Postgraduate study

School: Biological Sciences

About the School

Our School features a vibrant community of staff and students that continues a 400-year history of scientific exploration with innovative work that seeks to shape tomorrow’s world.

We are constantly seeking to shed light on the secrets of life through our wide-ranging research. More than half of our research in biological sciences (56 per cent) was rated 4* world-leading in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 which places us in the UK’s top three by research quality (Research Fortnight REF 2014) and confirms our position as one of the world’s leading biological science research groups.

Thriving community

Our School houses about 130 principal investigators, both academic teaching staff and independently funded senior research fellows, about 400 research assistants and technicians and more than 200 PhD students. Some 90 administrative and technical staff support the School’s academic activities.

Research institutes

Our world-class research takes place in six research institutes:

  • The Institute of Cell Biology
  • The Institute of Evolutionary Biology
  • The Institute of Immunology and Infection Research
  • The Institute of Molecular Plant Sciences
  • The Institute for Stem Cell Research (Centre for Regenerative Medicine)
  • The Institute of Quantitative Biology, Biochemistry and Biotechnology

Many of our researchers also participate in one or more of our numerous cross-disciplinary research centres.


Postgraduate teaching takes every advantage of our School’s expertise to give you outstanding opportunities to study within your chosen field, from programmes taught at the world-famous Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh to those that develop biofuels and new medicines. Our students can be found discovering how to develop new products for human and animal health, or applying the latest engineering principles to the exploration of biological networks.

Effective outcomes

The School of Biological Sciences continues to make its mark on the future. Entrepreneurial opportunities are supported by Edinburgh Innovations, the University’s commercialisation office, with a dedicated business development team embedded in the School. Across the University, Edinburgh Innovations has helped create more than 400 companies during the last 50 years.

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About our degrees

We offer a range of options for postgraduate study: from professional qualifications to independent research, on-campus taught programmes to part-time, online study. Find out which graduate study option is right for you: