BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences

Undergraduate, Full-time

Biological Sciences BSc (Hons)



Develop your knowledge and research skills in a variety of biological sciences and specialise in areas which interest you the most

Overview

We have a 100% satisfaction rate for our BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences course. - National Student Survey, 2020

Our course provides you with a broad understanding of biological sciences including biomedical sciences, microbiology, animal and marine biology and immunology. The Biological Sciences degree allows tailored learning to your individual interests. There will therefore be some aspects that are similar to the other degree structures, but allowing flexibility.

You'll benefit from studying in Edinburgh and the surrounding countryside which is rich in biodiversity, and visit local sites of outstanding natural beauty and special scientific interest.

You’ll develop biological skills relevant to your chosen area, such as good laboratory practice, competence in microbiological techniques and field surveying.

Short work placements are available on this course on a competitive basis through the 'Microplacements' scheme.

Students looking down at their experiment on the table during a Lab Skills course at Napier University's Sighthill Campus

Mode of Study:

Full-time (available as Part-time)

Duration:

4 years

Start date:

Sep

UCAS code:

C121

Placement:

Yes

Study Abroad:

Yes


About you
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Course details

Our biological science courses give you the option to study the areas of biology which interest you the most.

Our dynamic teaching staff have a wealth of experience in teaching and research and area currently active in their research and this help to shape the course. You'll benefit from international research conducted across the biological sciences and will have the opportunity to conduct your own research project.

The applied nature of this course develops skills that make you more employable including team working, problem solving, research, communication and IT. As well as specialist analytical and numerical skills, you will be able to collect biological data and communicate scientific information.

The skills you will gain prepare you for work in a number of areas. You can also continue on to postgraduate study, including possible PhD and further academic study.

  • calendar How you’ll be taught You will learn through a variety of different methods, including lectures, tutorials, field studies and laboratory classes.  Most of our staff are members on the Higher Education Academy and have received formal training in teaching undergraduate students.
  • note and pen Assessments A variety of assessment methods are used, including examination, assignments and practical assessments.  These are balanced across the Programme to provide a challenging assessment experience, which allows you to do your best.
  • briefcase Work placement

    Short work placements are available on a competitive basis through the “Microplacements” scheme.

    Placement and Study Abroad opportunities are subject to UK and Scottish Government health and travel advice.

  • study abroad Study abroad

    Erasmus and International Student Exchange Programs opportunities are available in the second and third year of study for one or two trimesters.

    Placement and Study Abroad opportunities are subject to UK and Scottish Government health and travel advice.

Popular modules

Year 1

  • Foundation in Science
  • Life on Earth
  • Comparative anatomy and physiology
  • Scientific enquiry
  • Introductory Microbiology
  • Cell biology

Year 2

Genes and Inheritance

Trimester 1

Select 2 option modules from:

  • Biochemistry
  • Applied Microbiology 
  • Ecology and Sustainability 
  • Practical Skills in Biodiversity and Ecology
Physiology, Adaptation and Disease

Trimester 2

Select 2 option modules from:

  • Symbiosis
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Clinical Care of Exotic Species

Year 3

Research Methods

Trimester 1

Select 2 option modules from:

  • Habitat Assessment and GIS
  • Ecology Field Studies 
  • Molecular Biology and the Cell
  • Immunology
  • Food Microbiology and Biotechnology

Trimester 2

Select 3 option modules from:

  • Applied and Environmental Microbiology 
  • Infection and Immunity
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pathobiology and Therapeutics
  • Conservation Biology
  • Freshwater Biology
  • Marine Biology
  • Terrestrial Field Ecology

Year 4

Professional Practice

Trimester 1

Select 2 option modules from:

  • Advances in Animal Behaviour
  • Current Topics in Ecology
  • Research Methods in Biomedicine
  • Trends in Biomedical Sciences
  • Microbial Biotechnology
  • Fish and Fisheries Biology

Trimester 2
  • Research project

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Disclaimer

Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Placement and study abroad opportunities are subject to UK and Scottish Government health and travel advice.

Full information is available in our disclaimer.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Our entry requirements indicate both Standard and Minimum qualifications with which we normally accept students. Competition for places varies from year to year and you aren't guaranteed a place if you meet the minimum qualifications.

Advanced entry

Advanced entry into Year 2 or Year 3 is possible for students with suitable qualifications.

