Biosciences (with a foundation year) BSc

Foundation Years

Key information

Duration:
4 years full time
Typical A-level offer:
CCC
UCAS code:
C701
Start date:
September 2017

Do you want to learn from scientists tackling some of the world’s most important challenges – such as conservation, cancer and dementia? This Foundation Year is perfect for you.

The flexibility of the Foundation Year means you can continue studying for a range of our exciting Life Sciences degrees. To prepare you for whichever course you pick, you learn both practical and academic skills in biology, chemistry and mathematics. This gives you the perfect grounding for your studies.

Foundation Year courses are a brilliant opportunity for students to fulfil their potential while they’re learning the skills required by a top university like Sussex.”Chantal Irtelli
English and A-level Academic Leader

Is a Foundation Year for you?

We welcome students with a broad range of backgrounds and experiences, including:

  • those who aren't sure which subject they'd like to specialise in
  • those who don't have the right combination of subjects for direct entry into Year 1
  • those who don't meet the expected requirements for direct entry into Year 1
  • those who are returning to education after some time away.

Entry requirements

You will need to demonstrate your potential to do well on a demanding degree, including the potential to succeed in your chosen discipline.

The following sets out some of the most common academic qualifications. However, each application is reviewed on its individual strengths and merits.

A-level

Typical offer

CCC

Subjects

A-levels should normally include at least one from Biology, Chemistry or Physics. If you do not have one of these science A-levels your application will be considered on a case-by-case basis and you will need to demonstrate potential to do well in a demanding science degree.

GCSEs

You will also need GCSE (or equivalent) English, Mathematics and two Science subjects with grade B in each (or grade 5 in the new grading scale).

Other UK qualifications

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma

Typical offer

DMM in Applied Sciences.

GCSEs

You will also need GCSE (or equivalent) English, Mathematics and two Science subjects with grade B in each (or grade 5 in the new grading scale).

Additional requirements

Your application must include evidence of your potential to do well in a demanding science degree.

International Baccalaureate

Typical offer

28 points overall.

Additional requirements

You will normally have completed the full International Baccalaureate Diploma with an overall score of at least 28 points. However, we are pleased to consider applicants with 26-27 points overall on a case-by-case basis. Regardless of overall points score, your application must include evidence of your potential to do well in a demanding science degree.

Scottish Highers

Typical offer

CCCCC

Subjects

Scottish Highers must include either Biology, Chemistry or Physics.

Additional requirements

You must supply evidence of your potential to do well in a demanding science degree. You will also need Maths, English and Science at Standard Grade, grade 1 or 2.

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma

Typical offer

Grade C and CC in two A-levels.

Subjects

A-levels should include at least one from Biology, Chemistry or Physics. If you do not have one of these science A-levels you will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

GCSEs

You will also need GCSE (or equivalent) English, Mathematics and two Science subjects with grade B in each (or grade 5 in the new grading scale).

International baccalaureate

Typical offer

28 points overall.

Additional requirements

You will normally have completed the full International Baccalaureate Diploma with an overall score of at least 28 points. However, we are pleased to consider applicants with 26-27 points overall on a case-by-case basis. Regardless of overall points score, your application must include evidence of your potential to do well in a demanding science degree.

European baccalaureate

Typical offer

70%

Additional requirements

Evidence of your potential to do well in a demanding science degree.

Other international qualifications

Australia

Typical offer

Relevant state (Year 12) High School Certificate, and over 85% in the ATAR or UAI/TER/ENTER. Or a Queensland OP of 5 or below.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Austria

Typical offer

Reifeprüfung or Matura with an overall result of 2.2 or better for first-year entry. A result of 2.5 or better would be considered for Foundation Year entry.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Belgium

Typical offer

Certificat d'Enseignement Secondaire Supérieur (CESS) or Diploma van Hoger Secundair Onderwijs with a good overall average. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Bulgaria

Typical offer

Diploma za Sredno Obrazovanie with excellent final-year scores (normally 5.5 overall with 6 in key subjects).

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Canada

Typical offer

High School Graduation Diploma. Specific requirements vary between provinces.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

China

Typical offer

We usually don’t accept Senior High School Graduation for direct entry to our undergraduate courses.

However, we do accept one of the following qualifications for our International Foundation Years:  

  • Senior High 2 at an average grade of 75% with a minimum of five academic subjects including key subjects
  • Senior High 3 at an average of 70% or above in a minimum of four academic subjects including key subjects.

If you successfully complete the International Foundation Year you can progress on to a relevant undergraduate course at Sussex. 

