In the first year, all students study core biology modules, giving you a strong foundation in the subject. In later stages, you will have a choice of specialist topics, many of which are linked to our research expertise, such as:
- molecular biology, genomics and development
- plant-animal interactions
- biodiversity and conservation
Lab and field-based sessions equip you with the scientific skills required by professional biologists. You gain practical experience through a species identification course, and a choice between an intensive project-based field course or laboratory workshop examining the application of molecular techniques.
BSc or MBiol?
Some of our degrees are offered at two levels:
- three-year Bachelor of Science (BSc)
- four-year Master of Biology (MBiol)
Our MBiol degrees involve an additional year of advanced study at master’s level, during which you will gain significant research experience to increase your employability.
Please rest assured we make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption, for example in response to COVID-19.
See our terms and conditions for more information
View our Frequently Asked Questions
Your course during COVID-19
Whilst things will not be the same when you join us in September, this course page is intended to give you insight into what to expect from your course and your learning experience for the duration of your degree.
We have updated all course information where there are specific changes in the first semester.
Most of our student services are now available online. As COVID-19 restrictions lift, we'll be opening up our on-campus facilities as soon as it is safe to do so, so that you can get the best out of your studies.
Your learning experience
Your teaching will be a mixture of online and in-person on-campus teaching. In semester one, as a result of physical distancing requirements, all lecture materials will be delivered online along with many tutorials, workshops and labs.
Our aim, if Government guidance allows us, is to deliver up to three hours of labs, seminars and tutorial teaching in-person on campus where this is possible and safe to do so. We'll review this regularly and plan to return to full in-person, on-campus teaching in semester two if restrictions allow.
In semester one, we will not be running face-to-face, on-campus examinations. We will instead use different approaches to assessment. These will test and support your learning.
We will be running some but not all of our planned field trips. Some of those that do run, will be run virtually. For those that do not run, we will be offering alternative learning activities. These learning activities will give you the opportunity to achieve the same learning.
Terms and conditions and student complaints
The University has terms and conditions which create a positive environment for learning and academic achievement.
Our COVID-19 Study page gives more information about your Newcastle University 2020 study experience.
Given the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commitments outlined are subject to the guidelines that may be in place at the time.
Quality and ranking
Biology at Newcastle ranks in the top 150 in the world in the Life Sciences category, Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject 2020.
Modules and learning
The information below is intended to provide an example of what you will study.
Most degrees are divided into stages. Each stage lasts for one academic year, and you'll complete modules totalling 120 credits by the end of each stage.
Our teaching is informed by research. Course content may change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.
Optional module availability
Student demand for optional modules may affect availability.
Full details of the modules on offer will be published through the Programme Regulations and Specifications ahead of each academic year. This usually happens in May.
To find out more please see our terms and conditions.
The first year of this degree is shared with other degrees in the School. This provides all students with a thorough knowledge of the fundamentals of biology. You can transfer to one of our other Biology degrees before the second year should your interests change (subject to achieving the appropriate grades).
|Genetics and Evolution||20|
|Diversity of Life: Form and Function||20|
|Ecology and Conservation||20|
|Cells and Biomolecules||20|
|Academic and Professional Skills for the Biosciences||20|
In Stage 2, you'll continue to build upon your skills, delving deeper into the field. Modules include field identification skills, plant biology, animal physiology, experimental design and statistics for biologists, and entomology. You'll also have the option to embark on a residential field course.
|Experimental Design and Statistics||10|
|Animal Function (Physiology and Development)||20|
You'll work independently on an extensive project with a choice between a Biological Literature Review, a Biological Research Project and a Biological Information Project.
|Global challenges in plant science research||20|
Teaching and assessment
Throughout the programme, you'll be taught via a combination of methods, including:
- lab work
- field work
- tutor group sessions
You'll be assessed through a combination of:
Assignments – written or fieldwork
Dissertation or research project
Examinations – practical or online
Skills and experience
During your studies, you'll have access to our dedicated labs and research facilities, including a field station, two research farms, and an on-campus museum with a whole host of biological collections.
Your learning will be strongly informed by the school's research, and you'll be taught by experts at the forefront of their respective fields.
You'll also have the opportunity to complete a work placement between stages 2 and 3, as well as taking part in University-wide expeditions on an extra-curricular basis.
This is a practical course and you'll spend time in labs and off campus on field trips. You'll develop practical skills by observing and experimenting in the lab and the field, using scientific apparatus.
