Introduction

Biology is the core life science, concerned with all lifeforms. If you are fascinated by the diversity of life in the natural world then this is the degree for you.

Study Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
BSc
Duration
48 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
September
UCAS Code
C100
Pathway Programme Available
Undergraduate Foundation Programme
Degree marketing image

Our Biology degree, accredited by the Royal Society of Biology, provides you with a broad and deep understanding of the science of living things, from molecules and cells to organisms and populations, communities and biomes. Crucially, as you progress, the programme allows you to specialise in the areas that are of most interest to you. We offer a flexible degree that allows students to study a very broad range of life-science subjects.

What You'll Study

Each year you take a selection of compulsory courses and optional courses which can be chosen from those on offer across the institution. The first two years lay a foundation for the more specialised third and fourth years.

In addition, the following opportunities are offered to you as part of your degree:

  • Residential field courses in the Cairngorms, Shetland, Spain or at our own field station at The Lighthouse on the Black Isle
  • Practical sessions that introduce you to and develop your laboratory skills and analytical techniques
  • Gradual development of your computer-based analytical skills throughout your 4 years
  • Development of presentation and creative skills e.g. making movies, presenting to an audience

Other highlights and opportunities that are open to you, but are not compulsory include:

  • A tracking and trailing field course in the South African bush
  • Regular meetings with leading scientists from across the UK
  • Placements with scientific research establishments
  • Teaching placements at local schools
  • Study abroad in your second year via our partnerships with institutions in the USA, Canada, Australia, China and numerous countries in Europe.

We also have an enviable range of research areas, which you can take advantage of during your time with us. During your final honour’s year, you will carry out your own research in the School of Biological Sciences, with the assistance and supervision of our academic staff.

Year 1

Year 1

In year one you take eight courses, including five foundation Biology courses and a course in Chemistry. This leaves a choice of two further courses which would normally contribute towards enhanced study.


Compulsory Courses
Getting Started at the University of Aberdeen (PD1002)

This course, which is prescribed for level 1 undergraduate students (and articulating students who are in their first year at the University), is studied entirely online, takes approximately 5-6 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks.

Topics include orientation overview, equality and diversity, health, safety and cyber security and how to make the most of your time at university in relation to careers and employability.

Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’.

View detailed information about this course
Frontiers in Biological Sciences (BI1009)

15 Credit Points

Five themes, critical to understanding biology and life, will be explored – Developmental Biology, Microbiology and Disease, Evolution and Behaviour, Immune Systems and Environmental Physiology. Each theme is structured to provide you with core knowledge, insight into how science is practiced, an introduction to current research topics and skills that are useful for investigating, recording and analysing information. The course will be delivered using a blended learning approach and can be taken by students who will be on campus in first semester, or those who may choose to stay at home

View detailed information about this course
Diversity of Life 1 (BI1012)

15 Credit Points

A walk through the evolutionary tree of life, examining the amazing diversity of major groups of organisms from plants through fungi to invertebrates. Learn about how each group of organisms arose, their characteristics, and how they achieved success. Practical activities provide hands on experience of materials demonstrating the diversity of plants and invertebrates. You will be assessed by a combination of exercises based on practicals, on which you will get feedback to help you develop your skills, and online tests, each based on a particular section of the course, which will be spread throughout the course.

View detailed information about this course
The Cell (SM1501)

15 Credit Points

  • cells are the fundamental unit of life – without them life could not exist, and as such understanding how they function is crucial to our understanding of biology and medical science;
  • this course provides theoretical knowledge in a diverse range of topics covering the fascinating world of cells, from molecules like DNA, to how different cell types function within our bodies;
  • all practical classes are research based and will provide theoretical knowledge and skills training in many areas of molecular and cell biology;
  • employability skills will also be explored through a highly interactive session run by the Scottish Institute for Enterprise
View detailed information about this course
Ecology and Environmental Science (BI1511)

15 Credit Points

This course will take you on a journey through the physical workings of the Earth, the interactions between species and their environments and then on to the effects humans are having on the planet, potential solutions and thoughts on the future.

Teaching is by staff with different subject specialisms who give both variety and immediacy to course material.