Check which qualifications we accept for the International Foundation Year.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Croatia

Typical offer

Maturatna Svjedodžba with an overall score of at least 4-5 depending on your degree choice.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Cyprus

Typical offer

Apolytirion of Lykeion with an overall average of at least 18 or 19/20 will be considered for first-year entry.

A score of 15/20 in the Apolytirion would be suitable for Foundation Year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Czech Republic

Typical offer

Maturita with a good overall average.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Denmark

Typical offer

Højere Forberedelseseksamen (HF) or studentereksamen with an overall average of at least 7 on the new grading scale.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Finland

Typical offer

Finnish Ylioppilastutkinto with an overall average result of 4.5.

Additional requirements

Evidence of your potential to do well in a demanding science degree.

France

Typical offer

French Baccalauréat with an overall final result of 11/20.

Additional requirements

Evidence of your potential to do well in a demanding science degree.

Germany

Typical offer

German Abitur with an overall result of 2.5 or better.

Additional requirements

Evidence of your potential to do well in a demanding science degree.

Greece

Typical offer

Apolytirion with an overall average of at least 18 or 19/20 will be considered for first-year entry.

A score of 15/20 in the Apolytirion would be suitable for Foundation Year entry. Find out more about Foundation years.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Hong Kong

Typical offer

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) with grades of 5, 4, 4 from three subjects including two electives. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Hungary

Typical offer

Erettsegi/Matura with a good average.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

India

Typical offer

Standard XII results from Central and Metro Boards with an overall average of 75-80%. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Iran

Typical offer

High School Diploma and Pre-University Certificate.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Ireland

Typical offer

Irish Leaving Certificate (Higher Level) at CCCCCC.

Additional requirements

Irish Leaving Certificate (Higher Level) should include either Biology, Chemistry or Physics. You will also have Ordinary level English, Mathematics and two Science subjects with grade B in each.

Israel

Typical offer

Bagrut, with at least 8/10 in at least six subjects, including one five-unit subject.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Italy

Typical offer

Italian Diploma di Maturità or Diploma Pass di Esame di Stato with a Final Diploma mark of at least 71.

Additional requirements

Evidence of your potential to do well in a demanding science degree.

Japan

Typical offer

Upper Secondary Leaving Certificate is suitable for entry to our Foundation Years. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Latvia

Typical offer

Atestats par Visparejo videjo Izglitibu with very good grades in state exams.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Lithuania

Typical offer

Brandos Atestatas including scores of 80-90% in at least three state examinations (other than English).

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Luxembourg

Typical offer

Diplôme de Fin d'Etudes Secondaires.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Malaysia

Typical offer

Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM). As well as various two or three-year college or polytechnic certificates and diplomas.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Netherlands

Typical offer

Voorereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs (VWO), normally with an average of at least 7.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Nigeria

Typical offer

You are expected to have one of the following:

  • Higher National Diploma
  • One year at a recognised Nigerian University
  • Professional Diploma (Part IV) from the Institute of Medical Laboratory Technology of Nigeria
  • Advanced Diploma

You must also have a score of C6 or above in WAEC/SSC English.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Norway

Typical offer

Norwegian Vitnemal Fra Den Videregaende Skole - Pass with an overall average of at least 3.5.

Additional requirements

Evidence of your potential to do well in a demanding science degree.

Pakistan

Typical offer

Bachelor (Pass) degree in arts, commerce or science.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Poland

Typical offer

Matura with three extended-level written examinations, normally scored within the 7th stanine.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Portugal

Typical offer

Diploma de Ensino Secundario normally with an overall mark of at least 16/20. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Romania

Typical offer

Diploma de Bacalaureat with an overall average of 8.5-9.5 depending on your degree choice.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Singapore

Typical offer

A-levels, as well as certain certificates and diplomas.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Slovakia

Typical offer

Maturitna Skuska or Maturita with honours, normally including scores of 1 in at least three subjects.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Slovenia

Typical offer

Secondary School Leaving Diploma or Matura with at least 23 points overall.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

South Africa

Typical offer

National Senior Certificate with very good grades. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Spain

Typical offer

Spanish Título de Bachillerato (LOGSE) with an overall average result of at least 6.5.

Additional requirements

Evidence of your potential to do well in a demanding science degree.