Experience life in another country by choosing to study abroad as part of your degree. You’ll be encouraged to embrace fun and challenging experiences, make connections with new communities and graduate as a globally aware professional, ready for your future.
You can choose to spend up to a year studying at a partner institution overseas.
If you choose to study abroad, it will extend your degree by a year.
Get career ready with a work placement and leave as a confident professional in your field. You can apply to spend 9 to 12 months working in any organisation in the world, and receive University support from our dedicated team to secure your dream placement. Work placements take place between stages 2 and 3.
You'll gain first-hand experience of working in the sector, putting your learning into practice and developing your professional expertise.
If you choose to take a work placement, it will extend your degree by a year. Placements are subject to availability.
Facilities and environment
As a Biology and Zoology student, you'll be based in the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences at our city-centre campus.
During your studies, you'll have access to two commercial farms near Newcastle. These are used as demonstration facilities as well as a field station with glasshouse and dedicated teaching facilities.
You'll have the opportunity to access purpose-built laboratories. You can also visit the Great North Museum, where there's a range of important biological collections. We also have our controlled-environment aquaria situated in the Ridley 2 Building.
As a new student, you'll receive a tablet, so you can download online learning resources, helping to make our campus more sustainable.
You'll have the support of an academic member of staff as a personal tutor throughout your degree to help with academic and personal issues.
Recent graduates have taken roles such as researcher, environmental monitoring officer, science explainer, and science writer, within organisations such as RSPB, WWT, and Natural England.
Many students also go on to further education, pursuing masters degrees, PHDs, postgraduate teaching qualifications, and medicine and law courses.
Having developed a broad range of transferable skills, you'll also have career prospects in industries as diverse as banking and retail management, media production, and adventure tourism.
The faculty has built strong links with leading organisations, including:
- National Trust
- Natural History Society of Northumbria
- National Parks Authority
These links will provide opportunities to secure work placements, internships, and volunteer roles, as well as building up an invaluable network of contacts in the sector.
Our Enterprise Challenge gives students the opportunity to work with industry on a project that tackles real-world issues. Watch the above video to find out more.
Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers. We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through our ncl+ initiative.
All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2020 entry.
Other UK qualifications (and PARTNERS)
Qualifications from outside the UK
English Language requirements
Through our PARTNERS programme, you could receive an offer up to three grades lower than the typical requirements, and get support throughout the application process. To apply through PARTNERS, you must be based in the UK and meet our eligibility criteria.
Entrance courses (INTO)
International Pathway Courses are specialist programmes designed for international students who want to study in the UK. We provide a range of study options for international students in partnership with INTO.
This policy applies to all undergraduate and postgraduate admissions at Newcastle University, including Newcastle University London. It is intended to provide information about our admissions policies and procedures to applicants and potential applicants, to their advisors and family members, and to staff of the University.
Tuition fees and scholarships
Tuition fees for 2020 entry (per year)
The maximum fee that we are permitted to charge for UK students is set by the UK government.
As a general principle, you should expect the tuition fee to increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation.
You will be charged tuition fees for each year of your degree programme (unless you are on a shorter exchange programme).
The tuition fee amount you will pay may increase slightly year on year as a result of inflation.
Year abroad and additional costs
For programmes where you can spend a year on a work placement or studying abroad, you will receive a significant fee reduction for that year.
Some of our degrees involve additional costs which are not covered by your tuition fees.
Find out more about:
Find out more about:
Open days and events
The situation with Covid-19 means that we're unable to hold Open Days on campus. However, you don’t have to visit in person to experience Newcastle.
We will be holding a virtual event on:
• Saturday 19 September
From the comfort of your sofa you'll be able to:
• explore our beautiful campus
• find out about our vibrant city
• discover what students think about studying at Newcastle
You'll also have the opportunity to speak to academic staff and find out more about the subjects you're interested in.
How to apply
Apply through UCAS
To apply for undergraduate study at Newcastle University, you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). All UK schools and colleges, and a small number of EU and international establishments, are registered with UCAS. You will need:
- the UCAS name and institution codes for Newcastle University (NEWC/N21)
- the UCAS code for the course you want to apply for
- the UCAS 'buzzword' for your school or college
If you are applying independently, or are applying from a school or college which is not registered to manage applications, you will still use the Apply system. You will not need a buzzword.Apply through UCAS
Apply through an agent
International students often apply to us through an agent. Have a look at our recommended agents and get in touch with them.