Undergraduate prospectus


Biological Sciences MSci

This four-year MSci offers an additional year on top of the Biological Sciences BSc, which includes a research project, providing extra depth and knowledge which will particularly benefit those interested in further research. Year three may be spent abroad at a university in Asia, Australia, Europe or the USA.

Key Information

Programme starts

September 2019
UCAS code
Full-time: 4 years
Application deadline
15 January 2019
London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A Levels

Biology required plus one from Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics.
English Language and Mathematics at grade B or 6. For UK-based students, a grade C or 5 or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-requirements

Contextual offer

ABB (more about contextual offers)
Biology at grade A required plus one from Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics.

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.

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.

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: www.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

  • You will have the opportunity to choose a specialist degree route in Biodiversity and Conservation, Genetics, Human Genetics, Cell Biology, Computational Biology or Zoology.

  • Our excellent facilities include our field station at Blakeney Point in Norfolk, our on-site museum, the Grant Museum of Zoology, and the refurbished UCL Cruciform Hub.

  • You will have the opportunity to undertake your final-year research project in collaboration with major London organisations, such as the Natural History Museum, ZSL London Zoo and the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health.

  • Our Summer Studentship scheme allows second- and third-year students to experience original research in the laboratory or the field.

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 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 six specialised degree routes.

In your third year you have the choice to take modules from many different subjects across UCL. You may also apply to transfer to the International Programme MSci and spend your third year at one of our partner universities in Asia, Australia, Europe or North America.

The fourth year will be largely centred on a supervised research project, occupying 50–75% of your time. You will also take advanced Master's level modules, providing extra depth and breadth of knowledge.


An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.

Core or 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 programme, or select a specialist route in:

Biodiversity and Conservation
Human Genetics
Cell Biology
Computational Biology

Further information on these specialist degree programmes can be found on the Biological Sciences departmental webpage.

Core or compulsory module(s)

Literature Review

Optional modules

You will select 3.0 credits from a wide range of optional modules in your chosen degree and from other approved disciplines within UCL. If you have transferred to the International Programme we will help you select appropriate modules during your year abroad.

Core or compulsory module(s)

Research Project in Biological Sciences
Current topics in Biological Research

Optional modules

You will select between 0.5 and 1.5 credits from a wide range of optional modules in your chosen degree and from other approved disciplines within UCL.

Your learning

This programme consists of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practicals, and extensive 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.


Initially you will be assessed primarily by end-of-year examinations, with a smaller component from practical reports or other coursework such as essays. As your programme progresses, research-based coursework exercises will become more important, culminating in your final-year project.

Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Biological Sciences MSci.


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 in giving presentations), which helps make you attractive to employers.

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 commited 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.

Student view
One of my highlights has been studying abroad at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. The opportunity to spend a year in Canada studying, exploring and meeting people from all over the world was incredible. Alice Miller - Biological Sciences MSci Fourth Year

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2019/20 academic year. The UK/EU 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 2019/20 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

UK/EU students
£9,250 (2019/20)
Overseas students
£24,760 (2019/20)

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website.

Additional costs

If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc. on this programme, 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: 15 January 2019


If you live in the UK and you receive an offer, you will be invited to attend an open day. This will include talks from staff about the programme and the department, a tour of UCL and a visit to a research laboratory.

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.

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