Sri Lanka

Typical offer

Sri Lankan A-levels.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Sweden

Typical offer

Fullstandigt Slutbetyg with good grades.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Switzerland

Typical offer

Federal Maturity Certificate.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Turkey

Typical offer

Devlet Lise Diplomasi or Lise Bitirme is normally only suitable for Foundation Years, but very strong applicants may be considered for first year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

USA

Typical offer

We look at your full profile taking into account everything you are studying. You must have your high school graduation diploma and we will be interested in your Grade 12 GPA. However, we will also want to see evidence of the external tests you have taken. Each application is looked at individually, but you should normally have one or two of the following:

  • APs (where we would expect at least three subject with 4/5 in each)
  • SAT Reasoning Tests (normally with a combined score of 1300) or ACT grades
  • and/or SAT Subject Tests (where generally we expect you to have scores of 600 or higher). 

We would normally require APs or SAT Subject Tests in areas relevant to your chosen degree course.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

My country is not listed

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, email ug.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

6.5 overall, including at least 6.0 in each component

IELTS scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test.

If you are applying for degree-level study we can consider your IELTS test from any test centre, but if you require a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) for an English language or pre-sessional English course (not combined with a degree) the test must be taken at a UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)-approved IELTS test centre.

Find out more about IELTS.

Other English language requirements

Proficiency tests

Cambridge Advanced Certificate in English (CAE)

For tests taken before January 2015: Grade B or above

For tests taken after January 2015: 176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill

We would normally expect the CAE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Advanced.

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)

For tests taken before January 2015: grade C or above

For tests taken after January 2015: 176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill

We would normally expect the CPE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Proficiency.

Pearson (PTE Academic)

62 overall, including at least 56 in all four skills

PTE (Academic) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Pearson (PTE Academic).

TOEFL (iBT)

88 overall, including at least 20 in Listening, 19 in Reading, 21 in Speaking, 23 in Writing

TOEFL (iBT) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about TOEFL (iBT).

The TOEFL Institution Code for the University of Sussex is 9166.

English language qualifications

AS/A-level (GCE)

Grade C or above in English Language.

Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE)/ AS or A Level: grade C or above in Use of English

French Baccalaureat

A score of 12 or above in English.

GCE O-level

Grade C or above in English.

Brunei/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

Singapore/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

GCSE or IGCSE

Grade C or above in English as a First Language.

Grade B or above in English as a Second Language

German Abitur

A score of 12 or above in English.

Ghana Senior Secondary School Certificate

If awarded before 1993: grades 1-6 in English language.

If awarded between 1993 and 2005: grades A-D in English language. 

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE)

 Level 4, including at least 3 in each component in English Language.

 

Indian School Certificate (Standard XII)

The Indian School Certificate is accepted at the grades below when awarded by the following examination boards:

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) – English Core only: 70%

Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) - English: 70% or Grade 3

 

International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB)

English A or English B at grade 5 or above.

Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM) 119/GCE O-level

If taken before the end of 2008: grades 1-5 in English Language.

If taken from 2009 onwards: grade C or above in English Language.

The qualification must be jointly awarded by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES).

West African Senior School Certificate

Grades 1-6 in English language when awarded by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) or the National Examinations Council (NECO).

Country exceptions

Select to see the list of exempt English-speaking countries

If you are a national of one of the countries below, or if you have recently completed a qualification equivalent to a UK Bachelors degree or higher in one of these countries, you will normally meet our English requirements. Note that qualifications obtained by distance learning or awarded by studying outside these countries cannot be accepted for English language purposes.

You will normally be expected to have completed the qualification within two years before starting your course at Sussex. If the qualification was obtained earlier than this we would expect you to be able to demonstrate that you have maintained a good level of English, for example by living in an English-speaking country or working in an occupation that required you to use English regularly and to a high level.

Please note that this list is determined by the UK’s Home Office, not by the University of Sussex.

List of exempt countries

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada**
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United Kingdom
  • USA

** Canada: you must be a national of Canada; other nationals not on this list who have a degree from a Canadian institution will not normally be exempt from needing to provide evidence of English.

Admissions information for applicants

InterviewNo

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, email ug.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk.

Why choose this course?

  • If you don't have the qualifications to take a degree with us, this Foundation Year helps prepare you for Year 1 of your chosen course within the biosciences at Sussex.
  • You gain a rich understanding of your subject and build the personal and academic skills you need through a dedicated programme of support and development.
  • Successfully completing your Foundation Year means you’ll be able to take an undergraduate course at Sussex, one of the UK's top 20 universities (Guardian University Guide 2018 and Complete University Guide 2018).

Course information

How will I study?

You take introductory modules in biology and chemistry along with mathematics and study skills, including IT. Practical work is an important element of the Foundation Year.

