UCL Division of Biosciences



The Division of Biosciences offers a diverse range of undergraduate degrees in areas such as biomedical sciences, neuroscience, physiology and pharmacology.

Why Study Biosciences at UCL?

  • UCL is ranked No. 8 in the World for Life Sciences (2020 Times Higher Education World University Rankings)
  • The Division of Biosciences at UCL is one of the world’s foremost centres for research and teaching in the biological sciences.
  • All students have the opportunity to study in a world-class research-led environment. The size of the department means that our students are always taught by subject area experts, many of whom are research leaders in their fields. 
  • Being home to so many world leaders in biosciences means we can offer more cutting-edge modules to our students than many similar programmes. 
  • We have an outstanding international reputation, and a community of over 550 staff and 300 PhD students engaged in cutting-edge research and collaboration.
  • In QS 2022 subject rankings, Biological Sciences at UCL is 11th in the World, 4th in Europe and 3rd in the UK. The Shanghai University rankings in 2022 ranked UCL Biological Sciences 10th in the World, 2nd in Europe and 2nd in the UK.

  • UCL ranked 2nd in the world and 1st in Europe for Human Biological Sciences in the 2022 Shanghai Rankings of Academic Subjects. 

  • UCL has the largest Neuroscience Research Community in Europe with over 450 Principal Investigators and 1500 Neuroscientists.

  • Our flexible programme structures provide all students with a sound foundation in year one across a range of scientific subjects. This better informs students to choose an area in which to specialise from year two or they are able to convert to an MSci degree. This is a unique opportunity to tailor your studies without losing focus on the main foundation of science.

  • Our students have access to a wide range of unique and world-class facilities.

  • UCL's biosciences degrees tend to offer more practical lab experience than similar degrees at other universities. 

  • We offer multiple opportunities for students to study overseas in our degrees including but not limited to:

    • In year two of Biological Sciences, we run a field trip to the south of Spain and another in the UK. 

    • Students in the Biological Sciences MSci programme will have the opportunity to spend their third year abroad

    • In year three (subject to year one and two results), Human Sciences MSci students have the option of undertaking a 60 credit field course module at the Turkana Basin Institute in Kenya in either the Autumn or Spring Term. 
  • We work with a wide range of partners including but not limited to:
  • All pharmacology students may consider applying to take a year out in industry.  
  • We proudly hold a Bronze Award from Athena SWAN and are working towards a Silver Award.
  • All of our programmes offer student support. This can vary from year tutors to student advisors for first years to student wellbeing advisors for later year students. 

Biosciences Undergraduate Programmes at UCL

The BSc is a three-year degree programme and the MSci programme offers an additional year on top of the BSc. The MSci programme includes an extended research project.

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Biological Sciences

Study of the Biological Sciences spans a vast range, from the origins of life and evolutionary genetics, through molecular and cellular biology to ecology and biodiversity. In QS 2022 subject rankings, Biological Sciences at UCL is 11th in the World, 4th in Europe and 3rd in the UK. The Shanghai University rankings in 2022 ranked UCL Biological Sciences 10th in the World, 2nd in Europe and 2nd in the UK.


Human Sciences

Interdisciplinary degrees which enable advanced discoveries in human biology to be studied in combination with the behavioural insights provided by social science. Human Sciences programmes have some of the highest NSS stores in student satisfaction in all of UCL. In 2021 96% of BSc students and 93% of MSci students were satisfied overall with their courses. 

WIBR research

Biomedical Sciences

Introduction to a variety of disciplines including anatomy, cell biology, developmental biology, genetics, immunology & infection, neuroscience, pharmacology, physiology and psychology. UCL is internationally recognised for biomedical research. 



Offering you the opportunity to learn about the structure and function of the brain. UCL has the largest Neuroscience Research Community in Europe with over 450 Principal Investigators and 1500 Neuroscientists.

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Equipping students with the essential knowledge of biochemistry and molecular biology that is at the heart of much of modern life sciences research. As one of the world's largest academic centres for research in biochemistry, UCL understands the most important skills needed for the next generation of experts in this critical area. 

students in a lab


The science of how chemical substances interact with the human body, from the development of new medicines to understanding the effects of poisons. UCL created the first department of Pharmacology in England and was home to the founding fathers of modern quantitative pharmacology.

Second/third year entry degree programmes

BSc Molecular Biology (from Biochemistry or Biomedical Sciences)

Similar to Biochemistry, Molecular Biology is a look at life at the molecular level but concentrating more on the genome and proteome, structure, function and regulation.

