Skip to navigation Skip to content


In this section

A flexible BSc Honours articulation pathway for bioscience sub-degree graduates delivered fully online.


Study Applied Biosciences at Ulster University in the United Kingdom.

‘Bioscience’ is a diverse, inter-disciplinary and topical subject which contributes much to health and wealth worldwide. Our course focuses on the application of human and molecular biology to offer solutions and opportunities within the biomedical science and food professions. Our course extends and enhances your bioscience knowledge and understanding, and develops your research and innovation, and enterprise skills, which not only benefits your career advancement but also your employer. Our fully online delivery offers you flexible learning, and progression at a study pace which best suits you. Successful completion of our course also allows you to progress to higher degrees (taught and research) at universities around the world.

Our course is not designed for school leavers but for those in the work place, locally and internationally, who need flexible learning. We need to be able to accredit you for your prior learning to the value of 120 credit points at level 4 and 80 to 120 credit points at level 5. This includes BSc Hons students who did not complete their degree, sub-degree graduates and even higher degree graduates looking to update their biosciences. Most students enter to complete 120 credit points at level 6, over two academic years, but there are opportunities to fast track or slow track your studies. Those students entering the course via 1 or 2 bridging level 5 modules, require 1 or 2 additional semesters.

Sign up for course updates

Sign up to receive regular updates, news and information on courses, events and developments at Ulster University.

We’ll not share your information and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Required fields are marked with an asterisk (*).

About this course

In this section


The educational aims of the course and its associated learning outcomes across the particular fields of applications of biology (human and molecular), within an environment which promotes research, innovation and enterprise, demand that all modules (120 credits at level 6) are compulsory. This course provides opportunities for students to:

  • Extend and enhance their existing knowledge and understanding of biosciences, within the context of applications in biomedical, health and food sciences
  • Develop their work-related competences, enterprise skills and transferable skills
  • Utilise research skills to undertake research in biosciences
  • Critically evaluate advances in the biosciences and discuss the economic, social and ethical implications of developments in the biosciences and their applications
  • Enhance their employability as professional Public Health, mediscience and food industry staff, and open up progression pathways to higher degrees in biosciences
  • Embrace continuing professional development and life long learning in biosciences


Typically two years. 65 credits at level 6 by distance learning in Year 1, Semesters I and II + 55 credits at Level 6 by distance learning in Year 2, Semesters I and II.

In addition, some sub-degree entrants are required to complete a Year 0 of either 40 credits at Level 5 (Semesters II and III) or 20 credits at Level 5 (Semester III).

Start dates

  • September 2016
How to apply


Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

In this section

Year one

Exploitation of Biology

Year: 1

This module is optional

This module considers a wide number of aspects and issues in biotechnology, sufficient to underpin and reinforce other topics in life sciences. Topics include production, commercialisation and ethics of biotechnology products and the impact of biotechnology on modern society.

Transferable Skills and Genetics

Year: 1

This module is optional

This module aims to provide students with opportunities to develop transferable and independent learning skills, and to enhance study skills, in a bioscience context. This module also expends, applies and integrates knowledge on genetics in the context of human disease. The module is taught by online lectures, e-tutor interaction and directed studies.

Year two

Research skills

Year: 2

This module aims to provide students with the opportunity to develop research skills. The fully on-line module will be taught by lectures, tutorials, and computer based practicals. Students will be expected to select a research Project topic and then write a project brief and a literature review, and also use MS Excel and SPSS to analyse bioscience data sets.

Enterprise in Biosciences

Year: 2

This module provides opportunities for enterprise and employability skills to be assessed, nurtured and developed within the context of biosciences. Ethical and intellectual property issues in the exploitation of bioscience will also be considered. This module is taught by virtual lectures, seminars and tutorials, and assessed by a group business planning project and individual contributions to creativity, personal development planning, discussion and reflection exercises.

Biology of Disease 3: Pathology

Year: 2

This module presents an in-depth consideration of the pathology, cellular and molecular biology of the major non-infectious diseases of humans. The module enables students to integrate practical and theoretical information gained in earlier modules. Current and emerging strategies in disease diagnosis, treatment and monitoring are also discussed, which underpin further study in Biomedical Sciences.

