Biological Sciences BSc

London, Bloomsbury
Biological Sciences BSc (2022)

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, Prof John O'Keefe.

UK students International students
Study mode
Full-time
Duration
3 academic years
UK tuition fees (2022/23)
£9,250
Overseas tuition fees (2022/23)
£29,400
Programme starts
September 2023
Application deadline
25 Jan 2023
UCAS course code
C900

Entry requirements

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

Contextual offer information

Grades
ABB more about contextual offers
Subjects
Biology at grade A required plus one from Chemistry, Life and Health Sciences, Mathematics or Physics.
GCSEs
English Language and Mathematics at grade B or 6.
Points
38
Subjects
A total of 18 points in three higher level subjects including Biology at grade 6 and one from Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics, with no higher level score below 5. For Mathematics, the programme will accept either 'Analysis and Approaches' or 'Applications and Interpretation' at higher level.

Contextual offer

Points
34 more about contextual offers
Subjects
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.

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.

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.

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

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

International applications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

Access and widening participation

UCL is committed to widening access to higher education. If you are eligible for Access UCL you do not need to do anything in addition to the standard UCAS application. Your application will be automatically flagged when we receive it.

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

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Show details

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.

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

Course overview

The BSc Biological Sciences at UCL will provide you with the core knowledge and skills required to understand and participate in current biological research. During your studies you will have the option to transfer onto a specialised degree programme. Our selection of modules will allow you to specialise in your biological interests or maintain a broad interest in the field.

What this course will give you

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. This will culminate in the final year research project where you will have the opportunity to work under the lead of an academic from our research department. 

Students will benefit from our partnerships with the Natural History Museum, the Francis Crick Institute and the Zoological Society of London meaning that students can attend lectures from experts based in these institutions. There may also be an opportunity to undertake research projects in these facilities.

Teaching and learning

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).

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

Modules

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. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Full-time

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 programmes:

  • Biodiversity and Conservation
  • Biological Sciences: Cell Biology
  • Genetics
  • Human Genetics
  • Zoology

Prior to the completion of your second year, you have the option to transfer onto the four-year MSci programme, which includes an additional Biological Sciences: Computational Biology degree programme. Students on the MSci programme can apply to the international programme, where you spend the entirety of the third year studying in one of our partner institutions.

In your second and third year you will take a combination of compulsory and optional modules. The optional modules give you the opportunity to customise your own highly specialised degree.

Compulsory Modules:

BIOC0001: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

CELL0007: Cells and Development

BIOL0001: Quantitative Biology

BIOL0002: First Year Core Skills

BIOL0003: Introduction to Genetics

BIOL0004: Life on Earth

BIOL0006 Methods in Ecology and Evolution

Optional Modules:

There are two optional modules that can be taken in the first year. You are required to select one optional module from the Term 1 list and one optional module from the Term 2 list:

Term 1 Optional Modules:

BIOL0006: Fundamentals of Biology OR CHEM0010: Chemistry for Biologists

Term 2 Optional Modules:

BIOL0055: Biodiversity and Conservation OR BIOC0004: Introduction to Microbiology

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

Genetics

Human Genetics

Zoology

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

Compulsory Modules:

Note that this list is subject to changes and is based on the 2022-2023 academic year and is subject to change.

1) Biological Sciences

BIOL0008: Fundamentals of Molecular Biology

BIOL0012: Animal Biodiversity

BIOL0013: The Biology of Development

BIOL0015: Second Year Core Skills

BIOL0030: Energy and Evolution

CELL0009: Intermediate Cell Biology: Cell Structure and Function

2) Biodiversity and Conservation

BIOL0007: Introduction to Field Ecology

BIOL0012: Animal Biodiversity

BIOL0014: Fundamental of Ecology

BIOL0015: Second Year Core Skills

BIOL0029: Computational Biology

GEOG0020: Ecological Patterns and Processes

3) Biological Sciences: Cell Biology

BIOC0005: Molecular Biology

BIOL0013: The Biology of Development

BIOL0015: Second Year Core Skills

CELL0009: Intermediate Cell Biology: Cell Structure and Function

4) Genetics

BIOL0008: Fundamentals of Molecular Biology

BIOL0009: Experimental Genetics and Model Systems

BIOL0010: Introduction to Human Genetics

BIOL0011: Evolutionary Genetics

BIOL0015: Second Year Core Skills

Either BIOL0013: The Biology of Development OR BIOL0029: Computational Biology

5) Human Genetics

BIOC0005: Molecular Biology

BIOL0010: Introduction to Human Genetics

BIOL0011: Evolutionary Genetics

BIOL0015: Second Year Core Skills

BIOL0029: Computational Biology

6) Zoology

BIOL0008: Fundamentals of Molecular Biology

BIOL0011: Evolutionary Genetics

BIOL0012: Animal Biodiversity

BIOL0013: The Biology of Development

BIOL0014: Fundamental of Ecology

BIOL0015: Second Year Core Skills

BIOL0029: Computational Biology

GEOG0020: Ecological Patterns and Processes

Optional Modules:

You will select between 45 and 69 credits (depending on the degree programme selected) from a wide range of optional modules in your chosen degree programme and from other approved disciplines within UCL.

Compulsory Modules:

For students on all degree programmes, you are required to take 1 project modules from an option of 3:

BIOL0018: Advanced Investigative Project in Biological Sciences (30 Credits)

OR

BIOL0019: Advanced Research Project in Biological Sciences (45 Credits)

OR

BIOL0056: Grand Challenges Research Project in Biological Sciences (30 Credits)

In addition for students on the Genetics and Human Genetics degree programmes only, BIOL0021: Advanced Human Genetics is compulsory.

Optional Modules:

You are required to select between 75 and 90 credits (depending on the project selected and degree programme) 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 through engaging with the research of academics from our research department or directly working 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.

The academic year is split over three terms. Most teaching takes place in terms 1 and 2 (field courses generally run outside of this time period) and typically you would take 60 credits in term 1 and 60 credits in term two.

A typical 15 credit module would consist of 150 learning hours. This would be split over approximately 20 hours of lectures plus a combination of tutorials, practicals, workshops etc and independent study.

Assessment

You will be assessed through a combination of coursework and end-of-year examinations. Coursework assignments range from practical reports, tutorial exercises, essays, poster presentations, oral presentations, or scientific papers. From the first year of your programme, research-based coursework will be important and will culminate in a final-year research project.

Accessibility

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.

The foundation of your career

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.

Employability

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. 

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2022/23) £9,250
Tuition fees (2022/23) £29,400

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.

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/prospective-students/undergraduate/funding-your-studies.

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. Students on the BSc Biodiversity and Conservation are required to take the compulsory field based module 'Introduction to Field Ecology'.

The exact cost of each fieldtrip will depend on the location, prevailing exchange rates and the price of travel and accommodation. 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).

Funding your studies

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.

Scholarships

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.

Next steps

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.

Selection

For further information on UCL's selection process see: How we assess your application.

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. 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.

Got questions? Get in touch