Study Biological Sciences: A Comprehensive Subject Guide

Embark on a fascinating journey into the world of Biological Sciences with our comprehensive subject guide. From the intricacies of genetics to the wonders of ecosystems, this guide is your key to understanding life in all its forms. Whether you’re a budding biologist or simply curious about the natural world, explore the depths of this captivating field.

Biological Sciences

Table of Contents

What is Biological Sciences?

Biological Sciences, often simply known as Biology, is a vast and multifaceted field of scientific inquiry dedicated to unraveling the mysteries of life itself. It encompasses the study of living organisms, their structures, functions, behaviours, and interactions, from the smallest molecules to the grandest ecosystems. Biologists explore the inner workings of cells, the genetic code that governs heredity, the complex web of species in ecosystems, and the evolution of life over millions of years.

This discipline is the key to understanding the fascinating processes that underlie the diversity of life on Earth. It informs us about the mechanisms driving growth, reproduction, adaptation, and response to environmental changes. Biological Sciences play a pivotal role in fields as diverse as medicine, genetics, environmental conservation, agriculture, biotechnology, and beyond. It is not just a study of the living world; it is the lens through which we gain insights into our own existence and our place within the intricate tapestry of life.

Why Study Biological Sciences?

Studying Biological Sciences offers numerous compelling reasons:

  1. Understanding Life: It provides an in-depth understanding of life in all its forms, from the molecular processes within cells to the complexities of ecosystems, enabling us to comprehend the natural world and our place in it.

  2. Advancing Medicine: Biological Sciences drive medical discoveries, from understanding diseases at the genetic level to developing new treatments and therapies that improve human health and well-being.

  3. Conservation: It equips us with the knowledge needed to protect and conserve biodiversity, addressing critical issues such as species extinction, habitat loss, and climate change.

  4. Biotechnology: Advances in biological research lead to innovations in biotechnology, including genetically modified organisms, vaccines, and diagnostic tools, with applications in agriculture, medicine, and industry.

  5. Environmental Sustainability: Biological Sciences provide insights into sustainable practices, helping us manage resources, reduce pollution, and create a more sustainable future.

Best Universities for Biological Sciences in the UK

Here is a list of the top UK universities in this field according to the latest QS World University Rankings:

RankUniversity Name
1University of Cambridge
2UCL (University College London)
3University of Oxford
4Imperial College London
5Durham University
6King's College London, University of London
7University of Bath
8University of York
9The University of Edinburgh
10University of Bristol
11University of St Andrews
12University of Glasgow
13University of Strathclyde
14Loughborough University
15University of Warwick
16Lancaster University
17University of Dundee
18Cardiff University
19University of Manchester
20University of Birmingham
21University of Exeter
22Queen's University Belfast
23University of Surrey
24University of Leeds
25University of Sheffield
26University of Liverpool
27Swansea University
28University of Nottingham
29Royal Holloway, University of London
30University of Southampton
31University of East Anglia UEA
32University of Kent
33Newcastle University
34University of Leicester
35University of Aberdeen
36University of Lincoln
37University of Stirling
38University of Sussex
39University of Hertfordshire
40Queen Mary University of London
41Ulster University
42University of Portsmouth
43University of Reading
44University of Plymouth
45Bangor University
46Aberystwyth University
47University of Huddersfield
48Royal Veterinary College, University of London
49Heriot-Watt University
50Nottingham Trent University
51Aston University, Birmingham
52University of Essex
53University of Bradford
54Northumbria University, Newcastle
55Oxford Brookes University
56Keele University
57Cardiff Metropolitan University
58University of Greenwich
59Brunel University London
60Glasgow Caledonian University
61Bristol, University of the West of England
62University of Hull
63Edge Hill University
64Liverpool John Moores University
65University of Gloucestershire
66Sheffield Hallam University
67Manchester Metropolitan University
68University of Brighton
69University of South Wales
70Kingston University
71University of Salford
72London South Bank University
73University of Central Lancashire
74University of Roehampton
75Edinburgh Napier University
76University of Westminster, London
77University of Chester
78University of Suffolk
79Teesside University, Middlesbrough
80Harper Adams University
81Bournemouth University
82Canterbury Christ Church University
83Coventry University
84Bath Spa University
85University of Northampton
86University of Bedfordshire
87University of the West of Scotland
88Liverpool Hope University
89University of Derby
90Anglia Ruskin University
91University of Wolverhampton
92Staffordshire University
93London Metropolitan University
94University of Sunderland
95University of Cumbria
96Middlesex University
97University of Worcester

Entry Requirements for a Biological Sciences Degree

Entry requirements for a Biological Sciences degree in the UK can vary depending on the university and the specific programme. However, here are some general guidelines and typical requirements:

  1. Academic Qualifications: Most universities will require a minimum set of academic qualifications, which often include A-levels, Scottish Highers, or equivalent qualifications. Typically, you’ll need at least two or three A-levels in relevant subjects, such as Biology and Chemistry. For Scottish Highers, the equivalent qualifications apply.

  2. International Baccalaureate (IB): Some universities accept the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma as an entry qualification. Specific subject requirements may apply, so check with the university.

  3. Access to Higher Education Diploma: If you’re a mature student or don’t have traditional qualifications, some universities accept Access to Higher Education Diplomas in science-related subjects.