Medical Microbiology

Year: 2

This module provides an introduction to the biology of microorganisms that cause human infection. A major goal is to provide an appreciation of the experimental and diagnostic techniques that underpin the discipline. The module presents a range of diseases and explores the diversity of pathogenic mechanisms in operation. An important focus on recent advances in our understanding of host-microbe interactions is also considered with a discussion of the role of microorganisms in the health of the host.

Clinical Immunology

Year: 2

This module provides knowledge of key concepts in fundamental and clinical immunology and understanding of the value of applying such knowledge in clinical environments.

Year three

Project: Applied Biosciences

Year: 3

This module comprises an investigation in the field of bioscience, carried out in consultation with, and supervised by, a member of academic staff and supported by an etutor. The Project provides experience in planning a work programme to suit a defined set of research objectives, data acquisition and analysis, and the interpretation of the results in the light of relevant literature. Students are assessed by coursework only. A research paper is submitted for assessment.

Food Safety Management

Year: 3

This module is concerned with management of food safety from ?farm to fork?. Food safety controls and management system requirements, and management responsibilities are covered. This module is taught through the Blackboard Learn virtual learning environment, with the support of an e-tutor, and assessed by a HACCP assignment, group seminar presentation, discussions and an exam.

Natural Products

Year: 3

The module provides an overview of the varied roles played by naturally occurring organic chemical compounds. The importance of stereochemical features of such compounds is emphasised; means of determining biochemical pathways are illustrated and techniques of isolation, modification and synthesis of biologically significant molecules are described. Lectures, tutorials, directed reading and group activities will be featured.

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

A level

A levels are not an entry requirement for this course. See Additional Entry Requirements.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Additional Entry Requirements

Applicants must satisfy the University’s general entry requirements and the specific requirements for admission to this course as follows: hold a Foundation Degree in Biosciences or Life Sciences or closely related subject OR hold a BTEC HND or National Diploma/BSc (Ord) qualification in an Applied Science subject from an institution of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, or from an institution of another country which is recognised as being of an equivalent standard in an approved alternative qualification OR can demonstrate all the learning outcomes associated with the above through a process of accreditation of prior certificated and experiential learning (APCL/APEL), for example, from successful completion of Years 1 and 2 on a BSc Hons degree in Biosciences or Life Sciences or a science based BSc Hons degree AND meet the minimum technical specification required by the Institute of Lifelong Learning for distance learners AND normally be in employment.

Teaching and learning assessment

Structure and content Year 0 Semester II or III Exploitation of Biology (20 Credits) Optional Semester III Transferable Skills and Genetics (20 credits) Optional

Normally, students enter into level 6 modules, although some entrants must first successfully complete one or two bridging modules (total of 20 or 40 credits at level 5). Examples of students meeting the entry requirements for level 6 studies on this programme are National Diploma/BSc. (Ord) Science graduates from Institutes of Technology in Ireland, BTEC HND Science graduates from the UK, and some UK Foundation Degree graduates in Bioscience and Life Science subjects.

However, some other UK Foundation Degree graduates in Bioscience and Life Science subjects are deficient in level 5 credit points, by up to 40 credit points. Thus, the School runs a fully online Year 0 bridging programme, comprising an Exploitation of Biology module (20 credits at level 5, semester II or III) and a Transferable Skills and Genetics module (20 credits at level 5, semester III). The Exploitation of Biology module covers production, commercialisation and ethics of biotechnology products and the impact of biotechnology on modern society. The Transferable Skills and Genetics module aims to provide opportunities for the development of transferable, independent learning and study skills. Furthermore, this bridging module extends, applies and integrates knowledge on genetics in the context of human disease. Year 1 Semester I Medical Microbiology (15 Credits) Compulsory Clinical Immunology (15 credits) Compulsory Semester II Biology of Disease (15 credits) Compulsory Research Skills (10 credits) Compulsory Enterprise in Biosciences (10 credits) Compulsory

