Undergraduate prospectus 2022


Biological Sciences BSc

Biological Sciences is at the centre of UCL’s world leading research on biodiversity and environmental science as well as human genetics, healthy ageing and many more. Many current research experts from UCL and our partner institutes are actively involved in the teaching of the BSc and MSci in Biological Sciences. Our staff have included Nobel Prize Winners, including 2014 winner and current staff member, John O’Keefe.

Key Information

Programme starts

September 2022
UCAS code
Full-time: 3 years
Application deadline
26 January 2022
London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A Levels

Biology required plus one from Chemistry, Life and Health Sciences, Mathematics or Physics.
English Language and Mathematics at grade B or 6.

Contextual offer

ABB (more about contextual offers)
Biology at grade A required plus one from Chemistry, Life and Health Sciences, Mathematics or Physics.
English Language and Mathematics at grade B or 6.

IB Diploma

A total of 18 points in three higher level subjects including Biology at grade 6 and one from Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics, with no score below 5. For Mathematics, the programme will accept either 'Analysis and Approaches' or 'Applications and Interpretation' at higher level.

Contextual offer

34 (more about contextual offers)
A total of 16 points in three higher level subjects including Biology at grade 6 and one from Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics, with no score below 5. For Mathematics, the programme will accept either 'Analysis and Approaches' or 'Applications and Interpretation' at higher level.

UK applicants qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Equivalent qualification

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

D3,D3,D3 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects. Biology required plus one from Chemistry, Physics or Mathematics

A,A,A at Advanced Highers (or A,A at Advanced Higher and A,A,A at Higher). Biology required plus one from Chemistry, Physics or Mathematics at Advanced Higher.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A levels at grades AAA. Biology required plus one from Chemistry, Physics or Mathematics.

International applications

In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.

Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.

For more information see: ucl.ac.uk/upc.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Degree benefits

  • Our degrees will be of interest to anyone who wants to pursue a career in Biological Research. You will develop your skills and core knowledge through engaging with the real research performed in our department and through actively performing research yourself.

  • Our flexible programme structure provides 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 or they are able to convert to an MSci degree. 

  • All students (BSc and MSci) can do a research project with a single supervisor in a real lab asking a real question. From year two, students are able to specialise in one of seven areas including high growth fields like biodiversity and conservation biology and computational biology.

  • Our partnerships with the Natural History Museum, the Crick and the ZSL London Zoo mean that students are able to attend lectures from some of the experts from these institutions. There may also be an opportunity to undertake research projects in their facilities.

Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits, adding up to a total of 120 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 30-credit module is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

The first year of this programme covers a core range of subjects from across the spectrum of biological sciences, giving you a firm foundation upon which to base your later choices.

In your second year, you can either continue towards a degree in general Biological Sciences, or you can choose from five specialised degree routes.

In your third year you have the choice to take modules from many different subjects across UCL. You can choose a research or an investigative project based with one of UCL's research groups.

Specialist degree programmes

You can stay on the Biological Sciences degree or transfer to any of the following specialist degree programmes after year one:

Biological Sciences: Cell Biology focuses on cell function and its role in major human diseases.

Biodiversity and Conservation focuses on the interactions between organisms and populations with the environments they inhabit.

Genetics focuses on evolutionary, genomic and population genetics.

Human Genetics focuses on a range of areas in which genetics intersects with other aspects of biology and medicine.

Zoology focuses on the study of animals in all their complexity and diversity.

After the second year, you could also transfer to the specialist route (year 3 entry), Biological Sciences: Computational Biology. This option is currently only available as MSci (our four-year MSci Biological Sciences programme).

Upon successful completion of 360 credits, you will be awarded a BSc (Hons) in Biological Sciences.


Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Compulsory module(s)

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Introduction to Genetics
Introduction to Microbiology
Cells and Development
Life on Earth
Quantitative Biology
Methods in Ecology and Evolution

Optional modules

Either Chemistry for Biologists or Fundamentals of Biology

Route Options

In the second year, you will have the opportunity to either remain on the generalist Biological Sciences degree programme, or select a specialist degree route in:

Biological Sciences: Cell Biology

Biodiversity and Conservation


Human Genetics


Each degree route has a range of compulsory and optional modules.

Compulsory module(s)

Advanced Research Project in Biological Sciences
Advanced Investigative Project in Biological Sciences

Optional modules

You will select between 75 and 90 credits (depending on the project selected) from a wide range of optional modules in your chosen degree programme and from other approved disciplines within UCL.

Your learning

The programme consists of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practicals, problem-based learning, e-learning and supported personal study. You will have the opportunity to take part in UCL's world-leading research from your first year onwards, either in the laboratory or studying animals and plants in their natural habitats.

There are optional field courses you may wish to take in your degree. You will have the option of working at our Blakeney Point field station in Norfolk in year one. In year two, we run a field trip to the south of Spain or in the UK.


You will be assessed through a combinantion of courseowrk and end-of-year examinations. Courseowrk assignments range from practical reports, essays or scientific papers. As your programme progresses research-based coursework exercises will become more important, culminating in a final-year project.

Detailed module descriptions are available on the department website: Biological Sciences BSc.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.


Biological Sciences can lead to a wide range of careers. There is key skills training embedded in our degrees (e.g., in statistics, computing and presentation experience), which all enhance your employability skills. 

Many of our graduates choose to undertake further studies, aiming for a research career in a university or in industry. As well as careers in scientific fields, such as in the health service, conservation or the pharmaceutical industry, our graduates have also pursued further training or employment in management, teaching, accounting, the civil service and law.

UCL is committed to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2022/23 academic year. The UK fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2022/23 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

UK students
£9,250 (2022/23)
Overseas students
£29,400 (2022/23)

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

The programme includes optional field trips spread across the three years of study. For all field trips, students are expected to be able to provide basic field equipment such as a sleeping bag, torch and suitable clothing such as walking boots.

The exact cost of each fieldtrip will depend on the location, prevailing exchange rates and the price of travel and accomodation. It is estimated that students would need to contribute between £50-£150 depending on the location and previous years cost. 

Students will need to purchase a lab coat.

A guide including rough estimates for these and other living expenses is included on the UCL Fees and funding pages. If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc., please get in touch with the relevant departmental contact (details given on this page).


Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.

Departmental scholarships

Funding opportunities relevant to the department may appear in this section when they are available. Please check carefully or confirm with the programme contact to ensure they apply to this degree programme.

The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.

Application and next steps

Your application

When we read your application we will be checking not only that you meet our academic entry requirements but also for evidence of your interest in the subject and your involvement in related activities, for example, through extracurricular science clubs, laboratory visits or participation in summer schools.

How to apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.

Application deadline: 26 January 2022


If we have made you an offer, you will be invited to attend an offer-holder event. This may include talks from staff about the programme and the department. It could also include a research presentation, tours of UCL and the department, and a visit to a laboratory facility.

You will have the chance to talk to current students and staff and ask any questions you might have about studying biological sciences or about UCL in general.

For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 25 November 2021