BSc (Hons) Applied Biosciences

Applied Biosciences is a unique and new degree which will prepare you for a job in Life Science and Biotechnology. This degree is for people who enjoy hands-on experiences in the lab, much more than in many other biological degrees. The many skills and techniques you will learn are co-designed with industrial partners so they are highly relevant in a future job.

The unique structure of the degree involves learning the basics in the first year, gaining project lab experience in the second and a professional work placement in the final year..

2022/23 update: Blended learning approach for USW courses.

[Update excludes online-only courses].

The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for delivering our courses in the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to change during the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. Whether you’re on-campus full time, part-time with online study, or full-time online, USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.

UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
C9B9 Full-time 3 Years September Glyntaff A

Year One: Applied Biosciences

  • Genetics and Evolution
  • Microorganisms and the Dynamic Cell
  • Biological chemistry
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Your skills, your future
  • Biological research skills

Year Two: Applied Biosciences

  • Human Molecular Biology
  • Metabolism and Biochemistry
  • Medical Microbiology
  • Project planning
  • Health, safety and environment
  • Real life R&D Project with industry partners

Year Three: Applied Biosciences

  • Professional Work Placement


Students on the BA (Hons) Applied Sciences course will learn through a mix of workshops, practical sessions, tutorials, projects and guest lectures.

Your studies will be underpinned by the latest research undertaken by the University’s Applied Sciences Research Group which collaborates locally, nationally and internationally with partners from industry and academia to provide world-leading knowledge and impact. For you, this means you will be taught by academics who are at the forefront of their specialist field.


You will be assessed using a range of approaches depending on your module choice and year of study which could include laboratory reports of your own work; essays; in-class tests; oral presentations; research proposals and end of year examinations.

In the final year a final dissertation about the placement will be assessed.


Work experience and career skills are integrated into the degree. In the second year, you will work on a real-life project from our industry partners. This will involve talking with the partner to discuss the project and presenting the findings.

In the same year, you will have to apply for your third year professional work placement. You will have dedicated help from our career services to make sure you are successful in this application process.


Our George Knox laboratories are part of a £15m investment in science for the University, meaning you will be taught in new and well equipped spaces. 

You will benefit from several well-equipped laboratories for practical and project work.

Our facilities include:

  • Microbiology laboratory capable of handling pathogens (category 2)
  • DNA and genome laboratory for DNA isolation and analysis
  • ‘Clean’ lab facilities for tissue culture and DNA amplification
  • Projection microscopes in the microbiology and microscopy laboratories for group teaching
  • General biology laboratories for teaching, including a range of skeletons for vertebrate zoology

Featured Lecturer:
Dr Jeroen Nieuwland

Dr Jeroen Nieuwland

Dr Jeroen Nieuwland is a molecular geneticist with a background in plant biology and molecular diagnostics. Dr Nieuwland was one of the USW researchers involved in the development of an award-winning point-of-care test for Covid-19.


Dr Jeroen Nieuwland, course leader

We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement

At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.

If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.

GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics/Numeracy and English at Grade C or Grade 4 or above, or their equivalent, but consideration is given to individual circumstances. 

Applicants taking Science A levels in England will need to pass the practical element alongside achieving the requested grade(s)

Typical A-Level Offer

BCC - CDD to include Biology but to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical Welsh BACC Offer

Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C/D in the Skills Challenge Certificate and BC - CD at A Level to include Biology but to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Pass in a relevant subject which must include Biology modules (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical IB Offer

Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum score of 29 overall including a score of 5 in Biology at Higher Level. You will also need to obtain a score of 5 or above in English at standard level

Typical Access to HE Offer

Pass an Access to HE Diploma in Maths/Science and obtain a minimum of 80 UCAS tariff points

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

August 2023 - July 2024 Fees

  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
Kit / Equipment
Students are encouraged to equip themselves with a suitable cotton laboratory coat, suitable for working in a chemical laboratory, and a pair of personal protective laboratory goggles, although the School does provide these items.
Students who successfully secure a placement in industry to complete their project would be expected to pay their own travel costs to and from the venue during the period of placement. The cost of this will of course vary and some students have also paid for accommodation close to their place of work for the duration of their placement.

Students on the BA (Hons) Applied Sciences degree might find themselves progressing into technical jobs in life sciences and biotechnology.