The Medical Microbiology module provides an introduction to the biology of microorganisms that cause human infection and an appreciation of the experimental and diagnostic techniques that underpin the discipline. The Clinical Immunology module provides knowledge of key concepts in fundamental and clinical immunology and understanding of the value of applying such knowledge in clinical environments. The Biology of Disease module explores molecular mechanisms of selected disease processes and highlights the clinical relevance of research in molecular pathology. The Research Skills module effectively ‘paves the way’ for the Project: Applied Biosciences module, enabling students to secure an Honours project topic and select appropriate methodologies in order to achieve project goals. It is a strategic aim of Ulster University to be a sector leader in creativity and innovation, and thus learning experiences, appropriate to the subject area, which result in the development of creativity, innovation and enterprise skills by our students are promoted. The Enterprise in Biosciences module addresses this agenda, making students aware of how to exploit their own ideas and talents, and ensuring they have an appreciation of bioethics and the requirements of employers for professional bioscientists. Year 2 Semester I Project: Applied Biosciences (15 credits) Compulsory Natural Products (20 credits) Compulsory Semester II Food Safety Management (20 credits) Compulsory The Project must include an element of primary data collection, and it requires students to carry out a piece of independent research, under supervision, in an area of bioscience, which either draws on the student’s work-place or interests, or is selected from a list of staff specified, non-laboratory based (dry) projects. Natural Products is another module which draws on the research strengths of the Biomedical Sciences Research Institute, and complements the Medical Microbiology and Biology of Disease modules through its consideration of the discovery and analysis of bioactive compounds extracted from natural resources for use in the field of medicine. In addition, this module’s consideration of the use of compounds from natural sources, in the fields of nutrition and agriculture, helps the Food Safety Management module to fit within the overall programme structure. Threats to consumer health from unsafe food are ever present worldwide; and this module is concerned with the process of managing food safety from ‘cultivation’ to ‘consumption’.

Students will participate in an induction on how to be an effective online learner and how to use the Blackboard Learn virtual learning environment. Subject specific e-tutors support students to engage in a range of teaching and learning methods. Student participate in Blackboard Learn posted online lectures, many of which are inclusive of problem based interactive tasks. Through the University’s online library, students gain access to their directed reading, which is primarily in the form of journal articles, although two of the modules do specify a required text book. Students participate in e-tutor supported online activities and discussions, and in online self-assessment quizzes. Assessment Students will be assessed by a combination of Coursework and Examinations. Students undertake traditional written examinations on four of the seven modules, either at the Coleraine campus or in their locality through the “Guarantor system”. If a student opts to take his or her examinations via the “Guarantor system” then he or she must nominate a line manager or professional to administer his or her exams under Ulster University specified conditions. Coursework includes essays, critical reviews, plans, reflective statements, investigative/group project reports, problem solving/data interpretation, and research papers.

Exemptions and transferability

No exemptions from completion of the seven level 6 modules can be given, as 120 credit points studied at the highest level at Ulster is the absolute minimum required by the Qualification Framework for the University to be able to award a BSc Honours degree. Appropriate BSc Hons Science students, having successfully completed 120 credit points at level 4 and 120 credit points at level 5, are eligible to transfer to this course.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Career options

Students will enhance their prospects for promotion within their existing organisation or employment and be able to secure professional roles with other employers of bioscientists. 6% of students to date have started their own business. Graduates with a 2.1 or First class degree from this course will be able to progress to higher degrees (taught or research) at universities around the world which accept graduates with a UK BSc Hons degree.

Work placement / study abroad

Typically students are in full time employment and select their investigative area for the project module within their work environment.

Academic profile

Biomedical Sciences is in the premier league of universities with 100% of our research environment judged to be world-leading, 95% of our impact judged to be world leading or internationally excellent and 81% of our research papers judged to be world leading or internationally excellent in UK Research Excellence Framework 2014. We are ranked among the top five universities in the UK in terms of research power in biomedical science. Through exposure to an internationally recognised research environment with state-of-the-art facilities, including the £14.5 million Centre for Molecular Bioscience (CMB) and Saad Centre for Pharmacy and Diabetes, students have the chance to gain unique insights into cutting-edge research and how this contributes to knowledge and understanding of health and disease.


You can apply online here

How to apply

Start dates

  • September 2016

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (total cost)

Find out more about fees

Important notice - fees information Please note fees displayed are for 2017/18 Academic Entry. Fees are correct at the time of publishing. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.

Additional mandatory costs

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel and normal living are a part of university life. 

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them in the online prospectus. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course. 

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees. 

Please contact the course team for more information.


Course Director: Mr Peter Mitchell

T: +44 (0) 28 7012 3072



Ivan Whelan, BSc Hons Applied Biosciences graduate said "E-learning has allowed me to further my education and manage my educational growth around my work, family and lifestyle. Whilst I first and foremost wanted to enhance my scientific knowledge, the relevance of my Enterprise in Biosciences studies was brought home to me when I recently set up my own business.”