Minimum year 1

SQA Higher

Standard Entry Requirement

BBBB including Human Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Psychology at Grade B.


National 5 C in English, Maths, Biology and Chemistry.

Minimum Offer Entry Requirement

BBCC including Human Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Psychology at Grade C.


National 5 C in English, Maths, Biology and Chemistry.

You may be given an adjusted offer of entry if you meet our specified minimum entry requirements within our widening participation criteria, and outlined in our Contextual Admissions Policy. Click here for further information about our entry requirements and admissions policies

A Level

BCC including Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Applied Science or Psychology.

GCSE Grade C/4 English, Maths, Biology and Chemistry (or Double Award Science) also required

Irish Leaving Certificate

Grades H2, H2, H3, H3 at Higher Level including a Science (Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Psychology).

Grade O4 at Ordinary Level in English, Maths, Biology and Chemistry also required.

BTEC (QCF) Extended Diploma Level 3

Minimum grades DMM (Distinction, Merit, Merit) in a related subject.

GCSE Grade C/4 English, Maths, Biology and Chemistry or DA Science also required.

BTEC (QCF) National Diploma Level 3 plus A Level

Minimum grades DM (Distinction, Merit) in a related subject.

A Level grade C

GCSE Grade C/4 English, Maths, Biology and Chemistry or DA Science also required.

International Baccalaureate Diploma

Award of Diploma with 28 points overall with three HL subjects at grades 6, 5, 4 including a Science (Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Psychology)at minimum grade 5.

4 points in SL English, Maths, Biology and Chemistry.

European Baccalaureate

70% with Grade 7 in three subjects including Human Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Psychology.

Grade 6 in English, Maths, Biology and Chemistry.

Minimum Year 2

SQA Advanced Higher

BBC to include Biology


A Level

BBB to include Biology


HNC

Pass in a related subject* with B in the graded unit.

*HNC in Biomedical Sciences, HNC in Biological Sciences, HNC in Applied Sciences, HNC in Bioscience, HNC in Applied Bioscience or HNC in Wildlife and Conservation Management

Minimum Year 3

HND

Pass in a related subject* with Grades BB at SCQF Level 8 in the graded units.

*HND in Biomedical Sciences, HND in Biological Sciences, HND in Applied Sciences, HND in Applied Biological Sciences or HND in Wildlife and Conservation Management

English language requirements

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test and our minimum English language requirements will apply.

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English. Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.

International students

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
Entry requirements by country

Please note that international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:
  • BN Nursing/MSc Nursing (Pre-registration) (Adult or Mental Health)
  • BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery

Admissions policies

We’re committed to admitting students who have the potential to succeed and benefit from our programmes of study. 

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures, and how we use the information you provide us in your application to inform the decisions we make.

Undergraduate admissions policies
Postgraduate admissions policies

Fees & funding

The course fees you'll pay and the funding available to you will depend on a number of factors including your nationality, location, personal circumstances and the course you are studying. We also have a number of bursaries and scholarships available to our students.

Tuition fees
Students from 2021/22 2022/23
Scotland £1,820 tba
England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Republic of Ireland £9,250 tba
Overseas and EU £15,990 TBA

Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Republic of Ireland will be invoiced the tuition fees for 3 years of their 4 years of study. Please note that the tuition fees liable to be paid by mainland EU nationals commencing their studies from 1 August 2021 will be the Overseas fee rate. The University offers a range of attractive Tuition Fee bursaries to students resident in specific countries. More information on these can be found here. For EU students who commenced their studies prior to 1 August 2021 or hold pre or settled status in the UK, fees will remain the same as Scottish Students.

Please note tuition fees are subject to an annual review and may increase from one year to the next.
For more information on this and other Tuition Fee matters please see Frequently Asked Questions about Fees

Click this link for Information of Bursaries and Scholarships

If additional compulsory costs other than the tuition fees are applicable, these will be detailed in the course details.


Careers

Two students collecting aquatic samples in a river on a field trip

A Biological Sciences degree gives you a breadth of knowledge applicable to careers ranging from teaching to laboratory research.  The flexible nature of this programme is a particularly good preparation for those who are considering a career in school teaching or general biology.

You'll be qualified for work in industrial research and development, production, quality control, sales and marketing and consultancy.

The emphasis on research in this course equips you with the knowledge and skills required to continue on to postgraduate study, including possible PhD study and a further academic career.

Student working with his hands inside a fume cupboard in a science lab