About the course

It is an exciting time to study Biology, from the ability to read and change DNA sequences to advances in our understanding of health and environmental issues that affect biodiversity, food production and disease. A new era has arrived in which we have the opportunity, through understanding and applying biological knowledge, to find pioneering ways to address individual, regional and global issues that affect our changing world. This biology course has been developed utilizing the internationally recognised expertise and facilities of the University of Hertfordshire, Oaklands College, Rothamsted Research and The Royal Veterinary College. It is aimed at students who wish to enhance their understanding of plant and animal science, with particular regard to food production and security, ecology, environmental issues and sustainability, both in the business world and in the management of animals, plants and land.

Fact sheets 2019 Course fact sheet 1 BSc (Hons) Applied Plant and Animal Biology
Programme specifications 2019 Programme specification 1 BSc (Hons) Applied Plant and Animal Biology

Why choose this course?

  • Our Applied Plant and Animal Biology degree is designed to develop a wide range of skills in the field of biology and to give students practical experience, with an option of a work placement or a year of study abroad.
  • You will study life at all levels from molecules to cells, whole organisms to ecosystems.  You will gain the technical, analytical and practical skills needed to investigate and manage biological phenomena in microorganisms, fungi, plants and animals in conjunction with their interactions with the environment.
  • Teaching delivered by experts from the University of Hertfordshire, Oaklands College, Rothamsted Research and The Royal Veterinary College.
  • Field work is a key aspect of the study of biology and we are ideally placed for students to carry out practical elements of the course in our laboratories and to undertake fieldwork in pursuit of final year dissertations. There are also opportunities to get involved in ecology activities at the University of Hertfordshire’s Bayfordbury field station, such as beekeeping, bat watching, and woodland management.
  • Free Uno bus pass for zone 1 and 2 to allow travel between campuses (University of Hertfordshire College Lane and de Havilland campuses, Hatfield; The Royal Veterinary College Hawkshead campus, Hatfield; Oaklands College St Albans and Welwyn Garden City campuses; Rothamsted Research, Harpenden) and beyond for duration of the course (current value £569.99 per year)
  • High student satisfaction and a good study community in the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences. Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) Gold Awards for the University of Hertfordshire and The Royal Veterinary College for delivering consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students.
  • The degree provides a stepping stone to a wide range of careers, including teaching.

Course details


Our graduates from the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences are highly sought after by employers due to the reputation of our teaching, the vocational element to our degrees and the fact that many of our students already have a year's work experience when they graduate which they gain in the sandwich year.

Applied Plant and Animal Biology graduates would be employable in biotechnology, farming, food and pharmaceutical industries; environmental agencies, regulatory bodies and government, teaching, as well as in industrial, academic and charity funded scientific research.

Teaching methods

You will develop your capacity for independent study and interpersonal skills on this programme. Alongside traditional teaching methods of lectures, laboratories, workshops, projects and tutorials, you will have access to extensive Learning Resource Centres, incorporating libraries and computer centres at the University of Hertfordshire, The Royal Veterinary College, Oaklands College and Rothamsted Research, providing a wide range of on-line resources including full text electronic journals and dedicated study rooms.

Support for taught modules is provided through the University of Hertfordshire’s managed on-line learning environment – StudyNet - a university-wide set of systems and tools for educational delivery; RVC Learn – dedicated platform for online learning at Royal Veterinary College also supporting Computer Aided Learning (CAL).

An academic tutor at each of the partner institutions will also liaise with the Programme Leader at University of Hertfordshire to support students on course. There is an emphasis on structured study, well-prepared written and verbal presentations and computer literacy. Assessment may be in the form of coursework, directly observed practical skills or examination. Coursework may take a variety of forms and could be individual or group work. In your final year you will normally have the opportunity to hone your independent study and interpersonal skills by undertaking a major project or dissertation.

Work Placement

You have the opportunity to take a work placement for a year before your final year. These optional placements will enhance your future career prospects. Students successfully completing their placement may also be eligible for the independent City & Guilds Licentiateship & Professional Recognition Award. Work placements are usually paid. In past years students in the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences have completed placements with:

  • Affinity Water,
  • Environment Agency Herts & N London- Welwyn Garden City,
  • GlaxoSmithKline: Data Management - Uxbridge,
  • Hertfordshire County Council,
  • Medical Research Council: Human Genome Project - Hinxton,
  • National Biological Standards Board - Potter's Bar,
  • Roche UK - Welwyn Garden City,
  • St. Bartholomew's & The Royal London: School of Medicine - London and St. George Medical School - London,
  • Syngenta Seeds - Cambridge,
  • University of Hertfordshire: Biodeterioration Centre - Hatfield.

