Undergraduate study - 2023 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 25 universities for biological sciences in the QS* World University Rankings by Subject 2021.

  • Our programmes are flexible. Teaching in the early years 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

As a Biological Sciences student, I love the fact that there are so many specialised areas I could choose from. On top of that, the School of Biological Sciences offers a lot of flexibility in terms of picking my courses. This gave me the opportunity to explore different aspects of biology and allowed me to make an informed decision as to what honours degree I could choose in final year. I also appreciate the opportunity to take non-biology courses. As such, I am able to take Business courses like Finance which I love very much.

Dominic Year 4, BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences (Immunology) with Management
Dominic Year 4, BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences (Immunology) with Management

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:

  • cellular and molecular structure
  • modern genetics - how genes work, how they are regulated, and the effect they have
  • the development and behaviour of microorganisms, plants and animals
  • plant and animal evolution
  • environmental interactions and impacts.

In our Biological Sciences degree programmes we teach you to be able to solve problems and think independently to become a part of the next generation of scientists.

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 12 programmes, which span the breadth of biology. You can see the full list at the bottom of this page.

We offer a flexible learning experience, where you can tailor your programme to your preferred career path. Regardless of what you apply for, you will not choose the area of biological sciences you want to focus on until the end of Year 2. This allows you to 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.


You will have opportunities for 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, our entry requirements are the same for all programmes and students study the same core courses in year 1.

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 courses.

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