Exposure to the problems we are facing both now and in the future will help you make informed choices in their everyday lives.

A range of ‘wet’ and computer-based practicals enhance the classroom teaching and develop generic scientific skills.

View detailed information about this course
Diversity of Life 2 (BI1512)

15 Credit Points

• A walk through the evolutionary tree of life, examining the amazing diversity of advanced invertebrates and vertebrates. • Learn about how each group of organisms arose, their characteristics, and how they achieved success. For example what are the key evolutionary steps enabling life away from the water? How do birds fly? • Practical activities provide hands on experience of materials demonstrating the features of invertebrates, amphibians, fish, birds and mammals. • You will be assessed by a combination of laboratory reports, on which you will get detailed feedback to help you develop your skills, and an exam .

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

Plus 45 credit points from courses of choice.

Year 2

Year 2

Year two consists of eight courses, including a skills course in Life Sciences. This leaves a choice of two further courses for enhanced study.


Compulsory Courses
Genes and Evolution (BI2017)

15 Credit Points

  • look at how instructions in genes are transformed by natural selection to produce the diversity of life on Earth;
  • learn how species evolve, how we determine evolutionary relationships;
  • why populations change, understand why humans (and other organisms) must carry genetic diseases;
  • meet enthusiastic staff; each teach about areas we are expert on;
  • take 3 Genes & Evolution Practicals to gain hands on experience of approaches used by researchers to map genes,estimate rates of evolution, and determine evolutionary relationships;
  • keep up to speed with in-course tests, understand basic statistics, see why mutations are not the only evolutionary currency
View detailed information about this course
Biological Enhanced Skills Training (BEST) (BI2018)

15 Credit Points

The course will help you consolidate and develop skills in experimental design, sampling, analysis, presentation, and interpretation of data. You will be encouraged to seek to improve your academic writing and develop other transferable skills.

Each week, there is one 1-hour introductory lecture. In two 2-hour sessions when will work through a series of computer-based data tasks, using relevant and realistic biological and environmental themes.

Teaching is informal and friendly. During sessions, staff will chat to you about your progress and provide help where necessary.

Assessments are two online multiple-choice tests (each 25%) and an individual project (50%).

View detailed information about this course
Ecology (BI2020)

15 Credit Points

This course builds on themes from introductory ecology courses. You will develop your abilities to interpret data by applying theory discussed in classes to real-life data sets using short problem-solving exercises linked to each topic. Feedback will help you improve writing and interpretation skills. Extended problem-solving exercises will improve your communication skills, scientific writing and introduce you to valuable approaches to summarising complex datasets in Excel. A series of tutorials will allow you develop critical thinking as you explore specific themes in more detail. You will also consider issues around experimental design.

View detailed information about this course
Plants, People, and the Environment (BI25P4)

15 Credit Points

A course in which several researchers explore both core and emerging issues in the plant sciences, focusing in particular on the inter-dependence of plants, people and environment. Students are encouraged to develop a range of important generic and applied skills, through lectures, practicals and seminars. Two practicals and one seminar contribute 50% of the course mark. An exam contributes 50% of the overall course grade and consists a choice of multiple-choice questions and short, structured questions.

View detailed information about this course
Principles of Animal Physiology (BI2510)

15 Credit Points

Physiology is the study of the normal functions of living systems. This course will introduce you to the basics of invertebrate and vertebrate physiology.

Lectures will guide you through the various body systems and their interactions that maintain homeostasis in animals. Associated practicals allow you to explore particular systems in further detail and to develop relevant lab skills.

Through the study of examples from across different phyla, you will gain an appreciation of processes fundamental to all animals, and of differences across groups.

View detailed information about this course
Fundamentals in Marine Biology (BI25Z5)

15 Credit Points

This course introduces the biology of the open oceans, shelf seas, coastal waters, estuaries and shores. The focus is mainly on the diversity of lifeforms in different marine environments and the adaptations of these organisms to their living conditions, taking account of the physical and chemical characteristics of the environment. The course also aims to develop skills in marine biological research methods, data analysis, reading scientific articles, critical thinking, and scientific writing. The knowledge and skills developed through these activities provide a strong foundation for further study of the functioning of marine ecosystems and the impacts of humans on them.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

Choose one of the following field courses:

  • Plants and Their Habitats in Northern Scotland (BI15F1)
  • Marine and Fish Population Ecology (BI25F5)
  • Parasitology (BI25F3)
  • Coastal Biodiversity (BI25F2)
  • Freshwater and Terrestrial Ecology (BI25F1)
  • Field Biology (BI25F6)
  • Littoral and Sublittoral Marine Biology Field Course (ZO25F1)

Plus select 15 credit points from first half-session courses of choice.

Plants and Their Habitats in Northern Scotland (BI15F1)

15 Credit Points

The week-long residential course is based at the University’s Bettyhill field station in the far north of Scotland. The location is stunning and, for many students, a new experience of unfamiliar plant communities. Most of the time is spent in the field visiting a wide range of habitats and learning how to identify the species found. The emphasis is on recognising key features of plant species and how to use plant guides to identify them: these transferrable skills can be used to help identify plants all round the world.

Please note that the information provided is subject to change due to the ongoing Covid-19 government guidelines

View detailed information about this course
Marine and Fish Population Ecology (BI25F5)

15 Credit Points

Residential field course in Shetland designed to provide you with training in ship-based applied marine biology and ecology based at the North Atlantic Fisheries College, Scalloway. We will use the college trawler, Atlantia, for sampling fish species using trawls. In addition, oceanographic conditions, plankton samples and benthic core sampling will all be undertaken and all analysis will be done using the R statistical language with the data collected by students. We will also visit local fish/shellfish farms and the bird sanctuary at Sumburgh Head. Bed and Breakfast accommodation will be provided in Bridge-end Outdoor Centre situated in a coastal area.

Please note that the information provided is subject to change due to the ongoing Covid-19 government guidelines

View detailed information about this course
Parasitology (BI25F3)

15 Credit Points

Residential field course designed to introduce you to the main groups of parasitic invertebrates and protozoa in our indigenous wildlife and provide you with training in field identification and sampling techniques.

Field work provides opportunities to observe, identify and collect host and intermediate host species, and training in field identification and sampling techniques.

Lab work provides for the morphological and molecular identification of parasites, and experiments on parasite physiology and manipulation of host behaviour.

Group based project work provides skills in team working, data collection, analysis and presentation.

We aim to pack as much experience into this course as we can in 6 days, so we work long and quite intensive days to allow you to develop deep understanding of parasitology, but there is always time at the end of the day to unwind with peers and staff in the excellent social facilities and to enjoy the unique environment of the Isle of Cumbrae.

Please note that the information provided is subject to change due to the ongoing Covid-19 government guidelines

View detailed information about this course
Coastal Biodiversity (BI25F2)

15 Credit Points

Residential field course designed to provide you with training in field identification and sampling techniques in Cromarty.

Group based project work provides skills in team working, data collection, analysis and presentation.

Hard work throughout the days is rewarded through the development of deep understanding and the enjoyment of spending time with peers and staff.

Please note that the information provided is subject to change due to the ongoing Covid-19 government guidelines

View detailed information about this course
Freshwater and Terrestrial Ecology (BI25F1)

15 Credit Points

This is a residential field course designed to provide you with training in field identification and sampling techniques based in Kelvinside Academy John Duff Lodge, Corgarff, Strathdon. Group based project work provides skills in team working, data collection, analysis and presentation.

Please note that the information provided is subject to change due to the ongoing Covid-19 government guidelines

View detailed information about this course
Field Biology (BI25F6)

15 Credit Points

During day trips from Aberdeen, you will learn and practice a variety of techniques for sampling and identifying organisms in the field.

We will take opportunities to interact with scientists from NGOs and research institutes, who will give instruction on techniques and provide overviews on the remits and opportunities within their organisations.

Group based project work provides skills in team working, data collection, analysis and presentation.

You will develop skills in biological recording by maintaining a detailed record of the field activities in a field notebook.

By visiting and working in a variety of environments you will become familiar with common species, the ecological characteristics of local habitats and have opportunities to apply your classroom learning to the field.

