BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences

Undergraduate, Part-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

Our course provides you with a broad understanding of biological sciences, including biomedical sciences, microbiology, toxicology, 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 sites of 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.

Lab Skills course at Napier University's Sighthill Campus

Mode of Study:

Part-time (available as full-time)

Duration:

6 years

Start date:

Sep


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Course details

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

Our dynamic teaching staff have a wealth of experience in teaching and research and are currently active in their research and this helps 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 of 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 'Getting inside' scheme.

  • study abroad Study abroad

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

Popular modules

Year 1

  • Foundation in Science
  • Life on Earth
  • Scientific enquiry
  • Introductory Microbiology

Year 2

  • Comparative anatomy and physiology
  • Genes and Inheritance
  • Cell biology
  • Physiology, Adaptation and Disease

Year 3

Trimester 1 - select 2 option modules from:

  • Biochemistry
  • Applied Microbiology 
  • Ecology and Sustainability 
  • Practical Skills in Biodiversity and Ecology

Trimester 2 - Select 2 option modules from:

  • Symbiosis
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Clinical Care of Exotic Species

Year 4

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 2 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 5

  • Research methods

Trimester 1 - select 1 option modules from:

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

Trimester 2 - select 1 option modules from:

  • Applied and Environmental Microbiology 
  • Infection and Immunity
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pathobiology and Therapeutics
  • Conservation Biology
  • Freshwater Biology

and one module from:

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

Year 6

  • Professional Practice

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Disclaimer

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

Full information on this is available in our disclaimer.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Our entry requirements indicate the 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.

Minimum year 1

SQA Higher

BBBB including Biology or Human Biology or Chemistry or Physics.

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

Adjusted Offer Entry Requirement

BBCC including Biology or Human Biology or Chemistry or Physics at grade B.

National 5 grade C in Maths, English, Biology & Chemistry.

You may be given an adjusted offer of entry if you meet specific widening participation criteria as outlined in our contextual admissions policy. For further information, see our entry requirements and admissions policies.

A Level

BCC including Biology or Chemistry or Physics.

GCSE grade C/4 in Maths, English, Biology & Chemistry (or Double Award Science at C/4)

Irish Leaving Certificate

Pre-2017 Grading System:

B1, B1, B3, B3 at Higher Level including Biology or Human Biology or Chemistry or Physics.

C2 at Ordinary Level in Maths, English, Biology & Chemistry.

New Grading System:

Grades H2, H2, H3, H3 at Higher Level to include Biology or Human Biology or Chemistry or Physics.

Grade O4 at Ordinary Level in English, Maths, Biology & Chemistry.

BTEC (QCF) Extended Diploma Level 3

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

GCSE grade C/4 in Maths, English, Biology & Chemistry (or Double Award Science at C/4)

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, or Physics) at minimum grade 5.

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

European Baccalaureate

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

Grade 6 in English, Maths, Biology and Chemistry also required.

HNC

Animal Care with B in the graded unit for year 1 entry.

National 5 C in Maths, English, Biology & Chemistry also required.

HND

Animal Care with BB in the graded units for year 1 entry.

National 5 C in Maths, English, Biology & Chemistry also required.

Minimum year 2

HNC

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

Related subjects: Biomedical Sciences, Biological Sciences, Applied Sciences, Applied Biological Sciences

SQA Advanced Higher

BBC including Biology

A Level

BBB including Biology

Minimum year 3

HND

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

Related subjects: Biomedical Sciences, Biological Sciences, Applied Sciences, Applied Biological Sciences

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 non-EU international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:
  • BN Nursing/MN Nursing (Adult, Child, Mental Health or Learning Disability)
  • 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.

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 2018/19 2019/20
Scotland/EU *£305 *£305
England Wales and Northern Ireland *£1,157 tba
Overseas £2,392 tba


Fees for modules are calculated according to the number of credits (multiples of 20). The rate shown in the table is for 20 credits*.
Frequently Asked Questions about Fees
Information of Bursaries and Scholarships

Careers

Two students collecting aquatic samples 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 in a science lab at Napier University