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Applied Science (Biology) — Higher National Certificate (HNC)

Course information

The subject of Biology encompasses studies from the atomic to the planetary - or even extra-terrestrial scale. As such, you may be reluctant at an early stage in your biological career to limit your studies to a narrow field. The HNC level 4 qualification provides an excellent grounding in the key concepts and practical skills required for progressing onto further studies, such as a BSc, or into employment.

The modules covered on this course offer a wide variety of subjects extending from molecular and cellular biology to biodiversity, and cover all of the five kingdoms. With an emphasis on taught modules, delivered through a diverse range of methods that reflect the diversity of learners' needs and a high level of practical work, you will develop your technical, numerical and analytical skills.

You will study the following eight modules:

  • Cell Biology
  • Biochemistry of Macromolecules
  • Ecological Principles and their Application
  • Physiology of Cellular Systems in Animals
  • Human Health and Nutrition
  • Laboratory Techniques
  • Personal and Professional Development
  • Analysis of Scientific Data and Information

Skills and Knowledge Developed:

The programme aims to:

  • Provide the appropriate knowledge and understanding required for the practice of biological science in the workplace
  • Deliver the professional and practical skills and competencies which are required to gain employment within the science industry
  • Develop technical, analytical, mathematical and evaluative skills
  • Develop skills in communication, team work, problem solving and ITC
  • Develop the students' self-awareness and self-evaluation, with the emphasis on health and safety in the workplace environment
  • Develop students as reflective practitioners, with an understanding of the need for the commitment to lifelong learning
  • Provide a suitable basis for the progression to level 5

The programme handbook for this course is available to applicants online:

HNC Applied Science (Biology) Programme Handbook (19-20)

Please note: this course will only run when it has a sufficient number of applicants.


Higher National Certificate in Applied Biology

This course leads to...

Although the emphasis of career development and employment through this nationally recognised course is clearly in the biological field, it is by no means exclusive as the many skills acquired may be applied to other areas such as commerce, management, teaching, etc. Direct progression on to a suitable HND or degree level study, or employment in the biological sciences is also possible.

Students may go on to careers in biomedical diagnostics, nutrition, laboratory analysis, research and development, ecological sciences, conservation, education and many other related areas.

Entry Requirements

A suitable candidate will have a level 3 qualification or possess the equivalent of two A-level passes in the sciences - preferably biology and chemistry.

• Students need both GCSE English AND maths at grade C
• Non-standard entry students will always be considered and a variety of other life experiences can be taken into account
• Overseas students are considered on an individual basis
• We are looking for students with enthusiasm and a willingness to embrace new concepts and ideas

Applicants should hold a total UCAS Tariff points score from relevant qualifications of at least 96 points.

Why study with us?

Within the scheme, there is opportunity for students to attain a level of professional practice. Strong links with industrial laboratories facilitate industry-related briefs and real scenarios that provide an opportunity for students to acquire professional work ethics, time planning skills and working within a professional science team. Learning is supported through a series of contextual visits.

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Further Information...

Need more information or can’t find the course you’re looking for? We can book you in to speak with our dedicated Advice & Guidance team about your options at The City of Liverpool College. With hundreds of courses and flexible learning, we’re sure to have something to meet your needs.

You can contact us online via or call us at any point on 0151 252 3000 with any queries you may have – we’re here to help.


Course ID: 163661

Course Year: 21/22

Course Duration: 1 Year


This course is only available to learners aged 18 and over. Fees are payable by all students unless sponsored by an employer, but you may qualify for a student loan through Student Finance England towards the cost of your course and living costs. Find out more at, or contact our HE team at

Fee for21/22 is 6568.00
In future years we anticipate increasing this fee in line with the annual inflation level (capped at RPI All Items Excluding Mortgage Interest (RPIX)).

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