Modules

Core modules

I am a microbiologist and have been involved in clinical research in the area of superbugs, such as MRSA.”Dr Prabha Parthasarathy
Teaching Fellow in Microbiology

Fees

UK/EU students:
£9,250 per year
Channel Islands and Isle of Man students:
£9,250 per year
International students:
£15,100 per year

Note that your fees may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

If you’re an international student, note that fees for the foundation year are at the standard lower rate but fees for courses you can choose to continue your studies are at the standard higher rate. This means your fees will rise from lower to higher level after the foundation year.

Find out about typical living costs for studying at Sussex

Scholarships

Our focus is personal development and social mobility. To help you meet your ambitions to study at Sussex, we deliver one of the most generous scholarship programmes of any UK university.

Please note

Foundation Year courses are not eligible for USA federal Direct Loan funds. Find out more about American Student Loans and Federal Student Aid

Foundation year Study Skills for the Biosciences

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching

As well as a grounding in biology and chemistry, the biosciences foundation year is designed to help you develop the mathematical and study skills you'll need for undergraduate study.

In this module, topics you cover may include:

  • study skills and approaches to learning in Higher Education
  • giving presentations
  • the process of academic writing
  • writing skills: report structure and presenting technical information
  • note taking and time management
  • effective literature searching
  • referencing and citing sources
  • tackling research papers.

Introductory Biology for Biosciences Foundation Year

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching

The aim of your integrated Biosciences foundation year is for you to develop a grounding in biology and chemistry, as well as gaining the mathematical and study skills needed for study at undergraduate level.

In this module, you're introduced to a range of topics in biology. You develop your understanding of how science works, and gain the ability to analyse and evaluate scientific information and methodology.

As part of this module, you may cover topics such as:

  • cellular life and components
  • varieties of cell types
  • the chemistry of life
  • macromolecules of life
  • introduction to genetics
  • ecology and evolution
  • varieties of life
  • how new species form.

This module also includes a number of practical sessions, so that you can familiarise yourself with basic techniques and explore aspects of biology. Following the practical sessions, you write laboratory reports to help you get used to scientific writing and notation. You then develop your scientific writing further through essay writing.

Introductory Chemistry for Biosciences Foundation Year

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching

You gain a foundation in chemistry to help you prepare for future study at undergraduate level.

As well as being introduced to a range of topics in chemistry, you develop the ability to analyse and evaluate scientific data and practical techniques. You also produce laboratory reports, developing your skills in scientific writing and notation.

In this module, you may cover topics including:

  • atomic structure
  • amount of substance
  • bonding
  • periodicity
  • introduction to organic chemistry
  • nomenclature
  • isomerism
  • introduction to energetics and kinetics
  • the background to some analytical techniques.

Mathematics for Studying Biosciences

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching

In this module, you develop foundations in mathematics that are essential for studying the biosciences.

You do this alongside the study of Chemistry and Biology in the autumn term.

These mathematical skills underpin future study at undergraduate level in the biosciences.

The aim of this module is to ensure that you are sufficiently competent in areas of arithmetic and computations, data handling, graphs and interpretation, algebra and geometry and basic trigonometry, to be able to study biosciences effectively at the end of the year.

Therefore, some of these aims are also incorporated into the other modules in the biosciences foundation year.

Further Biology for Biosciences Foundation Year

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching
This module continues from the autumn-term module Introductory Biology for Biosciences Foundation Year. It extends the range of Biology topics, and delves into them in more detail. You practice reading and analysing scientific articles in the journal club and in group discussions.
You develop your scientific writing skills through an essay and a short written exercise based on one of the scientific papers you've studied in the journal club.
Practical reports develop your scientific writing skills further. In these you can also show your understanding of practical work.
Topics covered include:
  • nucleic acids and proteins
  • cell respiration and photosynthesis
  • plant structure
  • growth and reproduction in angiospermophytes
  • genetics
  • evolution (including the Hardy-Weinberg principle)
  • microbes and biotechnology
  • introduction to neurobiology.

Further Chemistry for Biosciences Foundation Year

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching
This module continues from the autumn-term module Introductory Chemistry for Biosciences Foundation Year.
 
Practicals build on the skills laboratory skills you gained in the autumn term but also introduce new concepts. Therefore, practicals will be more involved than in the spring term.
Topics will include:
  • chemical physical equilibrium
  • bonding
  • functional groups
  • nomenclature
  • stereochemistry
  • acid and base properties of organic compounds
  • redox reactions
  • alcohols
  • entropy
  • free energy
  • reaction rate
  • rate constant
  • reaction order
  • correlation between thermodynamics and kinetics
  • amines, amino acids, proteins and the nature of polymers.
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