BSc (Hons) Medical Biology with foundation year

Our BSc (Hons) Medical Biology with foundation year is a great opportunity to develop a solid understanding of human biology from a medical perspective. It’s designed to equip you with the skills and understanding needed for a career in biomedical science, or to prepare you for further study, including graduate-level entry into Medicine or Dentistry.

BSc (Hons) Medical Biology with foundation year

Course details

Understanding how the human body works – and the need to continuously develop and improve ways to diagnose and treat disease – is integral to improving both the length and quality of our lives. Medical biology is therefore a huge and vital topic. This is your opportunity to take big steps into the subject and develop an understanding of its key principles, concepts and applications. As well as teaching the human biology aspects of medical biology, we’ve designed the course to demonstrate key principles and advancements relating to the medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical job markets.

The foundation year is the first year of this degree, offering an excellent grounding in the fundamentals of biology, chemistry and mathematics alongside study skills development. It is designed to prepare you for degree level study.

You’ll have the chance to familiarise yourself with the fundamentals of human biology from molecular to organ level. Our dedicated and expert team will also introduce you to the principles of scientific investigation that relate to medical biology. As you progress, you’ll build on these themes in a range of ways, taking a medical perspective on disease and treatment.

The course aims to help you develop skills that will be of value should you wish to apply for medical school entrance exams, and gives you the chance to gain experience using a wide variety of relevant biomedical instrumentation.

  • UCAS points: 48
  • Start date: 21/09/2020
  • Location: The University of Bolton
  • Award: BSc (Hons)
  • UCAS code: C250
  • Duration: 6 years

Course highlights:

  • You’ll explore the causes of disease, and the methods and technologies used to treat and diagnose disease.
  • This highly practical course focuses on developing your practical skills, and knowledge of research methods, by giving you experience of using equipment in our high-spec instrumentation laboratory.
  • We’ll also support you to gain skills in critical thinking, problem solving and communication that are highly valued in the biosciences and medical industries, and beyond.
  • Many of the areas you’ll explore benefit from University staff research, so you’ll have direct access to in-house expertise, and the latest ideas and learning as they present themselves.
  • The course includes a framework through which suitable work placements can accrue credit towards your degree, allowing you to gain work experience in a career-relevant environment and build your network of industry contacts. If you’re interested in a placement, we'll work with you to identify and approach suitable placement providers.
  • We offer a warm and friendly environment, with relatively small class sizes, purpose-built teaching and laboratory facilities, and excellent student support and library services.

Key features:

  • Our Biological Sciences courses are placed in the UK’s top 15 for teaching quality by The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020.
  • We’re based in the Queens Specialist Building, which offers modern teaching laboratories and classrooms, plus a high-spec instrumentation laboratory, microscopy facility, microbiology laboratory and tissue engineering suite, all dedicated to undergraduate teaching.
  • You’ll have opportunities to explore medical biochemistry, molecular genetics, medical microbiology, cancer biology, neurobiology, clinical examination skills and tissue engineering.
  • We prefer to keep lecture and practical classes relatively small, so that you have plenty of opportunities to ask our friendly, supportive tutors for help, as well as benefit from the ideas and support offered by your classmates.
  • By inviting experts in specialist areas of biology to give guest lectures and provide an overview of their research and professional experience, we aim to enhance your learning and help you to make contacts in the industry.
  • We spoke to biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, as well as the NHS, while designing the course, to ensure that our graduates gain the knowledge and skills these industries need.

Entry requirements

  • UCAS points: 48
  • Start date: 21/09/2020
  • Location: The University of Bolton
  • Award: BSc (Hons)
  • UCAS code: C250
  • Duration: 6 years

Your Level 3 subjects must include mathematics or a science subject; for instance, A-level Biology or BTEC Extended Diploma in Applied Science.

You should also have five GCSEs at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent) including English, Mathematics and Science.

Please note that Health and Social Care is not acceptable as a biology or science related subject.

You may be required to attend an interview and/or provide a portfolio of work.

If English isn’t your first language you’ll also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details. Find out more

Career opportunities

Medical biology careers span the spectrum of medical sciences. Since the subject area is so broad in scope, the available career options are similarly vast. Whether your focus is on disease diagnosis and treatment, or developing a new medicine, medical biology careers often involve working in laboratories, and understanding how to use laboratory equipment is crucial.

Though some careers can be more independent, working in a team with other professionals is common. So analytical and problem-solving skills are also vital, along with strong literacy and numeracy.

What can I do with this qualification?

As a graduate, you’ll have gained a highly transferable skill set that can be adapted to a huge range of careers and work environments, in both the public and private sector.

Medical biologists are employed in healthcare, biotechnology, medical research and pharmaceutical fields. Working in hospital laboratories, health clinics, government agencies, charities, education and even sales are possible options. Other potential areas of employment include medical science, epidemiology and laboratory technology. Alternatively, you may choose to use your degree as a springboard to higher level study in medicine, or at master’s or doctoral level.

