UCAS code: B120
Duration: 4 years
School: Edinburgh Medical School: Biomedical Sciences
College: Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Introducing BSc Physiology
Physiology examines humans and other animals and how they function, grow and reproduce. It studies how cells respond to changes in their environment and examines how cell functions are integrated in tissues, organs and living organisms.
You will study how information is sent from one cell to another through chemical or electrical signals and body systems such as nutrition, movement, respiration and reproduction.
The understanding of fundamental physiological principles is central to our ability to identify potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of diseases.
The main theme you will study is the importance of biomedical sciences to medicine and health. You will learn how biomedical science discoveries and breakthroughs in understanding have led to medical and scientific advancement.
You will take three compulsory courses covering biomedical sciences, medical biology, and molecular and cellular biology, plus others from a range of biomedical and non-biomedical courses. You will also be expected to take at least one course in biological chemistry.
The theme of your second year is foundational understanding of biomedical sciences, which includes essential learning applicable to biomedical disciplines.
You will take three compulsory courses:
- Biomedical Sciences 2
- Microorganisms, Infection & Immunity 2
- Cells to Organisms 2
You will choose other courses from a range of biomedical and non-biomedical options.
You will study two compulsory courses: Biomedical Sciences 3, the cornerstone to the theme of developing knowledge from experiment, and Physiology 3.
You will develop key graduate attributes, including analytical and communication skills. You will study a combination of compulsory and option courses to broaden your understanding of your chosen subject.
The final year theme is research in practice. You will study the compulsory Physiology Core course, together with two option courses covering cutting-edge topics in more depth. With individual supervisor support, you will complete a major research project that can involve original laboratory-based research or library-based, literature analysis-based research.
Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.
To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.
Teaching takes place at both the University's Central Area and the King's Buildings campus. In the final year, some teaching takes place in the Chancellor’s Building at Little France, and the Western General Hospital. All sites offer state-of-the-art lecture theatres and laboratory facilities.
Study materials are available online. You will have full access to the University's libraries and computer laboratories.
There are opportunities to study abroad in Europe, North America and Asia in Year 3.
How will I learn?
You will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, practical work, problem-based learning and computer-assisted learning. In Years 3 and 4, there will be more emphasis on self-directed study and discussion sessions with internationally renowned research scientists.
How will I be assessed?
In-course assessment and exams are used in all years of the programmes. Your degree classification will be based on your performance in Years 3 and 4.
Our programmes will appeal to those planning a career in biomedical research or related areas as well as graduate-entry careers in industry, management and the public sector. The broad analytical, scientific and personal skills you gain will equip you for a variety of careers.
Previous graduates have been employed in science and in non-science sectors including teaching, marketing, accountancy and policy research. A large proportion of our graduates choose further study before entering successful academic or industry-based research careers.
Standard entry requirement
The standard entry requirement is:
- SQA Highers: AAAB - ABBB by end of S5 or ABBBB/AABB from S4-S6. A minimum of BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
- A Levels: AAB - ABB in one set of exams.
- IB: 36 points with 66 at HL - 32 points with 65 at HL.
Minimum entry requirement
The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:
- SQA Highers: ABBB.
- A Levels: ABB.
- IB: 32 points with 65 at HL.
The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:
- SQA: Higher: Biology and Chemistry at grade B. Mathematics and/or Physics are recommended. Qualified applicants are advised to take Biology and Chemistry at Advanced Higher level where possible. National 5: Mathematics at grade C. English at grade C.
- A Levels: Biology and Chemistry at grade B. Mathematics and/or Physics are recommended. GCSEs: Mathematics and English at Grade C or 4.
- IB: HL: Biology and Chemistry, one at grade 5 and one at grade 6. Mathematics and/or Physics are recommended. SL: English at grade 5 and Mathematics at grade 4. From 2021, only the Mathematics: Analysis and approaches pathway will be accepted where Mathematics is required.
We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.
For direct entry to second year the minimum requirements must be exceeded, including the following:
- SQA Advanced Highers: AB to include Biology and Chemistry.
- A Levels: AAB, in one set of exams, to include Biology and Chemistry.
- IB: Overall score of 36 points, including HL Grade 6 Biology and Chemistry.
You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.
SQA, GCSE and IB
For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:
- SQA National 5 Grade C
- SQA Standard Grade 3
- SQA Intermediate 1 Grade A
- SQA Intermediate 2 Grade C
- GCSE Grade C or 4
- Level 2 Certificate Grade C
- IB Standard Level Grade 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)
English language tests
We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:
- IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 6.0 in each component
- TOEFL-iBT 92 or above with 23 in each section
- Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 169 in each component
- Pearson Test of English (Academic): Total 61 with at least 51 in each "Communicative Skills" section
- Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components
We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.
(Revised 22/03/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)
Please apply for only one Biomedical Sciences programme. You will have the opportunity to switch between programmes in later years provided the required courses have been passed.
This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.
It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.
Please note that some programmes do not have Unistats data available.
Search the degree finder
7 degrees in Biomedical Sciences
- Anatomy and Development (BSc) C183
- Biomedical Sciences (BSc) C190
- Infectious Diseases (BSc) C590
- Neuroscience (BSc) B140
- Pharmacology (BSc) B210
- Physiology (BSc) B120
- Reproductive Biology (BSc) C142