Please note that the information provided is subject to change due to the ongoing Covid-19 government guidelines

View detailed information about this course
Littoral and Sublittoral Marine Biology Field Course (ZO25F1)

15 Credit Points

This is a marine biological field course to the Millport Field Centre on the Isle of Cumbrae in the Firth of Clyde. The centre, run by the Field Studies Council, is located on an island which is a ten-minute ferry crossing from the mainland terminal at Largs. The island and has a variety of types of shore and depths offshore ranging to over 100 m within a few kilometres of the field centre. The marine biota is correspondingly varied. Being within the enclosed waters of the Firth of Clyde it is comparatively sheltered and safe. The centre provides modern accommodation and classrooms for lectures/seminars and labwork to process field samples. The centre also has a small research vessel, which provides an opportunity for students to experience working at sea in the sheltered waters around the island, and to see oceanographic and navigational instruments and sublittoral sampling devices first hand. There is a long history of marine biological research and teaching at Millport (a marine station was first established in 1885) and students will follow in the footsteps of generations of marine biologists in learning about littoral (shore) and sublittoral marine organisms and the methods used to study them in the field.

Details of the course content may be affected by weather and tides, but it is expected that the course will include profiling and semi-quantitative biological survey of two rocky shores of contrasting degree of wave exposure; profiling, quantitative biological survey and basic granulometric analysis of a sandy shore; sampling and examination of sublittoral benthos from a research vessel with a beam trawl and Day grab; plankton sampling by different methods; and a short group project run over one and half days.

Please note that the information provided is subject to change due to the ongoing Covid-19 government guidelines

View detailed information about this course
Year 3

Year 3

In year 3 you have the opportunity to follow a more focused curriculum or maintain breadth in the programme. Additional courses are selected from the range of courses offered in biological sciences.


Compulsory Courses
Statistical Analysis of Biological Data (BI3010)

15 Credit Points

You will utilise a robust approach to statistical analysis, a skill highly valued by employers and researchers. Lectures provide context, background and step-by step guidance on how to conduct and interpret a selection of statistical analyses. Through a series of exercises, you learn to explore data, to specify appropriate linear models for your research question and to interpret their results. A set of online tests structured around the exercises and the lecture content allow you to demonstrate your achievement of course learning outcomes. With a group of students, you complete tasks and strengthen your understanding of applications of statistics.

View detailed information about this course
Animal Evolution and Biodiversity (ZO3011)

15 Credit Points

This course emphasises how evolution has shaped the patterns of biodiversity we see around us, and how we can use molecular genetic tools to gain a better understanding of what biodiversity means and how we can measure it. In lectures you are guided through the theory of evolution, complementing your other biological sciences courses and helping you make sense of the diversity in the living world. In practical sessions, you gain insight into the processes of evolution and some tools used to study biodiversity. Through a poster presentation you gain specialised knowledge and experience communicating complex ideas and synthesizing information.

View detailed information about this course
Gateway to Honours Project (BI3511)

This non-credit bearing course will facilitate your preparation for your Honours project.

Lectures and workshops will clarify expectations for project work and provide training in risk assessment, consideration of ethical issues, environmental impacts and project planning.

Resources to help you define and plan your project will be made available through MyAberdeen, helping you to be confident that your project planning is sufficiently advanced by the end of your Programme Year 3.

Submission of an agreed (with your supervisor) project outline, completed checklists and preliminary risk assessment will allow you to demonstrate engagement with your project.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

Choose one of the following courses, plus 75 credit points from courses of choice, at least 45 of which must be from courses delivered by the School of Biological Sciences at level 3.

Plant - Environment Interactions (PL3505)

15 Credit Points

Lectures, workshops and an excursion provide a diverse set of learning opportunities relating to plant physiology and adaptations to the environment.

A literature-based research exercise forms the continuous assessment part of this course, in which you choose a plant adaptation to investigate in detail in terms of physiological adaptations to natural conditions. The exercise develops specialist knowledge and your capacity for creative, independent and critical thinking, problem identification and problem solving. Participation in the oral presentations of the projects helps you to develop confidence and oral communication skills.

