Foundation Year Science and Engineering degrees with a foundation year (Biology route)

Attend an open day How to apply
Attend an open day How to apply


Our biology degrees offer the chance to gain a solid grounding in the biological sciences – with the flexibility to develop your own interests and learn about the areas and aspects that match your career ambitions. From exploring microbial genetics or the biochemical functions of proteins in cell membranes, to investigating the significance of song in the mating behaviour of birds or the impact of pesticides on pollinating insects, there’s a wide range of routes open to you.

The Foundation Year provides a route onto a Biology degree if you don't have the qualifications or have not studied advanced level subjects sufficiently related to your course of choice.

After successful completion of the Biology Foundation Year, you can progress on to one of the relevant BSc (Hons) degrees:

Whichever route you take, you’ll have the skills and understanding you need to undertake further study or get started in your career.

Features and Benefits

“The Foundation Year aims to give the fundamental academic skills and knowledge required for successful transition into degree-level study. Our academic and personal support helps to build your confidence and strength in your own abilities and adjust to university life and structure.”

Dr Saeed Abu-Zour, Foundation Year Coordinator, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Career Prospects

After successful completion of the Biology Foundation Year, you can progress on to the relevant BSc (Hons) degree.

Learn more about graduate careers

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff points/grades required


A levels ­– DDD-CDD

Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma – MMP

Equivalent qualifications and combinations will be considered, including Extended Project (EPQ) at grade C or above. Other AS levels (or qualifications equivalent to AS level) are not accepted.

Please contact the University directly if you are unsure whether you meet the minimum entry requirements for the course.

Specific GCSE requirements

GCSE grade D/3 in English Language or Level 2 Functional Skills English


GCSE grade D/3 in Mathematics or Level 2 Functional Skills Mathematics

Non Tariffed Qualifications

Pass Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject with a minimum of 74 UCAS Tariff points

International Baccalaureate points

24 IB Diploma Points

IELTS score required for international students

5.5 overall with no individual element below 5.5

There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.

Course details

All Foundation Year students study the academic skills for higher education unit, which will help you to develop the academic and study skills required for degree-level work.

If you are studying a foundation year degree in Biology you will study foundation units in biology, chemistry and data analysis.

International and EU students whose first language is not English and who have an IELTS score of less than 6.0 will study an English language unit.

Successful completion of the Foundation Year guarantees automatic progression onto Year 1 of the degree you have chosen to study. Details of the course content of each degree can be found by selecting the relevant course in the A to Z list of courses.

You will study the following units:

  • Foundation Biology
  • Foundation Chemistry
  • Foundation Data Analysis
  • Academic Skills for Higher Education

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Foundation Biology

This unit aims to develop the students' understanding of the basic principles, concepts and experimental techniques as applied to the broad subject areas of:

  • Biomolecules: structure and properties of biological molecules; structure and function of eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells; the structure of nucleic acids and its role as a carrier of genetic information.
  • Physiology: principles of plant and animal form and function; plant and animal nutrition; adaptation of vertebrate digestive systems; plant and animal responses to internal and external signals.
  • Biodiversity: basic understanding of biological classification; natural selection and evolutionary theory and species interactions; aspects of behavioural and physiological adaptation to environmental conditions, the impacts of human activity on ecological systems and processes.
Foundation Chemistry

Introduction to the basic principles and key concepts providing a platform of chemical knowledge for continuation or transition into higher education. It covers topics such as: Elements - names, symbols and position in the periodic table; Compounds - ionic, covalent and their nomenclature.

Foundation Data Analysis

This unit helps you to develop the critical thinking and data analysis skills you'll need on your linked degree.

It usually covers areas such as:

  • descriptive statistics
  • probability
  • statistical inference
  • critical thinking
  • visual representation of data
  • algebra
Academic Skills for Higher Education

This unit covers topics such as: Academic Skills: Higher Education terminology, independent study, time management, note taking, reading techniques, academic writing, critical thinking and writing, referencing methods, exam techniques and oral presentations; Research Skills: Conducting a research project, research design and methodology, analysing and presenting research data;  Personal Development Planning: Reflection, skills profiling and action planning; Basic Number Work: Basic arithmetic; and mental calculations.

English for Academic Study (Optional Unit)
Please note that English for Academic Study, is only applicable to International students taking the Foundation Year. This unit is mandatory for international students with an IELTS score of less than 6. 

The unit focuses on reading, writing, listening and speaking, from within both an academic and general context. The unit is designed for non-native English speakers to prepare you for the academic demands of your degree course, as well as helping you with daily English needs. The unit content is largely based on the development of academic skills, notably writing and speaking, to give you confidence in your written work and oral presentations. General English is also focused on, however, as the means to help you develop your abilities in English communication needed outside the classroom.

Additional information about this course

This concerns the costings for the Foundation Year only. The students may then go on to other courses where the costings may be different.

Placement options

Selected degrees offer the option of pursuing a sandwich degree and spending a year on a work placement in a relevant industry.

Department of Natural Sciences

Our Department of Natural Sciences is a research-rich academic community with a well-established reputation in biology, chemistry, geography and environmental science.

The department works with research institutions, industry partners, national organisations and NGOs worldwide to address the challenges posed by environmental, socio-economic, cultural and political change, as well as health and advanced materials.

More about the department

Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

Meet our expert staff


Foundation Year students

UK, EU and Channel Island students: Full-time Foundation Year fee: £9,250 per year for the foundation year. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy for both new and continuing students.

Non-EU international students: Full-time Foundation Year fee: £16,500 per year. When progressing from the pre-degree foundation year to the linked degree. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study)

Additional Information

A degree typically comprises 360 credits, a DipHE 240 credits, a CertHE 120 credits, and an integrated Masters 480 credits. The tuition fee for the placement year for those courses that offer this option is £1,850, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study). The tuition fee for the study year abroad for those courses that offer this option is £1,385, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional costs

Specialist Costs

Students often choose to buy a laptop in their first year however there are PCs in campus and students can loan laptops which are suited. There are no other costs in the Foundation Year. Beyond this point, the students will embark on separate courses that may have their own cost associations, which cannot be included as part of Foundation Year costing.


Find out more about financing your studies and whether you may qualify for one of our bursaries and scholarships.

Money Matters

Want to know more?

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS.

Apply now

UCAS code(s)

Visit for a full list of degrees available with an integral foundation year.

Remember to use the correct institution code for Manchester Metropolitan University on your application: our institution code is M40

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.


Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

Important Notice
This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

Confirmation of Regulator
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All higher education providers registered with the OfS must have a student protection plan in place. The student protection plan sets out what students can expect to happen should a course, campus, or institution close. Access our current Student Protection Plan.