  4. BTEC: Some universities accept BTEC qualifications in science-related subjects. Check with the specific university for their requirements.

  5. GCSEs (or equivalent): You’ll typically need a good set of GCSEs, including Mathematics and English, often at a minimum of grade C or 4. Some universities may require additional science GCSEs.

  6. Admissions Tests: Some universities may require you to take admissions tests like the Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT) or the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) for specific programmes.

Jobs for Biological Sciences Graduates

Here are the career prospects for graduates in this field:

  1. Research Scientist: Conducts scientific research, experiments, and studies in various fields of biology.

  2. Biomedical Scientist: Works in healthcare laboratories, analysing patient samples to aid in disease diagnosis and treatment.

  3. Environmental Consultant: Provides expertise on environmental issues, helping organisations and government agencies address environmental concerns.

  4. Pharmaceutical Sales Representative: Promotes and sells pharmaceutical products to healthcare professionals.

  5. Clinical Research Associate: Manages and monitors clinical trials and research studies in healthcare settings.

  6. Forensic Scientist: Analyses physical evidence in criminal investigations to help solve crimes.

  7. Medical Laboratory Technician: Performs tests and procedures in medical laboratories to aid in patient diagnosis.

  8. Biotechnologist: Applies biological principles to develop products and technologies in various industries.

  9. Genetic Counselor: Provides information and support to individuals and families regarding genetic disorders and their implications.

  10. Microbiologist: Studies microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, and fungi, often in research or healthcare settings.

  11. Wildlife Biologist: Researches and manages wildlife populations and ecosystems.

What do Biological Sciences Graduates do?

Close to one-fifth (18%) of biological sciences graduates are employed as natural and social science professionals (9%) and science, engineering, and production technicians (9%). Additionally, careers as teaching professionals, business, research, and administrative professionals, sales, marketing, and related associate professionals, and business associate professionals are also popular choices.

Salary for Biological Sciences Graduates

Check out the average salary for graduates in this field: 

Low skilled: £18,500

Medium-skilled: £20,000

High-skilled: £25,000


Topics for Biological Sciences Dissertation

Below, we present a diverse array of research areas, each offering an opportunity to delve into the complexities of Biological Sciences and make a significant contribution to its advancement:

  1. Genetics and Genomics: Investigate the genetic basis of traits, diseases, and evolution.

  2. Molecular Biology: Study the molecular mechanisms that govern cell function and DNA replication.

  3. Microbiology: Explore microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi, and their roles in health and disease.

  4. Ecology: Examine the interactions between organisms and their environments, from individual species to entire ecosystems.

  5. Evolutionary Biology: Explore the processes of evolution, adaptation, and the origin of species.

  6. Neurobiology: Investigate the structure and function of the nervous system, including brain function and behaviour.

  7. Immunology: Study the immune system and its responses to pathogens and diseases.

  8. Environmental Biology: Focus on the impact of environmental factors on living organisms and ecosystems.

  9. Biotechnology: Apply biological principles to develop new products and technologies, such as genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

  10. Cell Biology: Investigate the structure and function of cells, including cellular processes and organelles.

  11. Plant Biology (Botany): Explore plant growth, development, and responses to environmental factors.

  12. Animal Behaviour: Study the behaviour and social interactions of animals in various environments.

  13. Cancer Biology: Research the mechanisms and treatments of cancer.

  14. Bioinformatics: Develop and apply computational tools to analyse biological data.

How Much Does it Cost to Study in the UK

One of the most important things to consider is how much the degree is going to cost. Here is a general guide for 2023/2024:

  • For home students in England, universities can charge up to a maximum of £9,250 per year for an undergraduate degree.
  • In Wales, institutions can charge up to £9,000 for home students. However, Welsh students can apply for a fee grant to cover some of the cost of their tuition fees. This grant is currently not repayable or income-assessed.
  • Northern Irish universities will charge up to £4,275 for home students and may charge up to £9,250 for students from elsewhere in the UK.
  • Scotland does not charge home students fees at the undergraduate level; however, students from England, Wales, or Northern Ireland are expected to pay up to £9,250 per year. International students from outside of the UK will pay significantly more to study in Scotland.
  • International students can expect to pay between £10,000 and £26,000 annually for lecture-based undergraduate degrees at universities across the UK. An undergraduate medical degree can cost overseas students up to £58,600 per year. As for postgraduate degrees, the average cost is estimated to be around £17,109 per year.
Besides the tuition fees, there are also several other cost considerations such as food, accommodation, phone bills, books, social life, memberships, and others. Remember to check out our free student budget calculator

Other Subjects to Consider

Given that you are interested in this subject area, you might also want to consider the following options: 

Frequently Asked Questions

Consider your interests, passions, and career goals. Research various degree programmes and their content to see which aligns best with your aspirations.

While earning potential is important, it’s also crucial to select a degree that you’re passionate about and suits your skills. A balance between your interests and potential career prospects is ideal.

Location can impact your overall university experience. Consider factors like cost of living, proximity to industry hubs, and personal preferences.

Evaluate tuition fees, available scholarships, and potential for part-time work. Create a budget to ensure you can manage your finances during your studies.

Consider combining your passions with practical skills. For example, if you love art but want job security, explore fields like graphic design or digital marketing.

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