BSc Physiology and Pharmacology (from Biomedical Sciences)

group of students in white lab coats

Physiology and Pharmacology study how living organisms work and how chemical compounds, endogenous and exogenous, interact with them to affect their function.

BSc Immunology (from Biomedical Sciences)

HIV-1 Vpr drives a tissue residency-like phenotype during selective infection of resting memory T cells

A research-focused programme which provides an in‑depth understanding of the role of the immune system, infectious agents and cellular processes in the pathogenesis of diseases. 

BSc Physiology (from Biomedical Sciences)


The study of living organisms, from the basic biochemical processes that drive the functions of individual cells right through to the workings of the body's systems and how they interact to produce a healthy living individual.


Combined Programmes

Natural Sciences BSc and MSci

Enables students who wish to maintain a breadth of science subjects to design a unique degree which is suited to their personal interests. Available as both a BSc and MSci course.

Integrated BSc degree programmes for MBBS students

The Division of Biosciences offers the following one-year integrated degree programmes to UCL Medical Students: 

IBSc Physiology
IBSc Neuroscience
IBSc Pharmacology
IBSc Anatomy, Cell and Developmental Biology
IBSc Physiology and Pharmacology
IBSc Human Genetics and Genomics

Interested in Start-ups?

Many of our biosciences students are interested in start-ups, social enterprises and developing entrepreneurial skills. UCL's Innovation and Enterprise division offer training, start-up grants, competitions, communities and much more, all of which are free to students on this programme.

UCL's entrepreneurship community has supported over 300 UCL start-ups since 2010 and raised over £280 million in investment. 

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In addition to potentially starting a successful business, making use of the resources at UCL in this area provides students with the opportunity to develop business skills, chances to network in London's start up community and projects that will serve them well on their CVs as well as in future job interviews. 

Find out more about the exciting opportunities to develop your entrepreneurial skills while you undertake any of our programmes. 


It is quite common for prospective students (and their families and advisors) to assume that the main career path from a Biological Sciences degree is further study and research or academia. The truth is that most of our students (80%) are in employment 15 months after finishing their degree and 84% of those in employment are in highly skilled work. We are also proud to say that our graduates receive salaries more than 25% higher than the average English biosciences graduate at 15 months, 3 years and 5 years after graduating. 

Companies that have employed our graduates in recent years include Accenture, Nucleus Global, the NHS, Wellcome Trust, Amazon, JP Morgan, Office for National Statistics, Procter and Gamble and many more. Our alumni can be found across a wide range of industries including health and social care, academic research and higher education, scientific research and development, journalism and many more. 

Why do employers like to recruit UCL Biosciences Graduates?

In addition to the science, we focus on teaching our students highly sought after transferable skills from the first week of the programme. These include but are not limited to teamwork, problem solving, critical thinking/evaluation, data literacy, analysis and visualisation, literacy, scientific reading, presentation training, written/verbal communication, IT skills and more.

In addition to the development of these skills within the formal structure of the programme, UCL provides many opportunities for students to practice these skills in other environments. These include our student society, our entrepreneurship/start up programs, iGEM and many more.

In addition to being enjoyable and educational, these opportunities provide students with examples of their abilities in the key skills sought by employers for their CV and to use in job interviews. These are the examples that can clearly differentiate recent graduates from the rest of the crowd and assist them in landing their first major career role. 

We also believe that our graduates are not only well prepared to get their first job but also to perform highly in that role as well as across their careers.  

A word about future proofing

The pace of change in the world has never been faster. It appears quite likely that in 20 years the majority of our graduates will be in jobs and/or industries that don't currently exist. So how do we prepare them to perform in roles that don't yet exist? 

By focussing on teaching transferable skills from the first week of the programme. Technology changes but core human needs remain the same. We will always need to know how to communicate. We will always need to know how to problem solve. We will always need to have a method for evaluating information. And we will always need to work with others. No matter what the industry or role these skills will remain core to employers and to those who succeed. 

Discover Uni Employment Statistics 15 months after course (2021):

 UCL Biosciences Graduate
Average Earnings£28,500
% of employed in highly skilled work84%

Discover Uni Earnings after the course statistics (2021): 

 15 months3 years5 years
UCL Biosciences Graduate Avg£28,000£27,000£35,000
Biosciences England Graduate Avg£22,000£21,500£26,500

Useful Careers Resources:

My UCL Careers
UCL Neuroscience Careers Network
Innovation and Enterprise Training and Opportunities for Students
Professional Development Courses
Linked In Learning
Public Engagement Training
Public Policy Training