BSc (Hons) Human Biology (Including foundation year)


If you don’t have the right qualifications to start our BSc (Hons) Human Biology degree or if you want to gain more confidence in higher level work, you could opt to start your studies with a foundation year. You’ll start by completing a foundation year, which provides well structured support, allowing you to develop your scientific skills and knowledge.

Human biology is a vibrant, interdisciplinary field that focuses on the biology of human populations. Human biologists study diverse topics such as human health and disease, human evolution, variation and adaptability, genetics, and human ecology.

On this Human Biology degree, you’ll learn about the relationships between molecular, anatomical, physiological and anthropological aspects of human biology, with a focus on biomedical aspects of human processes, such as how we respond to infection and how drugs act on the body.

This course places significant emphasis on laboratory techniques, handling data, solving problems, writing reports and oral presentations. These elements enable you to understand scientific methods and critically evaluate scientific data, which are essential skills for a wide range of scientific careers.

2020/21 update: Blended learning approach for USW 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 pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to further change through 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. 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
0P42 Full-time 4 Years September Glyntaff A
UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
0P42 Full-time 4 Years September Glyntaff A

Foundation Year: Human Biology Degree

  • Foundation biology
  • Introduction to human anatomy and physiology
  • Foundation chemistry
  • Physical science
  • Key skills and professional development
  • Scientific data literacy

Year One: Human Biology Degree

The first year of this human biology degree will introduce you to genetics, microbiology, physiology, development, and biological chemistry, and will build a foundation of scientific inquiry.

  • Biological research skills
  • Human anatomy and physiology
  • Biological chemistry
  • Introduction to genetics and evolution
  • Micro-organisms and the dynamic cell
  • Human growth and development

Year Two: Human Biology Degree

You will develop your knowledge with more focused modules in the second year, such as medical microbiology, human form and function, applied physiology, and human molecular genetics.

  • Case-based learning
  • Metabolism and biochemistry
  • Medical microbiology
  • Human molecular genetics
  • Cellular pathology and disease processes

Year Three: Human Biology Degree

The final year is your chance to gain specialist knowledge. You will be able to choose modules that takes your education in a specialised path of biomedical or anthropological emphasis, and will complete a capstone research project in an area of your choice.

  • Human Biology research project
  • Clinical biochemistry and pharmacology
  • Clinical and molecular immunology

With biomedical option:

  • Global challenges in infectious disease
  • Epidemiology and public health

Or anthropology option:

  • Humans and other primates
  • Human variation and forensic anthropology


The Human Biology degree is delivered through lectures, tutorials and practical classes spending between 15 and 20 hours per week in classes. You will also spend the same amount of time doing background reading and working on assignments.

There is strong emphasis on practical learning and all students undertake an extensive project in their final year. A wide range of projects is available, from molecular parasitology to forensic anthropology, microbiology, and genetics.


Assessment is through coursework and exams. Coursework includes essays, oral presentations, problem solving and in-class or online tests.



Our Human Biology degree is accredited by the Royal Society of Biology for the purpose of meeting in part the academic and experience requirement for the Membership and Chartered Biologist (CBiol). This is the professional body for biologists, so you can rest assured that your degree provides the ideal preparation for a career in the field of human biology. In addition to gaining a vocationally-relevant degree, you’ll also become eligible for Associate Membership of the Society and entitled to use the letters AMRSB after your name.


Human biology students enjoy state of the art facilities in purpose-built laboratories at our Glyntaff campus.


Entry criteria detail typical offers but USW considers all applications on an individual basis which means that we could make offers based on qualifications, personal profile and experience. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed may also be acceptable.

Typical A-Level Offer

EE to include a relevant Science subject but to exclude General Studies

Typical Welsh BACC Offer


Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Pass Pass Pass or BTEC Diploma Pass Pass in a relevant subject

Typical IB Offer

Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum of 80 UCAS tariff points from Higher Levels to include Science or Maths.

Typical Access to HE Offer

Pass an Access to HE Diploma in Science/Maths Diploma with 45 Level 3 credits

Additional Requirements

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

Progression from BSc (Hons) Human Biology (Including Foundation Year) onto the BSC (Hons) Medical Sciences degree:

Applicants should note that a mark of 70% or above is required to progress onto the BSc (Hons) Medical Sciences degree.

International Entry Requirements

We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.

English Requirements
In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.

However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.

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.

Find out how to pay your tuition fees in full or by payment plan.

This course is eligible under the Enhanced Learning Credits scheme for Ex-Armed Forces personnel.

International Scholarships are available for self-funding international students.

August 2020 - July 2021 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU:  £9000

  • Full-time International:  £13500 

August 2021 - July 2022 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: 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
Placement *
Students who successfully secure a placement in industry to complete their major research 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.

UK and EU students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly

International students

Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU. 

Admissions statement

A Human Biology degree can lead you to great things! Recent graduates of the BSc (Hons) Human Biology course are working in pharmacology, quality assurance, or biochemistry laboratories, completing their postgraduate teacher training, or doing MSc or PhD programmes in biotechnology, anthropology, and other life sciences.

Human Biology students develop a number of transferable skills which will aid their transition to work or to post-graduate education. The course emphasises independent research, communication, group work, and presentation skills required by employers in many sectors.

USW’s Human Biology degree has been accredited by the Royal Society of Biology following an independent and rigorous assessment. Accredited degree programmes contain a solid academic foundation in biological knowledge and key skills, and prepare graduates to address the needs of employers. The accreditation criteria require evidence that graduates from accredited programmes meet defined sets of learning outcomes, including subject knowledge, technical ability and transferable skills.

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.