View detailed information about this course
Environmental Physiology (ZO3513)

15 Credit Points

By exploring how animals adapt to their environments you learn the integrated nature of physiology, from molecules to whole organisms. Learning is rooted in staff’s research interests. You explore aspects of physiological adaptation through individual and group work. In groups, you research animal adaptations to extreme environments- present a scientific poster, developing skills in communication and team work. In an assessed practical you perform PCR and gel electrophoresis, a keystone life sciences method. You develop communication skills in (i) concise scientific writing through short essays developed around reading primary research papers and (ii) a pop-sci article for a general audience. By exploring how animals adapt to their environments you learn the integrated nature of physiology, from molecules to whole organisms. Learning is rooted in staff’s research interests. You explore aspects of physiological adaptation through individual and group work. In groups, you research animal adaptations to extreme environments- present a scientific poster, developing skills in communication and team work. In an assessed practical you perform PCR and gel electrophoresis, a keystone life sciences method. You develop communication skills in (i) concise scientific writing through short essays developed around reading primary research papers and (ii) a pop-sci article for a general audience.

View detailed information about this course
Year 4

Year 4

In year 4, the Honours year, you will carry out a research project as well as writing an extended essay and completing four courses of your choosing.

The research project can be undertaken in any of the biological disciplines and can be field, laboratory or computer-based or sometimes a combination. Most students carry out their research in our laboratories or field sites, but many students work with local scientific institutes, research groups or even partner organisations outside Scotland. You will graduate with a skillset, derived from laboratory and field teaching, which focuses on established and, cutting-edge techniques.


Compulsory Courses
SBS Honours Project (BI4016)

45 Credit Points

This independent research project develops your skills in scientific inquiry and critical analysis, as well as important generic skills, including presentation and time management.

Projects are field-, lab- and/or desk-based, developed on a topic of your interest under the direction of a supervisor.

Training in skills needed to perform your project is provided by world-leading researchers and their teams.

Workshops and drop-in sessions provide training in data analysis and thesis production.

This skill set will be appropriate for advanced study in the field of biological science or other careers where the generic skills that you will develop are highly valued.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

Plus 75 credit points from courses of choice, at least 45 of which must be from courses delivered by the School of Biological Sciences at level 4.

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

Combine practice and theory

Typically, one third of your class time is practical and many courses include full-day practical classes and field visits. Most students take at least one residential field trip during their degree; these trips bring the subjects to life and provide the opportunity to make great friendships and get to know staff members.

Research experience

You are actively involved in scientific research throughout your degree. In Year 4, you conduct independent research which can be pivotal to your career choice, whether it be in dolphins, water voles, rare plants, tropical forest ecology, climate change in the Arctic, or any one of a diverse range of other exciting topics!

Engaging and inspiring teaching

Our teaching methods are diverse, innovative and based on research on how students learn. For example, we use problem-based learning approaches, creative presentations, peer and self-assessment, presenting posters in public meetings, writing and editing wikis, writing grant proposals, science writing for publication, and the creation of portfolios using multi-media.

Opportunities for Study Abroad and work-related learning

You can take advantage of an optional year-out on a work placement in any of our degree programmes. Study Abroad is encouraged for students in their second year; we have established partnerships with institutions in the USA, Canada, Australia, China and numerous countries in Europe.

Learning Methods

  • Field Trips
  • Field Work
  • Group Projects
  • Lab Work
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:

  • coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course;
  • practical assessments of the skills and competencies learnt on the course; and
  • written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, year of study and individual courses.

Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.

Why Study Biology?

  • You will benefit from the extraordinary breadth of teaching and research we have to offer and can get involved in everything from advanced molecular research in the laboratory to pioneering field work in the mountains, deep sea and tropics.
  • You will have the opportunity to get involved in our research through summer research assistantships, project work, and a compulsory final year research project.
  • You can work within one of our research groups, carrying out cutting-edge research in an area of biology that attracts you. Our researchers work on birds, mammals, invertebrates in terrestrial and marine environments and plants in all environments from alpine to the tropics.
  • You will gain invaluable experience from attending at least one of our highly rated residential field courses in the Cairngorms, Shetland, Yorkshire, Spain or at our own field centre at The Lighthouse (Sea Mammal Research Centre) situated on the Cromarty Firth at the top of the Black Isle.
  • At our regular career’s events, you will have the opportunity to listen to and meet prospective employers from outside the university, giving you excellent opportunities to get a fulfilling and challenging job in a biological field.
  • Our programme is accredited by The Royal Society of Biology. You will receive one year of free membership of the Royal Society of Biology in the final year of your degree, opening up networks at a crucial time when applying for jobs.
  • We are ranked 1st in the UK for overall student satisfaction in Biology, NSS 2020

