Biology and History and Philosophy of Science BSc
Year of entry 2023
- UCAS code
- Start date
- September 2023
- Delivery type
- On campus
- 3 years full time
- Work placement
- Study abroad
- Typical A-level offer
- ABB (specific subject requirements)
- Typical Access to Leeds offer
- BBC at A Level including B in Biology and pass Access to Leeds
Full entry requirements
This joint honours degree enables you to develop knowledge and skills through an exploration of the science and philosophy of living things, as well as a historical understanding of how these fields of study have evolved over time.
You’ll combine practical lab work with classroom-based learning, developing a broad set of biological knowledge and skills, whilst exploring the history of scientific thought, the links between magic, science and religion and the nature of scientific knowledge.
A combination of core and optional modules will enable you to improve your understanding of key topics such as philosophy of science, cell biology and genetics and gain specialist knowledge in areas like philosophy of biology, behavioural ecology and animal development biology.
A joint honours degree allows you to study the same core topics as students on each single honours course, but you’ll take fewer options and discovery modules so you can fit in both subjects. You’ll also undertake a major research project in either subject in your final year.
Core modules in your first year introduce you to key topics and approaches in biology and history and philosophy of science, from the history of science and the scientific method, to genetics and cell biology.
You’ll also be able to choose from optional modules in areas such as history of medicine or whole organism biology, or take discovery modules from across the wider University.
From this foundation, you’ll build your knowledge and skills over the next two years through a broader range of study. You’ll choose from a variety of modules covering animal and plant life, experimental design, ecology, philosophy of biology, and science communication.
Throughout the degree you’ll build up an impressive breadth of subject knowledge, and develop research and analytical skills. In your final year you’ll also have the chance to showcase these skills, when you focus on a subject of your choice to undertake a research project.
This means you graduate with academic knowledge and practical transferable skills, helping you to succeed in the world of work or further study.
The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.
For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Biology and History and Philosophy of Science BSc in the course catalogue
Year 1 compulsory modules
|Introduction to Cell Biology: from Molecules to Cells and Tissues||10|
|Introduction to Genetics||10|
|Research and Study Skills Level 1||10|
|Introduction to the History of Science||10|
|How Science Works||10|
Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|Applied Biology and Agriculture||10|
|Exploring Whole Organism Biology in the Lab and Field||10|
|Magic, Science and Religion||10|
|History of Psychology||10|
|Darwin, Germs and the Bomb||10|
|Living with Technology||10|
|History of Modern Medicine||10|
|Knowledge, Self and Reality||20|
|How to Think Clearly and Argue Well||20|
Year 2 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|How Plants Work||10|
|Experimental Design and Analysis||10|
|Sustainable Food Production||10|
|Urban Ecology and Conservation Field Course||20|
|History of Psychiatry and Mental Illness||20|
|Introduction to Epistemology||20|
Year 3 compulsory modules
|Independent Research Project in Philosophy, Religion or History of Science||40|
|Integrated Research Project in Philosophy, Religion or History of Science||40|
|Biology Integrated Research Project||40|
Year 3 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|Social Insect Biology||10|
|Plant Growth, Resources and Food Security||20|
|Advanced Topics in Animal Science||20|
|Plant Development: Making a plant in theory and practice||20|
|Level 3 Field Course (South Africa)||20|
|Biology Integrated Research Projects||40|
|Mind, Brain & Society||20|
|Philosophy of Modern Physics||20|
Throughout your degree you will benefit from a range of opportunities to expand your intellectual horizons outside or within your subject area.
This course gives you the opportunity to choose from a range of discovery modules. They’re a great way to tailor your study around your interests or career aspirations and help you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Find out more about discovery modules on our Broadening webpages.
Learning and teaching
Our tutors are experts in their fields, and their teaching is informed by their own research.
We use a range of teaching methods to help you benefit from their expertise, including lectures, seminars, tutorials or occasionally workshops.
However, independent study is also central to this degree, since it allows you to develop your skills in research and analysis. You will be able to apply your skills and knowledge in a Final Year Research Project on a topic of your own choice.
On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.
We also use different types of assessment. Usually we use a mixture of exams and essays, but you may also be assessed on oral presentations or group work in some modules. Support will be on hand throughout your time at Leeds for example, youll be able to attend extra classes on exam technique, structuring an essay and public speaking if you need them.
A-level: ABB including B in Biology
GCSE: grade 6/B in Mathematics.
Other course specific tests:
Where an applicant is taking the EPQ in a relevant subject this might be considered alongside other Level 3 qualifications and may attract an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. If you are taking A Levels, this would be BBB at A Level including Biology and grade A in the EPQ.
Access to HE Diploma
Pass diploma with 60 credits overall, including at least 45 credits at level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. Grade 6/B in GCSE Mathematics is required. An interview and a piece of written work may also be required. This course has additional subject specific requirements. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.
We will consider the level 3 QCF BTEC at Subsidiary Diploma level and above in combination with other qualifications. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.
M1, M1, M2 including Biology
34 points overall with 16 at Higher Level including 6 in Biology at Higher Level and 5 in Mathematics at Standard Level
Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)
H2, H2, H2, H3, H3, H3 including H3 in Biology
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers
The Welsh Baccalaureate is not typically included in the academic conditions of an offer made to you for this course. If you choose to undertake the Welsh Baccalaureate we would strongly encourage you to draw upon these experiences within your personal statement, as your qualification will then be taken into account both when your application is initially considered by the selection panel and again when reviewed by the admissions tutor at the time your A-level results are passed to us.
European Baccalaureate: 75% including 8.0 in Biology
Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the Schools Undergraduate Admissions Team.
Were committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.
Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.
Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.
BBC at A Level including B in Biology and pass Access to Leeds
We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information contact the School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science Undergraduate Admissions team.
You can find out more about what it is like to be an international student by speaking to a Link to Leeds ambassador. They can’t help you with your application, but they can tell you how they have found living and studying in Leeds.
International Foundation Year
International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.
Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.
UK: £9,250 (per year)
International: £27,000 (per year)
Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2022/23
For UK full-time undergraduate students starting in 2022/23 the fee will be £9,250. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation and as permitted by law. Fees for UK undergraduate students are decided by the government and may vary if policy changes.
Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students for 2023/24 have been agreed by the UK Government and will remain at the current fee level of £9,250. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation and as permitted by law. Fees for UK undergraduate students are decided by the government and may vary if policy changes.
Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 should be available on individual course pages from September 2022.
Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.
Read more about paying fees and charges.
There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs.
Scholarships and financial support
If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.
Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.
Read our guidance about applying.
International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.
Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.
University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2023
This course is taught by
School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science
Faculty of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures Admissions
A joint honours degree in Biology and History and Philosophy of Science will equip you with a wide range of practical skills and subject knowledge which are highly attractive to employers.
You’ll be able to interpret complex quantitative and qualitative data using your excellent analytical skills which you’ll have developed throughout your course. You’ll also be confident working within a team or independently and you’ll have great research skills.
You’ll also be organised and able to multi-task through your experience of studying two subjects together.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. Thats one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
Study abroad and work placements
On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. We have over 300 University partners worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America.
Find out more at the Study Abroad website.
The School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science has exclusive exchange links with universities in Denmark, France and Spain – language classes are available before you go to prepare you for the experience.
Read more about Study abroad in Philosophy, Religion and History of Science
Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.
Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.
Student profile: Ben Kumar
I can comfortably say this has changed my life. The support given to me at Leeds from not only applying for the course but then experiencing it has been wonderful.Find out more about Ben Kumar's time at Leeds