Undergraduate study - 2020 entry

BSc Biological Sciences (Evolutionary Biology)

UCAS code: C182

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Biological Sciences

College: Science and Engineering

Study abroad

Introducing BSc Biological Sciences (Evolutionary Biology)

The way life has evolved has influenced every aspect of society, from literature to medicine.

You will learn the principles of evolutionary biology and how it can be applied to geology, plant and animal breeding, computer science, the emergence of infectious diseases, and how it answers questions about molecular and social evolution.

Year 1

As an integral part of your studies, you will gain key skills which will enhance your long-term employability.

In addition, you will learn core laboratory techniques and study modern biology subjects which span the breadth of the biological sciences subject areas and may also include biological chemistry.

There will be compulsory courses dependent on your chosen programme path and you can also choose option courses, which can be from other academic areas from across the University.

Year 2

You will begin to specialise in a specific biological sciences area. There are opportunities to study within areas such as molecular and cellular biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, genetics, ecology, evolution, and animal and plant biology.

You can still choose courses from other areas of the University as option course choices. At the end of Year 2, you will progress into your chosen biological subject specialisation which will lead to your honours programme of choice.

Year 3

You will specialise in a chosen area of biology, choosing from our subject specialisations: biochemistry; biotechnology; cell biology; development, regeneration and stem cells; ecology; evolutionary biology; genetics; immunology; molecular biology; molecular genetics; plant science or zoology.

These areas prepare you for exploring scientific literature, analysis of scientific data and research work. Courses involve training in laboratory skills, with specific courses concentrating on fieldwork. Some students can also take the opportunity to study abroad.

Year 4

You will study your chosen subject area at a deeper scientific level. Taking part in seminars and debates on scientific papers with staff and other students will develop your presentation, discussion and critical appraisal skills. All students undertake an individual research project.

Programme structure

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.

Programme structure (2019/20)

Our facilities

Teaching for biological sciences courses takes place at the University's King's Buildings. The teaching of other courses may be based in other University venues in Edinburgh.

Later years can involve projects at allied research institutes in the local region. You will also have access to the University's libraries and computer studios. Much of the study material is available online.

Study abroad

Study abroad opportunities are optional for students. These are competitive and are currently undertaken in Year 3.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

Most courses combine lectures, tutorials and practical or workshop sessions. You will be involved in individual study, active learning in groups and in team projects. Years 1 and 2 usually involve approximately nine hours of lectures and workshops, eight hours of practicals and two hours of tutorials each week.

In later years, you will undertake more personal study and research. You will be linked with a research group and an in-depth project will form an important part of your final-year assessment.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through in-course assessments and examinations. A research project or dissertation will form an important part of your final-year assessment.

Programme details

Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.

To give you an idea of what to expect from 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.

Programme details (2019/20)

The analytical and scientific skills you will gain will equip you for a variety of careers. The core skills which you develop will enhance your employability.

Our graduates go on to a range of careers. These include industry-based occupations. Some choose further study before entering successful academic or other career paths.

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AAAA - AAAB by end of S5. If you haven’t achieved this by the end of S5 we may consider your application based on a strong performance in S6. A minimum of BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: AAA - ABB in one set of exams.
  • IB: 37 points with 666 at HL - 32 points with 555 at HL.

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: AABB by end of S6, with a minimum of BBB achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 32 points with 555 at HL.

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: Higher: Biology and Chemistry. Grade A is required in one of Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics. Qualified applicants are strongly advised to take Biology and Chemistry at Advanced Higher level where possible. National 5: Mathematics or Physics at grade B.*

    (*Revised 28/03/2019 to reflect that National 5 English is no longer required at grade B.)

  • A Levels: Biology and Chemistry. Grade A is required in one of Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics. GCSEs: Mathematics or Physics at grade B or 6.*

    (*Revised 28/03/2019 to reflect that GCSE English is no longer required at grade B or 6.)

  • IB: HL: Biology and Chemistry. Diploma must include Mathematics (from 2021, Mathematics: Analysis and approaches only)* or Physics at SL 6.

    (*Revised 16/08/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

Additional requirements

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

For direct entry to second year the minimum requirements must be exceeded, including the following:

  • SQA Advanced Highers: Biology, Chemistry and either Mathematics or Physics at Grades AAA.
  • A Levels: A*AA in one set of exams, in Biology, Chemistry and either Mathematics or Physics.
  • IB: 38 points overall and award of IB Diploma with 666 at HL to include Biology and Chemistry. Diploma must include Mathematics SL Grade 6, if not held at HL.
Other entry pathways

Entry to many degrees in Science & Engineering is possible via other qualifications (eg HNC/D, Access, SWAP).

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 5.5 in each component

  • TOEFL-iBT 92 or above with 20 in each section

  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component

  • PTE 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.

English language qualifications must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

English language requirements

(Revised 05/06/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

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 Discover Uni data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for BSc Biological Sciences (Evolutionary Biology)

Additional costs

You may incur additional costs of up to £150 for each year of your programme for purchasing books or other compulsory study material.

Additional costs may also be incurred for field or residential courses. You may choose to take more than one of these courses. All Year 4 students will attend a compulsory field or residential course. Currently, field or residential course costs vary on average from £150 to £300 per course for transport and accommodation. The costs for field courses will be due to be paid in the year the course is taken.

Funding

For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding

More information

How to apply

School: Biological Sciences

College: Science and Engineering