Undergraduate study - 2022 entry
Open to the world

Subject area: Biological Sciences

Why choose Biological Sciences at the University of Edinburgh?

  • We're ranked in the UK's top 5 universities and the world's top 20 universities for biological sciences in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021.

  • Our programmes will give you a solid grounding in fundamental topics allowing you to specialise in Year 3 and complete an independent research project in Year 4.

  • You will be taught in state-of-the-art laboratories and in interactive computing studio facilities.

Study abroad

The University of Edinburgh is a perfect place to study Biological Sciences because there are so many different course options to choose from, all of which are taught by outstanding lecturers. The learning experience never gets boring because you get to study very different areas of Biology before deciding on your honours programme. I was able to choose courses outside the School of Biology which made my degree even more interesting and interdisciplinary. While looking for a way to relax after studying, I came across so many different student-run societies and sports clubs which made my time in Edinburgh even more enjoyable.

Rokas Year 4, BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences
Rokas Year 4, BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences

Introducing Biological Sciences

Biology is the study of life and embraces many different areas of biological and biomedical interest. It reveals core scientific knowledge of how cells and organisms function, and its applications underpin up-to-the-minute technological and scientific advances.

Studies range across topics such as:

  • molecular structures
  • how genes work
  • the development and behaviour of microorganisms, plants and animals
  • plant and animal evolution
  • environmental interactions and impacts.

You will be taught in an internationally-reputed research environment, with access to modern facilities. You will also be directly involved in research projects.


The School of Biological Sciences offers several programmes, which span the breadth of biology. You can see the full list of programmes at the bottom of this page.

We offer a flexible learning experience, where you can tailor your programme to your preferred career path.

On our BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences or Biological Sciences with Management, you will enter a general programme and experience a range of courses before choosing your final subject specialisation. A number of these courses will be in areas you will not have had the opportunity to study before.

Regardless of which programme you apply for, you will not choose your specialisation until the end of Year 2.

The options available to you depend on which courses you take in your first two years. We will give you all the information you need to take the right combination of courses and leave your options open.


You will have opportunities to complete work experience, both in the UK and abroad, during holiday periods. You can arrange this yourself, or with help from the University's Careers Service.

Some students apply for a placement of up to 12 months, which is usually taken between Years 3 and 4. Students who accept a year-long placement will take an 'interruption of studies' to complete it.

Year-long placements are independent of your University studies and do not contribute towards your final classification. Please also be aware that there are restrictions due to visa requirements for some students.

You can get visa advice from our Student Immigration Service.

Immigration and visas


You only need to apply for one Biological Sciences programme.

If you already know which subject specialisation you are interested in, you should choose that on your application. We can then assign you a Personal Tutor in that field.

If you do not have a subject specialisation preference at this stage, choose Biological Sciences (C100).

If you are interested in Biological Sciences with Management (C1N1) please choose this on your application to make sure you are enrolled on the relevant compulsory business course.

Regardless of your application choice, you will have the flexibility to change between Biological Sciences programmes, provided you have passed the required courses.