What Our Students Say

Charlotte Patterson United States of America

Charlotte Patterson <small><i>United States of America</i></small>

Charlotte Patterson United States of America

I love being a Zoology student at Aberdeen because the teaching staff is amazing, the education here is exceptional, we receive a lot of hands on experience, and the people around me inspire and motivate me every day.

Holly Pfeiffer United Kingdom

Holly Pfeiffer <small><i>United Kingdom</i></small>

Holly Pfeiffer United Kingdom

One of my highlights of first year has to have been the optional field courses that run at the start of summer. It felt great to be out there in the field, conducting experiments and keeping a scientific notebook.

Tanya Rowand United Kingdom

Tanya Rowand <small><i>United Kingdom</i></small>

Tanya Rowand United Kingdom

Within the degree programme you are able to take a wide range of courses to suit your interests, and there are plenty of opportunities to go on field trips which are interesting and a lot of fun.

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.


General Entry Requirements

2020 Entry
2021 Entry

SQA Highers

Standard: AABB*

Applicants who have achieved AABB (or better), are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/ Advanced Highers may be required.

Minimum: BBB*

Applicants who have achieved BBB (or are on course to achieve this by the end of S5) are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will normally be required.

Adjusted: BB*

Applicants who have achieved BB, and who meet one of the widening participation criteria are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will be required.

* Including good performance in at least two Mathematics/ Science subjects by the end of your senior phase of education.

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

A LEVELS

Standard: BBB*

Minimum: BBC*

Adjusted: CCC*

* Including good performance in at least two Mathematics/ Science subjects by the end of your senior phase of education.

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

International Baccalaureate

32 points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL*.

* Including good performance in at least two Mathematics/ Science subjects by the end of your senior phase of education.

Irish Leaving Certificate

5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3 OR AAABB*, obtained in a single sitting. (B must be at B2 or above)

* Including good performance in at least two Mathematics/ Science subjects by the end of your senior phase of education.

Entry from College

Advanced entry to this degree may be possible from some HNC/HND qualifications, please see www.abdn.ac.uk/study/articulation for more details.

SQA Highers

Standard: AABB*

Applicants who have achieved AABB (or better), are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/ Advanced Highers may be required.

Minimum: BBB*

Applicants who have achieved BBB (or are on course to achieve this by the end of S5) are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will normally be required.

Adjusted: BB*

Applicants who have achieved BB, and who meet one of the widening participation criteria are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will be required.

* Including good performance in at least two Mathematics/ Science subjects by the end of your senior phase of education.

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

A LEVELS

Standard: BBB*

Minimum: BBC*

Adjusted: CCC*

* Including good performance in at least two Mathematics/ Science subjects by the end of your senior phase of education.

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

International Baccalaureate

32 points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL, with two Mathematics/ Science subjects at HL.

Irish Leaving Certificate

5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3 including a minimum of H3 from two Science or Mathematics subjects.

Entry from College

Advanced entry to this degree may be possible from some HNC/HND qualifications, please see www.abdn.ac.uk/study/articulation for more details.

The information displayed in this section shows a shortened summary of our entry requirements. For more information, or for full entry requirements for Sciences degrees, see our detailed entry requirements section.


English Language Requirements

To study for an Undergraduate degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.0 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0

TOEFL iBT:

OVERALL - 78 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 54 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 51; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54

Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:

OVERALL - 169 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

International Applicants who do not meet the Entry Requirements

The University of Aberdeen International Study Centre offers preparation programmes for international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements for undergraduate study. Discover your foundation pathway here.