Study Abroad

This course offers you the opportunity to study abroad before your final year through the University's study abroad programme. Study abroad opportunities are available worldwide and in Europe under the Erasmus+ Programme. Find out more about Study abroad opportunities.

Our overseas partners include:


  • Université Libre de Bruxelles - Brussels, Belgium,
  • Universidad de Alcalá de Henarez - Madrid, Spain,
  • Universidad Católica San Antonio De Murcia, Spain,
  • Linkping Universitetet - Linkping, Sweden,
  • Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen - Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

North America and Canada

  • Bemidji State University - USA,
  • Bishops University, Canada,
  • Central Connecticut State University - USA,
  • Concordia University, Canada,
  • Ecole Polytechnique - Canada,
  • ETS - Canada,
  • Kansas State University - USA,
  • Laval University - Canada,
  • McGill University - Canada,
  • Oklahoma State University - USA,
  • Sherbrooke University - Canada,
  • University of Missouri at Rolla - USA,
  • University of Montreal - Canada,
  • University of Oklahoma - USA,
  • University of Toledo - USA,
  • University of Wisconsin at Au Claire - USA,
  • University of Wisconsin at Whitewater - USA,
  • UQTR - Canada,
  • West Virginia University - USA.


  • Year 1
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    Ecosystems and Environmental Change 15 Credits Compulsory
    Global Agricultural Systems 15 Credits Compulsory
    Animal Physiology 15 Credits Compulsory
    Cell Biology 15 Credits Compulsory
    Human Nutrition 15 Credits Compulsory
    Plant Science 15 Credits Compulsory
    Animal Husbandry 15 Credits Compulsory
    Essential Study Skills 0 Credits Compulsory
    Introduction to Agribusiness 15 Credits Compulsory
  • Year 2
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    Law in Land-based Industry 15 Credits Compulsory
    Sustainable Crop Production 30 Credits Compulsory
    Livestock Production: Pre-Harvest Phase 15 Credits Compulsory
    Livestock Production: Harvesting of Meat, Milk and Eggs 15 Credits Compulsory
    Livestock Production Systems 15 Credits Compulsory
    Research Design for Plant and Animal Science 15 Credits Compulsory
    Molecular Biology for Biologists 15 Credits Compulsory
    Enhancing Employability 0 Credits Compulsory
    Applied Biology Work Experience 15 Credits Optional
  • Year 3
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    New Developments in Crop Production 30 Credits Compulsory
    The Global Agricultural Business 15 Credits Compulsory
    Animal Science: Genetic Improvement 15 Credits Compulsory
    Animal Science: Disease and Disease Control 15 Credits Compulsory
    Individual Research Project 30 Credits Compulsory
    Challenges for Food and Biological Security 15 Credits Compulsory
  • Fees & funding

    Fees 2019

    UK/EU Students

    Full time
    • £9250 for the 2019/2020 academic year

    *Tuition fees are charged annually. The fees quoted above are for the specified year(s) only. Fees may be higher in future years, for both new and continuing students. Please see the University’s Fees and Finance Policy (and in particular the section headed “When tuition fees change”), for further information about when and by how much the University may increase its fees for future years.

    View detailed information about tuition fees

    Read more about additional fees in the course fact sheet

    Other financial support

    Find out more about other financial support available to UK and EU students

    Living costs / accommodation

    The University of Hertfordshire offers a great choice of student accommodation, on campus or nearby in the local area, to suit every student budget.

    View detailed information about our accommodation

    Entry requirements

    UCAS pointsA LevelBTEC



    How to apply

    Course length
    • Full Time, 3 Years
    • Sandwich, 4 Years
    • University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield


    Start DateEnd DateLink
    23/09/201931/05/2020Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)


    Start DateEnd DateLink
    23/09/202031/05/2021Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
    21/09/202031/05/2021Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)


    Start DateEnd DateLink
    21/09/202131/05/2022Apply online (Full Time)
    23/09/202131/05/2022Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
    21/09/202131/05/2022Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)


    Start DateEnd DateLink
    19/09/202231/05/2023Apply online (Full Time)
    Optional Sandwich Placement or Study Abroad year