FdSc Biological Sciences

You will develop a detailed understanding of key biological processes and principles, together with the technical and scientific skills to carry out investigations to interpret and report results.

We will introduce you to the specific techniques and applications used in a broad range of sectors, including pathology, biomedicine, toxicology and forensics, as well as environmental settings such as pollution monitoring and control. During practical sessions you will learn how to select and apply various techniques to specific scientific requirements. We will also give you a thorough introduction to the biological science sector and how it operates through work-based learning.

By the time you graduate you will have practical skills that allow you to design, plan, record and report on investigations; collect and analyse data in the lab or field; and understand how best to select, analyse, collate and report data.

When you graduate you will be able to demonstrate core knowledge and understanding of the scientific disciplines within biological sciences and sound knowledge in related fields. You will be able to apply skills of analysis, synthesis, evaluation and application in the context of biological sciences and appreciate the interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary nature of this subject.

When graduating you will also have the option to continue your studies to obtain a BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences.

The courses at University Centre Peterborough are studied in smaller class sizes compared with other universities, a typical class size is under 30 students.

  • Smaller class sizes mean that during practical sessions you benefit from the facilities, and time with lecturers and technicians.
  • Opportunity to develop your employability skills as work based learning is a key element of the degree.
  • Opportunity to tailor your degree to your interests, while gaining a solid scientific background, commercial awareness and transferable skills.

Please contact us 01733 214466 or email admissions@ucp.ac.uk for the latest UCAS tariff during Clearing. For details about Clearing please visit www.ucp.ac.uk/clearing-2019.

We accept UCAS points with the following qualifications with a related subject:

  • A-levels
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma
  • Cambridge Technicals Level 3
  • IB Diploma
  • Access to HE

Students who do not qualify by any of these qualifications should call 01733 214466 or email admissions@ucp.ac.uk to discuss equivalent qualifications or relevant work experience.

You must have GCSEs English, Mathematics and Science at grade C or above or grade 4 or above.

We accept A-level General Studies and AS-levels when combined with other full qualifications.

If English is not your first language you will require IELTS score of 6.0 (with 5.5 minimum in each skill) or an equivalent English Language  qualification.


APCL relates to learning completed through an earlier course of study. If you have previously completed a course which is relevant to your proposed course you should make this clear when you apply. For this to be eligible for consideration you must be able to provide certification, which shows your success in a final assessment for that course. Learning must be completed in the last five years or further evidence of updating will be required. Simple participation in a course or an attendance certificate is not sufficient.


UCP offers students flexibility in their studies, by recognising learning they may have completed elsewhere before they apply. The Accreditation of Prior Learning processes ensure that we can take this into account when determining the modules you must study. It is important that you should identify any relevant prior learning when you apply.  If your previous study specifically relates to modules on the course you wish to undertake we may approve a reduced programme of study, thus shortening the time it takes to obtain your award. Where this relates to learning completed through an earlier course of study, this is called Prior Certificated Learning, and where learning has been achieved through relevant work or experience, this is referred to as Prior Experiential Learning. Claims must be approved before you commence a course.


It is important to understand that the APEL process does not award academic credit for experience alone, but for learning which can be shown to have been achieved through that experience. Students are required to prepare an individual case for the credit arising from their learning experiences. This normally means that a student receives support in the preparation of a portfolio, in which their claim is justified in detail and is supported by relevant evidence. This portfolio of evidence is then submitted for assessment and the possible award of academic credit. Alternative methods of assessment of evidence may be available but needs to be discussed with the Admissions team or Course Leader.

If you have any questions about entry requirements contact the Admissions Office on 01733 214466 or email admissions@ucp.ac.uk.

You must take modules worth 120 credits at each level of the course. Each module is worth a specified number of credits.

Year one for full-time students (Level 4)
  • Maths and Data Analytics for Biological Sciences (15 credits)
  • Fundamentals of Cell Biology (15 credits)
  • Genetics and Evolution (15 credits)
  • Principles for Biological Sciences (30 credits)
  • Introduction to Microbiology (15 credits)
  • Anatomy and Physiology (15 credits)
  • Biochemistry and Organic Chemistry (15 credits)
Final year for full-time students (Level 5)
  • The Bioscience Work Sector (15 credits)
  • Genetics and Bioinformatics (15 credits)
  • Practice in Pathology (15 credits)
  • Laboratory Techniques for Biological Sciences (30 credits)
  • Principles of Immunology (15 credits)
  • Research Methods (15 credits)
  • Work Placements and Learning (15 credits)

A typical 15 credit module is 150 hours includes 36 hours of tutor led delivery and 114 hours of recommended independent study.  A typical 30 credit module is 300 hours includes 72 hours of tutor led delivery and 228 hours of recommended independent study.  A full-time student should expect to undertake 30 additional hours per week during term-time.

When studying this course at University Centre Peterborough, we will timetable your lectures as two to three full days a week over two semesters per year (part-time will be one to two full days a week over two semesters per year).