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU £1,820
All Students
RUK £9,250
Students Admitted in 2020/21
International Students £19,700
Students Admitted in 2020/21

Scholarships and Funding

Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, who pay tuition fees may be eligible for specific scholarships allowing them to receive additional funding. These are designed to provide assistance to help students support themselves during their time at Aberdeen.

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Careers

Biology courses are designed to provide a broad set of specialist and generic skills. A considerable number of graduates continue their education by reading for higher degrees. Graduates find full-time employment in a wide range of careers. Typical employers include universities, research institutes, government agencies (e.g. SEPA, SNH), environmental consultancies, environmental charities, the National Health Service, and commercial enterprises in aquaculture, animal nutrition, and animal health.

One of the great advantages of having a biology degree from the University of Aberdeen is that it provides you with a very broad range of skills to offer employers. Not only do we train students in scientific methodology in the laboratory and in the field, we incorporate what we call 'graduate attributes' into the whole curriculum. Employers now expect an impressive list of skills, knowledge and experience in their graduate recruits and we aim to help you acquire these.

Industry Links

We have strong local, national and international links to industry, government bodies, charities and other research institutions. You will benefit from these links in several ways:

  • Exposure to policy-makers, practitioners, regulatory professionals and experts.
  • Our curriculum is informed by an employer advisory board which provides insight into changing employer requirements.
  • You can take advantage of our collaborators' facilities and expertise for your research projects or placement.

Accreditation

Graduates from Accredited programmes will receive one year of free membership of the Royal Society of Biology in their final year of their degree. This will open up networks at a crucial time when applying for jobs. The Royal Society of Biology is the leading professional body for the biological sciences in the United Kingdom. The Society represents over 18,000 biologists from all areas of the life sciences, as well as over 100 organisations which make up the diverse landscape of biology in the UK and overseas. The Royal Society of Biology offers members unique opportunities to engage with the life sciences and share their passion for biology. Whichever area of biology you wish to gain a career in, membership will help you:

  • Stay up to date with what is happening across the life sciences
  • Gain additional recognition for your skills and experience
  • Develop your professional network
  • Demonstrate your support for the future of biology

This degree holds accreditation from

School of Biological Sciences Showcase

Our showcase film highlights the benefits for students who choose to study here, the breadth of research carried out at the School and the superb facilities on offer.

Image for useful fact about this Degree

1st in the UK

We are ranked 1st in the UK for overall student satisfaction in Biology, NSS 2020

What our Alumni Say

Eve Baxter

Eve Baxter

Eve Baxter

Graduated 2020

Studying a biological science subject at the University of Aberdeen has been one of those experiences I will never forget. The lecturers all have a wide array of knowledge in their specialised area, so you’re not short of answers to any questions you have. Being a student at the University of Aberdeen I feel valued and have been given the perfect platform to pursue a career in any biological field.

Kim Forward

Kim Forward

Kim Forward

Job Details
Associate Scientist, Virology
Graduated 2020

A degree in Biological Sciences has given me knowledge and understanding in a wide range of fields, studying all forms of life from single celled protozoa and bacteria to blue whales and elephants. In my 5th year as part of my MSci degree I carried out an extended research project working on the honeybee parasite Varroa destructor and deformed wing virus. This has provided me with a valuable background and practical skill set preparing me for an interesting career in virology.

Sarah Brown

Sarah Brown

Sarah Brown

In my final year I travelled to Beijing to complete my honours project at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The opportunity to work within such an innovative research environment and swap ideas with the lab team was a unique and invaluable experience.

Our Experts

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Facilities

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Teaching laboratories

Teaching laboratories

Students in all degree programmes carry out practical experiments in our recently redesigned teaching laboratories.

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Lighthouse Field Station

Lighthouse Field Station

The Lighthouse Field Station is situated on the Cromarty Firth where our sea mammal and sea bird researchers are based. In 2020 the station celebrated 30 years of teaching and research on the ecology of seals, dolphins and seabirds.

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Nature on our doorstep

Nature on our doorstep

Aberdeen is a great place to study Biological Sciences as we have good access to fantastic natural habitats including coast, moorland, mountains, freshwaters and forests.

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Discover Uni draws together comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. You can compare these and other data for different degree programmes in which you are interested.

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Contact Details

Address
Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
Aberdeen
AB24 3FX