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Biological Sciences for Industry

Course Code: UF9009, UX9009

Level: 4
Subject area: Science
Awarding body: Edexcel
Qualification: Higher National Certificate
Course type: Full-time, Part-time
Time of Day: Daytime
Duration: One year (full-time), three years (part-time)
When you'll study: Tuesdays, 9.00am - 5.00pm (part-time)

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About the course

The HNC in Biological Sciences for Industry will give you knowledge and understanding of a range of biological processes, with an emphasis on biology in industry. It includes a high practical content to improve confidence and ability in practical laboratory skills including developing microscope techniques, environmental sampling and analysis and microbiological techniques. With the wide range of analytical instrumentation available you will also become confident using instruments such as IR spectrometers, mass spectrometers, NMR spectrometers, and flame photometers, developing the skills required for a modern laboratory in the field of biological and environmental science.

Biological Sciences in Industry is designed to provide an introduction to higher level biology structured in a way to make it relevant to current industrial and commercial applied biology. The level of study links between A Level and undergraduate level, building a basic framework of knowledge that will allow academic progression in this field. It will also provide the sort of biological knowledge and laboratory skills directly applicable to an industrial setting.

If you are currently working in a related industry or are simply looking for a part-time route on level 4 and 5 qualifications in your own local area, then this course is for you!

What you'll learn

The academic year is broken down into two semesters. Each semester will contain four units.


Cell Biology
Provides an understanding of the structure of a cell and how the cell functions, divides, differentiates and adopts a position in order to perform a specialist role in the multicellular organism. You will also develop skills necessary for growing cells in culture.

Laboratory Techniques for Applied Biologists
Gives you the opportunity to practise and be able to use skills commonly used in practical biology. These include microscopy, titration, spectroscopy, chromatography and use of aseptic technique.

Employability Skills
Provides you with the opportunity to acquire honed employability skills required for effective employment.

Chemistry for Applied Biologists
Covers bonding, thermodynamics, reaction rates, equilibrium, oxidation and reduction and organic chemistry that are necessary to facilitate understanding of aspects of the biological sciences.


Analysis of Scientific Data and Information
Develops skills in mathematical and statistical techniques used in the analysis of scientific data, together with an understanding of the limitations in reporting results.

Physiology of Cellular Systems in Animals
Provides you with an understanding of the structure of the main physiological systems and how they function together to utilise nutrients and remove waste products effectively.

Work-based Investigation
Enables you to gain credit for work-based practical investigations either as an individual or as part of a team. You will plan, undertake, monitor progress and communicate the outcomes of a work-based topic.

Environmental Monitoring and Analysis
Provides you with an understanding of natural environmental cycles and the influence of pollutants on ecosystems. The sources and effects of environmental pollutants together with techniques of sampling and chemical analysis are examined.

Entry requirements

You will need to have:

  • GCSE grades A-C (4-9) in maths, English and science
  • two A Levels in Science at grades A*-E or a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Applied Sciences, or a Level 3 Access to Higher Education in Science or other related level 3 qualifications.

In addition to the academic entry requirements you must also be able to provide related work experience during the course. Without this you will not be able to achieve the qualification. The work related experience can be paid or voluntary and can be in the form of one week’s work experience for each work-based unit undertaken, one day per week throughout the course or employment in a laboratory setting.

Other professional qualifications
Upon interview we would consider appropriate professional qualifications along with work related experience as long as core GCSEs had been achieved. This course is designed to provide a possible route into higher education whilst providing a recognised qualification in its own right.


This is not an exam based course. It is based on assignments and practical assessments for each unit, spread throughout the academic year.

What's next?

The successful completion of the HNC in Biological Sciences for Industry will enable you to progress on to further study and training at either HND or BSc level in biological sciences or related subjects.

This is a higher level qualification and is accepted by a wide range of universities. The HNC in itself will provide a suitable qualification to enter an undergraduate programme in the field. When combined with the HND, many universities will offer direct access onto the second year of related undergraduate programmes.

The course will support career progression for those who are already working in related industries or provide a good basis to lead on to careers in a wide range of biological industries, including environmental biology, food technology, environmental health and variety of roles in plant and animal management and care.

Important information

Fees quoted apply to courses starting in the academic year 2018/19 (August 2018 – July 2019). There may be a slight increase in fees for courses starting 2019/20.


Course Code: UF9009

Course Fees

A Full Course Fee: £6950

B Reduced Course Fee (for those in receipt of qualifying benefits): Not applicable to this course

C Ancillary course costs (ie books and equipment): Not applicable to this course

D Advanced Learner Loan Fee: Not applicable to this course

How old are you? How much will you pay?
16 - 17 This course is not usually available to this age group. Please contact or phone reception on 01752 305 300 for advice.
18 - 23 A
24+ A

Please note fees are quoted for one year only.