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C103 - Biology


MBiol Honours

  • UCAS code: C103
  • Full time
  • 4 years
  • Next start date: September 2021
Year :

Our newly developed, flexible, four-year Biology MBiol Honours degree includes a year of master's-level study and offers significant research experience.

Fees (per year)

  • Home: £9250
  • International: £23400

Entry requirements

  • A Level: AAB-BBB
  • IB: 32-34 points

UCAS Institution name and code:

  • NEWC / N21
Work placement opportunity Study abroad opportunity

Course overview

We are currently reviewing our courses to ensure we provide you with the best possible learning experience. Please check this page for updates.

With a host of interesting environments on your doorstep, and access to world-leading research, this Biology degree will equip you with a wide-ranging knowledge of the subject.

This integrated master's biology degree explores all areas of biology and the living world, preparing you with the knowledge and practical skills needed as a biologist. You'll develop independent research skills with extensive projects in Stages 3 and 4, working alongside our world-leading research staff.

You'll also have the opportunity to specialise in topics such as biotechnology, microbiology and ecological survey techniques.

Our biology degree is designed to ensure you gain plenty of practical, career-ready experience through a variety of field courses, day excursions and lab-based classes.

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.


Your course during COVID-19
Please rest assured we make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the programmes, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption.

Given the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commitments outlined are subject to guidelines that may be in place from time to time.

View our COVID-19 Study page, which gives information about your Newcastle University study experience for the academic year 2021-22.

See our terms and conditions and student complaints information

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 Biology-related degrees in the School. You can transfer to one of our other Biology and Zoology degrees before the second year should your interests change (subject to achieving the appropriate grades).

You'll develop a strong foundation in the subject and get stuck into practical work straight away. Modules include: Diversity of Life; Genetics and Evolution; Cells and Biomolecules; Ecology and Conservation and Study Skills.


Compulsory Modules Credits
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
Optional Modules Credits
Crop Pests 10
Principles of animal physiology and health 20
Natural Science Research Impact 10
Introduction to Scientific Computing for Chemists 10
The Marine Environment 20
Marine Microbiology and Primary Producers 20

You'll continue to build upon your skills, delving deeper into the field. Modules include Field Identification Skills, Animal Function, Plant Biology, Microbiology, Biodiversity, Ecology and Conservation and Biotechnology. You'll also have the option to embark on a residential field course or an intensive practical lab course.


Compulsory Modules Credits
Microbiology 10
Experimental Design and Statistics 10
Animal Function (Physiology and Development) 20
Plant Biology 20
Molecular Evolution and Systematics 20
Optional Modules Credits
Animal Parasitology 10
Sustainable Solutions 10
Field Identification Skills 10
Animal Behaviour 10
Pollution of Air, Water & Soil 10
Biodiversity, Ecology and Conservation 20
Vertebrate Biology 20
Biotechnology: Principles and Practice 20
Residential Field Course 10
Insect and arthropod biology 20
Career Development for second year students 20
Developing Enterprise, Entrepreneurship and Employability 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.

You will have a choice of specialist topics such as: molecular biology, genomics and biotechnology; biological computer modelling; biodiversity and conservation.

Many of these are linked to our research expertise.


Compulsory Modules Credits
Physiological Zoology 20
Global challenges in plant science research 20
Dissertation 40
Optional Modules Credits
Mammal Surveying Skills 10
Biodiversity Science and Management 20
Current Research in Ecology 20
Biotechnology: Applications 20
Biological Modelling 20
Microbial Genomics 20
Current Research in Plant and Microbial Biology 20
Creativity, Innovation and Market Research in Science and Engineering UG 10

With approval from the Degree Programme Director, an alternative optional module to those listed above may be selected.

You'll build on the knowledge and skills you developed in the first three years, working alongside our research-active staff to explore advanced topics in biology. You'll undertake a significant research project working with an active research group.

You'll also have the opportunity to choose from specialist topics, taught at postgraduate level, such as: advanced biotechnology; wildlife research; applied bioinformatics; and data analysis and modelling.


Compulsory Modules Credits
Optional Modules Credits
Global challenges: biotech solutions 20
Practical Techniques in Molecular Biology 20
Biotechnology: Advanced Topics 20
Applied Bioinformatics 10
Management of Wildlife Disease and Epidemiology 10
Global Species Conservation Principles and Practice 10
Invasive Species 10
Wildlife Conflicts and Management 10
Wildlife Research in Practice 10
Management and Visualisation of Data in Ecology and Conservation 10
Geographical Information systems and Remote Sensing 20
Research Project 60
Research Project 60
The Biological Study of Behaviour 20
Data preparation, analysis, interpretation and presentation for MSc 10
Academic and professional skills for MSc 10
Quantitative Ecological Research Methods 20
Problem Solving through Innovation PG 10

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods

You'll be taught via a combination of methods, including lectures and interactive online classes.

Our field and lab based modules provide you with an exceptional basis to build practical experiences that enhance the scientific skills expected of a biology graduate.

Assessment methods

You'll be assessed through a combination of:

  • Assessments

  • Assignments – written or fieldwork

  • Case studies

  • Coursework

  • Dissertation or research project

  • Essays

  • Examinations – practical or online

  • Group work

  • Portfolio submission

  • Practical sessions

  • Presentations

  • Projects

  • Reports

Skills and experience

Research skills

Your learning will be strongly informed by the school's research. You'll be taught by experts at the forefront of their respective fields in:

  • microbial biotechnology
  • plant biology
  • animal physiology and behaviour
  • biodiversity and conservation
  • biological computer modelling

Practical skills

This is a highly practical course. You'll spend time in the lab or off campus on field trips.

Field trip destinations include:

  • the Northumbrian countryside
  • our marine field station
  • our University farm

Lab-based modules introduce you to key research techniques. Modules include:

  • bioprospecting
  • cellular biochemistry
  • molecular evolution and systematics

Several modules are focused on fieldwork, such as Field Identification Skills and Mammal Surveying Skills.

Business skills

You'll 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.

You will also have the chance to take part in the International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition, or iGEM for short. iGEM is a multidisciplinary, student-led research competition that aims to use Synthetic Biology to help solve global issues. iGEM teams work inside and outside the lab. They create sophisticated projects that strive to solve real-world problems with a global impact.

iGEM is a challenging experience. It provides a unique hands-on experience of the synthetic biology process. We have had many successful years with our students attending this worldwide jamobree.


Study abroad

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. 

Find out more about study abroad

Work placement

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.

Find out more about work placements

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.


To support you in your studies, all new students entering year 1 or year 2 will receive a tablet. You can download the online learning resources you'll need for your course (helping us 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.

Your future

Recent graduates have taken roles such as:

  • researcher
  • environmental monitoring officer
  • science explainer at Newcastle's Centre for Life
  • science writer, within organisations such as RSPB, WWT, and Natural England

Many students also go on to further education, pursuing master's 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, start-ups and retail management, media production, and adventure tourism.

Industry links

We have built strong links with leading organisations, including:

  • National Trust
  • Natural History Society of Northumbria
  • WWT
  • 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. 

Enterprising students

Student discusses the challenge

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Careers support

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.

Visit our Careers Service website

Recognition of professional qualifications outside of the UK

From 1 January 2021 there is an update to the way professional qualifications are recognised by countries outside of the UK.

Read our detailed explanation

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.

A Level


International Baccalaureate

32-34 points

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. 

Find out more about PARTNERS

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. 

Find out more about International Pathway Courses

Admissions policy

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 2021 entry (per year)

Home Fee Students


International Fee Students


The maximum fee that we are permitted to charge for home fee-paying 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.

Read more about fees and funding

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.

For courses commencing from September 2021 and beyond, EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for home fees or Student Finance England support.

If you are from the EU you will pay international tuition fees.

Read more about fees and funding

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

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.

Visit our International pages

Get in touch

By Phone

Due to current circumstances, we are currently unable to take phone calls.


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