Over the duration of your course, teaching will be delivered by the following methods:

Year one for full-time students (Level 4)
  • 50%     Lectures
  • 20%     Seminars
  • 30%     Practicals
Final year for full-time students (Level 5)
  • 50%     Lectures
  • 25%     Seminars
  • 25%     Practicals

Each semester is up to 15 weeks which includes up to 12 teaching weeks and 3 assessment weeks. If studying full-time you will be in classes, seminars and tutorials for approximately 15 hours per week and will spend the rest of your time in independent study and extra-curricular activities.

We recommend that full-time students allow up to an additional 30 hours per week for additional study. The campus is open Monday to Friday throughout the whole year and open late until 9.00pm from Monday to Thursday during term time. You also have 24/7 access to online resources from Anglia Ruskin University.

Timetables are available at least one month before enrolment and you can refer to the academic calendar for examination weeks and resit periods. Note that the days of the week you study may change each year and in some circumstances one of the full days might have to be split into two half days, but we aim to keep these as full days where possible.

Throughout the duration of your course you will be assessed by the following methods:

Year one for full-time students (Level 4)
  • 40%     Coursework
  • 60%     Written Exams
Final year for full-time students (Level 5)
  • 30%     Coursework
  • 60%     Written Exams
  • 10%     Placement

We will provide, by the beginning of the first week of each semester, a current module guide with all the information you need for each module, including details of assessment tasks, the deadlines for these tasks, the required format and any relevant guidance.

Formative assessment opportunities are written into all module plans to provide students with on-going feedback.  End of semester assessments will have formative opportunities in weeks 9 or 10 of the semester.  In addition revision sessions will be held in week 12.

Your final degree classification is calculated as an average of your highest 60 credits at Level 5 and all credits at Level 6.

70%+         First
60-69%     2:1
50-59%     2:2
40-49%     Third

Future careers after completing this course may include:

  • Scientific Laboratory Technician
  • Research Technician
  • Technical Officer
  • Trainee Biomedical Officer
  • Research Assistant in Life Sciences
  • Secondary School Science Technician
  • Careers in Health Services
  • Careers in Biology and Ecology

After successful completion of the FdSc Levels 4 and 5, you have the opportunity to complete the Level 6 of the BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences to obtain a full honours degree with a further year of study.

Sudakaran Selvaraj

I am the Course Leader for the FdSc and BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences degrees at University Centre Peterborough.  I have been teaching for over 10 years, starting my teaching career as a secondary school Biology teacher. Over this time, I have taught across a range of courses within the Science and Maths subject areas.

Since 2011, I have been teaching on the higher education provision and have been the Course Leader for Crime and Investigative Studies before developing the Bioscience degree. I have been the Course Leader of Bioscience since it was launched at University Centre Peterborough.

I teach across all levels and teach on most modules within my expertise, some of which include Special Topics in Bioscience, Current Advances in Biomedical Sciences, Principles of Genetics and Core Biology. I also still teach on the science based modules on the Crime and Investigative Studies degree pathway as well.

Before my teaching career I worked as a  Biotechnologist working on Somatic embryos in rice.  My key interest lies within the Biotechnology sector, in particular to the application of Molecular Biology techniques in plant biotechnology.


  • BSc (Hons) Biotechnology, University of Bangalore, India
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Plant Tissue Culture, University of Bangalore, India
  • MSc Computing, University of Northampton
  • Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (DTTLS), Anglia Ruskin University

When you have chosen a course to study at University Centre Peterborough, your next step is to make an application.

All full-time applications for UK and EU students must be made to UCAS via a web-based tracker system – www.ucas.com (the institution code for University Centre Peterborough is P56).

All part-time applications can be submitted directly to University Centre Peterborough. You can download and complete the following form then email to admissions@ucp.ac.uk, or send it through the post, or visit us in person.

Before you apply, please check that you meet the entry requirement which is listed on the course information pages.


For full-time undergraduate and HNC/D applications, we advise you to make an application for your chosen course as soon as possible to secure your place. We will process your application within 1 to 5 working days so you know if you have a successfully received an unconditional or conditional offer. We are available to help you through every step of the way.

From Friday 5th July 2019 you can apply via UCAS through Clearing. This is open to those who have not yet applied or students who have waited until they have received their grades. However, you do not need to wait until you receive your grades before applying through Clearing.

For more information how to apply through Clearing please visit www.ucp.ac.uk/clearing-2019

Key Facts

Institution code
Accredited by:
Anglia Ruskin University

University Centre Peterborough

Duration and Delivery

2 years full-time 
(2 full days a week over two semesters per year)

3 years part-time 
(1-2 full days a week over two semesters per year)

Start Date
September 2019 or September 2020

Tuition fees

The tuition fees for full-time undergraduate UK and EU students starting in 2019/20 or 2020/21 will be £8,000 per year, which is lower compared with many other universities.

Fees for part-time study are pro-rata depending on the number of credits you are studying (i.e. 60 credits per year will be 50% of the tuition fee).

There may be additional costs for this course which are not covered by the tuition fee.

Additional Notes

Click here for terms and conditions 2019/20 including our complaints policy.

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FdSc Biological Sciences

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