If you’re attracted to a career in medicine, you may also be interested in becoming a physician associate (PA). Physician associates work under the direct supervision of a doctor and carry out many similar tasks, including patient examination, diagnosis and treatment. The University of Bolton’s MSc Physician Associate Studies course is open to Medical Biology graduates who achieve at least a Lower Second Class (2.2) Honours degree, and takes only two years to complete.

Alternative career options

  • Teaching and education
  • Medical administration
  • Health service management
  • Science writing
  • Health promotion
  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Research and development
  • Medical sales
  • Intellectual property
  • Financial analysis
  • Genetics
  • Health education
  • Public relations

Professional recognition

You can become a Student Affiliate member of the Royal Society of Biology.

Fees & funding

No fee information is currently available, please contact Student Data Management on 01204 903059 or for more information

The fees for a student’s course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

The University is currently awaiting Government guidelines as to EU fee charges for students commencing study in 2019/20.

UK undergraduate tuition fees are subject to UK government approval and are subject to the outcome of the Teaching Excellence Framework.

How to apply


You may apply directly to the University using the University's online application form. Please select your chosen start date from the list below:

You should have to hand:

  • Details of the educational establishments you attended and dates

  • Your certificates for the qualifications you are using to gain entry to the course – you will need to enter the completion date and upload copies

  • Details of any employment history including name, address, dates and role

  • Personal statement – this can be either input into the relevant field or uploaded separately

  • Details including e-mail addresses of two referees, at least one of which should be someone who can provide an academic reference

Please make sure any documents you wish to upload in support of your application are in pdf or jpeg format. Personal statements may be word documents.

Please ensure your data is correct at each stage of the application before you proceed to the next page. If you use the back button at any time during the application, you should check the validity of the data you have already input.

If you experience difficulties during the application process, contact the Admissions Team on 01204 903394 or


International applications are not possible for this course

As an international student you are not allowed to study this course because of the restrictions on your visa.

We offer a wide range of full-time courses in lots of different subjects, many of our courses start in September and January. If you would like to see what courses are available please visit our Course Search.

Teaching & assessment


Modules listed below are a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules as part of the course.

  • Principles of Biomolecular Science
  • Research Skills for Medical Biology
  • Biology Form and Function: Levels of Organisation
  • Transition to Higher Education
  • Investigating Science and Personal Development
  • Molecular Basis of Life
  • Cellular Basis of Life
  • Clinical Anatomy
  • Human Physiology
  • Introduction to Biochemistry
  • Research Science
  • Technology in Advanced Musculoskeletal Diagnosis and Treatment
  • Sport and Exercise Nutrition
  • Molecular Genetics
  • Medical Biochemistry
  • Medical Microbiology
  • Project
  • Placement
  • Cancer Biology
  • Neurobiology
  • Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
  • Biological Basis of Disease and Therapeutics
  • Clinical Diagnostic Techniques

Teaching, learning and assessment

We use a wide variety of teaching and learning methods to help you achieve your potential. Lectures introduce course content, while seminars are a valuable way to explore subjects in greater detail. Tutorials allow you to ask questions about the topics we cover, and discuss your learning approaches and strategies for success. Practical laboratory sessions help you learn to apply academic theory to scientific problems, and develop practical skills in research methods and scientific techniques. Also, guided computer-based workshops help you gain the data analysis skills and knowledge you’ll need to take on your research project and thesis.

Self-directed and independent study is essential if you want to reach your potential in this hugely rewarding and constantly evolving subject, so we encourage you to devote significant time to it. For example, for background reading, assignments, preparing for seminars, writing essays and revising for exams.

Summative assessments include in-class tests, essays, seminar presentations, laboratory reports, independent project work, and exams that contribute to your final module mark. These assessments are your chance to confirm your knowledge and understanding, as well as your critical and evaluation skills.

Meanwhile, you’ll get to benefit from ongoing formative assessments throughout your degree. These don’t contribute to module marks or final grades, but are designed to support your progress and help you build on your strengths and overcome perceived weaknesses. They’re also a good way to help you identify and pursue the independent learning strategies that best suit your needs and preferences.


The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up to date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

Assessment methods

Level Assessment method
Level One Coursework (63%), Practical exams (10%), Written exams (28%)
Level Two Coursework (30%), Practical exams (13%), Written exams (57%)
Level Three Coursework (52%), Practical exams (16%), Written exams (32%)
Level Coursework (58%), Practical exams (20%), Written exams (22%)

Learning activities

Level Learning activity
Level One Guided independent study (64%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (36%)
Level Two Guided independent study (66%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (34%)
Level Three Guided independent study (66%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (34%)
Level Guided independent study (61%), Placement/study abroad (13%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (27%)

Contact The University

Key facts

  • UCAS code:
  • Course type:
  • Start date:
  • Location:
    The University of Bolton
  • Award:
    BSc (Hons)
  • UCAS points:
  • Duration:
    6 years

Contact us

Andy Baldwin
Programme Leader
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903470

Ann Kolodziejski
Placement Co-ordinator
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903149

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903903