RAMSAR wetlands, marine special areas of conservation, National Nature Reserves, and sites of special scientific interest. 

Our Staff

The majority of teaching staff in the Department of Life Sciences are qualified to PhD level and are research active. Vocational courses also have staff whose background lies within industry. The Department has a large number of research only staff with whom students may have contact.

Modules September start - 2023

Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.

Core

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Communication Skills BR01520 20
Molecules and Cells BR01340 40
Organisms and the Environment BR01440 40
Practical Skills for Biologists BR01220 20

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh

Teaching & Learning

What will I learn? 

You will learn the communication skills required of people working within a biological context. There will be an emphasis on taking notes, writing essays and giving oral presentations. 

You will attend a series of lectures together with associated lab and computer-based practical sessions designed to introduce the biochemical building blocks and cell structure of organisms.  

You will be introduced to the diversity, structure and function of organisms inhabiting Earth, and the way in which these organisms interact with their environment. 

Through field and lab-based practical sessions together with workshops, you will learn the practical, numerical and literacy skills that are essential for undergraduate study.  

On successful completion of the foundation year, you will have the skills, confidence and knowledge to progress to one of our three-year biological sciences degrees. Those skills and knowledge will include the ability to understand key biological concepts, to use scientific literature to research topics, to use standard field and lab techniques to investigate hypotheses, to use mathematics to deal with biological data in order to answer experimental hypotheses, to produce scientific reports and write essays on biological topics; and to take part in teamwork and deliver presentations. 

How will I be taught and assessed? 

You will be taught through a balanced programme of lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical sessions which will be supplemented by laboratory research and experimentation. You will also work on individual and group tasks. You will be assessed through essays, practical exercises, survey reports, portfolios, oral presentations and written exams. 

Personal Tutor 

You will be assigned a personal tutor throughout your degree course who will help you with any problems or queries, whether these are academic-related or personal issues. You should feel free to contact them at any time for help and advice.

Student Testimonials

I loved doing the C990 Life Sciences course as it was a route for me into higher education as a mature student. Having done little classroom-based learning since I left school 25 years ago, the C990 course eased me gently into the learning environment and allowed me to feel at home on the university campus before the start of my degree proper. The course material has been a useful springboard into the first year of my degree, and I feel that it was even better preparation than A levels would have been. Full marks Aberystwyth! Fiona Tyson

I really enjoyed C990 Life Sciences because it gave me lots of experience about university life and living away from home for the first time. I got to know the lecturers very well because we had such a small class. The tasks we did and the skills I gained in C990 gave me an advantage in Year 1 because I had become familiar with the way reports were structured, and how lab practicals and exams were run. I feel that I am focusing better because I previously did the C990 foundation year. Now I don't worry about missing home because I have already settled into university life. My work is benefiting so much because I did the C990 course! Helen Louise Hayes

Typical Entry Requirements

UCAS Tariff

A Levels Available to those who are studying for, or who have completed Level 3 qualifications (eg, A-Levels or BTEC diploma) and to mature-aged candidates without formal qualifications who have suitable background education, experience and motivation.

GCSE requirements (minimum grade C/4):
Enlgish or Welsh, Mathematics and Science

BTEC National Diploma:
Available to those who are studying for, or who have completed Level 3 qualifications (eg, A-Levels or BTEC diploma) and to mature-aged candidates without formal qualifications who have suitable background education, experience and motivation.

International Baccalaureate:
Available to those who are studying for, or who have completed Level 3 qualifications (eg, A-Levels or BTEC diploma) and to mature-aged candidates without formal qualifications who have suitable background education, experience and motivation.

European Baccalaureate:
Available to those who are studying for, or who have completed Level 3 qualifications (eg, A-Levels or BTEC diploma) and to mature-aged candidates without formal qualifications who have suitable background education, experience and motivation.

English Language Requirements:
See our Undergraduate English Language Requirements for this course. Pre-sessional English Programmes are also available for students who do not meet our English Language Requirements.

Country Specific Entry Requirements:
International students whose qualification is not listed on this page, can check our Country Specific Entry Requirements for further information.

The University welcomes undergraduate applications from students studying the Access to Higher Education Diploma or T-level qualifications, provided that relevant subject content and learning outcomes are met. We are not able to accept Access to Higher Education Diplomas or T-levels as a general qualification for every undergraduate degree course.
Our inclusive admissions policy values breadth as well as depth of study. Applicants are selected on their own individual merits and offers can vary. If you would like to check the eligibility of your qualifications before submitting an application, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for advice and guidance.

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